Author: Paul Lehr
This is the first of a series on the churches of Revelation. The series looks at the churches in their historical context and breaks down the message of Jesus grammatically and culturally in their first century setting. These are the words Jesus Christ communicated to His church. This is the message He presented to the church before the wrath of God or the Great Day of the Lord. We would do well to to listen to the words of Christ considering the times we are living. Geo-political news of our day in the early 21st century is trending hard towards the dramatic events prophesied in Revelation. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Revelation 1:9 I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
If a person is a believer of Christ and in the body of Jesus, this verse promises three things.
- Tribulation…The Greek word is thlipsis/τηλιπσισ. It literally means: a pressing, pressing together, pressure; metaphorically: oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, or straits. This word is not to be confused with God’s “wrath” which is orge/οργε
in the Greek. The words are different. The church will have difficult, pressure packed times. But we will not fall under God’s judgment or wrath.
- Kingdom…The Greek word is basileia/βασιλεια. It means: royal power, kingship, and dominion. It is the right to rule. Authority has been granted.
- Perseverance…The Greek word is hupomone/ηυπομονε. It means: steadfastness, constancy, endurance; a patient enduring. Definitions per Strong’s Concordance
…was on the island called Patmos…Patmos is an island in the Aegean Sea. The word “Patmos” means: my killing. The Apostle John was sentenced to the island of “my killing”. Where are you going John? My killing.
Patmos is a small island approximately 10 miles by 6 miles. It is a rocky island. Tradition has John receiving the “Revelation” in a cave on the south side of the island.
Scholars generally believe Revelation was written during the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian. He ruled from 81-96 AD. The early church writers Irenaeus, Eusebius, Jerome and others indicated John was sent to Patmos by Domitian in 95 AD. John was released 1 ½ years later.
Historically Patmos was controlled by the Ottoman Empire. Today the island belongs to modern day Greece.
God chose to unveil or apokalupsis/αποκαλυπσισ in the Greek. It means to literally “take the cover off”. The word could be further defined as: laying bear, making naked; a disclosure of truth, instruction; concerning things before unknown; things withdrawn from view are made visible to all; manifestation, appearance.
The future end time’s scenario is completely revealed off of the coast of Turkey. All seven churches in the Book of Revelation are in modern day Turkey. The Apostle Paul planted many churches and spent a lot of time in Turkey…I suspect Turkey has a role.
Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps & Charts; Holman Bible Dictionary.
Why was John placed on Patmos? …because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.