About International School of the Bible
This is to summarize what God is doing through International School of The Bible (ISOB) around the world. All the Glory goes to God as we watch what He is doing!
Carol Chkoreff and Larry Chkoreff never intended to start a ministry like ISOB. We were teaching 8th grade Sunday School at Mt Paran Central and North since 1983. At the same time we were overcoming very challenging circumstances in our lives. I ended up writing about our overcoming through God's direction and path for these 8th graders. I am not especially qualified in education as a writer. I have had no previous experience. Therefore, any fruit from anything that we have written is totally to the glory of God and from His grace and anointing. My writing style is not professional; it is rather conversational, geared towards the simple.
As we were ministering at Mount Paran Safehouse (downtown Atlanta) in 1994-1996, we were asked to develop discipleship lessons for the homeless people. As we did that, the Lord spoke an unexpected promise to us through Psalms 68:11. "The Lord gave the word, great was the host (army) of those that published it." We had no idea what that meant. But now we do. Writers write, printers print, but publishers distribute. The great host of publishers that we see publishing our books, freely of course, "blows our minds!" These "publishers" are mostly simple pastors in Third World and persecuted nations.
Psalm 68: 12 says, "Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil." Carol and I have tarried at home, but we have seen the "spoil." The Mount Paran Central missionary to Ghana, Kingspride Hammond, who also worked at Safehouse while we were there, spoke a prophetic word to me. He said that our discipleship school for the homeless would someday be called International School of The Bible. I laughed, sort of like Old Testament Sarah did!
In 1998 Benjamin Tomah, then a refugee in Ivory Coast, got a hold of our Grow or Die lessons. This is before we even had a book. He said that he preferred them for discipleship over ever other resource he could find. I was shocked, and thought that perhaps that was a one-time event. Benjamin will tell you that this discipleship process has led to more than 12 church plants between Ivory Coast and Liberia. Another brother in Haiti got a hold of the same lessons. We assembled them into our first book and took it to Haiti personally in 1999 (two trips).
From 1998 to 2005 we had written around 7 books, and they were being used in 8 churches in 8 nations.
Then increase became exponential. From 2005 to 2011 we have developed 17 books that are being distributed in more than 48 nations, in thousands of churches. God has utilized these inner healing and discipleship books to revolutionize tens of thousands of lives. The result has included thousands of salvations, hundreds of new churches planted, and many lives transformed by the Word of God by these simple but profound books. We really do not even try to count or keep track any longer, the reports come in too fast!
We receive testimonies almost daily of changed lives, new churches and new locations. We have a small collection of testimonies at our web site, www.isob-bible.org.
From 1998 to 2013 we distributed approximately 540,000 books, mostly freely in over 48 nations.
ISOB has invested substantial sums into this ministry and process. In that number there are no executive salaries and only 4% of the expenses did not go directly to the field.
Our focus to date has been Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Other key areas has been Cuba and South America. People from all religions have taken a hold of one our books and have experienced a life changing experience with Jesus. For some it was the first time, for others it has been a welcome soul healing after many dry years.
The Lord causes a person's life to be changed through the books. Then that person takes several of our books to his church. Lives are changed there. Those people take it to the next village, where dozens of lives are changed. ISOB learning centers are set up. People from these centers spread this process to the next town, then to the next nation. We have only visited 8 of these 48 nations, and only a few of the thousands of ISOB learning centers. The Apostle Paul in Acts chapter 20 put forth this principle. Beginning in verse 17 it records that the elders from Ephesus were attempting to get Paul to come see them. He was under instructions from the Lord to go to Jerusalem as soon as possible.
Acts 20:25,32 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.”
“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
That is the principle of our ministry. The written word was more effective for Paul at that time then the actual appearing of his face. There are tens of thousands of disciples being made, hundreds of churches being planted through God's word in our books. Most of these people will never see our face, or even the face of the ISOB leader in that nation.
Leaders have developed in these nations. These leaders then print books and open new locations and plant new churches.
A quote from Oswald Chambers
"The keen and intelligent mind behind this ministry was the mind of God, not human wisdom at all. Some give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the divine guidance of God being exhibited through childlike people who were "foolish" enough to trust God's wisdom and His supernatural equipment."
1 Corinthians 1:26-31says, “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-- that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.””
Vision/Mission- Publish and aid
“The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it” (Psalms 68:11). Romans 1:5 (Amplified) "It is through Him that we have received grace (God's unmerited favor) and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name's sake among all the nations." The Nations and Israel Isaiah 49:6
We publish the Word of the Kingdom in a simple easy to understand, easy to apply format primarily for people in the third world and others who are oppressed.
The goal is “spiritual agriculture,” teaching the poor and oppressed, and otherwise desperate, how to live in reliance on the Word of God for all of their needs.
Our materials are an organized group of seeds designed to bear fruit.
Fruit of character - Fruit of the Spirit
Fruit for needs - Provisions
Fruit for the Kingdom of God - Ministry
Fruit for ministry leads to our ultimate goal which is…..
That nationals in the third world would make disciples and plant churches. The goal is to make these churches self-sustaining and reproducing (multiplying like a human body cell). If these churches are healthy, they will reach souls in their own area, and move to the next culture in its realm of influence to plant churches there. (Happening in 2007 in Liberia.)
Publish the Word so that -
Fruit bearing disciples are made, so that -
a. Their characters are conformed to Jesus
b. They become self-sustaining
c. They bear fruit for ministry
So that -
Self-sustaining and reproducing churches are planted, so that -
The Kingdom of God is extended, so that -
Souls are saved and set free, so that -
God is glorified and all nations and Israel shall worship Him.
Fruit; the simplicity of discipleship
“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:8, NKJV.
From creation onwards God has ordained that trees should produce seed only in their fruit. If a tree does not produce fruit, it will not produce seed, and will not reproduce itself.
The essential requirement is to produce fruit which has in it seed, which will produce another tree.
In 1994 the Lord planted a seed in my heart that I only in recent years have begun to understand. This was the beginning of International School of The Bible.
"The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it” (Psalms 68:11).
Statement of Faith
What we believe
Here is a brief outline:
I The Bible is the Inspired Word of God
Both the OT and NT are inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct (1 Thess 2:13; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Pet 1:21)
II The Triune God
The one true God has revealed himself as the eternally self-existent "I am," the Creator of heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Deut. 6:4; Is. 43:10-11; Mt. 28:19; Lk. 3:22)
However, Jesus Himself verified that there is only one God, not three:
Mark 12;29 says, "Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our GOD, the LORD is one.'"
III The Deity of Jesus Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God & is God. The Scriptures declare:
1. His virgin birth (Mt. 1:23; Lk. 1:31, 35)
2. His sinless life (Heb. 7:26; 1 Pet. 2:22)
3. His miracles (Acts 2:22, 10:38)
4. His substitutionary work on the cross (1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21)
5. His bodily resurrection from the dead (Mt. 28:6; Lk. 24:39; 1 Cor. 15:4)
6. His exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 1:9, 11, 2:33; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 1:3)
IV The Fall of Mankind
Man was created good and upright; for God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." However, mankind by willful choice ignored God's instruction … choosing to engage in what they knew was wrong and evil. As a result, mankind fell from innocence and goodness and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:17; 3:6; Romans 5:12-19)
V The Salvation of Man
Man's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
1. Conditions to Salvation:
Salvation is received through repentance and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
By the work of the Holy Ghost, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God with eternal life (John 3:3; Rom. 10:13-15; Eph. 2:8; Tit. 2:11, 3:5-7).
2. The Evidences of Salvation:
The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Rom. 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is seen in both water baptism and living a holy life (Eph. 4:24; Tit. 2:12)
VI Sacraments of the Church
1. Baptism in Water:
Water baptism by immersion is commanded in the Bible. All who repent and believe on Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life (Mt. 28:19; Mk. 16:16; Acts 10:47-48; Rom. 6:4). Water baptism is an outward sign of the inward transformation from salvation.
2. Holy Communion: The Lord's Supper, consisting of the elements, the bread and the fruit of the vine; is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:4); a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Cor. 11:26); and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Cor. 11:26); and is directed to all believers "till He comes!"
VII The Baptism of the Holy Ghost
All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian church. With it comes the giving of power for life and service, the giving of power for their uses in the work of ministry (Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:4, 8; 1 Cor. 12:1-13). This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 8:12-17, 10:44-46, 11:14-16, 15:7-9). With the baptism in the Holy Ghost come such experiences as an overflowing fullness of the spirit (John 7:37-39; Acts 4:8), a deepened reverence for God (Acts 2:43; Heb. 12:28), an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His Word (Acts 2:42), and a more active love for Christ, for His Word and for the lost (Mk. 16:20).
Sanctification is an act of separation from evil, and of dedication to God (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:12). Scriptures teach a life of "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14). By the power of the Holy Ghost we are able to obey the command: "Be holy, for I am holy" (1 Pet. 1:15-16). Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his or her identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by faith depending daily upon the fact of that union, and by continually offering every faculty to the authority of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 6:1-11, 13, 8:1-2, 13; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 2:12-13; 1 Pet. 1:5).
IX The Church and Its Mission
The church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with God selected positions to accomplish the Great Commission. Each believer is an integral part of the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn, which are written in heaven (Eph. 1:22-23, 2:22; Heb. 12:23).
X The Ministry
A divinely called and scriptural ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the purpose of leading the Church in:
1. Evangelization of the world (Mk. 16:15-20),
2. Worship of God (Jn. 4:23-24),
3. Building a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Eph. 4:11, 16)
XI Divine Healing
Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in Jesus' death and resurrection, and is the privilege of all believers (Is. 53:4-5; Mt. 8:16-17; Jam. 5:14-16).
XII Divine Deliverance
Deliverance is also an integral part of the gospel. In Luke:18-19 Jesus came to set the captive free and to bring liberty to those oppressed.
XIII The Blessed Hope
The Resurrection of Christians who have died and who are alive and their translation together into heaven. (Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Tit. 2:13).
XIV The Millennial Reign of Christ (certainly there is room for differing views on the timing and details of the Second Coming which does not invalidate agreement between believers)
The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of Christians, followed by the visible return of Christ with Christians to reign on the earth for one thousand years (Zech. 14:5; Mt. 24:27, 30; Rev. 1:7, 19:11-14, 20:1-6). This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel (Ez. 37:21-22; Zeph. 3:19-20; Rom. 11:26-27) and the establishment of universal peace (Ps. 72:3-8; Is. 11:6-9; Mic. 4:3-4).
XV The Final Judgment
There will be a final judgment in which those who lead evil lives will be raised and judged according to their works. Whoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, will be consigned to everlasting punishment into the lake of fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Mt. 25:46; Mk. 9:43-48; Rev. 19:20, 20:11-15, 21:8).
XVI The New Heavens and the New Earth
"According to God's promise, we look for new heavens and new earth, where righteousness will dwell and reign forever". (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21, 22)
We encourage Readers strive to make disciples through a relationship in small groups. As these people learn, then they can go disciple another small group, thus giving the type of Biblical increase the Lord desires.
The goal, as stated in our Mission Statement is to see the disciple bear fruit, which glorifies God, as stated in John chapter 15. Fruit will develop godly character, will supply all of the disciple's earthly needs, and will give him/her the outreach or ministry that God has intended for them.
Many of our locations send disciples to the next village or town to spread this process to a new church or discipleship location. Often, a disciple will find himself planting a new church in a nearby town, or starting a business or farm as a ministry.
Use what is in your hand now, and the Lord will increase.
God will only bless you if you use what is in your hand. If you have little, then use that little, and watch the miracle of God take place. We have seen some potential partners fail because that wanted to acquire funds to begin on a large scale, and then became discouraged.
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.
15 “And to one he gave five talents [A SUM OF MONEY PROBALY EXCEEDING SEVERAL THOUSANDS OF US DOLLARS], to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.
16 “Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.
17 “And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.
18 “But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.
19 “After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’
21 “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’22 “He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’23 “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
25 ‘And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.
27 ‘So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.
28 ‘Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.
30 ‘And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
God gives increase, supernatural increase as we use what is in our hand at the present time.
If we do not think what we have in hand is worth anything, especially in our work for the Lord, then many attempt to manipulate their fellow brothers to receive money from them. Often it works, but only for a season. Because once they receive, say TEN talents from a brother, then they are addicted to manipulation.
This addiction prevents them from using their one or two talents, and prevents them from ever receiving a supernatural increase from the Lord.
If we only reap what we sow, what do you think a manipulator will receive?