Patmos has been mentioned in classical literature about a half dozen times, but only once in the bible and that is in Rev. 1:9, “I, even your brother John, and co-sharer in the affliction, and in the kingdom and patience of Yahshua Messiah, came to be in the island being called Patmos because of the Word of Elohim, and because of the witness of Yahshua Messiah.”. It is unclear when John was exiled to the island, but many believe it was during the time of Caesar Domitian, since there is no specific timeline given, this is pure conjecture on the part of scholars today. There simply is no evidence when John was there or even why except what John wrote:” because of the Word of Elohim”.
There is evidence that Patmos was not the desolate rock that we are led to believe. According to archaeology, it was a place that was home to several 4th century BC towns and villages. It appears that Rome had settled there and built an acropolis, a hippodrome, gymnasium, a considerable administration center, and a temple to Apollo, Aphrodite, and Artemis. And from 2nd century Ad inscriptions found on the island, the cult of Artemis and their practices provident on Patmos. Their incumbent priestess, Vera, was the tenth inline, shows the lineage of these practices on the island. But no evidence of Jewish settlements or synagogues have been found, this does not mean they were not present, since Rome would have destroyed them when they drove out the Jews. But during this time the Jews spread across the known world and most likely settled on Patmos also.
Patmos and the Present Day Church
Today we do not think of the church being in Patmos… What I mean by this is, during the 1st century, the phrase “being on Patmos” or “being in Patmos” meant that you were “in tribulation”. And many of us do not believe that we are, or even that the church today is, in tribulation. But many churches are just that… if we look at the church today, we are in the age of Laodicea, the “lukewarm” church. Yes, I said lukewarm church age. We believe that we are so righteous and that the church, as a whole, is doing what the Word of God says we should be doing. Are we?? Many denominations and/or churches are adopting more and more of the worldly beliefs. We think we have the right to, we are let to, well the devil is a liar and the reward for sin is death. We accept the things that God calls sin and believe, because some preacher said so, that everything will be okay. All we need to say is sorry…
The greatest tribulation that the church puts itself into is the final tribulation. We are pushing Jesus out of our lives, out of our schools, and even out of the church as a whole. Just like Laodicea, we locked the door on Jesus and He is knocking, do we hear Him, are we too busy with our lives? There is a reason why the parable of the 10 virgins ends up with only 5 at the wedding supper. I do think that with everything in the world today, we just can not remember the basics, we don’t have faith like a child and neither does the church. Oh yes, we say we believe, in God, that Jesus walked the earth, died on the cross, ascended to heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father. Oh yes, we believe…
According to James, in James 2:19 (KJ)“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble” so we have the same faith are the devils, or do we?? You see the last 2 words in that verse,” and tremble “, how many churches fear God, how many believers? Jesus did not ask the apostles to believe, He asked them to “Follow Him”, that is where we enter into Patmos. We do not FOLLOW, just believe, we lost the fear of God. We believe that all men are good and that we all go to heaven in the end. All lies from the enemy. And the final great tribulation will be the total separation from God for eternity. It’s one thing to believe but if we don’t follow them it’s all pointless.
All Bible verses come from Hebraic Roots Bible and KJ Bible (as noted).