We all know from civics classes or TV shows, whenever anyone takes the stand in a courtroom, they are required to answer a question. They are asked, by way of an oath: “Do you swear the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” Giving a testimony in a courtroom is a solemn matter. Likewise, whenever anyone handles the inspired Word of God, it too is a solemn matter that requires the utmost carefulness and truthfulness.
Repeatedly, the Lord emphasizes that no one is to add to or take away from the divine words He has given. Proverbs 30:5-6 tells us, “Every word of God is pure…Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” There is a big difference between explaining the content of Scripture as opposed to adding things God never intended. God’s servant Nehemiah “…read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8). Explaining the meaning of Scripture has the godly intent of helping others adhere to God’s will through His Word. Adding to Scripture implies a devious motive (II Corinthians 2:17). Then, in both Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32, Moses wrote, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord…which I command you.” Again we see the warning not to add to God’s words, and here we see taking words away is strictly forbidden. We too are to give the truth, THE WHOLE TRUTH, and nothing but the truth. Revelation 22:19 reveals how grave this issue was when kingdom saints under the Law of Moses were warned, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life….” We hasten to add here that all today who have trusted in the finished work of Christ as their only hope for eternal life have eternal security. We are “sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). Nonetheless, we too should be careful not to add to or take away from God’s words.
In every dispensation, God’s primary purpose for His Word is that we do not change it, but allow it to change us (Romans 12:2). Every day look for something in Scripture to put into practice.
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