“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.” (Revelation 22:19 KJV)
Q: Does Revelation 22:19 show us that a person can lose their Salvation as some are teaching?
In this verse we see the book of life is mentioned. It also states God shall take away the person’s part from the Book of Life. So it is a Salvation issue to be sure. The question is, does this apply to believers?
First, notice that it does not say ‘if any believer’ or ‘if any brethren’ shall take away the words. No it states if ‘ANY MAN’ shall take away. So this applies to ANYONE, not just believers.
A believer in Christ bases His whole faith on the Word of God. As believers we may have issues of wrongly interpreting a passage but that is not the same as actually changing the words themselves! Unfortunately, today we see that this is happening with most modern Bible translations, especially the new NIV Bible that so many church leaders are now using! I will not get into this large topic for the purpose of this article but there is a truth here every believer must hear and understand. That truth is that, if the devil wants to deceive people and stop them from believing the knowledge of truth of Salvation in Christ by faith alone and not by works, what will he try to do? He will try to deceive and what greater way is there to deceive but to create modern Bible versions that changes words so drastically, even about the very foundations of the faith in Christ, and to cause division and misunderstanding.
Second, this verse does not state if any man take away any words ‘from the entire Bible…’ We see here that this verse of warning is very specific to “the words of the book of THIS prophecy“. This is a warning about changing the words in the Book of Revelation in specific. The Book of Revelation has very specific language and imagery that can only be understood by comparing other Scriptures in the Bible to it. It is then that we can get clearer pictures of what it is saying in the prophecies for the end times in particular. Change the words, and the meaning can be said to be anything a person wants. As with all Scripture, God preserves His Word!
This verse in Revelation 22:19 is a very stern warning to anyone. The book of Prophecy in Revelation is very important to warn unbelievers and to show believers what will happen, as well as the blessing it will bring to Israel and those who become believers during the Tribulation period (the worst period of time to live within in all of history).
During the Tribulation Period the Antichrist will be doing everything he can to deceive the people on Earth and that includes those who have become believers on Christ during this horrible period of time. He may try to change the words of the time the prophecy is regarding. Censorship will likely be put into place. Just think how Hitler duped the German people. He used deception right? He created issues and then came along and solved them, to make people believe this guy has the answers. Although conjecture only on my part, it may also have something to do with the great deception to take place during this time period as well. Maybe that is why Jesus gives this stern warning. Whatever the case, Jesus made the warning with a purpose and that is for sure.
Before this warning is given, Jesus tells John to write down a blessing to believers in the first seven verses. So first we are told there is a blessing for believers who are paying attention to the Prophecy in the Book of Revelation. Not all Christians read this book of the Bible. Many find it hard to understand and the imagery is confusing as well. The problem is that even the majority of Christian church religions do not preach on the Book Of Revelation nor Bible Prophecy at all. They are worried more about their church membership and maybe ‘not getting it right’. And also they themselves have difficulty in understanding it all. Yet, with 1/3 of all Scriptures referring to Bible Prophecy and Jesus Himself teaching it during His Earthly ministry; don’t you think it is important to God that we do study it?
Those that do are eagerly looking for the Lord’s Return and the Blessed Hope of the Rapture where we attain our new glorified resurrected bodies as promised in Ephesians 1:14. God has a special blessing for these believers. God tells us that we are to WATCH.
In stark contrast to the warning in verse 19 is a blessing in verse 7 that is specifically addressed to believers of Salvation through faith alone in Christ, who are reading and studying the words of the Book Of Revelation. The very first verses in Revelation 22 are showing us a glimpse of what Heaven will be like, the New Jerusalem, to give us a hope of the amazing things to come for believers of Christ:
“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” (Revelation 22:1-7 KJV)
Keeping the sayings and words of this Prophecy surely does bless the believer. It is an amazing future God has in store for all who accept Salvation through the only atonement for our sins; belief in Christ Jesus for our Salvation (John 3:18). Jesus told us that in our Earthly life right now we will have struggles and times of tribulation.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 KJV)
Apostle Paul tells us that the struggles and strife and even persecution that believers will face in life are nothing in comparison to what God has planned for the believers future! For what God will reveal in our lives at that glorious future time.
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18 KJV)