Gino (12 Aug 2013)
"not the book of martyrs, but the book for martyrs"

As someone who has always advocated a pre-trib blessed hope, I have a request to my brothers & sisters who are post-trib or pre-wrath:
Please try to encourage your brethren, whom you believe are about to suffer greatly.
Encourage means to put courage into, and you can, by the words that you say & write.
The LORD Jesus said the following to the church in Smyrna:

Revelation 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
 9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
 10 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 ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Yes, he informed them of what was coming, but he offered them some greatly encouraging hope and promises.

The entire last book seems to be a great work of encouragement to those who were going through, or about to go through, tribulation, including the Great Tribulation.
It starts out with a comforting revealing of Jesus in the midst of his churches.
Then in the 2nd & 3rd chapters, we see that Jesus is concerned with individual churches, not an amorphous, universal church, but where he mentions members by name.
To every church, he offers the individual members hope of overcoming.
It is interesting to know that each promise of overcoming seems to not be fully realized until passing on.
To the 1st, it refers to the tree of life in the paradise of God. Next it refers to not being hurt of the second death.
The 3rd is not as clear as the others, but it is there, it refers to the hidden manna and a new name written on a white stone, known only to the LORD and the receiver.
The 4th refers to the thousand year kingdom, with power over nations. The 5th is clothed in white raiment, with their name confessed before the Father and angels.
The 6th refers to being a pillar in the temple and has three names written upon them, the Father's, New Jerusalem's, and Jesus' new name.
The 7th refers to sitting in the throne with Jesus. So, the promises of overcoming are completely fulfilled when passing on to where Jesus is.

Then, in the subsequent chapters, it appears that even though he is showing what is coming, he continually intermixes it with scenes of hope & joy.
Even before the reader, through the hand of John, sees the seal judgments, the reader first gets to witness chapters 4 and 5.
Before judgment starts, it is clear that the LORD is on his throne, his plans and purposes are being perfectly fulfilled.
There is great joy and worship in the presence of the LORD.
This very lovely and powerful LORD is only then shown to also execute great care and precision with the seal judgments, with the skill of a surgeon.

Then after six seals are broken, he again brings the reader's focus back to good things.
He shows how he carefully seals his people, like when he said that the very hairs of the head are numbered.
Then he encourages the reader to see and know that the tribulation isn't indiscriminate and meaningless.
He let's the reader know that a great multitude, which no man could number, from all over the world,
came "out of great tribulation", but they will forever be with the LORD,
he will feed those who were starving in the tribulation, and to drink, those who thirsted in the tribulation,
but he will wipe away all tears from their eyes, which they shed in abundance during the tribulation.

Then after the seventh seal and the first six trumpet judgments, the reader is again encouraged by some encouraging scenes.
First a mighty angel declares that there should be time no longer, and that the mystery of God should be finished.
Also is seen that the two witnesses will prophesy for exactly the time that they are supposed to.
Then, even though the enemy kills them, they are raised from the dead and ascend up to heaven, like Jesus did.
Also the declaration is made that the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord, and his Christ.

After that, when even the devil is cast out into the earth, the believers overcome him, overcoming as mentioned above.
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."

Then after chapter 13 about the beast and false prophet, the firstfruits, the 144,000, are seen singing before the throne.
Next all those that overcame the beast, his image, his mark, and the number of his name, are seen worshipping the LORD in heaven.
After the vials of wrath and the judgment of Babylon, comes the four alleluia chorus, followed by the wedding supper of the Lamb.
Next Jesus comes back in power and glory, with his saints with him.
Then comes the glorious thousand year kingdom, with the tribulation martyrs reigning with Jesus.
Finally after the lost will face the white throne judgment and second death, the believers will face a new heaven and new earth.
They enter the glorious new Jerusalem, and lastly into the blessings of eternity.

For those who are post trib or pre-wrath, I cannot imagine anything more encouraging than the book of Revelation.
Jesus continually encourages those going through tribulation, and those about to go through tribulation.
How encouraging that last book of the Bible must have been for Christians in Rome about to die in the arena.
It must have been very encouraging to those facing the Inquisition, the communist secret police in the USSR & China.
It must be very encouraging, at this time, to believers in North Korea, Iran, Sudan, and Nigeria.
It will also be very encouraging to those who will face the Great Tribulation.
So it would seem that the book of Revelation, though not the book of martyrs, is the book for martyrs.