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.
Here, we find a solemn warning concerning changing God’s Word. The integrity of God’s Word should be of utmost importance to the lives of God’s people. The basis of our salvation, and our hope of our eternal life, is based wholly upon the testimony of the Scriptures. If the Scriptures are untrue, unreliable, changeable, or manipulated in anyway the very foundations of our beliefs are destroyed. This is why the Lord promises such dire punishments to fall upon those who willfully pervert the contents of the Word.
In this verse, we find a three-fold judgment placed upon those who pervert the Scriptures:
- God shall take away his part out of “the book of life” (the listing of all who have been eternally chosen to salvation in the counsels of God)
- God shall take away his part out of “the holy city” (the holy city of New Jerusalem, the eternal dwelling of God’s people)
- God shall take away his part from “the things which are written in this book” (the other eternal blessings promised to the people of God)
Please note in all three of these God warns those who change His Word that He will take “their part” out of various aspects the blessed life of His saints. What is meant by the phrase “their part”? “their part” is a translation of the Greek word “meros” which means “a share or an allotment”. The concept is much like a “share” of an inheritance designated in a will that is yet to be received.
Also please note that none of these ever actually partook of any of these blessings. Their name was never in the book of life, they had never set foot in the New Jerusalem, nor had they ever partaken of the eternal blessings of God’s people. Although, they had never been blessed in any of these ways, they thought they had a share of these awaiting them.
The corrupters of the Scripture, by removing parts of God’s Word, have shown themselves to be lost. Under no circumstances could a truly saved individual choose to pervert the very Scriptures upon which His salvation and eternal hope is based. They would be undoing the very heart of their hope in Christ.
When a person perverts God’s Word they are showing a lack of understanding of the origin, nature, importance and role of the Holy Word as eternal truth. They are clearly yet in their sin, their eyes blinded to the truths of His Word. Therefore, there is no reason for them to believe they own a share of the book of life, the holy city, and the blessings of eternity with Christ.
No matter how “religious” they may appear, they should not fool themselves into believing that they are saved and have a share of God’s eternal blessings awaiting them. Their actions clearly reveal to them that their share of God’s blessings was never really theirs. In that sense, God has removed their “share” of eternal blessings away from them. It is much like a child who assumes he is in good standing with his parents and will receive a share of their estate, only to find out, he was never in their will to start with. From his point of view, his share has been “removed” even though, in actuality, he never had a share of the inheritance designated for him.
The Lord addressed this same principle in Luke 8:18 when he said…
“Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.”
In this text, may we all learn the importance of respecting, valuing and guarding God’s Word as we seek to minister to others. By doing so, we are proving that we are truly born again children of God by properly valuing the basis of our beliefs, His Words that He has spoken to us.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: