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Update Letter 4th Quarter 2017

Countries Sent to in 2017

From January through September 2017 we have had the privilege of sending material into 98 countries. We praise the Lord for this kindness and provision. Albania, Antigua, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Liberia, Lithuania, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of South Africa, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The Bible Institute has 74 active volunteer graders in 30 states and 28 branches in 23 countries.

Please join us in prayer to our Lord Jesus for increased opportunities in more countries and more effectiveness where we already have active contacts.

Increased Ministry Activity in 2017

We have been very encouraged this year with a clear answer to our prayer for more open doors and more interest in our literature from churches, international contacts, and prison inmates! From January through September, this year has proven to be one of surprising growth in ministry activity!

We have had the privilege of filling about 1400 free orders to inmates per quarter. We haven’t seen that number since 2012.

About 300 free Bibles per quarter to inmates, a level we haven’t reached since 2013.

New students applying to study with the Bible Institute have averaged 652 per quarter, a number we haven’t seen since 2011.

The value of international orders has reached almost $50,000 each quarter this year, roughly double the average of a few years ago. Some of our distributors have really taken ownership of managing distribution and encouraging wise use of the material in their country. For this we praise the Lord; identifying diligent ministry partners in other countries is always a difficult assignment.

Latin America gives us special encouragement. We have been receiving large orders for Spanish material from key contacts in Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Peru.

We praise the Lord for also demonstrating His great faithfulness in completely providing through the generosity of His people for the increased activity this year! 2017 has given us a special opportunity to experience God’s gracious supply. Ours is a kind and faithful King Who cares for His own! 

Harvey Donations Update

We do praise the Lord for sparing us any damage from the several hurricanes that, in our God’s wise providence, have passed near or over us this year. We are also grateful to our ministry friends who desired to help those in Texas who were significantly impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

As of 11/9/17 we had received $4,724 in donations designated for Hurricane Harvey relief.

We disbursed all $4,724 to Christ Community Church, Houston, Texas ( for assistance in their ongoing relief outreach to those suffering damage from Harvey.

A Test of Reformation: Arminianism

2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which began when Martin Luther (1483-1546) posted his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany. In the years following, the Reformation spread across Europe, taking root in Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, and the Netherlands. Jacobus Arminius was born in the Netherlands in 1560. A capable student, he attended the University of Leyden and the Geneva Academy, then led by Theodore Beza (1519-1605), the successor to John Calvin (1509-1564). In 1588, Arminius was ordained a pastor of the Reformed Church in Amsterdam. His sermons attracted large audiences.

According to Arminius, certain aspects of the faith of the Reformation were wrong. By 1592, Arminius had been accused of adopting Pelagianism, a fifth-century heresy denying original sin and the transmission of Adam’s guilt to his posterity, and emphasizing the freedom of man’s will. Arminius actually held to a strong view of total depravity, differing strongly with Pelagius on this point, but his views on election, the efficacy of God’s grace, and the extent of the atonement departed widely from Reformation principles, and brought him in line with aspects of Pelagianism.

Accusations of departing from the faith followed Arminius until his death in 1609. The implications of his thinking inflamed young ministers with combative religious zeal. Some of them, known as Remonstrants, presented objections to the teachings of Calvin. Their points came close to the teaching of the Reformation in some areas, while diverging widely in others. They held that 1) man is totally disabled by sin from meriting favor with God, and cannot choose for God by his own free will, similar to the view of the Reformers. 2) God did not sovereignly choose (elect) some men for salvation out of the mass of sinful mankind, but rather God elected those whom He had foreseen would believe. 3) Christ’s death obtained redemption for all men, but only believers benefit from this redemption. 4) While man absolutely needs the grace of God to believe and act for good, he can resist that grace to prevent God’s purpose of salvation for him. 5) Once regenerated, man can fall from grace through sin. These doctrines came to be known as “Arminianism.”

Nine years after Arminius’ death, when the whole church was caught up with theological debate, a council was held. The Synod of Dort was conducted by the Dutch Reformed Church in 1618-1619 in Dordrecht (or Dort), the Netherlands, with many foreign delegates attending.

The Synod concluded with a rejection of the Remonstrants’ Arminian views and set forth the Reformed doctrine point by point: Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement (arguing the efficacy of Christ’s atoning work was applicable only to the elect and not the unregenerate world), Irresistible grace, and the Perseverance of the saints. Many remember these “doctrines of grace” by using the mnemonic “TULIP.”

The Canons of Dort is the doctrinal explanation of the decision of the Synod. In the original preface, the Decision is termed a “judgment, in which both the true view, agreeing with God’s Word, concerning the aforesaid five points of doctrine is explained, and the false view, disagreeing with God’s Word, is rejected.” For more about the Reformation and its aftermath, please see The Church in History: A Glorious Institution part 3, available from Chapel Library. The Canons of Dort, the original document from 1619, is available free of charge upon request from Chapel Library.


Literature at Public Events

Free literature is a great way to reach out to the public at fairs, parades, ball games, and other public events. Even when there is no event going on, a public park or downtown area often offers a wonderful opportunity for sharing the gospel by spoken and written word. Let us know what you are doing to reach out and we would love to help with literature.

Be sure to give out simple, direct, Christ-centered material. While we hold all our material to a high theological standard, not all of it is designed for evangelistic distribution. Be sure to review your selections for suitability for the purpose.  

Serve as a church. Evangelism is about proclaiming the glories of Christ, not specifically building your church. However, God has given believers the local church to provide oversight, accountability, and continuity to their ministry efforts. Church members serving together is a crucial part of evangelistic endeavor.

Rely on the Spirit in your outreach by earnest prayer and boldly declaring the biblical gospel.

“We put [the resources] to good use at the Maricopa County Fair…One conversation was with a woman whose family had been destroyed by the false gospel. She had always heard that you could do whatever you wanted as long as you asked Christ for forgiveness afterward. She had been taught there was no need of holiness in life. When we explained regeneration to her, and told her that a true Christian WILL bear fruit, she was blown away and said, ‘Yes, that is the true gospel.’ We explained repentance and true faith and discussed the question…Is it the profession of faith that saves, or is it the possession of faith that saves? She was amazed. She admitted she had not repented, not having known that repentance was even necessary. She took a copy of Ten Indictments as well as many other resources...There was another woman who said she had been a Catholic, a Mormon, and a ‘Christian.’ When she heard about the biblical teaching of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, she asked what religion we were, because she had never heard it before in any Christian church.” – from Real Answers Ministries in Arizona

booktable at Maricopa County Fair

“Thanks again for those tracts. We’ve been passing them out here in SoCal at the USC and LA Rams games.” – from a friend in California

evangelism at games

Group Courses for Spiritual Growth

We enjoyed the company of Malamulo Chindongo, our Malawi distributor, in early November. He shared with us that their church in Malawi is working through MZBI’s course A Glorious Institution: The Church in History, with very encouraging results. Some participants are coming with pages of notes as they are interacting with church history at this level for the first time!

Traditionally MZBI courses have been beloved primarily by prison inmates, but this is mostly due to their easy accessibility—we offer the courses free of charge. Most of our courses are not designed specifically for the inmate population, but for new, growing, or more mature believers in any context.

To see what we have available, please ask us for a current Course Catalog, listing our 60+ courses.

“Using MZBI courses as our Sunday morning Bible studies has been a tremendous blessing, and I have seen spiritual growth among our congregation like never before.” – from a friend in West Virginia

Letters from Far and Near

We are amazed and humbled the Lord continues to use Chapel Library and Mount Zion Bible Institute for the edification and encouragement of His people around the world. Pray with us for spiritual fruit from the literature sent free of charge around the world: true conversions among the lost and Christ-honoring growth in believing obedience among Christ’s people.

“I wanted to let you know that the literature sent from Chapel Library arrived a little while ago and has been well received by all the brothers here…The material is being shared in study groups, as well as in evangelism...Thank you for helping us with books.” – from a pastor in Peru

“The two boxes arrived this afternoon.  I immediately started the stuffing process for both the Spanish and the Arabic. Thank you to you and your print crew for your cooperation…We pray that these booklets will positively influence many in the Arabic and Hispanic communities here in the US.” – from a ministry partner in Kansas

Doctrines of Grace booklet in Arabic

“I received from the post office the package of 10 copies each of very precious Chapel Library booklets…I remain eternally grateful to you for all your fraternal kindness, support, and guidance, and help in this narrow way to the kingdom. I have started to share and distribute the extra copies of the booklets with some Christian ministries and campus fellowships at the University of Ibadan.” – from a friend in Nigeria

“We had our annual conference, in which we had 650 persons present. All received free literature, some of which was from Chapel Library. It has been a great blessing. Also we have been able to provide material for discipleship to different churches.” – from our distributor in Bolivia

“Yesterday I finished teaching using your course The Sovereignty of God, and 16 people finished the study. Their faith has been strengthened as they have been hearing the wonderful insights with the material…Can you send the next study?” – from a friend in Democratic Republic of Congo

“I just arrived [at this prison facility] and as I always have done when I arrive at a new place, I scour the area as I’m cleaning it. As I was finishing up I thought to look in the tiny lockers that are above head for room to place my belongings. Lo-and-behold this little booklet Charlies Coulson: The Drummer Boy was there. Myself, being an army vet and a Christian, I took to reading it. I was captivated from the cover even more so when I began to read. Well, to make a long story short—by the middle until the end, I was flooded in tears. Just to think about the awesome power of the one true God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I really do not mean to solicit, but I would ask if you could send me another copy (as I wish to send this one off…) and any other reading material you may have as pertaining to Christ.” – from an inmate in Texas

Charlie Coulson the Drummer Boy

“[The FGB and other resources] have already been a blessing to my family and me. I've enjoyed watching my 8-year-old son reading the tracts about coming to Christ and asking him if he knows Jesus. My prayer is that this will be true for him.” – from a friend in Massachusetts

“Here [is a photo] of our sisters [who are] inmates in a prison near Medellin. They are baptized believers and receive our publications with great joy. A big hug and thank you for sending us such precious material.” – from our distributor in Colombia

sisters in Medellin

MZBI Grading Opportunity

We are inviting new men grader applicants for the correspondence students’ lessons, in English or Spanish. The main qualifications are men with spiritual maturity in the Lord, who are over 35 years old, and who reside in North America. If you are interested, please contact us for an information kit. 

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