Ever since God gave to mankind His Word (the Bible), there have been those who have added to and taken away from it. The apostle, John, wrote, ‘If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues of this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book,’, Revelation chapter 22 verses 18-19. John was referring to the book of Revelation, which he wrote, but his words are applicable to every part of the Bible.
We must take great care, when we handle God’s Word. An incident in the Old Testament illustrates to us the dangers, if we fail to do so.
Reading: 2 Kings chapter 4 verses 38-41
There was a famine in the land of Israel in the days of Elisha, the prophet and his fellow prophets. Naturally speaking, death awaited them but life was the only thing on Elisha’s mind. His command to the prophets was simple: ‘Put on the large pot, and boil stew for the prophets’, verse 38. Clearly, this was a message to Elisha from God – all they had to do was obey it and live! Sadly, there was one man who thought that he could improve on God’s Word; therefore, he went out into the field and gathered wild gourds to shred into the pot of stew. The result was disastrous: ‘there was death in the pot’, verse 40! That is what people do with God’s Word today. They add their own ideas to it and persuade others to believe that they enhance the message. Sadly, they have the opposite effect and lead their hearers away from God. Elisha told his followers to put pure, white flour into the pot of stew and it removed all harm from the pot.
It is only the preaching of ‘Jesus Christ, and Him crucified’, 1 Corinthians chapter 2 verse 2, that ensures there is no harm in the message we preach to sinful mankind.