Singing In Worship (Part 2)
There are two different kinds of music: vocal and instrumental. God has
spoken in the New Testament concerning the kind of music we must use if we
expect to worship Him in spirit and in truth, and that is singing. Singing is
the limit of God's command. God nowhere in the New Testament authorized
mechanical instruments of music to be used in worship of the church. A
mechanical instrument of music cannot worship God. Only with our voices can we
sing praises to God. God does not wish to be worshipped with a lifeless
People today may think that it makes no difference if they add mechanical
instruments of music in worshipping God. In the Old Testament we have the
example of Nadab and Abihu who were presumptuous in their thinking that it made
no difference. In Leviticus 10:1-2 (NIV) we read, "Aaron's sons, Nadab
and Abihu, took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they
offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to His command.
So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them and they
died before the Lord."
In Leviticus 16:12-13 God commanded, "Then he shall take a censer full
of burning coals of fire from the altar" of burnt offering to burn the
incense in the tabernacle. But Nadab and Abihu decided to do it their own way
and get the coals of fire somewhere else. They offered unauthorized fire. They
died a horrible death because they did something God did not authorize. They
were presumptuous. God will not tolerate substitutes for His divine way. God is
very particular about the way He wants things done. Just as Nadab and Abihu
offered unauthorized fire, is there any excuse for us to offer unauthorized
mechanical instrumental music to the Lord?
According to Webster, presumptuous means, "to take upon oneself
without permission or authority, taking too much for granted, showing
overconfidence, arrogance." Being presumptuous as far as God is concerned
is a sin. Psalms 19:13 says, "Keep back your servant from presumptuous
sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I
shall be innocent of great transgression." So we see we can also be guilty
of presumptuous sins when we "take upon ourselves without permission or
authority" of God and add mechanical instruments of music to our worship.
We may not think it will make any difference, but Nadab and Abihu thought the
same thing. In speaking of people who are displeasing to God, 2 Peter 2:10 says,
"They are presumptuous, self willed."
Some may say, "The Bible does not say not to use mechanical instruments
of music in worship." But again are we permitted to be so presumptuous? If
so we could add anything else without His authority. The Bible tells us we are
to use the bread and the fruit of the vine in commemorating the Lord's Supper.
But the Bible does not say we can't also use chocolate cake and milk. Of
course it doesn't. It would be absurd if we tried to use it. But it is just as
absurd when we try to use the same type of reasoning to justify the use of
instrumental music in worship.
When God gives a command to do something, does He have to say, but don't do
this, and don't do this, etc.? No. When God tells us what He wants done, He
expects us to do it that way. God's commands are both inclusive and exclusive.
His commands include everything He specifies and they exclude everything He has
not authorized. But trying to confine ourselves to what God has authorized is
very important if we expect to please Him and go to heaven.
If we add mechanical instruments of music to the worship of God then we have
added to God's word. In the closing words of the New Testament we are warned
not to add to His word. In Revelation 22:18, "If anyone adds to these
things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book."
In the sixth chapter of Genesis we have the example of Noah who was pleasing
to God. In Genesis 6:14 we read that Noah was told by God to, "Make
yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark and cover it inside and
outside with pitch." In the verses that follow God continues to give Noah
the details of construction. Then we read in Genesis 6:22, "Thus Noah did; according
to all that God commanded him, so he did." God specified the ark was to
be built of gopherwood. Did Noah use gopherwood as God had specified? Yes, Noah
did "according to all that God commanded him." Would Noah have
obeyed God if he had added pine or oak along with gopherwood? No. He would have
disobeyed God by doing something God had not authorized. Do we disobey God when
we add mechanical instruments of music, which God has not authorized to our
worship to Him? Yes we do.
The use of mechanical instruments of music in worship does make a difference,
because God has never permitted man to devise the plan or means for his worship
of God. This is very serious, because we will loose our souls through
presumptuous sins just as Nadab and Abihu lost their lives through their
Questions Lesson 17
Singing In Worship (Part 2)
(click on the button of the answer of your
1) (Leviticus 10:1-2) What happened when Nadab and Abihu offered unauthorized
fire in worship to God?
God was well pleased.
Fire came down from the Lord and they died.
Nadab and Abihu died because they did not worship God as He directed.
3) (Leviticus 16:12-13) Where had God commanded Nadab and Abihu to get the
coals of fire to burn the daily incense?
From their own campfire.
From under the altar of burnt offerings.
Anywhere they could find them.
God will tolerate our substitutes for His divine will.
5) (Psalms 19:13) Being presumptuous as far as God is concerned is
All right if we are sincere.
Doesn't really matter.
We are guilty of presumptuous sin when we take upon ourselves without God's
authority things that pertain to worship.
7) (Revelation 22:18) If anyone adds to God's word
It will be all right if
he is sincere.
Nothing will ever be done about it.
"God will add to him the plagues written in this book."
It is all right if we add to God's word by doing things we want to do.
9) (Genesis 6:14, 22) When Noah was commanded of God to build the Ark according
to God's specifications
Noah made some of his own modifications.
Noah did according to all that God commanded him.
Noah used his own plans.
Noah would have obeyed God if he had added pine along with the