I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. ~ Revelation 22:18-19
As we look into the last recorded words of Jesus (see previous post), one thing that Jesus communicates is that HE CAN BE TRUSTED to give us the spiritual truths we need.
I believe that the Bible is God’s Word. I love to read Christian books, but no book can really provide for me the spiritual food for my soul that the Bible does. I do recognize, however, that the passage above primarily refers to the Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation. It is a principle found in other Scriptures as well, though, and it contains a principle for how we view and read the Bible.
Adding to the word means replacing God’s wisdom with man’s theories and opinions. If you look at the table of contents in your copy of the Bible you will find that there is no book called 1st Opinions! Bible teachers and preachers who remain true to their purpose cannot demand of people what the Bible does not demand. We cannot teach as truth that which we cannot find in Scripture. The traditions of men may be good, and meaningful, but they do not find equal value / importance with the Scriptures. The promise of the passage is that the plagues (judgments) of God will be added to those who add to the Word.
On the other hand, we should not take away from the Word either. I do not know any Christians who would take God’s Word, read it, and just toss it into the fire like King Jehoiakim did in Jeremiah 36. But I do think most of us are adept at ignoring certain portions that call upon us to make some changes in our lives. When we take away from the Word, we lose the blessings of the tree of Life and the Holy City.
Christ gave us a sure Word, one that has survived the centuries. It may undergo some changes as translation moves it from one language to another, but there is no amending the content. We can trust Christ when we read His word. After all, that word will judge us on the last day.
There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. ~John 12:48
More on the last words of Jesus in the next post. Now here are some FREE books for your Kindle!
Thanks for reading!