THE WORD OF TRUTH MINISTRY
228 NORTH EL MOLINO AVENUE
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91101-1675
Otis Q. Sellers, Founder **** David R. Hettema, Director
Volume 3, No. 2 Jane Sellers Hancock, Editor August 2010
THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR
Jane S. Hancock
And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God (Ezek. 36:28).
Just out of curiosity I looked up Gog and Magog on Wikipedia and found what I already know: that the words appear in the Book of Genesis, the Book of Ezekiel, and the Book of Revelation. They also appear in the Qur’an. “They” (and I’m quoting here) “are variously presented as men, supernatural beings (giants or demons), national groups, or lands. Gog and Magog occur widely in mythology and folklore.”
Why my sudden interest? Because we have been challenged by a series of Sunday morning Bible studies on the subject, opening us up to some new interpretations, some new insights around the story that unfolds in Ezekiel 38 and 39—some insights that make us question, think, re-evaluate. David Hettema poses the hypothesis that the events in Ezekiel 38 and 39 could happen near the beginning of the Kingdom of God.
How could this be, we wonder. Doesn’t it happen during the Tribulation? We have to go to the Word, study it to find out.
David Hettema takes us there. He takes us again to the history, to the beginning of the Kingdom, to God saying in Scripture, repeatedly, “I will be their God and they shall be My people.” He reviews with us that the hearts and minds of all of Israel shall be awakened and that, wherever they are, they shall be brought back to the land, transportation included! The dead shall be raised. He will seek out His sheep and He will find them (Ezek. 34:11-16). Therefore all of Israel shall congregate in the land. Confusion? Not with God in charge. All curses will be removed. Plant life will spring forth abundantly. It’s the Kingdom, as we know it!
So who is Gog? And what is Magog? And why are they always listed as a pair? Gog is not an Israelite. He is the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Does he hear the message, the message that all men will hear? The message that God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28)? Yes.
But does Gog heed it? Apparantly not. Are there others who do not heed it? Yes. Because during the Kingdom there is still a trying, a testing, a sorting out of men and women.
It’s still the first 49 years of the Kingdom. Israel is a priority nation. The living have been judged, the dead have been raised, Israel has been gathered, Jerusalem has been rebuilt, the new temple has been built.
Throughout Israel, throughout all the world, everyone is benefiting from the gifts of the Kingdom of God—perfect health, abundant harvests, a world at peace, cities without walls, without bars, without gates. Enter Gog, the ruler of Magog, a “place out of the north parts” (Ezek. 38:15). God reviews what is going to happen, not what has happened. The theme, “Ye shall be My people, and I will be your God,” reappears.
Gog will ally with others—Persia, Ethiopia, Libya—to take spoil, to take prey, to steal silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods. But God won’t let it happen. And it shall came to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that My fury shall come up in My face (Ezek. 38:18). And God destroys Gog and his allies at a place called Megiddo in the Plain of Jezreel. It’s not a war; it’s a conquest and God is the conqueror. Not a single Israelite is touched.
And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord (Ezek. 38:22-23).
That’s the short version. I know we who live in this Dispensation of Grace, this dispensation in which God is silent, are confined to the words of the Bible. We can’t guess, can’t conjecture, can’t revise history, can’t predict the future. We can only study, go over the words again and again, trying to find the key to understanding, to truth. I don’t know when this event so clearly and graphically described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is going to happen. I just know that it will.
FROM THE DIRECTOR
David R. Hettema
It has been 18 years since the directors of The Word of Truth Ministry voted me as the Executive Director of our dedicated, California-based, non-profit corporation, The Word of Truth Ministry, Inc.
Our founder and teacher, Otis Q. Sellers, passed away on February 23, 1992, and shortly afterward his beloved wife, Mildred, followed. They are buried together in beautiful Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. On their grave markers, along with their names, is this testimony: Waiting for the Kingdom of God.
In all the years they worked together, Mildred was her husband’s silent helper. All of the mail and correspondence, the receipts for gifts to the Ministry were a happy part of Mildred’s daily work. Since her passing, the many friends who continue to send their gifts and encouragement to the Ministry still remember and tell of their gratitude for Mildred’s encouraging replies and her Scriptural references on the receipt.
The new position was quite a challenge to me then, especially to stand in Otis’ shadow. Here was a man that God was enabling in his searching for Biblical truth and he was proclaiming that truth in every possible way he could find. I told my God in my prayers how lacking I honestly felt and He helped me much in every way. He gave me a love for His Word that is still growing. I thank my God for that: Search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me (John 5:39).
I am not retiring or quitting this Ministry, but I am eager to have more time for studying and teaching the Word, especially to presenting the truths of God’s coming Kingdom from God’s Holy Word on Sundays.
After a long time of praying and searching for the right individual to be “my backup and takeover person” to handle the business demands of this office, I am happy to tell you that we are in the process of working with and training Russell Hancock, one of the five grandsons of Otis and Mildred Sellers. Russ’s mother, Jane Hancock, has served on the Board of Directors before and since Otis and Mildred turned over the work to those who could, and wanted, to keep The Word of Truth Ministry going. Jane has been a reinforcing pillar of strength in all her efforts for this Ministry.
Russ and his wife, Kathie, and their family live in Canyon Country, California. Russ will work out of his home a great deal of the time, as he has quite a drive from his home to Pasadena where the home office and meeting place are presently located. Using his laptop computer, Russ can work wherever he happens to be.
When you think of the many precious messages from God’s Word that we can share with the world, the majority messages are from Otis Q. Sellers, our founder, but others are from his students. The Kingdom of God is coming upon this earth; God will keep His Word. We realize that very few people have any knowledge of this at all. We have a great responsibility but also a very great privilege of keeping this work going, continuing to proclaim God’s coming Kingdom.
Pray for Russ and for all of us who work with him. Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement. Continue to support our efforts and let’s work together to get this world-saving message out and make it better understood. The Kingdom of God is coming. Let’s continue to proclaim the good news from the Word of God.
Bible Study Audio Disks
By Otis Q. Sellers, Bible Teacher
The entire Tape Library (TL) series, consisting of numbers TL-001 to TL-570, is available on MP3 compact disks. A complete subjects list may be obtained from our Web site, www.seedandbread.org, or the home office in Pasadena, CA, or writing/e-mailing:
The Word of Truth Ministry
Mrs. Gwen Staiger
121 Wood Oak Dr., Joshua, TX 76058
A Compact Offering for Those Who Like to Read
In time for the holidays, The Word of Truth Ministry is reprinting a 1939 pamphlet by Otis Q. Sellers called, Let Us Now Go Even Unto Bethlehem. This Christmas-card-sized booklet, complete with a mailing envelope, will make a perfect holiday greeting which you may wish to send to your friends! The price for ten of these handy little booklets is $10. The price for twenty of these booklets is $20. For orders over 20, add $.50 for each additional copy.
THE INTERNET CORNER
By Bob Hammond
About three years ago we ran a half-price special sale of The Word of Truth Ministry’s written and audio materials. It was successful because many more of our materials were placed into the hands of readers hungry to read/hear the Word of God from Otis Q. Sellers’ unique perspective.
We also learned that some wished that we had advertised this earlier in the year so they could send these studies to loved ones and close friends as Christmas presents. (Our notice got out a bit too late for that last year.) So this time we’re sending out the notice much earlier to better coincide with the timing of the season.
Attached with our Bulletin package is a pink-colored listing, called the “2010 Advance-of-Christmas Special Sale,” of all the materials for your perusal, which we’ll have on sale. You’ll note that many items are even less than half price. The latest publication added to our list is also one of the oldest—Seed & Bread, 199 short Bible studies in two volumes. These, however, have now been nicely bound and are available either in soft cover or hard cover, an excellent resource for any Bible student’s library.
We hope that you take advantage of this sale—it ends January 1, 2011—after all, this is for all of you, dear readers!
Seed & Bread Volumes 1 & 2
Would you like to read along with the Seed & Bread references given in Joanne Johnson’s or Jane Hancock’s articles? Here’s a chance to purchase the Seed & Bread Volumes 1 or 2 in hard cover or soft cover editions. These volumes are printed in easy-to-read type and are easy on the eyes! Get all 199 messages in 2 volumes! The soft bound cover editions are $19 per volume and the hard cover editions run at $25 per volume. All volumes may be ordered by mail, addressed to The Word of Truth Ministry, 228 N. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101-1675 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or ordered directly off our Web site at www.seedandbread.org.
The Dutch Lachai-Roi Web Site
Read Seed & Bread and One-A-Day in Dutch on the European Web site: www.lachairoi.org. Johan Hensen and his son, Arnoud, translated these particular Otis Q. Sellers’ publications because they appreciated his independent studies, finding answers to unsolved problems.
BIBLE STUDY SATELLITE GROUP LOCATIONS
In Southern California (Los Angeles Area):
The Word of Truth Ministry, 228 N. El Molino Ave., Pasadena; Sundays from 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. Mr. David Hettema presides; Dr. Milton Hammond alternates. Hettema may be reached at (626) 794-0819. Hymn “sing-a-long” before service. “We continue studies based upon the Biblical records of our Bible, and written/spoken words of the late Otis Q. Sellers.”
In New York (New York City Area):
The Chelsea Studios, 151 West 26th Street (Room No. 609), New York City, the last Sunday of each month from 2 to 4 p.m. Mr. Luis Casillas, moderator. Contact Mr. Mike Steele by e-mail: email@example.com. “We use O.Q. Sellers’ Seed & Bread leaflets (found on www.seedandbread.org) as a guide for our discussions.”
In New York:
Endicott, No regular schedules. Contact Mr. Robert Briggs at (607) 748-4870 for information.
In New Jersey:
430 Boulevard Ave., Pitman, Mondays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Mr. Sam Marrone presides as host and may be reached at (856) 589-6256. Marrone notes, “Bring your Bible and a hunger for the Word.”
In Texas (Houston Area):
5847 Chinaberry Drive, Houston, Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 or 1 p.m. Mr. and Mrs. Don Black are hosts and may be contacted at (713) 462-2250. “We usually listen and study one of Otis Sellers’ tapes.”
In Minnesota (St. Paul Area):
622 Selby Ave. (Room above Mississippi Market Food Co-op), St. Paul, Every other Friday, 6 p.m. Mr. Nathan C. Johnson presides and may be reached at (651) 737-0144 (work). Johnson encourages: “Please contact me, and come enjoy your time around God’s Word with our group.”
GOD MUST INTERVENE
By Otis Q. Sellers
(Reprinted from The Word of Truth, Vol. 16, No. 1, June 1960)
The supreme message of the Bible concerning the future is that God Himself will break supernaturally into human history and establish with divine omnipotence His benevolent government upon and over this earth. This is so emphatically and eloquently shared in regard to the people of Israel that it is hard to understand why so many have missed it and why so few believe it. Through the prophet Ezekiel He has declared what Israel can expect when He resumes His dealings with that people.
As I live, saith the Lord, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against Me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord (Ezekiel 20:33-38).
Words could not be more emphatic than these. Such words as “as I live” and the eight-fold repetition of “I will” allow for no contingencies. This is the way it is to be whether the people of Israel want it or not. God will do this work, purge out all who resist or oppose, and the result will be that they shall know that He is their Lord. Words such as these speak of divine intervention into the affairs of the people of Israel, with the end in view that God’s will shall be done among that people. Language could not be more positive. We have here a picture of God breaking supernaturally into the history of Israel, establishing with divine omnipotence His rule over them. Nevertheless there are many who do not believe this.
A.C. Gaebelein says of this portion, “In this paragraph we read of their future punishment and also of the mercy which is in store for the believing remnant of the nation in the future restoration.”
These words set forth an erroneous idea that characterizes the thinking of the dispensational, premillennial school of interpretation, of which Gaebelein was a leading writer. Even in the most wonderful promises of future blessing for Israel they can see little but threats of “future punishment” and the blessings promised are limited to “a believing remnant.”
However, while the passage from Ezekiel sets forth divine intervention into the affairs of Israel, this is not limited to that people alone. Israel will have a unique place and fulfill a unique purpose when God governs the earth, but this should not lead us to think that this is the only nation that is to be governed by Him. It is the declared purpose of our God that some day He will govern the earth and all nations upon it.
Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world (the inhabited earth; wherever men dwell) in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead (Acts 17:31).
The words “judge the world” are indicative of a new order and condition of things upon earth, even as the Twelve Apostles “sitting on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” certainly indicates a new order and condition of things in Israel. This new condition will be brought about by an act of God, and present conditions under which men live will come to an end and a new order of existence will begin for all men. Here is a description of it:
All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and He is the governor among the nations (Psalm 22:27-28).
This passage is one of vast importance. It is a challenge to our faith. Does the reader believe that the time will ever come when every man upon this earth, even those living in the most remote places, shall suddenly be given light from God with the result that he is turned toward God, and that all families of the nations shall bow down before Him?
The Psalms, which is the great prayer and praise book of the time when God governs the earth, is filled with promises such as these. Read for yourself Psalm 9:19, 20; 25:8, 9; 33:8; 46:8-10; 47:7, 8; 67:1-7; 72:17, 19; 76:8; 86:9; 96:10-13; 98:1-4; 102:15-22; 103:19; 105:7; 138:4; 145:1-21; 150:1-6. Every one of these passages either has to do with divine intervention or else they set forth results that come from it. Their fulfillment is dependent upon God speaking from heaven and imposing His government upon men. Not one of them is dependent upon the personal presence of Christ upon the earth. May God speed the day when we can sing unto the Lord a new song, when we can say:
Say among the nations that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: He shall judge the peoples (plural) righteously (Psalm 96:10).