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"

    May 2023 Student Newsletter

    Are You Enjoying the School?
    Russell Haffner

    Thank you for trying the WVBS Online Bible School, and thank you for examining the resources we offer. I am convinced that you will be blessed by the lessons we provide. Our desire is your spiritual growth. If we may be of service to you as you seek to learn God's word please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Our goal is to stay true to what the Bible teaches and we dedicate ourselves to teaching only those things that can be proven to be accurate from the Scriptures. I encourage you to always carefully consider God's word and see what it teaches for yourself. Please do not put your trust in our words or the words of any man. Men can be wrong, but the Bible is always right.

    The WVBS Online Bible School is very happy to present these courses. We do this because we are convinced that there is much error being taught in the religious world and we want to preach the truth of God's word without the additions of human doctrines. It is not that we feel we have a corner on truth -- we hold that the Bible is the only corner on truth -- we are just interested in seeing that others have the opportunity to hear the truth minus the theories of men.


    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.

    April 2023 Student Newsletter

    Have You Told Others About the School?
    Russell Haffner

    I hope you are enjoying the school. As you know, there is no tuition for the WVBS Online Bible School. It is free to all who want to take advantage of the teaching we offer. This is a great opportunity for those who want a better understanding of the Scriptures. Have you told your friends, family members and co-workers about this amazing opportunity?

    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.

    All the instructors in the school have had years of study and have prepared themselves to teach these subjects. Each master teacher is presently, or has been, an instructor in a Bible training school. They are among the finest teachers available today. The level of education is equal to, and even far superior to what many Bible colleges or universities provide. Any graduate of the School will be fully instructed in the Scriptures.


    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.

    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.

      December 2022 Student Newsletter

      Do You Know How to Get Started?
      Russell Haffner

      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. 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?


      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 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.

      July 2021 Student Newsletter

      Are You Going Too Fast?
      Russell Haffner

      I recently read of an event that happened several years ago. It seems a jet fighter plane actually shot itself down. It was flying over the desert and was testing a new cannon mounted on its wing. The jet was flying at supersonic speeds, but the cannon shells were subsonic. What happened was a tragedy. The fighter ran into the shells it had fired only seconds before. The jet was traveling too fast.

      If we are not careful a similar tragedy can occur in our lives. We can become so busy with the things of this fast-paced life that we destroy ourselves spiritually. There are some who have so many activities in their day that they are too busy for God and His word. There are always things that need to be done, but we must put spiritual things first. Be sure to set aside time each day for prayer and Bible study.

      Jesus said, "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:31-33).

      I commend you on your decision to slow down and spend your time studying God's word.

      Also, since you are focused upon the study of the Scriptures it is important that you do not rush through your studies. Your mind needs time to consider and contemplate the new things you are learning. God's word is deep. It requires time and reflection to truly understand. As a student in the Bible school it is important that you learn the material, not just complete the courses. Be sure to slow down and spend the needed time to comprehend the deep things taught in God's word.


      "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 2021 Student Newsletter

      Overcoming Worldliness
      Russell Haffner

      I'm so pleased you have chosen to enroll in the school. You obviously understand the importance of living righteously in a world consumed by sin. You may have even grown discouraged to see the proliferation of immorality in our day and are looking for encouragement. You know that by following God's word you will be able to overcome worldliness. Studying God's word will help you to have a life that is successful. You get it - the Bible is the answer to this world's problems.

      Let us take a moment to talk about worldliness. We need to know what it is so we can avoid it in our lives. What is Worldliness?

      1 John 2:15-17 tells us, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever."

      Worldliness is love for the world and the evil things of the world. It is living like the world which is a life devoted to temporal things instead of spiritual things. It is a life of following sinful desires. Worldliness separates us from God (James 1:15; Isaiah 59:1-2) and it will result in our eternal damnation (Romans 6:23).

      In contrast to worldliness, the Bible describes a righteous life:

      • Holy (1 Peter 1:15)
      • Pure (1 John 3:3)
      • Separated from sin (1 John 3:1)
      • Separated from the world (2 Corinthians 6:14)
      • God fearing (1 Peter 2:17)
      • Respectful of God’s word (Psalm 119:11)
      • Obedient to God's law (1 John 3:4)

      When you enrolled in the school you chose to reject worldliness and seek righteousness by gaining a greater knowledge of the Scriptures. You are not like others in the world who follow after their sinful desires. I commend you on your decision to become a strong, righteous servant of the Lord.


      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, where 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.

      May 2021 Student Newsletter

      Are You Learning God's Word?
      Russell Haffner

      Thank you for your participation in the school. I hope you are enjoying the courses. I pray that God will bless you as you study His word. Your dedication to learning the Bible is truly appreciated. The book of Proverbs has many lessons for us about the importance of learning:

      Proverbs 1:5, "A wise man will hear and increase learning."

      Proverbs 9:9, "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning."

      Proverbs 16:21, "The wise in heart will be called prudent, and sweetness of the lips increases learning."

      Proverbs 16:23, "The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips."

      As a student, you know better than anyone the value of these courses. I hope you are excited about the school and eager to tell others about the free resources being provided. The online school is truly an exciting way to study God's word.

      Your life is filled with opportunities to point others toward the Scriptures. I am sure that you have family and friends who would greatly benefit from the free Bible lessons being offered in the school. You can tell them about your experiences in the school and you can encourage them to join you as a fellow student learning God's word.

      There are so many in the world seeking a better understanding of the Bible. Who knows, maybe you can be the one who brings the study of God's word into the life of someone close to you. Your influence is indispensable in reaching those who may be seeking a better understanding of God's truth. Thank you for your efforts in this great cause for the Lord.


      A 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 2021 Student Newsletter

      You Can Know the Truth!
      Russell Haffner

      In the Bible it is made abundantly clear that we can know the Truth and be confident that we know the Truth. God is the God of Truth (Isaiah 65:16) and the Scriptures come from God (2 Timothy 3:16). Therefore, the Truth comes from God.

      The fundamental nature of God is pure Truth. He cannot lie (1 Samuel 15:29; Hebrews 6:18). He is the source of Truth and He has revealed unto us the Truth through the inspired word (James 1:17-18). Also, the laws of God are described as Truth (Psalm 119:142, 151, 160).

      The ultimate revelation of God’s Truth was seen in His only begotten Son (John 1:17-18; 14:6). The message Jesus brought to this world was Truth (John 17:17). We should also never forget that on the day of judgment we will be judged based on the Truth (John 12:48). It is the Truth that saves us from our sins (John 8:31-32). Let us be perfectly clear, man is neither the inventor nor source of Truth.

      The Bible teaches:

      • We can know the Truth (John 8:32).
      • When we study the Scriptures, we can understand the Truth (Ephesians 3:4).
      • We can know what God requires of us (Ephesians 5:17).
      • We can become wise to salvation when we study God's word, (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
      • We can understand the difference between Truth and lies (1 John 4:6).
      • We can know who is teaching Truth and who is teaching lies (Romans 16:17-18).

      2 John 1:9-11 – "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. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds."

      John 8:31-32 – "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'"


      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 2021 Student Newsletter

      Are You Ready to Evangelize?
      Russell Haffner

      There are so many places in the world where the truth of the New Testament is not being taught. False teachers are twisting and corrupting the Scriptures. They are blind leaders of the blind and as Jesus warned, "if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a ditch" (Matthew 15:14). Teaching the truth of the Scriptures is desperately needed!

      Please consider that you may be the one God will use to evangelize your family, community or even your whole country. The opportunity you have to study God's word in the WVBS Online Bible School is of the highest value to you and your future service to the Lord. However, before you can teach others you need to first learn the truth yourself. Many religious people in our world today are teaching error, following false religions and thus will be lost. We are not surprised by this because Jesus said this would happen.

      In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

      Later in this same chapter He said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:21-23).

      The world is full of false teachers and false doctrines. Therefore, you have probably been taught error at some point in your life and may even be teaching false doctrine now without even realizing it. That is why it is of vital importance that you learn, accept and obey the truth when you see it in the Scriptures. James 3:1 warns, "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment." There are those religious groups who teach things which are not true to the Scriptures. You must not put your trust in the words of men. Men can be wrong, but God's word is always right. You must stay true to what the Bible teaches and dedicate yourself to believing and teaching only those things which can be proven to be true from the Scriptures. I encourage you to study God's word carefully and thoroughly before trying to teach others. Don't be a blind leader of the blind. The Bible desperately needs to be taught, but it must be taught correctly.


      Fourteenth 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.

      "Passage 14 | Bethlehem: Of Kings and Tyrants" - The town of Jesus’ birth and the burial site of King Herod are situated only 3 miles apart. The Herodium, with the remains of its grand palace and stately mausoleum, stands as a bleak reminder of an egocentric megalomaniac king who committed genocide. Bethlehem's beautifully adorned "Church of the Nativity" is dedicated to the birth of Christ, and it stands as a testament to the peaceful and loving ministry of a man who died that others might live. But does this venerated church building with its traditional birth grotto beneath its altar mark the actual place where Jesus was born? And what does the Herodium tell us about the king who tried in vain to kill the baby Jesus? Join us on this faith building journey across the historic and beautiful Judean Hills of Israel. See each of these sites through the lens of our camera crew, and walk virtually through the 3D digital models of these historic places.

      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.

      February 2021 Student Newsletter

      Online Learning During the Coronavirus
      Russell Haffner

      Due to the Coronavirus, your daily schedule has probably changed. Your work schedule may include remote access or telecommuting. Your social activities are probably restricted to encourage safe "social distancing" practices. We hope you are doing well during these difficult times. The question is: How can you use this time to elevate your study of God's word? We hope you will use any extra time you may have to dig deeper into the study of God's word.

      Many schools, colleges and universities have implemented programs for online education. Some are just beginning to understand how valuable the internet is as a resource for education. Here at the WVBS Online Bible School we have always valued the benefit of online instruction. You can count on us to continue to do our best serving you and keeping the resources of the school available to you for your study of God's word. We encourage you to continue growing in your knowledge and understanding of God's word.

      Right now, we all need to trust in God and lean on His word for support and comfort. Please keep in mind that by relying on God we can overcome anything we face in this life. It is important to remember that in all we do, God needs to be the priority (Matthew 6:33-34). We will get through this. We pray that no one allows these uncertain times to cause a weakening of their faith. Please view our free video concerning the Covid-19 virus. Let us all remember to pray for our world, the sick and those working to alleviate this difficult situation.


      “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 2021 Student Newsletter

      A New Year for Learning
      Russell Haffner

      It is an exciting new year as more and more seekers of truth find the school's website. There are currently over 25,000 students enrolled making WVBS one of the largest Bible schools in the world with students from over 180 different countries. Thank you for being a part of the school.

      I commend you on your willingness, courage and humility to study the Bible. These characteristics are vital for true success. You must be willing to seek the truth, have the courage to face the implications of the truth, and then have the humility to accept and obey the truth.

      Some people never have the courage to learn from the Bible. They lack the necessary humility to face the possibility that they could be wrong in their understanding of the Scriptures. We must be willing to apply the things we learn from God's word to our own lives in order to make the needed corrections.

      Someone once said, “Change is the end result of all true learning.” To be true learners we must be willing to change our lives to conform to the Bible. Another warned, "It is what we know already that often prevents us from learning." If we are not careful we will allow our preconceived ideas to prevent us from learning the truth. As one writer said, “The most useful piece of learning is to unlearn what is untrue.” We must be open to what God's word teaches and willing to admit when we are wrong in our current understanding of the Scriptures.

      Those who think they know everything, never learn anything. Let us make this new year a year of learning. As we study God's word let us do so with courage, humility and a sincere willingness to learn.


      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 consulting the Course Syllabus.

      December 2020 Student Newsletter

      The Benefits of an Online Education During the Pandemic
      Russell Haffner

      There are many advantages to studying online at the WVBS Online Bible School. This is especially true during the pandemic. The Covid-19 virus has caused many devastating problems, but also it has created some opportunities. One opportunity is the extra time available for people to be home using the internet. Online instruction is the safest way to gain access to faithful, Bible instruction during a virus outbreak.

      Studying online provides many benefits:

      1. Online study provides flexibility. You can more easily fit your study of the Bible into your daily schedule. The video lessons in the school are always available 24/7. You can study on your own schedule and at your own pace.
      2. By studying online, you can study where you want. You are able to choose your own learning environment.
      3. Taking online courses offers more convenience, efficiency and virus safety. This means you are not required to travel to go to a school building.. Also, less time is wasted getting to and from class and more time is spent productively in study.
      4. Studying online at the WVBS Online Bible School also means you will save money. There is no tuition for the school. The only expense is a Bible (if not already owned) and the one textbook required for the Greek Course (which we do not have the publishing rights).
      5. Taking the courses online also has the advantage of learning self-discipline. This should not be seen as a negative. Since online study demands self-motivation, time-management skills and dedication, the school will train you to become more self-motivated and efficient. These are important traits to develop which will benefit all areas of your life.

      The global pandemic has caused considerable changes in our lives. I have only listed a few of the advantages to learning online but I know there are many more. I commend you for your decision to make the most of this opportunity as you devote yourself to the study of God's word. We have seen an amazing increase in the amount of work being done in the school this year and we anticipate even greater growth in 2021 as the world continues to deal with this ongoing pandemic.


      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. 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 and helps us know how many lessons are being finished and how well students are progressing. 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. 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 2020 Student Newsletter

      Telling Others About the School
      Russell Haffner

      Thank you so much for your participation in the school. Your diligent work is truly appreciated. I hope you are enjoying the courses and pray that God continues to bless you as you study His word. As a student, you know better than anyone the value of these courses.

      I hope you are excited about the school and eager to tell others about the free resources which are provided. The school is truly a new and exciting way to study God's word. Our lives are filled with opportunities to point others toward the Scriptures. It seems this time of year brings to us chances to reconnect with family and friends. This provides a convenient time to tell them about the free resources available in the online school. When you tell them about your remarkable experience in the school you can encourage them to join you as a student of the school.

      There are so many in the world seeking a better understanding of the Bible. Who knows, maybe you can be the one who brings the study of God's word into the life of someone close to you. Your influence is indispensable in reaching those who may be seeking a better understanding of God's truth. Thank you for your efforts in this great cause for the Lord.


      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 2020 Student Newsletter

      I Want to Teach the Bible to Others!
      Russell Haffner

      Many of the students in the school have a desire to learn God's word so they can teach others the beautiful message of the gospel. You may be one of those who enrolled in the school because you realized that teachers have a weighty responsibility concerning what they teach. Those who love the truth understand the importance of learning and teaching what the Scriptures actually teach.

      The things you teach will have a formidable impact on the souls and salvation of those who hear you. This is why James warned, "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment" (James 3:1). There is a danger when those who really don't know the Bible try to teach it to others.

      We must be keenly aware of the eternal consequences our teaching will have on others. That is why God's word demands, "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God" (1 Peter 4:11). This means we must have authority from God's word in everything that we do and teach. The apostle Paul states in Colossians 3:17, "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Good for you for wanting to teach the Bible to others and good for you for taking the important first step of learning what God's word truly teaches before trying to teach others.


      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. 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 2020 Student Newsletter

      Is It Possible to Understand the Bible?
      Russell Haffner

      Have you ever wondered if it is truly possible to understand the Bible? The answer is, Yes! Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). God has given you an intelligent mind which is able to understand the Scriptures. He even expects all men to understand His word the same way (1 Corinthians 1:10). The apostle Paul assured the Christians in Ephesus that they could "understand" his knowledge in the gospel by reading the inspired words he had written (Ephesians 3:3-4).

      The preacher Allen Webster once wrote,

      God wants us to desire (Matthew 5:6; 1 Peter 2:2), dig into (John 5:39), divide (2 Timothy 2:15), discern and learn His Word (John 6:44-45). By so doing, freedom is gained (John 8:32), faith is attained (Romans 10:17), access to the Father is sustained (John 6:44-45), man is perfected (2 Timothy 3:17) and the world neglected (2 Peter 1:3; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-­17).

      We should study the Bible because it gives:

      • Light in a darkening world (Psalm 119:130)
      • Understanding in a wondering world (Psalm 119:130)
      • Knowledge in a confusing world (Proverbs 2:6)
      • Approval in a rejecting world (2 Timothy 2:15)
      • Stability in a floundering world (James 1:3-6)

      God is all-powerful, and therefore He is able to inspire a book we can understand. He wants us to know His word because He is loving and gracious. The Bible makes it clear that we can know and understand the Scriptures (John 7:17; 2 Corinthians 1:13-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1).

      Therefore, we can study God's inspired word to learn what He would have us to know and do. But we must be willing to read and study the Scriptures diligently with an open and honest heart. There are some who never read the Bible for themselves. They just accept what others tell them the Bible teaches. Others read the Bible with preconceived ideas, so they are not reading with an open mind. Since they already have their minds made up they often take passages out of their context to support what they already believe. We must always read our Bibles with an open and honest heart seeking to learn for ourselves what God's word is teaching. When we do this it is possible to understand the Bible. To God be the glory!


      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 2020 Student Newsletter

      The Treasure God Provided for You
      Russell Haffner

      I commend you on your decision to enroll in the WVBS Online Bible School. You have made a wonderful, life-changing choice understanding that God’s Word is the most important information in this life. It is a great treasure! It is more valuable than anything this world has to offer. Therefore, you are investing your time studying the Bible. You are not allowing distractions to keep you from the Scriptures. You refuse to let your own busyness, complications or even daily responsibilities keep you from a deep study of the Bible. You realize that if you neglect your study of God's word you will miss the benefits of growing in your understanding of God's truth. God has given you an amazing treasure. However, you know that if you do not study His word you will never benefit from this great gift. When you make time to study the Bible your life is enriched and established upon the sure foundation of His Word.

      The treasure of the Word of God offers you so much. Psalms 19:7-10 states,

      "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb."

      This is a beautiful description of the riches that God has for those who study His word. We must develop the same attitude the psalmist expressed in Psalm 119:162 when he wrote, "I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure."


      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 2020 Student Newsletter

      7 Attitudes Needed to Understand God's Word?
      Russell Haffner

      If we do not have the proper attitude we will never understand God's word. God expects us to approach His Scriptures with deep reverence (humility and awe). In Isaiah 66:2 God said, "But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word." Psalms 119:161 says, "my heart stands in awe of Your word."

      However, having a deep reverence for the Bible is not all that is required. Please notice seven attitudes we must have for understanding God's word:

      1. We Must Believe In Divine Inspiration (1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21)
      2. We Must Love The Word Of God (Psalms 119:97; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)
      3. We Must Realize The Bible Is Understandable (Nehemiah 8:8; Ephesians 3:4; 5:17)
      4. We Must Understand The Bible Is Written To Us (Matthew 13:16; John 6:45)
      5. We Must Believe The Bible Is Relevant Today (Mark 16:15; 2 Timothy 2:2)
      6. We Must Interpret The Bible Correctly To Understand Its Teachings (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:2-4)
      7. We Must Have The Proper Mental And Spiritual Qualities (1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Timothy 3:1-7)

      A preacher once said, "One must have a burning desire to know the will of God, diligence to study, zeal to acquire knowledge of necessary related subjects and the willingness to do the will of God in all things." As a student of the school you will need to have the right attitude as you study God's word. If you approach God's word with reverence, having the seven attitudes listed above, you will be greatly blessed in your studies.


      "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 2020 Student Newsletter

      Free Lessons to Gain Bible Knowledge
      Russell Haffner

      We are delighted to be able to offer these free online Bible courses to those who desire a greater knowledge of God's word. Notice what one of the students recently wrote:

      This was a great course and a very challenging course, but in the end I was grateful to have such an understanding of Matthew. The instructor Denny Petrillo is a great teacher. His knowledge of the Bible is almost frightening to a new follower of Christ such as myself. He explains well how we should be living as Christians. I am most grateful to be a part of the WVBS Online Bible School. It’s amazing to me that these courses are free. I truly believe I could not get any better education and understanding of the Bible from a seminary school or Bible college.

      Thank you also for sending more information on Matthew 16:18. That was a difficult section. I truly have a better understanding of what Christ meant by this verse. When I saw that the term paper was going to be over this section I was a bit frightened, I knew it would be a difficult one. I try to only use the knowledge I gain from the classes and the Bible to write my term papers. I’ve come to trust the instructors at the school and there is so much false doctrine on the internet I avoid using it to write my term papers. I write them strictly from my knowledge and life experiences, they may not be the best but they are truly my words and thoughts. May God bless all of you at the school for what you all are doing to help the world with your great knowledge of God's word.

      We are pleased this student is enjoying the school. Our goal is to provide those who seek a greater knowledge of the Bible with a comprehensive, in-depth study of the Scriptures. May God bless you as you seek to learn more concerning Him and His word.


      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.

      May 2020 Student Newsletter

      Learning the Bible to Teach Others
      Russell Haffner

      In 2 Timothy 2:2 Paul wrote, "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." James said, "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment (James 3:1). So which is it? Should we be teachers or should we not be teachers? We know the Bible does not contradict itself, so what does this mean?

      In Matthew 28:18-20 we find, "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen." This passage clearly shows the importance of teaching others the way of salvation and also teaching them to obey the commands of our Lord. If we love the souls of men, the way we should, we will want to spread the truth of God's word. However, here is the catch, we must know the truth in order to teach the truth. This concept helps us to better understand the warning from James when he wrote "let not many of you become teachers." In other words, we should not try to be a teacher if we don't know the truth because we will "receive a stricter judgment." We must first dedicate ourselves to learning God's word and then we can accurately teach it to others.

      There are many false teachers in the religious world today, just like there were in the first century (Matthew 7:15; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 4:1). If we don't know the Scriptures we could easily be teaching something which is contrary to the truth. A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Therefore, we must always seek to accurately interpret and understand God's word. This means we must study the Bible to learn what it truly teaches. It really doesn’t matter what some preacher or religious group may think or say; it only matters what the Bible actually teaches. We must stay true to what the Scriptures teach and dedicate ourselves to believing and teaching only those things which can be proven to be true from God's word.

      It could be that you have enrolled in the school to learn the Bible so you will be able to teach others correctly. If this is your reason let me assure you that you have come to the right place. The level of work required by the WVBS Online Bible School is equal to and even superior to many degree granting Bible colleges and universities. The school faculty have had years of study and experience teaching these courses in a classroom setting. Every instructor who teaches in the school is presently, or has been, an instructor in a Bible training school. These men are among the finest teachers available today. We are honored to have them as a part of the school faculty and bring to you instruction from God’s word. Any graduate of the WVBS Online Bible School will be fully qualified to teach the Bible to others.


      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 2020 Student Newsletter

      7 Ways God's Word Does NOT Authorize
      Russell Haffner

      The religious world has always been plagued with the problems of some who try to make their own opinions into laws and others who try to make God's laws into opinion. If we are going to please God we must make sure that all we do is according to His word. The question is, how do we know what is authorized in God's word? How do we know what is right and what is wrong? How does the Bible authorize? It is also helpful for us to consider how God's word does NOT authorize.

      1. God's word does not authorize upon the basis of our personal likes and dislikes.
      2. God's word does not authorize upon the basis of our opinions or the opinions of others.
      3. God's word does not authorize upon the basis of what is popular.
      4. God's word does not authorize upon the basis of what some well-known preacher teaches or may have taught.
      5. God's word does not authorize upon the basis of human traditions.
      6. God's word does not authorize upon the basis of silence of the scriptures.
      7. God's word does not authorize upon the basis of dictionary definitions.

      These things and many others will be explored further in the Hermeneutics Course. Hermeneutics is the process of interpreting the Scriptures. Good Bible students will apply the principles of hermeneutics in bringing out the meaning of passages which might otherwise be difficult to understand.

      We must always seek to accurately interpret God's word. It really doesn’t matter what I think, what you think or what any man may think; it only matters what the Bible teaches. We must stay true to what the Bible teaches and dedicate ourselves to believing and teaching only those things which can be proven to be true from the scriptures.


      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 2020 Student Newsletter

      How Can You Use this Transitional Time?
      Russell Haffner

      Due to the Coronavirus, your daily schedule has probably changed. Your work schedule may now include remote access or telecommuting. Your social activities are probably restricted to encourage safe "social distancing" practices. We hope you are doing well during these difficult times. The question is: How can you use this transitional time to elevate your study of God's word? We hope you will use any extra time you may now have to dig deeper into the study of God's word.

      Many schools, colleges and universities are starting to implement programs for online education. Some are just beginning to understand how valuable the internet is as a resource for education. Here at the WVBS Online Bible School we have always valued the benefit of online instruction. You can count on us to continue to do our best serving you and keeping the resources of the school available to you for your study of God's word. We encourage you to continue growing in your knowledge and understanding of God's word.

      Right now, we all need to trust in God and lean on His word for support and comfort. Please keep in mind that by relying on God we can overcome anything we face in this life. It is important to remember that in all we do, God needs to be the priority (Matthew 6:33-34). We will get through this. We pray that no one allows these uncertain times to cause a weakening of their faith. Let us all remember to pray for our world, the sick and those working to alleviate this difficult situation.


      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. 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?

      February 2020 Student Newsletter

      The Word of God
      Russell Haffner

      It would be impossible to over emphasize the value of the Bible. It is God's Word to His creation! It is also the book which gives us the information we need so we can go to heaven. There are 66 books in the Bible (the Old Testament has 39 books and the New Testament has 27 books). The Bible in all has 31,173 verses. The Bible is the best-selling book in history, with total world sales exceeding 5 billion copies since first being available for purchase.

      Martha M. Newton wrote the following words concerning God's Holy Book:

      What light is this whose constant ray
      Reveals to trav’lers lost the way
      To mansions of eternal day?
      God’s holy book, the Bible.

      What faithful chart on life’s rough sea,
      What compass true where’er we be,
      What anchor for eternity?
      God’s holy book, the Bible.

      We should never forget the importance of God's Word. Please see the following free online video entitled, The Greatest Book.


      "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 2020 Student Newsletter

      Is the Bible Too Hard to Understand?
      Russell Haffner

      I think all would agree that there is widespread religious division and confusion in our world today. Some are saying this current situation is a result of the Bible being too hard to understand. However, it is wrong to blame God or His word (the Bible). Saying the Bible is too hard to understand is a blasphemous attack on either God's goodness or His ability to communicate to mankind. The Bible can be understood!

      The Scriptures were written for our learning and understanding (Romans 15:4). In Ephesians 5:17 the apostle Paul says, "Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." He told the Christians at Corinth, "For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end" (2 Corinthians 1:12-13).

      • Peter also wrote inspired words which were fully able to bring remembrance of the truth to the people (2 Peter 1:12-15).
      • John's purpose for writing was to explain what he had witnessed so it could be understood (1 John 1:1-4). His inspired words said that those who read, listened and understood the message given by Christ would be blessed (Revelation 1:3).
      • The young evangelist Timothy was able to understood God's Scriptures even from childhood (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
      • The noble Bereans were praised for searching the Scriptures to gain understanding (Acts 17:11).

      Therefore, it is clear that we are able to understand God's word. We can come to the Father, learn and understand the Holy Scriptures (John 6:44-45). God never commands us to do something we cannot do. It is God's truth that will make us free (John 8:31-32) and He has provided that truth for us today in the pages of the Holy Bible. God intends for us to both understand and obey His word.

      It is true that some parts of the Bible are more difficult to understand than others (2 Peter 3:15-16), but we can easily understand what we need to do to be saved and to live a faithful life. It may take more study to understand some passages, but this does not mean it is impossible to understand what God would have us to do to serve Him faithfully. We live in a time of religious error and misunderstanding of the Scriptures, but let us not blame God and His word. If we are determined and willing to study we can find and know the truth revealed in God's word (2 Timothy 2:15) and we will surely be rewarded for our efforts (Matthew 7:7-8). May God bless you as you seek to understand His words and do His will.


      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 consulting the Course Syllabus.

      December 2019 Student Newsletter

      Benefits to Online Education
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      Last month we wrote about the many benefits to studying online at the WVBS Online Bible School. Studying online is a great alternative. A student from Nigeria sent to us the following message:

      "This is great, thank you so much! To God be the glory, indeed being given the opportunity to study more of God's word with the WVBS Online Bible School has captured my mind as one of the happiest and best things that has ever happened in my entire life, I really appreciate -

      1. The Almighty - for this grace.
      2. The brethren - who voluntarily contributes to the success of this institution.
      3. The teachers - who are so knowledgeable in the scriptures and theology.
      4. Your materials - the syllabus, study notes and screen display messages are so helpful.
      5. Your responses to issues are excellent and I haven't experienced a delay in receiving emails and my exams are marked and returned on time.
      6. Your corrections and being able to retake exams when failing the online exam helps the students in studying more.
      7. In fact this free instruction has enabled me to acquire more knowledge and has improved my teaching ability in my congregation.

      May God bless you and help me till the completion of my study. My zeal and aspiration is to serve as a preacher in the Lord's church anywhere in the world and to be a good teacher of the Gospel, living and mentoring others to be real Christians in word and in deed (attitude - Philippians 2:5-10). Thank you sir, may God bless and keep you."

      As you can see from this student there are many benefits to studying online at the WVBS Online Bible School. Please let me know what you like, or don't like, about the school.


      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. 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 and helps us know how many lessons are being finished and how well students are progressing. 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 section of the 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 2019 Student Newsletter

      Advantages to Online Education
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      There are many advantages to studying online at the WVBS Online Bible School. First, studying online provides flexibility. You can fit your study of the Bible more easily into your daily schedule of work and activities. This is especially easy to do since the classes do not require the students to login at a specific time for a live class session. The class videos are always available 24/7. You can study at your own pace.

      By studying online, you are also able to choose your own learning environment. You can study where you want: be it at your kitchen table, your living room, the city library or the internet café downtown. You can choose what works best for your life.

      Taking online courses also means you are not required to travel to go to the school building. This means more convenience and efficiency. Less time is wasted in the car or on a bus getting to and from class and more time is spent productively in study. You no longer have to worry about travelling in bad weather and perhaps missing an important class.

      Studying online at the WVBS Online Bible School also means that you will not have to pay expensive fees. There is no tuition for the school. The only expense to the students would be a Bible (if not already owned) and the two books (which we do not have the publishing rights) required for certain courses (Greek, The Bible: From God to Us).

      Taking the courses online also has the advantage of demanding self-discipline and responsibility. This should not be thought of as a disadvantage. It is actually a benefit to you that online study requires self-motivation, time-management skills and dedication. There will be no one forcing you to study. Therefore, your online courses will train you to become more self-motivated. This is an important trait to gain which will show benefits in all areas of your life. By the time you finish the courses, you will have not only gained self-discipline, but more importantly you will have gained a better understanding of God's word and learned new skills to help you in your spiritual life. The instructors make a special effort to present God's word so that it can be applied in a practical way to the daily life of the students.

      I have only listed a few of the advantages to learning online but I know there are many more. Can you think of other reasons why you prefer to take online courses? Please contact me to share your ideas concerning the benefits and value of online study at the WVBS Online Bible School.


      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 The Bible: From God to Us). The school is designed for anyone who wants a focused, organized and thorough study of the Bible.

      October 2019 Student Newsletter

      The Need to Study the Bible
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      In 2 Timothy 2:15 we read, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

      The Greek word which is translated as "study" (KJV), "be diligent" (NKJV, NASB) and "do your best" (ESV) is SPOUDAZO which is defined as "to use speed, that is, to make effort, be prompt or earnest: - do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavor, labor, study." In common language we would say, "to hurry up" or "do it quickly." In fact, the English word "speed" comes from the Greek word SPOUDAZO. The idea is that this is something that is so important it should be done with great urgency. Gaining God's approval is not something we should neglect. It needs to be done right now.

      How can we gain the approval of God? We must learn, obey and live God's word. When we study the Bible we can learn about salvation (2 Timothy 3:15) and better understand the vital importance of God's word in our daily lives (Matthew 4:4). It is only in Jesus Christ that we can gain our salvation (John 6:66-68).

      In the Bible we learn that God's will is for man to be saved. Our Savior, Jesus Christ became the author of salvation to everyone who believes and obeys Him (Hebrews 5:8-9). We study the Bible to learn God's will (Ephesians 3:3-4). We must be diligent, using all speed, to study God's word, learn and obey His plan of salvation and equip ourselves unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:15-17). We need to do it quickly. We need to do it now.


      Twelfth 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.

      Passage 12 | The Tomb of Jesus - This video explores the most likely sites for Jesus’ burial, the Garden Tomb and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and provides an assessment for each as His possible burial places. Utilizing the details from the gospel narratives and the results of study into funerary practices in ancient Israel, this documentary highlights the rich imagery and history that has been associated with Jesus’ resting place. It concludes by reminding the viewer that even if the exact location were known, all one would find, then and now, is an empty tomb.

      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.

      September 2019 Student Newsletter

      "Opinions"
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      An important point which is often missed when it comes to Bible study is it really doesn’t matter what I think, what you think or what any man may think; it only matters what the Bible teaches. We must stay true to the Bible and dedicate ourselves to believing and teaching only those things which can be proven to be true from the Scriptures.

      The dictionary defines an opinion as: "A belief not based on absolute certainty or positive knowledge but on what seems true, valid, or probable to one's own mind.” In religion an opinion is a belief or position held that is not supported by book, chapter and verse of the Bible. There are some who force their opinions on others because of an improper knowledge of the Scriptures. James 3:1 cautions, "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment." There are others who may admit to the truth of what the Bible teaches, but simply do not feel obligated to follow what it says. They think they are allowed to teach their own opinion even if it contradicts clear scripture. 1 Peter 4:11 warns, "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God."

      I encourage you to always carefully consider the Scriptures and see what they teach for yourself. Do not put your trust in my words, the instructor's words or the words of any man. Men can be wrong, but God's word is always right. Much error is being taught in the religious world today because of the opinions of men. However, we must teach the truth of God's word without the addition of human opinions.


      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 2019 Student Newsletter

      "Summer of Learning Challenge"
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      I hope all things are going well as you continue your studies with the school. We have now concluded our "Summer of Learning" challenge and the results are in. You may remember how this idea for a summer challenge began. I told you that when my three children were growing up, their mother and I would enroll them in a summer reading program at the local library to encourage them to continue learning even in the summer months when they were out of school. Summer was often a time when they would play and not spend as much time reading. The summer reading program proved to be an excellent way to keep them focused on learning.

      Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to promote a similar program in the WVBS Online Bible School. I encouraged you to make this a "Summer of Learning" God's word. I thought it would be interesting to see just how many video Bible lessons all of you could complete this summer (June - July - August).

      In the summer of 2018 students averaged 4,150 lessons per month and I was hoping this year you could do even more. I am pleased to report that in June 2019 the students completed 4,322 lessons, in July the students completed 7,025 lessons and in August the students completed 5,009 lessons. These numbers are amazing! The "Summer of Learning" challenge has been a wonderful success and I encourage you to continue pressing on with your efforts in the months to come. It is always a worthy goal to gain a better understanding of God's 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.

      July 2019 Student Newsletter

      "Summer of Learning"
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      I hope you are doing well with your studies. We only have one month left in our "Summer of Learning" challenge. When the summer started I told you that when my three children were growing up, their mother and I would enroll them in a summer reading program at the local library to encourage them to continue learning even in the summer months when they were out of school. Summer was often a time when they would play and not spend as much time reading. The summer reading program proved to be an excellent way to keep them focused on learning.

      Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to promote a similar program in the WVBS Online Bible School. I encouraged students to make this a "Summer of Learning" God's word. I thought it would be interesting to see just how many video Bible lessons the students could complete this summer (June - July - August).

      In the summer of 2018 students averaged 4,150 lessons per month. I am pleased to report that in June 2019 the students completed 4,322 lessons and in July 2019 the students completed 7,025 lessons. This is an amazing number for July, but I think even more lessons can be completed in August. So far this "Summer of Learning" challenge has been a wonderful success and I encourage you to dedicate yourself to your studies pressing on with your efforts this next month. It is always a worthy goal to gain a better understanding of God's word.


      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.

      June 2019 Student Newsletter

      "Summer of Learning"
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      I hope you are doing well with your studies. In last month's newsletter I told you that when my three children were growing up, their mother and I would enroll them in a summer reading program at the local library to encourage them to continue learning even in the summer months when they were out of school. Summer was often a time when they would be playing and not spend as much time reading. The summer reading program proved to be an excellent way to keep them focused on learning.

      Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to promote a similar program in the WVBS Online Bible School. I am encouraging students to make this a "Summer of Learning" God's word. I think it will be interesting to see just how many video Bible lessons students can complete this summer (June - July - August). In the summer of 2018 students averaged 4,150 lessons per month. I am pleased to report that this month students have completed 4,322 lessons. This is a wonderful number for June, but I think even more lessons can be completed next month. So far this "Summer of Learning" challenge has been a great success and I encourage you to dedicate yourself to your studies pressing on with your efforts through the summer months. It is always a worthy goal to gain a better understanding of God's word.


      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.

      May 2019 Student Newsletter

      "Summer of Learning"
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      I remember when my three children were young, their mother and I would enroll them in a summer reading program at the local library to encourage them to continue learning even in the summer months when they were out of school. Summer was often a time when they would be playing outdoors and not spend as much time reading. The summer reading program proved to be an excellent way to keep them focused on learning.

      I think it would be a good idea to promote a similar program in the WVBS Online Bible School. Even though the school is always open and the Bible lessons are always available I want to encourage you to make this a "Summer of Learning" God's word. It would be interesting to see just how many video Bible lessons all of you could complete this summer (June - July - August). Perhaps you could complete more lessons this summer than ever before. On average students complete approximately 5,000 lessons in a one month period and even though that is an amazing number, I think you could do even more this summer. This "Summer of Learning" challenge can be a great success and I encourage you to dedicate yourself to your studies pressing on with your efforts through the summer months. It is always a worthy goal to gain a better understanding of God's 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 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 2019 Student Newsletter

      When We Put Forth the Effort, We Really Gain a lot from God's Word
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      If you are currently an Auditing student in the school I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to upgrade your enrollment to either Informal or Formal status. I encourage you to consider the advantages of advancing your enrollment to the next level. If you upgrade your enrollment you will not only have access to the videos and syllabus, but you will also have free online viewing access to the teacher’s course notes, some course books and exams. A student recently had this to say:

      "I tried a different online Bible school previously but the WVBS Online Bible School is a lot better. First, your program feels more like a school. While the other program had online videos for each class, they did not have extensive study notes, term papers, exams and memory verses. Your program feels far more intense and so when we put forth the effort, we really gain a lot from God's Word. Secondly, I like how lessons are about 40 minutes in length while the other program was about 90 minutes in length. I personally start to lose attention around the 30 minute mark and so it is a real struggle when classes go over an hour. One thing I do like about both programs is the detail of coverage of the text, the application to modern times, the connection to the NT and the life of Christ, and how the instructor challenges us to live out our Christian life with integrity before the Lord."

      If you want to remain an auditing student having no interest in upgrading your enrollment I completely understand. However, if you decide to advance your status you simply need to login to your account and then click on ENROLLMENT which is on the blue menu bar at the school website. When you have reached the enrollment page you can select either the Formal or Informal Student Registration button. This will provide you with a form to fill out to change your status. I commend you on your hard work and devotion. May God bless you as you continue your studies.


      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 2019 Student Newsletter

      A Deeper Knowledge of the Bible
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      If you are new to the school allow me to welcome you to this exciting study of God's word. As our seasoned students can attest the curriculum is designed to give you a deep understanding of the Bible and its relevance for your life today. As you continue in your studies you will not only grow in your faith, but you will also develop the necessary skills to properly understand God's word.

      The "online" program offers possibilities which are not available in more traditional schools. The lessons are always available to you (24/7) and you can proceed through the material at your own pace with no deadlines or due dates to complete your studies. You also are allowed to return to watch the video lessons as many times as you want.

      While working toward a better understanding of the scriptures you will have an opportunity to take a variety of courses. Not only do the courses cover every book of the Bible, but you are also provided with courses covering topics like Christian Evidences, Greek, Hermeneutics and How We Got The Bible. The experienced faculty members present to you deep instruction in an exciting way while providing you with a structured study of the Bible. Their knowledge, dedication and ability to communicate makes them uniquely qualified to help you in your quest to understand how God's word translates to your life so you can better serve Him.

      A distinctive focus of the program is the training you receive to become a better servant and follower of Jesus Christ. The school prepares you for the life God desires for you. By following the teachings of God's word you will thrive in your faith and service to God.

      The WVBS Online Bible School is a great place to be! Whatever your spiritual goals, the courses offer extraordinary access to a deeper knowledge of the Bible. We invite you to devote yourself to a deep and abiding study of the scriptures.


      Eleventh 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.

      Passage 11 | The Power of Jesus in Galilee - The Power of Jesus in Galilee is a vivid and powerful documentary highlighting the miracles of Jesus in and around the ancient city of Capernaum and its environs. From the middle of the lake to the exploration of several ancient synagogues, Bible Land Passage filmmakers take you on a journey to where Jesus demonstrated His power over disease, demons, and the forces of nature.

      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.

      February 2019 Student Newsletter

      February Was Resolution Renewal Month
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      In last month's student newsletter I wrote to you about the tradition of making resolutions in which people resolve to accomplish personal goals during the new year. Many see the new year as a great time to start improving their knowledge of the Bible. I also explained how some quickly get discouraged and give up on their goal. Therefore I challenged the student body to make February a month of resolution renewal.

      To encourage everyone in this effort we decided to calculate and record the number of courses the students completed in the month of February. The goal was for all the students to complete more courses this month than ever before. I am pleased to report to you that 191 courses and 6,180 lessons were completed in February. This endeavor has been a great success. Never have we seen so many courses completed in one month. I commend you for your dedication to your studies and encourage you to press on with your efforts. It is always a worthy goal to gain a better understanding of God's word.

      Additional Exciting Statistics for February

      • 311 Auditing students enrolled
      • 112 Formal students enrolled
      • 77 Informal students enrolled
      • 830 New course registrations
      • 360 exams completed by Formal and Informal students
      • 106 term papers completed by Formal and Informal students
      • 102 certificates awarded to Formal and Informal students

      "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 2019 Student Newsletter

      February Is Resolution Renewal Month
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      A New Year's Resolution is a tradition found in some cultures where people resolve to accomplish personal goals during the new year. Maybe that is why the number of students enrolling in the school always increases in the month of January. Many have a great desire to improve their knowledge of the Bible and it could be they see the new year as a great time to start. However, before January even ends, we find that some give up on their goal. If your resolution this year is to gain a better understanding of the scriptures I encourage you to press on to accomplish your goal. If you are starting to slow down or grow weary in your studies I challenge you to make February a month of resolution renewal.

      To encourage you in this effort we have decided to calculate and record the number of courses the students complete in February. The goal is for the students to complete more courses this month than ever before. We will report back to you the final total at the end of the month. In order for a course to be counted as completed you must watch all of the videos for the course and select the "Mark Complete" button for each lesson.

      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.

      I encourage you to finish at least one course this month. Let's make February a resolution renewal month.


      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. 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?

      December 2018 Student Newsletter

      The Glory of God's Word
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      Your enrollment in the school shows not only your love for God, but also your desire to have a better understanding of the Holy Scriptures. You appreciate the fact that God's word is powerful, perfect, complete and enduring (Hebrews 4:12-13; James 1:25; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Matthew 24:35). It is unchanging and unchangeable and you realize that obeying the word of God will purify your soul (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:22).

      God's word is truth (John 17:17), and today God only speaks to us through the written word (Hebrews 1:1-2). God's word is the standard and we must not depart from it (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3-4; 2 John 1:9). We know that it can be understood, and it must be the basis for all that we do (Ephesian 3:3-4; Colossians 3:17).

      Therefore, we must follow and keep the word of God. If we truly recognize the glory of God's word we will:

      • Follow His commands and instructions (John 14:15, 15:14).
      • Be diligent in our study of the scriptures to show ourselves approved to God (2 Timothy 2:15).
      • Stand fast holding to the word as we preach and teach it to others (2 Thessalonians 2:15; 2 Timothy 4:2).

      We look to God's word for the answers of life. As we study the scriptures we find the requirements for salvation (John 8:24; Luke 13:3; Matthew 10:32-33; Mark 16:15-16; Revelation 2:10). Despite what some may believe the way of salvation is not found in man (Jeremiah 10:23). The doctrines of men will not save (Matthew 15:7-9). God has provided to us in His word the instructions we must follow to receive a home in heaven with Him.


      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 2018 Student Newsletter

      Reaching Your Goals
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      The apostle Paul said, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1). Paul demonstrated a wonderful example of zeal and faithfulness. He showed a love for God and love for God's word. He was a man fully committed to obeying the scriptures. So it is not surprising that Paul was a diligent student of God's word (2 Timothy 2:15; 4:13). Paul’s example of dedication and fidelity to the truth should serve as a goal for each of us.

      There are various reasons students enroll in the school. Some say they want to be a faithful preacher while others have a desire to be a well-equipped Bible class teacher. However, for most of the students the goal is simply to have a better understanding of God's word. The school is committed to helping our students reach this goal. We provide the best Bible instruction and academic resources to help the students truly know the scriptures. There is no way to overestimate the importance of an in-depth, comprehensive study of the Bible. Thank you for your desire to follow Paul's example of diligence as you study to gain an understanding of the scriptures. May God bless you as you seek to learn more about Him and His word.


      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.

      "I have a college education in religion and a Bachelor of Science degree from Athens State University in Athens, Alabama. I want you to know that the teaching equals or exceeds any college I have had before. God bless the WVBS Online Bible School." - Formal Student (Alabama, USA)

      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, 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.

      October 2018 Student Newsletter

      How Should We Approach God's Word?
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      If we are going to have success understanding the Bible we must have the right attitude toward the scriptures. Many people today do not approach the word of God correctly. Some approach God's word with preconceived ideas based on what they have been taught by someone in their past. Others look at the Bible as an interesting book which presents an optional view of life, but not as the inspired word of God. There are also those who see the Bible as a collection of mysterious writings which can never be understood or simply an outdated book which does not apply today. There are even some who see it as good instructions, but only for others. They never apply the scriptures to their own lives. How should we approach God's word?

      • We must approach it as eager hearers. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).
      • We must desire only the word of God. In Matthew 15:9 Jesus warned, "And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."
      • We must read it with good and honest hearts. Jesus explains, "But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience" (Luke 8:15).
      • We must allow God's word to "cut" (penetrate) our hearts. Acts 2:37 says, "Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?'"
      • We must receive the word with gladness. In Acts 2:41 we read, "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them."
      • We must desire to hear and know all of the word. In Acts 10:33 we find the attitude of Cornelius who said to Peter, "So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God."
      • We must study it as discerning hearers. Acts 17:11 describes the people of Berea by saying, "These 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."

      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 The Bible from God to Us). The school is designed for anyone who wants a focused, organized and thorough study of the Bible.

      September 2018 Student Newsletter

      Should We Agree to Disagree?
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      The "agree to disagree" philosophy has become very common in religious discussions. Some say it does not matter what we believe concerning Bible teaching as long as we all love Jesus. Yes, we must love Jesus (and each other), but that is not all that is taught in the scriptures. Jesus said, "If ye love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). The apostle John wrote, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3). From these verses we learn that the commandments (requirements) are crucial. If we love Jesus we will seek to know, obey, teach and defend His word.

      The "agree to disagree" philosophy is so dangerous because it has no end. When followed to its logical conclusion it completely removes the importance of biblical truth. This indifferent approach to the Bible is claimed by some to be the solution to the religious division in our world. But what it actually creates is a religion with no system of belief and no doctrinal foundation. The Bible teaches that we should all "speak the same thing" (1 Corinthians 1:10), so agreeing to disagree on doctrine is not a legitimate option.

      What we believe and teach is not insignificant or unimportant, it is essential! In matters of the Bible's teaching we must not have an "agree to disagree" approach because there is too much at stake. Casually dismissing the importance of truth will cause souls to be lost. Truth is still the truth regardless of the unconcerned attitude of some. Teaching either agrees with the New Testament or it does not (2 Timothy 2:15). Teaching (doctrine) is either scriptural or it is not (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Based on the truth, one is either in fellowship with God or not (John 17:17, 20-22). One is either abiding in the doctrine of Christ or not (2 John 1:9-11). There is no middle ground of compromise. We must seek the truth both for ourselves and others. The salvation of souls is paramount.

      The phrase "agree to disagree" does not appear anywhere in the Bible. God's word teaches that we are to agree. Amos 3:3 asks, "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" Paul wrote in Romans 16:17, "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them." To the Corinthians he wrote, "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10). Almost a year later he wrote to remind them, "be of one mind" (2 Corinthians 13:11).

      • Paul did not "agree to disagree" with those who taught a different gospel message. When he wrote to the congregations in the region of Galatia he said, "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:6-9).
      • Paul did not "agree to disagree" with two heretics named Hymenaeus and Philetus. Paul warned, "But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some" (2 Timothy 2:16-18).
      • John did not "agree to disagree" with false prophets. He wrote, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). He did not say it doesn't matter what they teach concerning doctrine as long as we all love Jesus.
      • Peter did not "agree to disagree" with false teachers. In 2 Peter 2:1-2 he warned, "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed."
      • Jude did not "agree to disagree" with ungodly men. Jude wrote, "For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 1:4). Jude did not teach, that there should be unity at any cost, as some foolishly proclaim today. He never compromised the truth to achieve some imaginary form of harmony.

      The key to religious unity and agreement is for all to stay true to the scriptures. Time and time again the Bible tells us not to "add to" or "take away" from God's word (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Galatians 1:8-9; Revelation 22:18-19). The various opinions of men will not provide unity. The Bible must be the sole basis for achieving true agreement. We must allow the scriptures to have the final say and we must be ready to abandon anything we believe which does not agree with God's word. We cannot simply "agree to disagree" when it comes to matters of faith. We must "agree to agree" with the Bible.


      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 a comprehensive and 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 a few 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.

      August 2018 Student Newsletter

      Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul said, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." If we want to follow the Bible we must learn how to read and understand, "rightly divide," what it teaches. Some become frustrated and quickly lose interest in the Bible because they don't know how to comprehend what they are reading. There is probably no more misunderstood book than the Bible. It is poorly studied and poorly understood.

      Some haphazardly approach the study of God's word by simply opening the Bible to a random page and reading whatever they find. This method causes them to think the book is confusing because they never learn the context (or background). Reading a random Bible verse may be a good way to focus our thoughts toward the scriptures, but it is a terrible technique for studying the Bible. Others approach it with a superstitious awe that prevents them from truly grasping its teachings. Skeptics read the scriptures hoping to find contradictions. Unless we know how to "rightly" divide the "word of truth" we will never really learn what it teaches and understand its life saving message.

      The phrase "rightly dividing" implies that we could be guilty of "wrongly dividing" the word of truth. When we wrongly divide the word we do not have the truth. There are many misconceptions about the Bible. Some mistakenly believe that every command in the Bible is for every person for all time. This approach will cause us to wrongly believe that we are commanded to build an Ark; to offer our son on an altar or to keep the law of Moses. We need to understand that only Noah was commanded to build an ark (Genesis 6:14), only Abraham was told to sacrifice his son (Genesis 22:2) and that the law of Moses has been removed and replaced by the Law of Christ (Colossians 2:14-17; Galatians 3:24-25; 1 Corinthians 9:21). Misconceptions have caused much division and strife in the religious world. However, the religious division could be overcome if people would simply rightly divide the word of truth and obey its teachings.

      Why Should We Study the Bible?

      • It is the only source of light (2 Peter 1:3).
      • It is the basis of faith (Romans 10:17; Jude 3).
      • It reveals the plan of salvation (John 8:24; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; Matthew 10:32-33; Matthew 28:18-19; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21).
      • We will be judged by its teachings at the Judgment (John 12:48; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-12).

      Man was created as a logical being, and God expects us to use reason when reading His word (Isaiah 1:18). Let us study to show ourselves approved unto God rightly dividing the word of truth.


      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. 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.

      July 2018 Student Newsletter

      Four Big Words
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      There are four vital words which help us to better understand the salvation process: (1) mortification, (2) justification, (3) sanctification and (4) glorification. These words emphasize certain parts of the redemption process. In the Bible there is a connection between our unity with Christ and salvation (Romans 6:1-6; Ephesians 1:7). This unity with Christ results in some rather dramatic changes. Let us examine the meanings of these four words to better understand the part they play in our salvation.

      1. Mortification means, "to put to death." In order to follow Christ we must be willing to die to the world by putting to death the desires of the flesh. We must slay those earthly passions which war against our righteousness. We need to understand that these lusts belong to our old life and should have no part in our new life as a child of God. We are commanded in God's word to deal with these sinful desires by putting them to death (Colossians 3:5; Romans 8:13; Romans 6:3). Nothing is more characteristic of a genuine Christian than having put these past sinful ways to death. However, we must realize that mortification (putting to death our sinful ways) will continue to be an ongoing process. We will face new challenges each and every day as the devil tries to rob us of our righteousness.
      2. Justification is God declaring that we are "not guilty" we are "innocent" (Romans 5:1). We are justified when our active, working faith obeys God's plan of salvation (Romans 10:17; John 8:24; Luke 13:3; Matthew 10:32-33; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:18-19). Some teach that we are saved by faith alone, but the Bible teaches that faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Justification does not describe a change in our behavior or desire as much as it describes the change in our standing before God.
      3. Sanctification is the word that describes our character change. This change occurs when we follow the teachings found in God's word. It continues until the end of our lives as we submit to the teachings of the Bible. The word sanctification has reference to being "separated to God" and living lives of "holiness" and "purity" (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). God's will (desire) is for our sanctification. He wants us to live lives of holiness and purity. However, our will is sometimes in conflict with God's will. Every Christian is engaged in an ongoing battle against succumbing to temptation (Romans 7:15).
      4. Glorification means to be made glorious, to be honored or praised. As we battle against sin we should expect that our victories will greatly outnumber our defeats. It is encouraging to know that the battle between good and evil is already decided (Revelation 12:9). God's word assures us that victory will come to the faithful Christian (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10).

      These four words help us to understand the salvation process: (1) mortification, (2) justification, (3) sanctification and (4) glorification. The Bible teaches us that justification and glorification are God's work while we must focus on mortification and sanctification. Let us put to death the sin in our lives and choose to live in holiness, purity and righteousness.


      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 2018 Student Newsletter

      Understanding the Bible
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      A Bible education is the most important investment a person can make for the future. Having an understanding of the scriptures is critical both for this life and the next. Therefore, we must diligently seek to learn God's word. In the school the students are provided with an in-depth, comprehensive understanding of the Bible using several systematic methods of study.

      Sometimes during the class the students will be exposed to a topical approach of study. The instructors will take a specific subject and trace it through the scriptures to show what the Bible teaches concerning the chosen topic. This is an extremely valuable method which provides a deep understanding of God's word concerning certain topics.

      At other times as part of the class the instructors will use a biographical approach going into detail concerning a specific Bible character. It is very helpful to learn from the examples of men and women in God's word. We can see good choices they made which we should follow and their poor choices which we should avoid.

      The courses provide a comprehensive study of the books of the Bible. The instructor will highlight the authorship, the original audience, the circumstances under which it was written, its purpose and its main teachings. This approach provides the students with a thorough study of the book. Students gain a deeper knowledge of the book and are better able to teach it to others.

      In the school the students are given the various tools they need to understand God's word. Not only do they learn the Bible, but they also learn how to study the Bible. There is no more important skill than being able to comprehend the meaning of the scriptures while learning how to please God and serve Him faithfully.


      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. 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.

      May 2018 Student Newsletter

      It’s Time To Get Started
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      It seems we all occasionally put some things off until later. When we read the Bible we learn this problem is not new. In Luke 9:61-62 we find, "And another also said, 'Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.' But Jesus said to him, 'No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.'" People are still making excuses today for not following Christ. Notice the following list of excuses people sometimes make for not following the Lord:

      • "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me see if my parents approve."
      • "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go to a few more wild parties. As soon as I get that out of my system, I will settle down."
      • "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me get married. Once I establish a home, I will follow you."
      • "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me retire. Then I will have time to follow you."
      • "I would like to follow you, Lord, but it's too late. I haven't done it for all these years so I can't start now."

      Studying God's word, obeying the truth and following Jesus needs to begin today. If you have not logged-in to your student account and watched your first video lesson it is time to get started. 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. 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 access to the course. You can begin watching the videos immediately by clicking the "Lesson 1" link. The courses are always available to view - 24/7. If you have not done so, why not start your Bible lessons today?


      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, tests 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 written 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 (https://890353b685.nxcli.net/about/contact-us/).

      April 2018 Student Newsletter

      Our Attitude Toward God's Word
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      The attitude we have concerning the word of God is very important. A great example of this is found in the book of Malachi where we see a clear distinction between how the wicked and righteous respond to God's commands.

      Malachi 3:18-4:3, Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him. "For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up," Says the LORD of hosts, "That will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this," Says the LORD of hosts.

      The Sun of the new day would burn the wicked like stubble, but it would serve as a healing balm for the righteous. The same Sun would produce two dramatically different results. In this example we see the results did not depend on the source but on the attitude of the recipients. When it comes to God's word the same message can yield different responses (Acts 17:22-34).

      Those who choose righteousness have a good attitude toward God's word. They see obedience to His commands as a benefit, not a burden (Matthew 11:29-30; 1 John 5:3). They understand that obeying God is not only possible (Deuteronomy 30:10-14), but enjoyable (Proverbs 3:13-18; Psalm 19:7-11). They realize that God's commands are the true source of peace in this life (John 16:33; Luke 1:79; Psalm 119:165).

      Those who choose wickedness have a negative view concerning God’s word. They see His commands as too narrow and restrictive (Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:23-24). In their minds the commands are foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:14) and offensive (Matthew 11:2-6; 15:10-14) so they never accept the teachings or the message of salvation found in Christ (1 Peter 2:6-8; Romans 9:32-33). God's word is not appreciated by them (John 6:26-27; 6:59-65), so they refuse to listen (Jeremiah 6:16-19).

      We must continually examine our attitude toward the Bible. Let us never see the inspired scriptures as being too difficult or restrictive. God's word is a gift which should be appreciated as the blessing it is to our lives (Psalm 119).


      TENTH 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.

      "Passage 10 | Khirbet Qeiyafa: Witness to David's Kingdom" - Khirbet Qeiyafa—the biblical city of Sha’arayim—serves as a powerful witness for the historicity of the Davidic monarchy. Qeiyafa offers a treasure trove of information about the United Monarchy and the specific beliefs and practices of ancient Israel. Khirbet Qeiyafa: Witness to David’s Kingdom is a documentary that will strengthen your faith in the accuracy of Scripture and encourage you to live the distinctive life God desires for His people.

      • Volume 1
      • Volume 2
        • "Passage 6 | Judah: David's Training Ground of Faith" is a 26-minute documentary about one of the ancient tribal territories of Israel and its relationship to the early life of King David.
        • "Passage 7 | The Southern Steps: Coming into the presence of the Lord" is a 19-minute documentary explaining the significance of the architecture on the southern side of the Temple Mount during the days of Jesus. Recent excavations reveal the areas known as the Southern Steps, which worshipers would ascend to enter the temple, as well as the many immersion pools located near the temple. These are directly linked to the ministry of Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity, making this an important study for disciples today.
        • "Passage 8 | Masada: Fortress of Misplaced Faith" is a 26-minute film which documents and explains through creative and powerful illustrations, photography and video the history of this gaunt and yet majestic plateau known as Masada. Thought to have been one of King David’s hiding places, this site was in the first century B.C. transformed into what was believed to be an impregnable palace fortress for King Herod the Great, and later would become the place for a legendary showdown between Jewish Zealots and the Roman army. This is a must-see film teaching lessons about ingenuity, courage and faith.
        • "Passage 9 | Jericho: City of Rahab" - The archaeology of Jericho, coupled with the biblical account, has captured the imagination of many, but just as captivating is the story of a woman by the name of Rahab, whom God saved from the destruction. Her story is one of the rare jewels to truly be examined in this treasure trove of facts and information. Jericho: City of Rahab captures the essence of her life in a way that will encourage and inspire you.

      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.

      March 2018 Student Newsletter

      10 Reasons to Study the Bible
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      As a student of the school you are showing your love for God's word. You realize how important it is to understand the scriptures. Allow me to share with you 10 reasons found in the Bible which teach us the importance of studying the word of God:

      Why do we study?

      1. To love God (1 John 2:3-5).
      2. To know God (1 John 2:3).
      3. To receive the word (James 1:21).
      4. To achieve God's approval (2 Timothy 2:15).
      5. To gain wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 2:6).
      6. To learn what is sinful (Romans 7:7; 1 John 3:4).
      7. To provide us with understanding (Psalms 119:130).
      8. To have the words of Christ dwelling within us (Colossians 3:16).
      9. To have God's words abiding in us so we will know the truth (John 8:31-32).
      10. To make sure we are living by every word that proceeds from God (Matthew 4:4).

      It would be impossible to overstate the importance of Bible study. The eternal destiny of our souls will be determined by how well we know and obey God's word (John 12:48). Therefore, we must not be careless or haphazard in our study of the scriptures. We need a focused, comprehensive and organized strategy, which is exactly what the WVBS Online Bible School provides. The school helps students all over the world to understand what they are reading as they search the scriptures daily (Acts 8:31; 17:11). Let us dedicate ourselves to studying the Bible more than ever before and as we do so may we always keep our view toward heaven (Colossians 1:3-5; 1 Peter 1:3-5).


      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.

      February 2018 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      I am always eager to tell others about the opportunities and resources available at the WVBS Online Bible School. It is a self-paced, online video correspondence school for students who want a focused, organized and in-depth study of the Bible. If you know anyone who would be interested in becoming a student please direct them to the school's address for enrollment (http://890353b685.nxcli.net/enrollment/). We look forward to having your friends as students of the school. This could also serve as a benefit to you by having study partners to encourage you as you continue your work in the school.

      The school covers every book in the Bible as well as a few other Bible related subjects. The courses are available for free on the internet with no tuition cost for enrollment. Our desire is to provide free, online Bible instruction to anyone who wishes to learn more about God's word. The instructors are faithful and Biblically sound Christian men and the content of the lessons is pure non-denominational teaching based on an accurate exegesis of the Bible.

      The curriculum has 45 courses with over 960 video lessons which are each approximately 38 minutes long. The courses are studied at-your-own-pace and do not have any official start time, end time or duration. There are also no deadlines or due-dates for class assignments. Students are allowed to proceed through the courses according to their own schedule.

      There are three levels of enrollment:

      • Formal Students follow a designated course schedule which is designed to make their progression through the Bible easier. Their assignments include viewing all lessons, writing term papers and taking exams. These students are issued a certificate of completion when all course requirements are finished and a diploma when they have successfully completed all required courses.
      • Informal Students have the same requirements for each course but they are able to choose the order of the courses they take. Informal Students receive certificates for each course but no diploma is awarded.
      • Audit Students are not responsible for any of the course requirements such as exams and term papers and therefore do not have access to course notes, testing, or course books. These students may take the courses in any order they desire but they do not receive certificates for the courses they complete or a diploma when they finish all courses.

      "I Lost My Password"

      Perhaps you have lost your password and don’t know how to proceed. In our records we do not retain the passwords of the students, 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 2018 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      I am pleased you have decided to enroll in the school to learn more about God and His word. Learning new things is always exciting but sometimes it can be difficult. The school can be challenging, but I hope you never doubt your ability to accomplish your goals. I recently read an article which gave several suggestions to help students succeed in their studies. I hope this advice will benefit you as you continue your endeavor to better understand the Bible.

      The first suggestion is to see the possibilities. For many of you it is your dream to have a comprehensive Bible education. You have a strong desire to know God's truth and His will for your life. Your choice to learn God's word is wise and will greatly benefit you in the future. You have probably chosen to do this because you love God and want to serve Him better. This decision will produce the best life now and a better life in the future.

      The second suggestion is to realize that success requires hard work, dedication and sacrifice. There is an old adage which says, "Nothing worthwhile is easy." Through your perseverance you will demonstrate your desire to learn. You should understand learning always requires hard work, but it will be easier if you allow your love for God to motivate you. If you follow your heart the work will not seem as difficult. Simply make your Bible education a top priority in your devoted service to God.

      The third suggestion is don't defeat yourself. As you continue through the courses there may be moments when you think you can't do it. This feeling often comes with difficult challenges, but don't let your doubts defeat you. Sometimes it helps to just focus on giving your best effort. Don't give up before you have even given yourself a fair chance to succeed. If you continue steadfast in your efforts, always striving to do your best, you will be successful.

      The fourth suggestion is to undertake a reasonable workload. Please don't get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the material. The school is designed to be adapted to your own schedule. The lessons are always here for you to use in the manner that best fits you and your life. It would be a mistake to rush through the lessons. Your goal should be learning, not finishing the courses quickly. If it takes you longer to understand the material your time is well spent. The courses are studied at-your-own-pace and do not have any official start time, end time or duration. You can take as long as you need to complete the work. There are also no limits on how many times you can access the courses as you view and study them.

      I hope these four suggestions will encourage you as you continue your studies.

      • See the possibilities.
      • Realize that success requires hard work, dedication and sacrifice.
      • Don't defeat yourself.
      • Undertake a reasonable workload.

      I want you to reach your objective to have a better understanding of the Bible. Please, never doubt your ability to succeed. Let Philippians 4:13 be your life's rallying cry: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."


      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. 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 Tests, 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?

      December 2017 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      If you are an Auditing Student, I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to upgrade your enrollment to Informal or Formal Student status. I encourage you to consider the advantages. If you upgrade your enrollment you will not only have access to the videos, 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 their progression through the Bible easier. The assignments include viewing all lessons, writing term papers and taking written exams. 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 a 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.


      NINTH 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.

      "Passage 9 | Jericho: City of Rahab" - The archaeology of Jericho, coupled with the biblical account, has captured the imagination of many, but just as captivating is the story of a woman by the name of Rahab, whom God saved from the destruction. Her story is one of the rare jewels to truly be examined in this treasure trove of facts and information. Jericho: City of Rahab captures the essence of her life in a way that will encourage and inspire you.

      • "Passage 1 | Jerusalem: An Unforgettable City" is a 26-minute documentary about the significance and grandeur of the ancient city of Jerusalem, and its relationship to biblical history and thought.
      • "Passage 2 | The Ministry of Jesus in Northern Israel" is a 17-minute video which explores three famous sites involved in Jesus’ public ministry: Cana, the Mount of Beatitudes, and Caesarea Philippi.
      • "Passage 3 | Dan: City of Unfaithfulness" is a 17-minute documentary showing the significance of Dan as a center of idolatry and unfaithfulness to God.
      • "Passage 4 | In the Shadow of Gilboa: Reaping & Sowing" is a 23-minute video which examines several biblical events that occurred in and around Mt. Gilboa, Beit Shan, and the Jezreel and Harod Valleys.
      • "Passage 5 | Treasures of Qumran: The Dead Sea Scrolls" is a 24-minute documentary offering the viewer a tour of the home of an ancient Jewish sect thought responsible for producing the Dead Sea Scrolls.
      • "Passage 6 | Judah: David's Training Ground of Faith" is a 26-minute documentary about one of the ancient tribal territories of Israel and its relationship to the early life of King David.
      • "Passage 7 | The Southern Steps: Coming into the presence of the Lord" is a 19-minute documentary explaining the significance of the architecture on the southern side of the Temple Mount during the days of Jesus. Recent excavations reveal the areas known as the Southern Steps, which worshipers would ascend to enter the temple, as well as the many immersion pools located near the temple. These are directly linked to the ministry of Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity, making this an important study for disciples today.
      • "Passage 8 | Masada: Fortress of Misplaced Faith" is a 26-minute film which documents and explains through creative and powerful illustrations, photography and video the history of this gaunt and yet majestic plateau known as Masada. Thought to have been one of King David’s hiding places, this site was in the first century B.C. transformed into what was believed to be an impregnable palace fortress for King Herod the Great, and later would become the place for a legendary showdown between Jewish Zealots and the Roman army. This is a must-see film teaching lessons about ingenuity, courage and faith.

      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.

      November 2017 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      Please allow me to commend you on your decision to study the Bible. It is clear you appreciate the importance of knowing God's word. I also encourage you to share with others your experiences in the school as you continue to learn from the scriptures. Each of us has a responsibility to teach the good news of salvation to our world. In Matthew 28:18-20 we find,

      "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen."

      Jesus commands us to "make disciples" and "teach" all. One way we can do this is by telling others about the Bible lessons available at the WVBS Online Bible School. Sometimes teaching can be as simple as directing those we know to a place where they can find good Bible instruction. John 1:45-46 explains,

      "Philip found Nathanael and said to him, 'We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.' And Nathanael said to him, 'Can anything good come out of Nazareth?' Philip said to him, 'Come and see.'"

      So, I encourage you to tell your friends, neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances about this free, online school. Talk to them about the things you have learned. Explain to them why and how you became a student. If you tell them about the benefits of the school they may decide to see for themselves the resources which are offered. Have you told others about the school?


      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 the statement of faith says less than the Bible it has left something out. If the 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.

      October 2017 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      As Christians we sometimes have a single-minded interest in our actions (James 2:18). However, we would be well served to spend some time focused on the source of those actions. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Matthew 15:18 adds, "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart."

      In the Bible the word "heart" is often used to describe the mind which would include the intellect, will and emotion. Therefore, the key to growing closer to God begins in the human mind and our thinking process. Romans 12:2 teaches, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." The devil wants to fill our minds with evil, but we need to fill our minds with good. Basically, we need to fill our minds with God. What should we think about?

      We Should Think About God's Works

      Our minds are filled with awe when we consider the works of God. In Psalm 8:3-4 the Psalmist wrote, "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" We can’t help but feel reverence when we consider the things He has done. It is almost overwhelming to consider the amazing world God has created. Genesis 1:1-3 says,

      "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."

      We Should Think About God's Ways

      The Psalmist wrote, "I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways" (Psalm 119:15). We can't help but feel humbled when we consider some of the characteristics of our God such as longsuffering, holiness and justice.

      • Longsuffering
        • 2 Peter 3:9 states, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
      • Holiness
        • In Exodus 15:11 we see, "Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?"
        • Psalm 99:9 says, "Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy."
        • Isaiah 6:3 tells us, "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory."
        • 1 Peter 1:15 adds, "But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation."
      • Justice
        • Psalm 7:8-9 exclaims, "The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me. Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins."
        • Psalm 119:137 says, "Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments."
        • In Romans 2:2 Paul wrote, "But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things."

      We Should Think About God's Word

      The word of God challenges us. Psalm 119:97 states, "O how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day."

      • God’s word challenges us to love our enemies. Matthew 5:44 commands, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."
      • God’s word challenges us to avoid lust. Peter wrote, "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul" (1 Peter 2:11).
      • God’s word challenges us to control our tongues. Psalm 34:13 teaches, "Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile." James 1:26 adds, "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."
      • God’s word challenges us to control our attitude. Ephesians 4:31 says, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice."

      Conclusion

      We need a deeper appreciation for God’s greatness. Exodus 3:13-14 reports,

      "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."

      This is an amazing expression. God chose to call Himself, "I AM." He emphasized His eternal nature with no beginning or end. Notice He does not say, "I am God." Instead He emphasizes the fact that He Is! In other words, He is all things and He supplies all of our needs. He is wisdom, power, justice, grace, mercy, goodness, glory, holiness, perfection and on and on. He is the great I AM!

      Let us fill our hearts thinking about our God. Let us think about His Works, His Ways and His Word. Most importantly, let our thoughts move us to action. Let our thoughts move us to obedience. For as we learn in Proverbs 23:7, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he!


      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. 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.

      September 2017 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      In almost every aspect of life we put a high priority on evidence. We would not expect someone to be convicted in a legal trial if no evidence had been given. So, why is it when it comes to religious beliefs some are not interested in evidence? I have heard people say, “I feel it in my heart, so I know it is true." Proverbs 28:26 teaches us, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered." Our feelings are not proof! In religious matters we should never say "I think we should do this or I think we should do that." We should say, "The Bible teaches we should do this or the Bible teaches we should do that." What we think (our opinions) do not determine truth. Proverbs 18:2 states, "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion (ESV - see also 2 Corinthians 10:5)." We must make sure our reasoning is based on the Bible and not our own opinions or feelings.

      We must never turn away from evidence as we pursue faith. Knowledge and evidence in no way oppose real Bible faith. Some have mistakenly defined faith as believing in something even if there is no proof. They think of it as "a leap in the dark." However, the Bible never defines true faith in such a way. Hebrews 11:1 explains, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." God expects us to use reason. He created us as logical beings. Isaiah 1:18 says, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD... "

      As we teach others we must be ready to defend the gospel with real evidence. Our creator has not left us without proof of His will. We must trust in His word which has been proven time and time again. God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), has provided unto us all the information we need to live faithful lives (2 Peter 1:3). Our goal should be to stay true to the words of the Bible and dedicate ourselves to teaching only those things which can be proven to be true from the scriptures.

      As a student of the school I commend you for your desire to learn more. I encourage you to carefully consider the evidence of the scriptures. This reminds us of what Paul said concerning the Bereans. He commended them because they "received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11). He praised them because they were comparing the things he taught to God's word making sure he was teaching truth. Please do not put your trust in my words or the words of any man. We as men make mistakes, but God's word is always right!


      "I Lost My Password"

      Perhaps you have lost your password and don’t know how to proceed. In our records we do not retain the passwords of the students, 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.

      August 2017 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      During times of difficulty or struggle it is always helpful to hear encouraging words from others. It could be you need reassurance as you dedicate yourself to learning more about God's word and seek to live a life which is pleasing to Him. It may comfort you to learn that many others are also engaged in this endeavor. We currently have over 11,000 students and they are facing many of the same challenges that you face in your own studies. I hope it helps you to know that you are not alone.

      I would direct you to look to the encouraging words found in the pages of the Bible. The inspired writers often stated their confidence in the ability of Christians to grow in faith and follow the path of righteousness (Hebrews 6:9-12). The Bible repeatedly tells us that we can be successful in our desire to live a life of obedience. In 2 Thessalonians 3:4 Paul wrote, "And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you." As you seek a better understanding of God's word through an in-depth and comprehensive study of the Bible you need to believe in yourself. It may be difficult at times but you will surely be rewarded if you continue to push yourself to learn more. You can do it!

      The bottom line is we all need encouragement and we all need to be encouragers. Each of us has a responsibility to uplift others. Therefore, I want to encourage you to remain confident in your abilities as you continue your studies. Don't let anything stop you as you seek a closer relationship with God.


      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. 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 desire you then need to register for the course by clicking the "Register" button located on the course page. Once 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 Tests, Course Notes (for some courses) and Course Books (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?

      July 2017 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      The Bible teaches that we must trust in God instead of ourselves. In Proverbs 3:5 we find, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Notice the warning about leaning on our own understanding. This admonition can be very challenging to us at times. We like to think that we always know best. However, we see similar warnings many times in the scriptures. In Jeremiah 10:23 we find, "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Proverbs 16:25 adds, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." We like to rely on own wisdom, but that is a dangerous path to follow. Man's wisdom will never serve as the proper guide for this life. We need direction from God's word.

      Part of our trusting in the Lord involves seeking to understand His word. We want to know it, not only for our own edification, but also so that we will be able to share it with others. We understand how important it is for one to have God's word as a guide in this life. 1 Peter 3:15 says, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." We have been commanded by Christ to GO "into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). Jesus explains that, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). We share the message of salvation with others because we want everyone to have the hope that is found in God.

      In our day we see many who look for hope in the material things of this world, but true hope can only be found in God. Matthew 16:26 asks, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" The value of the soul is priceless. God gave His own Son, and Jesus gave His life, that our souls could be in heaven for eternity. No one should live a life without hope.

      We trust in God with complete confidence because He has proven Himself time and time again. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 teaches us to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." To "prove all things" means to put it to the test. God has passed every test so we confidently hold fast to Him and His word without doubts or reservations. 2 Timothy 3:16 states that, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." All we need for direction in this life is found in the scriptures. It is the roadmap to guide us from this world to our heavenly home.

      As we trust in God and continue to study His word, we realize that salvation is not found in our own wisdom, but in the wisdom that comes from above (James 3:17). We have a responsibility to ourselves and others. In 1 Timothy 4:16, Paul told Timothy, "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."


      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 or even criticisms would be appreciated.

      June 2017 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      Someone once said, "Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom." We find this to be especially true when it comes to learning God's word. If we blindly hold to our predetermined notions as we study the Bible we will learn nothing. Some may think they have a pretty good understanding of God's word, while what they actually have is a good understanding of someone's theory concerning what the Bible teaches. They may have learned these theories well, but have they ever studied for themselves to see the teachings of the scriptures? Only then will they know if those things being taught to them are in fact true. Well-meaning individuals may mislead us simply because they never consider the possibility that they have been taught someone's opinion instead of Biblical truth. As dedicated students of God's word we must always seek to overcome and eliminate our preconceived ideas.

      A gospel preacher once wrote, "A good Bible student must be willing to toss aside all creeds -- whether written or implied -- and reject all assumption, and then accept the Bible as God's revealed truth (John 17:17)." When it comes to God's word we all have our preconceived ideas. We can be taught something about the Bible before we actually study it for ourselves. We must be careful to never see our predetermined ideas as the standard of truth. We should always look to God's word as the final authority for right and wrong. Let us eliminate our preconceived ideas and be open to God's word. In Acts 17:11 the Bereans were commended concerning their attitude toward the things they were being taught. The scriptures explain, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."


      Did You Lose Your Password?

      If you are having problems with your password you may follow these steps to reset it:

      1. From the homepage of the School, click on the "LOGIN" button on the blue menu bar at the school website, where you will be taken to the bottom of the page to the login form.
      2. Choose the "Lost Password" link below the form, or click on this link.
      3. A new page asking for your email address will be presented, simply enter the email address that you used when setting up your account, click the CAPTCHA check box and 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 logo to go to the main page and login using your new password.

      If resetting your password does not resolve the issue please let us know.

      May 2017 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      A "philomath" is one who loves learning. It is a person who enjoys discovering new facts and information and is always seeking to gain new knowledge. I know that as a student of the school you are a Philomath. I also know that your special area of interest is learning more about God's word. The book of Proverbs is filled with verses that emphasize the importance of learning. Notice what is taught in the following passages:

      • Proverbs 1:5, "Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance."
      • Proverbs 18:15, "An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge."
      • Proverbs 9:9, "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning."
      • Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."
      • Proverbs 10:17, "Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray."

      From these passages we see that those who are wise will seek to learn more. They understand the importance of knowledge and the ongoing benefits to increasing ones understanding. They also realize that reverence for God is where true learning begins. They know that without a "fear of the Lord" one will never seek His wisdom. They even appreciate the correction which comes from the Bible. May you always be one who loves learning more from God's word.


      EIGHTH 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.

      • Volume 2
        • "Passage 6 | Judah: David's Training Ground of Faith" is a 26-minute documentary about one of the ancient tribal territories of Israel and its relationship to the early life of King David.
        • "Passage 7 | The SOUTHERN STEPS: Coming into the PRESENCE of the Lord" is a 19-minute documentary explaining the significance of the architecture on the southern side of the Temple Mount during the days of Jesus. Recent excavations reveal the areas known as the Southern Steps, which worshipers would ascend to enter the temple, as well as the many immersion pools located near the temple. These are directly linked to the ministry of Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity, making this an important study for disciples today.
        • "Passage 8 | Masada: Fortress of Misplaced Faith" is a 26-minute film which documents and explains through creative and powerful illustrations, photography and video the history of this gaunt and yet majestic plateau known as Masada. Thought to have been one of King David’s hiding places, this site was in the first century B.C. transformed into what was believed to be an impregnable palace fortress for King Herod the Great, and later would become the place for a legendary showdown between Jewish Zealots and the Roman army. This is a must-see film teaching lessons about ingenuity, courage and faith.
      • Volume 1
        • "Passage 1 | Jerusalem: An Unforgettable City" is a 26-minute documentary about the significance and grandeur of the ancient city of Jerusalem, and its relationship to biblical history and thought.
        • "Passage 2 | The Ministry of Jesus in Northern Israel" is a 17-minute video which explores three famous sites involved in Jesus’ public ministry: Cana, the Mount of Beatitudes, and Caesarea Philippi.
        • "Passage 3 | Dan: City of Unfaithfulness" is a 17-minute documentary showing the significance of Dan as a center of idolatry and unfaithfulness to God.
        • "Passage 4 | In the Shadow of Gilboa: Reaping & Sowing" is a 23-minute video which examines several biblical events that occurred in and around Mt. Gilboa, Beit Shan, and the Jezreel and Harod Valleys.
        • "Passage 5 | Treasures of Qumran: The Dead Sea Scrolls" is a 24-minute documentary offering the viewer a tour of the home of an ancient Jewish sect thought responsible for producing the Dead Sea Scrolls.

      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.

      April 2017 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      In February 2016, Australian photographer Warren Richardson won first prize at the World Press Photo awards for his powerful black-and-white picture titled, "Hope for a New Life." The photograph shows a refugee passing a baby through a barbed wire fence while attempting to cross into a new country. The hope displayed in the photograph reminds me of the hope we have as we yearn for a new life in Christ.

      However, the hope described in the Bible is not an unsure "maybe" or a type of uncertain, dubious optimism. We may use the word "hope" that way in our daily language but that is not how "hope" is used in God's word. The hope of the Bible would be defined as a strong and confident expectation. How can hope be so confident? Because biblical hope is based on the certainty of God's promises and the assurance of His word. Our hope is strong and secure as we strive for a new life in Christ because our hope is based in Christ. Hebrews 6:19 states, "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil." In Lamentations 3:24 we find, "The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him." Our hope for a new life is certain in Christ. We have no doubt that following the teachings of Christ can provide to us the new life we desire.

      Romans 6:4-23 teaches that a new life is obtainable in Christ. The text states clearly that we can "walk in newness of life." Our old life is "crucified" with Christ and in our new life we will be "dead" unto sin, but alive unto God through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Also, sin will not "reign" over us and we will not "obey it in the lusts thereof." We will not "yield" ourselves "as instruments of unrighteousness" to sin, but instead we will "yield" ourselves to God as "instruments of righteousness." In our new life, sin "shall not have dominion." We will be "made free from sin" to become "the servants of righteousness." And ultimately, our hope is for "eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

      Romans 6:4-23 provides a beautiful description of the Christian's new life in Christ. The text not only explains the blessings we receive, but also the changes necessary to receive such blessings. Only in Christ can such blessings be found (Eph. 1:3). We long for these blessings and the new life in Christ.


      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. 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 desire you then need to register for the course by clicking the "Register" button located on the course page. Once 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 Tests, Course Notes (for some courses) and Course Books (for some courses). 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?

      March 2017 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      The work of providing lessons to improve your understanding of the Bible is truly a labor of love. It is our joy to bring to you instruction which is both in-depth and comprehensive. Our goal is to provide free online Bible courses to anyone who wishes to learn more about God's word. We are using the latest technology available to ensure the most effective presentations.

      Each day we have numerous individuals from around the world enrolling in the school who are eager to learn. We actually get over 150 new students each week. Like you they desire an improved understanding of God’s word.

      The curriculum of the school is designed to develop within you a deeper understanding of God’s truth as you grow in your faith and love for the Lord. The knowledge you acquire also improves your ability to influence others with the saving message of God’s word. We want to prepare you for a life of significance. As you mature in your faith you will see more opportunities to serve the Lord. To God be the glory!


      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 videos, but you will also have free online viewing access to the teacher’s course notes, tests 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 lessons, writing term papers and taking written exams. 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.

      February 2017 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      Andrew D. White (cofounder and first president of Cornell University) once told a class of freshmen, "You are not here to receive an education. You are here to educate yourselves." These words were true for them and especially true today for students of the WVBS Online Bible School. In the school you will find an abundance of resources to help you in your understanding of God’s word. However, your education still requires a do-it-yourself approach. You cannot be “given” an education.

      Knowledge is never gained without the initiative and effort of the student. Education requires active participation. A passive approach will surely result in failure. You can buy many things in this life, but you cannot buy an education. The students of the Online Bible School participate and contribute to their own education. They involve themselves wholly in the learning process.

      Therefore, one of the requirements for the Online School is that the students be self-motivated. At traditional schools you are often prodded along by the instructors. You are faced with due-dates, deadlines and time limits for completing assignments. But, an online education demands the active participation of a motivated self-starter. It is a truly self-participatory transforming process. Not only do you learn but you learn how to learn. You mature while exercising your personal responsibility in the learning process. You become a partner with the instructor in your own education. You are not merely studying or taking a course, you are being transformed through your own efforts.


      Seventh 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.

      • "Passage 1 | Jerusalem: An Unforgettable City" is a 26-minute documentary about the significance and grandeur of the ancient city of Jerusalem, and its relationship to biblical history and thought.
      • "Passage 2 | The Ministry of Jesus in Northern Israel" is a 17-minute video which explores three famous sites involved in Jesus’ public ministry: Cana, the Mount of Beatitudes, and Caesarea Philippi.
      • "Passage 3 | Dan: City of Unfaithfulness" is a 17-minute documentary showing the significance of Dan as a center of idolatry and unfaithfulness to God.
      • "Passage 4 | In the Shadow of Gilboa: Reaping & Sowing" is a 23-minute video which examines several biblical events that occurred in and around Mt. Gilboa, Beit Shan, and the Jezreel and Harod Valleys.
      • "Passage 5 | Treasures of Qumran: The Dead Sea Scrolls" is a 24-minute documentary offering the viewer a tour of the home of an ancient Jewish sect thought responsible for producing the Dead Sea Scrolls.
      • "Passage 6 | Judah: David's Training Ground of Faith" is a 26-minute documentary about one of the ancient tribal territories of Israel and its relationship to the early life of King David.
      • "Passage 7 | The SOUTHERN STEPS: Coming into the PRESENCE of the Lord" is a 19-minute documentary explaining the significance of the architecture on the southern side of the Temple Mount during the days of Jesus. Recent excavations reveal the areas known as the Southern Steps, which worshipers would ascend to enter the temple, as well as the many immersion pools located near the temple. These are directly linked to the ministry of Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity, making this an important study for disciples today.

      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.

      January 2017 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)

      The purpose of the WVBS Online Bible School is to prepare students to be better Christians, elders, deacons, Bible class teachers and personal workers. The professors have had years of study and experience teaching these courses in a classroom setting. Every instructor who teaches in the school is presently, or has been, an instructor in a Bible training school. These men are among the finest teachers available today. We are honored to have them as a part of the school faculty and bring to you instruction from God’s word.

      The Online School is designed for students who want a focused, organized and intensive study of the Bible. In the school we cover every book in the Bible as well as a few other Bible related subjects. The curriculum has 45 courses with over 970 video lessons which are each approximately 38 minutes long. Our desire is to provide free online Bible instruction to anyone who wishes to learn more about God's word. I would love to hear from you concerning your opinion of the courses. Your comments, suggestions or even criticisms would be appreciated.


      Four Ways To Be A Stronger Christian

      The Christian life is a life of transformation. In Romans 12:2 Paul said, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." The transforming process takes both time and effort. It requires spiritual growth just as babies require physical growth. In 1 Peter 2:1-3 we find, "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious." Babies grow one day at a time and it is the same for the spiritual growth of Christians. There is no shortcut to instant spiritual maturity. Being a Christian requires a lifetime commitment to growth (2 Peter 3:18). Ezra 7:10 explains, "For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments." From this verse we find four principles which we must follow to become stronger Christians.

      First, we must prepare our hearts. Preparing our hearts requires the right attitude of submission to God's commands. When one of the scribes asked about the first commandment Jesus said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength" (Mark 12:29-30). We must be dedicated to obedience with our entire being. How we care for our hearts is very important. Proverbs 4:23 states, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." If we do not fully prepare our hearts to serve God we will always struggle in our faithfulness.

      Second, we must "seek the law of the Lord." This means we should search for a greater knowledge and a better understanding of God's word. A strong faith requires knowledge. We need an accurate understanding of the commandments of God. In Psalm 119:10-12 the writer said, "With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes." God's commandments are so precious that we should seek them with complete eagerness and enthusiasm (Psalm 119:127). God's word is of such great value because it leads us to eternal life. Matthew explains, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." The only way we can truly understand God's word is to study. 2 Timothy 2:15 commands, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

      Third, we must obey the things commanded by God. Knowing God's word is vital but if we do not obey the teaching, our knowledge will be of no value. In James 1:22 we find, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." Proclaiming our faith must be backed-up with action. Jesus asked in Luke 6:46, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" If we love Christ we will obey His commands.

      Fourth, we must teach the truth to others. In Mark 16:15-16 Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." We must prepare ourselves to teach others about God. We must be ready to give a good Bible answer to those who ask us about spiritual things. Peter said, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15). Paul told Timothy that he had a responsibility to teach the things he had learned to others. In 2 Timothy 2:2 he said, "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."

      So, in Ezra 7:10 we find four principles which help us to be stronger Christians. Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. If we follow his example, we will become stronger in our faith and better Christians. We must work in these four areas so that we might grow in our faith and become spiritually mature servants of Christ.

      December 2016 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
      Russell Haffner (Director)
             Do you want to be a leader? Perhaps this is the reason you have enrolled in the school. Maybe you have a strong desire to influence more people in your life. The Bible teaches you can affect others through your good example (1 Corinthians 11:1). Every faithful Christian can demonstrate this kind of leadership. It can happen without words or even a position of authority or title. Having a good influence should be the goal of every Christian.
             God's word teaches that our example can make a difference in the world. Jesus described His followers as the "light of the world" (Matthew 5:14). Even the enemies of the church said that the Christian's influence had turned the world "upside down" (Acts 17:6). The Christian life should seek to have a positive effect on others. A good influence is simply faithfulness at work.

             The Bible has much to say about developing the characteristics of a good leader:

      • When Moses' father-in-law encouraged him to appoint leaders he told him in Exodus 18:20 that he should, "teach them ordinances and laws" and "show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do." He said in verse 21 that they should be "able men" who "fear God." They were to be "men of truth" who hate "covetousness."
      • Another characteristic which good leaders should have is the ability to know how to treat others. In Luke 6:31 Jesus said, "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." In Philippians 2:4 Paul wrote, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
      • Good leaders are also humble. In Philippians 2:3 we find, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." True humility is required if we are to be the servants we are commanded to be. In Matthew 20:26 Jesus said, "whosoever will be great among you, let him be your servant."
             Sadly, there are some who want to be leaders to gain authority over others and have a title of honor. However, Jesus does not portray good leadership in that way. Actually, we should avoid titles. In Matthew 23:8-11 Jesus said, "But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant." The term “reverend” is found only once in the Scriptures (Psalm 111:9 - KJV) where it refers to God alone. The text says, “holy and reverend is His name” (emphasis added). Certainly no mortal man ever was, is or ever will be equal with God. Not even the apostles dared lay claim to equality with God by taking the name "reverend."
             So, if you want to be a leader seek the life of a humble servant and avoid those exalted titles bestowed by men. True leadership is defined by the actions one takes and the example one sets for others. The Online Bible School provides equal opportunity to all students, regardless of background or situation, so they may improve their Bible knowledge and develop the capabilities of leadership to impact those in their community and across the globe.

      13 Wrong Ways to Approach Bible Study
             The method we use to study the Bible is very important. Some never benefit from Bible study because their approach to the scriptures is wrong. There are still others who never profit from their study of God's word because they have a faulty motive for studying the Bible.
      Please consider the following wrong ways to approach Bible study:

      1. It is wrong to think the Bible cannot be understood.
      2. It is wrong to approach the Bible as if it is simply the words of men. The Bible text was written by those who were divinely inspired to record God's word for men (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
      3. It is wrong to think the Bible is a mystical document filled with secrets and hidden meanings which cannot be understood without direct revelation from the Holy Spirit. These students tend to think their own desires, wishes or ideas are the will of God.
      4. It is wrong to approach the Bible subjectively. These students think that the true meaning of a particular scripture can be determined based upon what they feel as they are reading the text. The result is that each student arrives at a different conclusion with each thinking his/her conclusion is the correct understanding. They do not see that God's word is an objective standard with one correct meaning for all who properly read and understand it.
      5. It is wrong to read the Bible trying to confirm preconceived ideas. This approach looks for verses to support beliefs already assumed to be true.
      6. It is wrong to read the Bible in an attempt to discover some bit of information that no one has found before. These students do not want to understand God's word, they just want to find the rare piece of information they can use to impress others.
      7. It is wrong to treat the Bible's teachings as suggestions which can be accepted or rejected according to one's wishes. Some accept only those teachings that please them.
      8. It is wrong to study the Bible with prejudice. If we are not careful we will allow race, culture, political views or philosophy to corrupt our understanding of the scriptures.
      9. It is wrong to study the Bible without considering context. We should be aware of such things as the theme of the book, purpose of the writer, culture, time period, environment, geographical setting and the problems being discussed. If these things are not considered a passage can easily be twisted to mean something which God never intended.
      10. It is wrong to approach the Bible text as if it is all literal. We must understand that some of the Bible is written in a poetic style. The scriptures also contain figures of speech and symbols which must be taken into consideration.
      11. It is wrong to approach the Bible looking to find some flaw or error to discredit it.
      12. It is wrong to think that only religious leaders can truly understand the Bible. We should never be discouraged from reading and studying the Bible for ourselves.
      13. It is wrong to study the Bible seeking only to please men (Galatians 1:10). Some refuse to see the true meaning of a particular verse because they fear it might receive a negative response or hurt someone's feelings. Sadly, this is why some preachers no longer preach against specific sins.

      November 2016 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner
       
             Most of the books written today are designed to inform or entertain people. But, the Bible is the only book that can really transform lives in a truly meaningful and eternal way. In Romans 12:1-2 Paul says,
       
      “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
       
             The “renewing” of our minds takes place as we deeply study the word of God and apply it to our lives by obeying its teachings. This is where the WVBS Online Bible School comes in. In the school you are not only taught how to study God’s word but you are also provided with instruction from those who have great Bible knowledge and years of experience to assist you in the Bible’s transformative process. I know this in-depth, comprehensive approach to Bible study can have dramatic results, not only from my own experience, but also from the many comments I receive from students whose lives are being changed by the school’s curriculum (see student’s comments below).
             In February 2014, WVBS first introduced five courses to the online community. As time passed more courses were added. Under this program, you can study every book of the Bible plus a few additional courses which will help you in your understanding of the scriptures.
             The WVBS Online Bible School brings to you the exact same level of study that you would find at a Bible college or a training school for preachers. I am very excited about the impact the school is making in the lives of so many individuals around the world. God’s word is the only power to transform lives and save souls in our world today.

      Course News
       
             We are pleased to announce that we now have the Daniel Course available online. Which means we have all 45 courses of the curriculum accessible for free online viewing. The Daniel Course is a detailed examination of the book of Daniel. This is a study of the entire book in order to understand faith as it is shown in Daniel himself, his three friends and the kings of Babylon. These lessons will help you to see how the sovereignty of God (He rules the nations) is confirmed, and help you to understand the predictive and symbolic sections of the book.
             If you are unsure about which course you should be taking now I would highly recommend that you follow the same course order our Formal Students follow. The Formal Student order has been designed to provide the optimum approach to an understanding of the Bible. It provides a logical building process of new information being supported by the foundational principles learned in previous studies. The Formal course schedule order can be found by clicking on the "Course Schedule" link on the blue menu bar of the school website.

      Understanding God's Word
       
              We can occasionally be overwhelmed by some of the complexities found in God's word. We may even fail to see the true simplicity and clarity of the information found in the scriptures. What approach should we use to gain a good understanding of God's word? We begin by reading the passage to arrive at a summary of what we think the verse means. We would also want to take note of the questions we have about our text. Our next step might be to search the Bible to find all other passages that deal with the same topic. It is essential that we understand not only the immediate context where the verse is found but also the remote context where the same subject is taught. It would also be helpful to write down everything we learn and any questions we might have.
             We would want to consider several questions as we are examining the text such as:
      • What is the context?
      • Who wrote the text?
      • What do we know about the background of the writer?
      • To whom was it written?
      • What was the historical circumstance?
      • Why was it written?
      • What questions are naturally produced from the text?
      • What is the text about?
      • What are the key words found in the text?
             It is true that the Bible has some difficult passages to understand. However, God has given us His word in a way in which it can be understood. He expects us to be good and diligent students of the scriptures. The Bible continues to challenge us to learn more. We must push our minds toward greater understanding of the deep truths God supplies us. The Bible prods us toward a deeper and deeper study of God's will.

      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 the statement of faith says less than the Bible it has left something out. If the 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.

      October 2016 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director
      Russell Haffner

      I recently read about a prediction made by Hans Vestburg (former CEO of Ericsson) who said that by the year 2021 there will be over 28 billion devices able to go online. We are certainly living in exciting times. Advances in technology are making it possible for us to connect with people all over the world. The WVBS Online Bible School currently has students from over 140 different countries. It is exciting to think that even though the students may be divided by great distances they are closely united in their desire to learn the Bible.

      You are part of a global community seeking a better understanding of God’s word. It reminds me of the apostle Paul’s words to those at Ephesus when he said, "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:15-17). You are showing great wisdom as you seek to make the best use of your time to better understand "the will of the Lord" in a world which is becoming increasingly evil.

      My prediction is that in the years to come we will see thousands more demonstrating this same wisdom as they join you as fellow students in the school. As the availability of the internet expands we know that countless others will gain access to this valuable resource. I commend you because you have seen the benefit of the school and have resolved to seek a better understanding of God’s truth as you attempt to fashion yourself into a vessel of honor and holiness. Just as Paul taught in 2 Timothy 2:19-21,

      "Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.' But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work."

      Let us each seek to be sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.


      Can I Change My Email Address?

      If you would like to change the email address for your account there is no need to enroll again. The email address is used to track your progress in the school so if you enroll again with a new email address the record of your progress will be lost. Here are the steps to update your email address:

      • Go to the Online Bible School and Login to your student account.
      • Go to the "My Dashboard" menu option.
      • Click on the "My Profile" tab under the "My Dashboard" title.
      • This section provides information about your account and student status.
      • There is an input where you can update your email address.
      • Type in your new email address and click on the "Save All Changes" button.

      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.

      • "Passage 1 | Jerusalem: An Unforgettable City" is a 26-minute documentary about the significance and grandeur of the ancient city of Jerusalem, and its relationship to biblical history and thought.
      • "Passage 2 | The Ministry of Jesus in Northern Israel" is a 17-minute video which explores three famous sites involved in Jesus’ public ministry: Cana, the Mount of Beatitudes, and Caesarea Philippi.
      • "Passage 3 | Dan: City of Unfaithfulness" is a 17-minute documentary showing the significance of Dan as a center of idolatry and unfaithfulness to God.
      • "Passage 4 | In the Shadow of Gilboa: Reaping & Sowing" is a 23-minute video which examines several biblical events that occurred in and around Mt. Gilboa, Beit Shan, and the Jezreel and Harod Valleys.
      • "Passage 5 | Treasures of Qumran: The Dead Sea Scrolls" is a 24-minute documentary offering the viewer a tour of the home of an ancient Jewish sect thought responsible for producing the Dead Sea Scrolls.
      • "Passage 6 | Judah: David's Training Ground of Faith" is a 26-minute documentary about one of the ancient tribal territories of Israel and its relationship to the early life of King David. Filmed on location the film examines the historical account and poetic literature associated with one of Israel’s greatest heroes, and how the terrain, climate, and environs of Judah served as an important element in shaping his faith. This Passage will forever change the way you read the Bible, and especially the Psalms.

      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.

      September 2016 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director

      Russell Haffner

      School Director: Russell Haffner

      You are to be commended for your decision to undertake a thorough study of God’s word. You have devoted yourself to a better understanding of the Bible because you realize the importance of knowing God’s will. As you engage in this study I would encourage you to share what you learn with others. Sometimes we overlook the responsibility we have to teach God’s word. In Matthew 28:18-20 we find, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Jesus commanded the disciples to teach others the things He had taught them. Today we have the same obligation to teach others. However, our problem is we sometimes make this more difficult and complicated than it needs to be. In its simplest form evangelism only requires extending an invitation. We invite our friends, neighbors and co-workers to examine for themselves the teachings of Christ.

      One way you can do this is by telling them about the resources available at the WVBS Online Bible School (see the student comments section below for encouragement). You simply need to say something like, “The school is wonderful. I’m learning so much. You should try it.” This uncomplicated approach will help you to overcome any fear you may have when trying to talk to others about the Bible. Sometimes a kind invitation is all that is required to persuade them to investigate the teachings of God’s word. John 1:45-46 explains, “Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ And Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’”

      So, I encourage you to tell others about the school. Talk to them about the things you have learned. Explain to them why and how you became a student. If you tell them about the benefits of the school they may decide to see for themselves the resources which are offered. Simply extend to them a special invitation.

      Do Exams and Research Papers Scare You?

      Perhaps you have thought about enrolling as a Formal or Informal student but you are worried that the exams and research papers will be too difficult. Please allow me to ease your fears. We attempt to make the taking of exams as simple as possible. You are allowed to download the exams at anytime and even use them as a study guide while viewing the videos. On most exams you are given the page numbers in the Course Notes and/or the scripture citation where the answers can be found.

      It could be you are hesitant to upgrade your enrollment status because you don’t know how to write a research paper. There is a simple key to producing a good research paper. You should write about a topic that interests you. If you are excited about the subject you will find it much easier to write your paper. Your natural enthusiasm will enhance your efforts. As you write your paper try to put as much of yourself into it as possible. Make sure to present your thoughts and analysis based on what you have learned. Once you have chosen a topic that meets the requirements you should research what the Bible has to say about your subject. Then as you are writing you can explain what the Bible teaches and also any applications or life lessons we can learn from the verses examined. If you are writing about a character you could emphasize how their choices are similar to the choices we are called on to make today. You can write about their strength of character to emulate or even their faults to avoid.

      You can also research what others have written about your topic but make sure to use your own words to explain the text. If you use quotes from other sources document it correctly by using quotation marks and by giving credit to the author in parenthesis or as a footnote. Your research paper is a great opportunity to show what you have learned from the course.

      There are also other benefits if you upgrade your enrollment. Formal and Informal students not only have access to the videos and syllabus, but they also have free online viewing access to the teacher’s Course Notes and the Course Books which are published by WVBS.

      If you would like to change your status 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 to you a form to fill out to change your status.

      If you would like to remain an Auditing Student, having no interest in upgrading your enrollment, we completely understand. We commend you on your hard work and devotion. May God bless you as you continue your studies.

      "How Long Will It Take?"

      It is difficult to say how long it will take to complete the 45 courses of the school. The curriculum has over 960 video lessons which are each approximately 38 minutes long. This requires over 600 hours just to view the video lessons.

      To answer the question we would also need to consider the time required to read each book of the Bible as well as the assigned course books. For the Formal and Informal Students we must also add the time necessary to study and prepare for the tests and to write the research papers and other class assignments.

      As you can see there is no way to determine exactly how long it will take to finish all the courses because it will depend on how much time you have each day to devote to your studies. The courses are studied at-your-own-pace and do not have an official start time, end time or duration. However, you can rest easy knowing that any time spent studying God’s word is time well spent.

      August 2016 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director

      Russell Haffner

      School Director: Russell Haffner

      Unlike some who only read their Bibles on rare occasions (during personal crises or hardship) you have devoted yourself to an on-going comprehensive study of God’s word. Some may be content to get their understanding of the Bible second-hand but you desire to know for yourself what the Bible truly teaches. You are reaping the many advantages of a regular Bible study in which you glean from the scriptures the harvest of God’s word. You continue to gain understanding because you are involved in a systematic study of the Bible with a purposed goal to comprehend God's truth. You are seeing for yourself the benefits of this approach.

      In 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) we find, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The study of God’s word involves deep study. We are called upon to search the scriptures (John 5:39). We realize that often the information we need to gain from the text will not come easily. We must notice the details as we consider every word and phrase of the text. We must be good detectives reading the verses slowly and carefully so we do not miss what is being taught.

      Our goal as we study the scriptures is understanding (Matthew 24:15). We seek the true meaning of the passage that the Bible writer intended. Our problem is that we sometimes approach God’s word with our own preconceived ideas about what we think the Bible teaches. When we employ this method we are not using the Bible as it was intended. If we allow our own preconceived ideas to guide us we will twist the meaning of the scriptures to our own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). We need to allow God’s word to say what it says not try to make it say what we think it should say or what we want it to say. The wrong approach to the scriptures will spoil any benefit we might have gained. May we open our eyes of understanding so that we might see God’s truth and walk in His way (3 John 3-4).

      "I Lost My Password"

      Perhaps you have lost your password and don’t know how to proceed. In our records we do not retain the passwords of the students, 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, enter the random CAPTCHA code characters 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.

      Can More Than One Student Use the Same Computer?

      There is no problem with two students using the same computer, however before you start your lessons make sure that you are logged-out of the other account and then login to your account. To logout of an account, first go to the Online Bible School website and scroll to the bottom of the page. If you see on the right-hand side a message that says "Welcome" to a specific student username which is not your own click the "Logout" link. You can then login using your account. If there is not a “Welcome” message, but instead a login form, then you can simply login to your account and proceed.

      July 2016 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director

      Russell Haffner

      School Director: Russell Haffner

      Thank you for enrolling in the WVBS Online Bible School. The school has been operating since February 2014 and in our short history we have experienced many blessings. Today the school is privileged to serve over 8,000 active students from more than 140 different countries. Each week we have over 120 new students enroll. Our desire is to reach as many people as possible in the world who are interested in a comprehensive study of God’s word.

      The teachers in the school seek to instruct from a position of high standards, high expectations and overall excellence. The school is seeking students who possess those same values. We encourage you to raise the bar and set high objectives for yourself. Have faith in your own abilities. We feel confident you will dedicate yourself to a high academic level of achievement. You are capable, intelligent and worthy of learning the great truths of God’s word. The WVBS Online Bible School wants to provide you the academic climate that encourages self-empowerment and growth. We are prepared to provide the resources necessary to all who seek greater Bible knowledge.

      We know that choosing a Bible school can be difficult. It is one of the biggest decisions you can make. We take seriously the responsibility of training students for a lifetime of service in Christ’s kingdom, and we hope to provide you with all the information you need for your spiritual growth. We welcome the opportunity to connect with you and to discuss how to serve you better. If you have any questions or if you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact me.

      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. 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 desire you then need to register for the course by clicking the “Register” button located on the course page. Once 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 also notice tabs on the course page for Description, Syllabus, Course Notes, Course Books and Tests. Click on the appropriate tab and the document will be displayed. These materials are provided to Formal and Informal Students completely free. 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 anytime. There is no official start time for any of the courses. They are always available - 24/7. On the “Course Schedule” you will notice we have all courses available for immediate online viewing except Daniel. We hope to have the Daniel course available in a few months.

      Meet The Faculty

      The quality of the school is seen in the exceptional talent of its teachers. We are honored to have Denny Petrillo as part of the school’s faculty. He always does a wonderful job bringing to you instruction from the word of God.

      Professor Petrillo teaches several of our courses including Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Ezekiel, Minor Prophets, Matthew and John. Denny is a preacher, ministry trainer, and president of the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver, Colorado. Denny began his work at Bear Valley in 1985 after teaching at York College and Magnolia Bible College and preaching for churches in Mississippi, Arkansas, Nebraska and Colorado. He has been a minister for over 30 years and has degrees from York, Harding University and Harding Graduate School of Religion as well as a doctorate in religious education from the University of Nebraska. We are honored to have him on the staff of the school.

      June 2016 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director

      Russell Haffner

      School Director: Russell Haffner

      I trust this letter finds you in great spirits and enjoying life’s many wonderful blessings. For new students, welcome to the school. Our goal is to provide you a positive, dynamic and comprehensive resource for studying God’s word. We are eager to share with you the opportunities and advantages the school provides.

      For current students, the focus is your continued spiritual growth as you pursue your education in the school. We want you to have a rewarding experience as you avail yourself of the materials provided. We understand there are many challenges in today’s life, so we want to make sure you have the educational resources necessary to prepare yourself spiritually for the life to come.

      I strongly encourage all students to diligently pursue continued progress in your studies. Paul told the brethren in the region of Galatia, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). There is a great harvest of knowledge to be gained as you study the course material. I want to do all I can to assist you in your efforts to learn more of God’s word. I am honored to serve you and would be pleased to answer any questions you may have concerning the school or the course materials.

      How Long Will It Take?

      It is difficult to say how long it will take to complete the courses. The curriculum has 45 courses with over 960 video lessons which are each approximately 38 minutes long. This would require over 600 hours just to view all the lessons. You would also need to consider the time needed to read each book of the Bible as well as the assigned course books. To this you must add the time needed to study and prepare yourself to take the tests and write the term papers and other class assignments.

      As you can see there is no way to determine how long it will take for you to finish all the courses because the courses are studied at-your-own-pace and do not have any official start time, end time or duration. It will depend on how much time you have each day to devote to your studies. There are no limits on how many times you can access the courses as you view and study them. I am looking forward to working with you as you study God's word.

      Course News

      We are pleased to say that of the 45 courses of the curriculum we currently offer 44 for free online. Our final course (Daniel) should be online within the next few months. We also have all the tests available for our Formal and Informal Students to download directly from each course page. These students have online access not only to the course description and syllabus, but also the course notes, course books (which WVBS publishes), and tests. If you are an Auditing student, now would be a great time to enroll as either a Formal or Informal Student so you could also enjoy these great resources.

      May 2016 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director

      Russell Haffner

      School Director: Russell Haffner

      I would like to commend you on your decision to engage in an in-depth study of God’s word. Too many people go through this life never achieving their full potential, and never fulfilling God’s desire for their life. However, as a student of the school you are taking a vital step which will dramatically shape your future. It is important that you realize the possibilities represented by the choice you have made. Instead of wandering through a meaningless unfulfilled life you have, to a large extent, determined to insure for yourself a victorious future. An education in God’s word provides an opportunity for you to gain not only knowledge but also satisfaction, contentment, peace and if obeyed eternal life in heaven.

      The Rewards of Hard Work

      Please realize that success in the school requires hard work, dedication and sacrifice. As the old saying goes, nothing worthwhile is ever easy. And this is certainly true of a Bible education. A comprehensive understanding of God’s word requires time and effort.

      I would encourage you to make your understanding of the scriptures your top priority. Don't allow yourself to be defeated by distractions. There will be moments when you think it is too hard, moments when you doubt your abilities, but this is normal. We all have our doubts at times. However, you must not let the doubts themselves defeat you. Press on through the uncertainty and keep your eyes on the goal.

      There may be times when a particular course seems too hard. The work required may seem impossible to accomplish. If it looks like the school is beyond your abilities, decide to at least give it your best effort. If the work proves to be too much, so be it, but don’t let your doubts defeat you. It is hard to live with the lingering regret that you did not succeed simply because you did not give yourself a fair chance to achieve your goal.

      Making God a Priority

      If your life becomes busy and you find that you are not viewing the video lessons like you once did, make a concentrated decision to redouble your efforts. Make time for your studies and then guard that time against all distractions. Give priority to your exploration of God’s word. There will always be pressure from the frenzied pace of life but your work in the school must have its dedicated place on your schedule.

      You can achieve your goal, but it will require effort. Take confidence in knowing that all the hard work and effort will be worth it as you continue to increase your knowledge of God’s glorious truth. The future is yours. May God bless you as you seek to learn and understand His truth.

      Past Newsletters

      You may not be aware that on the school website we provide an archive of our past “Student Newsletters” for your convenience. The monthly newsletters are prepared to encourage you and inform you concerning the current events and opportunities of the school. If you examine the archived material you will find many interesting topics such as:

      Three Levels of Enrollment

      Formal Students follow a required course order designed to make their progression through the Bible easier. They also have free online viewing access to Course Notes, Course Books and Tests. Their assignments include viewing all lessons, writing term papers and taking written exams. All assignments are sent in via email to the WVBS Online Bible School to be graded. Graded material is returned to the students in an email attachment for their own records and future edification. When all course requirements are successfully accomplished Formal Students are issued a certificate of completion for that course. They receive a diploma when they have successfully completed all required courses.

      Informal Students have the same requirements for each course and cover the same material but they are able to choose in which order to take the courses. Informal Students receive certificates for each course successfully completed but no diploma is awarded.

      Audit Students are not required to do the course work such as exams or term papers. They are allowed to take the courses in any order they desire. Audit Students do not have access to Course Notes, Tests, or Course Books and do not receive certificates for the courses nor a diploma when they finish viewing all course.

      If you would like to commit yourself to working toward a graduation diploma then we recommend upgrading to Formal Student status. 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 the Formal Student Registration button. This will provide to you a form to fill out to change your status.

      April 2016 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director

      Russell Haffner

      School 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.

      Discount On Videos

      If you are an active Formal or Informal Student who is not able to go online to view the courses, or simply wants to have the course DVD’s for your own library, you may purchase the course DVD’s at half of the web store's regular price. This is for Formal or Informal Students only. When you order the course DVD’s you must include your student ID number in the "Company" field of you billing address to receive the discount. If your ID Number is not included you will be charged full price. The discount will be applied after you are verified as a student.

      The notebooks are not discounted because of the cost of postage and production. There is also no discount on DVD's and books not used in the school. However, there is a student discount for the course notes on USB flash drive. If you desire to purchase the Course Notes on USB Flashdrive for the discounted price of $49 (regularly $99) you must call: 512-398-5211 and ask for the student discount (you will need a credit card and your student ID number). Thank you for your interest in our material.

      Invitation To Auditing Students

      We would like to take this opportunity to invite all Auditing Students to upgrade their enrollment status to either an Informal or Formal Student level. Consider the advantages. Informal and Formal Students not only have free online access to the course videos, but also free online access to the teacher’s Course Notes, Course Books (required textbooks that we publish) and Tests.

      Formal Students follow a set Course Schedule which is designed to make their progression through the Bible easier. Their assignments include viewing all lessons, writing term papers and taking exams. Upon completion of all course requirements you are issued a certificate of completion. You receive a graduation diploma when you have successfully completed all required courses.

      If you choose to be an Informal Student the requirements for each course are the same but you will be able to choose which courses you want to take and you may take them in any order you desire. Informal Students will receive certificates for each course but no diploma will be awarded.

      To change your status make sure you are logged-in, then select MY DASHBOARD located on the blue menu bar at the school website. When you do so you will see your current Enrollment status, as well as options for other student levels. Simply select the level you prefer and you will be given the application form to fill out to change your status.

      If you want to remain an Auditing Student we completely understand. We commend you for your hard work and devotion. May God bless you as you continue to learn more.

      March 2016 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director

      Russell Haffner

      School Director: Russell Haffner

      As you study in the WVBS Online Bible School you will soon discover that the level of instruction is equal to and even far superior to many degree granting seminaries and colleges. The school faculty has years of combined study and experience teaching these courses in a classroom setting. Every instructor who teaches in the school is presently, or has been, an instructor in a Bible training school. These men are among the finest teachers available today.

      One such faculty member is Chuck Horner. He teaches several of our courses including Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, Mark, James and more. Professor Horner is an alumnus of Drake University located in the United States in Des Moines, Iowa, where he majored in actuary science and minored in accounting. He graduated from the Bear Valley School of Preaching of Denver in 1974. He has served on the administrations of York College and the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. He served both as an instructor and as director in the Southwest School of Biblical Studies in Austin, Texas. In the fall of 1986 he helped start World Video Bible School where he currently serves as an instructor and trustee.

      We are honored to have Chuck Horner as a part of the school’s faculty. He always does an outstanding job bringing to you instruction from God’s word (see student comments below). The quality of the school is seen in the exceptional talent of its teachers. To God be the glory.

      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. First, you simply need to 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” order 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 will then need to register for the course by clicking the “Register” button located on the course page. Once this is done you will have full online access to the course. You can begin watching the videos immediately. Simply click the “Lesson 1” link. From each lesson page you will be able to view a 30-40 minute video lesson.

      If you are a Formal or Informal Student you will also notice tabs on the course page for Description, Syllabus, Course Notes, Course Books and Tests. Click on the appropriate tab and the document will be displayed. These materials are provided to Formal and Informal Students completely free. 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 anytime. There is no official start time for any of the courses. They are always available - 24/7. On the “Course Schedule” you will notice we have all courses available for immediate online viewing except Daniel. We hope to have the Daniel course available in the months to come.

      Fifth Bible Land Passages 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.

      • "Passage 1 | Jerusalem: An Unforgettable City" is a 26-minute documentary about the significance and grandeur of the ancient city of Jerusalem, and its relationship to biblical history and thought.
      • "Passage 2 | The Ministry of Jesus in Northern Israel" is a 17-minute video which explores three famous sites involved in Jesus’ public ministry: Cana, the Mount of Beatitudes, and Caesarea Philippi.
      • "Passage 3 | Dan: City of Unfaithfulness" is a 17-minute documentary showing the significance of Dan as a center of idolatry and unfaithfulness to God.
      • "Passage 4 | In the Shadow of Gilboa: Reaping & Sowing" is a 23-minute video which examines several biblical events that occurred in and around Mt. Gilboa, Beit Shan, and the Jezreel and Harod Valleys.
      • "Passage 5 | Treasures of Qumran: The Dead Sea Scrolls" is a 24-minute documentary offering the viewer a tour of the home of an ancient Jewish sect thought responsible for producing the Dead Sea Scrolls. We examine three magnificent treasures: the devotion of Qumran’s inhabitants, the place they called home, and the oldest copies of the Hebrew Bible ever discovered.

      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.

      February 2016 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director

      Russell Haffner (Director)

      School Director: Russell Haffner

      There are many challenges we face in this life. Some come to us through the normal events of our day, but others are those we seek out. We sometimes look for ways to better ourselves. When we accept these challenges we are granted an opportunity for improvement and growth. This is especially true in our spiritual lives. In the Bible we find many examples of great men and women of faith who accepted the challenge of spiritual growth.

      Abraham was not afraid to accept the challenge to leave family and friends behind to look for a better country promised to him by God. Hebrews 11:8-10 tells us, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. We also notice that Abraham was promised blessings if he would accept the challenge (Genesis 12:1-3). His courage was rewarded and our courage will be rewarded today.

      What characteristics are seen in those who are willing to challenge themselves? When we look to the heroes and heroines found in God’s word we find they had faith, determination, commitment, perseverance and dedication. They were motivated by their faith and trust in God.

      Meeting the challenges of life always requires work. We are told in 1 Corinthians 15:58 to be "steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord." We understand that accepting the challenge of spiritual growth is an ongoing daily effort. Jesus said that if we desire to follow Him we must deny ourselves and take up His cross daily (Luke 9:23).

      Your work in the school is a great benefit to your spiritual life. You have challenged yourself to learn more about God’s word and as a result your faith is growing. I commend you for your devotion and commitment. My hope is that God blesses you as you seek to grow in your knowledge of the scriptures.

      Special Offer From WVBS

      Our friends at WVBS have made available a special offer to the school. They are willing to sell their Course Notes on USB Flashdrive for a discounted price of $49 to all Informal and Formal students. The printed spiral bound notebooks are not discounted because of the cost of postage and production. There is also no discount on DVD's and books which are not part of the school’s curriculum.

      The Course Notes on USB Flashdrive is like a large, searchable Bible commentary with over 18,000 pages of material. It contains notes on every book of the Bible, 76 notebook titles covering various Bible topics, over 200 sermon outlines (most with sheet illustrations) and over 10 books! A powerful search engine makes it simple to locate words or phrases throughout the notes. The material is in Adobe Reader (PDF) format and can be read on your computer screen or printed out on your printer.

      If you are an active “Formal” or “Informal” student and desire to purchase the Course Notes on USB Flashdrive for the discounted price of $49 you must include your student ID number in the "Company" field of your billing address to receive the discount. If your ID Number is not included you will be charged full price. If you do not order online you may call: (512) 398-5211 and ask for the student discount (you will need a credit card and your student ID number). When you order, the discount will be applied after you are verified as a student.

      Student Comments

      "How wonderful it is learning the word of God. I feel very satisfied learning and reading the Bible. Thank you so much for offering this study of the Bible." (New Zealand)

      "I am greatly benefiting from the wealth of knowledge I am deriving from each and every course offered by your institution." (South Africa)

      "I'm doing this to get more knowledge of the Bible so I can become a preacher. I've had an interest since I was baptized to Preach God’s word." (West Virginia)

      "Thank you Mr. Haffner, these courses are such a blessing!! I am enjoying them all so much and learning so much and thanking God for His provision. Thanks and God Bless you richly." (Canada)

      "Great lessons, thank you for the work you all have put in to creating these!" (Texas, USA)

      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 (The Bible from God to Us, Hermeneutics, Christian Evidences, and Greek). The school is designed for anyone who wants a focused, organized and thorough study of the Bible.

      January 2016 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director

      Russell Haffner

      School Director: Russell Haffner

      As the school begins a new year we welcome those who have newly enrolled and salute those who continue their studies. I encourage you to press on diligently and never doubt that you can fulfill your desire to complete the WVBS Online Bible School!

      I realize that students enroll for many different reasons: 

      • To grow closer to God
      • To increase their knowledge of the Bible
      • To learn how to improve their spiritual service
      • To discover and develop their talents for the Lord
      • To learn how to become a better leader, teacher or member of the church

      Regardless of your reason for studying with us I am glad you have chosen to be a part of the WVBS Online Bible School. I commend you for your desire to have a deeper understanding of God’s word. You have set an admirable goal in your life and I will do all I can to encourage you during your journey.

      View a world map of currently enrolled students:

      Optional Videos Now Available For Genesis Course

      Students will now have free access to four exciting new videos covering Noah’s Ark and the Global Flood. These optional videos are provided as supplemental information to the Genesis Course. When you register for the Genesis Course you will find these videos on the Genesis Course page as well as the page for Genesis Lesson 6 which corresponds to the covering of this topic.

      Throughout history Noah’s Ark and the Global Flood have been the focus of famous artwork, scholarly discussions, written works and public dramatizations. While some have accurately upheld the Genesis account, many more have distorted and abused the facts until subsequent generations struggle to determine fact from fiction. In order to distinguish the truth about Noah’s Ark, and to clear the fog-of-confusion, Branyon May (Ph.D.) plainly addresses the facts and clearly demonstrates “The Reality of Noah’s Ark.” This two-hour video series contains four parts addressing (1) the Ark, (2) the Animals, (3) the Global Flood, and (4) the story of Noah. Each part contains stunning visuals and concrete examples to strengthen your faith.

      The Ark (26 minutes). When you think about the reality of Noah’s Ark, you might have questions about its size, its construction or its cargo. Have you ever asked, “Did Noah and his sons really build the Ark? Did they really live on it with all those animals for months? Or, how about the BIG question, How large was the Ark? Well, on these questions, we don’t have to be left wondering. In the Bible, God gives very precise details to Noah, especially on the question of how large the Ark was to be.

      The Animals (26 minutes). Have you ever heard the questions: “How did Noah and his small family find and trap the animals? How did Noah transport the animals and house them all on the Ark?” These questions are common, but there is a problem with each. They are based on scenarios which do not come from the Bible and are not based on scientific facts. In studying the reality of Noah's Ark and its animals, we have to consider exactly what the Bible describes about this event.

      The Global Flood (33 minutes). How big was the Great Flood found in the Bible? Was it a local flood affecting only the region around the Black Sea? Or, was it a global flood covering the entire world? As we consider these questions we need to focus on how the Bible describes this event. Join us as we look at internal and external evidences for the biblical flood: from the Bible’s precise terminology and descriptions, God’s detailed instructions to Noah, and life’s preservation.

      The Story of Noah (39 minutes). Noah was born into a sinful and morally unraveling world. The Bible describes a world filled with violence, wickedness and corruption. How did the world fall into such awful conditions? What were the challenges that faced Noah and his wife, as they tried to raise their family? What was the path God wanted them to follow? Consider the biblical account of Noah's life and response to God.

      Student Comments

      "This school is the best. It helps me with my walk with God." (Missouri, USA)

      "I'm looking forward to learning more with a systematic study of the Bible." (Qatar)

      "Thank you so much sir. I hope to increase in knowledge and understanding and pray to gain wisdom." (West Virginia, USA)

      "Thanks brethren for admission into the school. I hope I can do better and grow spiritually in God and preach His word." (India)

      "I would like to learn more about the Bible to be able to answer questions for others and have knowledge to pass on that I can verify with the Bible." (Alabama, USA)

      Fourth 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.

      • "Passage 1 | Jerusalem: An Unforgettable City" is a 26-minute documentary about the significance and grandeur of the ancient city of Jerusalem, and its relationship to biblical history and thought.
      • "Passage 2 | The Ministry of Jesus in Northern Israel" is a 17-minute video which explores three famous sites involved in Jesus’ public ministry: Cana, the Mount of Beatitudes, and Caesarea Philippi.
      • "Passage 3 | Dan: City of Unfaithfulness" is a 17-minute documentary showing the significance of Dan as a center of idolatry and unfaithfulness to God.
      • "Passage 4 | In the Shadow of Gilboa: Reaping & Sowing" is the newest video in the series and shows epic events in the life of the Israelite people during the time of the Judges and Kings of ancient Israel. Recorded on location in northern Israel, this 23-minute video examines several biblical events that occurred in and around Mt. Gilboa, Beit Shan, and the Jezreel and Harod Valleys. The lessons taught in these places offer truths as enduring as the beautiful settings in which they occurred. The achievements of Gideon and the tragic demise of King Saul are revealed in this thrilling documentary about what happens when you either sow to the Spirit or sow to the flesh.

      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.

      December 2015 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director

      Russell Haffner

      School Director: Russell Haffner

      This is the time of year when some like to make New Year’s resolutions. A resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something such as losing weight, saving more money, overcoming a destructive addiction, or perhaps working on relationships. Some may question the value of making resolutions but it is certainly helpful to examine our lives and look for areas which could use improvement. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”

      Allow me to suggest that for the coming year we should each resolve to study our Bibles more. There is nothing better for us than an improved understanding and more complete following of the teachings found in God’s word. The WVBS Online Bible School provides a wonderful opportunity to gain a better understanding of the will of God. It provides the structured systematic approach we all need to help us in our study of the scriptures. So let’s take advantage of the benefits provided by the school and make 2016 a great year!

      The Power of God's Word

      In the year 1800 Alessandro Volta invented a remarkable device which still has a staggering influence on our lives today - the first practical battery. Imagine what the world would be like without this often overlooked and underappreciated invention. The ability of a battery to store power gives us the freedom of mobility we often take for granted in our fast-paced daily schedules. There is a battery in our cars, mobile phones, laptops, tablets, etc. The instantaneous and convenient power provided by a battery is truly amazing.

      In a way the gospel is also a source of power and can even be stored-up like a battery. Paul said in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Paul makes it clear that the “gospel of Christ” (the good news of His death burial and resurrection - 1 Corinthians 15:1-3) is “the power of God unto salvation.” When the purity and simplicity of the gospel message is taught and obeyed it brings about salvation. The gospel truth is full of power and like a battery its power can be stored.

      As a student of the school you are storing-up the power of the gospel in your heart and mind like a battery stores energy. And if your “Bible” battery begins to lose energy you can recharge it repeatedly with more study of God’s word. This wonderful power is always on hand and ready to be used. The knowledge is available when you are talking with friends or even when you are confronted by a skeptic. God’s word stands as a constant help in your daily life. In Psalm 119:11 the psalmist declared to God, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Store up God’s word in your heart today and tap into the greatest source of power.

      Student Comments

      "I have been working on a couple of the courses and have been so impressed with the content that I truly wish to pursue working my way through the entire program. What is being provided is immensely valuable to anyone serious about Bible study."
      (Canada)

      "I love everything on this site and I want to learn about the word of God."
      (Uganda)

      "I am learning so much from your years of hard work in these scriptures and I appreciate it so much. It is amazing how I study the Word continuously year after year and yet receive knowledge of things I have overlooked. Thank you."
      (Georgia, USA)

      "Thank you so much! I am really enjoying this course. I love it. I love learning about God and studying His word. Thanks to you and the team for helping me with this course. I am truly grateful."
      (New Zealand)

      "Thank You for this wonderful opportunity to study the Bible and get back into learning something formally. I look forward to using my knowledge and sharing it with others."
      (Minnesota, USA)

      Extra Resources on the School Website

      There may be resources on the school website which you have not noticed or have yet to investigate. Please take some time to explore the website. You may discover some things which are not only of interest to you but also extremely helpful.

      November 2015 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director

      Russell Haffner

      School Director: Russell Haffner

      Thank you so much for your participation in the school. Your good efforts are appreciated. I hope you are enjoying the courses and pray that God continues to bless you as you study His word. As a student, you know better than anyone the value of these courses.

      I hope you are excited about the school and eager to tell others about the free resources which are provided. The school is truly a new and exciting opportunity to study God’s word. Our lives are filled with opportunities to point others toward God’s word. It seems this time of year especially brings to us chances to reconnect with family and friends. This can provide a convenient time to tell them about the free resources available in the online school. When you tell them about your remarkable experience they will probably encourage you, but they may even decide to join you as an enrolled student of the school.

      There are so many in the world seeking a better understanding of the Bible. Who knows, maybe you can be the one to bring the study of God’s word into the life of someone close to you. Your influence is indispensible in reaching those who may be seeking a better understanding of God's truth. Thank you for your efforts in this great cause for the Lord.

      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 the statement of faith says less than the Bible it has left something out. If the 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.

      Student Comments

      "Dear Mr Haffner and the WVBS Online Bible School team I just want to thank God and you for this Bible school. l have just finished the book of Genesis and l have learned a lot. Thank you very much. The school is such a blessing to me and l am really enjoying the teachings. And thank you very much for making this Bible school free it really helped me because l wanted to study the Word of God but l was not able to afford to go to college to do so. But l give thanks to God because through the school my prayers are answered l am now able to study the Word of God. Once again thank you."
      (South Africa)

      "Thank you. I ask GOD to guide me in everything I do. And you help me more than you know. Thank you. I think the WVBS Online Bible School is the best thing that has ever happened to mankind."
      (Florida)

      "I chose to learn from the word of God through the WVBS Online Bible School because of the clarity the Genesis Professor speaks. Thanks to take into consideration people whose first language is not English. My first language is Spanish and I am not fully bilingual but I defend myself really well and with the help of God and the Holy Spirit I think I can do this. God bless!"
      (Puerto Rico)

      "This is the best way I know to continue my study of God's Word."
      (Texas)

      "As a missionary family on the foreign field, we are always thankful to find solid educational resources online for free. They are a true blessing to us and a huge help in homeschooling our daughters."
      (Paraguay)

      Courses Offered

      The WVBS Online Bible School is a self-paced online video correspondence school. It is designed for students who want a focused, organized and intensive study of the Bible. In the school we cover every book in the Bible as well as a few other Bible related subjects. We feel these additional topics will enhance the student’s understanding of the Bible.

      The Christian Evidences Course is a survey of the logical reasons for believing in God’s existence and in the inspiration of the Bible. The purpose of this course is to examine the many evidences upon which Christianity rests, to provide a rich, in-depth study of God’s word, and to provide convincing proof, both from internal and external sources, of the Bible’s claim as the word of God.

      The Hermeneutics Course is an in-depth study of biblical hermeneutics (principles of Bible interpretation). The course provides practical application of the rules and methods involved. The student who successfully completes the course will understand the relationship between faith and proper interpretation, the requirements of in-depth Bible study and the pitfalls of faulty interpretation.

      The purpose of the Greek Course is to introduce the linguistic fundamentals of the Greek language of the New Testament. The course will introduce and familiarize the student with the general concepts for utilizing the Greek New Testament, acquaint students with the use of lexical aids and educate students about the use of the Greek word studies in sermons, classes and devotional preparation.

      The Bible: From God To Us Course is an in-depth study of the inspiration, canonization, transmission and translation of the biblical text. Though technical in nature this is also a marvelous faith building course. The evidence presented in the course is overwhelming that we do have today an accurately preserved text of both the Old and New Testaments and that both are exactly what they claim to be – written by the hand of God.

      These courses are available completely free on the internet. We are using the latest technology available to ensure the most effective presentations. Our desire is to provide online Bible instruction to anyone who wishes to learn more about God's word. The instructors are faithful and biblically sound Christian men. The content of the lessons is pure non-denominational teaching based on accurate exegesis of the Bible.

      October 2015 Student Newsletter

      Words from the Director

      Russell Haffner

      School Director: Russell Haffner

      My hope is that your experience in the school is both enjoyable and rewarding. I would also encourage you to share your newfound knowledge with others. Christians are called by God's word to serve (Galatians 5:13; Matthew 25:31-46). The greatest service we can provide is sharing our knowledge of the scriptures with those who do not understand or have yet to hear the soul saving truth.

      On the masthead of the school website you will see a prominently placed Bible verse. Second Timothy 2:2 reads, "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." This verse constantly reminds me of the goal for the ongoing efforts of the school. There is a profound responsibility to pass on the truth of God's word to others.

      All who are involved in the efforts of the school believe strongly that comprehensive, in-depth, Bible study is for everyone, not just a select few. An accurate understanding of God's word is vital for successful Christian living. Therefore, the school was created to provide free, online, Bible instruction so that all might gain a deeper understanding of the scriptures. The curriculum is designed to promote both intellectual and spiritual growth, realizing that the two should never be separated but are complementary and mutually dependent.



      While the school can be a great tool for training ministers, church leaders and Bible class teachers, it also provides great resources for anyone who wants to simply study God's word and grow in understanding of His will. We are all called by God to know His word (2 Timothy 2:15), to live in accordance to it (Matthew 7:21-27; James 1:21-22) and to tell others about it (Mark 16:15-16; 2 Timothy 4:2). May God bless you as you seek to fulfill His will in your life.

      Recommended Videos

      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 the following 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.

      The first recommended video is "Passage 1 | Jerusalem: An Unforgettable City." We received many positive responses from students concerning the quality and content of this video.

      The second video in the series is "Passage 2 | The Ministry of Jesus in Northern Israel." Like the first this is a short lesson, less than thirty minutes long, but it contains a wealth of information.

      The third video in the series is now available. It is called "Passage 3 | Dan: City of Unfaithfulness." This 17-minute documentary shows the significance of Dan as a center of idolatry and unfaithfulness to God. Important aspects of Dan are explored. First, its location in the northern section of Israel helped to define the extent of the land controlled by the Israelites. Second, the modern site of Dan is important because of the archaeological discoveries that have been made. What archaeologists have unearthed really helps us to have a better understanding of both Old Testament life and the full veracity of the Bible. Third, the site of Dan is very important because of the evidence of idolatrous practices confirming the Bible's description of their unfaithfulness and loss of identity as God's people.

      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.

      What About The Syllabus?

      The syllabus for each course is provided to serve as a roadmap for the class. It identifies specific course content, goals and focus. The syllabus also includes basic course information, a course rationale and course objectives. The syllabus for each course can be found on its course page. You will notice tabs below the title thumbnail for "Description" and "Syllabus". When you click on the appropriate tab the document will be displayed. If you desire a printed copy of the syllabus, there is a “Print” button located to the upper-right of the displayed document where you can print personal copies.

      As you read the syllabus you will find general information about the course such as the instructor, the number of video lessons and the approximate length of each lesson. You will also find a description of the course and the purpose of the course. You will be informed concerning the necessary materials provided for the course such as video lessons, course notes and course books. Formal and Informal Students have the Course Notes and Course Books provided to them for free online viewing. These students have chosen to do the required assignments for the courses so they can earn a certificate. Their course assignments include not only viewing all the lessons but also completing term papers and tests.

      I often find that students are hesitant to upgrade their enrollment to the Formal or Informal status simply because they do not want to take tests. However, the opportunity to be tested on the information learned is one of the most valuable elements of the school. When you prepare yourself to take the test you gain a deeper understanding of those things learned. The information is better grasped and retained in your mind.

      We attempt to make the taking of tests as painless as possible. The students are allowed to download the tests at anytime and may use the tests as a study guide while viewing the videos. On most tests the student is provided the page number in the course notes where the answer can be found. The numbers in brackets [ ] after each question on the test are the page numbers in the course notes and/or the scripture citation that the question is based upon.

      The goal is to make the school as user-friendly as possible. The syllabus for each course and course tests are great examples of helpful resources provided for your benefit. Thanks be to God for the opportunity to engage in a comprehensive study of His word.