Thoughts from the Editor
Jane S. Hancock
I was browsing through Volume 15 of The Word of Truth, stopping to read articles here and there, when I came upon a very short piece entitled “The Earth Is the Lord’s” (p.105).
I guess what made me stop at this page was that Otis Q. Sellers was reflecting on how much he loved the beauty of the United States. (He never had the opportunity to travel out of the country, something I know he regretted.) Instead of a word study or a resultant translation or a message on a dispensational truth, he was waxing poetic about the sights he and my mother saw as they traveled 10,000 miles across the States on his Fall Conference Tour. He even quoted a verse to the hymn, “This Is My Father’s World,” the hymn which became his “theme song” for his radio broadcasts.
Then he shared a paragraph from The Apocalypse: Lectures on the Book of Revelation by Joseph A. Seiss (1823-1904), which painted a picture of a tarnished earth, followed by a picture of what the earth will be.
The earth now is full of ailments and disorders, and in deep captivity to corruption, yet it has much attractiveness. Most men would prefer to stay in it forever, if they could. Ah, this homestead of our fathers for so many generations, carpeted with green and flowers, waving with pleasant harvests and shady trees, girded with glorious mountains, gushing with water-springs, gladdened with laughing brooks, ribboned with rivers that wind in beauty about the rocky promontories, varied with endless hills and valleys, and girthed about with the crystal girdle of the ruffled seas,—these blazing summer glories,—these gorgeous mellow autumns, these winters, with their snowy vestments, and glazed streams, and glowing firesides,—and living nature in its ten thousand forms, singing, and dancing and shouting and frisking and rejoicing all around us,—what pictures, and memories, and histories, and legends, and experiences have we here, to warm our hearts, and stir our souls, and wake our tongues, and put fire and enthusiasm into our thoughts, and words, and deeds! But this is only the old earth in its soiled and work-day garb, where the miseries of a deep, dark, and universal apostasy from God holds sway. Think, then, what its regeneration must bring!—an earth which no longer smarts and smokes under the curse of sin,—an earth which needs no more to be torn with hooks and irons to make it yield its fruits,—an earth where thorns and thistles no longer infest the ground, nor savage beasts lay in ambush to devour,—an earth whose sod is never cut with graves, whose soil is never moistened with tears or saturated with human blood, whose fields are never blasted with unpropitious seasons, whose atmosphere never gives wings to the seeds of plague and death, whose ways are never lined with funeral processions, or blocked up with armed men on their way to war,—an earth whose hills ever flow with salvation, and whose valleys know only the sweetness of Jehovah’s smiles,—an earth from end to end, and from center to utmost verge, clothed with the eternal blessedness of Paradise Restored.
So there you have it, the Kingdom. Right there in those words. I’m not sure Mr. Seiss knew that, but we do. “Thy Kingdom Come.”
This is my Father’s world,
And to my list’ning ears,
All nature sings and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world,
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas
His hand the wonders wrought.
—Maltbie B. Babcock
From the Director
David R. Hettema
It was February 10, 2008, another very pleasant Sunday morning, pleasant because Sunday is the day when all the friends of our Bible Class gather together to study and enjoy God’s Word. Just as I was about to leave for the Bible Class, Jane Hancock phoned my home to tearfully inform us that her husband, Fred had just passed away. Fred had been moved to a new medical facility just a few days prior. The Word of Truth has lost a faithful friend, and we all mourn his loss. To me, Fred was a special person. In addition to his long-time association with our ministry, he and I also shared some WWII military experiences, which were in some ways parallel. All of us will miss his faithful presence at Bible Class.
The Bible clearly states, “It is appointed unto men, once to die, but after this the judgment.” The judgment is the setting in order at resurrection for every child of Adam. Our expectation is that we will see Fred Hancock again in the Kingdom of God.
In these times the subjects of death and resurrection are not taught in most religious organizations. Each generation born and raised under their teaching assumes that what they set forth is the truth of God concerning death and resurrection. The powers of the evil One have developed traditions and ancient philosophies that are not found in God’s Word. These teach that man has a never-dying soul, and man’s immortality has little need for resurrection. They deny the reality of death, echoing Satan’s lie to Eve in the garden found in Genesis 2:4: “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die!”
Every student of the Bible who wants the truth should really consider all the facts of Scripture which teach us about death and resurrection, starting with God’s reply to Adam’s tragic failure as recorded in Genesis 3:17-19: “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
The reality of death is that when a man dies he goes to the soil (dust) and awaits resurrection. Thank God for His only begotten Son. He died that we may live. Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26). ?
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4, NKJV
The Internet Corner
Our 2nd Anniversary
The Word of Truth Web site, www.seedandbread.org, just celebrated its second year on the ethernet. We’ve had many wonderful new friends in Christ added to our listings, and only a few minor disappointments (such as observing the growth of our readership being slower than we’d originally hoped for). No statistics, however, can ever measure whether we’re achieving our goal of reaching believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who are hungry for the truth. We also continue to remind ourselves that we’re not here to win any popularity contest, but are here only for His glory.
For your general information, here are some of the gross statistics of our Site for the last two years:
|No. of Visitors
|No. of Visits
|No. Pages Visited
|No. of Hits
We now have placed four Seed & Bread studies in the Spanish language onto our Web site. Be sure to tell your Spanish-speaking friends who might also be interested in the Truth. Thanks to Ruben Garcia for his continuing dedication to this project.
Book Challenges Many Church Beliefs
Louis Tonetti, a fellow student in this Ministry, has recently published a paperback book titled The Seven Pillars of Death. It challenges the oft-held positions of orthodox Christianity regarding “heaven,” “hell,” and what’s beyond the grave for each of us. We commend his book to you. Tonetti also has committed to share proceeds with The Word of Truth Ministry. If you are interested, you can order it from the following Web sites: www.authorhouse.com, and www.amazon.com, and www.barnesandnoble.com. Prices are about $12 and $14.
We Get Letters
“Once again another year is coming to an end and we are one year closer to the approaching of God’s kingdom. I do not pretend to know how many years are left before the wonderful event takes place, but I do not think it will be many as this world continues to get worse as time goes on. I know of no other ministry quite like The Word of Truth and that’s why I continue to support your work and always look forward to More Seed & Bread as these tracts really bring out the truth of God’s Word.”
“Well, that sent me on another quest for truth. First I found C.H. Welch’s teaching that I thought to be interesting so I read a lot of his material and Bullinger’s as well as others. To sum it up a woman I met online from Washington State began to forward me studies from a man named Tom Ballenger called ‘Plainer Words.’ I noticed his position seemed to change from his earlier writings, he would allude to a premillennial Kingdom of God and immediately I could see how this could answer a host of problems. So I just kept reading other people’s writings and when I did stumble across your web site and began reading the free Seed & Bread articles by Otis I knew that’s where Tom got his information not that the Lord couldn’t show him on h