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: 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. He which
testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly ...”
Revelation 22:18 -20.
At first glance the above admonition seems to be directly
referring to the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation is the concluding
text that closes out the entire Bible. From cover to cover, God designated the
Holy Bible as a whole, a completely integrated design. The Bible is also a book
in light of that proven fact and the warning given by Jesus, anyone
contemplating making any change to any chapter or any verse would be guilty of
corrupting His word.
God takes His word very seriously,much
more so than man,and
as such He’s willing to protect it tenaciously. Jesus is warning all who hear
the word of prophecy in this book that adding man’s flawed concepts to His word,
or subtracting any part from His word would be a fatal mistake, both physically
and spiritually. Jesus’ warning is explicit. His word needs no adjustments no
tweaking, no additions,and
no subtractions. It’s perfect as written.
When a believer reads the Bible it becomes a love search.
We gain a greater knowledge of who God is and with that new knowledge there
becomes a need to continually pursue a better grasp of God’s plan for our lives.
God loves us and He loves it when we immerse ourselves in His word. But He’s
adamant about making changes to it. No born again follower of Jesus Christ is
going to intentionally make changes to God’s perfect and inerrant word. Those
who profess having a relationship with Jesus, but in all actuality don’t, are
the ones who these scriptures are speaking to. It would be completely arrogant
and foolhardy to tamper with God’s word. Many, in the past, have ignored these
warnings and without either understanding or believing it possible, they’ve
corrupted the word of God. Where will this lead those who follow such people?
Now that’s a scary thought.
God’s Holy Spirit moved among selected men to record events
in their specific day and to give them history lessons in advance so they could
record this information for all posterity. The Holy Spirit inspired those men to
place prophecies throughout the Bible so that God’s word would gradually,over
a period of many hundreds of years,develop
into one complete unit, The Holy Bible. Keep in mind thatall
the chapter and verse portions of the Bible were developed by translators,not
the original writers. If you want to get a better concept of the Bible as one
each book in the Bible as a chapter title, all
formulated in the authors mind to be read as one book.
scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
2 Timothy 3:16. All scripture is “God
in their right mind would want to mess with what God Himself has designated as
true and complete?
Some will take 2 Timothy 3:16 and say when Paul wrote those
words to Timothy there was very little of the New Testament completed, let alone
circulated. Timothy, for the most part, had only the Old Testament scriptures,and
thus Paul was only referring to the Old Testament as God breathed. Since God is
thoroughly able to see the future of mankind shouldn’t we at least consider that
the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write those words in anticipation of a still
future completed book? “And account that the
longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also
according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his
epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be
understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also
the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
2 Peter 3:15, 16. Even the Apostle
Peter refers to Paul’s writings as scripture comparing them to other scriptures.
There are those who won’t see Jesus’ warning pertaining to
the entirety of the Bible and will not agree with me on what I’ve stated, at
least not from just three verses extracted from the book of Revelation which I
laid out in the beginning of this commentary. As we study our Bibles we should
find that there will be two or three witnesses to prove a matter. There are
other verses that confirm this truth spattered throughout the Old and New
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.” Deuteronomy 4:2.
Does anyone dispute that what God is addressing here is the taking
away or the adding to His word? The warning, given in the book of Revelation, is
of course a warning that transcends all scripture. Certainly we read the result
of Bible tampering as a warning God takes very seriously. God has applied His
warning to all of His words. There will be a huge priceto
pay for anyone who refuses to heed His warning.
What is meant by “add
unto the word”? How do we do that? Here’s just one example (of which
there are many) of how some add to God’s word. Baptism as a requirement for
salvation is a heresy promoted by numerous Churches around the world. Adding to
the sufficiency of the cross is wrong. It’s bad doctrine and it’s dangerous. How
dangerous? Does plagues and having your part removed from the book of life jar
thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor
diminish from it.” Deuteronomy
12:32. We find this same admonishment twice in the book of
Deuteronomy. God says what He means and means what He says. Jesus said,
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
John 14:15. He isn’t just
requesting we observe what He tells us,He’s
telling us that if we love Him we will keep His commandments, and He commands us
to leave this book as it is written.
These other verses that speak about adding to and
subtracting from God’s word are very telling. God,by
placing them strategicallyso
many times throughout His word, fully expects some people to ignore His
warnings. And guess what? They do. Is it that some folks think they are smarter
than God in that re-writing His word has become
their perceived destiny? Think about it this way, we change God’s word to fit
our interpretation and we teach others our interpretation which is at odds with
what God has plainly stated. Then this erroneous teaching gets passed on and on
down the line and pretty soon there’s a snowball effect happening with loads of
bad and destructive false doctrine being promoted as truth.
“...visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and
fourth generation...” Deuteronomy
5:9. What we can take from this scripture verse is that the sin of
the father is taught to the children even unto the third and fourth generation.
The children pickup the sins the father commits and carry them on in their
generation and even pass them on to their children and so on. In that sense we
see what’s being taught by one is passed down to those he is teaching. If
someone changes God’s word and teaches these changes to others and they in turn
teach the changes to still others we see that this can lead to generation after
generation being taught false and destructive doctrines. Just take a look at the
Christian cults that have flourished for generations. They’re all guilty of
making fatal changes to God’s inerrant word.
word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add
thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
Doubting God’s promises as described in Revelation 22:18 and 19 will
lead to perilous times for those foolish individuals who take from or add to His
word. Warnings which are purposely and openly observable
abound throughout the scriptures to keep us from harm. Over and over again
we’re admonished to listen to God and He will be our shield and make our paths
straight. If we don’t listen to God our paths will be wide and will undoubtedly
lead to destruction.
Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread
alone, but by every word of God.”
Luke 4:4. Jesus used those words in response to Satan’s attempts to
tempt Him during a 40 day fast in the wilderness. The word of God is the key.
Jesus knew it and He’s been trying to get the rest of us to see it for years
now. The Bible is perfect and believable and many do believe it, and many hold
it in the highest esteem. But many more disparage, neglect, hate, dismiss and
even change God’s word to fit their agendas. Those who treat God’s word with
contempt will regret their life and their decision to do so.
My wife and I attended a conference in
Tennessee a few months ago. While we waited for it to begin, she and I went to a
coffee shop for some coffee and a donut. Seated near us two men, who seemed to
be pastors, were discussing the Bible. We weren’t eavesdropping, but could hear
the conversation clearly. One was explaining to the other how the Bible should
be re-interpreted to take in a broader scope. He actually said “We need to take
Paul’s letters and extrapolate them forward to fit today’s society.” In other
words, take the words that God told Paul to write and change them to make the
Bible conform to us rather than us conform to the Bible. Be Careful my brethren,
this approach to God’s word will lead to a very sticky end.
“Beloved, when I gave
all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me
to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith
which was once delivered unto the saints.”
This verse is an admonishment to the believer to declare the truth
about what they believe. Contend for the faith. The truth we know as God’s word
is something we must, with complete conviction, stand firm on.
Keep a watchful eye and ear out for those who have their
own dubious plans to corrupt the word of God. Through the arrogance of people
such as these, many of our brethren are being falsely led. The outcome of this
type tampering can only result in the further dumbing down of the Church.
God bless you all,
All scripture verses are from