Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 3, 1963

A Claim Which May Not Be True

Judson Woodbridge

"I have set Jehovah before me! Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." (Ps. 16:8)

The expression used here by the follower of God, "I shall not be moved," is also used by the unrighteous. "The wicked in the pride of his countenance," said, "I shall not be moved." (Ps. 10:4,5) Thus, both the righteous and the wicked are saying the same thing. Both are claiming the same security. It is evident, that both cannot be telling the truth. There is no question as to who is right; for, David after describing the one who walks uprightly said, "He that doeth these things shall never be moved." (Ps. 15)

But do we not hear about the same today from both the good and evil? Each says, "God is with me." There is more to receiving the blessing of God than a declaration. Jesus said that some would declare, "Lord, Lord," but he will say, "Depart." Why? Because they had not done the "will of God." There can be no abiding in the love of God without obedience. "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you....Even as the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you: abide ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." (John 15:7-11) A full joy, being in the love of the Father and Christ, answer to prayer, and recognition in the judgment are all based upon "keeping the commandments." Let us never belittle that which is "commanded" by thinking it can be ignored.

John said, "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (1 John 2:4) James also declared, "But he that looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing." (Jas. 1:25)

With such emphasis we are not surprised to learn that God has told us that right is within his commandments. "Whatsoever I command you, that shall ye observe to do; thou shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it." (Deut. 12:32) These words declare the rule that God gave in both the Old and New Testaments. By this rule man can tell what is right and what is wrong. Whatsoever God commanded is right, and what he did not command is wrong... Thus, we look for what the Lord authorized by precept, necessary inference and approved example; instead of acting upon all the things he was silent about.

That you may see how easy it Is to apply this rule let me give you an example: The Lord authorized unleavened bread and fruit of the vine (grape juice) to be placed upon the Lord's table, which supper is observed upon the first day of the week. To put these elements on the table we know is right. But the Lord was silent about ice cream, cake, beef steak, and cabbage. Because of this silence we know it would be wrong to use these things on the communion table. This would be adding to what God said. Now apply this rule to music in the church. Was it vocal or instrumental? Leave off that which he did not say and we will be right. Apply it to the work of the church — do what he says for it to do and we will be right. Apply it to the organization for doing this work and we will be right. Did God give an organization? Then let us work in it and no other. You see, there is no excuse for failing in obedience. And just remember all claims of blessings without this are untrue.

— 320 Hackberry, McAllen, Texas