The Ten Most Essential Precepts
Understanding the New Testament
who begins to study the New Testament for the first time is challenged
to know what information is most important to understand from among the
twenty-seven books and 260 chapters. Typically, our understanding is limited
to information presented by a minister or some other religious
expert. As a result people possess a partial or fragmented understanding
of God's Word. This is often a nonspiritual understanding of the church,
the "Gift of God" and
the nature of redemption. The entire Bible points in the direction of
the "Messiah." Each book of the Tanakh, Old Testament
holds a portion of the identity. The "testimony of the Messiah (Jesus)
is the Spirit of Prophecy." (Acts 19:10) The New Covenant
is the Old Covenant "revealed."
have selected ten precepts
which I believe unlock God's purpose and promises for eternal life. To
understand these is to be able to understand and receive the Gift of
God and the eternal reward it provides.
I am always amazed that the majority of Christians have so little
understanding of the New Testament and its promises and provisions. I
have gathered these essential, life-changing understandings after 30 plus
years of study and I offer them freely. To share the "good news"
is to share who Jesus really is and what is provided through his life,
death, and resurrection. Many nominal Christians sit in a pews for years
and never hear these major precepts presented in a coherent manner.
Precepts With Scriptural Sources
The Miracle of a New Birth (John 3:3) Salvation
is through One Man, It is Jesus who made the way to eternal life
is the Way, The Truth and The Life; No one comes to the Father but through
him. (John 14:6)
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you,
unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
a Christian does not happen as a result of church attendance or going
through rituals or sacramental ordinances. Neither does it come automatically
by "making a decision" at an evangelistic crusade, although
this can be an initial first step. Rather, It is realizing your fallen
nature, the sinful state of your natural
self, and how it can be transformed by the very power of
God acting on our behalf. It
is something we individually must desire, seek and ask for. Finally
we can affirm this with the scripture that describes the transformation
from the old us into the new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “-
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things
have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things
are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and
has given us the ministry of reconciliation..”
Only those who have not experienced the “New Birth”
tend to deny the reality of this phenomena. Those who have shared the
same gift fully understand this Spiritual phenomenon.
Accessing God's Gift: the Power Provided for a Changed Life
(Romans 10: 9-10)
if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in
your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will
be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with
the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Now we all must ask, "Who
do you say this
is?" He is Lord and Savior of all humanity.
He is the Son of the Living God. He alone has risen from the dead and
is alive forever more. It is He who brings to us the gift of the
Holy Spirit, (The
Helper, The Spirit of Truth, The Spirit that testifies of Jesus the Messiah.
He brings to mind the words Jesus has spoken.)
Look up the I Am verses by doing a search in the New Testament.
This is what Paul teaches about the
necessity to access God's gifts and provisions; The
explains that we must acknowledge the finished work of Christ (on the
cross and his resurrection) and ask to receive the gift
of eternal life that it brings. Salvation of the human soul is
not merely to choose a belief, a philosophical concept, a world view or
a change in lifestyle. It is a mandatory requirement that impacts our
eternal destiny. Without it we remain an unredeemed soul facing
the sentence of damnation,
very unpopular viewpoint!) The Holy Spirit beckons to us and prepares
the way. It is God who provides a "measure of faith"
by which we may believe on the Son of God.”
again to John chapter 3
and view vs.18 and 36,
the concluding verse of that chapter,
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe
the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
When we become “born of the Spirit” we certainly will know
it! This experience begins a permanent change of status for the human
Once experienced, no one can snatch that salvation from us.
(John 10:28- And I give them eternal life, and they
shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand)
We are saved through a
gift from God.
It is not through our
own efforts or religious membership.
2:8-10 (NKJV) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest
anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ
Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk
The phrase to “believe
in your heart”
indicates that you are fully persuaded and sincere in your knowledge of
Jesus. That of his being the one Way and only Savior. God makes this judgment
and knows our hearts.
Understanding the principal of "Faith towards God"
(Hebrews 11:6) v6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to
God must (first) believe that He is, and that He rewards of those who
diligently seek Him.
Hebrews chapter 11 is known as the "Faith chapter."
Here the Bible explains that the natural man, (or woman) must take a
in order to experience and receive from God. Further, there is the fact
that any unredeemed person is "dead
lacking any wish to come to God. However, it is easy for the natural
man to appear to believe at least enough to join a church or seem
to be in good standing with a Christian fellowship. Nevertheless, unless
the Spirit of God beckons, he or she remains unchanged and dead in their
(See Precept 10 below)
Thus there is an enabling gift
required, a "measure of faith."”
The text that explains it is Hebrews chapter eleven. Atheists and deniers
who struggle to believe are not yet at the point where they can “receive
anything from God!”
See below. We
need to understand who the Bible calls the "Natural Man."
We are all natural men or women or children who are born with unique natural
human attributes. The natural man (also called the person without
"But the natural
man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness
to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
aspect of the believer's life is activated by this faith principle (believers
who born from above, are now called sons/daughters of God.) Salvation
results from applying this principle (God rewards the earnest seeker).
Likewise, answered prayer engages the same principle. The activation of
every Spiritual gift (listed in 1 Corinthians chapter 12) derives from
this principle as well. Belief in God or any other supernatural Spiritual
enablements are activated by the
assurance that God IS and
rewards. He is the great I Am. Earlier in the faith chapter we are assured
that every gift from the Eternal One is accessed through faith. The initial
measure of faith is a
gift that is given
who are heirs of salvation. We would have no faith if that measure needed
to believe were not given to us this is due to the fallen nature of every
natural man or woman.
4. The Apostle's Gospel
Points to the Supernatural Power of God.
(Romans 1:16 and others cited) This principal has not changed over the
centuries although some teach that it ended with the death of the first
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it
is the "power of God" to salvation for
everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
We read it expressed also in
1 Corinthians 1:18 "For I am not ashamed of the
gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for
everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek."
(Also see V1:24 and 2:5).
To sum up this mystery is to
explain that the only one who can make us new and call us into becoming
a new creation, a child of God is through the blood of Jesus who grants
us access to the Father, the Living God.
A gospel without the power of God is
not the Gospel. Most churches
today have lost nearly all evidence of the power of God. Certain denominations
teach that God's miracle-working power (dunamis) is no longer
in manifestation (cessationism). It is imperative to understand that true
salvation is itself, the
first authentic manifestation of the "power of God" toward us.
The church at the end of the age is prophesied to be almost entirely one
without power. It seems that most church-goers don't seem to have a problem
with being part of a powerless church, God has a very big problem with
it! 2 Timothy chapter 3
describes the powerless, (Laodicean) church this way:
3: 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such
God is a supernatural being. His children
receive supernatural gifts. (See
1 Corinthians Chapter 12.)
The lives of believers have been changed by the power of God. They are
awarded an eternal inheritance in an eternal kingdom.
Receiving the Power from God: The Promise of the Holy Spirit
" (Acts 1:8) You Shall Receive Power after
the Holy Spirit Has Come Upon You.
promise of the Father" is described in John’s fourteenth chapter:
14:16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter,
that he may abide with you for ever; 17) Even the Spirit of Truth; whom
the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him:
but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. (And, John
14: 26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will
send in my name, he shall teach you all things,
bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
of the promised Holy Spirit is found in Chapter one of the
book of Acts.
1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they
should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father,
which, saith he, ye have heard of me. Acts 1:8- But ye shall receive *power,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses
(one who attests to the action) unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all
Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
(Greek) is Holy Spirit, heavenly power, which is always supernatural in
character because it is God’s own hand in action.
Jesus Christ's earthly ministry was to the Jews only ,
lost sheep of the house of Israel."
During Jesus' earthly ministry his followers were not "Christians."
They were followers of Jesus (Yeshua). They believed that he was the promised
"Messiah." It was only after Christ's resurrection that Jesus
followers became empowered by the Holy Spirit and were actually "born
of the Spirit of God." The name Christian came later. Jesus
charged his disciples to minister the Kingdom of Heaven to Israel only:
Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 15:24
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of
the house of Israel. Matt. 15:27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs
eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters table.
Jesus was sent to minister unto his
own people (the Jews). He was the prophesied Mashiac (Messiah).
The book of Daniel,
"Chapter 9, vs 24-27”
foretells the precise day that the Messiah would be welcomed by his people,
seated on the foal of an ass and his subsequent death. The Kingdom rule
of the Messiah Jesus and the fulfillment of the complete details of Daniel
9 is called the prophecy of “the 70 weeks. vs. 24 details what will
be achieved: "Seventy
weeks are determined For your people (The Jews) and for your holy city
(Jerusalem). To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make
reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To
seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy."
The vast majority of the Jews who followed Mosaic Law and Temple worship
did not receive Jesus. Only a remnant became believers and followers of
the Messiah. Yeshua (Jesus) was tried and sentenced for the blasphemy
making it known that he was God's Son and
King of the Jews.
Sir Robert Anderson gives meticulous details including the dates
of the decree and the count of the numbering of the "weeks"
of years to the culmination of the Messiah and his kingdom. The Work is
available called “The Coming Prince.”
Jesus (Yeshua of Nazareth) was a Jew born under the Law. He followed all
the laws of Moses perfectly fulfilling every requirement. Jesus was the
only one able to fulfill the law perfectly, being the Only
begotten Son of God,
as he was born without sin from a virgin.
3:16) Now to
Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does
not say, "And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, And to your Seed,
who is Christ."
The disciples of Jesus were all Jews. As apostles they seeded the “Way”
of salvation throughout the Roman empire and most died as martyrs. Only
one of the Gospels was written by a gentile, Luke.
The New Testament Gospels record no ministry to non Jews except the
woman and the woman at the well of Samaria. Certain non-Jews believed
Jesus to be the Messiah during his visit to the region of Samaria where
he stayed “2 days”. This 2 day encounter foreshadows the 2
thousand year church age which brought the gospel to the gentiles after
the birth of the church.
The "Church Age" Opens the Gospel of Grace To the
49:6 Is one of the O T prophecies the speaks of the gathering of the gentiles.
states the great commission;
“- - Go therefore and make disciples of all the *nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
The provision of taking the gospel
message of grace
and making disciples from every nation came into being after the birth
of the “church.” We know that the term “*nation” is the Hebrew
pertained to all gentiles
outside of the covenant of Israel.
The goyim had no access or inheritance
to God’s promises. The new dispensation of the
age of grace
extended the gift of redemption to all who would receive the “good news”
without regard for religious laws or temple ordinances. This gospel is
for those who recognize the price paid by one man for “the
sins of the world”(John
Jesus’ promise of grace and forgiveness has replaced all the Mosaic
(Hebrews 8:6 “-But now hath
he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the
mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better
Peter needed special convincing
that an association with gentiles would be permissible. His visit to the
records that the first outreaching to gentiles who received salvation
and the Holy Spirit.
Rabbi Saul of Tarsus, a high ranking Pharisee,
was charged with eliminating *the
Jesus revealed himself supernaturally to Saul on the Road to Damascus,
Syria. Saul became Paul who was powerfully transformed and became known
as the apostle to the
The birth of the church and the “age of grace” began at Pentecost (Shavuot),
fifty days after the Jesus’ resurrection on Jewish “First Fruits.”
*Jesus’ followers were called the way until a
new description “Christian” was used in Antioch Syria.
Precept 8. The
Church Age Began as,
and Continues to be called the Age of Grace
Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the
gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim
liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at
liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable
year of the Lord.”
The description of Christ’s ministry mission as well as the mission
of the church age is defined by the above parameters. The age of grace
is separated from the following portion of that scripture that speaks
of judgment and vengeance by God that Jesus did not mention.
age we now live (2019) is called the "Church
Age or the Age of Grace.
For those who are called dispensationalists, It had a beginning and will
also have an end.
The church age has existed for about 2 thousand years. The Spiritual expression
and characteristics of the age of Grace were modeled by Jesus during his
earthly ministry. Jesus revealed the scope
of his ministry in Luke 4:18
reading from the text of Isaiah 61v1. "The
Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To
preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to
those who are bound; 2 To
proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord
ends the reading before the portion that follows describing the future
time of wrath and judgment. These words describe Jesus ministry as well
as the period of grace and favor that his disciples follow after his resurrection.
The day of God's wrath and judgment awaits after the age of Grace. Any
times that the church wielded vengeance upon people was a perversion of
the church’s mandate.
and forgiveness are the rule throughout his ministry even until he speaks
this blessing from the cross:
Then Jesus said,
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."
Stephan, the first Christian martyr speaks in like manner, saying:
And he knelt down, and cried with a
loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said
this, he fell asleep.”
What applies to Jesus and to Stephan continues to apply to any blood-bought
believer today. We live to bless and to forgive.
The Lord's prayer includes an important
clause about forgiveness.
Forgiving and seeking forgiveness should
be recognized as a
daily requirement for our Christian lives.
and forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.
When the Church age (called a dispensation of grace) ends
God will be dealing once again with Israel and the Jews. They will return
again to offer sacrifices in a newly constructed temple and assume the
practices interrupted by the destruction of the second temple in 70 ad,
during the era of the Roman empire.
God Calls Believers to Escape the Grip
of the "God of This World."
Romans 8:30: “..
29) For whom he did foreknow,
he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that
he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30) Moreover whom he did
predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified:
and whom he justified, them he also glorified." KJV
is not a single authentic believer who has not been called by God (The"Father).
The Greek word translated "church" is ekklesia
called out ones."
God desires to have sons and daughters who become his children and partake
in "his divine nature."
(See 2 Peter 1:3,4)
hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through
the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 whereby
are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these
might be partakers of the divine
nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Those who are called out by God are called to be separated from this world.
These have a distinct witness that they are not of the world but of a
different kind, sojourners we are. We are pilgrims heading for another
home. This world at least at the moment is under the influence of the
“god of this world, "Lucifer." Before we were called we
were blinded to the things of God, but are now rescued from the control
and deceptions of the evil one. Satan (Lucifer) offered Jesus a chance
to rule the kingdoms of the world if he would worship him. Remember Satan
received the authority to rule the kingdoms of this world when Adam forfeited
dominion in the days of Eden.
In 2 Corinthians vs. 3,4
we see the power of "the
at work: “..
if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 in whom the god
of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the
light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should
shine unto them.
(also see 2Tim. C3)
The unredeemed person values the things that are valued in Satan's world:
Physical might and power; Self exaltation, Lust of the flesh, Pride of
Life, Lust of the eyes and so on. (See 1 John 2: vvs. 15-17:)
Love not the world, neither the things
that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father
is not in him. 16 For
all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17
And the world passes away, and the
lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides for ever.
The unredeemed person can pursue religion or engage in philanthropy.
He or she can be high achievers. They can be rich and famous. They can
be idolized and adored by millions, or cloak themselves in morally
righteous actions and still be unredeemed. Satan is a subtle schemer who
knows how to function in religion and in the supernatural. The day is
soon coming when the
god of this world
will present himself to Israel as their awaited messiah, full of beauty,
goodness, wisdom and power. The world will be smitten by him and sing
his praises for his wisdom. This final world ruler is identified by
Jesus as a counterfeit messiah.
The Prophetic Future Speaks of a Time of Judgment, Tribulation and
the Day of God’s Wrath!
you think that the world is getting better and more wise and noble and
good? Judgment day follows the apparent utopia offered by the Antichrist.
Judgment is among the basics of Christianity as described in
Hebrews Chapter 6.
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and
be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance
from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,
instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection
of the dead, and eternal judgment.
A. Luke 21:23 “But
woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those
days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and
upon this people.”
Jesus foretells a wrath to come; it befell Israel in 70 a.d. but continues
as a future prophecy for the time when the Antichrist is revealed at the
end of the age as well.
The "time of Jacob's trouble" will see a focus on the Jews and
the Nation of Israel once again. These Jews will have returned to their
land and who have a rebuilt temple and received a counterfeit messiah.
B. Romans 1:18:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
C: Romans 2:5
5 - - but after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasures up unto thyself
wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment
Romans 13:4b “..God,
(is) a revenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil.”
for because of these things comes the wrath
God upon the children of disobedience.”
And from Revelation:
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the
chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free
man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the
face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
for the great day of his wrath is come;”
address the matter of whether the Believer, the called Christian, will
go through this period of wrath described in Revelation; it is clear that
only those named as evil and unrighteous and unbelieving will suffer the
consequence of God’s wrath. Those who are truly SAVED are delivered
from the wrath to come. 1
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our
Lord Jesus Christ.”
has been stated that the Bible is more than ¼ Prophecy. Many churches
and ministries avoid the subject of Prophecy today. Among the clear prophetic
doctrines found throughout the New Testament is that there is coming a
day of Wrath or Judgment. (Foundational doctrines are described in Hebrews
6. Among these is the listing of Judgment.
Hebrews 6:3: “..
and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”
The passage of Daniel 9 (vss.
noted above includes the future day of wrath in the 70 weeks prophecy.
Old Testament prophets all mention “the day of the Lord” (More
than 2 dozen times).
This prophetic period will be a terrifying time to be visited upon all
who dwell on the earth. The unbelievers and unrighteous people who have
rejected the message of salvation through Christ Jesus. This time will
result in the destruction of the ungodly from the earth which will also
Revelation, a book that is
avoided by too many pastors and readers, outlines the future seven-year
time before the 1000 year kingdom, when God will visit judgment upon the
people who have heaped evil upon others for the sake of power, influence
and riches. This can not happen during the age of Grace described above.
Some denominations of Christendom hold to the belief that there will be
no future millennium.
list of ten precepts have been affirmed to me as indispensable for Christian
doctrine. Clergy leadership who oversee dozens of denominational groups
touch upon some or more of these to varying degrees. Yet within the formal
practice of church life the emphasis remains focused on pastoral control
of a large number of souls who fulfill their role of believers mostly
as audience and less as disciples. The church fathers modeled these precepts
of Christian life so that their disciples would extend and continue the
ministry of Jesus on earth.
You might suggest that I have missed one or many more important precepts.
I wanted to confine my list to ten that affect interpretation and understanding.
A conspicuous omission from this list addresses the Spiritual side of
the entire New Covenant. The “new commandment” given by Jesus
to his disciples. John 13:34 – “A
new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved
you, that you also love one another.”
sums up all of the law and prophets. God so loved the world (us) in order
to provide every good and perfect gift to those who believe in him. The
nature of this agape love is detailed in
To walk in the light of His love is to have the power to transform the
world on soul at a time.
Are there only ten precepts? Of course not! But these are among the most
misunderstood and under taught in everyday church house experience.
Heaven is a great subject and there is no mention of it here. Spiritual
warfare and discernment are other important precepts and passed over
here. The meaning of Love and Virtue are precepts about which men of God
have written volumes. Apostasy, Sin and Repentance should have a be part
of this exploration but that will need to wait as time allows. In the
meantime read the Epistles of the great men of God and you will be able
to establish your own list.
This title was completed 7-3-2019