Salvation by Doing Laundry?
In Revelation chapter 22, verse 14, we read an incredible thing in the 1960 Spanish Bible. It says:
Bienaventurados los que lavan sus ropas, para tener derecho ál arbol de la vida, y para entrar por las puertas en la ciudad.
In English, this is translated as:
Blessed are those who wash their clothes (or "robes" if you want the RV, RSV, ASV, etc. reading) to have the right to the tree of life, and to enter through the doors of the city.
But is this true? Does anyone get saved in any dispensation by washing their clothes? Should we preach salvation by going to the Laundry Mat? This of course is ridiculous!
Let's look at the old "infallible" King James to see what's up? It says:
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
We see that the old KJV says, "do his commandments," rather than "wash your clothes." Why does it say this? Well, if you ask John R. Rice, he'll tell you that the King James Bible is wrong, and needs to be corrected (see his commentary on Revelation). But, thanks anyway, Johnny, we'll believe God's words.
Why does the KJV say "do his commandments?" Well, number one, it's the correct reading as we shall shortly see from the Critical Apparatus of the Nestle-Aland Greek text. But, also because the context of this verse is the millennium. And, in the millennium, to eat of the tree of life, one must keep God's commandments.
Is there anyone foolish enough to think that to eat of the tree of life, someone must go down to the river somewhere and clean their clothes? Is there anyone who thinks God will be so impressed that someone shows up in a nice clean suit that he'll say, "Man, do you look nice! Go ahead and eat, because I'm impressed with your clothing!" That's ludicrous!
No, in the millennium, salvation is by works (keeping God's commandments). Now, in the church age, it's not of works lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:8,9). Now, a man is saved by grace through faith without the law (Acts 15:11, Gal. 2:15, Rom. 4:5, etc.). And, faith is "the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). But in the millenium, salvation is not of faith, because Jesus Christ will be right there ruling and reigning on the earth for 1000 years (read Revelation chapter 20). And, they shall see him! It's sight brother, not faith in the millenium!
Well, let's look at the manuscript evidence for the correct reading "keep his commandments."
In the Nestle-Aland corrupt Greek Text, we read the following:
Ìáêáñéïé ïé ðëõíïíôåò ôáò óôïëáò áõôùí éíá åóôáé ç åîïõóéá áõôùí åðé ôï îõëïí ôçò æùçò êáé ôïéò ðõëùóéí åéóåëèùóéí åéò ôçí ðïëéí. (Sorry, this does not support the Greek language. Maybe this will get you to go look it up for yoursel! :) ).
In his text, he has the words "ðëõíïíôåò ôáò óôïëáò áõôùí" (wash your robes). But look what Nestle does when you look on the bottom of the page in the Critical Apparatus. He takes the words "ðëõíïíôåò ôáò óôïëáò áõôùí" and tells you that that reading is taken from the corrupt Aleph manuscript (Siniaticus) as well as a few others. Then he says the reading "ðïéïõíôåò ôáò åíôïëáò áõôïõ" is found in the Majority Text as well as a few others and Tertullian, a church father. Now, I must ask you this. Do you know what "ðïéïõíôåò ôáò åíôïëáò áõôïõ" means? It means "keep his commandments" in English!
So which reading is right? The Majority of texts, or one Roman Catholic manuscript called Siniaticus? I'll let you decide.
Here's the Textus Receptus Reading just in case you had any doubts that it should read, "keep his commandments."
The TR says:
ìáêáñéïé ïé ðïéïõíôåò ôáò åíôïëáò áõôïõ éíá åóôáé ç åîïõóéá áõôùí åðé ôï îõëïí ôçò æùçò êáé ôïéò ðõëùóéí åéóåëèùóéí åéò ôçí ðïëéí.
Now, in case your wondering, both the 1909, and the 1865 say "guardan sus mandamientos," which means in English "keep his commandments."
So, once again we see evidence that the 1960 has used corrupt Catholic manuscripts over the Textus Receptus. And, the 1960 reads along with the English Revised Version in this verse.
The 1909 and 1865 had the verse right before the 1960 messed with it. So did the original 1602. By the way, the 1602 Purified reads right in this verse!