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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 3, 2024

Read to Read …Again

 

Daily Reading:  Deuteronomy 11-13

 

Deuteronomy 12:32

What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

 

Adding to or taking away. These are two common mistakes made concerning the Word of God. Even unto the very last book of the Bible, wherein we read: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 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, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.  (Revelation 22:18 & 19) Such a stern warning demands attention, so let’s give it some.

 

Both are easy to do. Consider the act of transferring membership from one church to another. Nowhere is this found in the Bible. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact it is the right thing for a child of God to do upon leaving one church for another. It keeps things decent and in order between churches and is in keeping with I Corinthians 14:40, but it is not found in the Bible. It is a practice of necessity, pure and simple.

 

Reflect on holiness for a moment. I Peter 1:16 states clearly: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. This is a New Testament command for every believer that was repeated five times, all the way back in the book of Leviticus. God’s people are to be holy. Herein is a command in which it is easy to add to or take away from it depending on the religious leanings of an individual. One of the best descriptions of holiness was given by an 1800’s American theologian by the name of Tryon Edwards. “A holy life is not an ascetic, or gloomy or solitary life, but a life regulated by divine truth and faithful in Christian duty. It is living above the world while we are still in it.”   Another old-time theologian said “Holiness is religious principle put into action. It is faith gone to work.”  F.D. Huntington. Holiness does not bring one to eternal salvation, but rather eternal salvation brings with it holiness. It is so important a doctrine that the author of Hebrews wrote: Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Hebrews 12:14.  To add to this teaching or diminish from it is a disastrous pathway to all sorts of false teachings.

 

Suffice it to say. Be careful about adding to or taking away from the clear commands of God’s Word. As a pastor that has attempted to study the Bible seriously, who pleads with God that I may rightly divide His Word this can be said from personal experience. Many people do this without thinking. They take a verse or a phrase and make it more, or less than it ought to be. Happens all the time, and each time is cringeworthy because, while there is much I do not know, there is one thing I do know. To add to or take away from God’s Word is a serious matter. I for one do not want to stand before my Lord and Saviour and try to explain why I failed Him in either of these two great transgressions. How about you?

 

Dr. William T. Howe

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