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Revelation 1:9

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  • Revelation 1:9

    Rev 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    I John, who also am your brother - John was personally chosen and taught by Christ and a writer of five books in the New Testament. He was by all accounts a true and faithful witness of Christ, but he is also our brother. We will meet John one day along with all the other saints of God and because of what Jesus has done for us all we will call one another brethren. The children of God are all members of the same family. Speaking of Jews and Gentiles Paul wrote in Eph 2:13-17 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. Matt 12:47-50 Then one said unto him (Jesus), Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. We who receive Christ as LORD and Savior are the family of God. Jesus said in John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. At present the Church of the Living God is fractured and splintered, arguing and fighting, each faction trying to distinguish itself and as a result much like a light hid under a bushel basket. It's the work of the devil and carnal men. Am I suggesting we should go out and make peace with all those who call themselves Christian? No! I'm simply trying to make the point that in most instances we can't even get along with other churches in our own denomination or members of our own church. If we have received Christ as LORD and Savior, we are brethren. We have a common enemy, a common goal and the same future. We are brethren, we're just having trouble acting like it. While we make villains of one another and judge one another whose kingdom do you think is being furthered? It's not the kingdom of Christ!

    and companion – Companion means partaker with. Paul trying to unite believers in the church at Corinth said in 1 Cor 3:5-9 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. Isn't that just like us today? We have our favorite expositors and will usually try to line up behind who we like to listen to. However, we are companions in the same great work and we are individuals as well. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, different abilities, different gifts. Individually we are but one part of a whole. A whole which is the body of Christ. A body which God has commissioned to work together to reach the lost and edify the saints. When we seek to distinguish our self as an individual we weaken the body, when we become jealous of someone's ability and pull away from them we weaken the body, when we vilify other Christians for no good reason we weaken the body. We are suppose to be companions, but seem to always find reasons to separate from those we don't like or feel threatened by. Why seek to restore the brethren when can vilify them instead? As a result of such thinking and actions the work of God suffers. Can you imagine all the good that could be done for Christ if all the truly Christian churches in our city or county banded together in the common purpose God has given us? It seems impossible while each individual church is busy trying to distinguish itself. The underlying reason is PRIDE, a sin which is not identified or confessed. It should be interesting to us that all the great revivals of the past have taken place across denominational lines, yet it seems we have learned nothing from it.

    in tribulation - Tribulation means affliction, anguish, trouble and persecution. At the time John received The Revelation he was in exile. Not only was John our companion in labor, but he was and is our companion in tribulation. He is simply relating to us here what Paul tried to teach in his writings. 2 Tim 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. We are to openly confess Christ and His truth and if we do we shall suffer for it. In fact we are often reminded in the New Testament standing for the truth comes at a cost. Jesus said in John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. Of note in that verse is the first and second “they” are the religious people who rejected Christ, the third and fourth “they” are those who received Him. John 16:1-3 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. The majority of persecution that comes to God's people comes from those who are religious. Paul said to Timothy in 2 Tim 1:7-9 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. As God's people we must be partakers of the afflictions of the gospel and the truth if we are to reign with Christ. Rom 8:16-17 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. It was said of Paul and Barnabas in Acts 14:21-22 And when they had preached the gospel to that city (Derbe), and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. They are reminding us it will be through much tribulation that we enter God's kingdom. Paul said in Phil 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. It is given us to suffer for Christ's sake. We should be John's companion in tribulation. If we aren't, then we may not standing for truth as we should.

    and in the kingdom - It's Christ's coming kingdom which John is referring to. Matt 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. Isaiah prophesied of it in Isa 11:6-9 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. In Daniel chapter two King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which Daniel interpreted to identify five major kingdoms on earth. That of the Babylonians, the Medes and Persians, Greece, the Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Christ. Four have come and gone, the only one left is the kingdom of Christ. Many bible expositors believe there will be a revised form of the Roman Empire during the Tribulation Period that will be crushed and replaced by the Kingdom of Christ at it's end. The Kingdom of Christ is coming to earth, but it should already exist in the hearts of God's people. Jesus said in Luke 17:20-21 ...The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. There is a distinction made by some between the kingdom of heaven (or Christ) and the kingdom of God. For many purposes there may need to be a distinction, but for our purpose here there doesn't need to be one. Jesus taught the principles of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 5-7. They are principles that should be in place and governing the heart and life of God's people. They are principles that will allow a seamless transition between this world and the one to come. They are principles that will make a great difference in this present evil world, but they are principles not often seen in the lives God's people today. John is indeed our companion in the kingdom of Christ, but does that kingdom show itself in us?

    and patience of Jesus Christ - Patience here means enduring, continuing, waiting. We should very much look forward to the coming of Christ and His kingdom, but at present we must wait. To endure, continue and wait successfully we must have the right focus. Focus is a point of concentration, which reminds me of Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Far to many Christians spend time judging, analyzing and worrying about things that only have one sure solution, His name is Jesus. We should be focused on Him, His Word, and His promises. Col 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Looking for answers outside of Christ, His Word and His promises is to look for very temporary solutions. We are John's companion in the patience of Jesus Christ. Are we looking to Christ for answers as we wait for His promises to be fulfilled, or are we looking elsewhere? Television, movies, games and internet are not what we really need. Many want peace that passes understanding and to be filled with God's Spirit, but their focus says they want it on their own terms.

    in the isle that is called Patmos - Patmos is an island ten miles long and six miles wide that lies approximately seventy-five miles off the southwestern coast of what is now Turkey. The island is for the most part rocky and treeless. The estimated population of the island in 1976 was 3,000. However, in the time of the Roman Empire it was mostly uninhabited and one of the many places to which the Romans banished their exiles. They were forced to work at hard labor in the mines and quarries there. John was exiled there by the Roman Emperor Domitian in 95 AD in the 14th year of his reign and probably suffered harsh treatment during his stay. An early Christian tradition said that John was in exile for 18 months. He was allowed to return to Ephesus upon the death of Domitian in 96 AD. It was on this rocky island called Patmos that John received the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

    for the word of God - One of the reasons John was exiled was because of his love for God's Word and God's truth. It's the only truth that really matters. Prov 30:5-6 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. John loved God's Word so much that he choose being exiled to work at hard labor rather than to compromise it. Many Christians would probably say God's Word is that important, but most won't even put in place a plan to read the Bible through in one year. So perhaps they don't believe it's that important after all. John was exiled because of his love for the Word of God. What have you suffered because of your love for God's Word?

    for the testimony of Jesus Christ – Testimony means witness, record or report. What is the testimony of Jesus Christ? The eternal Creator of this universe (Jesus Christ) was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary by the Holy Ghost, was born, lived a sinless life, had a miraculous ministry, took upon Himself our sins, was crucified, shed His blood, laid down His life, died, rose bodily from the dead three days later, ascended back into heaven and is coming again. He is the Preserver of all life and the only Savior of mankind. All who reject Him as such will be tormented eternally. John was persecuted and exiled because he believed that. Do you believe that? If so what have you suffered for it?