BULLETIN

THE WORD OF TRUTH MINISTRY

228 NORTH EL MOLINO AVENUE, PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91101-1675

Otis Q. Sellers, Founder David R. Hettema, Director

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Volume 2, No. 44    Jane Sellers Hancock, Editor    July 2008

Thoughts from the Editor
Jane S. Hancock

The Bible is a book that tells the message of the Kingdom of God. This narrative is spread throughout its pages, both in the Old and New Testaments.

Chapter 13 in the Book of Matthew is all about the Kingdom of God. It reveals certain truths about the Kingdom of the Heavens, which had been kept secret up until this time. Jesus relates a series of parables to His disciples. Many of the parables have to do with agriculture, with the production of food, because this was an agrarian society. Parables must reflect the times.

The first one (Matt 13:3-8) tells of a man who sows seed. And as he spreads the seed, some of it falls along the wayside and that seed is eaten up by birds. Some falls where there is not enough soil. That seed is parched by the sun and finally dies. Some falls where thorns also grow and choke the new plants. But the rest fall on the tilled ground, and that seed survives and grows.

I’m glad He interpreted His own parables for the disciples. We get to benefit from the explanations (Matt. 13:18-23) and we must not try to read into the explanations anything more than what is there. The sower is God, Jesus Christ. The field is the world. The seed refers to the words spoken about the Kingdom of God. Some truth falls by the side of the road because the hearer doesn’t understand it. Some words fall on hearts that accept it at first but when the going gets rough, gives up on the words. Some words are choked out by the things of the world. We need people to hear the Word, receive it in their hearts and their minds, and spread that Word. We need the seed to fall on good ground.

In Matthew 13:24-30 and 13:37-43, He tells his disciples (and us) what the Kingdom of God will be like. Again God sows the seed. But in the night, an enemy, Satan, comes and sows bad seed among the good seed. And when the crop springs up, both grow together. The servants report this to the farmer and wonder if they should remove the growth from the bad seed. But the answer is, “No, we don’t want to destroy the wheat plants along with the weeds.” And then comes the key line in which He says that when harvest time comes (the end of that eon), then they can gather the tares (gather all things that offend out of the Kingdom) and burn them and the wheat will be safe in the barn. This makes it clear that at some time evil will exist in the Kingdom of God.

Let’s continue. I like all these short parables, almost one liners.

  • The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. Have you seen a mustard seed? It’s very tiny. In fact Jesus says in this parable that it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it grows, it is the greatest of all herbs (Matt. 13:31-32).
  • The Kingdom of God is like leaven (Matt. 13:33-43).
  • The Kingdom of God is like hidden treasure (Matt. 13:44).
  • The Kingdom of God is like a pearl of great price and when someone finds it, he sells what he has in order to buy it (Matt. 13:45-46).
  • The Kingdom of God is like a net cast into the sea. When the net is full, the good catch are kept and the bad cast away (Matt. 13:47-50).

So what do all these parables tell us about the Kingdom of God? They tell us that in the beginning God’s government on this earth will compare with a single grain of mustard seed. That government will grow speedily and steadily until all other governments are displaced by it. Like the mustard seed, it is insignificant at the beginning.

Then it will reach out until the whole earth is brought under God’s government. His rule will be like leaven. It will change the character of the whole earth.

Like hidden treasure, men will have to find it. Once they have found it, they will give up everything to possess it. This parable talks about the value of God’s government. And so does the next one. The pearl stands for Heaven’s government—a government without flaws, unlike governments today.

When God’s government comes upon this earth, everyone is caught in His net.

For Further Reading: If you want to read about these parables in detail, see The Secrets of the Kingdom of the Heavens, by Otis Q. Sellers, and the Word of Truth magazine, Volume 12.

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FROM THE DIRECTOR

David R. Hettema

I’ve changed my thinking about the Second Coming. Years ago I was a young new believer associated with an active church that set forth believing in Jesus Christ was the way of salvation and taught that the present “church” was God’s instrument for His people in our times. I learned from God’s Word about Jesus Christ, who gave Himself to become our Savior and redeemer. This miraculous teacher could heal the sick and raise the dead. He could feed the hungry by thousands from the small lunch of a youth in the crowd. I also learned that this same Jesus who was crucified was raised from the dead and ascended up into heaven, leaving with mankind the still-standing promise that He is going to return to this earth.

The second coming, I was taught, was to catch-away the living believers of earth to meet the Lord in the air and then reunite (in Heaven) with those who had gone on before. The Calvinistic Churches (my Dutch grandfather’s church) taught that at His coming Christ would, at that point, first judge the earth’s living populations, separating them for eternity to either Heaven or Hell. Earth would then be destroyed. The “word” of teaching about the second coming was, “Be ready, He could come at any time.” But we discovered that the Bible states in more than seven occurrences this was not the order: But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool (Heb 10:12-13, NKJV).

As I grew older and continued in my Bible studies I puzzled about how and why in His earthly ministry Jesus Christ’s enemies hated Him so much and finally crucified Him. I concluded that those men were motivated by the same Satan that brought death to the human race in the Garden of Eden, the one who still relentlessly works to destroy God’s provision for the salvation of the world, Jesus Christ, the Seed of the Woman.

As I grew more knowledgeable about God’s Word, the truth became plain that one of Satan’s most effective methods of deceiving was to confuse believers with his lies. Amazingly the first lie that Satan told to Eve in the Garden of Eden, “You shall not surely die,” is still the most prevailing (false) idea which the greater part of mankind embraces. The major portion of Christianity has based its thinking and teaching on this belief, thus dimming the importance and the glory of Christ’s resurrection and making the promised resurrections of believers a non-event. The Platonic “never-dying soul” idea leads people into what seems logical to them, the dominant but false idea that at death the “immortal” soul of an individual goes to Heaven or it goes to Hell. The Word of God does not speak of these two alternative destinations as being the future abode of mankind. Hell is not a place; it is a condition. The word Hell in the Hebrew word is sheol in the O.T., and in the N.T. the Greek word hades is used to describe the state of death– that state or condition all of Adam’s descendants enter at death and from which every descendant of Adam and Eve will be resurrected, every man in his own order (1 Cor. 15:23). Those in the state of death who are worthy of the First Resurrection will all be raised from the dead to enjoy life upon this earth in the Kingdom of God before Jesus Christ sets foot upon this globe. It further states the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years (of His personal presence) were finished (Rev. 20:5, NKJV).

A multitude of unfulfilled prophecies must have their fulfillment before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. When God determines that this present Dispensation of Grace has come to completion, the Kingdom of God will quietly but forcefully invade the entire earth (Matt. 12:18-21, and Dan.2:44-45). The God of every grace will then become the Judge of all the earth. Jesus spoke of that coming time as the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 13:11-17). He began to teach the disciples about the Kingdom and the many events that must take plac