I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;Revelation 22:18(NASB)
The book of Revelation gives great hope and encouragement to the believer. It not only tells how the Lord Jesus will right all wrongs and deal with the distressing evils of this world, but it also tells of the glorious Millennial Kingdom of Christ, and provides a tiny glimpse into the eternal ages to come, when all that was lost at the fall will have finally been restored to the Father, through Jesus Christ the God-Man.
Having read that God's wrath will be poured out on all that is evil, and that which was lost in the garden of Eden will be gloriously restored, we hear a shout of triumph when the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ.
We join in the heavenly hallelujah chorus, when Satan is defeated and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb has come. We come to an understanding that the good works which God prepared for us to do during our time on earth, are translated into fine linens which are the righteous acts of the saints, carried out in the power of the Spirit.
We rejoice that Satan, sin, death, hell, and all that is evil is thrown into the Lake of Fire, and we stand in awe of the coming of the King of kings with His armies of heaven, the unimaginable beauty of the New Jerusalem, the sparkling River of the water of Life as clear as crystal, and the return to earth of the Tree of Life with its 12 luscious fruit (which has been guarded by cherubim since sin entered the world, lest fallen man should eat of its fruit and live eternally in a fallen body).
We hear the final invitation of the Spirit and the Bride (which is the Church) calling whosoever will to come and drink, and THEN we read that final, sombre warning: "If anyone adds to Words of this Book, God will add to him the terrible plagues which are written in God’s Word, and that God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book."
Although an invitation is offered to all who will listen, a grave and terrible warning is extended to those who reject God's offer of salvation, and will finally be confined to the Lake of Fire. But there is also a warning to those who twist, alter, add-to, or take-away from the truth of God's Word: "God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book." This is indeed a serious warning for those that deliberately pervert the truth of God's holy Word.
Tampering with Scripture to deliberately deceive and to present an alternative gospel, will result in the full-force of the accumulated bowls of God's rage and fury being meted out upon the heretic – which is truly a horrendous thing.
It is not only the subject matter within the book of Revelation that must not be 'added-to' or 'taken-away from' but within the entire Scriptures, for the content of Revelation is intertwined in the many prophetic writings throughout the entire Word of God: "If anyone adds to the words of this prophecy, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book… and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book."
There are an increasing number of people who delight to give extra-biblical 'revelation' from God, which is of serious concern, and there are many cults that have taken away the basic foundational truths of our Christian faith and superimposed a false gospel which is designed to deceive and destroy. May we take to heart these serious warnings and be sure that we do not give room to any false doctrine but stand firm on the unchangeable and unchanging truth of God's holy Word.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the truth of Your unchanging and unchangeable Word. May I study to show myself approved unto God, and not be swayed by any wind of doctrine that covertly takes away or adds to Your Word of truth. Guide me into all truth, I pray, through the power of Your indwelling Holy Spirit. Enable me to share the truth in love and to challenge those that have deviated from Your Word for another gospel. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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