Respect for God’s Word

Mike Johnson

 Revelation 22:18-19, a passage found near the end of the Bible, is a very significant passage.  It says:

 “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:  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.”

 This tells us that we are not to add to or take away from God’s Word.  The “book” in the above verses refers to the book of Revelation.  However, it is clear that if we are not to add to or take away from one book of the Bible, then we are not to add to or take away from any book of the Bible.  This is made particularly clear when we reach such passages as I Peter 4:11 which says that we are to speak as the oracles of God, and II John 9 which says that if we transgress and abide not in the doctrine of Christ that we do not have God.The idea of not adding to or taking away from God’s Word is found at the beginning of the Bible (Deut. 4:2), in the middle of the Bible (Pb. 30:6), and, as we have seen, at the end (Rev. 20).  These verses stand as sort of a three-fold guard.

This principle can be illustrated with the Lord’s Supper.  According to the Scriptures, the Lord’s Supper consists of the fruit of the vine and the unleavened bread.  Suppose that a church decided to have only the bread and not the fruit of the vine.  They would be taking away from God’s Word.  Some other group may decide to add apples to the bread and fruit of the vine.  These would, of course, be adding to the Bible.

Many religious groups in their worship, teaching, practice and organization add to or take away from God’s Word.  They stand condemned by the Scriptures for this.  We must respect God’s Word!