Twelve characteristics of the imminent persecution John envisions

  1. In Revelation 2.10 Jesus warns the Christians in Smyrna to prepare to be imprisoned and possibly martyred. It’s not clear if the ten days should be taken literally or symbolically. Imprisonment implies that political authorities will be involved, not just a lynch mob.
  2. “Rev. 6:9–11 describes the cry for vengeance for those “who had been slain for the word of the God and for the witness they had borne” (Aune)
  3. “The innumerable multitude in white robes depicted in Rev 7:9 consists of those who have come out of (i.e., died in) the great tribulation (Rev. 7:14).” (Aune)
  4. In Revelation 11.7-8 the two witnesses are killed by the beast
  5. In Revelation 12.11, the saints have defeated the dragon because of the blood of the Lamb and their faithful witness to him even to the point of death
  6. In Revelation 13.7 the beast is given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them
  7. Revelation 14.13 pronounces a beatitude on those “who from now on die in the Lord.”
  8. In Revelation 16.6 an angel announces that God’s pouring out of the bowl judgments on the followers of the beast is poetic justice, ironically appropriate: they are being forced to drink blood because they shed the blood of the prophets and saints.
  9. In Revelation 17.6 the prostitute is drunk with the blood of the saints and the witnesses to Jesus
  10. Revelation 18.24: “In her [Babylon, or Rome] was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.”
  11. Revelation 19.2 says that God will avenge the blood of his servants.
  12. Revelation 20.4 speaks of people who were beheaded for their faithfulness and witness to Jesus.

Source: David Aune, Word Biblical Commentary: Revelation 1-5. (Waco, TX: Word, 1997);

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