THE WORD OF TRUTH MINISTRY
228 NORTH EL MOLINO AVENUE
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91101-1675
Otis Q. Sellers, Founder David R. Hettema, Director
Volume 2, No. 45 Jane Sellers Hancock, Editor October 2008
THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR
Jane S. Hancock (page 1)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
When I was a child, this was the first verse I memorized from the Bible. Was it yours? I sang it too. As I was growing up, I attended Bible study classes regularly with my parents—twice on Sunday and once in the middle of the week. I became familiar with the Bible and its contents. I memorized the names of all sixty-six books of the Bible so I could find them quickly and easily, even the little ones like Obadiah.
I missed an opportunity to become even more familiar with the Bible during my becoming-an-adult years. Bible was a required course in college but after one semester, I opted out because the minister who taught the class kept referring to the Old Testament accounts as stories which didn’t really happen. I should have stayed with the course and ignored his side comments.
I’m worried about the current generation of young people. I’m not sure they know even the most popular of stories—like the stories of Noah and Jonah. I’m not sure my own grandchildren know them. And if they do know the stories, do they know why God decided to destroy the people on His earth by causing a great flood? And do they believe it actually happened?
Otis Q. Sellers often said that the Gospel of John is the most important book in the Bible. I remember he thought it was so important that he bought copies of just the Gospel of John to distribute to the young people, including me, hoping that its slim format might encourage us to read the whole book. He told us this was the place for us to start, that “these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31). This is the only place in the Bible that a statement like this exists. It gives a reason why the book was written and why we should read it. Incidentally, over half a century later, I still have my copy of the Gospel of John that my dad gave me.
So why is this one book out of sixty-six so important? Acts 28:28 says, “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.” Since God says “they will hear it,” He makes it happen. He commissions John to write. That’s the first step. Before Acts 28:28 the words “the Kingdom of God is at hand” was a spoken message, inspired by God. After Acts 28:28 that same message, also inspired by the spirit of God, became a written message and John was the first one inspired to write.
This past month I was asked to judge some essays written by middle and high school students. The topic briefly was this: If you could go back in time or forward in time, where would you choose to go and why? Describe the people you would meet, the events that took place, and their importance. These essays took me everywhere—to pre-historic times, to the Renaissance, to ancient Greece, to the future. But several took me to Biblical times, so maybe my worry about the young people of today is unfounded. One young man said, “I want to ask Jesus questions. I want to see Jesus perform his miracles. I want to see his resurrection.” This young man is familiar with the Gospel of John.
So why is the Gospel of John so important? Let’s review a little of the context of John 20. Jesus had been resurrected. Thomas needed to see Him for himself in order to believe. He said, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” When Jesus appeared among them, Thomas was able to do those things and then he said, “My Lord and my God.”
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name (John 20:29-31).
The young people who wrote the essays have taken God at his word and believed the record of the miracles and the resurrection. They did not want to go back in time to prove to themselves that these events happened. Unlike Thomas, they don’t need proof. They already believe it. They just want to be in the presence of Jesus, to talk to him, to find out more. I hope they also know, or will know if they keep reading and studying, that these miracles, these signs written about in John, are descriptions of what life will be like during the Kingdom of God. David Hettema in his booklet, The 8 Signs of John’s Gospel, says, “The 8 signs of John’s gospel offer to those who read them eight opportunities for bringing about faith (belief) into their lives.” He also says, “Hidden in each sign is also the greater meaning of what God’s power will do in man’s earth when He rules the world.”
Our young people are not going to learn about these signs in school. It’s up to us to let them know that the next great era will be the Kingdom of God and in the Gospel of John we get a taste of what life will be like then. Thy Kingdom come.
FROM THE DIRECTOR
David R. Hettema (page 2)
Your recent response and gifts have made possible the reprinting of several of Otis Q. Sellers books that have gone out of print. We enjoy and appreciate your helping spirit.
Some Thoughts On “The Last Days”
Almost every one who studies Biblical prophecy has some difficulty with this term, the last days. Many Bible students and teachers see the phrase the last days and immediately visualize a period of time created by God for some special purpose. This is not Biblically true, God does not set them up, “the last days” are the natural end result of whatever events that have already occurred. After long consideration I believe that truly understanding it is quite simple, if we look at the meaning of the words. It is always true, in both secular and Biblical history, that in every period of time there is or will be a “last days,” or more correctly there will be “resultant days,” a defining period of time and conditions that follow as the result of what has gone on before.
When Jesus was reproaching the Scribes and Pharisees for the adamant hardness of their hearts in Matthew 12:38-45, He gave us a good example of how the Greek word eschatos, carries the meaning of “resultant.” This is a parable about a man who failed an opportunity in his life.
Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, “I will return to my house from which I came”; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last (resultant) state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it