Advancing the Revelation of Truth




There is in the world today a great multitude of sincere people who after giving it a fair trial have come to the conclusion that they want no part of the religious system that calls itself "the church." They have determined to be free from and live apart from all that travels under this name. They have opted for complete freedom from all organized religion. These are God-fearing men and women who fully believe the Biblical record God has given of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, so their emancipation declaration has not been so that they will be free to live irresponsible and hedonistic lives. Their highest desire is to live lives of godliness and righteousness in harmony with God's present purpose toward mankind. Many of these have turned irrevocably to the Lord Jesus Christ and are now finding complete satisfaction in living for Him.

So on every hand we hear of those who are turning away from every form of organized religion that travels under the canopy of the church. They say that "the church" has nothing to offer them that they really want, that it does not fulfil their needs, especially their need for a deeper and more accurate knowledge of the Word of God. They see the church structure as being nothing more than a business, run by professional clergymen, whose aim is to get more members, get more money, get greater influence, and gain more control. As one man sees it: "Certainly no exegetical talents are needed to quickly discover that most Christian activities have no Biblical base. With great sacredness we carry out the ritual of Sunday school, Sunday morning worship, and choir singing accompanied by an instrument better suited for Friday night roller-skating. We talk of membership, pledges, reverends, missionaries, and Wednesday night prayer meetings as though God had sent some extra-Biblical agenda to instruct us how to behave."

 As a minister (dispenser) of the Word of God who has no connection with organized religion, I have had much correspondence from priests, pastors, and church-members (some young, others middle-aged, and many elderly) who state their present disenchantment with the churches with which they have long been associated. They say their denominations are trying to lead them down certain political and social-action paths on which they do not wish to travel, and into certain activities with which they do not wish to be involved. They find many of the "program" and "make-work" activities to be puerile and repugnant, saying that these use up valuable time which could be better spent in other ways.

A church member says: "I went to this church because I was told that the minister was a Bible expositor. This was true, and I enjoyed his messages. But before I knew what was happening or had a chance to refuse, I was made president of the men's bowling league, and this was solely because someone had seen me bowling with my grandson at one of the local alleys. They said it was their way of bringing me into the work. I resigned at once, but since then I have been treated with a coldness which I will no longer endure. So I will soon be on the outside."

"To stir up emotions and create great excitement two or three times a week is the supreme purpose for which my church now exists," a black brother declares. "The minister is expected to serve as a cheer leader to whip up the people, and if enough of them get on an emotional high it is declared to have been a wonderful meeting, one on which God has poured out His Spirit. My family and friends love it, and they try to drag me into it, but I think it is bad, very bad, and I am going to protest against it with my feet. All I want is to worship God and hear His Word in a quiet atmosphere. Never again will I look upon some highly emotional woman stretched out on the floor while the minister stands over her and declares that she has been slain by the Lord. Nonsense! The Lord slew her last Sunday, and I suppose it will happen every week until her act wears thin, then she will take it to some other church where for a while she will become the center of attention. I'm getting out! Now what do I do? Where do I turn? I'm not an agnostic; I am a Christian, a lover of the Lord Jesus."

My answer to these questions is that it may be for him a very rough road and could even be a lonely road, but all he can do is turn to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in Him that he will find the true meeting place between God and man. He will have to work out his own salvation from the difficult position in which he now finds himself, but He will surely find that it is:

 God which worketh in him both to will and to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:12, 13).

Ever since the days of the so-called "Church fathers" there has been a multitude of Churchmen who have sought to establish by the process of constant repetition the idea that "Jesus Christ" and the church are a single package and that you cannot have Christ without taking the church. They would have us believe that the churches are the sole dispensators of Christ and that none can receive Him without coming to them. These errors are constantly repeated every year from many pulpits in thousands of messages under the title of "I Believe in the Church."

In these messages they set forth their accolades concerning the church, pronouncing their encomiums as to what they believe the church to be, then calling upon all hearers to think or believe the same as they do about organizations that call themselves churches. They take everything praise-worthy that the Spirit of God has said about the ekklesias and apply it to their churches. The many reasons that are being given as causes for turning away from the churches are too numerous to be examined in detail. It may be that to take any one of them and segregate it from the rest would make that reason to seem petty and insignificant. But when these are considered in their totality they make up a force that is sweeping many true Christians out of and away from the churches. And the tragedy is that some of these now feel that there is nothing in the future for them but despair and unbelief.

It is my knowledge from personal contacts that there are thousands coming into the United States from countries where the daily lives of the people are dominated by the Roman Catholic system. In this country they find they are free to think, to express their thoughts, to question and to criticize without fear of any of the economic, social, and even family reprisals that were held over their heads in the country from whence they came. Furthermore, they are free from that matriarchy that insists by custom that the mother has the right to dictate all religious matters and practices in the family. Happy in their new-found freedom they begin a search for the real truth concerning God.

However, they are somewhat steeped in the idea that this will be found in another church. So with little or no knowledge of the Word of God, and often by background being enthusiastic, excitable, and emotional (these are often national traits), their search for "the true church" and "the true faith" often ends up in becoming identified with some of the wildest sects on the religious scene today.

The meetings of these groups fill their emotional needs for a time, especially so when some persuasive leader convinces them that excitement, noise, and intense emotional spells are the sure signs of the working of the Holy Spirit. But in the course of time this wears away and the great spiritual yearnings that characterized their lives are as unfulfilled as ever. What a difference there might have been if when they first turned from the church they had turned to Jesus Christ and sought to fill their lives with Him. Why will men seek for a good church, or the true church, or a prophet when it is Jesus Christ that they need?

It is a positive fact that before any man seeks after God, God must have first sought the man. It is the seeking work of God that generates within us the impulse to seek after God. Vitally related to this fact is the truth that the personal Word of God, Jesus Christ, is the true light that lighteth every man that comes into the world (John 1:9). In the ever-seeking work of God this light shines into the hearts of men and there is no way of escaping it. It disturbs men, it troubles men, even though they do not understand what is causing their unrest and fears. Men have never known that God was working on them until after they have responded to the light and recognized the results.

Again, I say, it is the quickening work of God that causes men to seek after Him. But, alas, the stratagems of Satan are so deceptive that they never seem to find Him. They are exercised by God, but they go forth in ignorance, fully believing that if God is found, He will be found in some church, or some group, or some meeting. Often they enter into the first church they come across, or attend the first "big meeting" they see advertised. As a rule in the church they will be received for membership, and the fire that God was kindling will be put out by the application of little or much water. In the "big meeting" they will be led to "come forward" where they will meet with some "personal soul-winner" who has condensed the whole process of finding God in Christ to a few simple questions and answers, to which if they answer "Yes" they are told they are saved and advised to join some "good church," read their Bibles, and pray. But even after this their lives are empty, the disturbing light of God still troubles them, for God will never allow anyone to feel satisfied until they find satisfaction in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In all my ministry I have never told anyone to leave his church. However, I will always tell those who are turning away from the church that they should turn to the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Author Otis Q.Sellers......Originally published 10 December 1982)


 Those who saw the amusing stage play or motion picture called The Music Man will probably remember that the opening scene was set in a railroad passenger coach in which a group of traveling salesmen were discussing business and one bumptious fellow kept interrupting with statements such as: "But you gotta know the territory" or, "But he doesn't know the territory." I have listened to preachers, talked to seekers, overheard conversations, and read letters from correspondents who have touched upon God's expectations and requirements of men at the present time. The bottom line of most of these has seemed to be: "You gotta have a ceremony.

An increasing number of professing Christian people have been brain-washed with the idea that God now accepts and blesses men on the basis of some ceremony that has been performed on or over them by some other man. In Christendom today idolatrous attachments to some ritual or ceremony go so far as to dethrone the Lord Jesus Christ from the place that should be His in the hearts and lives of those who claim relationship to God. This is a manifestation of that spirit of antichrist (1 John 4:3) which John declared was already in the world in his day. 

The Greek word translated antichrist means instead of, in the place of Christ; thus when a ceremony is substituted for Christ, that ceremony becomes antichrist. Those who think a man's sins are washed away in the waters of baptism have substituted a ceremony for all the work that Christ did upon the cross. Those who think that forgiveness can be obtained by some ceremony or confession, sorrow, or regret are putting something else in Christ's place. They have a substitute for Him; they have an antichrist.

Scripture speaks boldly when it tells us that:

 in Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace Eph. 1:7

The religious world will not accept this plain statement. It contradicts it by saying, "Not so, you gotta have a ceremony.

Thus it is that Biblical illiterate multitudes now think that God accepts men and they become related to Him through some kind of ceremony. And since this is what people want, this is what they are being given. This is true of Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Muhammadanism, and Buddhism. Strip any of these of their elaborate ceremonies and rituals and what would be left? 

A constant conflict against the deification and aggrandizement of rituals, ordinances, and ceremonies, has ever been the history of Christendom. In about 1726 Johann Mosheim in his famous Church History had this to say concerning the church of the third century: 

"It is certain that to religious worship, both public and private, many rites were added, without necessity, and to the great offence of sober and good men. 

The principal cause of this I readily look for in the perverseness of mankind, who are more delighted with the pomp and splendor of external forms than with the true devotion of the heart; and who despise whatever does not gratify their eyes and ears. Also, there is good reason to suppose that the Christian bishops multiplied sacred rites for the sake of rendering the Jews and the Pagans more friendly to them, for both had been accustomed to numerous and splendid ceremonies from their infancy, and had no doubt that they constituted an essential part of religion. 

Hence, when they saw the new religion to be destitute of such ceremonies they thought it too simple, and therefore despised it. The simplicity of the worship which Christians offered to the Deity had given occasion to certain calumnies, spread abroad both by the Jews and Pagan priests. The Christians were pronounced atheists, because they were destitute of temples, altars, victims, priests, and all the pomp in which the vulgar suppose the essence of religion to consist. 

To silence this accusation the Christian doctors (teachers) thought they must introduce some external rites, which would strike the senses of the people, so they could maintain that they really had all those things of which Christians were charged with being destitute, though under different forms."

Interestingly, these ideas prevalent in 1726 still prevail. Great confusion continues to persist in the minds of men today who cannot perceive of a relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ apart from some ceremony or ritual performed by some minister or priest. The basic issue which pertains to eternal life and men's ­salvation is based simply upon believing the record that God has given concerning His Son. Its simplicity is repugnant to many who believe you gotta have a ceremony

Scripture declares 

and this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God" I John 5:11-13. 

Men hold steadfast to the idea that somehow they can perform a work to relate themselves to the Savior of sinners. All such ideas are foreign to the truth of God. Isaiah the prophet declared 

"but we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags..." Isaiah. 64:6. 

No man, however ethical, moral or well principled he may be, can achieve a standing before God based solely on human merit. Human accomplishments cannot substitute for God's righteousness which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. This great truth is clearly revealed in the book of Romans. Paul declares in Romans 3:21-23:

 "but now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." 

Every man stands before God in need of redemption, in need of forgiveness, in need of His righteousness. These gracious provisions have been provided through:

 "Christ Jesus whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood...that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" Rom. 3:25-26. 

No religious organization, no priest, no man, can confer these blessings upon us. The recitation of prayers, deeds of penance, or the offering of sacrifices are of no avail. The Bible declares: 

now to him that worketh is the reward not of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted to him for righteousness. Rom. 4:4,5. 

Men err while they insist on adding something to God's requirements for our Salvation, when His only condition is that men believe the record that He has given concerning Jesus Christ. Belief is faith: both are the very same word in the original Greek, and God's word is that we are saved through faith (believing). Salvation is God's gift to men for believing. 

Faith is taking God at his Word and responding accordingly. It is the beginning of our relationship to God, and also should grow into a way of life. Faith in Jesus Christ will bring us the assurance that our dealing with God has been God's way, not man's way, 

for in Him (the Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and you are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power. Col. 2:9,10. 

In John 6: 28,29' it is reported when men asked Jesus 

what shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 

Jesus answered and said unto them, 

This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he hath sent

Nothing in these passages of Scripture even remotely suggests a ceremony. God in his infinite wisdom has provided mankind with a book to believe, John's gospel. In this book God holds out the promise of eternal life; believing is the key. 

Search through John's Gospel. You will look in vain for any ritual or ceremony required for men's Salvation. The searcher will find that Jesus Christ is declared to be the Creator of all things, affirming the Deity of the Son of God who has now become flesh. Further reading will reveal a series of special signs or miracles performed by Jesus, the very nature of which credential him as the long awaited Messiah (Christ). Following the record of His death and resurrection, the Apostle John by inspiration writes: 

Many other signs did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name. John 20:30-31. 

Putting one's faith in Jesus Christ is at the first a very private, personal matter. An individual dealing with God on His terms, a one to one basis, this is what God desires. There is no ceremony.

When men asked Jesus 

what shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he hath sent. John 6: 28,29. 

Nothing in these passages of Scripture even remotely suggests a ceremony. God in his infinite wisdom has provided mankind with a book to believe, John's gospel. In this book God holds out the promise of eternal life; believing is the key. See here.

Search through John's Gospel. You will look in vain for any ritual or ceremony required for men's Salvation. The searcher will find that Jesus Christ is declared to be the Creator of all things, affirming the Deity of the Son of God who has now become flesh. Further reading will reveal a series of special signs or miracles performed by Jesus, the very nature of which credential him as the long awaited Messiah (Christ). Following the record of His death and resurrection, the Apostle John by inspiration writes: 

Many other signs did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name. John 20:30-31. 

Putting one's faith in Jesus Christ is at the first a very private, personal matter. An individual dealing with God on His terms, a one to one basis, this is what God desires. There is no ceremony.

(Author: Otis Q. Sellers [jcr])



The Day of the Lord is the time frame for the second coming and personal presence upon earth of our Lord Jesus Christ. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I am awaiting His return though I will most likely die and be resurrected before enjoying that time. I have no false aspirations about my "soul" going to heaven to be with Him, for my nature is dust and when I die I will return to the elements, even though my spirit goes back to God. I call myself a Dispensationalist, but I know that the Holy Spirit provides me (or anyone) with progressive revelation so that I can continue to grow in grace and the knowledge of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). 

My lifelong direction has come from the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 2:15: "Study to show thyself approved unto God a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly diving the word of truth." In my youth I learned from the late Otis Q. Sellers, Dr. E.W. Bullinger (The Companion Bible), and Sir Robert Anderson[1]  that we are living today in the Dispensation of The Grace of God (Eph. 3:2). They revealed the Acts Period as a unique, miracle-working dispensation in which "the earnest of the Spirit" (2 Cor. 5:5) was given to the believers in the form of manifest gifts of the Holy Spirit to display blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven. 

It is sad to me that so many devoted Christians, calling themselves Dispensationalists, do not see the Acts 28:28 division between the various dispensations and are still fixed in the errant Platonic belief that man "has" a soul which goes to heaven when he dies. Such teachings deny the most marvellous and glorious work of God in providing resurrection to all worthy mankind. 

In fact they perpetuate Satan's lie to Eve, "Ye shall not surely die" (Gen. 3:4), thus conflicting men's understanding of the destiny of mankind as well. These teachers include Dr.Billy Graham and the leaders of the Dallas Theological Seminary. These Dispensationalists all envision "the rapture" as the next thing in God's prophetic plan. This non-Scriptural term dates back to the mid-nineteenth century and the work of J.N. Darby, who first presented this idea. Furthermore, their insistence on the imminence of Christ's return completely ignores the things that Scripture clearly identifies as occurring before the Day of the Lord.

The Darby-Scofield system of Dispensational teaching placed 69 of Daniel's 70 weeks (Dan. 9:25-27) as having been accomplished before Christ's death [2]. Bullinger used this concept to develop a detailed chronology of Old Testament times[3]. As a result, his dates for the Babylonian captivity of the Jews and prior events are about 80-100 years in error with the best of secular dating and the chronology of James Ussher. My own studies indicate that Ussher's work is reasonably accurate up to the kings of Israel. Most dispensational scholars have bought into Darby's error, though using different methods to justify their prognosis. These men present an eschatology completely foreign to the truth of the Bible.

In 2 Thessalonians 1-4 Paul declares:

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming (Gk.-parousia, personal presence) of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as the day of the Lord (not Christ here) is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there be a falling away (rebellion) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.  (see  Before The Day Of The Lord

This showed how the Lord planned to provide a full restoration of Israel with the temple, order of worship, and government in place before the Day of the Lord took place. Dispensationalists have called this son of perdition the Antichrist and have tried to identify him with vile men living on earth in current times. They are willingly ignorant. of the fact that God is working in secret in the Dispensation of Grace, and He is not fulfilling prophecy at this time. Likewise, they ignore the fact that 400 years of silence from the writing of Malachi to the time of Christ, was another period of God's silence, leading up to the manifestation of God's salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ.

On the day of Pentecost Peter spoke to the Jews of all nations in Jerusalem, saying:

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days (Gk.-eschatas hemeras) saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable Day of the Lord come (Acts 2:16-20). 

This is only a partial fulfilment of this prophecy for many of the things described will come later, although there were many miracles, healings and other gifts of the Spirit evident to the people. Thus, there are many things which must take place before the Parousia of Christ. These "last days" equate to the statement:

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain (kingdom) of the Lord's house shall be established on top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (Isaiah 2:2)

The verses that follow (Isaiah 2:3-5) make it clear that there is to be a day yet to come when this world will be blessed by the Lord, and all its peoples will be given every opportunity to come to know and love God. There will be peace over all the earth and the people of Israel will be the priests of God for the nations. This is not the presumed Millennium, when Jesus Christ is personally present as King here on earth. It is the time of the restoration of Israel; this is joining of that divided nation and David as their ruler as spoken in Ezekiel 37. It is the fulfilment of Malachi 4:1-6, a day when the Lord obliterates the proud and the wicked, establishes the righteous and makes it possible for the restoration of Israel to the land. God says: 

Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful (awe-inspiring) day of the Lord (Mal. 4:5)

and clearly all of the promises God made to the Patriarchs will be fulfilled (see The Mission Of Elijah). Hosea says. 

For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim. Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days  (Hos. 3:4-5). 

That day of restoration designated as the premillennial Kingdom of God:

Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and the house of Judah ... I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people (Jer. 31:31-34). 

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together (Isa. 40:5), 

God has planned for a time when men will all know Him. However, after a long period of blessing, men will be tested (that is what "tribulation" means). The parable of the sower in Matthew 13:24-30, and 13:37-43, clarifies that the tares (evil men) are allowed to grow with the good seed (righteous men) in the Kingdom, and at the time of testing the tares are burned in the fire.

Those who would frighten us with an imminent Armageddon make the rapture to be the "escape clause" for today's church. They postulate that the believer's reward is to be rescued from the horrors of the vengeance of the Lord and the battle of Armageddon in this passage: 

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which are asleep in Jesus will God bring (lead forth) with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming (parousia) of the Lord shall not prevent (go before) them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ (martyrs) shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:14-17).

This passage describes the second coming of Christ. He is coming to rule here on the earth for 1000 years. The battle of Armageddon follows His coming immediately: 

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet... These both were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat on the horse, which sword proceedeth out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh (Rev. 19:19-21). 

The loyal followers and martyrs return to earth to live and reign with Him (Rev. 20:4). This is not a rapture or rescue, but rather a position for those who will serve Him in His reign. By the time this takes place the tribulation will be over, the seven vials of God's vengeance have been expended, and those that had the mark of the beast will have perished. The people of Israel, who had been chased out of the land (Matt. 24:16-20, Rev. 12:14-17), are returned and see the mighty protection of the Lord as He saves them from that attacking army (Zech. 12:8-14).

It can be seen that the idea of a rapture is totally foreign to the word of God, and that He has planned a most wonderful blessing of all mankind with health, peace and plenty for all men. This Kingdom of God must take place before the Day of the Lord, and God will not bring the final testing until men have had every chance to know and love Him. When that happens, the "falling away" marks the withdrawing of God's restraints. Then, the events of Matthew 24, such as wars and rumours of wars, famines, and pestilences and earthquakes in many places (Matt 24:6-7), will be far more indicative of the end time than today's events.


[1] Author of The Silence of God.

[2] See notes on Daniel 9 in the Scofield Reference Bible

[3]. See The Companion Bible, Appendix. 50

For those students of The God Breathed Word who are eager to move forward in their understanding of His purposes to-day, in the beginning of the 21st Century, here is a presentation which will explain the true basis of God's dealings.

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