Perhaps many can recall the school days of having to learn arithmetic whether addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. This area of learning, while easy for some, was difficult for others. Have you ever considered the arithmetic of the Bible? The purpose of this lesson is to get us thinking about some of the terms of arithmetic found in the Sacred Volume of God.
The Bible speaks a number of times concerning addition. When two or more things are added together, the answer is referred to as the sum. The Psalmist declared: "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them" (139:17). The penman of Hebrews scribed: "Now the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens" (8:1). We ought to learn the concept of taking all the Bible says about a particular topic before making a conclusion. A failure to obtain the sum inevitably leads to a faulty conclusion and error being believed or taught.
Not all addition is right. For example, in Revelation 22:18 we read: "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." We are not at liberty to alter God's Word by addition.
Not only does the Bible speak of addition but subtraction is also found. Revelation 22:19 states: "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." This principle of not tampering with the Word of God can also be found in the Old Testament. Notice: "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you" (Deut. 4:2). Folks today, not content with God's way, have busied themselves with either adding or subtracting. Don't allow such to describe you!
Division can also be found in the Book of Books. For example, in 1 Corinthians 1:10 Paul penned: "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." In chapter 3 verse 3 he points out there is division among them. This was reported of them and Paul says he partly believes it (11:18). Jesus prayed for unity among His people (Jn. 17:20,21). Having a correct rule by which to walk is the only way this will be possible (Ph. 3:16).
As individuals obeyed the Gospel of Christ, they were added to the church by the Lord (Ac. 2:47). This continued to be the case throughout the Book of Acts. Notice the following: Acts 2:47, 4:4; and 5:14. In Acts 6:7 the Bible says: "And the word of God increased; and the number of disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith." When we do the obeying, the Lord does the adding.
Challenge yourself to find other examples of adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying in the Bible. May God bless you as you seek to learn His Word and obey Him in all things!
- Donnie Oliver