At the end of the Revelation there is a strong warning not to add or subtract from it.
“And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.” Rev 22:18-19
Even though this warning is specifically for the book of Revelation I believe the principle of not adding to or taking away from the Bible stands for all 66 books.
When we add extra rules to the Bible we become legalistic.
Paul warned the Corthians not to go beyond what is written because this leads to pride.
“That you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. I Cor. 4:6b.
Make sure you do not make helpful tools for you into rules that everyone should do.
When we take the parts of the Bible away that make us uncomfortable, we miss vital truth and water down the gospel.
Our culture would like Christians to adapt our message, but we must not. The power of our message only holds strong when we stick to the truth.
In an attempt to win them over we confuse true seekers if we don’t address the hard parts of the Bible. When they do eventually hear the truth they will wonder why we were not more straight forward.
The great thing about God’s Word is that it tells us everything we need to know to follow him and live productive lives.
What are some other reasons that it is important not to add or subtract from the Bible?
Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 22 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
Heaven is another term for the New Earth. This is the permanent home for everyone who decides to follow Jesus. In Revelation 21, John describes his vision of Heaven.
1. In Heaven we will experience beauty beyond description.
And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. Revelation 21:2
The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones… Revelation 21:19
The happiest moment of my life was when I saw my beautiful wife walk down the aisle in her white dress. She was dazzling and radiant. John felt the way I felt when he first saw heaven. That’s why he equated it with a bride dressed up for her husband. He was blown away with the beauty of heaven.
Then when he described it he used precious stones which were the most beautiful things he could imagine. Heaven will be beautiful beyond our wildest imaginations.
2. In Heaven we will experience God face to face.
Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. Revelation 21:3
I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. Revelation 21:22
The best part of heaven is that we will experience God face to face! He is the main attraction. We will not need a temple because God’s presence will be with us. What an amazing experience it will be to constantly be in the unhindered presence of God!
3. In Heaven we won’t experience any sorrow, death or pain.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4
All the horrible losses that we experience on earth will be gone. There will be no more depression or heart ache. There will be no more grief. There will be no more murder or war. There will be no more pain of any kind. No more disease. No more injury. No more suffering!
4. In Heaven everything we experience will be new.
Look, I am making everything new! Revelation 21:5
Yes Aladdin, it really will be “a whole new world.” The new earth will be similar to the earth we experience, but everything will be renewed and unhindered by sin.
5. In Heaven we will experience God’s glory unhindered.
And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. Revelation 21:23
God’s glory will give us light! Can you imagine what it will be like to constantly be living in God’s glory for all of eternity?
6. In Heaven we will experience ultimate safety.
Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. Revelation 21:25
Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Revelation 21:27
There will be no need to lock the gate because we will be completely safe. There will be no trace of evil in heaven. In the Garden of Eden, Satan was allowed to enter and tempt Adam and Even; in heaven, nothing will be allowed to enter and mess up the perfect balance of heaven.
Which of these experiences in heaven are you most looking forward to?
Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 21 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
Babylon is a symbol of the “world power” in Revelation.
It could be a “one world government” or it could be the corrupt world system in general. Here are some of the things it will be judged for in Revelation 18.
- Babylon will be a home of demons. (Vs 2)
- Babylon will participate in passionate immorality. (Vs 3a)
- Babylon will exhibit greed. (Vs 3b, 7, 9-17)
- Babylon will cause terror for others. (Vs 6)
- Babylon will glorify itself. (Vs 7)
- Babylon will persecute the apostles, prophets, and God’s people. (Vs 20, 24)
- Babylon will deceive the nations. (Vs 23)
- Babylon will slaughter people from all over the world. (Vs 24)
God’s people are instructed to do two things…
Come away from her.
“Come away from her, my people. Do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her.” Revelation 18:4
We are not to take part in her sins. It is easy to get swept up in cultural currents. Followers of Jesus should not let the ways of the world to influence them to sin.
Rejoice over her final judgment.
“Rejoice over her fate, O heaven and people of God and apostles and prophets! For at last God has judged her for your sakes.” Revelation 18:20
A righteous desire for judgment is good. It is comforting to know that those who have oppressed others will be properly dealt with.
Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 18 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
Revelation is hard to understand.
You may have seen pastors or self proclaimed “Revelation experts.” They tend to have fancy charts and very sophisticated ways of explaining every detail of Revelation. But even John, the writer of revelation said that it takes wisdom to understand parts of the prophesy.
“This calls for a mind with understanding.” Revelation 17:9
Part of the wisdom needed for understanding Revelation is “a hermeneutic of humility.”
When we interpret passages that are hard to understand it is important not to be dogmatic about things that are unclear.
It is good to do our best to understand the passage, but we must not force the text to say something more clearly than it actually does.
Why do you think it is so tempting to be dogmatic about our own personal interpretations?
Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 17 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
The seven bowls of Revelation are seven judgments. The picture of a bowl being poured out is a picture of God pouring out his wrath.
1. Those who worship the beast will get painful sores.
“So the first angel left the Temple and poured out his bowl on the earth, and horrible, malignant sores broke out on everyone who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue.” Revelation 16:2
2. The sea will be covered with blood and will kill all it’s inhabitants.
“Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse. And everything in the sea died.” Revelation 16:3
3. Fresh water sources will turn to blood.
“Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs, and they became blood.” Revelation 16:4
4. The sun’s heat will blast everyone.
“Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, causing it to scorch everyone with its fire. Everyone was burned by this blast of heat, and they cursed the name of God, who had control over all these plagues. They did not repent of their sins and turn to God and give him glory.” Revelation 16:8–9
5. The kingdom of the beast will be plunged into darkness.
“Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. His subjects ground their teeth in anguish, and they cursed the God of heaven for their pains and sores. But they did not repent of their evil deeds and turn to God.” Revelation 16:10–11
6. The Euphrates River will dry up and an army of the east will head for battle.
“Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, and it dried up so that the kings from the east could march their armies toward the west without hindrance.” Revelation 16:12
7. Thunder, lightning, an extremely severe earthquake, destruction of Babylon, destruction of many other cities, and a terrible hailstorm.
“Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. And a mighty shout came from the throne in the Temple, saying, “It is finished!” Then the thunder crashed and rolled, and lightning flashed. And a great earthquake struck—the worst since people were placed on the earth. The great city of Babylon split into three sections, and the cities of many nations fell into heaps of rubble. So God remembered all of Babylon’s sins, and he made her drink the cup that was filled with the wine of his fierce wrath. And every island disappeared, and all the mountains were leveled. There was a terrible hailstorm, and hailstones weighing as much as seventy-five pounds fell from the sky onto the people below. They cursed God because of the terrible plague of the hailstorm.” Revelation 16:17–21
Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 16 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
This is my interpretation of what the 5th and 6th trumpets represent.
5. Satan and his army of demons will be unleashed to torment the unrepentant, but Christians will be protected.
“Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen to earth from the sky, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit… Then locusts came from the smoke and descended on the earth, and they were given power to sting like scorpions. They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” Revelation 9:1, 3–4
6. Four fallen angels and their huge army are released to kill 1/3 of the earth.
“And the voice said to the sixth angel who held the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great Euphrates River.” Then the four angels who had been prepared for this hour and day and month and year were turned loose to kill one-third of all the people on earth. I heard the size of their army, which was 200 million mounted troops.” Revelation 9:14–16
In spite of all this, people still did no repent and turn to God. They continued their idol worship, murder, witchcraft, sexual immorality and theft. God will judge the world.
How does the reality of God’s judgement open our eyes to the seriousness of sin?
Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 9 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
1. Revelation is from Jesus Christ.
“This is a revelation from Jesus Christ…” Rev 1:1a
The fact that the book of Revelation is from Jesus is enough for me to want to read it. Don’t let fear of not understanding everything to stop you from reading a book that Jesus gave us.
2. Revelation is a faithful report of future events.
“…which God gave him to show his servants the events that must soon take place. He sent an angel to present this revelation to his servant John who faithfully reported everything he saw. This is his report of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Rev 1:1b-2
God gave us this book as a warning of future events. He wanted us to know in advance some of what will happen in the end times so that we can remain faithful till the end.
We can be assured that John faithfully reported what he saw in his vision.
4. Revelation is an encouragement to Churches.
“Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” Rev 1:11
The first several chapters are written directly to these churches, but I believe it has much that the modern church can apply today.
3. Revelation comes with a blessing to those who read and obey it.
“God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.” Rev 1:3
You will be blessed if you read or listen to the book of Revelation. There is a blessing that we can get from reading and applying all scripture, but this is a specific blessing for this book. You will be blessed if you read Revelation and apply it to your life.
One reason for this is that those who learn what Revelation teaches will be better equipped to understand the signs of the end times. There are also some very valuable encouragements that can apply to every era.
Also there is a stunning description of what we have to look forward to in Heaven and a startling description of Hell. Understanding what we can about Revelation will help us live with an eternal perspective now.
Revelation uses a lot of symbolism that is hard to understand, but I encourage you to read it with an open heart looking for what you can apply to your life.
You don’t have to understand everything to apply something!
Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 1 in the One Year Bible New Testament.