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Showing posts with the label Tribulation

Patmos

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John was exiled to Patmos because of his testimony – A fellow participant in the Tribulation and Perseverance in Jesus.  Patmos is a small island in the Aegean Sea approximately ninety kilometers from the city of Ephesus. It is eleven kilometers long by seven wide, making it one of the smaller islands of the Sporades , an archipelago off the west coast of Asia Minor. Roman literature from the period identifies this group of islands as a place where political offenders were exiled - ( Tacitus, Ann. iii . 68; iv. 30; v. 71).

The Time of Tribulation

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An angel pronounces a coming time of indignation upon the people of God such as they have never experienced . Daniel’s final vision concludes with the description of a period of intense “ tribulation ” that would befall the Jewish nation, one more severe than any preceding trial in its history. There are no chapter divisions in the original Hebrew text, and contextually, Chapter 12 is the continuation of the vision of Chapters 10 and 11.

Tribulation vs Wrath

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The terms “ tribulation ” and “ wrath ” are  NOT  synonymous in Paul’s letters or the  Book of Revelation . “ Tribulation ” is what the disciples of Jesus endure for his sake. “ Wrath ” is the horrific fate that awaits the wicked at the final judgment. In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul writes that God did not appoint them to “ wrath .” Yet, in the same letter, he states that believers are destined for “ tribulation .”

Faithful Until Death

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The church of Smyrna is only one of two of the seven Asian churches that received no correction, the other being Philadelphia. What set this congregation apart was the level of persecution that it endured because of its “ testimony ,” and its steadfast refusal to “ eat meat offered to idols ” and otherwise compromise with the Greco-Roman culture. Its members stood firm in their refusal to participate in the imperial idolatry of Rome, and consequently, they suffered “ tribulation ” and persecution due to false accusations against them made by Satan’s agents.

Just Judgment of God

Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians was written in the months following his departure from the city. The first epistle expressed his joy at the good news that the church remained faithful despite local opposition. The second letter addresses three main issues: Persecution, believers who refuse to work, and questions about the “ arrival ” of Jesus and the “ Day of the Lord .”

Tribulation, Kingdom, Endurance

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At the start of his vision, John identified himself as a “ fellow participant ” with the Assemblies of Asia in “ the tribulation and kingdom and endurance in Jesus .” He was banished to the Isle of Patmos for his “ testimony ” for Jesus, and like the seven congregations on the Asian mainland, he had endured “ tribulation ” for the sake of the “ Kingdom ” and his witness for the exalted Sovereign over all things, the “ Ruler of the Kings of the Earth .”

Fellow Participant in the Kingdom

Exiled to the isle of Patmos, John was a “fellow participant” in the tribulation and endurance with the churches of Asia  –  Revelation 1:9 .  At the start of the first vision,  Revelation  introduces John, who was exiled to the isle of Patmos for the “ testimony of Jesus .” Rather than point to his apostolic credentials, he identified himself with the plight of the “ seven churches of Asia .” Although isolated on the small island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, he was a “ fellow-participant ” with  the “ churches ” in the “ tribulation and endurance in Jesus .” - [ Photo by Jan Majer on Unsplash ].

Tribulation of the Church

In Chapter 7 of  Revelation , John sees countless followers of the “ Lamb ” exiting the “ great tribulation ” after persevering through it. This striking image is central to his vision of the “ innumerable multitude ” comprised of men purchased from every nation by the lifeblood of Jesus. Having “ overcome ,” they now stand triumphantly before the “ Lamb ” and the “ throne ” in “ New Jerusalem .”

Philadelphia and Laodicea

Philadelphia ( Revelation 3:7-13 ): The city of Philadelphia lay fifty kilometers southeast of Sardis and between it and Laodicea. It straddled a major road into the interior; trade with other regions was vital to its economic life. Philadelphia was established as a city around in 189 B.C. by Eumen├ęs II, king of Pergamos. He named it in honor of his brother and successor, Attalus II . The city came under Roman rule when the last king, Attalus III, bequeathed Pergamos to Rome in his will (133 B.C.).