When Emperor Domitian came to rule in 81AD, he demanded that everyone worship him as god. He required everyone to burn incense in front of his statue in every town in the Roman Empire and declare him their god.

John, then in his early 90s, was the pastor of the church of Ephesus, and he led the church in Truth. He continued to preach that Jesus alone was to be worshiped as the only way to salvation amidst the idolatry of the surrounding polytheistic culture. Because John did not compromise, he suffered exile to the island of Patmos.

Emperor Domitian thought he could silence John by exiling him, but John would not be defeated. Exile may have separated him from Christian fellowship, but it never separated him from the Lord Jesus Christ. The emperor thought that he could break John’s spirit, but John was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he would not be broken.

The enemies of God thought they could banish John and silence the message of the Gospel, but God turned it into the most powerful vision of eternity we’ve ever been given—the book of Revelation. Because John yielded to the Holy Spirit and not to his circumstances, God transformed his punishment into praise, his pain into gain, and his stagnation into revelation.

When you are in your Patmos, go to God and let Him remind you of His promises so that by His Spirit He will grow your faith and lift you up.

Prayer: God, give me a vision of eternity with You so that I can bear up under pressure. Holy Spirit, help me to be more like Christ. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“[W]e also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Revelation for Today, Part 1: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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