Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 14, 1958

And He Added No More

Bill Moseley, Ventura, California

For a beginning place upon this subject, let us turn first of all to the Old Testament. We find written in the book of Deuteronomy the account of God giving His law to Moses for His nation to follow. This law, which we refer to as the law of Moses, had its definite purpose. It could not save the souls of men from their sins against God, for it was not intended to do so. Yet, the Psalmist said that the Law of the Lord is "perfect." How then, could this law be perfect if it could not save souls? The law was perfect so far as the use for which it was intended was concerned. It was to bring us to Christ. Christ is the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy. We find in the first chapter of the Hebrew letter that Christ was "appointed heir of all things." Heir of what things? The things spoken to the fathers by the prophets in Hebrews 1:1. The apostle Paul, in Gal. 3:24,25, refers to the law as a "schoolmaster." He said it was to bring us to Christ. Jesus said he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. When he came as fleshly man, lived and died upon the earth, the law was then fulfilled, thus bringing us to Christ.

Let us notice some facts about the law, one in particular that is implied by the title of this lesson. Once the law was given by God, it was an unchanging law. Man could not change it, and God did not change it. Back in Deut. 4:2, the children of Israel were commanded not to "add unto the word." They also received the command not to diminish from it. They were forbidden to make any alterations in it at all, for God would not allow it to be changed.

This not only applied to the people of God then, but it applies with equal force to people today. We have a God-given standard to live under today, just as God's people did in the long ago. We have no authority to "add to" the commands of Jehovah. This is a lesson that a great many members of the church need to learn. We can expect the people of the world to attempt to change God's law, but people who claim to be Christians should know better. John says in II John 9, that if we add to the law, or go beyond it, we have not God. John here is saying the same thing that Moses spoke concerning the law. That is simply not to add to it, not diminish from it.

Many people today seem to think that God is continually changing his law. We hear of certain preachers today who claim to have a revelation from God. In the early history of the church men did have the law revealed to them in a miraculous way. Even then it was only to a limited number of men. The apostles had this revelation. They had the power to work miracles, and to pass this power on to other faithful men. But let us take note of the fact that the second group of faithful men, was as far as that power went. Else why did Philip, while preaching in Samaria (Acts 8) send for Peter? Paul said, "and the things that thou hast heard of me, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." Did he say this power could go on and on? No, he said this second group has the power to TEACH, and not to pass the power on down the line. Certainly we can see concerning this matter that God "added no more" to his law of revelation to the apostles. Yet many people claim this power today.

God has added no more to the gospel since the day it was first preached. Paul says in Romans 1:16 that is THE power of God to save. It needed not to be added to. He also warned the churches of Galatia of a different Gospel, or a perverted one. Usually a false teacher will not teach an altogether different gospel from the true one. Neither do they always leave out a part of it. What do they do? They simply twist the true word out of its context, and more people will succumb to that than they will to an altogether different teaching. This is what the false teacher seeks to employ. But not one place in all the ages can we find where God ever added to the Gospel.

Let us notice also that God has "added no more" to the worship of the church since it first existed in it's present form. When the early church came together upon the first day of the week, they taught, sang, prayed, gave of their means, and partook of the Lord's Supper. That is God's system of worship. Today men have tried to add numerous other things to the worship; the instrument of music, yearly instead of weekly communion, confession of sins to a "priest," and a host of other things that could be mentioned. These are the innovations of man, for God never added them to the worship of the church.

Until now, we have been dealing with primarily the denominational world and their additions. Are the members of the Lord's church completely innocent of this? I think not in many cases. We find in some so-called churches of Christ today such things as societies, recreational committees, and many other things too numerous to mention here. The church in many areas of the country is full of such things. All kinds of outside, human institutions have been upheld as pleasing to God. Brethren who are guilty of condoning these things, and elders of the church in many places who are attempting to bar faithful preachers from crying out against them have no right whatever to point the shameful finger of accusation at the denominational world for making additions to the gospel; they are guilty of the same thing. They can readily show where God did not add the various worldly things of the denominations to the church. Can they show where God added their "church-sponsored" institutions? It cannot be found between the two covers of the Bible. These things were not a part of the early church. Therefore God did not add them to it. Let us not accuse the sectarian world of adding to the word of God when in many places churches of Christ are doing the same thing. I am not pleading for the church to cease its battle against the world and its religions, nor am I endorsing the denominations. I think they are sinful bodies, and therefore stand condemned. But remember the words of Jesus when he said, "let him that is without sin, cast the first stone." So let us be sure before we accuse someone else of "adding to,' that we have not done the same thing.

There is but one thing that God adds to the church today; we find that recorded in Acts 2:47. All those who obey the commands of God will be added to the church. That is, all God will add. If you will comply with the gospel plan of salvation, you will be a part of the only thing that God adds to the church: such as should be saved.