—The 7 Basic Courses!Malta, 9/78DO 1381
—As Good Now as Then!
1. Thank You Lord for this happy little Family meeting, help us to derive some benefit from it, in Jesus' name. Thank You for the fellowship, Lord, and for this place to live and to meet and for Thy provision for our needs‚ the good meal and this time together. TYL! Bless it and make it a blessing‚ in Jesus' name. Have Thy way, Thy Will be done, You know what's best.
2. Well, I've been thinking and praying about it that maybe I need to spend a little more time with you folks, we need to have a little more fellowship and a little more inspiration. I know you have your inspiration daily in your devotions, and I get mine from the Letters too, PTL, but there are some things I'm curious to know. Sometimes we take things for granted that everybody already knows them, but it would be interesting to find out how many of you, as a sample of the Family, have had what we call the Basic Course.
3. We did get out a booklet called "The Revolutionary Handbook‚" and it had quite condensed lessons along this line‚ extremely condensed, I thought almost too condensed. But in our early days we considered those lessons very important because they were designed to give every single one of the Family what we considered the very basic absolute minimum Bible knowledge and otherwise that you ought to know and you need to know in order to be a good witness for the Lord.
4. Most of the courses were originally designed by the writers of the Bible, because most of them were Bible courses, but some of them were originally designed by the Soul Clinic as the absolute minimum that any soul winner or witness needs to know in order to be a good faithful witness for the Lord. In our early school we somewhat streamlined some of these and embellished others and added a few that we thought were essential also, till we had them in a nice compact little package of about seven separate courses.
5. Some we called three-hour courses which you had three times a week, Monday‚ Wednesday and Friday; some were two-hour courses, Tuesday and Thursdays‚ an hour each time; and others were just one–hour courses that you had either on Tuesday or Thursday.
6. These Soul Clinic courses, or the basic courses, are very valuable Bible studies and things which every Christian and everybody who's supposed to be a student of the Bible ought to know, the very basic essentials.—Particularly anybody who wants to witness to others about the Lord and wants to witness to them in an international medium which is pretty well recognised worldwide, such as the Bible.
WHY THE BIBLE IS IMPORTANT!
7. The Bible is pretty well known and is a fairly well-recognised authority. Most people at least have heard about it and a lot of people respect it, and there are millions of people who even believe in it! So if you can quote the Bible to them, or if you can even find the verses you want or the proof you want in the Bible and show it to them‚ a lot of people will believe it.
8. And even for the people who pretend not to believe it, the Word is powerful just the same and very convicting!—"Sharper than any two-edged sword," full of the power of the Spirit and very convincing.—Heb.4:12. I've used the Bible on a lot of people who didn't believe in God or the Bible at all, but it sank in and it drove home.
9. So I hope you're not neglecting your Bible reading and Bible studies and reading only the Letters. The Letters are like a commentary, they're a little bit like the Talmud, explaining a lot that's in the Bible and a lot that's not; things that the Lord has given nevertheless—that I know, whether you believe it or not—and some things which are just as important as what's in the Bible. But if you limit yourself completely to the Letters and not the Bible, then you're missing something, because these were given more or less with the understanding that you already knew the Bible and were at least familiar with the Word of God.
COURSE ONE: SCRIPTURE MEMORISATION!
10. We had a schedule of memory work originally which we thought was very essential, primarily verses on Salvation, a few Psalms, Isaiah 53 and some Messianic Prophecies that we required you to learn by heart and quote from memory, which were very good for you. Some of the Psalms like the 23rd Psalm, 1st Psalm, 19th Psalm and 91st Psalm are very encouraging and helpful to you and someday they might be the only Word of God you've got, what you've implanted in your heart!
11. So we considered the Scripture extremely important. It is an authoritative Book, recognised and believed by millions, and a lot of people will accept it if you can show it to them in the Bible, that the Bible says so. They'll believe it, or at least they'll respect it, or they'll stop and think about it and it will impress them in some way.
12. So it's important to at least be able to find the verses that you want to show people when you're witnessing. I'm no Bible lawyer like my son Aaron was, who could quote almost any Scripture and tell you chapter and verse wherever it was in the Bible. If you'd be searching for a Scripture and trying to quote it, he could quote it for you and tell you where it was besides, a real lawyer of the Word!
13. But usually I know approximately where it is and I can find it and show it to you if you need it—and if I don't, I can always look it up in my dear little Cruden's Concordance.—It's a little crude, but at least it's sufficient! So Scripture Memory Work was one of the most important courses we had. We taught seven basic courses that we considered extremely important, the facts that every Christian should know to be a good witness for the Lord. PTL!
14. You say, "What's the use of us learning any of it? We can't even witness or litness, we're selah!" Well, I wouldn't say that! You may not be able to litness or identify yourself as one of us, but there's nothing wrong with identifying yourself as a Christian and being able to quote the Bible. There are millions of Christians in the World, a few of whom can quote the Bible, so it wouldn't be too identifying.
15. It's not too wise to identify yourself as a Bible–spouting Christian just everywhere, but on occasion when it's needed and there's somebody who needs help and when God opens the door and the opportunity and the Holy Spirit lays someone on your heart who needs to be talked to about the Lord—you never know when it's going to happen—you ought to at least be able to feed that soul the spiritual food that it needs.
16. So we felt these seven basic courses were very important, and one of them was Scripture memorisation. I wonder how many of you have taken the Scripture Memory Course? I don't know what your leaders called it, but we called it the Scripture Memory Course, and the idea was that it was a course in which you simply memorised Scripture. It was usually our one–hour-a-week class because you only had one class a week in it, and during that class you had a test on what you'd been assigned to memorise.
17. Then you were given your next assignment‚ what you were to memorise for the next test‚ and you had a week to memorise it in. Normally we didn't give you more than about a verse a day to memorise, and we didn't consider that too heavy a load.
18. And yet some people feared that course almost more than any other course we taught‚ they were scared to death of having to memorise Scripture! They thought they couldn't memorise, it was too hard or something.—The only reason being that it's just plain hard work to memorise! You have to work at it and it's just like digging a hole or scrubbing the floor or washing the windows or dishes, it's just hard work!
19. You've just got to keep repeating and repeating and repeating and repeating! Normally you'll memorise a verse phrase by phrase, that's about the best way to do it. You can't usually memorise the whole verse in one fell swoop, but you take it phrase by phrase or clause by clause depending on how many words you can retain at one shot.
20. —Such as the verse‚ "For God so loved the World," most of you learned that much first. That's not too hard to remember, is it? Can you remember that‚ "For God so loved the World"? That's six words. And the next thing you learned was, "That He gave His only begotten Son," about half-a-dozen words at a time, right? "That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish" —seven more words!
21. So usually in about three phrases or clauses you have learned the verse! That's usually only about six or seven words per phrase or clause or line, and you naturally put the words together that are the easiest to remember in series and you learn one clause at a time. The law of memory is repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat!—Just the very opposite thing from what they teach you in Bible Colleges, where they supposedly teach you how to preach. They say, "Never repeat yourself, it's repetition, it's tautology, it's boring!"
22. But if you know anything about any lawyer, if he's going to win the case he keeps drilling the same facts into that jury over and over and over again‚ saying the same words until they have memorised it and they can't forget it! Then when they are deliberating the case, they remember it. So it's just plain hard work, but it's good for you to learn Scriptures.
23. So we thought it was important to memorise Scripture so you could quote the Bible to people. Because most people have heard about the Bible, they know about the Bible, and a lot of people claim to even believe in the Bible. But we have found that most people, though they have heard about it, know about it and believe in it, they don't know it. A lot of people know about Jesus but they don't know Him. They think they're saved but they're not because they don't even know Him!
24. So Scripture memorisation was one of our courses and we assigned what we considered the most essential verses in the Bible to learn, the most essential passages, and it was good for us and I think it's good for you. (1989: And now you have your Memory Book that Mama helped compile for you!)
KEEP IT SIMPLE!
25. I found in witnessing that it's far better to give a few verses and keep repeating and repeating and repeating and repeating them until they have heard those verses so much they can never forget them, instead of getting up there and preaching at them and spouting off so much Bible they don't remember anything you said. It's far better to have a good grip on a few essential verses. That's why I didn't give any more for Salvation than I did, I only gave you seven verses and four simple little steps. (See No.527.)
26. All my life I tried to simplify things, boil things down and condense things. You may not think so from reading some of those long Letters, but when it came to things that I really felt you needed to know, or my students needed to know, I tried to make them short and sweet and simple and easy, and I tried to make the tests that I gave my students in school, tests that they could pass. The whole idea was to know it, not try to make it so tough you flunked everybody out!
27. I'm almost convinced after going to quite a few colleges and universities that modern education's principal aim is to make life as complicated as possible and to make simple things complex! That's the Devil's whole job, to try to bring confusion, he's the author of confusion.—1Cor.14:33. The Apostle Paul himself says, "Beware lest ye be led astray from the simplicity of the Gospel!"—2Cor.11:3. Keep it simple!
28. Now I grant you a lot of my Letters are not simple, but not all my Letters are for everybody. Some of those Letters are for people who just want to know certain things and are interested in those certain things, and they're willing to study and think and really want to know more than just the basics—a little more complicated, but interesting and true.
FAITH COMES BY HEARING THE WORD!
29. If you get the Word down in your heart and you know it, it's going to be a great help to you, but if you don't even know it, how can you believe it? It's almost hard for me to believe anybody's even saved who doesn't know or at least grasp John 3:16. If they don't know one single Scripture verse in the Bible, how can they believe? What do they believe?
30. You're saved by believing the Word, "Faith comes by hearing the Word of God!"—Rom.10:17. You say, "Well, maybe they heard it once and then they forgot it." Well, maybe they forgot their Salvation too, I don't know! But if you ask me, I'll tell you that I believe anybody who's really saved must remember at least part of John 3:16 or some Scripture that gives them the essential Salvation. They must know some verse on which they're hanging their faith. They must know some verse by memory, or at least part of the verse, on which they're leaning for their Salvation by faith.
31. How can they be saved if they don't know the Word? Paul goes into that and finally winds up with, "How can they believe if they don't have the Word, because faith comes by hearing the Word!" So when your faith depends on your knowing the Word, it is very important for you to know the Word. I have studied so much Bible all my life and memorised so much and read so much, that when I need a Scripture the Holy Spirit is faithful to pop it into my memory somehow. Either I memorised it or heard it preached on or at least I read it.
32. Sometimes Scriptures come into my head that I can't ever even remember memorising at all or even trying to memorise, but I have apparently read it sometime, and when I needed it the Holy Spirit quickened it to my memory. When I was a young Christian I wasn't very much on memory work, but I just read and read and read and read the Bible. I didn't realise that I was memorising it‚ but I was, and I knew lots of verses by heart because I had read them so much, over and over again.
33. So how can they believe unless they've heard the Word? How can you believe unless you know the Word? You say, "I believe the Letters, I know them!" Well, praise God‚ that's the Word too, but you've missed a lot if you don't know the Bible, because that's really the basics. The Letters are largely a commentary or an extension‚ further revelations, further knowledge, more detail sometimes on certain subjects than you find in the Bible. But the Bible is your Basic Course in a way.
34. The Letters in a sense are a commentary or an extension or an enlargement or greater detail‚ but it's all based on the Bible, and you should know your Bible. It would even help you to believe the Letters better if you knew your Bible well, because you would know that the Letters are based on the Word and they are in conformity with the Word. They don't contradict or deny it in any way that I know of, I don't recall any that do. If I had ever known any that did I would have thrown them out!
"TREASURES NEW & OLD!"
35. The Bible is an absolutely inexhaustible source of wisdom and knowledge, out of which you constantly find "treasures new and old‚" beautiful!—Mat.13:52. So the Bible is a marvellous Book and I hate to think that you neglect it and confine and limit yourself just to the Letters‚ because the Letters are based on the Bible. The Word, the Scripture, the Bible is their foundation, and you will find that in many of the prophecies that the Lord has given subsequently, He has repeated Biblical phrases, Biblical quotations, used Biblical language, and He's telling you again what He's told you before.
36. So I hate to see you neglect the beauties‚ the riches, the treasures and the power of the Word of God! As you see, there can be certain truths that we think of as new truths, but as Solomon said, "There is no new thing under the sun" (Ecc.1:9), it's been there all the time!
37. I think it's thrilling when we discover something old that was there all the time, that we were so dumb and so stupid and so blind we never saw before!—Such as our conception of the Holy Spirit as a Mother, a female embodiment of Love. I think it's beautiful and I think the artists have just about gone wild over it, nearly gone to the extreme on it! But I enjoy it, I like those pretty pictures, and I hope you like them too! I'm sure it's driving the System wild, but they love them too! They love to put them in their newspapers and magazines, they love to be horrified at them!
38. They all love them but they just don't want to admit it! If they didn't like them‚ they wouldn't be publishing them and talking so much about them. It's kind of like I used to tell my kids in school when the girls complained that the boys were teasing them: "Well, you'd better be thankful they pay any attention to you at all! If they tease you it's a sign that they like you, otherwise they wouldn't pay any attention to you!"
BIBLE STUDY & MEMORISATION!—Not in Bible Colleges!
39. So we considered Scripture memorisation virtually the most important course, and it was probably the course for which the Soul Clinic almost became the most famous! I don't know another single Bible College, Bible University or Bible Institute in the United States, of all the ones I knew, who had a course in which you did nothing but memorise the Scripture, not a one!
40. You could go through most Bible Colleges without ever memorising one single verse or Scripture! And you could go through most of them without hardly even cracking the Bible or studying or reading the Bible! As one of their professors told me one day, "Well, our job is not to teach you the Bible." I said, "What do you mean?—That's what I came to Bible College for, to study the Bible!" "No, no, we spend four years giving you the tools and teaching you how to study the Bible, and after you leave here is when you start studying the Bible."
41. So if you want to study the Bible, don't go to Bible College, that's not where they study it! That's just where they tell you about the Bible, teach you about the Bible, give you all kinds of information about the Bible and about the writers of the Bible and the times of the Bible. I was dumbfounded to discover in all the different Bible Colleges that I went to, that they studied very little Bible and they memorised virtually none at all!
42. I used to brag that my students, after sitting under me for three months in our little Soul Clinic school, not only knew more about the Bible, but more Bible than any four-year or six-year Bible College or two-year Seminary student that you could produce, and I believe it!—Because they study so much junk and theory and pastoral theology and exegesis and synthesis and a lot of things you never heard of!—How to construct sermons, how to run the business of your church and blah blah!—As well as a bunch of languages that will never do you any good unless you really do want to study the Bible.
43. Well, I must say they did give me some tools that I am thankful for that did help me study the Bible in later years‚ and I am thankful that I studied Greek, Hebrew and Latin, now supposedly dead languages, but very helpful if you want to study the Bible and really understand the meaning of words or be able to read them or dig them out of your concordance. So there were a few things I learned in Bible College which were a little bit helpful or advantageous, but I learned very little Bible. I learned more Bible before I ever went to Bible College than they ever taught me in Bible College, and I've learned a whole lot more than that since!
44. So we thought it was important to learn a few Bible verses in the course of three months, 90 days. That was only about a verse a day if they learned 100 verses in usually about 91 or 92 days. So it wasn't too hard, it wasn't too bad. Just thinking about 100 verses all at once is hard, but to just learn them one at a time, one a day‚ that's not hard to do at all! I used to try to encourage my classes about memorisation. Some were scared to even come to our school because they heard you had to learn so many verses and memorise so much Scripture.
45. Some would say‚ "Oh, I can't remember anything, I can't memorise!" I don't know how many people used to tell me that! I'd say, "Do you know your name?" "Well, of course I know my name!" "Do you know your phone number?" "Yes‚ of course I know my phone number!" "Do you know your address? Do you know your birth date? Do you know when you were born? Do you remember your mother and father's names?
46. "Don't tell me you can't remember or you can't memorise‚ it's just that simple! You have just heard it so often or read it so often or seen it so often that you can't help but remember it, and that's all you have to do with the Scripture verses. Just read it over and over and over again and pretty soon you'll remember it, even if you don't know how to remember it phrase by phrase."
47. It's not that hard to do‚ especially only one verse a day, and you ought to be doing that now. Even Davidito does that! We expect our children to do it, are you doing it? Don't tell me you know the Bible unless you have memorised some of it and you know it word for word! Well, that was one course, and that's the one we considered the most important.
WHY WE USE THE KING JAMES VERSION!
48. Another course that I loved to teach and which I thought was extremely important was what we called General Bible Knowledge, in which we simply studied the Bible as a whole, its general contents.—In this case not going over it word for word, and verse by verse, or even Book by Book, but being able to answer questions like, "Why do we use the King James Version?"—And I used to be able to give seven reasons why. I don't know whether I can remember them all now or not, but I can remember at least three or four of the most important ones. Maybe that will give you something to think about!
49. In a course where you memorise a lot of Scripture, one of the first questions the students ask is, "Well, why can't I memorise in the New Version or this version or that version? Why do I have to memorise the King James Version?" Well‚ there were some very good reasons for it! Can you think of any?
50. The most important reason for it was that in the English language the King James Version is the most well-known and familiar, and if you quote that, most people will recognise it and know you're quoting them the Bible. The King James Bible is a classic of literature, written in the days of Shakespeare and Elizabethan English. One of my critics wrote and said, "You made one mistake in one of your Letters, you said that one reason you liked the King James Version is that it's in the English of Shakespeare's day, and Shakespeare lived 200 years before the King James Bible!"
51. I had to write back and tell this dear smart-aleck that I'm so sorry but Shakespeare was probably one of the collaborators and advisors on the King James Version since he knew English so well and was such a literary marvel himself, and he didn't die until five years after it was even published! He died, as I recall, in 1616‚ and the King James Version was published in 1611. This guy was trying to tell me he lived 200 years before, so I guess when he got that letter his face was red!
52. So it's in that same beautiful Shakespearean English that they used in that day, the most beautiful English ever written!—Classical English, beautiful English, uncorrupted, unadulterated, Elizabethan, Shakespearean English, which I believe was probably ordained of God for the English-speaking peoples of the World. God knew He was going to spread the English language around the World and more people were going to speak it than any other language, and therefore He wanted a good Bible for that language, so I'm sure He inspired that.
53. I believe that not only the Bible was inspired, but I'm one of those fanatics who believe that the King James translation was inspired! I'm a little bit like the old lady who said, "If the King James Version was good enough for the Apostle Paul, it's good enough for me!"—Ha! Of course, the dear Apostle Paul never saw the King James Version, at least not in his physical form, and he no doubt studied the Scriptures in both Hebrew and Greek. So in the General Bible Knowledge Course we studied why we use and memorise particularly the King James Version, and I can give you a lot more reasons later.
THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE!
54. Also one of the first requirements and assignments in the General Bible Knowledge course—and this scared half the people to death—was to memorise the names of the Books of the Bible! Some used to get mad about it and say, "Well, I don't see why that's necessary! Why should I memorise the 66 names of all the 66 Books in the Bible? I don't think that's important!" I said, "All right, you find me this verse now in Amos, will you please?" "Amos?—What's Amos?" "Well, you find me this verse in Hezekiah." "Let's see, I'll find Hezekiah somewhere!"
55. Maybe some of you aren't laughing because you don't know that's not a Book in the Bible! There's no such Book in the Bible as Hezekiah! My kids stumped a preacher on this once, a Pentecostal preacher of a big church in Ft. Worth, and embarrassed him before the whole congregation! They were conducting a quiz of the young people and the pastor was sitting there, and there was some joke about where in the Book of Zacchaeus is this verse, and this preacher was so smart, he was going to tell them!—And it turned out, of course, there's no Zacchaeus. There's a Zacchaeus, the little man who sat in the tree, but there's no such Book in the Bible!
56. —The point being that if you are going to use the Bible as a tool, and you are going to use passages and verses out of the Bible to prove your point or to give the Truth to the people, if you don't even know the names of the Books or where they're at in the Bible, how are you even going to find them? How are you going to show them to somebody else if you don't even know where they are yourself?
57. It would be like the little newsboy on the corner that I told you about, when the famous evangelist Billy Sunday asked him the way to the post office! After the boy told him, he said, "Okay‚ now you come out to my meeting tonight, and I'll tell you how to get to Heaven!"—And the tough little newsboy said, "Huh! You don't even know the way to the Post Office!"
58. So if you don't even know how to find the verses in the Bible‚ how can you purport to be wise enough to tell others how to find Heaven! If you don't even know the names of the Books or where the passages are and how to find them, God help you! I'll admit I still have a little problem finding a few of them, especially in the minor Prophets and some of the minor Epistles. I forget exactly which order some of those are in‚ particularly Peter, James and John! Do you know what order they're in? (Fam: James, Peter, John.) And do you have any idea why they did it that way?
59. Well, by the time they were getting the Epistles together and putting them into the canon, as they call it—it has nothing to do with a gun‚ although it's a pretty good gun—it just so happened that James was considered more important than Peter and was the head then of the Church at Jerusalem. Peter had gotten somewhat disgraced by several of his foolish actions, so at that time James was the bigshot. He was older and he was considered a little more stable and he was known as the Bishop of Jerusalem.
60. Poor Peter kind of got left out because he lost his head! Well, he didn't really lose his head, he got crucified upside-down.—By his own choice, by the way, because he said he didn't deserve to be crucified like the Lord, so he asked to be crucified upside-down. Well anyway, you may think you know the Bible until you take a course in General Bible Knowledge under me!
61. One of the things we always required was to memorise the Books of the Bible in their proper order and be able to write them down. You're not always going to be able to look it up in the Index, you know, or in the list of Books in front. Wouldn't you look a little foolish to some guy you're witnessing to if you said, "Now let's see‚ there's a verse in Nehemiah I want to show you, let's see, where's Nehemiah? Oh‚ that's on page so-and-so!" Not all Bible page numbers are even numbered the same either, so you can't always go by the page numbers.
62. So in our Bible Knowledge course we memorised the Books of the Bible and we learned the various groups of Books and what their general subjects were so that you could find your way around the Bible‚ sort of like studying a map and the various areas around here so you'll know where these various places are. If you don't even know where they are, how are you going to find them?
63. It used to be that the moment we brought a new disciple into the Family they were immediately put in the basic class and started learning and taking these regular scheduled classes every day, learning the basic lessons. So General Bible Knowledge was one.
BIBLE SECTIONS & CHRONOLOGY!
64. Do you know that the Bible is divided into certain very logical sections? Do you know what the first and largest group of Bible Books is? Well, actually the first important Books of the Bible are called the Pentateuch. You don't have to remember that word, it's just a big word that means the first five Books of the Bible. Pentateuch means five Books, isn't that smart?
65. See what I mean by higher education?—They just have to use big words for something simple. Instead of saying "five books" they just say "Pentateuch"—enough to make you puke! They use big long words like "sexual intercourse" instead of a simple little word like "fuck!" That's education! Education teaches you to use bigger, more difficult words when a simple little short one will do, and tell you that if you don't use those big complicated long words you're not well-educated!—Or so they think!
66. A little child can get along better, quicker, and talk more simply and understandably than most college professors! This is probably one reason why Jesus said, "Except ye become as a little child ye shall in no wise enter the Kingdom of Heaven."—Mat.18:3. You get your head stuffed so full of all kinds of crap that you can't even think straight! I ought to know, I went through a lot of it. That's why I kept quitting colleges and going to another one. I had a well–rounded education, I went around and around!
67. So the first five books of the Bible are called the Pentateuch. Do you know who was the author of the first five Books of the Bible?—Moses. And did you know they were not written until his day—and when was that? In that course I also taught my students to memorise not a whole exact chronology, but to learn major dates rounded off to the nearest 500.
68. Now if you would round off the date of Creation to the nearest 500, you would say Creation was about 4,000 B.C. If you'd round off the date of the Flood to the nearest 500, it was about 2,500 B.C., rounding it off to the nearest easy simple number to remember. The date of Abraham's time?—2,000 B.C. The date of Moses and the Exodus?—1,500 B.C. The days of the Kings?—1,000 B.C. See how easy that is?
69. Just go down the line and about every 500 years something important happened, and that way you can get it sorted out so that you can understand and remember. It's good to know at least a little chronology, a few dates, so that you don't get it mixed up and think that Moses was before Abraham or something crazy like that! If you pull a boner like that to somebody who knows, he'll know you're pretty simple and you're pretty stupid, and how can you show him the way to Heaven when you don't even know the way to the Post Office?
70. So in that course I taught simple Bible chronology and there were only a very few actual specific dates that I required, such as the date of the fall of Northern Israel, Samaria, and the date of the fall of Jerusalem itself. See, there are a few dates you need to remember. This is particularly important if you're going to study Bible Prophecy and know the difference between prophecies which have already been fulfilled and prophecies which are yet to be fulfilled.
71. So in my General Bible Knowledge course we try to make you familiar with the Bible as a whole, its construction, its make-up, the major dates—just what it says, General Bible Knowledge! So that's the second course, and I'll try to run through the others real fast for you. At least three of them were actual verse-by-verse Bible studies.
ACTS—HOW TO ACT!
72. We considered the most important Bible study course of a Book was a study of the Book of Acts, verse by verse through the 13th Chapter.—Not beyond that because then it's just telling the stories of what happened.
73. We considered that the first 13 Chapters of Acts were not a history of the Church‚ but a blueprint for the Church, God's plan and the way He intended the Church to operate and act and do. He calls it the Acts of the Apostles and He expects the Apostles of today to still act like that! So we studied the Book of Acts verse by verse, the first 13 Chapters, and that was my course 3 times a week.
74. It's a fascinating Book and you'll find a lot in there that maybe you never noticed before, bringing out the basic fundamental operations which they went through and how they formulated certain policies & certain formulas of action, what they resulted in and how the ultimate end result was always witnessing and winning souls. I don't know whether you've ever had that course or not, but it's a fascinating course.
THE BOOK OF JOHN
75. Another very simple course‚ usually taught by Mother Eve or somebody like that with a simple mind, was the Book of John, and that was simply a study of the life and the teachings of Jesus, basic teachings of Christ and His life and what happened, etc., rather simple but very interesting. Mother did a very good job at it, and in fact she could probably teach it today better than I can because she spent years teaching it over and over and over again! I don't know if anybody here ever had the Book of John under Mother Eve‚ did you? It was very good!
WE NEED THESE BASIC COURSES!
76. The reason I'm even doing this with you now is‚ I'm wondering how many of our people have ever had these courses, and if they've never had them, they need them! If they haven't had them already, it's about time they took them and studied them. I was praying about it during the night the other night, thinking it's a terrible loss to the Family that they don't even have these Basic Courses, the basic knowledge of the Bible and basic things they need to know.
77. How in the World are we ever going to teach them? We have it in that one little Revolutionary Handbook, but that doesn't amount to much and is too brief. That was the first book we ever published and it's out of publication now. A lot of it was Joel's writing and his ideas, which he learned from me, of course, but more or less in his way of putting it‚ and almost too abbreviated and too brief and condensed.
78. So I thought‚ well, most of the Family haven't had these courses, in fact the only ones I know of that ever really had them are a lot of the Old Bottle leadership who are now gone and even backslidden, sad to say. They took the old wine and they liked that, but they couldn't take the new wine. These courses are what you would call the old wine, really.
79. These courses are the old wine because it's basic Bible‚ but it might be new wine for the Family now!—Although when I first took these courses there was a lot in it that was new to me, and I'd been through a lot of Bible Colleges and pastored churches and been in evangelistic work all my life, and I didn't take these courses until I was about 40 years of age! So I found out I still had a lot to learn, they were not taught in the way Bible Colleges taught them.
80. Bible colleges teach the Book of Acts—if you want to take the course, which most people don't bother to take—but they teach it simply as a history of the church: "It's something that happened 2,000 years ago and it's not important‚ just history!"—And you know how people look at dead history. "Well, it's interesting, but so what?" But we teach Acts as a living Book, something God expects to be happening now, still happening, and should have kept happening from then on! That's the way the church ought to be now and the way it ought to be acting now!
5TH COURSE: BIBLE PROPHECY!
81. So Scripture memory work, general Bible, Book of Acts, Book of John—that's four—then I taught Bible Prophecy also. That was a pretty heavy three-hour course which consisted of a verse-by-verse study of two Books primarily, the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation, and we went over those pretty much in detail. You have those now in my series on Bible Prophecy.
6TH COURSE: WITNESSING!
82. And the sixth course was witnessing, what witnessing is all about!—How you should witness, how you shouldn't witness, etc.—Simple little lessons like I've told you about in the Four Steps of Witnessing. (See "FFing!—4 Steps and 7 Proofs of Salvation," No.527.) The way I used to teach it was this: First of all, ask questions; second, listen to the answers; third, give God's answers; and fourth, get a decision. And did you know you can always get a decision?—Either "yes‚" "no" or "later," and "later" is the same as "no!" So those are the four phases of witnessing, and we'd go into greater detail on why that's so.
83. It's amazing how few people know how to witness! It's amazing how many people want to preach sermons instead of witness. It's amazing how many people want to reverse things, like some people do about prayer. Most people pray, "Hear, Lord, Thy servant speaketh‚" instead of like dear Samuel‚ the little baby prophet at five years of age who said, "Speak, Lord, Thy servant heareth!"—1Sam.3:1-10. You get a lot further that way‚ listening to the Lord instead of talking so much that you don't even have a chance to listen to what He has to say!
84. With most people, prayer is a one-way street and they do all the talking and don't have time to listen to God; and some people witness that way! I've gone door-to-door with a preacher who knocked on the door and the only way he knew how to witness was to preach a sermon! "Dearly beloved‚ we are gathered here together"—I mean you'd think he was preaching to a congregation! The dear little housewife would come to the door and blink her eyes and wonder, "What in the World is going on, anyway? Here's this preacher on my doorstep and the baby's falling out of the high chair, the dinner's burning and the wash is ready to be hung and I'd like to hang him!"
85. So there are a lot of do's and don'ts in witnessing, whether it's on the street or Door-to-Door or DFing or whatever, but they're embodied mostly in just those basic four things. How are you going to witness to somebody if you don't know a thing in the World about them? You don't even know yet whether they're saved or not, or whether they know the Lord or believe the Bible or believe in God or anything else! How are you going to know those things if you don't ask them?
86. As a witness you're a soul doctor! You ask the patient what's wrong: "Give your symptoms, what's your problem?" Now wouldn't you think it was funny if you walked into a doctor's office to tell him about your illnesses and problems and he just grabs a piece of paper and writes you out a prescription, "Here!"—before you had a chance to open your mouth! That's the way some people witness!
87. Well, we know the Bible's a prescription and we know it's got all the answers‚ but how do you know you've got exactly the right one for that particular case unless you ask some questions?—And what good is it going to do to ask the questions if you don't listen to the answers? Sometimes it does people good just to talk! You might have to sit there and listen to them for an hour or two or more, just let them spill the beans. And the more they talk, the more you learn about them and the better you'll know how to talk to them in the long run.
88. You're like a doctor to a patient, who listens to them give their symptoms and all their troubles and what their aches and pains are. And as you listen, then you begin to diagnose what the problem is, what their principal problem is, and what they really need.—What kind of prescription they need, what verse they need, what particular answers they need. And of course the answers are all in God's Word, right? So after you've heard all of their answers—which are not always the right answers—then you give them God's answers to their problems!
89. You've asked them and you've heard what they need, they've heard the answers‚ then you just simply get some kind of a decision, whether they want to accept it or not, and that's all there is to it! That's just Simple Witnessing in a nutshell! Of course, there's a lot more to the Course and we'd give all kinds of tips and examples and illustrations and put on little skits to show how to witness and how not to witness and all kinds of things‚ which makes it interesting. I sometimes taught that course, but normally I left it to someone who was our Witnessing Director and took the students out witnessing and whose main job it was, although I liked to get into it once in awhile myself.
THE ARITHMETIC OF SOUL-WINNING!
90. So that's six courses, and those were part of the original Soul Clinic course which got to be World-famous and did a good job, got 300 missionaries on the field, so I wouldn't knock it! I liked it, it taught me a lot, I learned a lot, and those were the basic things you needed to know. A lot of it was actually from some of the great men of God and teachers who had taught these things, famous preachers like Moody and Talbot, and things that famous good personal soul winners and good personal witnesses had learned.
91. —Like Dr. Spencer Chaffey, the famous professor who got himself in trouble with Billy Graham and all the evangelists by saying that any simple Christian who was a good witness for the Lord could win more souls to the Lord in his lifetime than Billy Graham or any other evangelist! And boy, this made some of those bigshots blow up! "The idea, to think any simple little ordinary nincompoop of a Christian could win more souls than I can! I win them by the hundreds!"—the evangelists would retort!
92. Dr. Chaffey used to prove by statistics that if you faithfully witness and win at least one soul every six months and teach that soul in the next six months how to win another soul, that by the time your life was ended I've forgotten how many million souls would have been won, more than Billy Graham could ever think of winning!—Just by a simple little process of personal soul winning and teaching others to win souls!
93. It's like the old story of, "Which would you rather have, a hundred thousand Dollars today or a penny on the first day of the month, two cents the next day, and then double it every day until the end of the month?" Well, as I recall, you wind up with a total of over $10 million Dollars, believe it not, just by doubling those pennies every day!
94. If you yourself would win one soul to the Lord at least every six months, one good firm Salvation, and spend the next six months teaching him how to win other souls, and thereby you win at least two souls a year to the Lord‚ and each of your converts wins two souls a year to the Lord, and each of their converts wins two souls a year to the Lord—if it were possible, and you can figure it up some time if you want to—it would be possible to win the entire population of the Earth in 16 years! Believe it or not! You figure it up some time!
95. Dr. Spencer Chaffey was a Baptist, by the way, from Dallas Theological Cemetery, the biggest Baptist Seminary in the World outside of Louisville—Louisville is their biggest and Dallas was second. And he wrote a book on it and he put all that in his book, how you could be a better soul winner than Billy Graham without ever having a meeting or preaching a sermon, just by simple witnessing to people around you and by winning just one soul every six months.
96. Most of the good soul winners I knew did a lot better than that!—And our kids in school and our kids in the early days of the Family used to win more than that every day‚ and some of them even got disciples to join every day‚ or at least every week! So at the rate they were going we should have been a lot further than we are now! The whole problem is that not everybody carries on the faithfulness, the continuity of it continuously. Some people drop by the wayside along the way somewhere, sad to say.
7TH COURSE: SPIRITUAL LIFE!
97. And the last course which we added was what we called the deeper life or the spiritual life course. It was a course on the Holy Spirit and the things of the deeper Christian life a Christian should know about—like healing, gifts of the Spirit and all those things which we thought were very important.
DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO THE POST OFFICE?
98. Now I wonder how many of our kids have had those courses? I got to thinking about it the other night and I thought, "Well, Lord, have I failed them? Where did we fail?" I taught teachers to teach these courses‚ and in the early days, every single Colony we had was another little school just like the school I had run. The teachers were my own disciples teaching the new disciples‚ called babes‚ these Basic Courses, exactly the same things that we had taught, and that's the way it used to be.
99. But somewhere along the line apparently quite a few people slipped up and it seems like these seven basic courses sort of got lost. And oftentimes when I'm teaching or writing under inspiration or giving you something I often think, "Well of course they've already had the whole Basic Course and they know all these things and I'm just repeating what they've already heard and maybe I'm wasting time." And then it comes to me, "Well, maybe a lot of them haven't!" So the other night I thought‚ "Well, I wonder?"
100. It would be a good test to find out just right here in our own family if you know these things. Have you had them, do you know these courses, do you know the answers?—And God helping me, I'm going to find out within the next few days!—Because I don't feel like my job on this Earth is going to be done until you are pretty well grounded in all of the basic absolutely essential knowledge that I think you need to know.—The simplest, most basic kind of knowledge that if we had just three or four hours a day to spend in classes, I could teach you in three months of only five days of classes a week, believe it or not! Well we don't have that much time‚ but maybe if I had an hour or so a couple of nights a week we could get through some of this and you might learn something!
101. I haven't wanted to embarrass you, but if I started asking you questions on these things, I wonder how many of you would know these basic things and the basic answers—some of the most basic essential knowledge you ought to know as a Christian and as a supposed Bible student. I wonder! If you don't know, God help us, I wonder how many other people are like you who also don't know these basic things!
102. How good a Family and how good witnesses and soul winners and missionaries and apostles are we going to be if we don't even know the way to the Post Office as far as the Bible's concerned! So if you don't know, how could we expect the rest of the Family to know? Maybe some old-timers, sticks-in-the-mud who are pretty muddy, might know some of those, I don't know!
103. Maybe you've stuck with me through the new wine but maybe you don't even know the old wine! But sometimes old wine is supposed to be even better than new wine! New wine is more novel, but old wine sometimes is good and mellow and very good to enjoy. So I was thinking, "Lord, if even our own family here doesn't know these things, I wonder how much or how little the Worldwide Family knows? And if they don't, if they've never had these courses, if they've been neglected and lost along the way, when are they ever going to get them?"
104. And it came to me, "Well, if you'll find out if the folks right here know, maybe you can run through these courses quickly with them, or try to, and see how much they know and try to teach them what they don't know." Maybe we can even do like we're doing tonight and put it on tape and condense it and squash it down a little bit to where the whole Family can get the same old Basic Courses that we began with, which I kind of wonder if they've ever had! I know Jeth never got them, not even Deborah ever got them. They left too soon because they never wanted to get them, and you can see where that got them!—Clear off the beam!—And quite a few other people too.
IF YOU HADN'T A BEEN'R, WHO'D A BEEN'R?
105. So if you hadn't a been'r, who'd a been'r?—If you don't know the courses, who does? If you haven't had it, they haven't had it‚ and if you get it‚ maybe they'll get it too. You've heard my story about the little girl, they asked her what her name was and she said her name was, "Whodabeener." They said, "Whodabeener‚ what are you talking about? What kind of a name is that? That's no name!" She said, "Well, I was the 9th child and my father said if I hadn't a been'r, who'd a been'r?" Maybe it'll dawn on you after awhile, it got to be a family joke in our family!
106. Anyway, if you hadn't a been'r‚ who'd a been'r? If you haven't had the course‚ who has? So maybe we could sort of dig a little bit into some of those. That's the trouble with trusting others and the old oral system we used to have when we began. I taught those Basic Courses for years, over and over and over and over again, but we never recorded them and we never put them in writing, and so where are they now? Who knows them now? Who's had them now? When I was teaching that, Maria wasn't around, so it's not her fault. By the time she came along we were on the move and on the road and we didn't get much chance to teach any Basic Courses any more at all, we were really on the run!
107. And by the time we got to TSC I was beginning to get new things and new revelations and beginning to get the first Letters, which you know and you have and you've read, and Maria was there to record, and that's why you've got them. I doubt if Maria has ever even heard me teach the Basic Courses. I'm sure she's heard me teach a lot out of it or heard parts of it here and there, but I doubt if she's ever heard me teach a regular class of one of those Basic Courses, have you? (Maria: I've heard bits and pieces.)
108. Normally my classes were two-hour classes, that's pretty long, but it takes time to cover the territory! We just went over it progressively, step by step, Verse by Verse, Chapter by Chapter. Even in the General Bible Course I used to like to take them through at least the first two or three Chapters of Genesis. It's amazing how much is in those Chapters and how little people understand about Creation and those things.
109. We used to teach that if a student sat through the seven basic courses‚ which we called the three–month Basic Course, and had taken good notes and passed the tests, that that student should be able to turn right around and be the teacher of the same courses the next three months, and that's the way we did it. We'd pick out our best students who made the best grades and seemed to get the best grasp on the subjects and give them some of those courses to teach the next class of new beginning students!
110. Well, it worked very well as long as we were around with an eye on them and listening and making sure they got everything, but that's what happens to all what they call oral transfer of information, little by little apparently the whole courses almost were lost along the way somewhere, somehow, and most of you have never even had all the Basic Courses! (Prays:)
111. You know what's best and what they need, Lord, and we do want to ground these in Thy Word and in the faith and make sure they know all they need to know. We believe that every one here is really saved, Lord, and knows Thee, has Thy Spirit, and is pretty well grounded in the basic essentials‚ but we just want to make sure, Lord, that they know all the basic things they need to know. There may have been a slip-up somewhere where some of them missed some things that they should know.
112. So help us, Lord, to be able to take this time in which we can go over these things and try to just make sure that they have all the tools they need to do the job. TYL! Thank You, Lord, for this Home and this Family and for our freedom to be able to do these things now, and the work we've been getting done and the Letters and Komix and all. Bless them and make them a blessing and continue to keep us safely! Thank You Lord for all Thy blessings—health, strength, provision, protection and a place to lay our weary heads tonight, in Jesus' name, amen!