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. 50 Jane Sellers Hancock, Editor February 2010

 

THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR

Jane S. Hancock

Wonderful, wonderful Book divine!

Light from its pages doth brightly shine

Into the darkness of sin and woe;

Radiant with love is its clear, holy glow.

Wonderful, wonderful Book divine!

Now may our hearts to it truths incline;

Promise, and precept, and prophecy, too,

Thou wast intended our hearts to renew.

Wonderful, wonderful Book divine!

Heeding His truth will our hearts refine;

We are redeemed by the precious blood,

We are kept clean thru God’s own holy Word.

Mrs. C.D. Martin and Wendell P. Loveless

You who read this column regularly might wonder why I so often use a hymn as a starting point. It’s not intentional, not planned, not something I try to do. It’s just that as we sing together on Sunday mornings or as I sing at the piano at home, I am often struck by a line or a message in a hymn and I just have to write about it.

The line for this column comes in the chorus to the song “Wonderful Book!”: “Wonderful Book! Wonderful Book!/ Faultless and errorless Book divine/ Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Book!/ This treasure of truth is mine.”

Yes, this treasure of truth is mine and yours. It’s all we have in this Dispensation of Grace. And it is definitely divine because it comes from the inspired words of God. I guess it’s the word “errorless” that got to me last Sunday as we were singing. Because this wonderful Book, our Bible, is a translation, and as a translation it is not “errorless,” is it?

I like the King James Version, the King James translation. I think about this ruler who wanted the people to know the inspired words of God and authorized that it be translated from the Greek and Hebrew. What an undertaking! Not only the translating but the whole publishing aspect in that century. Are there errors? Of course. But the language is beautiful.

I belong to a book club, a group of friends who have been meeting together once a month for twenty years. One month we were reading a book by a German writer, translated into English. Except for one woman in the group, we all had purchased the same translation. Every time we would read out loud part of the text that we particularly enjoyed and wanted to talk about, she would say, “Wait, that’s not what it says in mine,” and she would read the same text from the translation she had purchased. It was so different in tone, vocabulary, beauty of language that she soon threw the book in the air and exclaimed, “I’m never going to read a translation again!” Of course, we have to read translations, particularly of the Bible unless we are fluent in ancient Greek and Hebrew, and even if we were, we could be guilty of mistranslating.

So we read whatever translation we like; we read many translations; we study to show ourselves approved unto God, and we make up our minds.

That is what Otis Q. Sellers did. He studied. He studied the words—in context, in their history, in their etymology. That’s what we do.

One of the first words he studied in depth was baptism. Here he was, an ordained Baptist minister, and he was leaving the Baptist church because the ritual of baptism just didn’t seem right to him. So he studied to find out exactly what the word did mean. And he found out “that the [Greek] words baptizo and baptisma are used in many occurrences to set forth the concept of an identification, and that this word includes the idea of a merger and an established relationship.” See Seed & Bread Nos. 135 and 136.

He learned that man does not have a soul but is a soul by studying the 754 times nephesh is found in the Hebrew Old Testament and the 105 times psuche appears in the Greek New Testament. See Seed & Bread Nos. 77 and 78.

He proved that the Greek word ekklesia should never have been translated church but should have been adopted in the English language, as so many words are. Of course, that would have kept the word church out of the Bible and the translators certainly didn’t want that. See Seed & Bread No. 120.

His study of sheol and hades eliminated the word hell from the Bible. Good riddance, I say. See Seed & Bread No. 82.

He studied the little words too. Little words can be extremely important. When the little word andeven, it changes the meaning of a sentence. (See Seed & Bread No. 122.) The Greed word kai, translated and, is often used to attach an explanation that follows. This is called the kaikai twice, so clear: Grace be to you, even (kai) peace from God our Father, even (kai) the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:2). means explicative principle and makes passages like this one, that uses the word

So yes, the Bible is a wonderful Book. It’s our text. We have nothing else. And if we take God at His Word, those words in the Bible, and act upon them, then we have faith; we are believers. Just make sure you know exactly what those words mean.

*****

FROM THE DIRECTOR

David R. Hettema

We are now in the year of 2010. The present Dispensation of Grace has been silently testing hearts and minds with His written Word for almost two millennia. When His present work of writing the record of His graciousness into mankind’s history is completed, God will suddenly, silently and safely assume complete control and authority over all the nations and peoples of the earth. God’s inspired Prophet Isaiah told it right: grace will not save a man unless he goes through the door of faith that grace opens and there he learns righteousness.

. . . For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let grace be shown to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord (Isa. 26:9-10, NKJV).

Those, who have become sincere believers in Jesus Christ in this time of God’s Dispensation of Grace, should realize that proclaiming the truth from God’s Word concerning God’s government can become a frightful experience to an un-initiated friend who is a church member, waiting for the rapture, to be in heaven with their long-departed loved ones.

We should emphasize these truths: the good news—God’s righteous government ruling this entire earth, that the reign of Jesus Christ has to do with the resurrection of the dead right here on this earth and placing those resurrected into a bountiful and ever-flowing life on this redeemed Eden-like earth—is a message that very few church members have heard. Truly those who proclaim the Word in truth today have a difficult assignment making God’s Word plain. We must show that the great gift of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ made it possible that the Kingdom of God became His plan for bringing about the salvation of this world.