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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I commanded you.

Revelation 22:18-19 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 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.

Deuteronomy 4:1-40 is a very strong passage on obedience to God's law. In verse one, Moses urged Israel to listen unto the statutes and unto the judgments of God. This is the law that was given to Israel in Horeb (vs. 10), or Mount Sinai. It was there that God, through Moses, declared unto you His covenant that included the ten commandments that were written upon two tables of stone (vs. 13). Verse 9 tells us why Israel was to keep God's word: lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons.

Not only was Israel to learn and keep God's word, but it was to be taught to each generation. It was to be kept, unchanged, just as God had originally given it to them that day on Mount Sinai. How long was the law of God that was given to Israel through Moses to be kept? We find the answer to this in Matthew 5:17-18, in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus said, think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, not one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

This is the law of God referred to in the lesson text in Deuteronomy 4:2. God's lawis not to be changed by adding to it or diminishing from it in any way. Jesus said not one jot or tittle was to be changed. A jot is the English form of the Greek word iota, which is the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet and is written in a form similar to a comma. A tittle is a punctuation mark similar to a dot that is used to note a separation in sentence structure. In other words, the law of God is not to be changed by adding or deleting the smallest word or punctuation mark that would change its meaning.

Without going into great detail in this lesson, God's word, the old covenant, was between God and the nation of Israel. It was given for a specific purpose - to bring the Messiah, Jesus Christ into the world. It was fulfilled at the death of Jesus - it was nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14). It was replaced with a new covenant between God and the people of all nations. This new covenant was included in the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31. It is referred to as a better covenant that replaced the old covenant (Hebrews 8:6-13).

Both the old covenant and the new are God's word. According to Deuteronomy 4:2, the Jewish nation was not to add to or subtract from the Old Testament. According to Revelations 22:18-19, all nations of the world are bound by the New Testament and are to neither add to nor subtract from it. Just how important is it that we keep the word of God justas it has been given to us in the New Testament? Our salvation depends on it! 2Thessalonians 2:10 says we are to love the truth. Romans 10:14, says that we are to hear the word of God. Acts 16:31 and Romans 3:22, are just two of many references in the New Testament telling us that we are to believe that Jesus is the Savior sent by God. Luke 13:3 and 2 Peter 3-9, tell us to repent of our past sins. Matthew 10:32 and Romans 10:10, tells us that we are to confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Mark 16:16 tells us that belief is to be followed with baptism. 1 Peter 1:9, tells us we are saved by faith. James 2:20 says we must have both faith and good works.

These are just a few examples of God's word. Which one do you want to leave out? What do you think should be added to it that was not found in His word? Do you want your name omitted from God's book of life? Reader, the Word of God is sufficient - accept it as it is - neither add to it nor subtract from it.