Sermon Notes By Pastor Arthur H. Coleman Sr. for Sunday December 29, 2013
Text: Deuteronomy 4:1-2 “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you. (vs2) Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”
Revelation 22:16-20 “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. (vs17) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (vs18) For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophesy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: (vs19) 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. (vs20) He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen’. Even so come, Lord Jesus.”
The Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 22, Page 551, a comment on Rev.22:18-19. “It would be deemed an unpardonable offense foe an ambassador to add words to, or to subtract them from any royal mandate which he was commissioned to deliver. And if anyone dispensing a physician’s prescription, which the life or death of a patient trembled in the balance, were recklessly to tamper with it, what condemnation could be too severe? Yet we fear that the tendency of many in our day is to treat a message in this book far more lightly that they would any important official human document; and instead of sympathizing with the words before us , and adding their reverent “Amen” they would in all probability either condemn the severity of these words, or else pass them as out of date and altogether exhausted or worn out.
The words of the text evidently embrace any kind of treatment of this Book of the Apocalypse which seemed to assume that a man was at liberty to take the book into his own hands, and to deal with it as he thought fit. Men do this : 1. If they put any merely human production alongside of it as if it were on a level therewith.
2.If they distort the book at pleasure to make it fit in with a preconceived theory about it; e.g. human history, science or philosophy. 3. If they summarily reject the account which the book gives of itself, out of dislike to the supernatural, or from hostility to the principle of authority in religion. 4. If they make a human interpretation of the book of equal dignity or authority with the book itself. 5. If they deny or disown any of those great doctrines which are inwrought into the very texture of the book; e.g. the glory of Christ’s Person; the meaning of his work; the reality of his administration; the freeness of his grace; the certainty of his victory. These and other doctrines related in origin pervade the entire Apocalypse, and to omit, ignore, deny, or condemn them, from willful refusal to submit to Divine authority, would be to commit the sin which is here exposed to view. The words of the Apocalypse as a whole, and of these two verses in particular, are not human; they are Divine. We should hear a voice saying, “Take thy shoes from off thy feet; for the place whereon thou standeth is holy ground.”