- Would your Jesus kill little children because their parents sinned?
- Would your Jesus change salvation by faith back to salvation by works?
- Would your Jesus direct his disciples to rule with an “iron rod” instead of with love and forgiveness?
- Would your Jesusvomit you (and me) out of the Kingdom of God for being only a little warm and not red hot in our faith walk? And then not tells how he measures faith temperatures?
- Would your Jesus sendyou to hell for not believing every word of the Book of Revelation, and not tell you which is the unchangeable version of the hundreds of changed translations? And revoke his promise to never leave us and to be with us forever?
- Would your Jesus tell youhe is coming soon and then not come?
- Would Jesus change his appearance into that of a demonso it is so frightening to look at him that you will faint?
- Would Jesus give us the unbelievable images of chapter 9, and then tell us we have to accept them as the literal truth or be deprived of eternal life? Are we expected to believe chapter 28, verses 18 & 19 change all of Jesus’ promises of the New Testament?
Revelation-101.org investigates the Book of Revelation and compares it to the Gospels and Epistles. It is to aid Christians in putting aside unnecessary end time speculations about rapture, the Anti-Christ, and Armageddon. This should help all to concentrate on taking up the cross daily and strive to be disciples of Jesus.
This webpage analyses “Revelation” in two parts. First it gives some history of this controversial apocalypse and next it details its constant doctrinal conflicts with our Gospel, especially how “Revelation” is in total conflict with the Gospel of John.
Careful reading of “Revelation” shows it disputes all twenty-six books preceding it. That being the case, “Revelation” teaches opinions contrary to those of Jesus and his Apostles. Isn’t that heresy and blasphemy?
Heresy is defined as: “An opinion or doctrine that is at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, esp. of a church or religious system,” and, “the maintaining of such an opinion or doctrine.”
Strangely, “Revelation’s” description of Jesus and its record of Jesus’ words are greatly different than what is found in the prior twenty-six books of the New Testament. Those contradictions cause the Book of Revelation to be accused of being heretical. Is the Book of Revelation heretical? What are these contradictions that cause it to be charged as being a book of heresy?
We should remember that “Revelation” was always doubted in Eastern Christianity and not generally accepted into the New Testament until AD 508. Some ancient Christian branches still do not include it in their Bibles. So, we know discussion and criticism of “Revelation” is not new and is not a disrespectful activity.
It is generally believed John of Patmos recorded his hallucination around AD 90-95. The Apostles John and Paul believed the authentic scriptures were completed during their life times. John (8:31,32; 17:20) and Paul (Eph. 3:20) wrote those opinions at least thirty years before John of Patmos wrote. Based on this alone, “Revelation” is post Apostolic literature. Obviously it was not written by the Apostle John because of its death curse at chapter 22:18,19. John wrote of God’s never ending love and did not put such an abomination in his Gospel or his letters.
Eusebius in his detailed history of the Christian Church (c. AD 324; see his comments on “Revelation” at Eusebius 3.25) listed uncertain books of the New Testament and included “Revelation” as one of those. So “Revelation” was doubted in the church very early.
In the reformation times, Martin Luther included “Revelation” in his list of doubtful scriptures along James, Jude, 2nd Peter, 2nd, and 3rd John. Jerome translated the New Testament into a Latin Bible (Vulgate) c. AD 388, and included the Book of Revelation in it. Its acceptance by the Roman Church does nothing to change the uncertainty about it expressed in the early Eastern church and the later Protestant reformation. Eusebius’ (a Roman Catholic) history is sixty-five years earlier than Jerome’s Vulgate, and it is also accepted by the Roman Catholic Church.
In modern times, computer analysis of “Revelation’s” style and content prove it has a different author than John’s Gospel. Without knowledge of this history or our using computer analysis, simple observation shows “Revelation” differs from the Gospel accounts.
Let us ask, can we show anything in John of Patmos’ (John Patmos) apocalypse that is contrary to Jesus Christ’s Gospel?
The answer is that almost everything in John Patmos’ hallucination opposes our Gospel Jesus Christ’s personality, words, ways, and teachings.
All one must do is give a little attention to the words that John of Patmos wrote in the Book of Revelation!
The Greek literary styles of John Patmos and John Apostle were examined in very early Christianity to prove these are two different writers. Eighteen hundred years ago, Dionysius (Bishop of the Patriarchy of Alexandria) stated that “Revelation” was not written by the same person who wrote John’s Gospel and Letters, (Eusebius’ History of the Church, 7.25).
His opinion came from his comparing their two styles and found John Patmos’ Greek to be entirely different from John Apostle and any other New Testament writer. John Patmos’ Greek is unrefined and contains many grammatical mistakes.
We do not need to be Greek scholars to look at the text of the Gospel and letters of Apostle John to see that John Patmos contradicts John Apostle, and his Gospel, at every turn.
Here are the contradictions:
John Patmos’ “Revelation” is a hallucination he received while in a trance. It is a detailed prediction of the future. We can begin by wondering why. . . . .
Why does this book violate Jesus’ direct instructions to live a day at a time and not be concerned about the future (Mt. 6:25-34 esp. 34)?
We can also wonder about John Patmos’ extensive memory of things “seen” in his hallucination while he was unconscious – in a trance – “ in the Spirit,” lying “as if dead.”
He has “remembered” all the eyes, horns, wings, lamp stands, animals, smells, spirits, and sights in great detail, and he has given a verbatim report of all conversations. There is no explanation of his unusual photographic recall.
Yet John Patmos tells us we must accept his memory, exactly as written or be eternally punished (22:18,19) – be cast out of the book of life! That means: You will be sent to hell for that “sin”!
[Do YOU actually believe that? If so, explain why.]
At the beginning, John Patmos tells there are seven spirits before Jesus’ throne. Jesus only told us of one – the Holy Spirit. Then Jesus says he is “the Alpha and Omega.” This statement is new to the Bible, something Jesus never said before, and also is not needed by John the Apostle. John the Apostle, in his Gospel, already taught us, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was made man. (John 1:1-14) Certainly John the Apostle doesn’t need any additional explanation about Jesus’ nature. If he does, then John’s Gospel would be incomplete as written.
One also can wonder if John the Apostle would faint (1:17-19) upon seeing Jesus. He had been with Jesus throughout his ministry and after the Resurrection. Jesus showed John his wounds and cooked him breakfast after coming back to life. Why would John the Apostle be frightened by seeing Jesus again? Why tell John what he has done (1:18) when John the Apostle has already written this in his Gospel?
Does the strange description of Jesus (Rev. 1: 12-16) match up with the Jesus of the Gospels? Does that match YOUR opinion of your humble and humane Jesus?
To those seven churches, not to the whole body of Christ – the whole Church – “Revelation’s” Jesus says he is coming “soon” (1:1-3), the time is “near.” John Patmos expected Jesus to return in the flesh – fully human once again. This promise is repeated in this book and finally stated at 22:20.
[Soon: “Within a short period after this or that time, event, etc.; before long, in the near future; at an early date; promptly or quickly; readily or willingly; in a short period of time; before the time specified is much advanced; immediately; at once; forthwith; sooner instead of later.”]
[Near: “Close to a point not far away; close at hand; within a short distance; close in relation; close by; short or direct; almost; nearly; not distant; lesser in distance; close in time; near at hand.”]
John Patmos predictions are addressed only to the seven churches in Asia, and not to the whole church, the Church Universal – the whole body of Christ. So, why are these verses universalized and assumed to apply to the whole church and why do individual Christians assume they apply to themselves? Have you done that? If so, why?
The predicted event of Jesus’ bodily return did not happen to those seven churches soon, or in the near time, or at all. This is a false prophecy.
At best this is a false prophecy. At worst, it is appears to be an out and out lie. Gospel Jesus Christ does not lie because he is the Truth. Neither is he mistaken. How can we excuse this conflict?
Jesus’ second coming in the flesh happened after the resurrection. Does that need to be done again? His subsequent comings are said to be in the Spirit, in the “clouds” as Spirit rather than flesh. This is because his Kingdom – the Kingdom of Heaven – is not of this world.
He must reappear in the Spirit to be omnipresent – in all places at all times. To reappear in the flesh would limit him to one place at a time and require a “pope mobile.” All true Christians know Jesus is with them everywhere they go, and at all times. He promised, ” I will never leave you not forsake you.
(Christians who wish to see Jesus can see him at any time in the spirit. It is only in this manner Jesus can be omnipresent and put himself in the presence of every person at any time. Jesus has returned and is with YOU always.)
Group judgment, good and bad, on seven churches listed (1:11) – is on the whole fellowship. Members are judged collectively, by association, and not as individuals. Here is “guilt by association” and not as individual children of God. (Contrary to Mt.18: 1-14, esp. 10.)
Group judgment starts with Ephesus, at Revelation 2: 1. Patmos’ Jesus says salvation of the whole Ephesus group depends on them loving him more (2:4). Here again “Revelation” contradicts Apostle John’s Gospel that teaches salvation depends only on belief in Jesus (John 11: 25,26).
Smyrna (2:9) must remain faithful to death to deserve salvation. Thus, salvation of members in this group cannot be assured until its death (of all members or one or two?) according to John Patmos’ Jesus.
John the Apostle’s Gospel Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, thus he shall die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11: 25,26). There is no revocation of Jesus Christ’ salvation in the Gospels.
Pergamum (2: 12) is in Satan’s territory. It held fast and did not deny Jesus during persecutions. But Patmos’ Jesus rebukes them for eating food sacrificed to idols (2: 14).
Here Patmos’ Jesus contradicts Paul who said this is permitted (1 Cor. 8). Jesus Christ himself said what we eat can neither contaminate nor improve our hearts (souls) in Matthew (Mt. 15: 17,18; Mk. 7: 18,19) . The discussion on eating food sacrificed to idols came not from Jesus Christ but from the first conference in Jerusalem, (Acts 15: 20, 29; 21: 25). Patmos’ Jesus will punish for this “affront.”
Compare John Patmos with the Gospel Jesus (Luke 9: 51-55). Jesus came to save lives, not to destroy them. God’s love wills that all people saved. John the Apostle knows this and wrote it in his Gospel, (3: 16-20).
Thyatira (2: 18) has love, patience, faith, service and patient endurance. But Patmos’ Jesus says that is not enough. They have a bad woman in their midst who causing immoral acts and the eating of food that has been sacrificed to Idols. Patmos’ Jesus will kill any children born from adultery with her (2: 22,23).
Will the Gospel Jesus kill innocent children because of the sins of their parents? John the Apostle’s Gospel Jesus Christ is a man of love who teaches love, forgiveness, and protection of little children.
Patmos’ Jesus will reward those who avoid this Jezebel and will turn them into hard and mean rulers (2: 24-28) who will rule with “rods of Iron!” Does this sound like the meek, gentle, loving, and forgiving Jesus of the Gospels? Did the Apostles “rule with rods of iron”?
Sardis (3: 1) is judged by Patmos’ Jesus as being dead for lacking works. If their works do not improve, Patmos’ Jesus will come undetected and save only those in Sardis who have good works. Contradicting Gospel Jesus, Patmos’ salvation is by works and not by faith.
Also, Patmos’ Jesus revokes Gospel Jesus Christ’s promise to never leave us, and to be with us until the end of time. (Mt. 28: 20b)
Philadelphia (3: 7) has done everything right according to Patmos’ Jesus. They have endured patiently. If they will just keep on enduring, they will receive their reward. Reward here is based on continuous enduring rather than faith. It is only these who continue to endure that Patmos’ Jesus will save. Those who cannot handle persecutions are condemned and outside the blessings.
John the Apostle’s Jesus is entirely different. The Gospel’s Jesus Christ said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him who he has sent. “ (John 6:29)
Laodice (3: 14) is neither hot nor cold so Patmos’ Jesus will vomit the lukewarm Christians out of his mouth – expel them from the body of Christ (3: 15,16) – in other words, send them to hell.
Jesus Christ in John the Apostle’s Gospel will “draw all men unto him,” even “lukewarm” Christians (John 12: 30-32). Patmos’ Jesus qualifies who he will bless by their works with their endurance being the measure by which they are judged worthy to be saved and remain saved.
John Patmos’ salvation by works is opposite of Jesus Christ’s Gospel of Grace taught in John the Apostle’s fourth Gospel. Why this change?
C contradicting the Gospel of Jesus Christ, John Patmos, in Revelation, always puts works as the basis of your salvation . Patmos’ contradiction of Jesus’ Gospel and final sacrifice for you and me is specifically stated in “Revelation” at 20: 12,13.
The Gospel Jesus saves us by his death and resurrection (Mt. 27: 51-54). Through Jesus Christ, we can be saved by God’s freely given grace, and afterwards se can do the works of God by the Spirit he puts in us. We are not saved because of our works but only because God draws us to him. (John 6:65)
Christians can know they will never die and will be with Jesus forever in eternity when they are born again. John Patmos’ Jesus salvation by works takes away this “blessed assurance.” The result of “Revelation’s” doctrines is that no one can know their status with God until they are raised from the dead and judged (20: 12,13).
John Patmos’ Jesus is that of the Old Testament God, condemning, holding grudges, ruling with an “iron rod,” and viciously punishing. It is obvious “Revelation’s” Jesus is not like, or a reflection of, the loving Abba Heavenly Father of John the Apostle’s Jesus Christ.
Apparently John Patmos is a saved Christian. That is why he can say some good things about Jesus. Equally obvious is he is a person who is different from John the Apostle. Patmos appears to be a converted Jew who still thinks in Old Testament images. This causes the contradictions listed and examined here. (Also see the essay on “Book of Revelation” in the Jewish Encyclopedia.)
Without much study and analysis, we know that the Gospel Jesus does not kill innocent children.
We know the true Jesus Christ saves us by his work on Earth because we are all sinners and cannot save ourselves by our own efforts – by our works. We know our Heavenly Father is a loving father and not a cruel God planning to punish the World he sent Jesus to save. We know it is God’s will for everyone in the world will hear the Gospel in an intelligent fashion so they can choose Jesus. (Mt. 28:19)
Christians know they are not going to live eternally in Hell if they do not accept every word in Patmos’ “Revelation.” (22: 18,19).
Which translation, of the hundreds circulating, would be the only correct, unchangeable one?
Believing John Patmos’ “Revelation” is not a condition of pleasing God, according to Jesus. That extravagant threat has absolutely no New Testament precedence. This threat of revoking your salvation was made after Jesus ascended. It was not part of his earthly example or the Gospel instructions he left for us.
Patmos’ extravagant threat completely contradicts our Gospel’s Jesus Christ who said he came to save, not destroy (Luke 9: 51-56), and promised to remain with us always (Mt. 28: 20).
Considering “Revelation’s” contradictions of the other twenty-six New Testament books, is it correct to say it is blasphemy and is heretical when you measure against those books of traditional Christianity? You can decide this for yourself!
Some questions remain. First, can any careful Christian take “Revelation” seriously after reading it? Next, why did God allow it into the New Testament canon? We can only guess those answers.
It might be Christians feel obligated to accept it because it is in the New Testament. Believing the Bible to be the inspired word of God, many do not dare analyze its contents as has been done in this essay. Few read it critically.
But how can anyone take “Revelation” seriously? It makes no sense and there is NO common agreement about its meaning. After almost two thousand years, no two people have ever agreed on what it means! How can it be useful if it is not understood and only brings disputing and division?
Reading John Patmos’ “Revelation” can be a history lesson that shows us the type of person that was contesting with Paul about the nature of the Gospel. John Patmos appears to be like the people of the “Party of James,” the “Circumcision Party,” who wanted the Jewish traditions continued in the Body of Christ and harassed Paul.
We have read of Jesus’ words, works and ways in twenty-six New Testament books before coming to the Book of Revelation.
“Revelation” is our “final examination!” It is our test to see if we can “hear our Master’s voice.”
“Revelation” is given to us as an example of a false prophet and a false Christ for our own protection!
We ought to know enough about Jesus and Christianity when we reach “Revelation,” to realize it contradicts the rest of the New Testament.
If we cannot easily see that, we fail our final exam and need to repeat the Jesus curriculum starting over from Matthew 1:1.
Here in “Revelation” we actually see and hear a false prophet describing a false Christ.
We have compared John Patmos and his Jesus to the Gospel Jesus. Now we know the difference. Recognition of the false prophets and false Christs will be easier next time we see one. Deception becomes more difficult.
Learning to “hear our Master’s voice” and passing this “final exam” enables us to recognize and avoid false teachers, false prophets and false Christs when we next see and hear them – in print, in person, and on TV and Radio.
False Prophets and false Teachers always add something more (a work, an add-on) that we must do or believe, to the simple, free, and loving grace given by our Abba Father through the true Gospel Jesus.
Looking at Patmos’ beliefs can explain Paul’s peevishness against such beliefs that caused him to finally say to them, “Trouble me no more” (Galatians 6:17).
We understand Paul’s frustration and want to say the same about “Revelation.” The time, money, and energy spent on disputes arising from debates about it is regrettable.
We should say, “Trouble me no more about these useless, invented, and wrong, end time predictions!”
The ancient argument about “works” (James’ Letter) versus “faith” alone (Paul) is explained in Paul’s letters, (Romans 10, esp. 10:4). Standard Christian theology is we are saved by faith and not by works. Works do proceed from faith but are not the requirement for our salvation. Good works can only come after salvation when directed by the Lord.
The hallmark of all religious systems is their invented requirements of various works, including practicing required rituals, liturgies, and believing invented doctrines.
“Revelation” diverts our time and attention from studying Jesus. Debating it saps the energy we need to spend disciplining to Jesus instead of egotistically displaying our doubtful opinions. Those debates divide Christians and bring dissention instead of harmony.
Disputing about “Revelation’s” meaning greatly pleases Satan. This controversy keeps our eyes off Jesus and on busily contesting with each other!