“Do not add anything to what God commands you, and do not take anything away”
Today we encounter a very important writing which may even frighten us who want to preach. It reminds us of the importance of bringing Gods Word to others how it is and not how human doctrines like to present the Words of God, His prophets and the sent one Christ Jesus.
Deuteronomy 4:1-2 The Scriptures 1998+ (1) “And now, O Yisra’el, listen to the laws and the right-rulings which I am teaching you to do, so that you live, and shall go in and possess the land which יהוה Jehovah Elohim of your fathers is giving you. (2) “Do not add to the Word which I command you, and do not take away from it1, so as to guard the commands of יהוה your Elohim which I am commanding you. Footnote: 1See also 12:32, Prov. 30:6, Rev. 22:18-19.
Deuteronomy 4 opens with a very important principle we find throughout scripture which we do well to heed in a very open-minded way. As a community of believers in covenant relationship with God, we are in the same state as Israel here. We too must be sure not to add to or take from the commands that we have in scripture. We can see this fault in others – many doctrines are in the world claiming to be God’s way but not found in scripture – but do we look carefully enough at ourselves in this respect, or do we just sit back closed-mindedly and complacently and say that we do everything right? (Deut.12:32, Jos.1:7, Ecc.12:13, Matt.5:18, Rev.22:19)
To keep and take heed is a theme running through today’s chapter. The words keep and take heed mean to observe and watch. It is our responsibility then to observe and watch our own spirituality, i.e. our own thoughts, words and actions. But we are not left wondering how to do this. God has told us to remember and not to forget what He has said. This is very helpful indeed, for when we find ourselves in positions which try and test our spirituality we can overcome these situations through remembering and recalling the words of scripture which help to keep our hearts and minds set on Him.
We always should make sure to observe the Words of God and not coming to follow false teachings and coming under the spell of a denomination that does not follow the teachings nor the God of Jesus Christ, Who is One eternal Spirit Being and not a three-headed god. You have lots of verses in the Old Testament which tell clearly Who God is and what He expect from us. Jesus, the son of God and son of man, came to earth to declare his heavenly Father. His Words we also should take at heart and remember that he clearly said he could not do anything without God Who is greater than him.
As we so often see in the history of Israel, there are many lessons for us (Spiritual Israel) today. We have been taught as they were, so the direction given by Moses to Israel applies to us. “Keep” and “Do” We must guard, and protect, build a hedge around these things so we will not lose them through the influences of the world, we must also follow the direction that has been provided through the Word. Many living in this world love others to come to have Jesus as their god and do not like those who honour only that One God of Jesus, the God of Israel, Who is also that One God of Abraham.
If you want to live in Christ’s city it is expected of you that you become a true member of the Body of Christ, believing in him and following his teachings and not the teaching of so called theologians who have introduced a lot of teachings which are not presented by or not according to the Holy Scriptures. As lovers of Jehovah God we should know that Jehovah is very keen not to have anything added to or subtracted from His Word (v.2). Other passages of the Bible say the same thing (Rev 22:18,19). Documents added to the Bible and claiming equal divine authorship lie in this category. The religions that practice this are condemned. And churches or groups of such believers we better leave for what they are. Those who really love Jesus as there liberator, accept what that man of flesh and blood really has done and make sure that they worship the God of Jesus in the like manner Jesus did. They also want to get such biblical knowledge as Jesus had and make every effort also to follow the command of Jesus to spread the Word of God. But that demands of us an honesty to that Word of God, keeping to the sayings of the Holy Scriptures (Old and New Testament) not going for our own ideas of how it should be but keeping to how God wants it to be.
The Father who sent Jesus testified on his behalf (John 5:37) and we should get to see and hear God His voice, really understanding this impact of Jesus his position. Jesus reminded the leaders of his day that whilst their fathers, and themselves by implication, had not seen God He was now manifest in the person of Jesus standing before them. Though they would not acknowledge that. We may not make the same fault as so many did in Jesus’ time.
We should see that Jesus is the sent one from God and not God Himself, and that Jesus explained God His Words so that they would be clear for everybody. Jesus did not twist God His words and we should also not do that. We too should be very careful to follow God His Words and to understand Jesus his explanation, to read also between the lines understanding the essence of Gods Words. The Spirit of the Words of God should come clear to us by reading and studying that Word of God regularly.
We, by helping others, to make Gods Words clear to them, should also be very careful not to twist the words of God. For example, a very common distortion of the words ‘son of God’ is presented by many Christian denominations, saying ‘god the son‘ or for the wording “I Am that I am” omitting the last “I Am” and than implicating that Jesus is God because he said “I am“, ignoring that he did not say “I am that I Am“.
To remove certain words is not like to prune or to sift out the unnecessary. Everything which is in the Book of books is there to educate and to help us to come to know the Truth. To leave out certain passages from the ‘letters of God’ (His Scripture) is what we can see in many denominations. We should make sure that throughout the year we read the whole text of that Book of books, the Bible, and that we do not limit ourselves in the service to just a few words or passages. When bringing an exhortation that we never forget to bring also God His Words and to give enough information so that people themselves can further check with that Word of God, cheeking that what is taught is in line with what is written in the bible.
Today’s chapter warns us that we should beware to keep to God His Words and that we do not act corruptly by following ideas of the world and by making a carved image for ourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth and to worship them. (Deut 4:16-18)
Therefore let us be sure to keep to what we can find in the Bible, and not twist those words around so that they can fit human theories or philosophies. Let us also beware of those denominations which have become corrupt by making for themselves to worship a graven image like a cross or sculptures and paintings of God or any god or saint.
Next: Extra memorizing Scripture-verses Deuteronomy 4:1-2 Don’t add a word to what Jehovah God commands you, and don’t remove a word from it
- A 1st reply to the 4th Question Who is God 2 A Singular Supreme Spirit Being
- A collection of holy writings to show God and His Works
- Bible, Word of God, inspired and infallible
- Human & Biblical teachings
- Recommended articles about the Book of books the Bible
- The Trinity matter
- When there is a relationship with God there is a possibility to grow
- A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
- Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God