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Through the prophet Ezekiel, God tells each of us in chapter 3, verse 10:
"Listen carefully to everything I say and then think about it." (CEV)
"Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears." (ESV)
"Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears." (KJV)
"Mortal man, pay close attention and remember everything I tell you." (GNB)
Notice that in each translation, God is telling us to think, to pay attention, to take to heart all that He has revealed to humankind in His Word.
What is our primary purpose or objective in designing these lessons? Of course, we want to be a blessing to those who may not have had opportunity to attend Bible College or Seminary or who just want to refresh their knowledge. But our primary objective is to create a renewed passion and hunger in each of us for the things of God.
I know many of you have multiple advanced degrees. But really, can any of us say that we have attained perfect knowledge and understanding of the Most High God? Is there nothing left for us to learn? Or, would God still say to each of us today -- whether Doctors, Bishops, Apostles, Elders, Prophets, Pastors, Sunday School teachers, Worship Leaders, multi-lingual Evangelists, etc. -- "Pay close attention," "Listen carefully," "Think about it"?
I think we all would agree that learning is a life-long process that doesn't stop after we achieve a certain certificate or degree. We should never feel we have "arrived" or we've learned all there is to know! In fact, after many years of study, one thing I've learned for sure is "the more I know, the less I understand." The Scriptures command and encourage you to "study to show yourself approved by God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightfully dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). And we, not only as pastors and teachers, but as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, should always hunger and thirst for that which can only be found in God's Word and in drawing closer to Him. And that is the purpose of these lessons.
- To teach the Word of God? Sure.
- To impart knowledge? Of course.
But what we have prayed and striven for most is that these lessons would lead each of us into a more intimate and worshipful fellowship with our God and Savior, Yeshua haMassiach (Jesus the Christ). If all we do is impart knowledge and award certificates, then we have failed in this most vital mission.
Introduction to the School
In keeping with AOCI's vision to unite, encourage, and edify ministry leaders and other believers around the world, we are thrilled to provide these lessons to anyone in ministry from lay ministers and Sunday School teachers to Ph.Ds, from elders and deacons to pastors and rabbis, evangelists and missionaries.
Like all of our other resources on the AOCI website and under the ABTI tab, the AOCI Bible Training Institute (ABTI) courses are offered free of charge to anyone wanting to improve their biblical and ministry knowledge. Simply click on the individual course name in the menu bars, and click the "Print" button in the top left-hand corner of each lesson or at the top of your browser to print the material, or you may study it online.
If you are conducting training for other ministry workers, and if English is a second language, we suggest you print the lesson, translate it into your own language and make copies for your students, or you could try the Google Translate function located toward the bottom in the right-hand column of each AOCI page.
Certificates and Diplomas
After you successfully complete a level by achieving a 65% or higher result on the exam, we will send to you by email an attractive Certificate of Completion for that level, which you can print and display. After you successfully complete the "Biblical Studies" levels, in addition to the Certificates of Completion for the three levels, you will be eligible to obtain a beautiful gold-embossed Diploma of Biblical Studies to frame and display in your home, office, or church. You may also be eligible to obtain the Diploma of Christian Ministry by successfully completing the fourth level of studies listed under the "Christian Ministry" tab.
If you want to further challenge yourself and increase your ministry knowledge, we encourage you to also study the lessons and articles listed in the "Extracurricular Studies" menu or the free PDF books listed under the "Online Books" tab.
Please feel free to make as many copies of these lessons as you desire. The purpose of these courses is to provide a quick and fundamental working knowledge of the topics in order to be more effective in ministry.
Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, "Go therefore and make disciples of all 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." (emphasis added) We view these courses as another means of helping you to fulfill that commission.
God bless you as you work on advancing your own learning or preparing other workers of the harvest to go out into the world to share the Word of God.
Dr. Henry, B.B.S., M.Div, Th.D.
President of the Association of Clergy International
To print the lessons, click the Printer icon at the top of the page.
Scripture references are enclosed in parentheses (...)
Definitions and explanatory notes are enclosed in brackets [...].
Quoted Scripture is shown in maroon with quotation marks "...".
Jesus' words are shown in red with double quotation marks "..." or single quotation marks [if inserted in other quoted Scripture] '...'.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®),
copyright © 2001 by Wheaton, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Other Bibles Used:
The Amplified® Bible, copyright © 1987 by Zondervan Corporation
The Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version®(CEV®), copyright© 1997 by American Bible Society
A Literal Translation of the Bible (LTB), Copyright 1985 © by Jay P. Green. Sr.
The Holy Bible, Good News Bible® (GNB®), copyright © 1976 American Bible Society
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV), public domain, no copyright
The Holy Bible, Modern King James Version®(MKJV®),copyright ©1998 by Sovereign Grace Publishers
The Holy Bible, New Century Version®(NCV®), copyright© 1991 by Word Publishing, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc.
The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1984 by International Bible Society
The Holy Bible, New King James Version®(NKJV®), copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
The Interlinear Bible (ILV), One-Volume Edition, Copyright © 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984 Second Edition 1986 by Jay P. Green, Sr.
External Sources of Information for the ABTI Bible Studies:
All about Jesus
CBN Bible Study & Theology
Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
Harvestime International Institute
Learn the Bible
Max Lucado Devotional Bible NCV, copyright © 2003 Thomas Nelson, Inc.
New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Copyright © 1990 Thomas Nelson Publishers
The Bible Study Page
The Blue Letter Bible Institute
The Gospel Way
The Jesus I Never Knew, by Philip D. Yancey, copyright© 1997 Fortress Press
The Knowing Jesus Study Bible NIV, copyright © 1999 The Zondervan Corporation
The Online Bible School
Trinity School of Apologetics & Theology
Who Is This Jesus?, by Michael Green, copyright © 1992 Thomas Nelson, Inc.
World Bible School
AOCI Bible Training Institute, copyright © 2011-2012 by Association of Clergy International
In keeping with Jesus' command "Freely you have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8b NKJV),
ABTI grants permission for copying and distributing these lessons for personal or group
Bible studies. You may not alter the text and you must include the copyright as shown above.
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