Sunday, November 25th, 2018 - AM - Blessed Book; Blessed Hope (Revelation 22:18-21)
Rejoicing Through Revelation • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 33:57
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For those joining us online, you’re listening to the Services of the Broomfield Baptist Church. This is the Pastor bringing the Sunday Morning message entitled "Perversions Amidst Government Are No Match for the Power of the Gospel!", The Second Part. We invite you to follow along with us in your Bible in the Book of Revelation, chapter twenty-two, and verses eighteen through twenty-one.
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. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Some of our most influential and duly elected governmental leaders are live openly reprobate lives and have threatened to force their godless agenda on the whole of society.
John wrote this passage, of which some of the words are his, some are Christ's, some are the Spirit's, and some are the Church's. It was originally written to the local churches in Asia Minor in the last decade of the first century churches while John was in exile on Patmos. The message of the Book concerns what John was shown to be the things that are, were and, are to come. It was written to encourage believers, some of whom were persecuted for following Christ, others who had compromised themselves, to look for the appearing of our Lord and Saviour, the Almighty and the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
While governmental powers may seek to enslave souls to godlessness, the power of the Gospel can still liberate souls to Christlikeness! And that through this Blessed Book which shows us the precious saving Blood of Christ, and leads us to that Blessed Hope of His imminent return.
Let us take great care how the Word is handled and occupy till He comes!
Here is the final closing of the entire Bible. The parallels to the Introduction of Revelation are everywhere: Jesus Is Coming Quickly, He is Alpha & Omega, the promises to the churches, Morning Star counters Balaam's doctrine, Root and Offspring of David counters Nicolaitians, the angel and the angels of the churches, etc.
As the book began by introducing a revelation of Jesus Christ so it ends with the same thought that He is coming again. Probably no other book of Scripture more sharply contrasts the blessed lot of the saints with the fearful future of those who are lost. No other book of the Bible is more explicit in its description of judgment on the one hand and the saints’ eternal bliss on the other. What a tragedy that so many pass by this book and fail to fathom its wonderful truths, thereby impoverishing their knowledge and hope in Christ Jesus. God’s people who understand and appreciate these wonderful promises can join with John in his prayer, “Come, Lord Jesus.” [BKC]
Three Main Thoughts: First, Remember the Seven Churches from chapters two through three (v. 16); Second, Respond favorably to the Great Invitation and take care how this Revelation is handled (vv. 17-19); Third, live life in a manner that is looking for the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ (vv. 20-21).
This passage reassures of Christ's person, invites to the Gospel, warns about tampering with His Word, and encourages persecuted believers. When rough days lie on the horizon, it is important to remember just who Jesus is, and experience the life-giving Gospel, enjoying the benefits of His Words, and live one day at a time in light of the promise of His quick return, and the provisions of His grace.
Review of Previous Exposition:
I. Messiah’s Messenger (Rev. 22:16)
A. The Angelic Purpose (v. 16a)
B. Christ's Ancestral Promises (v. 16b)
II. Invitational Imperatives (Rev. 22:17-19)
A. Receive His Free Gift (Rev. 22:17)
1. The Power Behind the Invitation
2. The People Invited
3. The Prerequisite for the Invitation
4. The Promise of the Invitation
The Bible does not close without giving sinners one last appeal to come to Christ and be saved. The Holy Spirit says, “Come.” The Bride (God’s people) says, “Come.” Everybody who hears the Gospel is supposed to invite sinners to “Come.” God Himself says,
“Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
The Lord wants to save you from your sins more than you want to be saved! He provided for your salvation on the sacrifice of His Son and in His resurrection from the tomb. You will be saved if you will come to Jesus, and let Him save you. That is saving faith. Won’t you come? [Dr. Rick Flanders, Revelation]
B. Respect His Faithful Words (Rev. 22:18-19)
B. Respect His Faithful Words (Rev. 22:18-19)
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.
“I testify,” ... here ... has a strong legal connotation, producing a courtroom atmosphere in which the false teachers are on trial for committing the sin of falsehood (2:2; 3:9; 14:5; 16:13; 19:20; 22:15), that is, twisting the meaning of these visions. [Grant R. Osborne, Revelation: Verse by Verse, Osborne New Testament Commentaries (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016), 370.]
Precise words are required to give the precision of prophecy, and if the apocalyptic words are not inspired and preserved intact, it would be impossible for precise fulfillment, and the consequent assurance for precise fulfillment. Did not the Lord God declare, saying, “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them” (Isa. 34:16)? And again, the precious Saviour promised the close precision of His words of prophecy, indicating that the OT predictions were built upon the consonants and vowels of words, saying, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Mt. 5:18). And again, the Lord claimed, saying, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Mt. 24:35). Tampering with the words of Scripture received the Petrine expression ... (“wrest”), as the Apostle revealed and condemned the nature of the activity and of the perpetrators, saying, “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (II Pet. 3:16). [Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 1001–1003.]
Note - Of Adding to & Taking Away from...
The first [adding to] deals with earthly judgments; the second [taking away from] with eternal judgment...Revelation is like Hebrews (6:4–6; 10:26–31), 2 Peter (2:20–22), or 1 John (5:16), each of which has a strong sense of warning. [Osborne, 371.]
There is nothing new! There is nothing less! There is nothing else but the word of God, as it is! [Sam Gordon, Worthy Is the Lamb! A Walk through Revelation, Truth for Today (Belfast, Northern Ireland; Greenville, SC: Ambassador, 2000), 454.]
Note - We have far too many “Pen-Knife Theologians” today slicing and dicing the Sacred words of our God.
Here is the most solemn warning in the whole Bible against tampering with the words of God. If judgment came upon the wicked king Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 36) because he cut out with his pen-knife and burnt the predictions of evil uttered by Jeremiah against Jerusalem, how much more awful will be the doom of those who add to or take from a book given by God to the Lord Jesus, who Himself, as it were, with His pierced royal hands, stamps it over and over, with the great seal of high heaven! And especially when that One to whom all judgment has been committed, warns us not to trifle with even its words! An old Puritan preacher used to say, “There are just two things I desire to know: The first, Does God speak?—the second, What does God say?” [William R. Newell, The Book of Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1935), 367.]
Note - the three things mentioned of which the tamperer's "Part" shall be removed: 1. From the Book (or Tree) of Life, 2. From the Holy City, 3. From the Things Written in Revelation.
Note - Of the word "meros" (part),
Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Note - Of the Book of Life, See:
The CT inserted the pre-sixth century Vulgate rendering lign[o] (tree) for the biblical rendering (in Latin) for libro (“book”),
Biblia Sacra Vulgata Caput 22
19 et si quis deminuerit de verbis libri prophetiae huius auferet Deus partem eius de ligno vitae et de civitate sancta et de his quae scripta sunt in libro isto
and began a history of controversy over this verse.
and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
Likewise, concerning the Greek, the faulty scribe mistook xulou (“tree”) for biblou (“book”).
καὶ ἐάν τις ἀφέλῃ ἀπὸ τῶν λόγων τοῦ βιβλίου τῆς προφητείας ταύτης, ἀφελεῖ ὁ θεὸς τὸ μέρος αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς καὶ ἐκ τῆς πόλεως τῆς ἁγίας τῶν γεγραμμένων ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τούτῳ.
καὶ ἐάν τις ἀφαιρῇ ἀπὸ τῶν λόγων βίβλου τῆς προφητείας ταύτης, ἀφαιρήσει ὁ Θεὸς τὸ μέρος αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ βίβλου τῆς ζωῆς, καὶ ἐκ τῆς πόλεως τῆς ἁγίας, καὶ τῶν γεγραμμένων ἐν βιβλίῳ τούτῳ.
Obviously, having one’s part taken out of “the tree of life” does not fit the contextual parallel. The history of translations and editorial interpretation of translators argues against the so-called “back translation” of Erasmus from Latin to Greek for the Textus Receptus source. For instance, Tyndale’s Translation (1534), ...
The Newe Testament Chapter 22
And yf any man shall mynissbe of the wordes of the boke of this prophesy/God shall take awaye his parte oute of the boke of lyfe/and oute of the holy cytie/and from tho thynges whiche are wrytten in this boke.
[the Jerome-Vulgate based Wycliffe Bible]
And if ony man shal do awey of the wordis of the book of this prophecie, God shal take awey the paart ʽof him fro the book of lijf, and fro the holy citee, and fro thes thinges that ben writun in this book.
[the Myles Coverdale Bible]
And yf eny man shal mynishe of the wordes of the boke of this prophesy, God shal take awaye his parte out of the boke of life and out of the holy citie, and frō tho thinges which are wrytten in this boke.
the Protestant Geneva Bible (1560),
And if any man shal diminish of yͤ wordes of yͤ boke of this prophecie, God shal take away his parte out of the Boke of life, and out of the holie citie, and frõ those things which are writen in this boke.
the Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims (1899),
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 these things that are written in this book.
as well as the NKJV,
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.
[and the MEV,]
And if anyone takes 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 out of the things which are written in this book.
all read “book of life.”
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.
For further argumentation favoring the TR sources from Greek and Latin texts, see www.kjvtoday.com. [Strouse]
BOOK OF LIFE (סֵפֶר חַיִּים, ṣēpher ḥayyīm; ἡ βίβλος τῆς ζωῆς, hē bíblos tḗs zōḗs, “book of life”): The phrase is derived from the custom of the ancients of keeping genealogical records (Neh 7:5, 64; 12:22, 23) and of enrolling citizens for various purposes (Jer 22:30; Ezk 13:9). So God is represented as having a record of all who are under His special care and guardianship. To be blotted out of the Book of Life is to be cut off from God’s favor, to suffer an untimely death, as when Moses pleads that he be blotted out of God’s book—that he might die, rather than that Israel should be destroyed (Ex 32:32; Ps 69:28). In the NT it is the record of the righteous who are to inherit eternal life (Phil 4:3; Rev 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 21:27). In the apocalyptic writings there is the conception of a book or of books, that are in God’s keeping, and upon which the final judgment is to be based (Dan 7:10; 12:1; Rev 20:12, 15; cf Bk Jub 39:6; 19:9). [L. Kaiser, “Book of Life,” ed. James Orr et al., The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company, 1915), 503.]
The obvious problem with adding to truth is that the truth is no longer truth if it needs “improvement.” [Strouse, 1003-1004]
“If it is dangerous to add to or to take away from this book, does this not presuppose that this book is infallible and divinely authoritative? Why would it be wrong to take away the errors in a book? In this case it must be because there are none to remove” (1968, Stewart Custer, Does Inspiration Demand Inerrancy? p. 59). [Stewart Custer, From Patmos to Paradise: A Commentary on Revelation (Greenville, SC: BJU Press, 2004), 264.]
Solomon wisely stated, saying, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Prov. 30:6). Any additions to something pure would make it impure. The dire consequences that the Lord promised to violators would involve divine reciprocation and retaliation. [Strouse, 1003–1004.]
Note - It is of note that the Book of the Revelation begins with John exiled on Patmos, and ends with the Text-Tamperer's exile from the City of God! Oh the thought! "Exiled for Eternity!" Couple this with the warning preceding that the plagues of this Book will be "added" to the Text-Tamperer. How dreaded to think of such a consequence being levied!
Application: “There will be no further disclosure from heaven; there will be no appendix to the word of God. What parts of the Bible’s message are you tempted to avoid and why? And, when are you tempted to go beyond what the Bible says?” [Gordon, 455.]
Transition: We’ve seen Messiah’s Messenger, and Heard His Imperative Invitation. Now, consider...
III. Last Words (Rev. 22:20-21)
III. Last Words (Rev. 22:20-21)
A. Look for the Lord's Quick Coming (Rev. 22:20)
A. Look for the Lord's Quick Coming (Rev. 22:20)
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
The verse opens with his testimony that his coming will be soon, and closes with the Seer’s response, which echoes the church’s longing for that great day. “Come, Lord Jesus” (the earliest confession of the church) is the equivalent of the transliterated Aramaic in 1 Cor 16:22, maranatha. At the very close of the book is the confession that the answers to the problems of life do not lie in people’s ability to create a better world but in the return of the One whose sovereign power controls the course of human affairs.40 [[40 “Christianity is not a faith which bids us look for a gradual upward march of man till he reaches an ideal state of civilisation” (Preston and Hanson, 145). [Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997), 410.]]
Amen. Even so, come—The Song of Solomon (So 8:14) closes with the same yearning prayer for Christ’s coming. [Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 2 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 605.]
B. Live in the Lord's Provided Grace (Rev. 22:21)
B. Live in the Lord's Provided Grace (Rev. 22:21)
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Note - on the Grace of the Lord...
The CT evidenced the violation of the prohibition about which Christ warned by omitting ... (“you”) from the TR ..., with the ESV reading “be with all” rather than the KJV rendering “be with you all.” The difference is that the ESV has John asking for grace upon all (presumably the universal church), whereas the KJV has him asking for grace on all of the Lord’s assemblies. Other deviations included the omissions of Cristou (“Christ”) in His full title and the concluding  (“amen”). The CT becomes the obvious example of the textual violations about which the Lord Jesus had just warned. The modern versions, having a proclivity for promoting textual tampering, demonstrate the very serious nature of this tragic deception with their changes:
KJV: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
ASV: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with the saints. Amen.”
ESV: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”
NET: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.” [[3758 The ASV followed another textual deviation which added tw/n a`gi,wn (“ the saints”), reading “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with the saints,” again addressing all Christians, rather than NT church members. 3759 The TR has 569x references to Cristo,j , whereas the CT has 531x. 3760 The CT has diminished the truth as is manifested in its mere 126 references to avmh,n, whereas the TR has preserved all 151 occurrences. [Strouse, 1010.]]
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ illumines every page of the Holy Scriptures. The Christian life begins by grace, is sustained by grace, and thus should always manifest grace. When we fail, as we often do, there is still forgiveness through grace, for He is “the God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10), and His “grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 12:9). “God is able to make all grace abound” (2 Corinthians 9:8) to all who believe and obey His Word. [Henry M. Morris, The Revelation Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Prophetic Book of the End Times (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 1983), 489.]
Think about it: every blessing outlined in Revelation is totally undeserved, it is the Lord’s love gift to his people. Praise him!
It is grace abounding to sinful men. It is grace which is adequate and available for all the saints of God. Ah, there is a superb sufficiency to the grace of God. And you know:
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
bright shining as the sun,
we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
than when we’ve first begun!
And that song of praise is …
‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and [riches] and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and [blessing]!’ [Gordon, 456–457.]
“The kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom of our Lord, and his Christ: and he shall reign forever and ever” (11:15). To this angelic anthem the Christian heart responds in antiphonal refrain:
“All hail the power of Jesus name,
Let angels prostrate fall,
Bring forth the royal diadem
And crown Him Lord of all.”
To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. [H. E. Dana, The Epistles and Apocalypse of John: A Brief Commentary (Kansas: Central Seminary Press, 1947), 161.]
Practical Applications from Revelation 22
1. God is constantly pouring out grace and strength to His people (v. 1).
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
2. Beautiful trees will have eternally beneficial effects for God’s people (v. 2). From Eden to eternity trees are part of man’s existence; they even had a part in our redemption (I Pet. 2:24).
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
3. One day believers will be able to serve God perfectly (v. 3). God is perfecting the saints...
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
4. In heaven believers will be able to see God perfectly (v. 4).
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
5. Saints shall have positions of responsibility forever (v. 5).
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
6. God is always faithful and true (v. 6).
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
7. Obedience to God always brings blessings (v. 7).
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
8. All knowledge of God should lead believers to worship (v. 8).
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
9. Worshiping God is the most important thing we can do (v. 9).
O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: Fear before him, all the earth.
10. The Bible is meant to be understood (v. 10).
Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
11. Our actions in this world fix our eternal destiny (v. 11).
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
12. God rewards His people (v. 12).
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
Moreover by them is thy servant warned: And in keeping of them there is great reward.
13. God originated all things and will bring all things to consummation (v. 13).
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: And the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
14. Obedience to God is the open door to heaven (v. 14).
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15. Sinners would never feel at home in the presence of a holy God (v. 15).
The way of the wicked is as darkness: They know not at what they stumble.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
16. Jesus is our guiding star to God (v. 16).
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
17. If a person wants God and heaven, the door is open (v. 17).
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
18. Counterfeiting God’s Word is a very dangerous practice (v. 18).
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; That put darkness for light, and light for darkness; That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, And the flame consumeth the chaff, So their root shall be as rottenness, And their blossom shall go up as dust: Because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
19. Trying to destroy God’s Word is a sure way of going to hell (v. 19).
Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Judah, And for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; Because they have despised the law of the Lord, And have not kept his commandments, And their lies caused them to err, After the which their fathers have walked: But I will send a fire upon Judah, And it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.
20. Every believer should long to see the Lord Jesus (v. 20).
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: My soul thirsteth for thee, My flesh longeth for thee In a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, So as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
21. The grace of God is our greatest single need (v. 21). The apostle Paul could confess, [Custer, 264–266.]
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
B. Gospel Invitation:
In just a moment, we are going to have an invitation for you to respond to what you've heard about the Lord today. Friend, God loves you, and His Word has shown you something about yourself. Your greatest need is to be right with Him. It's not okay for you to leave here today without realizing how much trouble you are in with God because of your sins. Why don't you change your mind toward Him? His love sent Jesus Christ, God's only Son, to die on the cross for all your sins. He simply invites you, though spiritually dead in your sins, to come to Jesus and put your faith in His death, burial and resurrection for you. Come to Jesus, right now, don't wait. Come, and simply agree with God's Word that He has risen from the dead, and that He can and will give you eternal life by believing on His name. Won't you come and ask Jesus to come into your life and save you?