*This is not an exhaustive list*
Rule #1 BE INQUISITIVE;
Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Every believer should be inquisitive. Have a very strong desire to know.
Rule #2 LAY UTMOST PREMIUM ON FELLOWSHIP WITH THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT;
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
The Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth, and fellowship with Him is greater, and more important, than any written volume of scriptures. While we do not undermine the Bible, we must, however, understand that a physical representation of God’s word could also become a hindrance to that which is most important to the hearing from God; the fellowship of recreated the human spirit with the Spirit of God. Without any written scriptures, the ancients—Abraham, Isaac—walked with God. People without any education that cannot read or write can have a living relationship with God, because God is Spirit; He is not the letter. God is the Spirit behind the letters of scriptures, and the more you know His Person through spiritual fellowship, the better He can show you what the letters of scriptures truly mean and how they should be properly applied per time.
Rule #3 TRUST IN THE LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS OF GOD;
Deut. 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Acts 14:16-17 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless He left not Himself without witness, in that he did good…
Settle it in your heart that God is faithful and just and He is never the author confusion. He will never leave us in the dark or with dim, ambiguous answers to questions that obviously require direct and succinct answers in other for there to be peace. God always leaves Himself a witness concerning every matter of great controversy. He must have preserved somewhere in the scriptures the truth that will foster peace; we just have not have found it. Putting this belief in your mind and heart will influence the way you search the scriptures; it will drive your mode of searching for clues to find truth. It will make you not give up easily in enquiry, because you know that the truth is in there somewhere. That is, some things may not have been written expressly, but you will rest assured knowing that God must have left some clues by which we can ascertain what really happened, or at the very least ascertain what did not happen.
Rule #4 BE VERY PATIENT AND METICULOUS
Deut. 13:14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;
Discard these faulty notions: “If it is not simple it cannot be God”, “The gospel is simple, if something is taking so long to explain, then it cannot be God”.
God is a Person of order (1 Cor. 14:40). The word of God is organized, laying precept upon precept, until the full picture is seen. To hear God accurately in scriptures, therefore, the scholar must be a respecter of order. The path to hearing God accurately, particularly for doctrine, is usually a long conversation. If you cannot respect the order, if you quickly get tired of the many details, if you are too impatient to follow through on the pattern of the conversation—and there is always a pattern if you are observant enough to notice it—you will never really find Him. Yes, you will quickly come away with a ‘revelation’, but it will not be accurate truth.
This next two rules are very important
Rule #5 LOOK VERY CLOSELY INTO THE ACCOUNT OF THE BEGINNING;
Mat 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
Mat 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Mat 19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
Mat 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
- There are two portions of the Bible that bear perfection. By perfection, I mean the absence of sin and death. These passages are Genesis 1, 2, 3:1-5 and Revelation 21 &22. Both portions are Beginnings/Creations of new heaven(s) and earth(s). The former reveals the beginnings in the past of perfect mankind, while the other reveals the beginnings in the eternal future of perfected mankind. By philosophical thinking we understand that a thing or phenomenon can be best understood when examined in terms of its original purpose.
- Jesus in Matthew 19 taught the past beginnings—that is, Genesis 1& 2—as a reference point of how things were originally meant to be, and therefore, a means to make sense of everything else that came after, i.e. the laws given through Moses (Matthew 19:4, Luke 24:27). This shows that the principles of the past beginnings are eternal and a trustworthy guide to judge other Laws (Old and New Testament) that came after the fall of mankind.
Rule #6 DO NOT NEGLECT THE HEBREW BIBLE (THE OLD TESTAMENT);
Mat 5:17-19 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
I think, as New Testament Believers, we deny ourselves a lot when we neglect the Hebrew Bible. I like to refer to what we presently call the Old Testament as The Hebrew Bible, because I believe that the ‘oldness’ or ‘newness’ of it is only in the eyes of the beholder. It all depends on the eyes of the reader, whether they are the eyes of the flesh or of the spirit (Lk. 11:34-36). I think that today christians unconsciously work with the assumption that the early church, and even the Apostles themselves, read the Epistles. Let the following thoughts be imprinted on your mind.
The apostles did not know (or ask) that their writings would be made as scriptures
It was the Hebrew Bible that the Lord Jesus, the Apostles, and the early church had and read.
It was Genesis, the Books of Moses and the Prophets that Paul and Peter read and in it they saw the revelation of the New Covenant.
They used the Law. But they used it lawfully.
The old covenant and the Law are two different things. Christ did not abolish the law. He abolished the old covenant.
The old covenant—-not the law—-ended with John the Baptist, because until the time of John the contents of the Law foretold the coming and the redemptive work of Christ (Matt. 11:13). Christ began the fulfilment of all that is written in the Law and the Prophets, and the church will complete it (John 14:12). For these reasons the Law, the Hebrew Bible, will always be relevant to us (Matt. 5:17-19). When, before the redemptive work of Christ the Messiah, the Law was read without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God, all the Jews could see in it and be ministered to by it was death (2 Cor. 3:1-18). But when they began looking in by the help of the Holy Spirit they began to see life and they received life indeed.
After the death of Jesus, the disciples could, by the leading of God’s spirit which they had now received, rightly divide the Law into what was still relevant, what was to be used verbatim and what was only to be used only in principle and not in method.
The Law was not (and still is not) the problem (Rom.7:12, 1 Tim.1:18). The readers of it were. And it was because they did not have the Spirit of God in them. The Spirit guides us into all truth; the Spirit ministers life.