“For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book“
John gives a final warning for those who might tamper with this prophecy.
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;
On the one hand, God promises a blessing to those who read this prophecy but on the other hand, to those who reject the revelation of this book, He gives a double warning. God gives a warning to those who would undermine the Word of God. He warns of special judgment to those who do so.
There will be a strong delusion in the future. We need God’s Word to know what we believe.
“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12).
and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
The first warning is a warning to those who take away the words of this prophecy. If they do this, God will take away their “part in the Book of Life, from the holy city and from the things which are written in this book.” To tamper with the Word of God is to reject God Himself. When someone rejects any part of the book of Revelation, God will take away his part from the Book of Life.
If we tamper with God’s book, He will tamper with our book! The word “book” is tree or wood in Greek. God will not give these people the opportunity to become Christians. The Word of God is our only source for understanding the nature of salvation. This is a terrible penalty. This passage does not teach that a Christian can become lost at some point. The issue here is that those who play with God’s Word as non-Christians cannot become Christians.
God gives strong warnings against tampering with the Word of God.
God will weed out those who play with His Word. God gives strong warnings against tampering with the Word of God. We dare not add to or subtract from the Word of God. Both are grave issues with God. In Genesis 3, verse 3, Eve made the mistake of adding the phrase “nor touch it” to God’s warning about eating from the Tree of Knowledge. By making the commandment seem stricter than it really was, she betrayed her suspicions about God and His goodness. Insulting His majesty this way was the first step on her road away from God.
“You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you” Deuteronomy 4:2).
“Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12:32).
There is a great contrast between the lot of the lost and that of the believer.
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” (Revelation 1:3).