Monday, July 29, 2013

Revelation 1:9 Beauty in Banishment

Revelation 1:9 Beauty in Banishment

REVELATION- A Verse by Verse Study- My own personal journey

"A journey of studying what’s revealed to me; not a journey to study what isn’t revealed!"

Revelation 1:9 Beauty in Banishment

Revelation 1:9
I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 

John, one of the 12 disciples, the one Jesus loved, the one who sat with his head on Jesus heart beating, was in prison for his faith in Christ and for the Word of God.  Sometimes we don't realize the generals in the kingdom of God go through trials too! John was in prison! He was exiled! Why? Because he believed in Jesus and spoke his Word!  Your faith doesn't guarantee that you won't be in trials but it does guarantee you'll go through them.  When you go through something, you come out the other side.  Sometimes the middle is tough.  John was in a trial. He was imprisoned for his faith. He would die there....and live again on the other side!


John's banishment to Patmos is interesting. Patmos is a Greek Island. At the time, Patmos was a place for banishment of political prisoners as well as those that practiced sorcery, witchcraft and astrology.  John, being prophetic would have been in that category as some saw prophecy as witchcraft... just as they do today!  Prophecy is not witchcraft when it's from God!  John didn't say he was imprisoned for being a Christian but for God's Word!  I find that interesting and although I can't confirm it, I wonder if John was preaching of future events and proclaiming the living prophetic Word of God!


We may think of John as being imprisoned and I guess being exiled is imprisonment but if I was going to be exiled anywhere at all, I guess I'd choose an island....a Greek island!  The story is told, the encounter with Jesus that brought the Revelation was in a cave. I don't know if he was held there or if he was free to roam the island but just remember, in the same way God can give you beauty for ashes and joy for mourning, he can give you beauty in banishment. We must have our eyes open as John did.  One version of the text said he "saw the voice of God!" Whether he saw the voice or what the voice was showing him matters not. He saw something with eyes wide open and in the midst of his banishment, he saw something beautiful!

Revelation 1:10-12 I heard a loud voice behind me, trumpet-clear and piercing: “Write what you see into a book. Send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea.” I turned and saw the voice.

It was here, on The Isle of Patmos, John had his greatest encounter of all, out of which came the Book of Revelation which is a glimpse into the future for the body of Christ and the world at large.  Trials can be difficult but there are lilies in the valley!  Sometimes our greatest encounters come at our lowest moments.


John was "in the Spirit."  He was praying and as he was praying he heard a loud voice like a trumpet.  Note John didn't lose his faith while in prison. He still continued to pray. How many of us get into a funk when our hopes and dreams don't turn out the way we expected?  Sometimes in a funk, we may stop praying. John may have gotten in a funk but prayer brought him through. Today John isn't in a funk. Today John is in heaven, seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus worshiping, living in the reality of the revealed and tangible presence of God, and waiting to hear Jesus say, "Come on!" "It's time to see your Revelation revealed!"

When we are "in the Spirit," things happen! As we call upon the name of the Lord, he shows us things to come as he did with John.  We must stay "in the spirit," to make it through our own "Isle of Patmos!"  We must stay in the Spirit to receive heavenly vision.  Jesus had already spoken about this in John 16 as he was telling the disciples about the role the Holy Spirit would have in their life. John wrote about it as he recalled the words of Jesus telling them of the revelations the Holy Spirit would bring:

JOHN 16: 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. 


Now we've all heard of the experience of Moses on the back side of the desert. He was dilly dallying along, minding his own business, herding sheep when out of nowhere came a voice.  He wasn't seeking God at all. He may have not been in a funk at all since he had fled Egypt long ago. Moses may have been living an entirely new life, married to the daughter of the Priest of Midian and minding his sheep.  Moses had given up on the call of God having murdered a man and gone into hiding.  Then out of nowhere he heard a voice, turned aside to look, and there was a tree burning but not desinigrating. 

John had been sent to the Isle of Patmos to live out the rest of his life.  Imagine the hopes and dreams that were crushed.  Having walked with Jesus in his earthly ministry, having seen Jesus perform miracle after miracle and having heard Jesus speak the Words of life, then to die right before his eyes had to be heart rending.  Then Jesus rose from the dead and restored hope but as they began to spread the good news the opposition was great.


Both the bible and Foxe's Book of Martyrs are great resources for knowing what some of the apostles of our faith went through to lay the foundation for the Kingdom of God!

They were imprisoned, beaten, chained, stoned and killed. Some were boiled and some were burned at the stake.  They were persecuted, harassed, chased down like animals and tortured. Through all of this, their faith did not fail.  The key word is through. All of them went through!  In America, we are fortunate to have religious liberty.  They were not so fortunate.  Some may think those were acts of ancient times but get the publication "Voice of the Martyrs," and you'll know these thing are happening this very day!

Our faith has to go beyond our circumstance!  Our faith has to be forever settled in heaven and on earth. Our faith has to be settled in our hearts, that no matter what we go through, even death, our faith remains strong and our expectation that he will deliver us and do far above all we could ask or think will be realized!  We must in the face of our greatest trial, have our greatest faith! We must remain "in the spirit," and pray!  Just as John and Moses out of nowhere heard a voice, so our encounter with God that carries us to our next assignment will come suddenly!  Although this assignment didn't bring deliverance from Patmos, it brought a message of deliverance for the entire body of Christ!

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