Posted by: missionventureministries | September 6, 2018

GOD’S WARNING ABOUT ADDING OR TAKING AWAY FROM SCRIPTURE – Revelation 22:18-19

For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 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 22:18-19)

This serious warning in the last chapter of the Bible was given by the glorified Lord Jesus Himself; therefore it should be taken very seriously.
 

Although the warning in Revelation 22:18-19 applies specifically to the Book of Revelation, its principle must be applied to the entire revealed Word of God. We must be careful to handle the Bible with care and reverence so as to not distort its message. 

Moses gave a similar warning in Deuteronomy 4:1-2, where he cautioned the Israelites that they must listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord, neither adding to nor taking away from His revealed Word. Proverbs 30:5-6 contains a similar admonition to anyone who would add to God’s words: he will be rebuked and proven to be a liar.

In Psalm 119:89 we read that God’s word is settled forever in heaven. Throughout history it was gradually transmitted to men on Earth through God-called prophets, and 2 Timothy 3:16 states that: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. God’s words are an extension of God Himself they are God breathed, offering perfect wisdom for life and the information needed to find eternal life in Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).  

Hebrews 4:12 reminds us, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” We need to understand that whether men believe it or not, the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. In Hebrews 1:1 we read that: God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past, to the fathers by the prophets. They were the ones that God chose to write His teachings and commandments for His people then and now.

This final testimony and warning of Christ to those who profess to be His followers is a clear command not to either add to (Revelation 22:18) or taking away from the inspired “words” of the Bible. There are many people in the various cults following some leader who thinks they have received some new inspired word from God. That is very unwise; however, there are many false prophets, i.e. priests, pastors, evangelists, missionaries, etc., in mainline denominations who presumptuously either choose or explain away those Bible verses they consider unscientific or offensive in some way. That is very dangerous and very foolish, for those whose names are not found “in the book of life” will be “cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

It is true that any two Christians may interpret certain passages in different ways. But they won’t be too far apart if they believe the Bible to be the inerrant, inspired Word of God, especially if they really believe that God is able to say what He means. The Bible authors do occasionally use figurative language, in which case any symbols are usually explained in context. When the writer clearly intends to be understood literally, as in the first chapter of Genesis for example, it is dangerous to impose some metaphorical meaning on the passage because of outside considerations. This seems to be what Paul called “handling the word of God deceitfully” (2 Corinthians 4:2).  

Therefore, this warning is given specifically to those who distort the message of the Book of Revelation. Jesus Himself is the Author of Revelation and the giver of the vision to the apostle John (Revelation 1:1). As such, He concludes the book with a confirmation of His testimony to the finality of the prophecies contained in Revelation. These are His words, and He warns against distorting them in any way, whether through additions, subtractions, falsifications, alterations, or intentional misinterpretations. The warning is explicit and dire. The plagues of Revelation will come upon anyone guilty of tampering in any way with the revelations in the book, and those who dare to do so will have no part in eternal life in heaven.

 

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