When spiritual power is low and worldly principles come into the
Church, the tendency is to find the divine order irksome because it makes certain demands
on a good spiritual condition—a condition not present. It also exposes the worldly
weakness which is present. So, the strong temptation is to be careless as to the
instructions of Scripture which are thought to be useful on many occasions, interesting,
instructive but optional—something that may be obeyed, not something that must
be obeyed. All this, however, is entirely swept away by the fact that these
instructions are "the commandments of the Lord." We thus are not at liberty
to alter them according to our tastes and feelings.
As an analogy, think of what was instituted in connection with the Law
of Moses which only gave "the example and shadow of heavenly things" (Heb. 8:5).
When Moses was about to make the tabernacle, God told him to "make all things
according to the pattern shown to you in the mount" (Heb. 8:5) Moses strictly
followed God’s pattern. Later, when the permanent house was to be built in Jerusalem,
"David gave to Solomon, his son,…the pattern of all that he had by the
Spirit…all this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing"
(1 Chron. 28:11–19). Again, every detail was divinely ordered in writing.
In the New Testament we have in writing the divine instructions as to the order of
God’s spiritual house. Are we given any more liberty to tamper with these
instructions than was allowed as to the instructions for the material, earthly house?