-- Law of Exclusion
We have already seen that we must walk by faith if we are to be pleasing to
And hence, since we are to “walk by faith,” and “with out faith it is impossible
to please God,” it follows that in any matter whatsoever in which we are not
directed by the word of God, we are neither walking by faith, nor pleasing God.
This means that we cannot go beyond (transgress) the commands of God by
adding anything to that which is commanded.
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not
God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the
Son. (2 John 1:9 KJV)
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this
book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the
plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the
words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the
book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in
this book. (Revelation 22:18-19 KJV)
If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let
him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be
glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and
ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:11 KJV)
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God
may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of
Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power 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: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and
precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:2-4
If in the scriptures we find guidance to every good work and “all things that
pertain to life and godliness,” what need is there for us to attempt to add to
what God has commanded?
When we command, or tell someone to do something, we do not have to tell
them everything they should not do. When we tell them what to do, that
immediately eliminates everything else. When we tell someone to leave by the
door, we do not have to tell them not to leave by the window; our telling them
to leave by the door has already done that.
When I was a little boy, my dad told me to get in the bathtub. I went to the
bathroom, stepped in the bathtub, got back out and went to my room to play.
When dad came into my room and found me there, he wondered why I had not
done what I was told. I responded that I had, but he did not tell me that I could
not go to my room to play. Needless to say, my defense was not acceptable. My
dad was not pleased.
My son was told to get a cookie from the cookie jar, and got two cookies. His
mother caught him and asked why he had gotten another cookie. He replied
that she had not said he could get another one. She was not impressed with
Can we truly expect God to be pleased with our feeble arguments made upon
the same basis?
... certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said,
Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation
with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of
them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this
question. (Acts 15:1-2 KJV)
When the matter was brought before the apostles and elders, they and the
brethren sent a letter back to Antioch showing that these certain men were
teaching falsely. This letter used the law of exclusion to show the fallacy of
their teaching, saying:
Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have
troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be
circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
(Acts 15:24 KJV)
Notice, in the absence of such a commandment, it was wrong.
When Paul was writing to the Hebrews concerning the pre-eminence of
Christ, he uses the law of exclusion to prove his point, saying:
For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day
have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to
me a Son? (Hebrews 1:5 KJV)
The absence of such statements directed toward the angels proves his point.
Once more in the Hebrew letter, brother Paul uses the law of exclusion to
show the superiority of the priesthood of Christ to the Levite priesthood of the
law of Moses, saying:
If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the
people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest
should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of
Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a
change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to
another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident
that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing
concerning priesthood. (Hebrews 7:11-14 KJV)
Because it was spoken of, it could not be according to the law.
Nowhere is this law more forcefully illustrated than in the death of Nadab and
Abihu, the sons of Aaron.
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and
put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the
LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the
LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said
unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them
that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held
his peace. (Leviticus 10:1-3 KJV)
They offered worship unto the Lord; but, not as he commanded (Leviticus 10:
12,13). They used a fire God had not said to use. God had not said not to use it;
He merely said what fire to use. Failure to observe the law of exclusion cost
Nadab and Abihu their lives.
Can we then say that it makes no difference which attitude toward authority
we adopt? That it makes no difference whether we walk by faith, being
directed by God’s word, or whether we walk by opinion, going beyond what is
written? God forbid.
Think for a moment of Noah and the ark which God commanded him to build
(Genesis 6:9-22). He was instructed to build the ark of gopher wood. If he had
made it of another type of wood, or had added another type of wood in its
contruction, would Noah have obeyed God? The answer is no.
What of Moses in building the tabernacle (Exodus 25ff) and Solomon in
building the temple (1 Kings 6ff)? If they had added a room, or if they had
changed or added to the material, would they have obeyed God?
Surely, then we can see that authority from the Bible is necessary in order to
worship God acceptably.
What is Worship: In Truth -- What is Truth?
What is Worship: In Truth -- In the Name of Jesus
What is Worship: In Truth -- Two Attitudes
What is Worship: In Truth -- The Law of Exclusion (Silence)
What is Worship: In Truth -- Correctly Deriving Authority
What is Worship: In Truth -- Conclusion