Becoming A Kingdom of Priests in a Prodigal World

As they stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, the Israelites not only agreed to partner with God by worshipping Him as king, they also took on a mission: become a kingdom of priests in a prodigal world. This had been God's plan for His people from the... MORE
1 Redeeming the Lost
2 A Kingdom of Priests
3 Living as Community
4 A Far Off Country
5 Seeking the Lost

Experiencing Living Water When Life is Tough

Throughout the Bible, the desert functions as an image of discord, of loss of control, and of separation from the safety of society. Barren and deadly, the wasteland places of the text meant certain death without access to resources. Many times Go... MORE
1 Join the Journey
2 It's Hot Here and There's No Way Out
3 Help Is Here
4 When Your Heart Cries Out
5 They Were Not Wandering
6 Ears to Hear
7 There's Hope in the Desert

Embracing Obedience and Sacrifice

God's story culminates with the intense devotion of his people in this 11th volume of the Faith Lessons series. Discover how their passionate faith prepares the way for Jesus and his ultimate act of obedience and sacrifice at the cross. Then, be c... MORE
1 The Way of the Essenes
2 The Way of John the Baptist
3 Into the Desert to Be Tested
4 The Last Passover
5 The Fifth Cup: Our Way of Hope

Being God's Presence to Our World

Ray Vander Laan takes us on a journey through Sinai and Israel, a region that is still largely desert but at times filled with lush, bountiful places. We will discover how Jesus called people to live in the Promised land. What can we learn during ... MORE
1 Build Me a Sanctuary
2 Making Space for God
3 He Led Them Like a Shepherd
4 By Every Word - Striking the Rock
5 With All Your Might: The Final Test
6 A Well-Watered Garden

Displaying God to a Broken World

When the Israelites left Egypt, they were finally free. Free from persecution, free from oppression, and free to worship their own God. But with that freedom comes a new challenge - learning how to live together the way God intends. In this ninth ... MORE
1 The Lord Who Heals You: Marah and Elim
2 Not by Bread Alone: Manna and Water from the Rock
3 Their Blood Cried Out: Israel Becomes a Community
4 The Mountain of God
5 I Led You Like a Bride: A Wedding at Sinai
6 The Whisper of God: Moses and Elijah on the Mountain of God

Finding Freedom in the Midst of Life's Trials

This five-session small group Bible study, God Heard Their Cry, by noted teacher and historian, Ray Vander Laan, is volume eight of the 12-part Faith Lessons series. In this volume, Vander Laan illustrates how God answered the cry of the Israelite... MORE
1 How Big is Our God?
2 Israel in Bondage: God Heard Their Cry
3 Finger of God: The Plagues
4 Watch With Me: Israel Leaves Egypt
5 The Lord Reigns

Being a Disciple in a Broken World

Becoming a disciple of Jesus demands more than merely a deep commitment to the text and complete devotion to Christian community. The Messiah is king, and believers are called to pick up their crosses in daily pursuit after becoming like Him. Come... MORE
1 Run! The Passion of Elijah
2 Learning to Walk Like Jesus - Paul's Journey to Rome
3 An Unlikely Disciple
4 Why Christians Suffer - The Weight of Gethsemane
5 Don't Forget Us

Learning to Live as Jesus Lived

During his ministry in Israel, Jesus called and trained disciples, His "talmidim." Their job would eventually be to bring His message of redemption to all the nations, Jew and Gentile. What would happen when they began to make disciples ... MORE
1 When the Rabbi Says "Come"
2 When the Rabbi Says "Go"
3 The Presence of God - A Countercultural Community
4 Living Stones
5 The Very Words of God

Becoming a Light in the Darkness

Experience the Bible for yourself! This in-depth video Bible study-shot on location and featuring teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan-will help you understand the New Testament better by giving you abetter understanding of the Old Testament. MORE

Bringing God's Shalom to a World in Chaos

Pack your bags. We're going on a journey. A quest to uncover Scripture and its meaning across history. Filmed on location in Israel and throughout the Middle East, the Faith Lessons DVD series is an adventure in biblical learning. You will discove... MORE

Learning the Faith of Jesus

Pack your bags. We're going on a journey. A quest to uncover Scripture and its meaning across history. Filmed on location in Israel and throughout the Middle East, the Faith Lessons DVD series is an adventure in biblical learning. You will discove... MORE

Being in the Culture and Not of It

Filmed on location in Israel, Faith Lessons is a unique video series that brings God's Word to life with astounding relevance. By weaving together the Bible's fascinating historical, cultural, religious, and geographical contexts, teacher and hist... MORE

Living for God Where Culture Is Influenced

Travel to Israel and radically change your understanding of the Scriptures. Wet your feet in the Jordan River and impact the culture with life-giving water. Show your trust in the Lord's provision by offering up first fruits at Jericho. And cleans... MORE


The idea for That the World May Know films began in 1992 when Michigan entrepreneur Ed Prince became exposed to Ray Vander Laan's unique method of Bible teaching. Ray, or RVL as he is affectionately known, has always believed that to more greatly understand and appreciate the Bible, one had to have a sense of the land and the culture from which it sprang. Biblical analogies and examples, while meaningful and helpful even to this day, were first meant to convey God's truth to particular people in a particular time and place. So the more fully we can appreciate those times and places, the more fully we can respond to the power of the Word.

So in 1992 Ed Prince generously offered to underwrite the development of a film series that would capture RVL's teachings to make them available to a wider audience. Director Bob Garner was secured, massive cameras were shipped to Israel, the first 5 sets were produced, and the broader church ate them up. Focus on the Family experienced a hunger for the series unlike anything they had ever seen. And that hunger has continued.

In 2003, sets 6 and 7 were co-directed by Garner and John Grooters, and the style of the films became much more consistent with the experience of an actual RVL trip. The programs moved to HD and were shot in 16 x 9 aspect ratios. These teachings reached beyond Israel and brought viewers to sites like Ephesus, Laodicea, Cappadocia, Galatia, and other biblical locations in modern Turkey. The theme was discipleship as the lessons followed Paul through his first missionary journey.


Since receiving his Master's of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1976, Ray Vander Laan has been actively involved in studying and teaching Jewish culture using the methods of Jewish education. He has continued graduate studies in Jewish Studies in the United States, Israel, Turkey and Egypt. He has been a teacher for 35 years and is an ordained minister with the Christian Reformed Church. He has also authored a book entitled Echoes of His Presence, published by Focus on the Family. Vander Laan founded That the World May Know Ministries in 1998. Ray has taken over 10,000 people with him on his study tours of Israel, Turkey and Egypt.

Ray's preaching and teaching ministry is focused on understanding the Bible in light of the historical and cultural context in which God placed it. This perspective on the Bible highlights God's call for His people to be a transforming influence on their culture. He uses research of the top scholars in the fields of archaeology, history, and Biblical study as tools to explore the Biblical text ever more deeply. His gifts, expertise, and calling are to link that cultural information and the Bible so that its message applies to our lives today in very practical ways.