With the last few posts, we should have been encouraged and established as we read and studied Revelation 22, verses 16 and 17.
Because we have good witnesses and reliable testimony, this testimony primarily comes from the mouth of Jesus, who established the trustworthiness of His word by satisfying the demands of the law with His own body, and from the mouth of the prophets and thus fulfills the prophetic pattern. All this affirms our hope and understanding of why we can have that hope is valid.
Good, now that we are past that, let’s finish this chapter and the book of Revelation.
“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 Amplified Bible makes the statement a bit more intense by saying, “warn everyone who listens to the statements of the prophecy.”
Is it possible that there is a difference between hearing and listening?
I hear stuff all the time, but my mind is bouncing at least two more ideas around in my head while my wife’s instructions are being said to me. I may have heard, but I was not listening. Now, if I symbolically move to the front row in the classroom and purposefully listen to the instructor, I stand a better chance of comprehending what is being said.
In defining the word hears, Thayer’s Greek Definitions tell us that the word akouō can also mean attending to or considering what has been said.
So, it appears that Jesus is talking to and about persons who have invested the time to understand this book, whether through personal readings and study or under the inclination of theological training.
Now, if you invested that kind of time in understanding, why would you go about changing the meanings of the things you read in the Revelation?
An example of something that has been changed and brought about drastic confusion is Revelation 4:1. It reads,
“After these things, I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”
(Revelation 4:1 NASB)
The first three chapters of Revelation focus on the church age and end with God talking to the “church” of Laodicea. Revelation 3:14 opens with this statement.
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,”
You may not pick up the importance of what He said here, so let me show you an example of how God addressed the previous six churches. In Revelation 3:7, we see this,
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,”
It wasn’t Jesus’ church in Laodicea but the Laodicean’s church. Sadly, we are living in the age of the Laodicean church. Just look around you as churches of every denomination are going “woke,” becoming an arm of the government by opening their doors to become inoculation centers for the C19 vaccine, a vaccine meant to kill you; and note how quickly the churches are giving themselves over to blatant sin. See Leviticus 20:13.
The drastic confusion stems from the phrase “ After these things.” The church, on the whole, cannot seem to grasp that the events that will progress in Revelation are happening AFTER the time of the churches – after the rapture.
Now don’t get me wrong, woke, progressive churches will continue to have a function in the seven years, for a time, as long as they comply with government demands, such as taking the mark, worshiping the beast, and worshiping the image of the beast, but the church, as I now know it, will be gone. We will be like the Chinese are now, meeting in secret at odd hours of the night.
Let’s finish chapter 22.
“And if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which have been written in this Book.” (Revelation 22:19 MKJV)
As church people have read Revelation, I imagine many have wished they could remove many of the painful aspects we find there.
I can think of two reasons someone might do that.
- Most of us know people who will probably have to go through the time of wrath, and we want to save them from having to do that.
- Many “Christians” have not been taught properly and, therefore, believe they must go through the time of wrath or at least some portion of that time.
So, if you were like me, weaving your way through Revelation with the hope of understanding and causing others to understand. What advantage do you gain, by leaving things out or misrepresenting others, like Revelation 6:2?
“And I saw. And behold a white horse! And he sitting on it had a bow. And a crown was given to him, and he went forth conquering and to conquer.” (Revelation 6:2 MKJV)
Saddam Hussein accepted only one verse from our Bible as true, Revelation 6:2. He also believed that he was this rider. He was not, and to prove my point, Saddam was hanged. This rider (symbolic language) is the antichrist personified in a man (sorry ladies) and will emerge shortly after the catching away of the church. This man, because we see him putting forth a seven-year peace treaty (Note: Israel is NOT mentioned in this treaty; the treaty, therefore, may be perceived as giving the Islamic nations a chance to reload. This war is probably associated with the war against Israel that we see in Ezekiel 38,39, which appears to have a nuclear aspect.)
Verse 19 tells us, “if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city.”
The Amplified Bible says it this way. “ And if anyone cancels or takes away from the statements of the book of this prophecy [these predictions relating to Christ’s kingdom and its speedy triumph, together with the consolations and admonitions or warnings pertaining to them], God will cancel and take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the city of holiness (purity and hallowedness), which are described and promised in this book.”
How, in God’s name, could we humans cancel God’s actions?
The reality is, we can’t, unless, as the Greek word aphaireō conveys, we take from or remove. This idea of not speaking is what I was talking about when I said that one of the ways would be by exclusion as we choose to NOT talk about some aspect of God’s Word, in this case, the Revelation. A Pastor told me that no one can understand prophetic books like Revelation and Daniel, which is why I will not teach from them, and neither will you if I have any say over who teaches here.
The reality is that the person who intentionally does this will be removed from the book of life and eliminated from entering the Holy City. If this is true, then you would think that there are a number of pastors whose names have been removed from the book of life.
Here is my problem with this. Having been raised in a Pentecostal environment, I was brought up with the idea that many sins, all of which seem to be built into our DNA, will send you to hell. A “brother in Christ” who led the weekly Bible study told the group of men every week (the average age of these men was about 75) that they were going to hell for their sins. a friend and I have talked about this scenario several times. It was my friend who pointed out the age thing and the fact that most of these men raised their families in this church.
If they had been receiving sound teaching every week, why would you possibly think they were perpetually sinning sins that would send them to hell?
What does a teacher like this do with a passage in which Jesus directly says?
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27-28 NASB)
In talking about losing our salvation, I suspect teachers like this are trying to manipulate you because it is known that we have a propensity to sin. All you have to do is be awake, and the opportunities to sin will come.
Perhaps it is merely this simple. Just as someone has chosen to remove themselves from God’s hand, we have the same ability, in Jesus’ name, to declare that under no circumstance will I remove myself from God’s care. Peter seemed to do this and yet denied Christ three times. Fortunately, for our sakes, n Christ forgave Peter and showed him what forgiveness looks like in God’s eyes as he comforted Peter back into the grace of God.
And just as King David would tell you, there is no doubt in my mind any longer, as God wrote my name in His book before time began.
We are almost done.
Revelation 22:20 NASB “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”
It now seems like a simple question, and you should know the answer, who is the “He who testifies to these things.”?
He is the lamb that was slain;
He is the only one worthy to open the seals;
He is the risen one,
the Son of the living God,
The one who now sits next to the Father;
He is the one who anxiously awaits that signal from the shofar;
And He is the one who will come and collect His bride – the church.
And He testifies that He is finally coming quickly.
Did that cover it?
Come, Lord Jesus, Come.
Revelation 22:21 NASB
“ (May,) the grace of the Lord Jesus be with (you) all (as we anxiously await His return). Amen.” Emphasis mine.