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The Regulative Principle and Exclusive A cappella Psalm Singing as a Worship Requirement.

By K.E. Stegall

Copyright 2001 by K.E. Stegall 721 Mississippi, Lawrence, KS 66044 All rights reserved.

The issue: The worship REQUIREMENT of Exclusive Acappella Psalm singing. The other morning as I was clearing away kitchen debris from the late night snacking of the evening before I noticed someone had installed a new roll of paper towels. As I threw the Bounty wrapper away I found myself humming Psalm 36B from the RPCNA Psalter. I had to smile at myself when I realized what had brought it to mind. They with the bounty of Thy house shall be well satisfied... I tell this story as illustration of the fact that I love singing the Psalms. I have sung the Psalms all my life and have found them a great source of strengthening to my faith as well as most meaningful and applicable to lifes many and varied situations. I have always done my best to contribute to our churchs Psalm singing in positive ways and to enhance, promote and energize it as much as possible. The following commentary is not about the rightness or edification of singing the Psalms. The Psalms are a part of Gods Word, the Holy Scriptures, and as such always fulfill Gods purpose in the heart of all who hear, read or sing them. The following commentary is about whether exclusive acappella Psalm singing should be a REQUIREMENT of our corporate and private worship or any worship directed toward God that praises, glorifies and communes with Him in order to be acceptable to Him.

The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

The Regulative Principle. The Old Testament concept, Whatsoever is not commanded is forbidden. as seen in
Exodus 25:40, See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. 1

and
Deuteronomy 12:32, See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.

which we now refer to as the Regulative Principle is mentioned only twice in the New Testament. Stephen refers to it as a part of his review of Gods work in Israelite history in
Acts 7:44, Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the Testimony with them in the desert. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen.

The other New Testament reference is in Hebrews where the author gives a lengthy explanation of the purpose and meaning of the strict requirement to make everything according ...to the pattern shown you... Speaking of the Israelite priesthood the author says,
New International Version (NIV) Hebrews 8:5, They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."[1] 1.[5] Exodus 25:40 New American Standard Bible (NASB) Hebrews 8:5, who serve <*1> a copy and <*2> shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses [1] was <*3> warned by God when he was about to erect the [2] tabernacle; for, ""<*4> SEE,'' He says, ""THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN.'' 1.Lit has been 2.Or sacred tent 1.Heb 9:23 2.Col 2:17; Heb 10:1 3.Matt 2:12; Heb 11:7; 12:25 4.Ex 25:40 King James Version (KJV) Hebrews 8:5, Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount. Young's Literal Translation (YLT) Hebrews 8:5, who unto an example and shadow do serve of the heavenly things, as Moses hath been divinely warned, being about to construct the tabernacle, for `See (saith He) thou mayest make all things according to the pattern that was shewn to thee in the mount;') -1

All Scripture quotations will be from the New International Version of The Holy Bible unless otherwise noted.

The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

That which is protected by the narrow strictures of the Regulative Principle is some eternal ultimate true reality in heaven. These narrow strictures were applied to the tabernacle structure and procedures in the Old Testament because they were a symbol, copy or shadow of this ultimate eternal and true reality in heaven. New Testament Christian worship is not a copy or shadow of anything. It is the real devotion and communion Christian believers in the here and now show toward the God who has saved them. How was the Old Testament Tabernacle worship a copy or shadow reflective of something in heaven?

The purpose of the Regulative Principle. The reason for the Regulative Principle or the strict instructions concerning the structure & activities of the tabernacle in the Old Testament are clearly revealed here in Hebrews. The Old Testament tabernacle was where God resided or dwelt. It was Gods presence among his people.
Exodus 40:1, The LORD said to Moses, 2 Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. ... 8 Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.... 35 Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

The real and eternal presence of God. The reason everything had to be done exactly as God directed in the Old Testament tabernacle is because that tabernacle was a copy, picture, symbol of something more true and real - the true and real presence of God in and through Jesus in heaven.
John 1:14 (NIV), The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,[1] who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (Youngs Literal T ranslation), And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth. Colossians 2:9 (NIV), For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,... Colossians 2:9 (Youngs Literal Translation), because in him doth tabernacle all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,...

The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

Gods presence as revealed by the Old and the New. The writer to the Hebrews makes this meaning clear by continually drawing a distinction between the earthly man-made sanctuary or tabernacle of the Old Testament. which is passing away and is merely a copy of the new true and eternal sanctuary, heaven, the dwelling place of God in Jesus, as underlined below. To further help us see the important differences & distinctions between old and new, I have surrounded those things which are a part of the **Old** with asterisks. The Sanctuary - The Most Holy Place where God dwells **The Old** The New **Tabernacle** Heaven **copy or shadow** ultimate true reality **temporary** Eternal

The way into Gods presence in the Old and the New. The writer of the Hebrews also differentiates between the way of access into the Old Testament copy and the way into the New Testament true sanctuary in heaven which Christ entered on our behalf through his own blood - as highlighted below. The way of access into Gods presence in both the old & the new is only according to Gods plan, nothing added or subtracted. **Old** New **Rules & regulations** by grace through faith **animal sacrifice & blood** Christs own atoning blood shed for us.
Hebrews 9:1, Now the first covenant had **regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary**. 8, ...**the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing**. 12, When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. ...he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by how own blood,... 24, For Christ did not enter **a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one**; he entered heaven itself,...

No one can come near the presence of God without dying - unless some other way is provided.
Numbers 3:38, (17:12-13), Moses and Aaron and his sons were to camp to the east of the tabernacle, toward the sunrise, in front of the Tent of Meeting. They were responsible for the care of the sanctuary on behalf of the Israelites. Anyone else **who approached the sanctuary** was to be put to death. The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

Leviticus 16:2, Tell your brother Aaron not **to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark**, or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud over the atonement cover.

In the Old Testament a shadow, symbol or copy of this other way was pictured in the **regulations** governing the tabernacle.
Exodus 28:35, Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he **enters the Holy Place** before the LORD and when he comes out, so that he will not die. ... 43, Aaron and his sons must wear them whenever they **enter the Tent of Meeting or approach the altar to minister in the Holy Place**, so that they will not incur guilt and die. "This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants. Exodus 30:20, Whenever they **enter the Tent of Meeting**, they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they **approach the altar** to minister by presenting an offering made to the LORD by fire,...

This other way is pictured most clearly in Leviticus 16 which describes the **procedures** for the Day of Atonement.
Leviticus 16:3, **This is how Aaron is to enter the sanctuary** area: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. ... 14 He is to take some of the bull's blood and with his finger sprinkle it on the front of the atonement cover; then he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the atonement cover. 15 He shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for the people and take its blood behind the curtain and do with it as he did with the bull's blood: He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it. 16 In this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been. He is to do the same for the Tent of Meeting, which is among them in the midst of their uncleanness. ... 18 Then he shall come out to the altar that is before the LORD and make atonement for it. He shall take some of the bull's blood and some of the goat's blood and put it on all the horns of the altar. 19 He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times to cleanse it and to consecrate it from the uncleanness of the Israelites. In the New Testament the other way is fully revealed in Jesus. Matthew 7:13, Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. John 14:4, You know the way to the place where I am going." 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" 6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 10:1, I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. ... 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

Hebrews 10:19-22, ...since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, ... let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith...

Thus we see that the Regulative Principle was not meant to apply to our New Testament worship, meaning our worship practices or the things that we do to express our love, joy and communion with God, but rather to our access or the way to enter into the true and real presence of God, the Most Holy Place in heaven. This access is essential to all worship and is the first and most fundamental requirement of worship - our entering into Gods presence so that we can then commune with him and express our love, gratitude and praise toward him through God honoring practices. It is the way, the process, route or method of entering into Gods presence, that is protected by the Regulative Principle.2

Will worship. What is will worship? I remember that phrase from my childhood as one describing worship activities or practices which do not conform to Gods direction, that are outside the Regulative Principle, i.e. singing hymns. But I didnt really remember where the phrase came from until I stumbled upon it in the King James Version in
Colossians 2:23 (KJV), Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. Colossians 2:23 (NIV), Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

But upon reading the full context of that verse it is clear that will worship is anything, especially any worship practice that bills itself as a REQUIREMENT to pleasing God or bringing him acceptable worship.
Colossians 2:1, I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.
2

I first heard this theory of the Regulative Principle proposed by my husband, Ron Stegall, in 1984 during a discussion we had after reading a paper by our friend, Bruce Hemphill. Upon hearing the possibility that the Regulative Principle was there to protect the way into or access into the presence of God - the light bulb went on .... Thats it! It fit all the Scriptural revelation and all the questions and problems involved with applying the Regulative Principle to our worship practices. During the intervening 17 years of thinking about the subject, I have seen this is exactly the clear and uncomplicated teaching of Hebrews. In addition, I have encountered no other Scripture or hermeneutic rule that did not fit, nor any argument, question or problem that was not solved by this simple yet profound truth: The Regulative Principle of Access into Gods Presence.

The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the **written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us;** he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by **what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day**. 17 **These are a shadow of the things that were to come**; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. 20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its **rules: 21 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"?** 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 **Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body,** but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Remember: Highlighting refers to the way. Underlining refers to Gods presence. Colossians 2:11-15 clearly shows the way into Gods presence. It is not a matter of worship practices of any sort - it is a matter of entering through the atoning blood of Christ through faith and by Gods grace alone. When this is summed up in Colossians 2:17 we see a complete connection to the message in Hebrews explaining the Regulative Principle.
Colossians 2:17, **These are a shadow of the things that were to come**; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Hebrews 8:5, They serve at **a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow** of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain." The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

Therefore, anything that adds some REQUIREMENT to entering Gods presence - beyond or in addition to Christs atoning Blood on our behalf accepted by faith - would be will worship. Unhappily that puts exclusive Psalm singing as necessary or a REQUIREMENT for worship acceptable to God squarely into the category of will worship. Because making it a requirement of worship acceptable to God indicates that one cannot worship God acceptably (RPCNA Testimony 21.1) unless this requirement is met. It adds something to the all sufficient one way of Christ himself to which nothing can be added or subtracted, what is not commanded is forbidden, everything must be according to the NEW pattern set out in the New Testament for entering into the true reality of Gods presence. In so doing it becomes itself a breaking of the regulative principle - the Regulative Principle of access into Gods presence.3

The Regulative Principle of Access into Gods Presence.


Hebrews 4:14, Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 6:18, God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 7:11, If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come--one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. ... 17 For it is declared: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." 18 The **former regulation** is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. ... 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 Such a high priest meets our need--one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

There may be other legitimate reasons to support the idea of a denominations membership committing together to sing Old Testament Psalms exclusively or to sing Scripture only, such as: 1) because we like them. 2) to help us guard our praise against unbiblical theology and doctrines. 3) because this is our tradition and it is in harmony with the gospel. Etc. The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

The Old Testament tabernacle or


Hebrews 8:5, ...**sanctuary...is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven**. This is why Moses was warned... See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. Hebrews 8:6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to **theirs** as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the **old one**, and it is founded on better promises. 13 By calling this covenant new, he has made the **first one** obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. Hebrews 9:1, Now the **first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.** ... 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the **first tabernacle** was still standing. ... 11-12 When Christ came... he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, ...he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. ... 19 When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took **the blood of calves, ...and sprinkled...all the people.** 20 He said, This is **the blood of the covenant**, which God has commanded you to keep. ... 22 In the same way, **he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood**, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. 23 It was necessary, then, for the **copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices**, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a **man-made sanctuary that was only a copy** of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven ... with blood that is not his own. 26 But now he has appeared once for all ... to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hebrews 10:1, **The law is only a shadow** of the good things that are coming not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, ...make perfect those who draw near to worship. ... 19-22 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, ...let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, ... 38-39 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. ... Hebrews 12:18, You have not come to **a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned."** 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear." 22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

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23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." 27 The words "once more" indicate the removing of **what can be shaken--that is, created things**--so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so

worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,


29 for our "God is a consuming fire."

Why do we have the regulative principle? This is why4: to protect the new and living way5 into the Most Holy Place,6 which is Gods presence.7 What does it regulate? It regulates the way into the presence of the one real & true God.

Distinguishing between 1) what makes worship acceptable to God, Gods own appointed way into his presence, and 2) our worship practices. Is it biblically valid and supported elsewhere in Scripture to make a distinction between (1) what makes our worship pure and acceptable to God, and (2) our God honoring, faithful response - Therefore, ...in view of Gods mercy - worship practices?

4 5 6 7

Hebrews 8:5 Hebrews 10:19 Hebrews 9:8 Hebrews 9:24

The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

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Yes. Romans 3, 8, 12. These chapters only scratch the surface of the many references to and, indeed, the whole tenor of the New Testament and the gospel of good news it proclaims.
Ephesians 2:6, And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, ... 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-9 not by works, so that no one can boast. ... 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. ... 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 4:1, As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Hebrews 10:14, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

Why is this distinction necessary? Because it is very important that we realize there is a vast difference between (1) Gods work of grace (Romans 3:21-26) and (2) our response to his work ...which leads to holiness... This distinction is at the heart of the gospel.
Romans 6:22, But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.

Old Testament Evidence for this distinction. 1) Nadab and Abihu: Yes, they were struck dead because they offered unauthorized fire contrary to Gods command. But God clarified that that command was a shadow of the way to approach God.
Leviticus 10:1, 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. The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

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2 So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. 3 Moses then said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke of when he said: "`Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.'" Aaron remained silent.

There is only one way to approach God and that is through the narrow path, the gate, the door that is Jesus. (Ephesians 2) Nadab and Abihus sin was not in the worship practice of the strange fire itself, but rather in their approach to God - outside of Gods own appointed way. 2) Uzzah: Why didnt God kill David? He ordered the ark moved. Why didnt God kill the priests, or at least the high priest who probably was in charge of the move? Why did God kill Uzzah only? Because only Uzzah touched the ark. What was to touch the ark, the seat of Gods very presence? Only the blood could touch the ark. Only the blood could provide entrance into Gods presence.
Exodus 19:12, Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, `Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. Exodus 29:36, Sacrifice a bull each day as a sin offering to make atonement. Purify the altar by making atonement for it, and anoint it to consecrate it. 37, For seven days make atonement for the altar and consecrate it. Then the altar will be most holy, and whatever touches it will be holy. Numbers 4:15, "After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, the Kohathites are to come to do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the Tent of Meeting.

Uzzahs sin was not his desire to keep the ark from falling, but rather in his touching the presence of God, his approach to God - outside of Gods appointed way. Only the blood could touch the ark, the presence of God. 3) Gods rejection of the Israelites worship: God was often angry with the Israelites and did not accept their worship. In
Isaiah 1:10, Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah! 11 "The multitude of your sacrifices-- what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

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13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations-- I cannot bear your evil assemblies. 14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; 16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

God detested their correct worship practices, even though these worship practices conformed to Gods commands, because their evil deeds demonstrated that they did not bring their worship in faith, a genuine faith that ...1) had a broken and contrite heart.
Psalm 51:16, You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

and 2) believed God.


Romans 4:3, What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

4) David and the shewbread: God accepted the incorrect worship practice of David when he ate the shewbread because God saw his faith which looked forward to Christ with a broken and contrite heart and believed God.
Matthew 12:3, He answered, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread--which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5 Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? 6 I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. 7 If you had known what these words mean, `I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

Furthermore, Jesus chastised the pharisees for not recognizing what made Davids actions acceptable. 5) David dancing before the Ark, Gods presence among his people:
II Samuel 6:13, When those who were carrying the ark of the LORD had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, 15 while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets. 16 As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart. ... The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

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20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!" 21 David said to Michal, "It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD's people Israel--I will celebrate before the LORD. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor." 23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.

Soon after David sang from Psalm 105 (I Chronicles 16). Even though Davids worship practice of dancing was viewed as undignified and inappropriate by some, God accepted Davids joy in his presence as acceptable worship. 6) The Old Testament pattern: In all these examples God accepted those who approach or come to him with broken, contrite and believing hearts, regardless of their worship practices. His sternest punishments and rebukes he reserves for those who approach him through their own good works, through some way of their own devising.

New Testament Evidence for this distinction 1) The tax collector and the pharisee: Jesus parable of the publican and pharisee demonstrate both ideas.
Luke 18:9, To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' 13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' 14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

God accepted both the publican himself and his worship because he had the real faith of a broken and contrite heart which believed God, yet no proper worship practices. The pharisee had correct worship practices, yet no faith, so neither he nor his worship was accepted. 2) Christs condemnation of the pharisees:

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Mark 7:6, He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "`These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'[1] 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." 1.[6,7] Isaiah 29:13

Once again Jesus condemns religious leaders for their vain worship, a worship of very careful worship practices, but with faithless and unrepentant hearts.

3) Mary anointing Jesus:


Mark 14:3, While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly. 6 "Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."

Mary worshiped Jesus in a way considered most inappropriate not only by Judas, but, if it were to happen today, by us as well, especially because of the intimate nature of her worship. Her worship practice, even though it was individual rather than corporate worship, certainly was not one recommended anywhere in Scripture. Yet Jesus commended her for the beauty of her offering and certainly accepted it, and held it up as a proper example for the ages to come. 4) Ananias and Saphira:
Acts 4:32, All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet. Acts 5:1, Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet. 3 Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

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5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?" "Yes," she said, "that is the price." 9 Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also." 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

Peter made it clear that the giving of the money was an indifferent thing as to their acceptance before God. Their lying about the gift exposed the gift to clearly be a human effort good work and not the fruit of an authentic faith. Their being struck dead demonstrates Gods vehement protection of the narrow way, which is that we cannot come to God through our own good works, even good worship practices, but only through faith alone in his grace alone, just as Ephesians 2:8-9 says. 5) Circumcision: Paul fought with extreme vigor against the idea that circumcision was necessary to make either a person or their worship acceptable and pure to God. He freely admitted that circumcision was an indifferent thing.
Galatians 5:6, For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Romans 2:28, A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God. Acts 16:1, He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek. 2 The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. Galatians 2:3, Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 4 [This matter arose] because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.

But he firmly refused to allow it to be a REQUIREMENT for either a person or his worship to be acceptable and pure before God. This he opposed with a vehemence reflective of Gods anger at the faithless yet correct Israelites and their worship, at Nadab & Abihu and Uzzah. Furthermore, Paul said the REQUIREMENT of circumcision not only blurred the gospel, it was NO GOSPEL AT ALL.
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Galatians 1:6, I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the
grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

6) The Epistle to the Hebrews: The book of Hebrews throughout very clearly links the acceptance of a person and the acceptance of a persons worship.
Hebrews 10:5, Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ... 8 First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). 9 Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second.

Hebrews 10:14 mentions the two aspects of worship, or of a person himself, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. 7) New Testament Pattern: All of these examples follow the same pattern found in the Old Testament, that God accepts a person and his worship based on the contrite & believing heart of the worshiper and not their worship actions or practices, which may or may not have been deemed according to the law or even appropriate at the time. The only change or addition is that now the believer has faith, in God fully revealed in his son, Jesus Christ, as messiah, savior and Lord. The only thing in the New Testament that reflects the stringent confines of whatsoever is not commanded is forbidden is our way to acceptance and pure perfection before God through the perfect life of Jesus which he sacrificed on our behalf. Any effort to provide for our own acceptance before God leads to death, just as it did for Nadab and Abihu and Uzzah and Annanias and Saphira. It is faith in Christs atoning sacrificial blood ALONE which brings the acceptance we need for life, as in Ephesians 2:8-9 and
Philippians 3:3, For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh ...

There is much New Testament support and affirmation for applying the Regulative Principle to what makes both us and our worship pure and acceptable to God,
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Gods own appointed way into his presence. The following are only a few example of the New Testament Scriptures that could be sited to affirm that access into his presence can only be according to his own pattern and provision.
John 14:6, Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Acts 4:12, Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Galatians 2:21, I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"[4] Ephesians 3:12, In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Leviticus 10:3) I Timothy 2:5, For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.; Hebrews 7:18, 24-26 (Psalm 24:3,4); 9:1, 8-15; 10:1, 5-10, 19-22; Revelation 5:2, And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" ... 6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, ... 7 He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." 11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" 13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" 14 The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped. (Matthew 6:10) Revelation 7:9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." 11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

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13 Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes--who are they, and where did they come from?" 14 I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. (Psalm 96:6-9).

There is NO New Testament support or affirmation for applying the narrow stricture of the Regulative Principle, whatever is not commanded is forbidden, to our worship practices. It is very rare that the New Testament mentions worship practices at all. This fact alone would seem to indicate that the specifics of our worship practices do not come under the stringent rule of the Regulative Principle, for if they did, surely God would have revealed New Testament worship practices as clearly and definitively as he did in the Old Testament. A rare instance where New Testament worship practices are mentioned is found in I Corinthians 14:
1 Corinthians 14: 1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue[1] does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.[2] 3 But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,[3] but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues,[4] unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified. 6 Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? 7 Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8 Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? 9 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me. 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church. 13 For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. 16 If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand[5] say "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

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19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. 20 Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 21 In the Law it is written: "Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me,"[6] says the Lord. 22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand[7] or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand[8] comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, 25 and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!" 26 What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two--or at the most three--should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. 29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, 34 women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. 36 Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 37 If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command. 38 If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.[9] 39 Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

Here there is no reference to or inference about the Regulative Principle, Whatsoever is not commanded is forbidden. In fact, there is a generalized blessing placed upon the liberty of the congregation and each worshiper to chose and share with others as the Spirit leads them. Paul lays out general principles for guiding our worship practices such as: the participation of all in leading the congregation in praise, instruction, revelation and interpretation is necessary for the strengthening of the church and, when done in an orderly and fitting way, will result in the instruction and encouragement of all. Paul never even hints at the possibility that the acceptability of our worship before God in dependent on our specific worship practices. In fact, Pauls appeal throughout this entire chapter concerning specific worship practices is not based on what God commands, but on the leading of the Spirit and what will be edifying to others present thus promoting true Godly worship. If the absolute and overriding principle for our worship practices were the Regulative Principle, surely Paul would have mentioned it here.

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The specifics of this chapter may fall into the definition of a difficult part of Scripture because of differences in interpretation throughout the church. Speaking in tongues is not specifically commanded or required for the worship assembly, but it is also expressly not forbidden ( I Cor. 14:39). Thus we have a clear New Testament example of a specific worship practice which is not in harmony with the Regulative Principle of Whatsoever is not commanded is forbidden. Even though Paul found the specific worship practice of speaking in tongues problematic, he refused to forbid it, but only laid out general perimeters for its use. And these underlying principles laid out here for our worship practices are clear and plain: all must be done in an orderly and fitting way for the strengthening, instruction and encouragement of all present. These principles are in perfect harmony with the New Testament rule for our worship practices, indeed all our practices, found in Mark 12:33; I Corinthians 10:31; and
Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. ... 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Additional support from reason. 1) Incongruent Reasoning: It is inconsistent and unreasonable, and most confusing to say that God will accept us into heaven to dwell in his very presence with Him eternally through the righteousness of Christ alone; and that God is willing to commune and fellowship with us through the Lords Supper even though we are sinful people, yet will only accept our worship in the present, here where we still struggle with sin, if we exclusively sing Psalms Acappella, if our worship practices are in exact alignment with what he has commanded.
I Corinthians 14:33, For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, ...

2) Divided thinking = Rules, rules, rules: When we try to apply the Regulative Principle to both what makes our worship acceptable and pure and to our God honoring faithful response worship practices, the resulting rationale requires the use of many divisions and dichotomies in order to support itself. The consequent REQUIREMENT of exclusive Acappella Psalm singing uses many such dichotomies: Corporate
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worship/individual worship, public worship/private worship, formal worship/informal worship, worship/the rest of life, the gospel message/worship requirements, what is sung/what is spoken. There is no biblical support for these differentiations. Rather, the Bible teaches that life is one unified and harmonious whole. Truth in one part is true in all. The fact that all of lifes purpose can be summed up in two great commands, Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself, suggests a harmony of truth applying throughout every activity of life.
Matthew 23:16, "Woe to you, blind guides! You say, `If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, `If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.' 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it. Mark 7:1, The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and 2 saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were "unclean," that is, unwashed. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.) 5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with `unclean' hands?" 6 He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "`These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." 9 And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, `Honor your father and your mother,' and, `Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.' 11 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: `Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban' (that is, a gift devoted to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that." 14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a man can make him `unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him `unclean.'" 17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 "Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him `unclean'? 19 For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.") 20 He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him `unclean.' 21 For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man `unclean.'" The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

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Whenever we have different rules to apply in different situations, i.e. one rule for when you swear by the altar and another for when you swear by the gift on the alter or one rule for when the worship is formal and another for when it is informal, that should be a clue that our thinking and behavior may not be in harmony with Gods truth. God requires only one thing. He needs only require one thing, because this one things covers all possible cases and situations. (Hebrews 10:19-22, 7:24-26)
Colossians 3:17, And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

3) New Testament worship directives: Would the same God who is so careful to direct every detail of worship practice in the Old Testament be so lax in giving specific instruction concerning worship practices in the New Testament if the narrow traditional RPCNA view of the Regulative Principle were true? If the Regulative principle was meant to be applied to our God honoring faithful response worship practices, wouldnt God have given us specific details concerning those worship practices, as he did in the Old Testament? 4) Self-centered worship focus: The REQUIREMENT of exclusive Acappella Psalm singing which results from applying the Regulative Principle to our worship practices, good as it may be as a practice, leads us to focus on ourselves and our own actions in worship, rather than on our Lord Jesus Christ and his great work of salvation. When we are absorbed in judging and rating our worship practices and that of our fellow Christians our attention is in the wrong direction. 5) Our witness - a mixed message: The REQUIREMENT of exclusive Acappella Psalm singing is a stumbling block to our witness. We may try to communicate a gospel of joy, liberty, and freedom from the bondage of good works, of having to obey the law in order to be acceptable to God and our complete inability to do so, but our worship tells a different story. Our worship, at least when we explain it, says we are bound to certain actions in order to gain Gods acceptance. 6) Purity of worship: When purity of worship refers to something other than the great work of Christ in redeeming his people from sin, given to us by grace alone and received by us by faith alone, then our worship is not in conformity with the gospel.(I Timothy 1:10-11) Our worship then conveys a different gospel, which some might perceive as really no gospel at all.(Galatians 1:7)
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Hebrews 10:1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming--not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Hebrews 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 7:11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come--one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. ... 17 For it is declared: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."[1] 18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. ... 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 Such a high priest meets our need--one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. ... 27... He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. Hebrews 10:14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are made holy.

Evidence that the Old Testament Psalms are not the only, EXCLUSIVE God honoring way, even though they are one very good and edifying way, to sing our praise to God in faithful response to his grace toward us. 1) Old shadow vs. New reality: Is it right for us to sing praise only, exclusively, in Old Testament/Old Covenant shadow, now that the New Testament/New Covenant reality has come?
Romans 7:6, But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. Colossians 2:17, These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

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Hebrews 10:1, The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming--not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.

2) Praise the name of the Lord:


Luke 19:36, As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 38 "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" 40 "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Acts 9:4, He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" 5 "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 1 Corinthians 1:2, To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ--their Lord and ours:

God would not command us to sing Psalms exclusively, when those very Psalms themselves never mention the name of Jesus Christ, yet at the same time command us to praise the name of the Lord, whose name we know to be Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 14:33; Hebrews 6:18-20;
Romans 15:5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. .... 8, For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God's truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs 9 so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: "Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name." 10 Again, it says, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people." 11 And again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples." Hebrews 13:14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. 15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name.

3) A New Song: It is unreasonable to think God would give us the conflicting commands. Would the Old Testament Psalms command us to sing a new song, which as New Testament Christians we know to be specifically about Jesus Christ and the salvation he has supplied, yet at the same time not allow us to sing an actual new song?
Psalm 33:3, Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.

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Revelation 5:9, And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. ...

4) Emotional arguments: Emotional arguments based on personal experience (i.e. Psalms minister to our hearts so wonderfully) cannot be used to support exclusive Psalm singing because those same arguments can be used in favor of hymns. 5) Inspired argument: Inspired by God arguments, such as in our RPCNA Testimony 21.5, cannot be used to support exclusive Psalm singing because it excludes the singing of other Scripture portions. Thus Scriptural inspiration is not the issue. 6) Songs of the New Testament: If exclusive Psalm singing is the only God-honoring way to praise God, why would the Holy Spirit move Mary to violate the Regulative Principle by making up her own song or poem or anthem of praise?(Luke 2:29-32 ) Didnt the Holy Spirit inspire Mary to compose this song? Why would the Holy Spirit move Simeon to praise God with his own composition, even while in the temple? (Luke 2:29-32. I know Luke 2:29 says, said rather than sang. Is this great dichotomy between what we sing and what we speak Scriptural?) Why would the Holy Spirit inspire Paul to write a doxology (Ephesians 3:20-21) which mirrors Psalm 72:18-19 so closely, yet with the beautiful clarity of New Testament/New Covenant revelation, if it were not good for us to use it in praise of God through Jesus Christ, just as the verses say?
Ephesians 3:20, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Psalm 72:18, Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. 19 Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.

7) Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs: Just because the New Testament words psalm, hymn and song are a part of various Old Testament Psalm titles, as referred to in our RPCNA Testimony 21.6, that does not mean that all uses of those New Testament words refer only to the Old Testament Book of Psalms. Their meaning may include the Old Testament Book of Psalms, but there is no biblical warrant to believe that is their exclusive meaning. The Greek words themselves had a far broader meaning
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& usage throughout ancient Greek literature. Just because all robins (Old Testament Psalms) are birds (psalms, hymns and spiritual songs) does not mean that all birds are robins. 8) History of church song: Evidence for the often repeated and vehemently put assertion that the early church, and indeed all church worship before the 18th century, used only exclusive acappella Psalm singing is far from indisputable.

Evidence that there is no biblical warrant to exclude the use of instruments as a part of God honoring worship practice. 1) Praise him with string and flute8: God would not command us to sing Psalms without instruments when those Psalms themselves command us to praise him with musical instruments. (I Corinthians 14:33; Psalm 150; Hebrews 6:18-20) Such a rationale could lead one to think that at best Gods word doesnt make sense because he says one thing but means another. At worst the implication is that God lies. This confusion also goes against the hermeneutic rule which says that the simplest interpretation is usually the right one, as well as the hermeneutic rule that says that the meaning of the Scripture to its original hearers is the meaning for us today (Psalm 150). 2) Musical instruments - a thing indifferent, RPCNA Testimony 21.6: Even though musical instruments were a part of the Old Testament temple worship which has been done away with now that the reality of Christs atoning work has been completed, this does not forbid instruments in worship practice, but rather makes them a thing indifferent, like circumcision, because the use of instruments in todays worship does not represent any part of Christs atoning work, but is merely a part of the worshipers expression of joy and gratitude in the Lord, just as Psalm 150 says. Since musical instruments can be used as an expression of our love for God, their use can, if used with a heart of love for God, be God honoring and fall within the guidelines of the two greatest commandments (Mark 12:33, Colossians 3:17). Since there is no biblical warrant for applying the Regulative Principle to our worship practices, then no New Testament direct command to use musical instruments is necessary to legitimize them as a part of our worship practices.
8

Psalm 150:4

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Practical Implications 1) Will sin enter in? If we do away with the Regulative Principle application to our worship practices that requires exclusive acappella Psalm singing for acceptable worship will we make sinful mistakes in the worship we bring before God? Yes, of course. Do we still struggle with sin in every area of life? Yes. We are sinful people. But we have been freed from slavery to sin and can now walk and live by the Spirit, the same Spirit and power that raised Christ from the dead. (Ephesians 1:17-20) We make sinful mistakes in our worship now. But since we will be freed from the idea that our worship must be sinless to be accepted by God, we can instead focus fully on the All Sufficiency of Christ alone to make our worship acceptable to God, and our complete inability to do anything to make either ourselves or our worship acceptable to God. This puts the focus and concentration of our worship exactly where it should be - on Christ, not ourselves or our actions. This is good. Humility is a hallmark of pure worship.
James 4:10, Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

2) Rules, rules, rules: If we believe that it is our worship practices that make our worship acceptable to God, we will be compelled to make more and more rules & requirements regarding those practices to insure our acceptability, i.e. rules about psalm choruses, psalm translations & versions, Psalm tunes, Psalm books, etc. etc. We will never be able to be fully assured that we have covered all the bases to insure our acceptance before God.
Matthew 23:11, The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. 13 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. 15 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. 16 "Woe to you, blind guides! You say, `If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, `If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.' 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

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21 And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it. 23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. 25 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. 27 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. 29 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, `If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers! 33 "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation. 37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, `Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

3) Sound doctrine: Sound doctrine conforms to the glorious gospel of God.


1 Timothy 1:10, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

Which way of applying the Regulative Principle... A) to our worship practices. B) to the way into or access into Gods presence. ...conforms more to the glorious gospel of God?

A or B

...conforms more to Scriptural revelation & evidence of both Old & New Testaments? A or B
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...conforms more to the information God has given us about how Christian/New Covenant/New Testament worship should be carried out? A or B ...conforms to the great reformational truth by faith alone? A or B

How, then, do we know how to worship? What should our worship practices be? The answer begins with Scriptural guidance for how we should live all of life as believers. Next we should define the purpose of worship and seek God honoring ways to accomplish that purpose within the context of Scriptural guidance for how we should live all of life as believers. The RPCNA Directory of Worship 1.1 says, Christian worship is the expression of the souls love for God, dependence on God and joy in God. God alone, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, is the object of worship. There are many God honoring and Scripturally harmonious ways to express our love for God, dependence on God and joy in God. Here is an excellent Scripture as a foundation,
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Here are a few other Scriptures for our consideration as we think about our worship practices. Of course there are many others from both the Old and New Testaments.
Matthew 15:8, `These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'" 10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. Matthew 28:8, So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. John 4:22, You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." The Regulative Principle... by K.E. Stegall

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John 9:37, Jesus said, "You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you." 38 Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him. John 12:12, The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the King of Israel!" Acts 18:12, While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court. 13 "This man," they charged, "is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law." Romans 1:25, They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 12:1, Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. I Corinthians 14:26 What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. Philippians 3:2, Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh Hebrews 12:27, The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken--that is, created things--so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our "God is a consuming fire." Revelation 4:9, Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11 "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." Revelation 5:9, And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." 11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" 13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" 14 The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.

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Revelation 7:9, After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." 11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" 13 Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes--who are they, and where did they come from?" 14 I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. 16 Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Revelation 15:3, and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: "Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. 4 Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed." Revelation 19:9, Then the angel said to me, "Write: `Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God." 10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

Proposed change to Directory of Worship. Change RPCNA Directory of Worship 1.1 to read: Christian worship is the expression of the souls love for God, dependence on God and joy in God. God alone, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, is the object of worship. The worshipers approach and access into Gods presence must be in harmony with the Scriptural principle that whatsoever is not commanded is forbidden. Worship is acceptable only as it is offered in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Mediator between God and man, and through his atoning blood, shed on our behalf, from a heart of faith completely dependent on this truth of Gods grace. We should seek to conform our worship practices to the truth of the gospel and in harmony with a walk worthy of our calling.

Change RPCNA Directory of Worship 2.1 to read:

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The singing of praise is an ordinance of worship and is expressed in words set to music. The psalms, hymns and spiritual songs used in the praise of God shall be such as may be approved from time to time by the church.

To those presently struggling with purity of worship issues. I want to address those of you who are now a part of the RPCNA and are presently feeling some disagreement with the regulative principle of worship and our requirement for exclusive Acappella Psalm singing. Let us not be led astray by reasoning that says if we vocalize what we believe to be true we are only causing disunity. Believers can only experience unity through truth. It is our obligation, as long as we are members of the RPCNA, to be a witness to the truth we believe. (RPCNA Testimony 25.14,16,17) Let us not be quick to leave the RPCNA. Let us not be silent either. If we believe there is some truth which the RPCNA has not yet fully embraced, let us be a witness to that truth (Romans 8:15). This is our obligation before God and by the love we have for our brothers. If these things are true we do our brothers no disservice by trying to persuade them of it. If these things are not true, the RPCNA will only be strengthened by the exercise of defending the truth. The RPCNA has been losing good and faithful believers for many years over the purity of worship issue. Let us commit ourselves to no more leaving until we have first been a witness. (John 4:19-26)

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In a Nutshell: The Regulative Principle of Access into Gods Presence


Hebrews 8:1, The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man. ... 4 ... there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain." 6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises. Hebrews 9:1, Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. ... 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. ... 23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. Hebrews 10:1, The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming--not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. ... 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, ... Hebrews 13:14, For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. 15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name.

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