The Emphasis and Intensity of God (3)
Three’s (3) Denote God’s emphasis and Intensity. Three scoops of ice cream are better than one or two scoops! If you want to impress upon someone, give them three scoops. That will be about as much as most people can handle. Emphasize three scoops of someone’s favorite flavor and that will wake up their taste buds … now that is intense! God uses three’s (3) to say what he means and to mean what he says.
Three-fold Reference to Affliction of Christians:
- … “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation (affliction), and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ: ” (Rev. 1:9). (Emphasis added).
- … “I know thy works, and tribulation (affliction), and poverty, (but thou are rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” (Rev. 2:09). (Emphasis added).
- … “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation (affliction) ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: After these three references regarding tribulation or affliction of Christians, there is no longer any reference regarding tribulation of the church or Church Age Christians. No, not one reference. It is as if the church ‘disappeared’ and is no longer present during the tribulation period. Thus, there is no need for the Holy Spirit to comment on the tribulation or affliction of Christians from the Church Age. There is a reference made to tribulation in Rev. 7:14, but it is abundantly clear that this is the tribulation experienced by the martyred saints, who came out of the Tribulation period. “They are which came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Emphasis added). Put another checkmark on the logical list of reasons why the church is raptured/harpazoed prior to the onset of the Tribulation period.
Another important message in these three verses clearly indicates that while we (Age of Grace Christians) are walking the earth, we can and should expect tribulation or affliction for bearing witness to Christ. As the world hates Christ, so to will it hate us. Affliction can come from unknown people; strangers, co-workers, friends, family, bosses, companies, media, government, celebrities, musicians, politicians, talking-heads on news cable networks, comedians, movie stars, billionaires and lower-tier multi-millionaires, people from man-made religions, talk show hosts and other such people in the public eye, the list goes on and on. Affliction can be something as simple as a snide comment, a dirty look, evasiveness, a gruff rebuttal, a quick ‘don’t bother me, leave me alone’ comment, an unflattering comment made behind your back (but loud enough that you hear it), people shunning you. Affliction can be more aggressive whereby someone cusses at you, tells you to ‘….-off’ or threatens you verbally, or suggests they will do something physical to you.
In extreme cases of affliction; imprisonment, torture and death of Christians is increasingly occurring around the world today. Not only in obvious places like North Korea, China, the Middle East, Africa and India, but in other places you wouldn’t expect. These places have such an inbred, historical, traditional, taught, institutionalized, officially-sanctioned, extreme hatred of Christ and anything to do with Christianity. A Christian doesn’t even have to say anything on order to be arrested, to be thrown into prison, to be tortured or martyred. No one wants to be reminded or given a hint that they have a problem of sin that needs to be addressed by a supernatural entity. They think it is absurd, a fairy tale, a myth, something perhaps from long ago that has no bearing on life today. That they have no problem, that there is no such thing as sin. if Jesus is as you say he is, where is he now? Whatever man-made religion they are following tells them that they are good as is. People get really unnerved, unscrewed and uncorked when something (someone) confronts (presents) them kindly or threatens to pull them out of their comfort zone or self-held/induced, mental/spiritual security blanket. Nobody willingly wants to be thrown into a cold pool of water, when its cold outside. The list of rebuttals, denials, mockery, defiance, self-righteousness, naysayers, nitpickers, logic-kickers and some cases violence, will continue until the playing field changes in the favor of Christ. Just as football players get banged up playing in their field, we to will we get banged up (and in some cases killed) playing in our spiritual field. Christ promised many eternal rewards for those of us who are overcomers. Hang in there and occupy, until the Lord comes for you.
Categories: Revelation of Jesus Christ