Adding to or taking away from scripture
|Plus minus icon, Wiki cc|
We're often familiar with false preachers like Joel Osteen, who take away from scripture on a regular basis. Preachers like Osteen and others fail to preach the whole counsel of God, deeming some parts of the Gospel less important than others. They say, "It's not my calling to preach sin." Below is just one link among many that confirms Osteen's stance that preaching the whole message of God is not necessary.
Osteen believes homosexuality is a sin, but won't preach on it.
Here is Osteen quoted in another article from Christianity Today:
Host Katie Couric suggested that the popular minister does not "spend a lot of time in (his) sermons talking about good and evil, sin and redemption. It is a very overall positive message." She asked, "Why don't you give people more of a moral template?"
Osteen insisted that he does, but "in a positive way."
|Joel Osteen, photo flickr from yourfaithchurch|
"There's enough pushing people down in life already," he added. "When they come to my church, or our meetings, I want them to be lifted up. I want them to know that God's good, that they can move forward, that they can break an addiction, that they can become who God's created them to be."
But the bible says,
“You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it” (Deuteronomy 4:2, also Deuteronomy 12:32). The reason God is so adamant on this is because “The entirety of Your word is truth” (Psalms 119:160).
In Revelation is says the same.
"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).
Adding to the word of God is just as fearful for the person adding as it is for the person taking away. He is God! And this is His word! Far be it for us to change it or delete parts or dishonor it in any way. What you think of the Word is what you think of Jesus. (John 1:1-5).
We are tempted toward both tendencies, adding and deleting. Obviously, satan is maniacally gleeful if he can get God's children to do either. See how it went for the first person in the bible to add to His word, Eve.
"We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die." (Genesis 3:2b-3).
That is not what God said. In Genesis 2:16-17 it records what God actually said,
And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
The 'no eating from this tree' rule is the one and only Law God gave the man at the time when there were only two human beings. And thus we can see how we humans can and do easily mess things up.
Today we have a plethora of both issues happening today, adding to and taking from. Not only are there a scourge of preachers who deem various parts of the Word unnecessary to preach, but we have so many more who add to them by claiming to have had visions and audible commands from on high.
The people who say they have heard from God are adding to His word. I want you to understand something. Every preacher, teacher, or prophecy speaker who says he has heard from the Lord and is teaching what He supposedly said, is adding to His word. They are therefore cursed. Every one. Joyce Meyer, cursed. Jesse DuPlantis, cursed. Mark Driscoll, cursed. Beth Moore is cursed. Sarah Young, cursed. Each one of these I've mentioned and so many more have added to His word and thus are going to have plagues added to them. They will be proved liars.
Yes this is harsh, but it is biblical. I want us to think about what it means when God says not to add to His word nor take away from it. We read the word but it is not abstract. There is a now, today, boots on the ground application.
When Beth Moore says Jesus visited her and told her to teach that "My bride is paralyzed by unbelief" and to "teach it as often as I give you utterance to say it" she added to God's word. Therefore, she is a liar. THAT is what it means.
When Joel Osteen says it is not his calling to preach sin, he is directly contradicting the very first public ministry words of Jesus, who said, Repent. (Matthew 4:17). Joel Osteen takes away from God's word, thus is going to be proved a liar and is due for a rebuke. THAT is what it means.
I hear people make excuses for false teachers, overlooking their added words or subtracted words, and say, “But they love Jesus so much!” They make excuses. Eve perhaps was trying to be helpful when she added to the word, by saying we may not eat of the fruit, nor touch it. But once you add to it, the adding to takes on a life of its own and it gets added to more and more. The Pharisees were initially perhaps trying to be obedient, and added a law here and a law there, until there were 613 extra laws God never spoke, and His word was buried so deep in religiosity that it was hard to find Him at all.
No, seeming external motivations don't matter. What matters is what they say or don't say, and whether it matches up with the word we're called to believe, hide in our hearts, and preach.
Finally, husbands, where are you? Let's go back to Genesis, where we were when this essay began. Adam was with Eve when the serpent seduced her. (Gen 3:16-17). Eve wasn’t even created yet when God told Adam the Law. It was his responsibility as the head of the household to tell her about God's law and to shepherd her within it. Yet when Eve told the serpent that we may not touch the fruit, is any correction on Adam’s part recorded? No. He was with her and not only don't we see a correction on his part, he allowed her to take the fruit. It is the husband’s responsibility to look out for his bride, as Jesus watches over His Bride. It’s why scripture records the first sin coming through the man, and not the woman (though the woman is not excused, she was cursed for disobeying too). Sin came through Adam. (Hosea 6:7, Romans 5:12, 5:14, 1 Corinthians 15:22).
And here is the point of the essay: please have a high view of the word. Understanding the importance of not adding to it or taking away from it is essential, but also important is recognizing when someone today is doing those things. I'm not talking about a young wet behind the ears preacher who may say a thing or two that doesn't set well. I'm talking about a teacher's willful subtraction of parts of the bible due to pride, preference or rebellion. I'm talking about people adding to His word by claiming to have had conversations with God. God is looking for those who have a high view of His word. Why?
You have magnified your word above all your name. (Psalm 138:2)
Why would we even want to add to or take away from that which He himself has magnified?
The bible says in several places not to add to or take away from His word
Hands Off the Word of God
“It Is Finished!” Jesus Does Not Need Your Help