TEACHING THE WHOLE BIBLE, BOOK BY BOOK
We believe that disciples are best made by teaching people the Bible book by book from Genesis to Revelation before going into topical, character, word studies, etc. This holds true for any person from whichever cultural group he may be, but the more so for the specific people to whom we are ministering since the majority of them, even those belonging to one of the small churches have a very limited knowledge of the contents of the Word. A pastor’s wife has, for instance, testified that she never read her Bible because it was such a thick book and she did not know where to start.
We start off by teaching that the Bible was inspired by God and consists of two sections namely the Old and the New Testament. The next step is to assist them to memorize the names of the Books in the order in which they appear so as to enable them to find their way through the Book. This is made easier by singing a song with the names of the Books as lyrics.
THE BIBLE IS PRESENTED IN THREE COURSES
The three courses are:
- The Old Testament (running for approximately nine months)
- The Gospels and the Book of Acts (also running for approximately nine months)
- The Epistles which are presented in modular form and normally runs for longer than a year.
THE COURSE ON THE OLD TESTAMENT CONSISTING OF 31 LESSONS
Firstly the whole of the Book of Genesis is taught.
The story of creation is, to many, a marvelous revelation for in the teachings on ancestral worship that was handed down to them, there is nothing about the origin of this world and of mankind. To learn, for the very first time, that there is one God who created all things and Who knows and loves every human being, confers on them a conception of self worth and dignity which they never had.
The story of the fall of man gives the reason for all that is recorded in the New Testament.
The story of Abraham who, at the call of God, left his land and people and by faith, ventured into the unknown, fret with danger, also inspires many a heart to accept the Lord Jesus, cope with the rejection they may suffer from their relatives, turn their backs on witchcraft and put their trust in God only, for their protection, healing from the many diseases and for supplying in their daily needs in a country that often suffers under severe droughts, storms and floods.
From Exodus to Malachi, only the essence of each book is taught. Concerning Exodus, for instance, Moses’ deliverance of the people of Israel from the slavery in Egypt is dealt with; also the happenings at Mount Sinai, the Law, the tabernacle, the priesthood and of what relevance the ordinances are to modern day Christians.
In this way, the student receives an overview of each Book and some of the more important contents are dealt with in depth.
THE COURSE ON THE GOSPELS AND THE BOOK OF ACTS CONSISTING OF 35 LESSONS
This course is based on the Gospel of Luke, which Gospel has more content than the other three, but it also covers portions of the other Gospels such as Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman (Joh 4) Nicodemus’ nocturnal visit to Jesus (Joh 3), the Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6), etc. The student gets a deep understanding of the Lord Jesus: His supernatural conception, birth, temptation, teachings, miracles, crucifixion, appearances and ascension are studied.
Just to mention a few lectures of this course:
- Introduction to the New Testament.
- Cleansing of a leper.
- Healing of a lame man.
- The Centurion’s servant.
- The raising of Lazarus.
- The sower and the Lamp.
- Mary’s anointing of Jesus.
As the Book of Acts is dealt with, hearts are enthused with zeal, not only to share the Gospel with family and friends, but also to venture to distant villages on foot, by bicycle or whatever transport is available to bring the Good News of salvation to those dwelling in darkness.
COURSE ON THE EPISTLES, INCLUDING THE BOOK OF REVELATION
This course is presented in modular form, each of the major books taken as a module and several of the briefer ones grouped together in a module.
Whereas much of the material contained in the first two courses is in story format, the contents of the Epistles is, of course, mostly doctrine which those students that are unable to read, find more difficult to remember. These Books however contain a wealth of precious truths pertaining to daily living and students having completed the first two courses, are encouraged to do as many of these modules as possible.
CONDUCTING OF THE CLASSES
Classes are conducted by well trained teachers, all of whom had been taught and trained by former students. At least one class per week is to be attended. Classes normally consist of 10 to 20 students and run for approximately three hours. Interaction between the teacher and his students is encouraged, so students are encouraged to pray in public, relate what they were taught the previous week, enact certain stories or teachings and sing and learn new Christian songs.
Once a class has completed the study material and revision has been done, students are afforded the opportunity of doing an exam on the material. Those that are unable to write, do an oral exam. To pass, a student needs to get at least 60%. In addition to passing the theoretical part of the exam, a student’s life must also convince his/her teacher that he/she is born again and is growing spiritually. Certificates are issued to successful students.
Meetings are convened where, or nearby to where, classes were held for handing over of the certificates and and for celebrating the students’ achievements. This usually is a joyous occasion attended by relatives and friends that present students with all kinds of gifts, especially blankets and saris.