Revelation 1:9 Index
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.
Revelation 1:8 ===== Bibliography ===== Revelation 1:10

"I John, who also am your brother . . . "

  • All who have been born into the heavenly family are in a special sense the brethren of our Lord. The love of Christ binds together the members of His family, and wherever that love is made manifest there the divine relationship is revealed. “Everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God” (1 John 4:7). (DA 638)
  • The children of God, the world over, are one great brotherhood. Our Saviour has clearly defined the spirit and principles which should govern the actions of those who, by their consistent, holy lives, distinguish themselves from the world. Love for one another, and supreme love to their heavenly Father, should be exemplified in their conversation and works. The present condition of many of the children of God is like that of a family of ungrateful and quarrelsome children. (3T 52-53)

" . . . companion in tribulation . . . " (Philippians 4:14)

  • Apparently John was not alone in suffering persecution at this time. (7BC 734)
  • The subject here changes, for John introduces the place and the circumstances under which the Revelation was given. He first sets himself forth as a brother of the universal church, their companion in the tribulation of the Christian. (US 351)
  • In this passage John evidently has referenced to the future kingdom of glory. He introduces the thought of tribulation as part of the necessary preparation for entry into the kingdom of God. This idea is emphasized in such scriptures as "we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him" (2 Timothy 2:12). It is true that while here in the flesh, believers in Christ have access to the throne of grace. This is the throne of the kingdom of grace into which we are inducted at conversion, for He "hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Colossians 1:13). But at the second advent of the Saviour, when the kingdom of glory will be inaugurated, then the saints, members of the kingdom of grace here, redeemed from this present evil world, will have access to the throne of His glory. Then tribulation will be over, and the children of God will bask in the sunlight of the presence of the King of kings throughout eternity. (US 351)
  • John was sent to the Isle of Patmos, where, separated from his companions in the faith, his enemies supposed he would die from hardship and neglect. But John made friends and converts even there. They thought that they had at last placed the faithful witness where he could no longer trouble Israel or the wicked rulers of the world.
    • But all the heavenly universe saw the result of the conflict with the aged disciple and his separation from his companions in the faith. God and Christ and the heavenly host were John's companions on the Isle of Patmos. From them he received instruction which he imparted to those separated with him from the world. There he wrote out the visions and revelations he received from God, telling of the things which would take place in the closing period of this earth's history. When his voice would no longer witness for the truth, when he could no longer testify of the One he loved and served, the messages given to him on that rocky, barren coast were to go forth as a lamp that burneth (Manuscript 150, 1899).
    • Often the very best men, those whom God uses to His name's glory, are unrecognized by human wisdom, but not for one moment are they forgotten by God. When John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos, there were many who thought him to be past service, an old and broken reed ready to fall at any time. But the Lord saw fit to use him in that lonely island home where His servant was imprisoned. The world and the bigoted priests and rulers rejoiced that they were at last rid of his ever fresh testimony. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life (1 John 1:1); (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us) (1 John 1:2); That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).
    • This whole chapter is full of brave courage, of hope and faith and assurance. It was because of this testimony, so amazing to those who wished to forget Christ, who hated the crucified Redeemer, whom they had rejected, that they wished to get that voice beyond their hearing, that his testimony might no more be a witness against their wicked deeds in crucifying the Lord of glory. But they could not put him in any place where his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ could not find him.
    • Christ's servants who are true and faithful may be unrecognized and unhonored by men ..., but the Lord will honor them. They will not be forgotten by God. He will honor them by His presence because they have been found true and faithful. Those who have grown old in the cause and work of God have an experience of great value for the church. God honors His servants who have grown old in His service. The most glorious truths concerning the last chapters of this earth's history were given to the aged disciple whom Jesus loved (Manuscript 109, 1897). (7BC 954-955)
  • On the rugged, desolate island John was left alone with God and his faith. Here, among the rocks and cliffs, he held communion with his Maker. He reviewed his past life, and at the thought of the blessings he had received at the hand of God, peace filled his heart. He had lived the life of a Christian, and he could say in faith, “It is well with my soul.” Not so the emperor who had banished him. He could look back only on fields of warfare and carnage, on desolated homes and weeping widows and orphans—the result of his ambitious desire for pre-eminence (Manuscript 99, 1902). (7BC 955)
  • John was cast into a caldron of boiling oil; but the Lord preserved the life of His faithful servant, even as He preserved the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace. As the words were spoken, Thus perish all who believe in that deceiver, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, John declared, My Master patiently submitted to all that Satan and his angels could devise to humiliate and torture Him. He gave His life to save the world. I am honored in being permitted to suffer for His sake. I am a weak, sinful man. Christ was holy, harmless, undefiled. He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.
    • These words had their influence, and John was removed from the caldron by the very men who had cast him in.
    • Again the hand of persecution fell heavily upon the apostle. By the emperor's decree John was banished to the Isle of Patmos, condemned “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:9). Here, his enemies thought, his influence would no longer be felt, and he must finally die of hardship and distress.
    • Patmos, a barren, rocky island in the Aegean Sea, had been chosen by the Roman government as a place of banishment for criminals; but to the servant of God this gloomy abode became the gate of heaven. Here, shut away from the busy scenes of life, and from the active labors of former years, he had the companionship of God and Christ and the heavenly angels, and from them he received instruction for the church for all future time. The events that would take place in the closing scenes of this earth's history were outlined before him; and there he wrote out the visions he received from God. When his voice could no longer testify to the One whom he loved and served, the messages given him on that barren coast were to go forth as a lamp that burneth, declaring the sure purpose of the Lord concerning every nation on the earth. (AA 570-571)
  • In all ages God's appointed witnesses have exposed themselves to reproach and persecution for the truth's sake. Joseph was maligned and persecuted because he preserved his virtue and integrity. David, the chosen messenger of God, was hunted like a beast of prey by his enemies. Daniel was cast into a den of lions because he was true to his allegiance to heaven. Job was deprived of his worldly possessions, and so afflicted in body that he was abhorred by his relatives and friends; yet he maintained his integrity. Jeremiah could not be deterred from speaking the words that God had given him to speak; and his testimony so enraged the king and princes that he was cast into a loathsome pit. Stephen was stoned because he preached Christ and Him crucified. Paul was imprisoned, beaten with rods, stoned, and finally put to death because he was a faithful messenger for God to the Gentiles. And John was banished to the Isle of Patmos “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 1:9). (AA 575)
  • Our workers should now be encouraged to give their first attention to books that deal with the evidences of our faith—books that teach the doctrines of the Bible and that will prepare a people to stand in the trying times before us. Having brought a people to the enlightenment of the truth by prayerful labor in Bible instruction, and through a wise use of our publications, we are to teach them to become laborers in word and doctrine. We are to encourage them to scatter the books that deal with Bible subjects—books the teachings of which will prepare a people to stand, having their loins girded with truth and their lamps burning.
    • We have been asleep, as it were, regarding the work that may be accomplished by the circulation of well-prepared literature. Let us now, by the wise use of periodicals and books, preach the word with determined energy, that the world may understand the message that Christ gave to John on the Isle of Patmos. Let every human intelligence who professes the name of Christ testify: “The end of all things is at hand (1 Peter 4:7); prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12). (9T 61-62)
  • It was at this critical time in the history of the church that John was sentenced to banishment. Never had his voice been needed by the church as now. Nearly all his former associates in the ministry had suffered martyrdom. The remnant of believers was facing fierce opposition. To all outward appearance the day was not far distant when the enemies of the church of Christ would triumph.
    • But the Lord's hand was moving unseen in the darkness. In the providence of God, John was placed where Christ could give him a wonderful revelation of Himself and of divine truth for the enlightenment of the churches.
    • In exiling John, the enemies of truth had hoped to silence forever the voice of God's faithful witness; but on Patmos the disciple received a message, the influence of which was to continue to strengthen the church till the end of time. Though not released from the responsibility of their wrong act, those who banished John became instruments in the hands of God to carry out Heaven's purpose; and the very effort to extinguish the light placed the truth in bold relief. (AA 581)
  • It was through one who declared himself to be a “brother, and companion in tribulation” (Revelation 1:9), that Christ revealed to His church the things that they must suffer for His sake. Looking down through long centuries of darkness and superstition, the aged exile saw multitudes suffering martyrdom because of their love for the truth. But he saw also that He who sustained His early witnesses would not forsake His faithful followers during the centuries of persecution that they must pass through before the close of time. “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer” (Revelation 2:10), the Lord declared; “behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation: ... be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). (AA 588)
  • One after another the foremost of the builders fell by the hand of the enemy. Stephen was stoned; James was slain by the sword; Paul was beheaded; Peter was crucified; John was exiled. Yet the church grew. New workers took the place of those who fell, and stone after stone was added to the building. Thus slowly ascended the temple of the church of God.
    • Centuries of fierce persecution followed the establishment of the Christian church, but there were never wanting men who counted the work of building God's temple dearer than life itself. Of such it is written: “Others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment (Hebrews 11:36): they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented (Hebrews 11:37); (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth" (Hebrews 11:38). (AA 597-598)
  • We have been asleep, as it were, regarding the work that may be accomplished by the circulation of well-prepared literature. Let us now, by the wise use of periodicals and books, preach the word with determined energy, that the world may understand the message that Christ gave to John on the Isle of Patmos. Let every human intelligence who professes the name of Christ testify, The end of all things is at hand; prepare to meet thy God. (The Review and Herald article "Our Publications," July 30, 1908)
  • He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21). Jesus read the future of His disciples. He saw one brought to the scaffold, one to the cross, one to exile among the lonely rocks of the sea, others to persecution and death. He encouraged them with the promise that in every trial He would be with them. That promise has lost none of its force. The Lord knows all about His faithful servants who for His sake are lying in prison or who are banished to lonely islands. He comforts them with His own presence. When for the truth's sake the believer stands at the bar of unrighteous tribunals, Christ stands by his side. All the reproaches that fall upon him, fall upon Christ. Christ is condemned over again in the person of His disciple. When one is incarcerated in prison walls, Christ ravishes the heart with His love. When one suffers death for His sake, Christ says, “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, ... and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18). The life that is sacrificed for Me is preserved unto eternal glory.
    • At all times and in all places, in all sorrows and in all afflictions, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone, the Comforter will be sent in answer to the prayer of faith. Circumstances may separate us from every earthly friend; but no circumstance, no distance, can separate us from the heavenly Comforter. Wherever we are, wherever we may go, He is always at our right hand to support, sustain, uphold, and cheer. (DA 669-670)
  • Of the twelve disciples, four were to act a leading part, each in a distinct line. In preparation for this, Christ taught them, foreseeing all. James, destined to swift-coming death by the sword; John, longest of the brethren to follow his Master in labor and persecution; Peter, the pioneer in breaking through the barriers of ages, and teaching the heathen world; and Judas, in service capable of pre-eminence above his brethren, yet brooding in his soul purposes of whose ripening he little dreamed—these were the objects of Christ's greatest solicitude and the recipients of His most frequent and careful instruction. (Ed 86)
  • To the apostle John, on the Isle of Patmos, were revealed the things that God desired him to give to the people. Study these revelations. Here are themes worthy of our contemplation, large and comprehensive lessons, which all the angelic hosts are now seeking to communicate. Behold the life and character of Christ, and study His mediatorial work. Here are infinite wisdom, infinite love, infinite justice, infinite mercy. Here are depths and heights, lengths and breadths, for our consideration. Numberless pens have been employed in presenting to the world the life, the character, and the mediatorial work of Christ; yet every mind through whom the Holy Spirit has worked has presented these themes in a light that is fresh and new, according to the mind and spirit of the human agent. (Ev 120-121)
  • I was carried back to the days of the disciples and was shown that God had a special work for the beloved John to accomplish. Satan was determined to hinder this work, and he led on his servants to destroy John. But God sent His angel and wonderfully preserved him. All who witnessed the great power of God manifested in the deliverance of John were astonished, and many were convinced that God was with him, and that the testimony which he bore concerning Jesus was correct. Those who sought to destroy him were afraid to attempt again to take his life, and he was permitted to suffer on for Jesus. He was falsely accused by his enemies and was shortly banished to a lonely island, where the Lord sent His angel to reveal to him events which were to take place upon the earth and the state of the church down to the end—her backslidings and the position which she should occupy if she would please God and finally overcome.
    • The angel from heaven came to John in majesty, his countenance beaming with the excellent glory of God. He revealed to John scenes of deep and thrilling interest in the history of the church of God and brought before him the perilous conflicts which Christ's followers were to endure. John saw them passing through fiery trials, made white and tried, and, finally, victorious overcomers, gloriously saved in the kingdom of God. The countenance of the angel grew radiant with joy and was exceeding glorious, as he showed John the final triumph of the church of God. As the apostle beheld the final deliverance of the church, he was carried away with the glory of the scene and with deep reverence and awe fell at the feet of the angel to worship him. The heavenly messenger instantly raised him up and gently reproved him, saying, “See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). The angel then showed John the heavenly city with all its splendor and dazzling glory, and he, enraptured and overwhelmed, and forgetful of the former reproof of the angel, again fell to worship at his feet. Again the gentle reproof was given, “See thou do it not for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God” (Revelation 22:9). (EW 230-231)
  • There is danger that the inexperienced worker, while seeking to qualify himself for the work, will feel competent to place himself in any kind of a position, where various winds of doctrines are blowing about him. This he cannot do without peril to his own soul. If trials and temptations come upon him, the Lord will give strength to overcome them; but when one places himself in the way of temptation, it often happens that Satan through his agents advances his sentiments in such a manner as to confuse and unsettle the mind. By communion with God and close searching of the Scriptures, the worker should become thoroughly established himself before he enters regularly upon the work of teaching others. John, the beloved disciple, was exiled to lonely Patmos, that he might be separated from all strife, and even from the work he loved, and that the Lord might commune with him and open before him the closing scenes in this earth's history. It was in the wilderness that John the Baptist learned the message that he was to bear, to prepare the way for the coming One. (FE 109)
  • God's servants receive no honor or recognition from the world. Stephen was stoned because he preached Christ and Him crucified. Paul was imprisoned, beaten, stoned, and finally put to death, because he was a faithful messenger of God to the Gentiles. The apostle John was banished to the Isle of Patmos, “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:9). These examples of human steadfastness in the might of divine power, are a witness to the world of the faithfulness of God's promises, of His abiding presence and sustaining grace. (GW 18)
  • When the persecutors of John, the beloved disciple, sought to still his voice and destroy his influence among the people, they exiled him to the Isle of Patmos. But they could not separate him from the Divine Teacher. On lonely Patmos, John could study the things that God had created. In the rugged rocks, in the waters that surrounded the island, he could see the greatness and majesty of God. And while he was communing with God, and studying the book of nature, he heard a voice speaking to him, the voice of the Son of God. Jesus was John's teacher upon the Isle of Patmos, and He there unfolded to His servant wonderful things that were to take place in time to come.
    • God would have us appreciate His blessings in His created works. How many children there are in the crowded cities that have not even a spot of green grass to set their feet upon. If they could be educated in the country, amid the beauty, peace, and purity of nature, it would seem to them the spot nearest heaven. In retired places, where we are farthest from the corrupting maxims, customs, and excitements of the world, and nearest to the heart of nature, Christ makes His presence real to us, and speaks to our souls of His peace and love. (FE 423-424)
  • He who is seeking to qualify himself for the sacred work of God should be careful not to place himself on the enemy's ground, but should choose the society of those who will help him to obtain divine knowledge. God suffered John, the beloved disciple, to be exiled to Patmos, where he was separated from the world's bustle and strife, shut away from every outside influence, and even from the work that he loved. Then the Lord could commune with him, opening before him the closing scenes of this world's history. John the Baptist made his home in the wilderness, there to receive from God the message that he was to bear,—a message that was to prepare the way for the Coming One.
    • So far as consistent, we should shun every influence that would tend to divert the mind from the work of God. And those especially who are young in faith and experience should beware that they do not in self-confidence place themselves in the way of temptation.
    • Those who take hold of the work aright, will feel the necessity of having Jesus with them at every step, and they will feel that the cultivation of the mind and the manners is a duty due to themselves and required by God,—a duty which is essential to the success of the work. (GW 77)

" . . . in the kingdom . . . "

  • That is, the kingdom of divine grace (Matthew 4:17). "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14.22). (7BC 734)
  • The announcement which had been made by the disciples in the name of the Lord was in every particular correct, and the events to which it pointed were even then taking place. “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15), had been their message. At the expiration of “the time” (Mark 1:15) —the sixty-nine weeks of (Daniel 9), which were to extend to the Messiah, “the Anointed One” - Christ had received the anointing of the Spirit after His baptism by John in Jordan. And the “kingdom of God” (Mark 1:15) which they had declared to be at hand was established by the death of Christ. This kingdom was not, as they had been taught to believe, an earthly empire. Nor was it that future, immortal kingdom which shall be set up when “the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High” (Daniel 7:27): that everlasting kingdom, in which “all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:27). As used in the Bible, the expression “kingdom of God” is employed to designate both the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory. The kingdom of grace is brought to view by Paul in the Epistle to the Hebrews. After pointing to Christ, the compassionate intercessor who is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15), the apostle says: ***** “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace.” Hebrews 4:16. The throne of grace represents the kingdom of grace; for the existence of a throne implies the existence of a kingdom. In many of His parables Christ uses the expression “the kingdom of heaven” to designate the work of divine grace upon the hearts of men. (GC 346-347) *****

" . . . and patience . . . " (Revelation 3:10)

  • Or, "remaining under." The word here implies the exercise of self-control to endure a difficult situation when, by a surrender of faith, release might be obtained form the pressure of persecution. In Christ, Christians have the strength to "remain under" "in Jesus." (Romans 2:7; Revelation 14:12). (7BC 734)

" . . . of Jesus Christ . . . "

  • Or, "in Jesus." Patience results from a vital connection with Him. (7BC 734)
  • To the apostle John on the Isle of Patmos were revealed the things which God desired him to give to the people. Study these revelations. Here are themes worthy of our contemplation, large and comprehensive lessons which all the angelic host are now seeking to communicate. Behold the life and character of Christ, and study His mediatorial work. Here is infinite wisdom, infinite love, infinite justice, infinite mercy. Here are depths and heights, lengths and breadths, for our consideration. Numberless pens have been employed in presenting to the world the life, the character, and the mediatorial work of Christ, and yet every mind through which the Holy Spirit has worked has presented these themes in a light that is fresh and new.
    • We desire to lead the people to understand what Christ is to them and what are the responsibilities they are called upon to accept in Him. As His representatives and witnesses, we ourselves need to come to a full understanding of the saving truths gained by an experimental knowledge. (6T 59)

" . . . was in the isle . . . "

  • Or, "came to be." Implying that Patmos was not [John's] permanent home, but that circumstances found [him] there. (7BC 734)

" . . . the isle that is called Patmos . . . "

  • This small, rugged island of the Icarian Sea, part of the Aegean Sea, where the apostle John was banished, and where he wrote the book of Revelation, is mentioned only once in the Bible (Revelation 1:9). It is about ten miles long and six miles wide and lies off the southwestern coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Because of its desolate and barren nature, the land is treeless and, for the most part, rocky. In Roman times, Patmos was one of the many places to which Rome banished her exiles, forcing them to work at hard labor in the quarries of the island.... Because Christians were regarded as criminals by the Roman Emperor Domitian (who ruled from 81-96 A.D.), John suffered harsh treatment during his exile on Patmos. An early Christian tradition says he was in exile for eighteen months.... According to a tradition preserved by Irenaeus, Eusebius, Jerome, and others, John was exiled to Patmos in 95 A.D., (during the 14th year of Domitian's reign) and returned to Ephesus, under Nerva, in 96 A.D..... (KC 15)
  • Imperial Rome has decided to stamp out Christianity and heavy persecution has fallen on the early church. All of John's fellow apostles have been put to death and he has been banished to the Island of Patmos. From a human point of view, this is a critical time for the struggling early church. At a time when John's leadership, influence, and encouragement is desperately needed, he has been taken from them. It appears as if the believers are going to be eliminated and the enemies of the church will be victorious. However, He who can see the end from the beginning was permitting man to place John where He could give him revelations of the future that would bring hope, guidance, and encouragement to the struggling early church.... In exiling John, the Roman leaders hoped to silence his voice, but instead, the messages he received brought assurance and strength to each church member. The prophecies revealed would guide the church to the end of time. Throughout Revelation such phrases as "shortly come to pass" (Revelation 1:1) and "the time is at hand" (Revelation 1:3), are used to emphasize the shortness of time to those living in the days of these prophecies. Revelation is the message given by God the Father to His Son, Jesus Christ, who had an angel show His servant, John, so that those who are living in the last days will understand what is taking place. (KC 21)
  • Although such Aegean islands as Patmos were used as places of banishment during the Roman Empire, little is know of its ancient history. To men of ordinary status, like John, such banishment generally meant hard labor in mines or quarries for life. It is possible, of course, that he was released when Domitian's acts were annulled at his death. There even grew up a tradition that John's exile lasted only two years, but there is no way of actually knowing how long its was, or precisely when the Apocalypse was written. (Froom 86)
  • A small island in the Aegean Sea about 50 miles southwest of Ephesus. It measures some 10 miles north and south by about 6 miles east and west, at its widest point. Patmos is rocky and barren. Its unusually broken coast line contains many inlets. Writing in A.D. 77, Pliny (Natural History iv. 12, 23) reports that the island was used as a penal colony, which fact explains John's statement about being a "companion in Tribulation."
  • Patmos is a small, barren island off the west coast of Asia Minor, between the island of Icaria and the promontory of Miletus, where in John's day was located the nearest Christian church. It is about ten miles long, six miles wide at its greatest breath. Its present name is Patmo. The coast is high, and consists of a succession of capes, which form many ports. The only ones now in use is a deep bay sheltered by high mountains on every side but one, where it is protected by a projecting cape. The town attached to this port is situated upon a high, rocky mountain rising immediately from the sea. About halfway up the mountain on which this town is built there is shown a natural grotto in the rock where tradition says that John had his vision and wrote the Revelation. On account of the stern and desolate character of this island, it was used under the Roman Empire as a place of banishment. This accounts for the exile of John there. The banishment of the apostle took place under the emperor Domitian about the year A.D. 94; and from this supposition the date assigned to the writing of the Revelation is A.D. 95 or A.D. 96. (US 351-352)
  • If I see those in positions of trust neglecting aged ministers, I am to present the matter to those whose duty it is to care for them. Ministers who have faithfully done their work are not to be forgotten or neglected when they have become feeble in health. Our conferences are not to disregard the needs of those who have borne the burdens of the work. It was after John had grown old in the service of the Lord that he was exiled to Patmos. And on that lonely isle he received more communications from heaven than he had received during the rest of his lifetime. (1SM 33-34)
  • Patmos, a barren rocky island in the Aegean Sea, had been chosen by the Roman government as a place of banishment for criminals. But to the servant of God this gloomy abode proved to be the gate of heaven. He was shut away from the busy scenes of life and from active labor as an evangelist, but he was not excluded from the presence of God. In his desolate home he could commune with the King of kings and study more closely the manifestations of divine power in the book of nature and the pages of inspiration. He delighted to meditate upon the great work of creation and to adore the power of the Divine Architect. In former years his eyes had been greeted with the sight of wood-covered hills, green valleys, and fruitful plains; and in all the beauties of nature he had delighted to trace the wisdom and skill of the Creator. He was now surrounded with scenes that to many would appear gloomy and uninteresting. But to John it was otherwise. He could read the most important lessons in the wild, desolate rocks, the mysteries of the great deep, and the glories of the firmament. To him all bore the impress of God's power and declared His glory. (SL 72)

" . . . for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Revelation 1:2)

  • That is, on account of the word. John was no on Patmos to receive and to record the visions (Revelation 1:2), but because of his writings and witness about Jesus Christ. In the bitter days of persecution under Domitian his fearless testimony became the occasion for [his] banishment to Patmos. (7BC 735)
  • "For the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 1:9). This was John's high crime and misdemeanor. The tyrant Domitian, who was then invested with the imperial purple of Rome, more eminent for his vices than even for his civil position, quailed before this aged but dauntless apostle. He dared not permit the promulgation of the gospel within the bounds of his kingdom. He exiled John to lonely Patmos, where, if anywhere this side of death, he might be said to be out of the world. After confining him to that barren spot, and to the cruel labor of the mines, the emperor doubtless thought that this preacher of righteousness was finally disposed of, and that the world would hear of him no more. (US 352)
  • Probably the persecutors of John Bunyan thought the same when they had shut him up in Bedford jail. But when man thinks he has buried the truth in eternal oblivion, the Lord gives it a resurrection in tenfold glory and power. From Bunyan's dark and narrow cell there blazed forth a spiritual light, through the Pilgrim's Progress, which for almost three hundred years has built up the interests of the gospel. From the barren Isle of Patmos, where Domitian thought he had forever extinguished at least one torch of truth, there arose the most magnificent revelation of all the sacred canon, to shed its divine luster over the whole Christian world until the end of time. How many will revere the name of the beloved disciple, and thrill with delight at his enraptured visions of heavenly glory, who will never learn the name of the monster who caused his banishment! Verily those words of the Scriptures are sometimes applicable to the present life, which declare that "the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance" (Psalm 112:6), but "the name of the wicked shall rot" (Proverbs 10:7). (US 352-353)