Revelation: Week 72-11/20/16
Revelation 22:18-19 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
First, this is a clear warning not to tamper with what God has revealed in this book, given to the Apostle John to write.
Second, most conservative scholars believe that this is not only a warning not to tamper/alter/change anything written in the Book of Revelation, but also to all of God’s Word, the Bible.
- You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2)
Sidebar: What we see today is exactly why God had that written in the Books of Deuteronomy and Revelation. People, sinful people, even some Christians, will
- Change/alter physically God’s Word, the Bible.
- Say it no longer applies / we know more now than they did in Biblical days.
- Or change the meaning in a way the language or text will not allow it,
So that they can participate in a particular sin or lifestyle they know is in opposition to God and His Word.
To avoid the strong coercion, even by many Christians, we must hold that All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16) all Scripture, from Genesis through revelation, inclusive of everything in between, is the authoritative Word of God.
- It’s not popular, but it must be our position untill we die or Jesus comes back.
Third, what does and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, mean? Is it saying the Believer can lose their salvation if they teach something that tampers/alters either what John has written in the Book of Revelation or the Bible as a whole?
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says this:
- Rejecting the Word of God is rejecting God Himself. And those who deny His promises of blessing and subtract from His truths will receive His judgment and will have no part in the tree of life or access to the holy city.
Barnes Notes on the Bible writes:
- When it said here that “God would take away his part out of the book of life,” the meaning is … that by the corruption of the divine oracles (God’s Word) it would show that they had no true religion, and would be excluded from heaven.
Let’s take a brief tour of Scripture.
Read: Romans 8:29-30 For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.
Read: Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Read: Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Read: John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
Read: Revelation 13:8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
Read: Revelation 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.
Let’s see if I can put this all together:
- We are saved by God’s grace, apart from our works, from before the foundation of all creation.
- Jesus declares that He and he alone gives us eternal life (saves us)
- No one (the idea is not even ourselves) can take us from God’s hands of the presence of His love (take away our eternal life)
- The names of all those God’s saves by His grace, through faith in Jesus, are written in the book before the foundation of the world.
- In the same way, those that are not saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, do not have their names written into the book of life.
Question: So, it seems the phrase and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, cannot mean a Christian can lose their salvation. So what could it mean?
- As best as I can tell, it means that the one who tampers with God’s Word could not have been a Christian in the first place, even if they claimed to be, and they would not have had their names written in the Book of Life in the first place.
Revelation 22:20-21 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
1. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”
A third time in this chapter Jesus is declaring that He is coming soon. This time He adds, surely or truly, I am coming soon. I don’t know about you, but I think we should believe Him and live in light of His appearance.
2. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
When John said Come, Lord Jesus, it was an Aramaic expression that was well known in the ancient church: It is formed by 2 Aramean words, Maran ‘athah, meaning, “our Lord comes,” the Greek transliteration is Maranatha.
Here’s a thought.
- In the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve sinned against god, they hid from God in fear of His judgment when He walked in the Garden in the cool of the day.
- Now, because their sins are washed in the blood of the Lamb, because their sins have been forgiven by God’s amazing grace, because of all the promises in Scripture of what life with God will be like in the New Jerusalem, because there is now therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, God’s redeemed, now cry out to God… come, Lord Jesus, Come!
- The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
The Book of Revelation, and the Bible, ends with a word of the promise of grace for all. Consider this:
- The last verse of the OT found in Malachi 4:6 contains a curse: lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.
- But the last verse of the NT found here in Revelation 22:21 offers the blessing of grace The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.