It has been said the major difficulty in religion today is that God has been left out. God has not been considered
nor consulted in matters of doctrine or practice. Teachings are advanced that are either foreign to the teachings of
Jesus or contrary to those found in the New Testament or complete denials of the written word. God is left out.
What he says, or what he things, or what he likes is not considered.
There are three choices as to whom we are going to please in our words and actions: 1) ourselves, 2) other men, or
3) God. While it must be admitted that occasionally all three may coincide to be one and the same action, more
often than not they represent three different paths or choices even as they unquestionably represent three different
viewpoints and principles.
First, we can seek to merely please ourselves. In this we look no further than what gives us pleasure or suits our
Secondly, we can seek to please other men. In this popular opinion, or the opinion of one we are seeking to
impress, is the criteria. Again, the foibles of human character become the basis in word and deed.
Thirdly, we can seek to please God. In doing this, it is the divine wisdom of the heavenly Father which directs
our steps in performing that which is infallibly right, proper and good.
In pleasing ourselves, it is our feelings and ideas which direct our action. We ask ourselves, “Do I like it? Do I
feel it is right?” The question is not: “Does God like it? Does God think it is right?” In searching our own likes
and dislikes, in searching how we feel pro and con on the matter, we are not serving God, but ourselves.
Selfishness is the rule. The question is: Should we seek to serve ourselves, or God?
In seeking to please others, it is the popular opinion which guides our deeds. We ask: “What will the people like?
What do the people feel is right? What will give me the greatest popularity?” The likes and dislikes of the
populous, the feelings of popular opinion pro and con determine the paths which we travel. In this we serve men,
rather than God. The question is: Should we seek to serve men, or God?
In seeking to please God, it is His likes and dislikes, His feelings, His ideas which are the standard and rule of
conduct. The questions asked are: “Does God like it? Does God want it? Does God command it? What does God
say?” It is recognition of the Sovereignty of the Father of all living and the need to submit to Him. The question
is: Should we seek to serve God?
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I shouldnot be the
servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
Seeking to Please God
Restorationism, or the search for the ancient order, is seeking to please God in all things in the organization,
worship, work and doctrine of the church and in the individual lives of Christians. In the organization of the
church, in the worship of the church, in the work of the church, in the doctrine of the church, and in the
individual lives of Christians, restorationism, or the search for the ancient order, asks: “Does God like it? Does
God want it? Does God command it? What does God say?” – and does that: nothing more, nothing less.
Restorationism is searching for the ancient order of things, what God has set forth, what has been revealed by the
Holy Spirit of Christ in the Holy Bible, and doing it.
Obedience is Absolutely Necessary
One cannot please God without obeying Him. Obedience is absolutely necessary. One can know the true
organization, worship, work, and doctrine of the church and know what the proper character is for Christians,
and yet not please God, for the knowledge is useless without the application.
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word,
which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway foretteth what manner of man he was. But whoso
looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the
work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:21-15).
As Jesus said, “And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say,” (Luke 6:46)?
“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous” (1 John
Listen to the words of God to Israel, and the need for obedience will be clearly seen: “If thou wilt diligently
harken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His
commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon
the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26).
“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure un to
me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.
These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Exodus 19:5-6).
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.
For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt,
concerning burnt offering or sacrifices: but this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice and I will be all
the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their
ear, but walked in the counsels and the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward”
Although addressed to the nation of Israel under the old covenant, it illustrates the principle of obedience in “the
Israel of God” of the new covenant, His kingdom of priests, His holy nation, His peculiar people – the church
(Galatians 6:16; 1 Peter 2:5,9; Ephesians 2:19-22; Titus 2:14; Revelation 1:16).
Jesus “become the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).
Nowhere is this need to be obedient more graphically illustrated and stated than in the word of Samuel to King
Saul. God had commanded Saul to “utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not” (1 Samuel 15:1-8). No
man, woman, child or animal was to be left alive. Yet, King Saul left King Agag and some of the animals alive
and led them back to Israel.
Samuel, being instructed of God, went out to meet Saul and said: “Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice
of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? … Hath the LORD as great
delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold to obey is better than
sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as
iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:19, 22-23).
Jesus condemned the Pharisees for falsely relieving the people of obedience to the word of God (Matthew 15:1-9).
If teaching men to not obey God and His word was condemned in Jesus’ day, can we safely assume that those
who teach we need not obey today are acceptable in the sight of God? Does it not rather teach us that we must
obey the word of God in all things?
The apostle Paul wrote that “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in
flaming fire” He will take “vengeance on them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be
punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power” (2
Thessalonians 1:7-9). One must obey in order to please God.
Let us seek not to please ourselves, or other men; but, rather, let us seek to please the Sovereign of all, our Father
in heaven. Lot us heed the words of God, and of Christ, in all things restoring the organization, worship, work
and doctrine of the church and the holiness of life among the saints.
"So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you
an inheritance among all those who are sanctified." (Acts 20:32) NKJV
The Ancient Order