SEED & BREAD
THINGS TO COME
The Lord Jesus made the promise to His eleven apostles, Judas Iscariot
being out of the picture (John 13:37), that the Holy Spirit would show
the "things to come" (John 16:13). The fulfillment of this promise,
which He later revealed, has been recorded for our benefit in the books
that these men wrote, and it is to these writings that we must turn if
we would know what the future holds for Israel, the world and us who now
stand as simple believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
As a result of reading, studying, interpreting, and teaching the Bible
for over 65 years, I believe that I have gained some degree of
familiarity with what the Bible says. As to understanding what certain
passages and portions mean, I make no claim. I am still working upon
many things which the Apostle Peter called "Things hard to be
understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do
also other Scriptures, unto their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:16). I
live daily in the hope that the Holy Spirit, the earnest of which I
possess along with other believers (Eph. 1:13, 14), will give me better
understanding so I can be of help to others.
Nevertheless, in spite of all the problems of interpretation and
translation that are now present, we do not understand innumerable
passages and these lay on us the responsibility of believing what God
It is my deep conviction, and one that grows every day as I study the
Bible, that God's present administration is one of absolute grace, under
which every act of God is one of love and favor to the undeserving. He
may be actively gracious or passively gracious, but if He does not act
in grace, He will not act at all. And if I were to give an epigrammatic
passage that summarily describes this, I would probably cite Ephesians
4:32 which when translated literally tells us: "Become kind to one
another, tenderly compassionate, dealing graciously (charidzomai) with
one another, according as God also, in Christ, deals graciously (charidzomai)
It is also my understanding that God's present method of dealing in
grace with all mankind will not continue forever. It will have its end.
When Paul spoke to Timothy of "last days" (2 Tim. 3:1-9), it is manifest
that he was speaking of the concluding days of God's manifestation of
unadulterated grace. He tells Timothy that these days will be filled
with "dangerously violent times," and then adds 20 more specific
manifestations of unusual wickedness that will be present. The
appearance of these evils in concert and intensity will demonstrate that
we are living in the concluding days of this present evil eon (see Seed
& Bread No. 16).
As to what follows this present dispensation, there can be no question.
God's administration of pure grace will be superseded by an
administration of pure government, which is designated in Scripture as
the Kingdom of God. And since the Kingdom of God is actually the subject
of the Bible, we have ample materials to tell us all that we need to
know about it. lf we begin with the plain, simple facts of God's word
concerning it and steadfastly refuse all the theological refuse that
church theologians have heaped upon it, we will surely come into the
most marvelous revelation that God has given in the Bible. This
revelation is epitomized in Psalm 67:4 where it is declared: "0 let the
nations be glad and sing for joy: for Thou shalt judge the peoples
righteously and govern the nations upon the earth."
This passage declares it in simple words, and its character is
summarized for us in Psalm 9:7-9: But the Lord shall sit as a king
outflowing (olam): He hath prepared His throne for judgment. And He will
judge the world in uprightness, He will minister judgment to the peoples
Not one particle of truth set forth above is in any way dependent upon
the second coming of the Lord Jesus (His parousia). Over and over we
hear it declared that the Lord Jesus is coming back to earth to "set up
His Kingdom upon it," but this is not the Word of God. It is the
mistaken concept of men. Isaiah 42 describes the process by which God
sets up His Kingdom (government) on the earth. This truth is repeated in
12:17-21. And, it is 1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17 that describes the process
by which the Lord Jesus will be personally present upon the earth again.
These two passages set forth two very different events, and those people
should be ashamed if they have been guilty of exalting the Thessalonian
passage and ignoring the declaration of the Lord in Matthew. There are
many who do so.
lf there is one thing that is clear in Scripture, it is that the
parousia of Jesus Christ takes place only after certain other definite
events have come to pass (Matt. 24:20 and 24:30). And the first event,
that must come to pass at the close of God's administration of Grace, is
the divine assumption of sovereignty. This is a proper description of
that important work of God which includes numerous other acts and which
results in the Kingdom of God being set up on the earth. Thus, God will
rule by the manifold acts, all of which are embraced in the words "the
divine assumption of sovereignty."
To understand this act of God which ends God's administration of pure
grace and brings to the world an administration of divine government
(the Kingdom of God), we need to consider certain Old Testament
passages. In Psalm 93:1,96:10,97:1, and 99:1, we find in each one the
statement "the Lord reigneth." The Hebrew word for reigneth in all these
passages is malak which means "to govern," or more exactly "to be a
king." In these passages, Rotherham understands them as saying, "Jehovah
has become king." Delitzsch says it means "Jehovah is now King."
Rotherham declares concerning 93: 1, "that it tells of nothing less than
an special assumption of sovereignty by Jehovah Himself." MacLaren
states that these words declare an act rather than a state, and says
further that "He has become king by some specific manifestation of His
sovereignty." I would add that Jehovah will show the world numerous and
various deeds that His government, His sovereignty and His Kingdom has
We find this great truth stated in other words in Revelation 11:15,
where the seventh angel announces: "The Kingdom (basileia--government)
of this world became our Lord's and that of His Christ, and He shall be
reigning (basileusei-govern) for the eons of the eon."
No time is set in this passage that informs us when the government of
our Lord became the government of the world. But we do know, from 1
Corinthians 15:25, that once this begins, "He must reign (basileuein--govern)
until He hath put all enemies under His feet (i.e., made fully
submissive unto Him)." Since it is by a process of governing that He
gets the victory, His reign will be a fact of life long before He leaves
His Father's throne. That condition of things, which men call "the
millennium" and the Bible calls the parousia of Jesus Christ, does not
suddenly spring into existence out of the air. Scripture says, "He sends
forth judgment unto victory," and "He will not fail or be discouraged."
However, some have objected that the divine assumption of sovereignty is
too insignificant an event to establish the Kingdom of God upon the
earth. They insist that the Kingdom must come by means of something
spectacular like the descent of the Lord Jesus from heaven to earth as
set forth in Matthew 24: 7 - 31, 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 and Revelation
19: 11-16. Therefore, most, if not all, teachers speak of the Lord
returning to earth to set up His Kingdom, but this is not the act that
brings the government of God to the earth. But even as peace comes to
the earth, so will divine government come.
Psalms 85:8 declares that "He will speak peace unto His people, and unto
His saints" and thus it is that absolute peace will suddenly come upon
one of the most troubled sections of the world-the Middle East. Even so
will God speak the word that declares His sovereignty and divine rule
will come upon mankind and every inch of this planet we call earth.
In this connection it behooves everyone who seeks truth to learn that in
the great act of the divine assumption of sovereignty there is
encapsulated at least a dozen or more acts of God that take place,
without which His government would be as flawed as the governments of
men are today. Let us consider a few of these.
First there is the unveiling of Jesus Christ. This act of God is clearly
revealed in 1 Corinthians 1:7 where we are told that the Corinthian
believers were waiting for the apokalupsis of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This Greek word is formed from apo which means "from" and kalupsis which
means "veil" or "covering." It does not mean "coming," and is not so
translated in any of its 17 occurrences in the New Testament. The
unveiling of Christ will show the world who He is and what He is
according to His place in the Deity. It will make known His right to
assume sovereignty, to be the world's judge, lawgiver, and King (Isaiah
33:22). This unveiling was clearly predicted in the Old Testament. It
will fulfill the great promise made in Isaiah 40:5 And the glory of the
Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the
mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Contemporaneous with the unveiling of Jesus Christ will be the
manifestation of the glory of the great God, even our Savior, Jesus
Christ. This is called in the original Greek "the epiphaneia." To fully
express the meaning of this word in English, it must be translated
"blazing forth" (see Seed & Bread No. 37). This act of God implements
the unveiling, acting upon every human being who has been included in
the Kingdom of God. The word epiphaneia means a favorable intervention,
one of great favor and not one of terrible wrath, as men everywhere are
proclaiming today. It is this favorable intervention that we are to live
looking for today, as set forth in Titus 2:13.
This Seed & Bread study was written by Otis Q. Sellers just prior to the
debilitating stroke that stopped his writing and eventually took his
life. The manuscript was misplaced and although it was known to exist
was not found until recently when it was discovered among some old
financial records of the Word of Truth Ministry. We are happy to add it
to Seed & Bread, volume 2.
Published June 25,1997
Issue no. 199