[hell] exists.” According to Sellers, the word sheol is found 65 times in the Old Testament where it is translated “grave” and “hell” 31 times each and “pit” three times by the translators of the King James Version. He adds that the translators of the American Standard Version
decided not to translate the word at all but kept it as sheol
in every occurrence. But we still need a definition. It means “state of death.”
How do we know? As I have told my students so many times, if you don’t know what a word means, you try to figure it out by context. Maybe seeing the word once won’t help, but seeing it many times may make it possible to define the word without using the dictionary. In the case of sheol, we can look at it 65 times and every time the definition “state of death” fits.
Here are a few examples.
Genesis 37:35. The story is about Jacob who believes that his son Joseph has been devoured by an evil beast. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave [sheol] unto my son mourning.
Proverbs 5:5. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell [sheol].
II Samuel 22:6. The sorrows of hell [sheol] compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me.
Isaiah 38:10-11. These are the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah. I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave [sheol]: I am deprived of the residue of my years. I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.
Psalm 6:5. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave [sheol] who shall give thee thanks?
Ecclesiastes 9:10. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave [sheol], whither thou goest.
In Sellers book, Sheol, Hades, and Destruction, you can follow his search and look at every mention of the Hebrew word sheol and the Greek word hades, as well as the word gehenna. You can test your interpretation of the place called hell against what the Scripture says. I invite you to go on the journey.
From the Director
David R. Hettema
In the management of the Word of Truth Ministry several changes have been made that will become more effective as time goes on. Mr. Milton Hammond Jr. has accepted his appointment as The Word of Truth Ministry’s financial officer. Together, Hammond and I are working to carefully transfer the financial responsibilities into his care and keeping. I am pleased with Hammond taking on this work that will relieve me of some of these duties. Hammond has a good technical mind, sharp on details. He has been a devoted Bible student for many years, and he also shares in the teaching duties of this Ministry. A good part of his days are involved in the care of his ailin
g wife Betty. Pray for Milt Hammond as you think of the work of The Word of Truth Ministry.
To all of you out there who DO NOT own a computer, Gwen Staiger, with the meticulous help of her husband, Jim, is producing MP3 compact disks (CDs) that can be played on any inexpensive MP3-CD player. You may already have a player in your car or home. Or, you may wish to purchase an inexpensive player which can be purchased in most retail outlets. Keep in mind that it must be MP3-CD compatible, as most and older CD players are not MP3-CD compatible. Our list of available recorded LA Tapes subjects and TL-Series audio, as well as Seed & Bread and Otis Q. Sellers’ (and others) Bible study read-only compact disks is growing, due to the diligent work of our Recorder Gwen Staiger. (See enclosure with the last Bulletin mailing; an ordering list will be sent upon request from the 228 N. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, California address if you desire one.) Our present list of available disks offers a good many Bible studies that could make up a small library for your listening and/or reading pleasure and Bible study. If you need more information, please feel free to write to this Ministry, OR you can place your disk orders with us or contact Mrs. Staiger at her new e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Her postal mailing address is Mrs. Gwen Staiger, The Word of Truth Ministry Recorder, 121 Wood Oak Drive, Joshua, TX 76058.
The existing twenty-eight tape recorded studies of the Prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks have been reworked into two MP3 disks that accompany the charts and explanations of this preliminary study of Daniel’s ninth chapter. To those who have requested the study and are on the waiting list, your order will be filled at no charge. All others who want to order the study with compact disks, the price including shipping is $15.
A Notice About the Preliminary Studies of The Prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks:
Back orders will be sent out soon in the near future.
The Internet Corner
By Bob Hammond
The Word of Truth Web Site, www.seedandbread.org, continues to grow. The new Sunday Morning Bible Studies audio ministries by David Hettema and Milt Hammond have become a big hit among our viewers. It now includes four major topics, “Let Us Learn about God,” “Know Your Enemy—Satan,” “Kingdom of God Messages,” and “Jesus Christ, My Hero,” with more to come. Each topic contains ten 45-minute related messages and are offered free of charge to anyone who logs on to our Web site. For those who prefer to listen somewhere other than on their computer, we are also offering these topics for $7 each (one topic per MP3 disk), packaging and postage included. We are grateful for the creativity and hard work of Gwen Staiger, who put these materials together. Thanks, Gwen.
We have also added eight video clips of Otis Q. Sellers, excerpted from a videotape shot by Jane Sellers Hancock in 1987, just three months before his career-ending stroke. This was meant to be a demo tape, but we decided that it would be a wonderful addition to our Web site as it puts not only a voice with the studies but also a face. To us who knew him, although we know he is in the state of death awaiting resurrection, we enjoy seeing him when he was still robust in this life. Thanks to Mark Hammond for making these clips for us.
Our Web site is now 1-1/2 years old. We’ve gratefully observed that the number of viewers per month has risen from around 300 to 600, with readers from the United Kingdom, Australia, Norway, Argentina, Canada, Netherlands, Israel, Egypt, Japan, Poland, Germany, and yes, even Iraq.
We know this Ministry is not for everyone, as many of the things the Word of God teaches differ significantly from what many organized religions teach—and unfortunately, interest in the Word often comes in second. We request your prayers that this worldwide medium of communication remains a refreshing site for all those Christian Individualists seeking the Truth. Also, please spread this Web site’s name/identity to family/friends who also might be seeking the truth.
And we appreciate your interest, for we have many faithful readers whom we consider to be our core group. It is your encouragement that keeps us going strong and for this we graciously express our thanks.
We Get Letters
We dearly enjoy receiving correspondence from our faithful readers. Here are excerpts from some of the letters we have recently received:
“Thank you for the Ministry’s continued productivity. It is fantastic.”
“I always enjoy receiving and reading the Bulletin Issues. Thank you for them!”
“God bless you (all) for all the great work that you do in this wonderful Ministry.”
“I tried (going to) church, but never had the peace that I have when I pick up a Seed & Bread Study. I thank God for letting me understand the future of the coming Kingdom. I feel so blessed.”
“I read an old copy of “What is the Soul?” about 10 years ago, and it solidified my understanding of the Soul ever since.”
“Become, therefore, imitators of God as beloved children; and be ordering your behavior in love, even as the Christ loves you, and gives Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a fragrant odor.”
The Resultant Version, Seed & Bread No. 62.
Our Honorary Agent
In Great Britain
Our honorary agent, George T. Morris, provides a supply of Word of Truth materials. A list of materials and prices will be sent by writing or e-mailing:
Mr. George T. Morris
67 Wood Lane, Sutton Coldfield,
West Midlands, B74 3LS
Web Site: christianindividualism.info
Bible Study Satellite Group Locations
In 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; and 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 YMCA, 125 W. 14th St. (between 6th & 7th Avenues), 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) 746-4870 for information.
In New Jersey: 430 Boulevard Ave., Pitman, Mondays f
rom 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: 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.”
Why Jesus Wrote (John 8:1-11)
Otis Q. Sellers
In the Sacred Scriptures we read of Christ writing only once. This took place when His enemies brought before Him a woman guilty of adultery and asked Him to say what punishment she deserved. We are told that they did this in order to tempt Him. Having declared that He came not to judge the world but to bring blessing to it, they hoped to force Him to judge in at least one case so that they might ridicule His statement concerning the purpose of His coming. If He pronounced judgment upon this woman in harmony with the law of Moses, then He would contradict His own claim that He came to save and not to judge. If He failed to judge the woman, He could be accused of ignoring God’s word through Moses.
Our Lord gave them no answer at first. He stooped down and wrote with His finger upon the ground. This action has caused many to ask, what the Lord wrote and why He wrote.
As to what He wrote, nobody knows. Those who claim to know brand themselves as being “deceived and deceiving” (II Timothy 3:13). Speculation as to what He wrote is irreverent and displays a lack of the sound mind, which Paul says the believer should possess. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever. The message our Lord wrote upon the ground belongs to “the secret things.” The fact that He wrote is a revelation that we will do well to consider.
Since the Spirit of God has recorded His act but not the words He wrote, the lesson must be in His act. The acts of our Lord were usually symbolical, bringing to those who observed a mes-sage that often exceeded the words He spoke on such occasions. This is true in this act recorded for our learning in John 8:1-11. Its meaning must be gained by comparing Scripture with Scrip-ture.
We are safe in assuming that those who brought this woman to the Lord were familiar with the Old Testament, especially the great prophecies uttered by Isaiah and Jeremiah. They were of the scribes and Pharisees and it was their duty to know and teach the words of Israel’s prophets. They knew well the words of Jeremiah 17:13 wherein the prophet declared:
0 Lord the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters.
The act of our Lord in stooping down to write on the ground brought this passage to their minds and forced it upon their consciences. If He had spoken these words to them, He would have condemned them. Therefore, He does that which brings the message already written to their minds so that the word might judge them.
Our Lord had told His disciples to rejoice because their names were written in heaven. The scribes and Pharisees who had rejected our Lord had their names written in the earth. The act of our Lord revealed their standing before God. When He repeated His act the second time “they went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even to the last.”
It seems evident that our Lord wrote to remind these men of the Word of God. They were judging Him; they sought to have Him judge the woman; but He reminded them that their judg-ment was already written in the Word of God.
Reader’s Note: This was reprinted from The Word of Truth magazine, Volume 2, No. 4. For additional reading see Seed & Bread No. 197, God’s Judgments, by OQS, and More Seed & Bread No. 257, The Woman Taken In Adultery, by Walter Mikaitis. For the record, this story is omitted in the older versions, including Codex Vaticanus, of the Catholic Bible, but was found and preserved in the King James Version of the Protestant Bible.
BIBLE STUDY AUDIO TAPES
By Otis Q. Sellers, Bible Teacher
The entire Tape Library (TL) series, consisting of numbers TL-1 to TL-570, is still available on MP3 compact disks. A complete list of subjects may be obtained from our Web site, www.seedandbread.org, or the home office in Pasadena, California, or writing/e-mailing:
The Word of Truth Ministry
Mrs. Gwen Staiger, Recorder
121 Wood Oak Dr., Joshua, TX 76058