Sunday, November 13, 2011

Is the Church About to Persecute the Bride?

Is the Church About to Persecute the Bride?


Ecumenism has been around for a long time, but in recent times, the ecumenical push has been intensifying. The article below, Christian Provocation is clearly showing that the institutional church is blaming the Bride of Christ (evangelical and literal Bible believers) for being a global threat to freedom of religion just by being believers and missionaries of Christ. They would clearly have followers of Jesus be acceptors of mediocrity for their "greater good". 

Christian Provocation

Check out this quote from the article, speaking of the rise in Christian persecution around the world, You know who is to blame for all this persecution, of course: The Christians are. Or so, at least, the mainline Christian organizations seem anxious to assure us. The victimized Christians in these countries have "asked for it:" by the very act of being open believers and missionaries, they are intensifying the global threat to freedom of religion. So the World Council of Churches, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue of the Holy See, and the World Evangelical Alliance have joined together to do something about it—by urging their fellow Christians to behave less provocatively.”


From the anti-Zionist camp comes a similar denunciation of the Bride of Christ. This faction of the "church" is pitted against the Bride based on their belief that the everlasting covenants God promised to Abraham are null and void. The anti-Zionists church’s position is that the Bride is made up of mislead Christian Zionist, because of our belief that these everlasting covenants are still in place. They believe Christian Zionism is contributing to unrest in the middle east, and destabilizing the entire globe.

The Churches Against Israel,7340,L-4090528,00.html 

Quote, "Lutherans arrived to Volos from the United States, Catholics and Protestants from Bethlehem and Nazareth, Orthodox Christians from Greece and Russia, lecturers from Beirut and Copts from Egypt. The conference declared the Jewish State "a sin" and "occupying power," accused Israelis of "dehumanizing" the Palestinians, theologically dismantled the "choseness" of the Jewish people and called for "resistance" as a Christian duty." 

US Church vs. Israel,2506,L-4146945,00.html 

This is simply an ugly ugly article about the position mainline denominations are taking with regards to Israel and their right to the land.

Quote, "Meanwhile, the church just held a conference in Louisville titled “Bible, Land and our Theological Challenge”. It embraced the “Kairos Document,” which says that Israeli security policies are “a sin against God”, likens the security fence to “apartheid”, rejects the Jewish State, supports terrorism when it talks about the “thousands of prisoners who languish in Israeli jails”, and proclaims that “resistance to the evil of occupation is a Christian’s right and duty.”

At the Louisville’s symposium, Rev. Eugene March, professor emeritus of Old Testament at Presbyterian Seminary, said the Jewish right to the holy land is “invalid,” while Rev. Gary Burge, professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, said that “Jesus subverted the land politics of Judaism” and criticized “the territorial worldview of Judaism.” It is hard to imagine uglier slander."

“Prophets Who Prophesy Lies In My Name” 

This is a very revealing article about "Palestinian Zionism", the return and erroneous right of the Palestinians to the land that God gave to Israel. Again, the mainline denominations are moving with this.

Quote (pg.15) “Over the past few years a number of Church denominations and ecumenical organizations have issued statements condemning the alleged Israeli “occupation,” and have chosen either to support campaigns to boycott Israeli goods and divest from multinational companies operating within Israel, and/or to denounce Christian Zionism as a heresy, which they say threatens peace in the Middle East.”

My Comments

Persecution from both of these factions could come about in a number of ways. As the mainline church factions join in their desires resepectively for ecumenical oneness and middle east peace at any cost, they will become more outspoken against the Bride of Christ who will remain true to Jesus as the only way to the Father, and true to the promises given to Abraham.  Like the homosexual lobby, they will likely become increasingly militant in their attempt to silence the dissent, via legislation and outright persecution.

Clearly this movement of ecumenism and anti-Zionism is moving the mainline church steadily in the direction of the single homogenized world religion spoken of in the Revelation. A religion that has lost the concern for the eternal life provided by Jesus and the cross. A religion that, whos primary desire is to eliminate the worldly conflict and opposition that plagues organized religion in all it's various forms.

It is only a matter of time before the frustration and ire of these movements are redirected to the last group standing for Israel and holding fast to God's covenants, the Bride of Christ. This will be added on top of the ire of the New World Order proponents, the New Age Religion fanatics, the sexual immorality / homosexual lobby, and the increasing presence of Islam and Sharia Law in America. Dark clouds are gathering.

The Abrahamic Covenant 

The Abrahamic and Palestinian Covenants are the everlasting and unconditional agreements God made with Abraham that entitle the Jewish people to the land of Canaan.  The scripture references for these covenants are linked below so that you can see for yourself what the Bible really says about Zionism. 

The Covenant Scriptures

Gen 12:1-3, Gen 13:14-17, Gen 15:1-21, Gen 17:1-27, Gen 18:17-19, Gen 22:15-18 

Promises to Israel 
  • They would become a great nation. (Gen 12:2) 
  • They would be given an everlasting covenant.  (Gen 17:7)
  • They would have a portion of land as an everlasting possession.  (Gen 17:8) 
Promises to Abraham 
  • He would be the father of many nations and many descendants.  (Gen 17:7, Gen 17:16, Gen 17:20) 
Promises to the Gentiles 
  • Those who honor Abraham (and Israel) would be blessed.  (Gen 12:3)
  • Those who curse Abraham (and Israel) would be cursed.  (Gen 12:3, Deu 30:7, Isa 14:1-2, Joel 3:1-8, Mic 5:7-9, Hag 2:22, Zec 12:1-14; Zec 1:1-3, Mat 25:40, Mat 25:45)

The Palestinian (Land) Covenant

The Palestinian covenant is an elaboration of the land aspects of the Abrahamic covenant. It is also unconditional.

The Covenant Scriptures
  •  Gen 12:1, Gen 13:14-17, Gen 15:7, Gen 17:7-8,

Additional truths
  • Borders of the Land - Num 34:1-12 
  • The regathering of the Jews to the land prophecied - Deu 30:1-10

Children and Sex Education

Children and Sex Education

Oct 25th, 2011

Mat 18:6  "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

These disturbing articles reveal the normalization of adult views of immorality among children.  Society's acceptance of legislation normalizing homosexuality is opening doors that could not have been imagined a generation ago. Sexual immorality of all kinds is pressuring through doors that currently are just being cracked open. If we do not take a stand to reverse these trends, the flood will only increase, and we could witness the legalization of pedophilia before this is over.

Eph 5:11-17  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.  (12)  For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.  (13)  But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.  (14)  Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light."  (15)  See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,  (16)  redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  (17)  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Paul helps us understand what our response should be. We should not "co-participate" in this, but expose, admonish or rebuke it. It seems to be telling me that this is not something we can sleep through, or ignore, but we are to bring the light of Christ to it. Redeeming the time means that in these evil days, we are to rescue from loss. The Lord will show you how you can practically make an impact for Him and the children.

Jan 2011 – Oakland 2nd Graders Reportedly Engage in Sex Acts, Teacher Suspended

Feb 2011 – California Wants Lesbians as Mandatory “Role” Models

March 2011 - Is This What You Want YOUR Five Year Old Learning About Sex? Explicit Materials Cleared for Schools

March 2011 -Sexual Tension Quiz Given to Dwyer High A.P. Psychology Students

May 2011 – Parent’s Anger After Ten Year Old Daughter Given Graphic Sex Book by School

May 2011 - Planned Parenthood Training Teens to Teach Sexuality to Their Peers

June 2011 – School Surveys 7th Graders on Oral Sex

(You may want to pay special attention to this one, this is an evil bill the California governor signed into law in July.)

July 2011 – California is First State to Force Gay History Into Classrooms

October 2011 – Parent Furor at Bawdy Sex Ed

(The next two are particularly sad, as the parents are encouraging sexual behavior in kids.)

The Classes Where Children as Young as THREE Learn to Pole Dance

Dirty Dancing Just Got Filthy

Stan Feldsine
Eze 33:1-7  Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,  (2)  "Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: 'When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman,  (3)  when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people,  (4)  then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head.  (5)  He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.  (6)  But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.'  (7)  "So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.

 Do You Know Jesus?
If you would like to receive and trust Christ as your personal Savior, you may want to express your faith in Christ by the following prayer:
    Dear God, I know I’m a sinner and that nothing I do can gain heaven or eternal life. I believe Jesus Christ died for me and rose from the grave. Right now I receive Him as my personal Savior by trusting in Him alone as my only way to heaven. Thank you for giving me eternal life through faith in your Son.
If you prayed this prayer and truly trusted in the person of Jesus Christ and His death for your sin, then you have been born anew into the family of God. You are now one of God’s children by faith in the Savior.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Future Judgments

The Future Judgments

Excerpts from The Judgments - (Past, Present, and Future)   
Study By: J. Hampton Keathley, III
The Bema Judgment (Post Rapture, Pre Second Coming, For Christians Only)

·         The word "bema" was taken from Isthmian games where the contestants would compete for the prize under the careful scrutiny of judges who would make sure that every rule of the contest was obeyed (cf. 2 Titus 2:5). The victor of a given event, who had participated according to the rules, was led by the judge to the platform called the Bema. There the laurel wreath was placed on his head as a symbol of victory (cf. 1 Cor 9:24-25).

2 Titus 2:5  And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

1 Cor 9:24-25  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  (25)  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

·         This judgment follows the rapture, in heaven, and is before the Marriage of the Lamb, and is intended as a rewards ceremony. The following scriptures talk about rewards:

1 Cor 3:11-15  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  (12)  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  (13)  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.  (14)  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  (15)  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

2 Titus 4:8  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

1 John 2:28  And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

Rev 3:11-12  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.  (12)  Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Rev 22:12  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

The Judgments of the Tribulation  (During the Tribulation)

While the Bema is going on in heaven (with the church in the Lord’s presence) a series of terrible judgments will begin to unfold on the earth for a period of seven years to be culminated by the return and manifestation of Christ to earth as the Great White Horse Rider of Revelation 19.

The main point to see here is that this entire period is the expression of God’s wrath in increasing degrees of judgment to be poured out on the world. The world seeks to find answers to its problems through the one world movement of the last days and apart from the true God as He has revealed Himself in Christ. So, much as we see in Rom 1:18-19, God turns the world over to the consequences of its choices. The result is the one world system of the Beast as described in Revelation. It will begin with an apparent time of prosperity and peace created by this one world government under the deceptions of the man of lawlessness. But even this will be God’s judgment and the expression of His wrath. While people are saying peace and safety, then sudden destruction will come as birth pains upon a woman in travail. The judgments of this time will grow in intensity and conclude with an awesome display of God’s wrath against a Christ-rejecting world.

The Judgment and Reward of Resurrected Old Testament and Tribulation Saints  (Post Tribulation, Pre Millennium)

While many would place the resurrection and reward of Old Testament saints with that of the church at the rapture, a number of factors favor this at the conclusion of the tribulation at the same time as the resurrection and reward of tribulation saints mentioned in Rev 20:4.

1.       Daniel, who wrote concerning the termination of God’s program for Israel in chapter 9, places the resurrection of the righteous in Israel as occurring after “a time of distress such as never occurred …” Clearly this is the Tribulation, Daniel’s Seventieth Week, or “the time of Jacob’s Distress” mentioned by Jeremiah (Jer 30:7; Dan 9:27).

2.      Resurrection is viewed in Scripture as an event that terminates one program and initiates another, and one would not expect Israel’s resurrection could come until God had finished the seventy years decreed for His people, the Jews, according to Dan 9:24-27. Since the events mentioned in Dan 9:26 (the cutting off of Messiah and the destruction of city and sanctuary) had to occur after the 69 weeks of years had run their course but before the seventieth week begins, there has to be a space of time, the parenthesis of the church age, between the conclusion of the sixty-ninth week and the beginning of the seventieth.

3.      The resurrection (rapture) and Bema of the church concludes this parenthesis, the church age, but Old Testament saints (the righteous dead) are not resurrected and rewarded until after the seventieth week when God concludes His program with Israel as far as the seventy weeks of Daniel are concerned.

The order of God’s resurrection program which includes the judgment of rewards would seem to be:

1.       the resurrection of Christ as the beginning of the resurrection program (1 Cor 15:23);

2.      the resurrection of the church age saints at the rapture (1 Thess 4:16);

3.      the resurrection of tribulation period saints (Rev 20:3-5), together with the resurrection of Old Testament saints (Dan 12:2; Isa 26:19).

The Judgment of Living Israel  (Post Tribulation, Pre Millennium)

The Time of This Judgment

The Scripture teaches that before Messiah can begin to reign, there must be a judgment to determine who will enter into Messiah’s kingdom since “they are not all Israel (spiritually regenerated believers who put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Messiah) who are Israel (physical descendants only)” (Rom 9:6). The rebels of unbelief must be removed so that only believing Israel will enter into the kingdom (cf. Eze 20:34-38; Eze 22:19-22; Matt 25:1-30).

Part of this removal occurs through the Tribulation judgments themselves (Rev 6:1-19; Zec 13:8-9). But those who are not killed by these judgments will be gathered, judged, and the rebels removed with only believers going into the millennial kingdom.

Matthew 24-25 set the chronology and thus the time. The order is:

·         The Tribulation judgments (Matt 24:4-26).
·         The visible return of Jesus Christ (Matt 24:27-30).
·         The regathering of those Israelites who were left after the tribulation judgments, both believing and unbelieving Jews (Matt 24:31; Eze 20:34-35 a).
·         The judgment of the Nation of Israel (Matt 25:1-30; Eze 20:35-38).

The Place of This Judgment

At the end of the Tribulation, the Lord Jesus will return personally to earth (Zec 14:4), but Eze 20:34-35 shows God brings Israel out from the nations where she has been scattered throughout the times of the Gentiles (gathers her to the last person, Eze 39:28). But Israel is first gathered at the borders, outside the land of Israel, called in Eze 20:35 “the wilderness of the peoples,” for judgment, face to face, one by one as sheep pass under the shepherd’s rod.

The Basis of This Judgment

Rev 7:14 shows us that salvation in the Tribulation (as in the church age) is through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God. This is further confirmed by the message of the book of Romans where the Apostle shows Israel’s problem to be one of seeking to establish her own righteousness by keeping the Law rather than accept God’s righteousness by faith in Christ (Rom. 9-11). Matt 25:1-30 shows that God will judge living Israel to separate the saved from the unsaved. In this passage and in Mal 3:2-3, Mal 3:5, and Eze 20:37-38, the individual’s works will be brought into judgment, but not because they are saved by their works, but because their works demonstrate they are rebels who have failed to trust in Jesus.

The Judgment of Living Gentiles (Post Tribulation, Pre Millennium, Sheep and Goat Judgment)

Just as He judged the Jews still alive at the end of the Tribulation when Christ personally returns to earth, so He will also judge those Gentiles who remain (Matt 25:31-46, Joel 3:2.

At the judgment of the Gentiles Christ will separate the sheep, representing the saved, from the goats, representing the lost (Mat 24:31-46). Though salvation is by grace and through faith, the saved who come out of the Great Tribulation will be identified by their works in befriending their Jewish brothers. In the universal anti-Semitism of the Great Tribulation one who befriends Jews will by this evidence manifest his salvation.6

The Final Judgment of Satan and the Fallen Angels  (Post Millennium)

Throughout the centuries as anticipated in the enmity mentioned in Gen 3:15, there has been constant warfare between the holy angels who minister to God’s people and Satan and his unholy angels, the demonic spirits. Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier concerning the judgment of Satan, God has manifested His power by defeating Satan and his hordes. While, for God’s own purposes, Satan has been allowed to continue his nefarious schemes, Scripture speaks of three sure events regarding the activity of Satan and his demonic forces: his binding during the millennium, his short release, and his final incarceration in the Lake of Fire. Then all opposing powers against the Lord will be dealt with in judgment (Rev 20:1-3, Rev 20:7-10; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6; 1 Cor 15:24-26).

The Judgment of the Great White Throne  (Post Millennium)

All who have scoffed at God, denied His being, rebelled at His rule, or rejected His sovereignty—and in the process, also rejected His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ—must at this time stand before this throne to be condemned to eternal judgment. May the reality of this judgment cause us to carefully reflect on the serious consequences of this passage on a Christ-rejecting world.

Rev 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

The Time of This Judgment

Rev 20:5 and Rev 20:11-15 show this takes place after the conclusion of the millennium following the doom of Satan and the destruction of heaven and earth, but before the eternal state of the new heavens and earth of Rev 21:1.

The Place of This Judgment

Heaven and earth are seen fleeing from the face of Him who sits on this throne (Rev 20:11). In other words, they are destroyed, dissolved (2 Peter 3:7-12). The point is the Great White Throne Judgment does not occur on earth or in heaven as we know it, but somewhere beyond, perhaps in extreme outer space. This indication is also clear that it does occur in the new heavens and earth which are not created until after this event (cf. Rev 20:11 with Rev 21:1).

In other words, God has removed Satan and his demons, the False Prophet and the Beast, and is about to judge the rest of the unbelieving dead. So, it is only fitting that He also judge the old earth and heavens that has been the arena of Satan’s activity and man’s sin and rebellion. This evidently takes place after the resurrection of the unbelieving dead from the grave and Hades. They are resurrected, gathered before the throne and actually behold the dissolution of heaven and earth as a foreboding preparation for their judgment. All their hopes and dreams had been placed in an earth and system that was passing away (1 John 2:17), and now they see it dissolve before their very eyes.

“And no place was found for them,” i.e., for heaven and earth. In the eternal state there will be no place for that which reminds men of the rebellions of Satan and man with all its wickedness and sorrow (Rev 22:3; Rev 21:4; Isa 65:17).

The Participants of This Judgment

The judge is the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:22-23, John 5:27). All judgment has been placed into His hands as the perfect Son of man, Son of God, the one qualified to judge by virtue of his sinless humanity and defeat of Satan and sin through the cross (Rev 5:1-14).

Those judged are “the dead, great and small,” those who had no part in the first resurrection (Rev 20:5-6). Specifically, this is the dead of the second resurrection, the resurrection of the unjust, the resurrection unto the second death mentioned in Rev 20:5-6, Rev 20:12-14, and John 5:29 b. “The dead, great and small” emphasizes that no one is exempt. All who have died without faith in Jesus Christ—regardless of their status in human history, religiously, politically, economically, or morally—must stand before this throne of judgment.

The Basis of This Judgment

The basis of the judgment is what is found in the two sets of books—the books which are opened, and the other book, the Book of Life (Rev 20:12 b, Rev 20:13 b, Rev 20:15 a). Note that the text says “and the books (plural) were opened, and another book (singular) was opened, which is the Book of Life.” We have two sets, the books and the book which is mentioned again in verse Rev 20:15 a.

The Books: The identity of the books is not specifically revealed and we can only speculate from a comparison of other passages of Scripture and from the nature of these verses. I believe we have two books here.

1.The first book opened will probably be the Scripture, the Word of God, which contains the revelation of God’s holy character, the moral law, the declaration of man’s sinfulness, and God’s plan of salvation through faith in Christ. This book also reveals that even when men do not have the written Word, they have the law of God written in their hearts (Rom 2:14-16), and the revelation of God-consciousness in creation so that they are without excuse (Rom 1:18-21; Rom 2:12). Undoubtedly, then, the Scripture will be used to demonstrate the clearness of the plan of God and that man is without excuse. John 12:48 is very pertinent here: He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.

2.The second book will be the book of works or deeds. Verses 13 and 14 state that the unbelieving dead will be judged according to their deeds (works). Undoubtedly then, one book is the book of works which contains a record of every person’s deeds as a witness of the true nature of their spiritual condition

The Book of Life: This book contains the names of all believers, of all who have put their faith in Christ and God’s plan of salvation or righteousness through the substitutionary death of Christ. Or, to put it another way, it is a record of those who have not rejected God’s plan of salvation and have responded to Christ in faith; for these their faith is reckoned for righteousness and their sins have not been imputed to them (Rom 4:4-6, Rom 4:22).

At the Great White Throne Judgment the Book of Life is produced to show that the participant’s name was not found written in the Book of Life because of their rejection of Jesus Christ. They, therefore, have no righteousness and cannot be accepted before God, but must be cast into the eternal Lake of Fire. The Book of Life contains the names of believers, those justified by faith and who have a righteousness from God imputed to their account. These and only these are accepted by God and will spend eternity with Him (cf. Rom 10:1-4; Phil 3:9).

    The Judgment or Punishment

Rev 20:14 And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Can You Be Good Enough to Get to Heaven?

What Does the Bible Say about Being Good People and Getting to Heaven?
Why should you care about “salvation”, or be concerned about whether or not you can be good enough to get into heaven?  You have been given this life on earth to determine your eternal destiny, and this is not something that can be put off till after your death. If your current life determines your hereafter life, when you get to your hereafter life, your destiny is determined already.
  • John 3:18  No one who has faith in God's Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn't have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God's only Son.
The Bible tells us is that none of us can be “good” enough to get into heaven.
  • Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
What the Bible says is that God provided salvation for us freely, knowing that there was nothing we could possibly do to be good enough.
  • Romans 5:8  But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.
  • Ephesians 2:8-9  You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God's gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own.  (9)  It isn't something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about.
  • Romans 4:1-5  Well then, what can we say about our ancestor Abraham?  (2)  If he became acceptable to God because of what he did, then he would have something to brag about. But he would never be able to brag about it to God.  (3)  The Scriptures say, "God accepted Abraham because Abraham had faith in him."  (4)  Money paid to workers isn't a gift. It is something they earn by working.  (5)  But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do. God accepts sinners only because they have faith in him.
The Bible also says that all we have to do is believe, and tell others, and we will have eternal life.
  • Romans 10:9-10  So you will be saved, if you honestly say, "Jesus is Lord," and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death.  (10)  God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this and tell it to others.
  • 1 John 5:11-13  God has also said that he gave us eternal life and that this life comes to us from his Son.  (12)  And so, if we have God's Son, we have this life. But if we don't have the Son, we don't have this life.  (13)  All of you have faith in the Son of God, and I have written to let you know that you have eternal life.
  • John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
  • John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
The Bible says that there is only one way to obtain eternal life.
  • John 14:6  "I am the way, the truth, and the life!" Jesus answered. "Without me, no one can go to the Father.
Does this mean that the Bible says we can just believe that Jesus died for us, we have eternal life, and can do whatever we want to? How about we use a little common sense here? Of course not. If we believe what Jesus did was the ultimate sacrifice for us, then we would want to do good things, right? Besides, we all know via our conscience what is good and what is bad, and we innately want to do what is good. But this goodness is not enough to get us into heaven, and we make a grave mistake if we think that.
  • James 2:14  My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don't do anything to show that you really do have faith? Can that kind of faith save you?
  • James 2:18  Suppose someone disagrees and says, "It is possible to have faith without doing kind deeds." I would answer, "Prove that you have faith without doing kind deeds, and I will prove that I have faith by doing them."
  • James 2:26  Anyone who doesn't breathe is dead, and faith that doesn't do anything is just as dead!
  • Titus 3:8  This message is certainly true. These teachings are useful and helpful for everyone. I want you to insist that the people follow them, so that all who have faith in God will be sure to do good deeds.
Does this mean that we just do good works and eternal life is our reward? No, eternal life is a free gift, not the result of our works. However, our works will have a reward.
  • Rev 22:12  Then I was told: I am coming soon! And when I come, I will reward everyone for what they have done.
What is at stake, if you chose to ignore this message? You really do not want to wait till after your death to figure this out.
  • Psalms 9:17  The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
  • Psalms 86:12-13  I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.  (13)  For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
If you would like to receive and trust Christ as your personal Savior, you may want to express your faith in Christ by the following prayer:
    Dear God, I know I’m a sinner and that nothing I do can gain heaven or eternal life. I believe Jesus Christ died for me and rose from the grave. Right now I receive Him as my personal Savior by trusting in Him alone as my only way to heaven. Thank you for giving me eternal life through faith in your Son.
If you prayed this prayer and truly trusted in the person of Jesus Christ and His death for your sin, then you have been born anew into the family of God. You are now one of God’s children by faith in the Savior.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bible Study - Revelation Chapter 22

The Concluding Promises of the Prophecy  (22:6-16)

Rev 22:6  And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
Rev 22:7  Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Rev 22:8  And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
Rev 22:9  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
Rev 22:10  And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Rev 22:11  He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Rev 22:12  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Rev 22:13  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Rev 22:14  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15  For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Rev 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

The Promise of Faithfulness (6)

Rev 22:6  And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

·         There are perhaps no more significant and awesome words in Scripture than those of this epilogue. In these verses we have the manifold testimony of the voices of the angel, Jesus, the Spirit, the bride, and John. These verses are full of encouragement, declaration, warning, and response to God. They are tremendously significant; may we read them with care and attentiveness. Listen to these words in terms of your entire life, your lifestyle, purposes, goals, priorities, and commitment to God, His faithful Word, and the soon coming Savior.

·         “And he said to me, These words are faithful and true” declares the certainty and reliability of God’s Word. Literally the Greek says, “these words (i.e., of this prophecy), faithful and true.” This is a nominal sentence with no verb expressed. It is understood of course, but this is somewhat emphatic and stresses the ideas of faithful and true. “Faithful” is the Greek pistos and means, “reliable, trustworthy.” “True” is alhqinos and means, “real, genuine, versus spurious or false.”

In contrast to the many human viewpoint foundations or cunningly devised fables upon which men try to build their lives stands the faithful and true Word from God. Man’s viewpoint without the Bible must be built upon speculation, human reason, and experience, all of which are very unreliable due to man’s condition in sin, his short life span, his deductive thinking, his constant tendency to interpret facts with his presuppositions, his limited experience and the amount of knowledge he can retain and use, and of course, due to the unseen and demonic forces which deceive and warp his viewpoint. All of this makes man’s human viewpoint ideas about as reliable as a lily pad for a foundation, especially in spiritual matters.

·         The real issue here and throughout Scripture is that which makes the Bible, or any portion of it such as this prophecy, faithful and true. Behind Scripture or behind “these words” is “the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets.” “Lord” is kurios and emphasizes God’s sovereignty, universal power, and authority. “God” is qeos which brings out the aspect of God’s divine essence as God. So, in contrast to man and his weaknesses there is God who, in all His divine essence (sovereignty, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, veracity, etc.), stands behind these words ensuring their accuracy, reliability, and truthfulness. This is made clear by the next clause, “of the spirits of the prophets.” The preposition “of” represents in the Greek text what grammarians call a genitive of rule or control. God is the sovereign Lord in control of the spirits of the prophets (cf. 2 Pet 1:20-21). “Spirits” refer to the human spirits within the prophets who were the human agents in the reception and transmission of Scripture.

·         The same God who inspired the Old Testament and the rest of the New Testament here authenticates the words of the book of Revelation as well. Two things are authenticated:

1.       that these words (i.e., the prophecy) are faithful and true
2.      but also, that it must all shortly take place.

·         “The things which must shortly take place” would be better translated as, “that which must quickly come to pass.” What must come to pass quite clearly refers to the future events, the events of the Tribulation as described in this book (Rev 4:1-19). As seen before, the primary sense of “quickly” is that once these events start, the events of this book and their judgments will occur rapidly. But there is also a note of imminency (cf. Rev 1:3; and Rev 22:10 “the time is near”). The future is viewed, in God’s reckoning of time (2 Pet 3:9), as imminent and without the necessity of any intervening time periods. After the church age, which is culminated by the rapture of the church, comes the Tribulation—and that could be just around the corner.

The Promise of His Coming (7a)

Rev 22:7  Behold, I come quickly:

·         With the mention of these events that must come quickly and that are next in the program of God, our Lord immediately addresses John and says, “behold, I am coming quickly.” Here is that event, not a time period, which must come to pass, i.e., Christ’s return for the church. Here again is the blessed hope, the coming of Christ for the church which keeps us out of the hour of trial (Rev 3:10).

·         Note three things here about this blessed promise:

1.       It is introduced with “behold.” In the Greek this is a demonstrative particle used to arouse attention and enliven the setting. Christ our Deliverer is coming for us; this will be the most momentous event of our lives.

2.      “I am coming” in the Greek is a present tense verb. It is what we call a futuristic or prophetic present. This is used of an event which is so certain that it is regarded as already in the process of coming to pass.

3.      “Quickly” is the adjective tacus which means “swift, quick, speedy.” In the neuter singular, as here (tacu) it is used as an adverb to mean “quickly, at once, or suddenly (cf. Rev 1:3; Rev 3:3, Rev 3:11; Rev 16:15). The point is that our Lord is coming, and when He comes, He is coming suddenly, without warning, as a thief who comes without announcement. Then comes the Tribulation with all its horror. If one is not ready, that is one does not know Jesus Christ as his Savior, he will find himself in the Tribulation, in the events which must come to pass shortly or next.

The Promise of Blessing to Those Who Heed (7b)

Rev 22:7  ... blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

·         Here is another of the beatitudes of Scripture, the pronouncement of blessing or happiness upon those who comply with certain imperatives and principles of the Word, not meritoriously, but out of faith in the truth of God. It describes a state of blessing which God promises for both now and the future life. It means the capacity for happiness now even in the midst of the trials. But it also describes the blessing or happiness which comes from facing life with the promises of the Word.

·         “Blessed” is the Greek makarios which means literally “happy.” But it describes not the boisterous, fun and games happiness of the world, but the inner happiness and spiritual contentment which comes from knowing and trusting the Lord by keeping His Word and living by its truth.

·         With the words, “is he who heeds …” we are pointed to the recipients of this happiness. Literally we can translate the Greek, “happy (blessed) is the one who continues to keep the words (plural) of the prophecy …” The Greek describes one who is characterized by the action of the verb, the action of keeping. This person is characterized by consistency in the realm of keeping these words. But what does it mean to keep?

The verb is threw, “guard, watch over, protect, keep in custody, observe, fulfill, and pay attention or give heed to.” It is especially used of the teachings of the Word. Its equivalent in the Old Testament is the Hebrew shamar, “keep, guard.” All of these ideas have application, though the main point is obedience, the personal application of the truth.

1.       Now what are we to keep? We are to keep “the words of the prophecy of the book.” “Words” is plural and it is the Greek term logos which, in the singular, is used of the Lord, the Word (John 1:1) and of the Scripture, the Word of God (Heb 4:12). The use here of logos in the plural may suggest three things to us:

2.      It stresses the importance and need of knowing the details of this book, as well as the rest of the Bible. The more we know and apply, the greater our capacity for real happiness.

3.      The plural looks at the individual words, stressing the concept of inspiration down to the very words themselves. The understanding of concepts is based on the understanding of the words.

4.      The plural of logos was however, also used of specific sayings, or teachings (doctrines), or parts of a whole work (cf. LXX, Exo 34:28; Deut 10:4). In this we see the necessity and blessing which comes from knowing the various doctrines or specific teachings of Revelation.

·         But how does one heed or guard the various doctrinal categories of Revelation and its teaching?

5.      We keep it in custody, i.e., we learn it, store it, as a result of careful study.

6.      We watch over it, protect what we have learned, i.e., we renew it, review it, keep it fresh and on our heart (Rev 2:4-5).

7.      We pay attention to it, obey it, i.e., we live in the light of it, we apply it to our lives.

·         For church age saints, finding happiness and spiritual joy through the words of this prophecy involves such things as:

8.      Observing the warnings of chapters 2 and 3 to the church, warnings against dead, cold orthodoxy, apostasy, immorality, materialism, etc.

9.      Living constantly in light of the presence of Christ in our midst and of His imminent coming, knowing that our work in the Lord is never in vain.

10.  Carrying on a vital witness, having an open door to the unbelieving world in view of the coming Tribulation and the lake of fire that we might see men snatched from hell (Jud 1:23).

11.   Living as sojourners who refuse to become bogged down with materialism and who live with a view to the eternal city.

12.   Enduring the trials of this life during this age of darkness, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the glory which is to follow.

Remembering that God’s plan is being accomplished, that He is sovereign and still on the throne as we see this old world moving farther and farther away from the Lord and the absolutes of His Word.

These are just a few of the practical applications of this book and its various truths. There are many, many more. See how many you can think of.

The Promise and Declaration—God Alone is Worthy of Worship (8-9)

Rev 22:8  And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
Rev 22:9  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

The Response to the Message (8)

Rev 22:8  And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

·         First we read, “I (kagw, literally, “and I”), John, am the one who heard and saw these things,” i.e., the glorious things of the eternal city. Why does John identify himself here at this point? Because of the tremendous encouragement of these things and their overwhelming and awesome nature, he wanted his readers to be impressed with the fact that he really did see these things under divine inspiration.

Literally the Greek text has “the one hearing and seeing these things …” The Greek has the present tense. Though the visions were at that point a past historical fact, John used the vivid historical present tense in order to emphasize the vividness and reality of these revelations which he had received.

·         Again, as in Rev 19:10, John is overawed by the things the angel had revealed to him. In the process, he again lost the biblical perspective and fell down to worship at the feet of the angelic messenger. The repetition of this (see Rev 19:10) brings out the impending and imminent threat of this problem for both the messenger and the messengeree. The message of God’s Word is designed to focus us on the Lord and to enhance our worship of Him, but, if we are not careful we can lose sight of this in our excitement and appreciation of the Word and get our eyes on the messenger. When this happens we can, if we are not careful, become guilty of the carnal divisiveness of the Corinthians (cf. 1 Cor 1:11-13; 1 Cor 3:3-4; 1 Cor 4:6-7; 1 Cor 10:12).

The Rebuke of the Messenger (9)

Rev 22:9  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

·         Here we see the responsibility of the messenger to guard against such responses for his own spiritual equilibrium as well as that of those to whom he ministers the Word. The main emphasis is that God, who is the Creator of all that John had seen, is alone worthy of such worship.

The Promise that this Book is Not Sealed (10-11)

Rev 22:10  And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Rev 22:11  He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

·         In this command that John is not to seal this book we actually have a promise that this book of apocalyptic revelation can be studied and understood by any who are positive to know God and His Word.

·         To seal up a book means to conceal, hide its message. “Seal up” is the Greek sfragizw which means “to put a seal on something,” either to “mark it, identify it, certify it, or to close it, keep it secret.” This book, unlike Dan 12:4, was never to be sealed and was meant to be understood and applied from the day John received it. Why? Because the time is near, imminent, and people need the truth of this book to understand what God is doing and to prepare for what is coming, i.e., to live with a view to these coming events through the perspective of eternity; the contents of this book were needed immediately by the churches and those living in the church age. In view of the imminent return of Christ, critical choices always need to be made.

·         Verse 11, which at first seems fatalistic, is closely related to verse 10, the unsealed character of this book and the imminent return of the Lord. Actually it is evangelistic. It is an appeal to men to respond to this book, for if one does not, there is no other message which can change him.

Concerning this verse Walvoord writes:

If the warnings of the book are not sufficient, there is no more that God has to say. The wicked must continue in their wicked way and be judged by the Lord when He comes. The same rule, however, applies to the righteous. Their reaction to the prophecy, of course, will be different, but the exhortation in their case is to continue in righteousness and holiness. It is an either/or proposition with no neutrality possible. There is a sense also in which present choices fix character; a time is coming when change will be impossible. Present choices will become permanent in character.252

The Promise of Reward at the Lord’s Coming (12)

Rev 22:12  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

·         Throughout the New Testament one finds repeated references to the return of the Lord for His bride, the church. Each time there is either a reference to the rewards which will be given or there is some sort of admonishment to godly and purposeful living. This life is a preparation time for eternity and we are to live this life with a view to eternity—God’s glory and our rewards or positions of responsibility in the eternal state.

·         Our tendency is to forget why we are here and to live as earth dwellers. You know the slogan, “You only go around once in this life, and you need to get all the gusto you can.” We are all going to be with Jesus Christ as believers with the possibility of special rewards and responsibilities, but the way we live while here on earth will determine just how we will reign with the Lord, our specific place of responsibility.

·         So again, as in verse 7, the Lord declares the suddenness, the absolute surety and imminency of His return. But here He emphasizes to us His return will mean a dispensing of rewards according to a believer’s faithfulness, “according to what he has done,” i.e., according to how a person has used his time and talents. Salvation is totally by grace, but rewards, though also by grace, are dependent on our works as we have responded to God’s grace.

·         This is then not only a promise of rewards, but an exhortation and an incentive to godly living and service. This, however, must not be disassociated from the emphasis of verses 7b and 10 which stress the need to know and understand the words of this prophecy, and ultimately Scripture in general. Why? Because the only way we can redeem the time is by living in the Word. The Word of God is both our motivation and correction.

The Promise and Statement of Christ’s Eternality (13)

Rev 22:13  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

·         Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. This, plus the other two titles given here of our Lord (cf. Rev 1:8, Rev 1:11, Rev 1:17; Rev 2:8; Rev 21:6), all emphasize the concept that our Lord, who directly spoke to John, is both the beginning (source) as well as the goal and consummation of all things; He is the Eternal Word. This verse confirms and authenticates Christ’s capacity and ability to fulfill these promises (cf. Col 1:15-16; Col 2:3; John 1:1; John 8:58).

The Promise of Blessing to Those Who Wash Their Robes (14-15)

Rev 22:14  Blessed are they that do his commandments, (wash their robes - ASV), that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15  For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

·         Here is the seventh and final beatitude in Revelation. Here the word “blessed” is plural, makarioi, which strongly brings out the multitude of blessings given to the robe-washers. The robe stands for one’s condition of righteousness. A dirty robe stands for being without righteousness, falling short of the glory of God. A washed robe is one which has been made white and clean by faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It means the person stands in the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. It stands for imputed righteousness or justification by faith in Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:19, 2 Cor 5:21; Phil 3:9).

The tense of the verb is present, but it is what we call in Greek grammar, the perfective present; it describes the abiding results, “washed robes” (cf.
Rev 7:14; Rev 3:5).

·         Some translations read “who do His commandments” instead of “who wash their robes,” but the older manuscripts have the reading of the NASB and NIV. This is also the most accurate theologically. The reference here is to those who qualify for entrance into the city where they have the right to the tree of life. Though obedience to the commandments of the Lord should be a characteristic of believers, and may even give evidence of one’s faith, entrance into eternity is obtained by faith alone in the person and work of Christ, not by obedience or works (Eph 2:8-9; Tit 3:5; John 3:16).

·         The word “right” in the clause “that they may have the right” is the Greek exousia which means:

1.       the right or authority to do something

2.      the power or capacity to do something. Believers, by virtue of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ and their glorified and sinless bodies, will have both the right and capacity to dwell in the eternal city in righteousness.

·         By contrast, unbelievers, who are excluded, are described in verse 15 in terms which bring out the habitual character that they are left with because, having failed to believe in the Savior, they must continue in their sin (John 8:24). The unregenerate remain in their unregenerate condition and character throughout eternity, and the promise is that our eternal home cannot be contaminated by the evil of those with such character as we see every day in our present world. Not only are they excluded from the eternal city and fellowship with God, but they remain in the misery and unhappiness of their fallen state, itself, a judgment of the greatest magnitude. One of the joys the true believer looks forward to is release from his sinful state, the loss of the sinful nature. Read and study carefully Rom 8:18-30 with Rom 6:15-25.

The Certification of the Promises to the Churches  (22:16)

Rev 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

·         First, we see that Jesus Himself sent His angel to bear witness of these things to John and for the churches as instruction, warning, and comfort. “I, Jesus” stresses the fact that Jesus, the man who walked the earth but who is now at God’s right hand, is the One who bears this solemn testimony to certify its reality.

·         Second, though much of this book will occur after the church is gone (Rev 3:10), it is for us to know and understand. This information is important to our spiritual equilibrium. It aids our understanding of the future and shows us where the present world is going. It gives greater perspective for what is really important today (cf. Heb 10:24-25; Tit 2:11-12). Should this not cause us all to be more involved in reaching the lost for Christ as our next verse, verse 17, will show? Please note, this is the first occurrence of the term “church,” the Greek ekklhsia since chapter 3. This indicates that the church is not in the Tribulation. Remember that chapters 6 through 19, which deal with the Tribulation, also deals with Israel. It is the time of Jacob’s trouble and Daniel’s 70th week. For this reason the church is not present or mentioned.

·         Third, so how does our Lord certify and assure the facts of these things? By who and what He is in relation to Israel and the church, the root and offspring of David and the bright and morning star. The word “root” may refer to a root as the source of something or to a shoot, that which comes from a root. The latter is the meaning here (cf. Isa 11:1). Such an understanding here also fits with the idea of “an offspring of David.” Like a stump, Israel as a nation was cut down and dispersed. But Christ as a shoot which will spring up from David, the legal heir to the throne through Joseph and physically from David through Mary, will fulfill all of God’s promises and covenants. It is He who will restore Israel to the place of blessing (cf. Rom 11:1).

·         “The bright and morning star.” Literally the Greek has “the star, the bright one, the morning one.” (Compare Num 24:17, Balaam’s prophecy; Mat 2:2, the statement of the magi, and Rev 2:28.) What does a morning star do? It heralds and assures us of a new day and of the conclusion of the night (cf. Rom 13:11-14). So Jesus, as the morning star, heralds and assures us of the conclusion of this night season and the coming of a new day which will begin by His return for the church at the rapture to be followed by the glories of the millennium and then the eternal state at the end of the Tribulation. For Israel, Christ is seen as “the Sun of righteousness” (Mal 4:2).

The Invitation and the Promise of Life without Cost  (22:17)

Rev 22:17  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

·         Following this assurance, we immediately read “and the Spirit and the bride say, ‘come.’” This refers to the Holy Spirit and the church, both of whom, along with the Word, are God’s agents of evangelism which is the focus of this verse.

·         “Come” is a present imperative, used perhaps like an aoristic present meaning, “come today.” It is an invitation for men to come to Christ. It reminds us of the concept of Isa 55:6 “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near,” Psa 32:6 “Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found,” and 2 Cor 6:2 b “… behold, now is ‘the acceptable time,’ behold, now is ‘the day of salvation.’” This expresses the responsibility of believers to invite men to Christ and of the responsibility and need of those invited to respond.

·         Then we read, “let the one who hears.” This refers to any person who really hears the message of this book. The effect of this hearing should be a desire to reach others for Christ. So they also say “come.”

·         The final clauses of the verse refers to anyone who wants the life which our Lord seeks to offer. The invitation to come and take is an urgent command for the day will arrive when it is too late. Now is a day of grace, but a day of judgment is imminent and impending. Though multitudes can and will come to Christ during the Tribulation, it will still be a day when receiving Jesus Christ and being a believer will be the most difficult in man’s history.

The Warning of the Prophecy  (22:18-19)

Rev 22:18  For I 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:
Rev 22:19  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.

·         In these verses we have a solemn warning against tampering with the meaning and truth of this book. More on this in a moment, but for now, note these phrases which emphasize the Word of God—all of which occur in this final chapter of God’s Word.

·         Verse 7—The words of the prophecy of this book.

·         Verse 9—The words of this book.

·         Verse 10—The words of the prophecy of this book.

·         Verse 18—The words of the prophecy of this book.

·         Verse 19—The words of the book of this prophecy

·         Verse 19—Which are written in this book.

·         As William R. Newell said in his book on Revelation, “Beware lest the jealousy of God burn like fire—for He has exalted His Word above all His Name (Psa 138:2).”

·         Then notice the emphasis of these words, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify” (Rev 22:16), “I testify to every man that hears” (Rev 22:18), and “He who testifies these things says” (Rev 22:20).

·         Jesus Christ, the logos, the revelation of God, has born witness to man of the truth. He did this first in the Old Testament Scriptures, then by His incarnation and life among men which was culminated and authenticated by the testimony of His death, resurrection, resurrection appearances, and ascension. Then He sent the Holy Spirit and the canon of Scripture was gradually completed—being completed with this book of Revelation before 90 A.D. So here He not only guards the words of the book, but absolutely declares Himself as the witness and guarantee of these things.

·         Therefore, we have had the emphasis in this book, “He that hath ears let him hear.” Are you positive to know the truth of God? My friends, God has revealed Himself to man and this revelation is found in the Scripture, and to a very limited degree in nature (Rom. 1:18 f). Man, then, is without excuse. God can be known, but the details of this knowledge comes only through Scripture. Thus God says, “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isa 66:2 b).

·         It is the truth of Scripture which sets men free so God guards His Word carefully because it is the only means by which man really knows God (John 8:32; John 17:17; 2 Pet 1:2-4).

·         So now in verse 18 we have a solemn warning, but please note that the urgency and importance of this warning is supported by the solemn testimony of Jesus Christ Himself when He says, “I testify unto every man who hears …”

The First Offense with its Penalty (18)

Rev 22:18  For I 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:

The Offense “If anyone adds to them,”

·         “If anyone adds to them,” i.e., to the words of this prophecy. There are other solemn warnings in the Bible about tampering with God’s Word (Deut 4:2; Deut 12:32; Pro 30:5-6; Rev 1:3).

Alan Johnson writes:

These verses should not be taken as a warning against adding anything to the Bible. Early interpreters understood them as a warning to false prophets not to alter the sense of John’s prophecy—i.e., Revelation (so Irenaeus Contra Haereses 30.2)… Verses 18-10 are a strong warning against any who would tamper with the contexts of “this book” (Rev), either textually or in its moral and theological teaching (cf.
1 Cor 16:22)253

·         But what applies here, surely applies to the whole of Scripture because the book of Revelation is the last book of the Bible. Jude tells believers to “contend earnestly for the faith once and for all received.” Jude was saying there was a completed body of truth, a body of truth which became preserved, a completed canon of Scripture. Revelation is the final book of the Bible. All the major themes of Scripture find their end and culmination in this book. No other is needed. It wraps up the revelation of God and brings man into the glorious eternal state. Thus, to tamper with Revelation is in essence to tamper with the whole.

Walvoord says:

No one can dare add to the Word of God except in blatant unbelief and denial that the Word is indeed God’s own message to man. Likewise, no one should dare take away from the words of the book, since to do so is to do despite to the inspired Word of God. What a solemn warning this is to critics who have tampered with this book and other portions of Scripture in arrogant self-confidence that they are equipped intellectually and spiritually to determine what is true and what is not true in the Word of God. Though not stated in detail, the point of these two verses is that a child of God who reveres Him will recognize at once that this is the Word of God.254

·         So how does one add to the Bible or revelation? One way is by claiming new revelation, that the Bible and the book of Revelation are not enough (as with the Book of Mormon or any other religious writing that claims to be from God). Another way is by claiming advanced knowledge in spiritual matters and that the Bible is not the answer or simply wrong (2 John 1:9). Liberal humanists are grossly guilty of this. Of course such action not only is adding but subtracting. The point is that this reveals a blatant unbelief in the Bible which denies that the Word of God is the revelation and testimony of God. Such action is a clear evidence of personal unbelief and rejection of Jesus Christ.

The Penalty

·         “God shall add to him the plagues …” In what sense will God add the plagues to the offender? First, the unbeliever, the person who does not believe the Word and so also rejects Jesus Christ, will go into the Tribulation. He will, therefore, face its plagues should he be living when the Tribulation comes. Second, should he die first without Jesus Christ, then he will still face the wrath of God from which the plagues proceed and spend eternity in the lake of fire.

The Second Offense with its Penalty (19)

Rev 22:19  and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.

The Offense: “And if any man shall take away …”

·         In other words, if he rejects any portion of Revelation, since Revelation is the culmination to the Word, this very well may have application to the whole canon of Scripture. So, if anyone denies the plain teaching of Scripture regarding the Lord Jesus Christ and the great testimonies of this book, he is doing despite to the inspired Word of God. This is a grave warning to the critics of higher criticism who, in blatant unbelief, have tampered with the books of the Bible in arrogant self-confidence thinking that they are spiritually and intellectually competent to judge the truthfulness of the Bible.

·         As Walvoord pointed out, the point of these two verses is that the true child of God who believes the Lord, will recognize this as a portion of the Bible as well as the rest of Scripture.

The Penalty

·         “God shall take away his part from the tree of life …” What does this mean?

·         To use these verses, however, as a proof that a child of God once saved and born into the family of God can lose his Salvation is, of course, applying this passage out of context. This passage assumes that a child of God will not tamper with these scriptures. It is the contrast of unbelief with faith, the blinded, fallen intellect of man in contrast to the enlightened Spirit taught believer. Although the true child of God may not comprehend the meaning of the entire book of Revelation, he will recognize in it a declaration of his hope and that which has been assured to him in grace by his salvation in Christ.255

The Benediction  (22:20-21)

Rev 22:20  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Rev 22:21  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

·         These final words of testimony are yet another declaration of the promise of Christ’s imminent return: “Surely I come quickly.” With this announcement, in contrast to those in verses 7 and 12, this declaration adds the word “Yes,” which is the Greek nai, “yea, verily,” a particle noting an affirmation, agreement, or emphasis. To strengthen this even more, this declaration is followed by the word “Amen” (Greek, amhn) often translated “verily, truly.”

·         The announcement “I come quickly” is therefore buttressed before and after by words used to emphasize the certainty of it. With the word amen, however, John begins his own prayer of response to this announcement: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Though the book of Revelation concerns itself with a broad expanse of divine dealing with men including the time of Tribulation, the millennium, and the eternal state, for John the important event is the coming of the Lord for him at the rapture of the church. For this his heart longs, not only because he is on the bleak Island of Patmos in suffering and exile but because of the glorious prospect which his eyes have beheld and his ears have heard.1

·         The Tribulation has stressed the wrath of a holy God. But for the true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ there is only grace, grace, marvelous grace. My friends, do you know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ? So John, as a representative of the Lord Jesus, closes with the benediction, “The Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all, Amen.”

·         As you know, the Old Testament ends with the word “curse,” for it is the warning given an earth whose future hangs upon that of Israel—upon the conversion of the remnant and upon the receiving of the preaching of Elijah … , just before Christ should return. The law could make no absolute promise, and so God’s Word by Malachi ends, “Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

·         But now Christ has come and put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And, although the book of The Revelation has had to uncover the fearful rebellion of the earth, and the necessary and dire judgments of God; yet upon those who have believed, to His saints, the benediction of divine favor rests. Just as Christ lifted up His hands and blessed them over against Bethany, at His ascension, so all His saints are now—under his pierced, uplifted hands of blessing. Amen.2

·         A conclusion such as this is wholly appropriate for this prophetic message addressed to the ancient church and, indeed, to the whole body of Christ. The benediction is reminiscent of Paul’s usual practice (cf. the final verses in his letters). Nothing less than God’s grace is required for us to be overcomers and triumphantly enter the Holy City of God, where we shall reign with him forever and ever.3

·         Let us each draw near to our glorious Savior, who is revealed in such dramatic ways in this awesome book, that we may experience His power on our lives, represent Him faithfully as His servants. And all the while, may we be praying and anticipating with John, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

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252 John F. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Moody Press, Chicago, 1966, p. 334-335.

253 Alan Johnson, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 12, Frank E. Gaebelein, General Editor, pp. 602-603.

254 Walvoord, p. 338.

255 Walvoord.

1 Walvoord, p. 338-339.

2 William R. Newell, The Book of Revelation, Moody Press, Chicago, 1966, p. 369.

3 NIV Bible Commentary, electronic version.

References and Credits
·         Revelation 22:6 - 22:21 Study - Stan Feldsine
The basis for this study came from:
·         Credit to: J. Hampton Keathley III