Can mankind make new commandments where God made none and bind such upon others? Can mankind erase a commandment of God and replace it with a commandment of man? Can mankind command something in order to carry out a commandment of God? I ask this because mankind is doing all three of these and evidently have caused many in the church to sin. Sin is defined as the transgression of the law (1 Jn 3:4). Let us first examine why all three of these are sins and where the church is breaking the commandments of God by doing such.
It is evident according to the scriptures that man is not allowed to establish a new commandment where God made none. First of all, where there is no commandment of God, there is no sin (Rom 4:15 cf; 5:13). This in and of itself establishes the sovereign right of God that only His commandments count. Paul commanded that we not go beyond that which was written (1 Cor 4:6). When we establish our own commandments, we are not submitting ourselves to the commandments of God. “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Rom 10:2-3). The righteousness of God is revealed by His commandments. “…for all Your (God’s) commandments are righteousness (Ps 119:172). When man adds anything to the worship of God, Jesus called it vain worship. “And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men (Mt 15:9). Conclusively, mankind is prohibited from adding any new commandment!
What new commandments are men adding? Let me count the ways. Instrumental music and choirs, are an addition (Eph 5:19). Taking the Lord’s supper on other days other than on each Sunday is an addition (Acts 20:7). Tithing, this is a new commandment (2 Cor 9:6,7). Worshiping on Saturday instead of Sunday is an addition (Acts 20:7). Giving on any other day than on Sunday is an addition (1 Cor 16:1-3). Women preachers and elders, this is an addition (1 Cr 14:33-40 f; 1 Tim 2:11,12). Sprinkling, this is an addition (Acts 8:38). Popes, Priests, Cardinals, and Nuns, are an addition. Supporting man-made institutions to do the work of God is an addition, etc. (2 Pet 1:3).
Erase Commandments of God
Can mankind eliminate or erase a commandment of God that they don’t desire to obey? Jesus said if we love him that we will keep his commandments (Jn 14:15). As John said “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (1 Jn 5:3). Under the old law, Moses commanded Israel not to add or subtract anything from the law. “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it (Deut 12:32). The same was prohibited by John in the book of Revelation. “If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (Rev 22:19). Thus, it is evident that God doesn’t allow us to erase any of His commandments.
Which commandments are mankind erasing? Many have erased baptism from salvation (Mk 16:16). Many have changed the gospel (Gal 1:6-9). Many have erased the doctrine of Christ and his apostles (Acts 2:42 ff; 2 Jn 9; Mt 15:7-9). Many have erased the elders and deacons in lieu of being lead by committee of unqualified men (1 Tim 3:1-13). Many are erasing the letters of the apostle Paul saying falsely that they are not scripture (2 Pet 3:15,16). Some have erased worshiping God collectively, etc. (Heb 10:25).
Carrying Out A Commandment of God
Can man make an addition to the Word of God by carrying out the commandments of God? For instance, can elders command the use of song books to carry out the commandment to sing? Yes they can, but the songs sung must be in accordance to the requirements of what the scripture has stipulated, that is, psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph 5:19). They must be scriptural songs which agree with the scripture! Can man have another day of worship other than on Sunday? Yes they can, but these days cannot be equated as Sunday which was a day in which the saints met. Thus, partaking of the Lord’s supper and giving cannot be done on these days as they are exclusive to Sunday worship (Acts 20:7 f; 1 Cor 16:1-3). Secondly, man must abide by the sames rules of conduct as was established for Sunday worship, that is, decently and in order (1 Cor 14:40). Lastly, these additional meetings (Bible studies, Gospel Meeting, and Singings, etc) cannot be commanded as Sunday worship because they were not commanded by God, and must be accepted as optional for the sole benefit and growth of its members (Heb 10:25 ff; 2 Pet 3:18). We should encourage these meetings as well as private gatherings to study the scripture, but we must never command them as commandments of God.
Conclusion: Man is prohibited to add to or take from God’s Word whatsoever. This was true from the beginning of man, and is true today. Man is prohibited from adding any new commandment, because they turn us from the truth of God (Tit 1:14). Yes, man can choose how to carry out a commandment when the scripture is silent on how to do such, but even in this, they must still must abide by the doctrine of Christ to govern such additions.