Bible Readings: Revelation 1 and 2

Today, read Revelation chapters 1 and 2

The Book of Revelation, also called the Apocalypse to John, is the last book of the New Testament. I am reading 2 chapters per day, over the next 11 days, as the completion of my project to read the New Testament in one year. I will make some brief comments on each chapter, as I read through the book.

{1:1} The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, in order to make known to his servants the things that must soon occur, and which he signified by sending his Angel to his servant John;

{1:19} Therefore, write the things which you have seen, and which are, and which must occur afterward:

This book of the Bible explicitly states that it reveals future events to the servants of God. Anyone who claims that this book does not reveal the future, but is merely — whatever the explanation may be — something else, is accusing God of lying. For the words of this book, like the words of every book of the Bible, are the inerrant Word of God.

{1:11} saying, “What you see, write in a book, and send it to the seven Churches, which are in Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamus, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

The book is addressed to the seven churches, at the time of that writing, in Asia minor (modern-day Turkey). But my interpretation is that these seven churches represent the seven parts of the Church during the first part of the tribulation. For soon the Church will be restructured to have 7 parts: one for the Latin Rite, one for the Eastern Churches, and 5 for the formerly Protestant Churches. For all Christians will convert and be united in one holy Catholic Church in the early 2020’s.

{2:2} I know your works, and your hardship and patient endurance, and that you cannot stand those who are evil. And so, you have tested those who declare themselves to be Apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars.

So it is today that many Catholics, who present themselves as if they were faithfully teaching the doctrine of the Magisterium, are in fact leading people astray. They are false Apostles and liars. If you have been reading my posts, then you know who some of these false Apostles are. They often have a good reputation, and many persons listen to them. But God knows that their teachings are lies. This is one of the signs of the end times, as it says elsewhere in Sacred Scripture:

[2 Corinthians]
{11:13} For false apostles, such as these deceitful workers, are presenting themselves as if they were Apostles of Christ.

[2 Timothy 4]
{4:3} For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, but instead, according to their own desires, they will gather to themselves teachers, with itching ears,
{4:4} and certainly, they will turn their hearing away from the truth, and they will be turned toward fables.

[2 Peter]
{3:3} Know this first: that in the last days there will arrive deceitful mockers, walking according to their own desires,

{24:11} And many false prophets will arise, and they will lead many astray.

It is one of the sufferings of the end times that the Church is besieged by false teachers, who claim to be faithful Catholics presenting Church doctrine, when in fact they are presenting all manner of grave errors.

{2:6} But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

The Nicolaitans of the first century claimed to be following the teachings of Nicholas, one of the first deacons of the Church. But Nicholas was not a founder, nor was he ever a member of that group. And he never taught the ideas promoted by the Nicolaitans. So the Nicolaitans, first of all, misuse the name of someone holy to promote their own errors and sins. Today, there are groups like this, for example, the Society of Pope Saint Pius X. That holy Pope did not found, and was never a member of that group. And do you really believe that Pope Pius X, or any Pope, would condemn an Ecumenical Council (Vatican II), and would reject all the popes from the time of that Council to the present? Certainly not. So the SSPX is an example of modern-day Nicolaitans.

But the Nicolaitans also had false teachings on the topic of sexual ethics. They promoted, defended as if moral, and practiced grave sexual sins. They claimed that these acts are moral, and were approved by the deacons Nicholas, but that is not true.

Similarly today, many false teachers have risen up to promote and defend grave sexual sins: the use of abortifacient contraception while sexually active, unnatural sexual acts in marriage, and the various distortions of the basic principles of ethics needed to promote and defend these sins. These false teachers sometimes promote these grave sins as if they were justified by Pope Saint John Paul II’s “theology of the body” lecture series. However, that Pope-Saint never taught any such thing. And the distortions needed to justify those grave sins are contrary to the magisterial teachings of Pope Saint John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor and other documents. So this is another example of modern-day Nicolaitans.

There are other modern-day examples of this type of grave error, which the book of Revelation refers to as “the deeds of the Nicolaitans” (i.e. grave sexual sins, false teachings) and “the doctrine of the Nicolaitans” (Rev 2:15). It is very common when discussion occur online about sexual ethics, for many Catholics to promote and approve of various grave sexual sins, including contraception, abortifacient contraception, and unnatural sexual acts in marriage, while claiming that these acts are moral and are approved by the Church. These persons are modern day Nicolaitans, because they spread false doctrines, especially on sexual ethics, using a false claim that these ideas are approved by the Church or by some holy person in the Church.

Please continue to read the Book of Revelation with me, 2 chapters per day, starting today (3/14/2016).

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

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One Response to Bible Readings: Revelation 1 and 2

  1. Bob Lewis says:

    Thank you for all the guidance which you have so selflessly provided over the past several years in which I have followed you and your blogs, etc. I believe that this is the time when the first warnings shall occur as you have predicted. May God bless you and your works in the future. I intend to accompany you in reading of Revelation over the next 10 days.

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