“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” (2 Timothy 2:2). This apostolic charge to Timothy has reverberated down the ages to us through the pages of the Holy Scriptures. This is the mandate to the church and her leaders to pass down the sound doctrines of the Scriptures to each coming generation.
From the time the Lord called me and appointed me as the pastor of Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church, it has been a passion in my heart to be obedient to the mandate of 2 Timothy 2:2. Having been in the ministry for about three decades, my prayer and passion to be an instrument in God’s hand to fulfil this biblical mandate has only increased. Hence, I am grateful to God for the opportunity to be part of the ministry of Far Eastern Bible College to this day – and in addition, for our church’s efforts to establish GBI ministries around the world in preparing a new generation to carry on the work of His Gospel kingdom.
During the past two and a half years of the pandemic, the Lord has continued to enable me to teach and guide online those who join GBI’s Pastoral Biblical Studies (PBS) in matters of theology. This course was conducted with the special intention to equip and strengthen those whom God has called to proclaim the Word and feed the flock. Six preachers (from Singapore, China, the Philippines and India) have been joining this weekly study. We pray that they will all be faithful expositors of God’s Word in their God-appointed places, and be instrumental in God’s hand to prepare another group of godly men for the ministry in the years to come.
Please find below the testimonies of two participants who had joined the Pastoral Biblical Studies. God willing, more testimonies will follow in the coming weeks’ bulletins.
—Pastor Prabhudas Koshy
Pr Kelvin Lim
Thanks be unto the LORD for the privilege to be part of Gethsemane Bible Institute’s Pastoral Biblical Studies (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Pr Donald dela Cruz
I praise the Lord for enabling me to join the Pastoral Biblical Studies of Gethsemane Bible Institute. I appreciate the many lessons I’ve picked up during the duration of the online course. Our current class is about the preservation of the Holy Scriptures. Generally speaking, nobody in the Christian realm questions the inspiration of the Holy Bible, except liberal scholars and their followers. However, it is not the case with the preservation of the Scriptures. The majority of Christians today do not believe that God has preserved the Bible in the original languages. The most striking lesson to me in the current course is that “God will preserve His inspired Words for the sake of His people.” The reason is found 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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” Herein we have the divine promise concerning not only the inspiration, but also the preservation of the Scriptures. If God would have allowed the perversion of His Word, then in the present times, we would not have His perfect Word to enable us to be “throughly furnished”!
Studying God’s Word in preparation for the ministry is very different from studying while you are in the ministry. The topic was already discussed when I was studying full-time at FEBC. While I am familiar with the topic, the re-learning of the doctrine of the Scriptures provided a wide perspective of its significance and benefits in the ministry. The topic becomes relevant to me because of my experiences while serving in the ministry. I have seen cultic churches, such as Mormons, deceiving people with their strange doctrines. Some people in my locality asked me about their claims on the Book of Mormon and others. I replied that God has only given us one Book for our instruction and that is the Holy Bible. I warned them that the Mormons exalt the work of a man (Joseph Smith’s book), rather than the work of God (the Bible). That alone should ring alarm bells in the hearts of true believers!
I had also encountered a Christian who has read the work of Peter Ruckman. He was so impressed by the writings of Ruckman that he adhered to his doctrine that the King James Bible (English Translation) is superior to the Scriptures in the original languages. Praise God that I was refreshed by the online classes on how we come to the position that the Hebrew and Greek Texts underlying the KJV Bible are the preserved texts of the inspired Scriptures. I highlighted to him that when Jesus and the apostles spoke about the Scriptures, they always referred to the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts. Inspiration for Bible inscription (the Spirit-inspired writing of God’s revelation) ended with the Book of Revelation, and therefore the KJV Bible is a faithful English translation of the inspired original language texts.
I praise the Lord for the manifold blessings I have received from these studies. As an additional blessing, I am also strengthened by the testimonies of the other missionaries. I am full of joy when I see other preachers attending the classes, especially the Lord’s servant from China. There are many unique struggles in every mission station. Hence, to have this opportunity to hear about God’s work in other “corners” of His vineyard is very refreshing. Praise the Lord for sustaining His servants!