B. An Introduction
When the original New Covenant Christian Fellowships were organised on 12 April 1992 it became immediately obvious that a foundational course of Biblical instruction was needed for the members. Accordingly, the Apostolic Council of Elders began to prepare instructional materials in accordance with one of their commissions (Constitution of NCCF, Article 7e). This study course, Messianic Evangelical Foundational Teachings of the Bible, is the result.
The psalmist wrote:
If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3, RSV)
Like the marble pillars of Jachin and Boaz which flanked the main entrance to the Temple of Solomon, so too is the entrance to the Christian life flanked by two spiritual pillars. Both are called the WORD OF YAHWEH -- one is the written word of Yahweh (the SCRIPTURES) and the other is REVELATION. These two, balancing, complementing, and confirming each other, are the basis of Christian emunah (faith).
Typical of our modern age has been the tendency to attack the written Word of Yahweh. Learned men, under the guise of scholarship, have, in the last two centuries, sought to undermine the authority of the Bible by challenging its revelatory basis. Rejecting a supernatural Elohim (God), they have sought to reduce the Scriptures to the same status as the mythological accounts of other religions. This new "gospel", robbed of its supernatural vitality, and watered-down so as to be practically useless to the lost sinner thirsting after the mayim chayim (waters of life), has made frightening inroads into Christian churches and Messianic assemblies to such an extent that the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith are no longer believed by them. In its place, a social gospel has emerged.
Equally disturbing, if not more so, has been a new tendency to reject written scripture and to place emphasis on revelation on its own. A frightening number of groups, "Christian" as well as non-Christian, have arisen offering mystical experiences without the necessity of obeying a moral law. Loosely called the New Age Movement, this heterogeonous group of spiritualists champion the cause of a new Universal Religion combining the "best" of all religions. Needless to say, the fundamental Christian doctrines have been discarded in favour of a system more in harmony with the carnal mind of man. By denying the sovereignty of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), the New Age Movement offers revelation, not from Yahweh (the Elohim of the Bible), but from "spirit guides", gurus, and other unclean spirits whose purpose from the beginning has been to deceive and destroy mankind. Indeed, the purpose of the New Age Movement is to ussher in a "New Age" with Satan as "God"; and they have made no secret of the fact that they intend to exterminate all believers in the Christian and Israelite Elohim.
A third class of persons, who deny revelation but who accept the Bible, have created a cold, dry, and dusty faith without any real spiritual life or warmth. And without the Spirit of revelation, they have arrived at a thousand-and-one different interpretations of the Holy Scriptures, forgetting the warning of Paul that prophetic scripture cannot be interpreted by the carnal mind of man (2 Peter 1:20). Inevitably, their theological system is a mass of confusion and contradiction, since without the activity of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), no doctrinal system can be harmonious.
A fourth class of persons may be said to be those who are in such a hurry to partake of the deeper or "meatier" principles of the Gospel that they very quickly forget the simple, foundational or "milky" principles (Heb. 5:12-6:3). Before long, they forget their "first love" (Rev.2:4), the Master Yah'shua (Jesus), and become absorbed in deep doctrines to such an extent that they lose their way. These same Christians or Messianics become more eager to teach unbelievers the mysteries than they do to bring them to a foundational faith in the Master Yah'shua (Jesus), and end up doing more harm than good. They become blind to the real emunah (faith) and lead those whom they seek to teach into the same ditch as themselves (Matt.15:14). These Christians and Messianics, and those they seek to evangelise, "need someone to teach (them) again the first principles the Davar Elohim (Word of God) (Heb.5:12). In our experience, all Christians need to be taught the elementary principles regularly so that their spiritual foundation remains firm and strong. This is particularly important, of course, for children and for new believers, who should only be given an exclusive diet of the milk of the Davar (Word) until they come to maturity (Heb.5:14). But the mature are apt to forget (Prov.4:5) the milk too and may end up choking on the meat.
Yah'shua (Jesus) told a parable about building one's spiritual house on a firm foundation (Matt.7:24-27). The purpose of this course of instruction, Foundational Beliefs of the Bible, is to do just that.
The course is divided up into units and can be used either in private, with your family, or in congregational study. There is an immediately obvious benefit in studying in groups under the guidance of a mature teacher and this should be sought if at all possible. In this instance, a class should prepare each unit, or subunit, a week before in order to derive the maximum benefit from group discussion.
Commentary has been kept to a minimum in order to allow the Bible to speak for itself. Questions are followed by a Bible reference and blank spaces for filling in. We recommend the use of a pencil so that corrections can be made later if necessary.
Each unit may either be studied as a whole or broken up into smaller sections, depending on the size of each unit. The more time, study, and prayer that can be invested into such a study will bring better and more lasting results. The units, collected together, are intended to serve as a reference library for the talmid (disciple), and will be an invaluable help towards growing to spiritual maturity.
Though produced with members of NCAY in mind, we hope that these course materials can be used by all believers.
Finally, Foundational Teachings of the Bible is intended to serve as a doctrinal foundation for all those who desire to become fully chrismated (confirmed) members of the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh. All those seeking full membership will be expected to have completed this course material, and have been examined on their understanding of it, before an application for Confirmation (Chrism, Bar/BatMitzvah) will be considered by the pastors.
In the meantime, it is our prayer that you will be built up in the Emunah (Faith) through studying this course and set yourself on a path that will qualify you to be a spiritual warrior and overcomer for Yahweh.
The Apostolic Council of Elders, 17 May 1992
Updated, 13 April 2002 & 22 October 2014