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The Old Man's Letter

Patmos is a small, rocky island off the west coast of what is today Turkey (in the Scriptures usually called Asia Minor). It was on Patmos that the elderly apostle John, about 60 years after Christ's crucifixion, was sent by the imperial Romans into exile. With all of their brutal military power that had arrogantly violated the freedom and independence of nations all across Europe and the Middle East (see Ancient Empires - Rome), they nevertheless feared a courageous old man (just as he had been a courageous young man - John was the only one of the apostles that didn't run when Christ was arrested; he boldly stood with Christ, at the cross, right to the end i.e. John 19:25-27; see Aunt Mary) who was armed with nothing more, or less, than God's Truth. They couldn't face him, they couldn't refute him, and were obviously unable to kill him (John's God-given work wasn't done yet, so he was still protected, unlike all of the other apostles who were martyred many years before) - so they marooned him on a rock off the coast of Turkey, in an attempt to render him incommunicado. Unfortunately for the Romans, they couldn't stop angels from delivering John's letters.

It was on Patmos that Jesus Christ appeared to His old servant, and friend, and cousin (again, see Aunt Mary), with the words of a letter that was to be delivered to seven of the local church groups of the one and only Church of God in Turkey.

Patmos and The Seven Seven Churches

"1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation [see Trials and Tribulations], 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.

1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea." (Revelation 1:9-11 KJV)

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants"

The letter was actually from God, as delivered by Christ. While originally addressed to those seven local church fellowships, the contents (see the Fact Finder question below) were intended for all of the Church of God - including those who would be living at the end time when much of the Prophecy would be fulfilled.

"1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." (Revelation 1:1-3 KJV)

The opening address of the letter:

"1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.

Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood [see Why Blood?], 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." (Revelation 1:4-8 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was revealed in the book of Revelation?
See notes for Revelation 1-2, Revelation 3-5, Revelation 6-8, Revelation 9-11, Revelation 12-14, Revelation 15-17 and Revelation 18-22


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