The Youth’s Instructor


April 5, 1900

John the Beloved

Part 2.


Again the enemies of the truth sought to silence the voice of the faithful witness, and John was banished to the Isle of Patmos. Here, they thought, he could no longer trouble Israel, or the wicked rulers of the world, and he must finally die from hardship and distress. But John made friends and converts even here. YI April 5, 1900, par. 1

To outward appearance the enemies of truth were triumphing, but God's hand was moving unseen in the darkness. God permitted his faithful servant to be placed where Christ could give him a more wonderful revelation of himself. He placed him where he could receive the most precious truth for the enlightenment of the churches. He placed him in solitude, that his ear and heart might be more fully sanctified to receive the truth. The Lord was preparing John to endure hatred and scorn for the sake of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. The man who exiled John was not released from responsibility in the matter. But he became the instrument in the hands of God to carry out his eternal purpose; and the very effort to extinguish light placed the truth in bold relief. YI April 5, 1900, par. 2

John was deprived of the society of his brethren, but no man could deprive him of the light and revelation of Christ. A great light was to shine from Christ to his servant. The Lord watched over his banished disciple, and gave him a wonderful revelation of himself. Richly favored was this beloved disciple. With the other disciples he had traveled with Jesus, learning of him and feasting on his words. His head had often rested on his Saviour's bosom. But he must see him also in Patmos. God and Christ and the heavenly host were John's companions on the lonely isle; and from them he received instruction that 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 that would take place in the closing scenes of this earth's history. When his voice could no longer witness to 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. Every nation, kindred, tongue, and people would learn the sure purpose of the Lord, not concerning the Jewish nation merely, but concerning every nation upon the earth. YI April 5, 1900, par. 3

The Sabbath, which God had instituted in Eden, was as precious to John on the lonely isle as when he was with his companions in the cities and towns. The precious promises that Christ had given regarding this day he repeated and claimed as his own. It was the sign to him that God was his; for God had declared: “Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.... Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever.” YI April 5, 1900, par. 4

On the Sabbath day the risen Saviour made his presence known to John. “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day,” he writes, “and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send to the seven churches.... And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.... And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore.” YI April 5, 1900, par. 5

The persecution of John became a means of grace. Patmos was made resplendent with the glory of a risen Saviour. John had seen Christ in human form, with the marks of the nails, which will ever be his glory, in his hands and his feet. Now he was permitted again to behold his risen Lord, clothed with as much glory as a human being could behold, and live. What a Sabbath was that to the lonely exile, always precious in the sight of Christ, but now more than ever exalted! Never had he learned so much of Jesus. Never had he heard such exalted truth. YI April 5, 1900, par. 6

The appearance of Christ to John should be to all, believers and unbelievers, an evidence that we have a risen Christ. It should give living power to the church. At times dark clouds surround God's people. It seems as if oppression and persecution would extinguish them. But at such times the most instructive lessons are given. Christ often enters prisons, and reveals himself to his chosen ones. He is in the fire with them at the stake. As in the darkest night the stars shine the brightest, so the most brilliant beams of God's glory are revealed in the deepest gloom. The darker the sky, the more clear and impressive are the beams of the Sun of Righteousness, the risen Saviour. YI April 5, 1900, par. 7

Mrs. E. G. White