Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 12, 1959
NUMBER 40, PAGE 6-7a

Forbidden Fruit

Lloyd Moyer, El Cerrito, California

Forbidden fruit has always attracted man. Though she had access to all the fruit of all the trees of the garden of Eden, mother Eve partook of that which was forbidden. (Gen. 3:6.) It would be impossible for us to evaluate the consequences of her eating the forbidden fruit. All pain, sorrow, and death is the result of this deed.

There is a forbidden fruit to all preachers of the gospel and teachers of God's word, that I would like to discuss at this time. There are many things forbidden to teachers of the Word but we shall deal with the forbidden fruit of only one tree in this article.

The Area Of Silence

What do we mean, "area of silence ?" The scriptures are silent concerning many things. This is forbidden fruit so far as the teacher of God's word is concerned. Any time a preacher or teacher goes into the area of the silence of the scriptures he partakes of forbidden fruit, just as surely as did mother Eve. And, as her deed caused souls to be lost, so does the deed today cause men to lose their souls.

Although men have all the scriptures from which to select subjects upon which to comment, yet many persist in partaking of the forbidden fruit of the silence of the scriptures. It seems that they had rather speculate on what the Bible does NOT say than to teach what the Bible DOES reveal. To show that the area of silence is forbidden, I would cite three passages: (I Peter 4:11) "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God .. ." (Deut. 18:20) "But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name. Which I have not commanded him to speak . . . even that prophet shall die." (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 for ever, that we may do all the words of the law." There are many other passages which teach this same lesson but these are enough for this time. Note: Those things which ARE revealed belong unto US and our children. Of course, that was written unto the people of God in the long ago; but it is applicable to us with equal force. Those things which are revealed in the word of God belong unto us. While "the secret things belong unto the Lord our God." If God had wanted us to know about them, He would have revealed them unto us. The fact that they are not revealed is proof that God did not want us to know about them. Peter says, "if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God." This is as plain as any command in God's word. Yet, men scruple not to teach things about which God says not one word. They are guilty of partaking of forbidden fruit, and the consequences of their deed is the loss of souls. Let us look at some examples.

Use Of Mechanical Instruments Of Music In New Testament Worship

The New Testament is as silent as the tomb on this subject. Therefore for any man to teach that we can use mechanical instruments of music in worship today, that man is going into the area of silence of the scriptures — partaking of forbidden fruits: The Silence of The Scriptures. That is how mechanical instruments of music made their appearance in worship of the church. It divided the people of God.

The Missionary Societies

Brethren were not satisfied with the organization of God. The church was not enough. Although the scriptures revealed that the church was the only organized body or society which was to preach the gospel (I Tim. 3:15; Eph. 3:10), men decided that since God has not said, "Thou shalt not have a missionary society" they could presume upon his silence and have one. They violated I Peter 4:11. They could not speak as the oracles of God. So the Missionary Societies appeared on the scene and the people of God was divided.


God's order of things was and is that the work of the church be accomplished by local churches. The only unit of organization for the function of the church revealed in the scriptures is the congregation. (Phil. 1:1; I Cor.1:2; Acts 14:23; 20:28; I Peter 5:2.) The scriptures are silent on many congregations pooling their money into the treasury of one congregation and that one congregation "sponsoring" the preaching of the gospel in some other area. Each congreation supported the preaching of the gospel by sending to the preacher. (Phil. 2:25; 4:15-18; 2 Cor. 11:8.) Even though this is the revealed way, there are many today who are not satisfied with God's way. They, like mother Eve, would rather partake of forbidden fruit. They go into the area of the silence of the scriptures. They say, "Oh, yes, we know that is the way the Bible says that it was done, but we believe it can be done this way as well." They have exactly the same authority for centralizing the funds of many congregations into the treasury of one for the preaching of the gospel as brethren had for the mechanical instruments of music and the missionary society. Their authority is the silence of the scriptures. They cannot speak as the oracles of God

Church Should Care For All Needy

The scriptures reveal that the church did care for the "needy saints". (Acts 2:44-45; 6:1-6; 11:29-30; Rom. 15:25-26; I Cor. 16:1-3; 2 Cor. 8 & 9.) The Bible is silent on the church caring for any one other than the poor saints. But there are those like Eve, who look at benevolence and see that it is good, and they ignore all that God has said about the matter and partake of forbidden fruit. They speculate that the church must have cared for others than the poor saints. They go into the area of silence for their authority. This must be the proper conclusion. I call upon those who contend that the church did care for others than the "poor saints" to produce the scripture which so states. Until this scripture is brought forth I shall teach that the church, as a functional unit, cared for only the poor saints in the field of benevolence.

Human Societies

We have already shown that the scriptures reveal that the church is the only functional unit ordained by God to do the work of the church. The scriptures are deathly silent about the church building and supporting or maintaining human societies through which to accomplish her work of teaching or benevolence. Any society larger than, or smaller than, or other than the congregation to do the work of the church is un-scriptural.

Making The Church A Social And Recreational Institution

The scriptures show that the church functions in three fields. (1) — Preaching the gospel, (2) — Edification, and (3) — Benevolence. (Eph. 4:12,16; I Tim. 3:15) To allow the church to function in the fields of "Fun, Food and Frolic" (providing these) one must go into the area of the silence of the scriptures.

All these thinks I have mentioned are forbidden fruits which are plucked from the tree of the silence of the scriptures. That is the only place they can come from since the revealed word does not produce them. One must "go beyond" the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9) to find these things. Those guilty of practicing them are religious outlaws; i.e. — they are without the law of God. If this is not true, let them produce the passage or passages which authorize their practices.