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You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2)

Imagine a crystal clear stream flowing down from the mountaintop into the valley and then meandering along until it makes it way to the ocean. Now imagine that, as it works its way through settlements and cities, people throw their trash and waste into the stream, and at the same time, fish for the marine life placed there, by God, to clean the waterway of filth and pollutants. By the time that stream reaches the ocean, most likely, it has become a dirty, muddy river that few would consider pleasant to look upon and absolutely no one in their right mind would drink from. That is exactly what man has done to the Word of God.

Obviously I am not suggesting that the Word of God should be rejected as something we can’t drink from, but I am arguing that we have done exactly what God said we should not do — we have added to and subtracted from what He said. The Hebrew word translated as “add” is derived from a root that means to “augment or increase.” The word translated as “take from” means “to diminish, restrain, and lessen” but can also mean to “scrape off” something that was intended to be permanent. In short, we have added our opinions and traditions to His Word, and at the same time, ignored and dismissed much of what He intended to be permanent. By doing this, we are essentially declaring that we can and should “improve” upon God’s work.

How did we become so prideful to think that, somehow or the other, we know better? Furthermore, I would argue that as time marches on, that attitude continues to grow stronger and more pervasive. By and large, the Body becomes more Laodicean with every passing day. Therefore, let us be among those who raise up a standard that upholds the Word of God, from cover to cover, as the only and final arbiter of what is right and wrong. Let us not be among those who, by their traditions, have made the Word of God of none affect. To the contrary, let us be among those of who Messiah said, “You have kept My word, and have not denied My authority” (Revelation 3:8).

Blessings and Shalom,  




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