The Book of Revelation:
Are the Real Jesus' Words Contained Therein?
The book of revelation in the bible is one of the most 'controversial' books in the bible, meaning that among people who take the bible seriously, that book causes more disagreement than any other. Stated another way, perhaps there is more doctrinal and belief disagreement and division regarding the contents of the book of revelation than any other book of the new testament.
The books known as 'the four gospels' contain the actual words and teachings of the person of Jesus of Nazareth. There is very little serious question as to the authenticity of these books in terms of both their manuscript support and reasonable (first person witness accounts) content. Thus, for anyone to try and draw conclusions as to who Jesus was and his thoughts about various matters, one has no surer source than his own words as preserved in the four gospels. Thus, we will compare the teachings of Jesus found in the four gospels with the supposed words of Jesus in the book of revelation to see if we see inconsistencies or contradictions.
The premise of this article is that the Real Jesus' Words are not contained in the book of revelation based upon his teachings in the four gospels. Let us now take a look at the reasons that this author offers to support that belief.
1. Jesus indicated that he communicated all that he wanted to communicate to those who would listen to him (including yet future events) during his first visit, which visit ended with his ascension to the Father.
From Paul and the author of the book of revelation, to thousands of other people, it has been a relatively common thing for people to say that Jesus appeared to them and communicated something important. Contrary to those claims, Jesus says the following:
In the context of future events and people claiming to represent him or to be him:
"And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Messiah'; or, 'Behold, He is there'; do not believe him; for false Messiahs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. "But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance." (Mark 13:21-23)
The context of this statement is future events, as Jesus was telling them what to expect. And, in the specific context of telling his followers to avoid being deceived by people claiming to represent him, he says, "behold, I have told you everything in advance". Since the overall context is future events, it is reasonable to conclude that the 'told you everything in advance' statement applies to future events, including the great deception which would take place. Messiah gives what seems to this author to be a fairly comprehensive and clear picture of the future in Matt. 24-25.
Therefore, if Messiah told his disciples 'everything in advance' in respect to future events he deemed important to tell them about, then he would not add anything to 'everything' at some future time.
2. Jesus said the Spirit would come, not that he himself would appear to his followers.
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." (John 14:26)
"When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me." (John 15:26)
"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you." (John 16:7)
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose (or reveal) it to you." (John 16:13-14)
Jesus explicitly says here that he and the Father would send the Holy Spirit to his followers for the specific purpose of 'teaching' them (enabling them to receive Jesus' truth since Jesus is the Teacher - Matt. 23:8) "all things" that Jesus taught them while he was with them. Thus, it is NOT Jesus appearing to people to tell them things, but rather the Spirit "coming" to the individual disciple as the enabling teacher, both enabling Jesus' followers to remember (those disciples who heard his words while he was on the earth) and receive Jesus' Words and teachings (all disciples). Jesus spoke to his disciples much about future events (see Matt. 24-25) and the Spirit would enable the disciples to understand his prophesies regarding the future ('what is to come'), which they could not understand without the teacher-Spirit.
As you read the accounts of Jesus telling his disciples of future things, it was very common for them to not understand what he was telling them, oftentimes due to their preconceived notions of what Messiah was supposed to be and do. It required the Holy Spirit's teaching role to enable the disciples to receive the things that Jesus told them about his mission and the future. What Jesus did NOT say is that HE would come to them to personally teach them, whether in body or in some kind of vision-communication.
3. Jesus warned his disciples many times to not be deceived or misled by people (or stories) who claimed to represent him or claimed to convey some important truth about the kingdom of God.
"For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Messiah,' and will mislead many." & "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many." (Matthew 24:5, 11)
The only sure way to not be deceived is to listen to Jesus ONLY as he spoke during his first visit to earth, again, which visit ended when he ascended to his Father. What is contained in the book of revelation is an alleged vision in which Jesus appeared to the author to give more information regarding future events. As noted earlier, Jesus already gave his disciples a list of events that would happen in the future. Why would anyone listen to a jesus in a vision versus the Man who walked the earth and who spoke so that those who heard him could write down what he said??? This is especially foolish if there are contradictions between Jesus' teachings in the four gospels and his supposed teachings in the book of revelation. And as we will see, there are in fact contradictions between the Jesus of the gospels and the Jesus of revelation.
4. The book of revelation starts out, and finishes with false statements, which false statements undermines the trust-worthiness of the entire book.
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John." (Revelation 1:1) & And he said to me, "These words are faithful and true"; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place." (Revelation 22:6)
Please note the phrase, "the things which must soon take place". The Greek transliterated word behind the English word "soon" is 'en tachos', which means, 'soon, shortly, a brief space of time, quickly, shortly, speedily' (Please feel free to verify this information). Here is the same word used in other places in the new testament:
"I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly (en tachos). However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)
"And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter's side and woke him up, saying, "Get up quickly (en tachos)." And his chains fell off his hands." (Acts 12:7)
"...and I saw Him saying to me, 'Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly (en tachos), because they will not accept your testimony about Me.'" (Acts 22:18)
"Festus then answered that Paul was being kept in custody at Caesarea and that he himself was about to leave shortly (en tachos)." (Acts 25:4)
Most of the 'bible experts' agree that the book of revelation was written about 2,000 years ago. Most 'bible teachers' also agree that most of the events described in the book of revelation have not yet happened. Therefore, the two statements above - one at the very beginning of the book and the second towards the end - are false. Since most biblians are unwilling to admit that the bible has any errors, they resort to bad arguments like, 'well, Peter says that a thousand years is like a day to the Lord, therefore 'soon' obviously did not mean "soon"'. That is very strange reasoning, which would lead the reasonable person seeking some level of consistent, understandable language in the bible to conclude that any statement regarding a period of time in the new testament is either impossible to know or meaningless, since 'soon' can mean over 2,000 years. Therefore, in the quotes above, for example, when Festus said that he himself was about to leave 'shortly', it could mean that Festus would wait 40 years to leave Ceasarea. This author agrees that context is important in understanding a passage, but there is no context that this author is aware of, which could turn 'soon' into 2,000 years.
Therefore, since the book of revelation opens and closes with false promises supposedly coming from Jesus, I can only conclude that the 'jesus' who supposedly made those promises to the author of the book, is ignorant or a liar. Thus, it is not the true Jesus who is revealed by his own words in the gospels. Thus, I would be very foolish to listen to that jesus and his words written down in the book of revelation. (And, in fact, I am not listening to the Man who walked on water and raised people from the dead, but rather some man's vision of what he claimed to be that Man. Stated another way, the words of the Son of Man written in the four gospels were actually heard in a normal way by people who witnessed real events. In contrast, the words in the book of revelation attributed to the Son of Man, came through some 'vision'. This is quite a significant difference as to the source of the supposed 'truth'.)
5. There are plain, undeniable contradictions between the words of the jesus of the book of revelation, and the Jesus of the four gospels.
Here are a few contradictions between what Jesus taught in the gospels, versus what the revelation jesus said.
"But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads my bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols." (Revelation 2:20)
"After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, "Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man". When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. And He said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" (Thus He declared all foods clean.) And He was saying, "That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man." (Mark 7:14-20)
So, the revelation jesus is mad because a woman leads his bond-servants (disciples) to eat unclean food (because it was sacrificed to idols) which defiles them. The real Jesus, some years before, made it perfectly clear that no food a man eats can defile him. Here is another example:
"Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth." (Revelation 2:16)
"And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds." (Revelation 2:23)
"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:43-44)
"But he (Jesus) turned and rebuked them, and said, 'You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.' And they went on to another village." (Luke 9:55-56)
In the four gospels, Messiah does rebuke people, but he never condemns them nor uses language of violence toward people, NEVER. The phrases, "Make war" and, "I will kill her children" goes against everything the Real Messiah taught and lived. Yes, the Real Messiah did rebuke people, but always with the purpose of turning them to his Father, and he always left the door open for their repentance, for he was "full of grace" (John 1:14). The purpose of 'war' is to destroy the enemy. Jesus says he does not come to destroy men's lives, nor to kill anyone, either, literally or figuratively, but rather he came with compassion to "save them". A stark contrast between the Real Jesus who reveals himself in the four gospels versus the vengeful, aggressive, blood thristy jesus of the book of revelation.
6. The book of revelation leads to division for no good reason.
It is one thing to divide over important matters, like HOW WE OUGHT TO BE LIVING OUR LIVES IN ORDER TO PLEASE THE HEAVENLY FATHER. It is quite another to divide over speculation as to what the imagery in revelation might mean. Sadly, the book of revelation is 'good' for several thousand sect divisions of the current tens of thousands of bible sects now covering the earth. While this does not prove that the jesus in revelation is not the same Person whose words are contained in the four gospels, it does give evidence of bad fruit, and the Light did say that a tree will be known by its fruit. Which leads to the next, and related, point.
7. The book of revelation is a big money maker for both christian leaders and 'prophets' so called. Thus, the fruit is bad.
Many christian leaders earn quite a bit of income from selling their writings regarding the book of revelation, and just as many, and perhaps more, earn quite a bit by going around the world speaking about the book. In fact, the foundation of the 'prophesy' seminars held all over the world in fancy hotels, is the book of revelation. Thus, the tree's fruit is rotten to the core.
Along the 'bad fruit' line of reasoning, a final point that must be made is this. The book of revelation does not lead to changed lives based on Jesus's Words - it does not lead the lost to the Light - it does not lead the disciples to know the Father or the Son better. All it does is lead to confusion, division and serve as a distraction to keep people from more important matters, like DOING what the Son says in the four gospels. The book serves as one of the primary center-pieces in the christian-biblian entertainment industry, or perhaps more accurately, it serves as a primary focus for the study-the-bible industry and its hobbyists.
Please consider not reading revelation (or any other books in the bible for that matter) for a year or more, and instead read only the four gospels for that year. If you do this, you will have the best opportunity possible to learn to have eyes to see and ears to hear.
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