April 2024 NewsLetter

Do You Know What The Bible Teaches?
Russell Haffner

As a student in the school you are to be commended for your desire to gain a better understanding of the Bible. Most of the people in the world do not really understand the Scriptures. Searching God’s word for the spiritual principles of life will reward you with a greater appreciation of why you are on this earth and what you should be doing with your life. Bible study will not only enhance your present existence, but it will also give you hope for an eternal life with God.

The courses in the school will educate you concerning the revealed facts and principles taught in the Bible. However, the courses will not present the countless speculations of some people in our day concerning things which have not been revealed in the Bible. It should be remembered that God's word is not designed to answer every idle curiosity we may have. If something is not revealed in the Scriptures it is not revealed for a reason - it is simply something we do not need to know for our salvation. The Bible gives us all the information we need to understand the glory of God and the salvation of man through Jesus Christ our Lord. We are always better served focusing on the things that we can actually know that God has revealed to us in His word.


Special Invitation to Auditing Students

I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to upgrade your enrollment from Auditing to Informal or Formal Student status. I want to thank you for making use of the videos provided by the school, but I encourage you to consider the advantages of upgrading your enrollment. If you upgrade your enrollment you will not only have access to the video Bible lessons, but you will also have free online viewing access to the teacher’s course notes, exams and some course books.

Formal Students follow a set course order which is designed to make the progression through the Bible easier. The assignments include viewing all video lessons, taking exams and writing research papers. Formal Students are issued a certificate of completion when they fully meet the requirements of a course. They receive a diploma when they have successfully completed all required courses.

Informal Students have the same requirements to meet for each course and cover the same material but they are allowed to take the courses in any order they desire. Informal Students receive certificates for each course but no diploma is awarded.

If you would like to change your status you will need to click on ENROLLMENT (https://school.wvbs.org/enrollment/) which is on the blue menu bar at the school website. When you have reached the enrollment page please select either the Formal or Informal Student Registration button. This will provide you with the form to fill out to change your status.

I completely understand if you have no interest in upgrading your enrollment. I commend you on your hard work and devotion to learning more about the Bible. God bless you as you continue in your studies. If I can answer any questions for you about the school please let me know(https://school.wvbs.org/about/contact-us/).

March 2024 Student Newsletter

Words From the Director
Russell Haffner

The WVBS Online Bible School is designed as an online only education facility. There are no live classes and no physical campus to visit. However, all across the world in homes, offices, schools or internet cafes people are going online to study God’s word using WVBS material. As an online school our desire has always been to provide an in-depth comprehensive Bible education through the convenience of the internet. The school is designed so that as a student you can do all things required easily online. The school provides a learning opportunity to those who want a focused, organized and intensive study of the Bible.

I am delighted that you have the desire to devote yourself to a deep study of God’s word. Perhaps you are anxious and maybe even a little nervous about the courses, but I hope you are also eager, excited and full of anticipation. You are preparing yourself for the battle against evil in our world. You are training yourself to effectively spread the good news of salvation. I understand and share in your excitement. I expect wonderful things from you both now and in the future. Because of your dedication to grow in your knowledge of the scriptures God is able to use you for great accomplishments for His glory.


How To Start Your Lessons

Perhaps you have enrolled in the school but have not yet started your first course. Beginning your studies is easy to do. Once you have logged-in to your account,
you simply choose the course you would like to study from the "Course Schedule" option located on the blue menu bar of the school website https://school.wvbs.org/course-schedule/. The "Course Schedule" reflects the designated order that Formal Students must follow. Informal and Auditing Students are recommended, but not required, to follow this schedule.

Once you have selected the course you would like to study you will need to register for the course by clicking the "Register" button located on the course page. When this is done, you will have full online access to the course. You can begin watching the videos immediately by clicking the "Lesson 1" link.

You may register and begin viewing the courses at any time. There is no official start time for any of the courses. They are always available - 24/7. Why not start your lessons today?

February 2024 Student Newsletter

The Journey
Russell Haffner

Every journey in life starts with a first step, so congratulations, because when you enrolled in the school you took your first step to a better understanding of the Bible. Beginning an education in God's word is the start of a new adventure. Your journey has begun, but now is the time to dedicate yourself to its completion.

The thousands of students who have already enrolled in the school are known to be lovers of the Scriptures and the courses are designed to provide an in-depth, comprehensive study of the Bible. We are here to help all the students accomplish their goal to have a better understanding of the Scriptures, so buckle up and enjoy the ride!

We commend you for your ambition to learn and the humility and respect you are willing to show your instructors. You will benefit greatly from their knowledge and experience as you explore together the Holy Scriptures. If you do hit a few bumps in the road, don’t panic; always look to the Bible as the perfect road map. Simply adjust your route a little to align with the Scriptures, and continue on your way with confidence. You never know what the future will bring as you devote yourself to this journey.

Whether you are young, making a mid-life change, or in your twilight years you have probably chosen to enroll because you are deeply interested in learning more concerning the Scriptures. If that is the case, then good news! We want you to be successful and we will do everything we can to help you as you walk this path. The staff is here for you and if you truly want to complete this journey we will help you every step of the way.


"I Lost My Password"

Perhaps you have lost your password and don’t know how to proceed. In our records student passwords are encrypted and not visible, but there are steps you can take to reset your password if it has been lost:

  1. From the homepage of the School, select the "LOGIN" button on the blue menu bar at the school website, which will take you to the bottom of the page to the login form.
  2. Choose the "Lost Password" link below the form.
  3. A new page asking for your email address will be presented. Simply enter the email address you used when setting up your account, click the reCAPTCHA checkbox and then click the "Get New Password" button.
  4. At this point an email will be sent to the email address you entered. In the email there will be a reset link to verify that you do indeed own the email address you entered.
  5. After clicking the reset link in your email, you will be given the opportunity to create a new password. The website will auto-populate the input field with a randomly generated set of characters, but you can type-in whatever you choose. Click the "Reset Password" button, then click on the WVBS Online Bible School logo to go to the main page and login using your new password. If you experience problems in resetting your password "please let us know"

January 2024 Student Newsletter

Christians Only!
Russell Haffner

The church you read about in the New Testament (church of Christ - Romans 16:16) was not a denomination. Therefore, the church of Christ today is not a denomination. The members of the Lord's church are just plain Christians – Christians only! They are not hyphenated Christians (Methodist-Christian, Lutheran-Christian, Baptist-Christian, etc.). The church of Christ follows no creeds, because creeds are made to denominate (to separate a specific group of religious people from other religious groups).

The true church of Christ follows the New Testament only, as the guide to salvation, worship and Christian living. To add to God’s word or detract from it is to change His word and this is condemned throughout the Bible (Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Proverbs 30:8; Galatians 1:7-9; Revelation 22:18). Creeds, disciplines, catechisms, etc. are not the Bible. They always add to or take away from the Bible (or both). If they are identical to the Bible we don't need them because we have the Bible.

The true church of Christ is not a denomination and has no denominational views about the Bible. To teach denominational views is to teach views other than what is taught in the Bible. God has specifically condemned that kind of teaching. We must reject all denominational teaching.

To denominate means to mark as different. To do this means to change from the original standard. We must not do this! We must go directly to the Bible and follow it exactly without any changes. Our goal should be to stay true to what the Bible says and we dedicate ourselves to teaching only those things which can be proven to be true from the Scriptures.


THE COURSE INSTRUCTIONS

If you have already registered for a course you may have noticed the tab which is labeled "Instructions." This is where you will find the course syllabus that has information about the course and the requirements needed to earn a certificate for the course. This is a very helpful reference for the Formal and Informal Students who are taking the courses for credit. However, Auditing Students will also find the Syllabus to be an excellent starting point to understand the purpose of the course and the structure of the lessons. All students should begin each course by reading the Course Instructions.

December 2023 Student Newsletter

Will I Be Ordained?
Russell Haffner

The idea of ordination is to choose or appoint a man for an office, such as Titus appointing (or ordaining) elders (Titus 1:5). According to the New Testament elders and deacons were appointed in each congregation (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5; Acts 20:17, 28). The elders lead the congregation and the deacons are servants of the congregation (1 Timothy 3:1-13).

The church we read about in the New Testament is composed of independent congregations (1 Peter 5:1-4; Philippians 1:1; Acts 20:17-28). There is no higher earthly headquarters. The true church's only headquarters is in heaven. Each congregation answers to Jesus Christ only and that will be done on judgment day. Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23) and it is Christ who has authorized or appointed the duty of an evangelist or preacher (Ephesians 4:11).

Some religious groups use "ordination" papers to state that a man is approved by their group to preach their doctrine. However, as we have seen, outside of each congregation, there is no organization with ruling authority and this practice is not found in the New Testament. We find no teaching in the New Testament that requires a man to make another man a preacher. There are no verses in Scripture referencing their practice for the ordination of a preacher. No one is mentioned in the New Testament as being selected for the role they claim..

Therefore, "ordination" for preachers (ministers) is a foreign concept to the Bible. God never authorized this practice of ordination. These are man-made rules often created to keep preachers under the control of those doing the ordaining.."

Our desire is to be of service to anyone who wishes to learn more about the Bible. The content of the lessons is pure non-denominational teaching based on accurate exegesis of the Bible. It is designed for the student who wants a focused, organized and intensive study of the Bible. The purpose of the WVBS Online Bible School is to prepare students to be better Christians, elders, deacons, preachers, Bible class teachers or personal workers.


The "Mark Complete" Button

If you have already watched several lessons you may have noticed the “Mark Complete” button located below each video. This feature helps you to track your progress as you view the videos. We encourage you to always click this button when you finish viewing a lesson. The marking of lessons serves as a guide for your own information to mark your place in the study. Even if the lesson is marked complete you can return to watch it again as many times as you want.

For additional information please see the Help Center (https://school.wvbs.org/about/help/) at the school website. In the Help Center (https://school.wvbs.org/about/help/) you will find an article which will walk you through the necessary steps to track your progress by marking each lesson complete. It is titled: How-to: "Mark Complete" Lessons ,(https://school.wvbs.org/about/help/mark-complete-lessons/).

November 2023 Student Newsletter

A Special Calling
Russell Haffner

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 states, "But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

How are men "called"? They are "called" by the gospel. "Called" is another way of saying "invited" or "encouraged to come." The word "gospel" comes from the Greek word (EUAGGELION) that literally means, "good tidings" or "good news." It is the good news that salvation is now possible because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-5). The gospel is the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:16). The gospel is God's plan for man's salvation from his sins. The "good news" is an invitation to have fellowship with God. Sin separates man from God

Isaiah 59:1-2 teaches, "Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."

The preaching of the gospel has gone out into the world telling the good news that there is a solution to man's problem of sin. Fellowship with God is possible again because of the sacrificial blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. God has provided to all mankind a way of salvation.

God calls people to Himself through the message of the gospel. 1 Corinthians 1:21 says, "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." The calling goes out to all people equally. Whether they heed that call or reject it depends on their attitude toward the "message preached."

1 Thessalonians 2:10-12 states, "You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory."

This passage tells us that it is "God who calls," and we are called, "into His own kingdom and glory." But it doesn't directly state how that calling takes place. Unfortunately, people have a habit of filling in missing information with imaginative answers. But we don't need to guess. We merely look to our text for the answer (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). It is through the gospel that we are called to God.


Philosophy Of The School

The WVBS Online Bible School is designed to provide students with an online, comprehensive, in-depth study of the Bible. The lessons are pure non-denominational teaching based on an accurate "drawing out" of what the Bible teaches, not reading into the text what someone might think it teaches. The courses cover every book in the Bible, plus four additional subjects which help you in your understanding of the scriptures (Christian Evidences, Hermeneutics, Greek and How We Got the Bible). The school is designed for anyone who wants a focused, organized and thorough study of the Bible.

October 2023 Student Newsletter

What Is the Purpose of Life?
Russell Haffner

In the book of Ecclesiastes, we find King Solomon seeking to answer this question. At the beginning of his reign, the wise king asked the Lord to give him wisdom and an understanding heart, which he considered to be more important than wealth, longevity, or victory over his enemies (1 Kings 3:9; 2 Chronicles 1:10-11). Solomon went on to explore every aspect of life on this earth, all its joys and sorrows, to discover the purpose and meaning of man's existence. He recorded the results of his findings as follows: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all" (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The word "fear" in this verse comes from the Hebrew word that means, "to revere or show reverence." This is what motivates one to obey God's commands.

After all his searching Solomon found that the purpose of life is not in wealth, nor fame, nor power, nor physical pleasure, but in reverence for God and keeping His commandments. The life of a Christian is truly a life of meaning. It is lived with a sense of purpose. Barnabas encouraged Christians that "with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord" (Acts 11:23). Paul praised Timothy because he had "carefully followed" Paul's "doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance" (2 Timothy 3:10).

Let us think about the purpose of our lives. All lives make an impact in this world, and our lives cannot be a power for good unless we make them a power for good. Let us strive to live meaningful lives submitting to God and Hs word.


How To Start Your Lessons

Perhaps you have enrolled in the school but have yet to start your first course. Beginning your studies is easy to do. Once you have logged in to your account, simply choose the course you would like to study from the "Course Schedule" option located on the blue menu bar of the school website http://school.wvbs.org/course-schedule/. The "Course Schedule" reflects the designated order that Formal Students must follow. Informal and Auditing Students are recommended, but not required, to follow this schedule.

Once you have selected the course you would like to study you need to register for the course by clicking the "Register" button located on the course page. When this is done, you will have full online access to the course. You can begin watching the videos immediately by clicking the "Lesson 1" link. From each lesson page you will be able to view a 30 to 40-minute video lesson presentation.

If you are a Formal or Informal Student you will not only see tabs on the course page for Description and Syllabus, but also for Exams, Course Notes (for some courses) and Course Books (for textbooks published by WVBS). Click on the appropriate tab and the document will be displayed. These materials are provided to Formal and Informal Students completely free online. If you desire printed pages, there is a "Print" button located to the upper-right of the displayed document where you can print personal copies.

You may register and begin viewing the courses at any time. There is no official start time for any of the courses. They are always available - 24/7. Why not start your lessons today?

September 2023 Student Newsletter

Old Testament or New Testament?
Russell Haffner

There is a great misunderstanding in the religious world today. There are some who are teaching that the Old Testament is still in effect or binding today. However, Colossians 2:14 tells us that Jesus "wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." Our Bibles even show the distinction that should be recognized by separating for us the Old Testament from the New Testament. In Hebrews 10:9 we find Jesus saying, "'Behold, I have come to do your will, O God.' He takes away the first that He may establish the second."

Therefore, the Old Testament was made null and void when Christ died on the cross. Jesus' New Testament could not take affect and remove the Old Testament until after He died. Hebrews 9:16-17 tells us, "For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives." His death fulfilled the old law and made His New Testament active and in force for everyone. When Christ died on the cross, the Old Testament fulfilled its purpose, and the New Testament was enacted as the will of God. Therefore, it is the New Testament that sets forth God's conditions for salvation, regulates our worship, and guides our conduct.

The Ten Commandments were thus removed as a binding force on mankind. However, nine of the ten were stated again and made binding in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 4:8; Acts 14:15; 17:29; Matthew 6:9; Ephesians 6:2; Romans 13:9). We must obey the nine because they are a part of the New Testament not because they were a part of the Old Testament. The only one not stated again and made binding in the New Testament was the Sabbath Law. In the New Testament the first day of the week (Sunday) is the special day of worship for Christians.

We cannot be justified by the Law of Moses because it is no longer in effect (Romans 7:4; Ephesians 2:14-16; Colossians 2:13-14), but we are under a law, the Law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2; James 1:25). We study the Old Testament and learn from it (Romans 15:4), but it is the words of Christ and the New Testament that will judge us in the last day (John 12:48).


"Statement of Faith"

The WVBS Online Bible School has no statement of faith, creed book or religious manual. The only statement of a Christian's faith which is needed is the Bible. If a statement of faith says less than the Bible it has left something out. If a statement of faith says more than the Bible it has added to God's word (Revelation 22:18-19). Let us abandon the opinions of men and seek to practice and teach only that which is found in God's word. The staff of the school is composed of Christians seeking to teach others about the Bible. The material produced is designed to be used by anybody seeking a greater understanding of God's word.

The goal of the school is to serve God and His people by doing His will to the best of our ability. We have a genuine desire to glorify the Father, His beloved Son, His word and His blood-bought church and not to glorify ourselves or any other men.

August 2023 Newsletter

3 BENEFITS OF BIBLE STUDY
Russell Haffner

There are many benefits to studying the Bible. Several books could be written describing the numerous benefits. However, for this article let use consider three important advantages to a study of God's word.

  • 1.Bible study grows our faith. We cannot grow our faith by merely wishing for it to grow. Romans 10:17 says, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." It is through the Word of God that we get faith. Praying for more belief, without going to the source, will not increase our faith. When we dedicate ourselves to studying the Bible, believing its promises and obeying its commands our faith will grow in powerful ways. In the book of Acts, Luke tells us that the people of Berea "were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." And then he adds: "Therefore many of them believed" (Acts 17:11-12). Faith or belief always follows an honest and sincere searching of the Scriptures. If we want a strong faith we must feed on the Word of God."
  • 2.Bible study instructs and corrects us. David wrote in Psalm 119:98-100, "You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts." Again, he said, "Your testimonies are wonderful; Therefore, my soul keeps them" (Psalm 119:129). Ignorance of the Scriptures leaves us exposed to all sorts of doctrinal errors, but when we hide God's word in our hearts, we get filled with His great thoughts and are truly wise. Knowing His wisdom will teach us how to make corrections and safeguard our lives from error. Jesus said to the people in His day who were in doctrinal error, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God" (Matthew 22:29).
  • 3.Bible study shows us God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. God's word says, "the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:30). Think how good God is, and how He cares for us to even number the very hairs of our head. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Truly God's Word fills the believing heart with joy. It has been said that we love the Lord no better than we love His Word. In the same proportion as the Word is precious to us, He Himself is precious to us.
  • As you can see, there are important advantages to a study of God's word. To gain the many benefits you should read the Bible and "observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success" (Joshua 1:8).


    "I Lost My Password"

    Perhaps you have lost your password and don’t know how to proceed. In our records student passwords are encrypted and not visible, but there are steps you can take to reset your password if it has been lost:

    1. From the homepage of the School, select the "LOGIN" button on the blue menu bar at the school website, which will take you to the bottom of the page to the login form.
    2. Choose the "Lost Password" link below the form.
    3. A new page asking for your email address will be presented. Simply enter the email address you used when setting up your account, click the reCAPTCHA checkbox and then click the "Get New Password" button.
    4. At this point an email will be sent to the email address you entered. In the email there will be a reset link to verify that you do indeed own the email address you entered.
    5. After clicking the reset link in your email, you will be given the opportunity to create a new password. The website will auto-populate the input field with a randomly generated set of characters, but you can type-in whatever you choose. Click the "Reset Password" button, then click on the WVBS Online Bible School logo to go to the main page and login using your new password. If you experience problems in resetting your password "please let us know"

    July 2023 Student Newsletter

    The Power of God's Word
    Russell Haffner

    Consider for a moment Paul's inspired words in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." These words are very familiar to many of us.

    "This is an amazing passage! It explains to us the power, importance and value of God's word. The Scriptures provide benefits to mankind. However, to gain these benefits one must learn, obey and continue in the instructions given in His word (2 Timothy 3:14). The Holy Scriptures are able to make us "wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15)."

    If we did not have the Bible, all of its great benefits would not be available. We would not understand the gospel message of salvation. We would not know of God's mission to rescue men from sin through the sacrifice of Christ. We could not fully appreciate what it means to be saved from our sins, what it means to live a new life in Christ, and what it means to know God's forgiveness. Without God's word we would be lost in this world without hope. The power of God's word is its message of truth (John 17:17).

    However, God doesn't just provide His powerful word to save us; He uses His word to transform our lives. Paul told Timothy to "continue in the things" which he had learned in the "Holy Scriptures" (2 Timothy 3:14-15). God's word is truth and when we obey and follow His word it enables us to "grow up" in Christ (Ephesians 4:15). God's word continually reveals our weaknesses (Romans 7:7), but He continues to pour out His abundant grace, in His word, showing us the way to a life of holiness (1 Peter 1:14-16). Therefore, we must continue in what we learn in God's word.

    Do you want to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18)? Do you want to know the "living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:3)? Do you want to be "thoroughly equipped for every good work" as you "stand against the wiles of the devil (2 Timothy 3:17; Ephesian 6:11-17)? If so, you need to turn to God's powerful word. As a student in the school you are dedicating yourself to greater knowledge and understanding of the most powerful message in our world. May God bless you as you seek to know Him and His word.


    STATEMENT OF FAITH

    The WVBS Online Bible School has no statement of faith, creed book or religious manual. The only statement of a Christian's faith which is needed is the Bible. If a statement of faith says less than the Bible it has left something out. If a statement of faith says more than the Bible it has added to God's word (Revelation 22:18-19). Let us abandon the opinions of men and seek to practice and teach only that which is found in God's word. The staff of the school is composed of Christians seeking to teach others about the Bible. The material produced is designed to be used by anybody seeking a greater understanding of God's word.

    The goal of the school is to serve God and His people by doing His will to the best of our ability. We have a genuine desire to glorify the Father, His beloved Son, His word and His blood-bought church and not to glorify ourselves or any other men.

    June 2023 Student Newsletter

    Are You Looking To the Future?
    Russell Haffner

    As one of the students in the school you probably know that your fellow students come from many different countries and cultural backgrounds. However, they share many things in common with you. For example, I think all the students are looking for a better future and seeking that better future in God's word. A student from Singapore recently wrote to say:

    "I have learned a lot and will learn a lot more as I embark on this wonderful journey with the WVBS Online Bible School. My relationship with God is already strengthened by the lessons and will continue to get stronger. The school has been an immense blessing. Words won't be enough to say how much I appreciate how you are preparing me for my future."

    God wants you (and indeed all mankind) to have a blessed future. The instructions God has given in His word are there to direct us to that better life. We simply need to learn these truths and obey them. God will reward those who obey Him. Your desire to study God's word shows your dedication to a better future.


    "I Lost My Password"

    Perhaps you have lost your password and don’t know how to proceed. In our records student passwords are encrypted and not visible, but there are steps you can take to reset your password if it has been lost:

    1. From the homepage of the School, select the "LOGIN" button on the blue menu bar at the school website, which will take you to the bottom of the page to the login form.
    2. Choose the "Lost Password" link below the form.
    3. A new page asking for your email address will be presented. Simply enter the email address you used when setting up your account, click the reCAPTCHA checkbox and then click the "Get New Password" button.
    4. At this point an email will be sent to the email address you entered. In the email there will be a reset link to verify that you do indeed own the email address you entered.
    5. After clicking the reset link in your email, you will be given the opportunity to create a new password. The website will auto-populate the input field with a randomly generated set of characters, but you can type-in whatever you choose. Click the "Reset Password" button, then click on the WVBS Online Bible School logo to go to the main page and login using your new password. If you experience problems in resetting your password "please let us know"

    March 2023 Student Newsletter

    DOES YOUR CHURCH FOLLOW THE BIBLICAL PATTERN?
    Russell Haffner
    One Head, One King - Christ

    Christ's church must be organized according to His plan. The church is a kingdom over which Christ rules as king (1 Timothy 6:15). Christians are citizens in this kingdom (Colossians 1:13). The world is the territory of this kingdom (Acts 1:8). The new birth is the way we enter this kingdom (Romans 6:3-4).
    The church is the body of Christ and Christ is its only head (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4). He has all authority (Matthew 28:18). He has never given this authority to anyone else. Because Christ is the head, we take our instructions from Him in His word. Because He is king, we must obey Him (Ephesians 5:24).
    The church has no earthly headquarters. The headquarters of Christ’s church is in Heaven. Each congregation of the Lord’s body is independent and self-ruling. There is no leader, council, conference, or group of people controlling all the congregations of the Lord’s body.

    Elders

    Elders are to be appointed in every church (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). In the New Testament, elders are also called presbyters (1 Timothy 4:14); bishops (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-2); overseers (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2); pastors (Ephesians 4:11-12); and shepherds (1 Peter 5:1-4). The word “pastor” is simply another word for “shepherd.” Preachers are never called pastors in the New Testament. The elders of the local congregation are the pastors (shepherds) of each local church (1 Peter 5:1-4).
    Qualifications for elders are listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-13. In addition to being a faithful Christian, an elder must be a man with a wife and faithful children. He cannot be a new member and be qualified. Also, there must be more than one elder serving in the local congregation. The Bible says “elders” (plural) (Acts 14:23; 20:17-18, 28). These elders are to guide, guard, feed, and rule the flock of God (1 Peter 5:1-4; Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 5:17; Hebrews 13:17).

    Deacons

    Deacons are to be appointed in every church (Philippians 1:1). Their qualifications are listed in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The work of deacons would include what was done as recorded in Acts 6:1-6. Similar to elders, deacons can only be men. Women are not qualified to be deacons because they cannot be a husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:12).

    Members

    Anyone who has obeyed the Gospel is a member of the Lord’s church (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 1:3). Members of the church must obey the elders of the church (Hebrews 13:17). They are to teach the lost (Acts 8:4; 2 Timothy 2:24-25), and practice pure religion (James 1:27).

    The leadership of the Lord’s church is made up of qualified men. If a church is not willing to have this kind of organization, it is not the church that Jesus built. If a church has only one elder it is not the church Jesus built. If a church has women elders, women deacons, or women preachers, it is not the church Jesus built.

    Preachers

    Preachers have the responsibility to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:1-5). As with elders and deacons, preachers are males (1 Timothy 2:8-15). They are evangelists, ministers of the Word of God (2 Timothy 4:5). In the New Testament, preachers are never called by titles such as “Pastor,” “Reverend,” or “Father” (Matthew 23:8-12).


    How To Start Your Lessons

    Perhaps you have enrolled in the school but have not yet started your first course. Beginning your studies is easy to do. Once you have logged-in to your account, you simply choose the course you would like to study from the "Course Schedule" option located on the blue menu bar of the school website (https://school.wvbs.org/course-schedule/). The "Course Schedule" reflects the designated order that Formal Students must follow. Informal and Auditing Students are recommended, but not required, to follow this schedule.

    Once you have selected the course you would like to study you will need to register for the course by clicking the "Register" button located on the course page. When this is done, you will have full online access to the course. You can begin watching the videos immediately by clicking the "Lesson 1" link.

      January 2023 Student Newsletter

      Blessed With A New Year
      Russell Haffner

      Each new year brings new opportunities. Young poet, Juansen Dizon wrote, "I hope you realize that every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written." Spiritually we should remember that each new year, and each day of that new year, is an opportunity to increase our faith and draw closer to God.

      As we begin the new year it is exciting to see more seekers of truth finding the school's website (https://school.wvbs.org/). There are currently over 70,000 students enrolled, making the WVBS Online Bible School one of the largest Bible schools in the world with students from over 190 different countries. Thank you for being a part of the school. I commend you for your desire to increase your faith and draw closer to God through a study of the Scriptures.

      Former law professor, Michael Josephson, once said, "Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day." Each day of this new year we have an opportunity to grow in our faith. So how do we grow in faith? The Bible has the answer! Romans 10:17 states, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." It is God's word that produces faith in our lives. Let us never forget that faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4) and our faith is made perfect by our actions (James 2:22). One such action to build a stronger faith is studying the Bible Courses provided in the WVBS Online Bible School.

      The school is designed to provide you with an online, comprehensive, in-depth study of the Bible. The lessons are pure non-denominational teaching based on an accurate "drawing out" of what the Bible teaches, not reading into the text what someone might think it teaches. The school is designed for you to receive a focused, organized and thorough study of the Bible.

      You have your priorities right by studying the Bible. The new year will surely be a blessing to you as you grow in your knowledge of the Scriptures. Make this new year a year of knowledge and spiritual growth!


      The Course Instructions

      If you have already registered for a course you may have noticed the tab which is labeled "Instructions." This is where you will find the course syllabus that has information about the course and the requirements needed to earn a certificate for the course. This is a very helpful reference for the Formal and Informal Students who are taking the courses for credit. However, Auditing Students will also find the Syllabus to be an excellent starting point to understand the purpose of the course and the structure of the lessons. All students should begin each course by reading the Course Instructions.

      November 2022 Student Newsletter

      Have You Completed Your First Course?
      Russell Haffner

      As you study in the school you will soon discover that the level of instruction is equal to and even far superior to many degree granting colleges and universities. If you have completed your first course, then you already know this to be true. The instructors have had years of combined study and experience teaching these courses in a classroom setting. These men are among the finest teachers available today. We are honored to have them as part of the school’s faculty. As you study the courses you will be blessed. A student wrote to say -

      "I recently completed courses of study on the Old Testament books of the Pentateuch. I am so grateful for the opportunity to study God’s word through your program. I really enjoyed the study of these first five books of the Bible, which was so aptly taught by Chuck Horner. Mr. Horner’s passion for the word of God and his presentations made me dig deeper into the word. I thank him for his enthusiasm and his engagement with the online audience which made the courses most interesting. I look forward to continued studies in the school. Thank you so much for making these courses available to the public."

      If you have not yet started your first course you can begin today. The courses are designed to be studied at-your-own-pace. You can view the lessons on your own time schedule. The school material is always here for you to use in a manner that best fits into your life. May God bless you as you study His word.


      PHILOSOPHY OF THE SCHOOL

      The WVBS Online Bible School is designed to provide students with an online, comprehensive, in-depth study of the Bible. The lessons are pure non-denominational teaching based on an accurate "drawing out" of what the Bible teaches, not reading into the text what someone might think it teaches. The courses cover every book in the Bible, plus four additional subjects which help you in your understanding of the scriptures (Christian Evidences, Hermeneutics, Greek and How We Got the Bible). The school is designed for anyone who wants a focused, organized and thorough study of the Bible.

      October 2022 Student Newsletter

      Do You Love the Lord?
      Russell Haffner

      In John 14:15 Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." This is a fascinating verse that teaches a fundamental principle. It shows us the connection between love and obedience. True love for Christ will always produce obedience.

      In the world today, obedience is sometimes thought of in a negative way. Some think it is beneath them to obey. However, that is simply not true. In God's word, we find that obedience is the expression of love.

      1 John 5:2-3, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome."

      We should not think of obedience as some difficult, oppressive requirement of our God. Obedience is simply the product of our gratitude and love for God and all that He has done for us through His Son. We should always think of obedience in this way.

      There is no doubt that there is a connection between love and action. Love is more than a simple emotion or feeling. True love produces action. Obedience is foundational to living the Christian life. If there is no obedience, then we are not living the Christian life.

      In the Bible the words translated as "obey" are automatically connected to hearing. Obedience is the correct response to listening to God's word. In Luke 11:28 Jesus states, "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" The standard of measuring our love for God is our obedience.

      John 14:21, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."

      John 14:23, "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.'"

      The relationship between love and obedience is easy to see. If we truly love our Lord, we will seek to know and obey His commands. If do not keep His commands, we cannot honestly claim to love Him. Actions speak louder than words.


      HOW TO START YOUR LESSONS

      Perhaps you have enrolled in the school but have yet to start your first course. Beginning your studies is easy to do. Once you login to your account simply choose the course you would like to study from the "Course Schedule" option located on the blue menu bar of the school website (http://school.wvbs.org/course-schedule/). The "Course Schedule" reflects the designated order that Formal Students must follow. Informal and Auditing Students are recommended, but not required, to follow this schedule.

      Once you have selected the course you would like to study you need to register for the course by clicking the "Register" button located on the course page. When this is done, you will have full online access to the course. You can begin watching the videos immediately by clicking the "Lesson 1" link. From each lesson page you will be able to view a 30-40 minute video lesson presentation.

      If you are a Formal or Informal Student you will not only see tabs on the course page for Description and Syllabus, but also for Exams, Course Notes (for some courses) and Course Books (for textbooks published by WVBS). Click on the appropriate tab and the document will be displayed. These materials are provided to Formal and Informal Students completely free online. If you desire printed pages, there is a "Print" button located to the upper-right of the displayed document where you can print personal copies.

      You may register and begin viewing the courses at any time. There is no official start time for any of the courses. They are always available - 24/7. Why not start your lessons today?

      September 2022 Student Newsletter

      Are You Willing To Learn?
      Russell Haffner

      A willingness to learn is often defined as a desire, wish or readiness to acquire new knowledge and development. To grow spiritually is always the correct goal. We should never seek to learn the Bible as a means of impressing other people with our knowledge. In order to be a successful learner, it's important to avoid pride and arrogance. The "I-know-it-all" attitude will destroy our spiritual development. The humble, willingness to learn needs to be developed in our lives. Humility is an important key in the learning process.

      Psalm 25:9 states, "The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way."

      Proverbs 11:2 adds, "When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom."

      We must increase our knowledge of the Scriptures, not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of others in teaching them God's truth. To be a successful teacher we will need knowledge and humility.

      In 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Paul wrote, "And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth."

      This should help us to appreciate the importance of humility. It is essential in our learning and also essential as we teach others what we have learned. We must cultivate in our hearts a willingness to learn. It may seem hard or even impossible at times to understand the Bible, but we must humble ourselves to seek a better understanding of the Scriptures. This skill can and must be developed. Our own spiritual growth and the spiritual growth of others depends on it./p>


      Accreditation

      While the WVBS Online Bible School is not accredited by any government agency, we are authorized under Texas State Law to grant degrees within the fields of theology, religion, ministry, biblical studies, etc. Thus, our courses and curriculum supply the required education needed for a degree in Biblical Studies.

      The level of work required by the WVBS Online Bible School is equal to and even superior to many accredited religious universities and colleges. Any graduate of the school will be fully qualified to teach the Bible.

      We have not sought secular accreditation or approval to do what God commands us to do in teaching and training souls to obey and serve Christ. We have no quarrel with schools that choose to be accredited by the government and outside agencies. However, our aim is to be a work for, and on behalf of God; thus, we are only in need of His approval. Therefore, we seek to be accredited by His word, which should please any who are involved in biblical education.

      August 2022 Student Newsletter

      Do You Really Want To Learn The Bible?
      Russell Haffner

      The Bible is not like any other book. It is actually a collection or library of 66 books, all bound together in one book. These individual books were written by many different writers over an extended period of time. What makes the Bible unique is that its human writers were all inspired by one Divine Author—God!

      2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

      The Greek word for "inspiration" literally means "God-breathed." The words of Scripture are directly from God.

      2 Peter 1:20-21, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

      The inspired writers of the Bible were directed by the Holy Spirit concerning the actual words they wrote. These God breathed words have the power to change and transform our lives. Therefore, we should all have a great desire to learn what the Bible teaches.

      We should understand that a deep study of God's word requires more effort, dedication and determination than simply reading. The Bible can be a difficult book to fully understand. That is why a comprehensive, in-depth study of God's word as is found in the WVBS Online Bible School is so valuable.


      Statement of Faith

      The WVBS Online Bible School has no statement of faith, creed book or religious manual. The only statement of a Christian's faith which is needed is the Bible. If a statement of faith says less than the Bible it has left something out. If a statement of faith says more than the Bible it has added to God's word (Revelation 22:18-19). Let us abandon the opinions of men and seek to practice and teach only that which is found in God's word. The staff of the school is composed of Christians seeking to teach others about the Bible. The material produced is designed to be used by anybody seeking a greater understanding of God's word.

      The goal of the school is to serve God and His people by doing His will to the best of our ability. We have a genuine desire to glorify the Father, His beloved Son, His word and His blood-bought church and not to glorify ourselves or any other men.

      July 2022 Student Newsletter

      Are You Excited To Study The Bible?
      Russell Haffner

      There are many reasons to be excited about studying the Bible. Not only is it the word of our Creator, but it also teaches us how to live our lives pleasing to Him. The Bible is filled with guidelines for the real life situations of our day. It reveals the truth about who we are and who we should be as we obey and serve our Lord. Knowing God’s Word gives us wisdom and understanding. The Scriptures instruct us concerning the priorities we should have in this life. The Bible guides our decision-making, our responses to day-to-day situations, our relationships with others and how we see the world.

      The Bible does many things for us:

      1. It encourages us and gives us hope (Romans 15:4).
      2. It instructs us concerning how to live this life (Romans 15:4).
      3. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105).
      4. It keeps us from sin (Psalm 119:11).
      5. It restores and revives our souls (Psalm 19:7).
      6. It gives us wisdom (Psalm 19:7; 2 Peter 3:15).
      7. It warns us concerning temptations (Psalm 19:11).
      8. It teaches us how to save our souls (James 1:21).
      9. It gives us spiritual life and health (Proverbs 4:22).

      I Lost My Password

      Perhaps you have lost your password and don’t know how to proceed. In our records student passwords are encrypted and not visible, but there are steps you can take to reset your password if it has been lost:

      1. From the homepage of the School, select the "LOGIN" button on the blue menu bar at the school website, which will take you to the bottom of the page to the login form.
      2. Choose the "Lost Password" link below the form.
      3. A new page asking for your email address will be presented. Simply enter the email address you used when setting up your account, click the reCAPTCHA checkbox and then click the "Get New Password" button.
      4. At this point an email will be sent to the email address you entered. In the email there will be a reset link to verify that you do indeed own the email address you entered.
      5. After clicking the reset link in your email, you will be given the opportunity to create a new password. The website will auto-populate the input field with a randomly generated set of characters, but you can type-in whatever you choose. Click the "Reset Password" button, then click on the WVBS Online Bible School logo to go to the main page and login using your new password. If you experience problems in resetting your password please let us know.

      June 2022 Student Newsletter

      Following Your Dream
      Russell Haffner

      People from all over the world enroll in the school for various reasons. These sincere students have a love for the Scriptures and want to learn all they can about God and His word. In order to do this, some choose to be Auditing Students who simply watch the video Bible lessons to grow in their knowledge of the Scriptures. Others choose to be Informal Students so they can not only watch the video lessons, but also be tested on the things they have learned doing exams and writing term papers. However, a special few choose to be Formal Students wanting to watch all of the videos, read all of the course notes, take exams and do the term paper assignments so they can earn a diploma. Perhaps, this is your dream - to graduate from the school with a diploma. If this is your goal you are in good company. A recent graduate of the school wrote to say -

      "Thank you, Mr. Haffner! You and all the staff at the WVBS Online Bible School have been very kind and very helpful. I have enjoyed every single second of my schooling. I honestly believe it's the best Bible school in the world! I have just told a friend about the school and to my knowledge he will be researching it after he gets off work today. I will stay in touch with him and try to encourage him to pursue the classes. I've also shared information about the school with a friend at work. Every single instructor is tops!!! I am so pleased to be able to finish my courses! God has allowed me to stay healthy throughout and to find the time and energy to hang in there (Deuteronomy 8:18). As the videos say, "To God be the Glory!" Thank you so much to all at the WVBS Online Bible School!"

      Having a goal to look forward to can serve as a great incentive if you begin to grow tired or discouraged. My dream is for all the students in the school to grow in their knowledge of God's word so that they obey Him and serve Him all the days of their lives.


      The "Mark Complete" Button

      If you have already watched several lessons you may have noticed the “Mark Complete” button located below each video. This feature helps you to track your progress as you view the videos. We encourage you to always click this button when you finish viewing a lesson. The marking of lessons serves as a guide for your own information to mark your place in the study. Even if the lesson is marked complete you can return to watch it again as many times as you want.

      For additional information please see the Help Center (https://school.wvbs.org/about/help/) at the school website. In the Help Center (https://school.wvbs.org/about/help/) you will find an article which will walk you through the necessary steps to track your progress by marking each lesson complete. It is titled: How-to: "Mark Complete" Lessons (https://school.wvbs.org/about/help/mark-complete-lessons/).

      May 2022 Student Newsletter

      Does God Have a Plan for Man's Salvation?
      Russell Haffner

      I appreciate your love of the Scriptures and desire to learn more. We must always stay true to what the Bible teaches. Even if we discover it teaches something different than what we have been told before.

      To discover the requirements for salvation we must consider all the verses that deal with the topic. One verse may emphasize one aspect while other verses could add other requirements. By looking at the totality of the Bible's teaching we can learn what a sinner must do to obey God's plan for salvation.

      In the Scriptures we find God's plan for salvation has five steps:

      • The first step is to hear the saving message of salvation (Romans 10:17). In other words, one must learn of the truth before they can obey it.
      • The second step is to have faith, or believe that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; Mark 16:15-16). However, this is not the only step. Faith alone will not save (James 2:14, 17, 24).
      • The third step of God's plan is repentance. The sinner is required to repent, which is composed of sorrow for sin and a change of will which results in a changed life (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 7:10).
      • The fourth step is confession. The sinner is required to confess their faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God (Acts 8:37; Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 10:10).
      • The fifth step is baptism (Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:18-19; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21).

      Ananias told Saul in Acts 22:16, "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Saul was a man who already had faith, being repentant and in prayer (Acts 9:1-18; 22:1-16), but he was still in sin and needed to do something more. He needed to obey the final step of God's plan for salvation.

      Our sins are washed away not by the water of baptism, but by the blood of Christ when we submit to God's plan for salvation to hear, believe, repent, confess and be baptized (Acts 8:38-39). Only then are we saved from past sins and added to the Lord's church (Acts 2:38, 41).

      We do not earn our salvation and there are no works of merit which will save us (Ephesians 2:9), but there are works of obedience which God requires (Ephesians 2:10; James 2:19-20).

      I commend you for your desire to learn more and would encourage you to carefully consider the Scriptures I have given to see what they teach for yourself. Please don't put your trust in my words or the words of any man. Men can be wrong, but God's word is always right.


      Special Invitation To Auditing Students

      I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to upgrade your enrollment from Auditing to Informal or Formal Student status. I want to thank you for making use of the videos provided by the school, but I encourage you to consider the advantages of upgrading your enrollment. If you upgrade your enrollment you will not only have access to the video Bible lessons, but you will also have free online viewing access to the teacher’s course notes, exams and some course books.

      Formal Students follow a set course order which is designed to make the progression through the Bible easier. The assignments include viewing all video lessons, taking exams and writing research papers. Formal Students are issued a certificate of completion when they fully meet the requirements of a course. They receive a diploma when they have successfully completed all required courses.

      Informal Students have the same requirements to meet for each course and cover the same material but they are allowed to take the courses in any order they desire. Informal Students receive certificates for each course but no diploma is awarded.

      If you would like to change your status you will need to click on ENROLLMENT which is on the blue menu bar at the school website. When you have reached the enrollment page please select either the Formal or Informal Student Registration button. This will provide you with the form to fill out to change your status.

      I completely understand if you have no interest in upgrading your enrollment. I commend you on your hard work and devotion to learning more about the Bible. God bless you as you continue in your studies. If I can answer any questions for you about the school please let me know.

      April 2022 Student Newsletter

      A Life Without Problems?
      Russell Haffner

      Christians should not expect a life without problems. It isn't realistic, and it isn't taught in the Bible. Jesus told His followers in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation (trouble); but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Christians often face ridicule, discrimination, insults and mistreatment. The "trouble" for the Christians can also include accidents, illness, job layoffs, broken relationships, financial setbacks, family strife, the death of a loved one and similar problems that unbelievers suffer as well. We will have to face problems in this life. Christ never promised Christians a life without struggles, pain and hardships. Jesus never told His disciples, "If you follow me your life will go smoothly, and you will get everything you want." He never offered His followers a life without challenges.

      However, no matter whether our problems are caused by ourselves (sin), others (crime, cruelty, selfishness) or circumstances (illness, accidents, loss, disaster), Jesus is always there for us. He is the answer to this problem-filled life. That doesn't mean our problems will end, but that He can bring us through everything that happens to us. Psalms 34:19 says, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all." He doesn't spare us or shield us from trouble, but He can deliver us. We may come out the other side with scars and losses, but we will come out the other side if we obey Him. Even if a Christian's suffering results in death, he/she will be delivered into the hands of God.

      Once we understand that trouble is normal and to be expected (sometimes even helpful for our spiritual growth), we will be prepared to face the difficulties of this life. James 1:2-4 explains, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." We don't have to like it and we certainly won't enjoy it, but we can count on God's help to always get us through it, if we stay true to Him. A problem-free life is a myth on earth, but a reality in heaven. Revelation 21:4 promises, "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."


      We Want To Hear From You

      We hope you are enjoying the free courses provided by the WVBS Online Bible School. The school is designed to give students an online, comprehensive, in-depth study of the Bible. The lessons are pure non-denominational teaching based on an accurate "drawing out" of what the Bible teaches, not reading into the text what someone might think it teaches. The courses cover every book in the Bible, plus four additional subjects which help you in your understanding of the scriptures. The 45 courses are currently available to the students for free online viewing. We would love to hear your opinion of the courses. Your comments, suggestions and even criticisms would be appreciated.

      March 2022 Student Newsletter

      Is There A Right Way To Worship God?
      Russell Haffner

      The study of the Bible develops within us a desire to worship our God. The more we know about our heavenly Father the more we want to offer up praise to Him. Knowing who He is and what He has done for us generates appreciation and reverence.

      God is deserving of worship and we want our worship to be pleasing and acceptable to Him. Since God is the one being worshipped it is He, not us, who decides how He is to be worshipped. We must offer up true worship to our Creator (John 4:21-24), not uninformed (Acts 17:23-31) or vain worship (Matthew 15:9; 2 John 1:9-11). This can only be done when we fully follow His instructions concerning how He wants to be worshipped. There is a right way to worship God! In the New Testament we are given five (5) acts of worship:

      1. The Lord's Supper - Christians are commanded to observe the Lord's supper on the first day of every week (Acts 20:7: Acts 2:42). The elements of this memorial to the Lord's sacrifice consists of unleavened bread (which represented His body) and unfermented grape juice (which represents His blood). It was Jesus who instituted this remembrance of His death on the cross (Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19-20).
      2. Giving - Also, on the first day of the week disciples are commanded to give back to God as He has blessed us (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). The money is to be used for the work of the church (evangelism, edification and benevolence). Christians are commanded to give willingly and cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:1-7).
      3. Preaching - We also know the Lord's church had preaching during their worship services (Acts 20:7). God's word was proclaimed. Christians are commanded to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:1-2).
      4. Praying - The first disciples prayed when they met together (Acts 2:42) as God's word commanded (1 Timothy 2:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). We can actually speak to the Creator of our universe by praying to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 3:17).
      5. Singing - The Christians in the first century sang praises to God when they met together for worship on the first day of every week (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). In the New Testament singing (without mechanical instruments) was done as an act of worship (Acts 16:25; Romans 15:9; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Hebrews 2:12; 13:15; James 5:13).

      Whatever we do in worship must only be done as authorized by the Lord and as His word directs (Colossians 3:17; John 4:24). There is a right way to worship God. Please use this information to make sure you are worshiping according to the Scriptures. As you continue in your study of the Scriptures it is vital that you find a faithful church which is following the pattern set forth in the New Testament concerning how to worship God.


      I Lost My Password

      Perhaps you have enrolled in the school but have not yet started your first course. Beginning your studies is easy to do. Once you have logged-in to your account, you simply choose the course you would like to study from the "Course Schedule" option located on the blue menu bar of the school website. The "Course Schedule" reflects the designated order that Formal Students must follow. Informal and Auditing Students are recommended, but not required, to follow this schedule.

      Once you have selected the course you would like to study you will need to register for the course by clicking the "Register" button located on the course page. When this is done, you will have full online access to the course. You can begin watching the videos immediately by clicking the "Lesson 1" link.

      You may register and begin viewing the courses at any time. There is no official start time for any of the courses. They are always available - 24/7. Why not start your lessons today?

      February 2022 Student Newsletter

      Do You Have A Strong Desire For God's Word?
      Russell Haffner

      I commend you for enrolling in the school. Your decision is proof of your desire to learn more concerning God and His word. This wonderful attitude reminds me of the inspired words of the psalmist who wrote in Psalm 119:104-105, "Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore, I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."

      The entirety of Psalm 119 serves as a great source for developing a deep respect and love for the word of God. It expresses the affection we should have for God's revealed will. It stirs within our hearts a deep and abiding love for the Scriptures and motivates us to study the deep things of our Creator that we might know Him better, love Him more and obey Him completely.

      In verse 17 we find, "Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word." This request made by the psalmist is not a plea for blessings simply for the sake of blessings; but rather, that he might live and obey God's word. In the next verse he says, "Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law." The psalmist understands that he must open his eyes to the "wondrous things" of God's law. If we are not willing to open our eyes we will never truly understand and appreciate the Scriptures. God has given us free will to choose to open our eyes or keep them closed to His truth. We must have open eyes and indeed open minds to receive the instructions found in the Bible. An open mind is the first step to understanding and loving God's instructions.

      In verse 97 the psalmist writes, "Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day." We must develop in our hearts a love for God's word and a love for learning. Your decision to enroll in the school is evidence of your love for the Scriptures and desire to gain understanding of the Bible's truth. May you search the Bible daily with an open mind and loving heart dedicating yourself to obeying its teachings.


      I Lost My Password

      Perhaps you have lost your password and don’t know how to proceed. In our records student passwords are encrypted and not visible, but there are steps you can take to reset your password if it has been lost:

      1. From the homepage of the School, select the "LOGIN" button on the blue menu bar at the school website, which will take you to the bottom of the page to the login form.
      2. Choose the "Lost Password" link below the form (https://school.wvbs.org/wp-login.php?action=lostpassword).
      3. A new page asking for your email address will be presented. Simply enter the email address you used when setting up your account, click the reCAPTCHA checkbox and then click the "Get New Password" button.
      4. At this point an email will be sent to the email address you entered. In the email there will be a reset link to verify that you do indeed own the email address you entered.
      5. After clicking the reset link in your email, you will be given the opportunity to create a new password. The website will auto-populate the input field with a randomly generated set of characters, but you can type-in whatever you choose. Click the "Reset Password" button, then click on the WVBS Online Bible School logo to go to the main page and login using your new password. If you experience problems in resetting your password please let us know (https://school.wvbs.org/about/contact-us/).

      January 2022 Student Newsletter

      A New Year For Knowledge
      Russell Haffner

      Each new year brings new opportunities. It is exciting to see more and more seekers of truth find the school's website (https://school.wvbs.org/). There are currently over 30,000 students enrolled, making the WVBS Online Bible School one of the largest Bible schools in the world with students from 186 different countries. Thank you for being a part of the school. I commend you for your strong desire to study the Bible. You have demonstrated your commitment to increasing your knowledge of the Scriptures.

      American author, John Naisbitt, once said, "We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge." This is certainly true in our religious world today. There is an ocean of information concerning religion, but very little of it is actually based in God's word. To gain true knowledge we must look to the Scriptures, not to the doctrines of men. Proverbs 2:6 states, "For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Jeremiah 10:23 adds, "O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps."

      The WVBS Online Bible School is designed to provide students with an online, comprehensive, in-depth study of the Bible. The lessons are pure non-denominational teaching based on an accurate "drawing out" of what the Bible teaches, not reading into the text what someone might think it teaches. The school is designed for anyone who wants a focused, organized and thorough study of the Bible.

      We must stay true to God's word and dedicate ourselves to believing and teaching only those things which can be proven to be true from the Scriptures. It really doesn’t matter what any man may think; it only matters what the Bible teaches. Men can be wrong, but God's word is always right. Let us make this new year a year of knowledge.


      The Course Syllabus

      If you have already registered for a course you may have noticed the tab which is labeled "Syllabus." This is where you will find information about the course and the requirements needed to earn a certificate for the course. This is a very helpful reference for the Formal and Informal Students who are taking the courses for credit. However, Auditing Students will also find the Syllabus to be an excellent starting point to understand the purpose of the course and the structure of the lessons. All students should begin each course by reading the Course Syllabus.

      December 2021 Student Newsletter

      Why Are The Poor in Spirit Blessed?
      Russell Haffner

      In Matthew 5:3 Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." In the original language the Greek word translated as "poor" carries the idea of one who is reduced to begging, destitute of wealth, influence, position and honor. In the days of the New Testament beggars were common. They were unable to support themselves and had no other option but to beg for their daily needs. They were totally dependent on the kindness and generosity of others. In much the same way we must realize that we are totally dependent on God.

      In His sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus preached the principles of His spiritual kingdom. We should notice that as He began the lesson He emphasized man's dependency upon God. Our journey to becoming a child of God begins with having an honest and good heart (Luke 8:15) that realizes without God we can do nothing. We have no ability to save ourselves. We must look to God and be willing to obey what He has commanded us to do. If we do not accept our complete dependency on God, we will never obey Him or serve Him. We must accept our own lost spiritual condition and our need for guidance. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). It is not possible to live faithful to God if we are not willing to submit to His guidance.

      Notice again in Matthew 5:3 Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The word "blessed" means that the "poor in spirit" will be eternally happy. How is this possible? Because they will be the ones who recognize their dependence upon God for salvation and will both seek and obey His commands. In this way "theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Those who submit themselves in obedience to God will be added to the kingdom. The "kingdom of heaven" is defined as that spiritual body composed of those who are saved. On earth, that kingdom is the church and when the end of the world comes Christ shall, deliver "up the kingdom to God" (1 Corinthians 15:24). Those who are in the kingdom, shall then be blessed to be in the presence of God throughout eternity. Those who refuse to recognize or accept their spiritual poverty will never seek and submit in obedience to God's commands. They will be eternally lost.


      The "Mark Complete" Button

      If you have already watched several lessons you may have noticed the “Mark Complete” button located below each video. This feature helps you to track your progress as you view the videos. We encourage you to always click this button when you finish viewing a lesson. The marking of lessons serves as a guide for your own information to mark your place in the study. Even if the lesson is marked complete you can return to watch it again as many times as you want.

      For additional information please see the Help Center at the school website. In the Help Center you will find an article which will walk you through the necessary steps to track your progress by marking each lesson complete. It is titled: How-to: "Mark Complete" Lessons.

      November 2021 Student Newsletter

      Is God Too Strict?
      Russell Haffner

      There is no doubt that God is loving, compassionate and merciful. He has done everything possible to save us from our sins (John 3:16). But, we should never assume that God's desire to save man overrides His attitude toward sin. In the same context as John 3:16 we find:

      "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:18-19).

      Our God loves us, but we must come to the light to have a relationship with Him. This is why Paul said, "Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off" (Roman 11:22). The God who loves and cares for us is the same God who upholds justice. Our responsibility is to "continue in His goodness."

      It is true that God is rigid and strict when it comes to His law and obedience. He will not change His law to accommodate us. However, this does not mean He is not merciful, kind and compassionate. It would be wrong to think that God is just waiting to punish us as soon as we get out of line. God is longsuffering and patient. He is giving us time each and every day to turn our backs on sin, and turn to Him in obedience. However, if we refuse to turn our backs on sin, God cannot have a united relationship with us. Some may see this as God being too rigid and strict, but what they fail to realize is that God cannot have fellowship with sin. It goes against His very nature. When we sin, God does not leave us, we leave Him.

      Isaiah 59:1-2 says, "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."

      We cannot negotiate with God concerning His attitude toward sin. We must approach Him through our Savior Jesus Christ with an attitude of obedience and deep repentance, understanding that we are sinful and in need of His forgiveness. He is always eager to forgive us when we obey Him. He is like a loving parent who forgives His children when they admit their mistakes. Parents are often strict, but they love their children and want the best for them. The Father's strictness does not take away from His love.


      Fifteenth Bible Land Passages Video Now Available

      Have you ever wished to visit the Bible lands? If you are not able to make the journey yourself the next best thing could be watching these programs. These instructional video presentations, shot on location, let you explore many of the religious and historical sites in Israel, Jordan and Palestine. They are produced by WVBS and are completely free to view online. completely free to view online.

      "Passage 15 | Shiloh: The Place Where God Once Dwelt" - Nestled deep within the heartland of the West Bank in Israel lies the biblical city of Shiloh; the place where God’s tent of meeting was located for over 300 years. Today this storied city lies in ruin, but archaeologists are determined to unearth its secrets. In recent years a number of important discoveries have been unearthed in Shiloh and Bible Land Passages was there to document the evidence, discuss the significance, and provide faith-building lessons from the land of the Bible.

      These videos may be found under the “About” option on the blue menu bar by clicking the “Recommended Videos” link. When you click this button you will be taken to a page which will be continually updated with information concerning free videos available for online viewing which may be of interest to you.

      October 2021 Student Newsletter

      Are You Humble, Courageous and Wise?
      Russell Haffner

      An accomplished business leader once said, "Be humble to see your mistakes, courageous to admit them, and wise enough to correct them." This is excellent advice, not only in the business world, but in Bible study as well. Sometimes when we study God's word we discover we were wrong in what we thought was being taught in the Scriptures. We must have the humility to see when we are wrong, the courage to admit our mistake and then the wisdom to correct our misunderstanding. The steps to help us through this process are very important.

      1. We need to see our mistake. This requires an honest study of God's word. It is important that we study the Scriptures without preconceived ideas. We must know what the Bible teaches, not what some person told us it teaches. God's word should be treated with respect. This demands humility, understanding that we don't know everything. If we do not have humility we will never see our mistakes.
      2. We must admit the mistake. The next important step is to admit that we sometimes get things wrong when it comes to the Scriptures. We will never be able to make a correction without this admission. We must have the courage to see our error and accept that we made a mistake. However, at times our pride stands in the way. Proverbs 16:18 warns, "Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall." We will be better learners when we have the courage to overcome our pride.
      3. We must have the wisdom to make corrections. It would be foolish to make the same mistakes over and over again. If we persist in making the same mistakes, then we really haven't learned to improve our approach to the Scriptures. We want our study of the Bible to be a learning experience. The goal is to overcome and grow from the misunderstandings we have had in the past. By choosing to learn from our mistakes, not only will we become better students of God's word, but we will also grow in our wisdom.

      It is often painful to learn we have made a mistake in our understanding of the Bible. That's why we should always strive to humble ourselves and admit our lack of knowledge. Remember, admitting when we are wrong is a sign of courage and readiness to improve.


      How To Start Your Lessons

      Perhaps you have enrolled in the school but have yet to start your first course. Beginning your studies is easy to do. Once you login to your account simply choose the course you would like to study from the "Course Schedule" option located on the blue menu bar of the school website (http://890353b685.nxcli.net/course-schedule/). The "Course Schedule" reflects the designated order that Formal Students must follow. Informal and Auditing Students are recommended, but not required, to follow this schedule.

      Once you have selected the course you would like to study you need to register for the course by clicking the "Register" button located on the course page. When this is done, you will have full online access to the course. You can begin watching the videos immediately by clicking the "Lesson 1" link. From each lesson page you will be able to view a 30-40 minute video lesson presentation.

      If you are a Formal or Informal Student you will not only see tabs on the course page for Description and Syllabus, but also for Exams, Course Notes (for some courses) and Course Books (for textbooks published by WVBS). Click on the appropriate tab and the document will be displayed. These materials are provided to Formal and Informal Students completely free online. If you desire printed pages, there is a "Print" button located to the upper-right of the displayed document where you can print personal copies.

      You may register and begin viewing the courses at any time. There is no official start time for any of the courses. They are always available - 24/7. Why not start your lessons today?

      September 2021 Student Newsletter

      Have You Stopped Paddling?
      Russell Haffner

      Jesus has not promised Christians a trouble-free life (Matthew 10:16-28). Christ warned His disciples, "If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub (ruler of the demons), how much more will they call those of his household!" (Matthew 10:25).

      Living the Christian life requires enduring persecutions and hardships. Christianity is not easy. It takes true commitment and complete devotion. In 1 Corinthians 15:58 the apostle Paul called Christianity "work" and "labor" because it is hard and it requires effort. If we are to be successful we must give ourselves fully to the ongoing work of the Lord.

      The life of a Christian is like paddling a canoe upstream. Some areas of the river are wide and slow, but some areas of the river are narrow and fast. We should not think the trip is going to be easy when we reach those wide, slow places in the river. There is often a temptation to relax and forget that we still need to paddle. If we don't paddle the current will soon slow us down and gradually send us backward.

      The lesson is this - there is no time in our lives when we should take time off from serving God. If we don't keep paddling we will soon drift away. James 1:22 tells Christians to "be doers of the word, and not hearers only." James 4:17 says "to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." Luke 10:27 says "we must love the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength and mind." Matthew 6:33 tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness."

      Too many Christians think they can simply "float on the river" to heaven without any effort. James 2:24 says, "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." Those who teach "faith only" salvation have missed the point. We must pick up our paddles and keep paddling our way up the river that leads to our heavenly home.


      Statement of Faith

      The WVBS Online Bible School has no statement of faith, creed book or religious manual. The only statement of a Christian's faith which is needed is the Bible. If a statement of faith says less than the Bible it has left something out. If a statement of faith says more than the Bible it has added to God's word (Revelation 22:18-19). Let us abandon the opinions of men and seek to practice and teach only that which is found in God's word. The staff of the school is composed of Christians seeking to teach others about the Bible. The material produced is designed to be used by anybody seeking a greater understanding of God's word.

      The goal of the school is to serve God and His people by doing His will to the best of our ability. We have a genuine desire to glorify the Father, His beloved Son, His word and His blood-bought church and not to glorify ourselves or any other men.

      August 2021 Student Newsletter

      Is the Bible Sufficient?
      Russell Haffner

      There are some in the religious world today who teach (or imply by their teaching) that the Bible is not sufficient. They think the Bible does not give us all the information we need. They imply by their actions that God's word is inadequate. However, Paul wrote to Timothy, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Notice, the verse says the Scriptures will make the man of God complete. We do not need more! Peter wrote that God's "divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:2-3). It is clear from the Scriptures that God's word is sufficient. It is all we need for our spiritual lives. In the New Testament we find how to be saved, how to remain saved, how to live a life of service to God and how to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

      There are some in the religious world who really don't believe the Bible is sufficient. They say things like, "My church teaches...", or "Our church (council, convention) has decided to start allowing...", or "We follow the Bible and our creed book." Jesus addressed this type of attitude when He said, "Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men'" (Matthew 15:6-9).

      Since the Bible is sufficient (providing all the information we need) we know that creeds and the doctrines of men are condemned. There is no authority for them found in the Bible. In Galatians 1:6-9 Paul explained, "If we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." In 2 John verse 9 we find, "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son."

      The only creed (or doctrinal statement) of a Christian’s faith needed is the Bible. If the creed says less than the Bible it has left something out. If the creed says more than the Bible it has added to God’s word (Revelation 22:18-19). If the creed says the same thing as the Bible it is not needed because we have the Bible.

      Yes, the Bible is sufficient! Let us study, learn and obey God's word, and not be distracted by what some men or churches teach. Men can be wrong and churches can be wrong, but God's word is always right. It is the standard for all that we do and teach.


      "Accreditation"

      While the WVBS Online Bible School is not accredited by any government agency, we are authorized under Texas State Law to grant degrees within the fields of theology, religion, ministry, biblical studies, etc. Thus, our courses and curriculum supply the required education needed for a degree in Biblical Studies.

      The level of work required by the WVBS Online Bible School is equal to and even superior to many accredited religious universities and colleges. Any graduate of the school will be fully qualified to teach the Bible.

      We have not sought secular accreditation or approval to do what God commands us to do in teaching and training souls to obey and serve Christ. We have no quarrel with schools that choose to be accredited by the government and outside agencies. However, our aim is to be a work for, and on behalf of God; thus, we are only in need of His approval. Therefore, we seek to be accredited by His word, which should please any who are involved in biblical education.