Recently the church I attend has been studying the Apostle Peter’s first letter to various churches in Asia (what is now Turkey). Peter warns the elect of God that they will face trials and tribulations because of their Christian faith (chapter 4). Before Revelation was written, Christians were being persecuted because they refused to acknowledge Caesar as God.
The Apostle John also wrote about persecution, and Revelation gives various commendations and warnings to seven named churches.
The main question has to do with how different denominations view the seven churches. Do they see themselves as being the modern-day churches to which the warnings are given?
One aspect of my question has to do with Revelation 2:10, addressed to the church in Smyrna:
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.
Various denominations interpret “ten days” differently. Here is an extract from an article I read:
Considering the historical context, the symbolic view suggests that the ten days of tribulation refer to ten persecutions that began with Emperor Nero and ended with Diocletian in the third century. Some scholars exclude Nero and count from Domitian to Julian. The symbolic view sees the churches as representing eras of history, with the church of Smyrna representing an era when these persecutions took place. An alternative symbolic view sees the ten days of tribulation as ten years under Diocletian... From the early church to modern times in places like China, the devil has launched attacks on anyone who remains faithful to Christ (Revelation 12:17). From a spiritual perspective, this explains the constant shift in our culture away from Christian values and the increasing animosity toward biblical Christianity.
Got Questions: "What are the ten days of tribulation in Revelation 2:10?"
NOTE: Diocletian ruled between 303 and 313, then the persecution ended under Constantine.
Are the ten days a literal period of time, to be viewed in the light of past history, or are these ten days symbolic of Christian persecution that is even now ongoing?
This first question is directed to Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I do not expect JW’s to know about LDS views, or vice-versa. I simply want to compare their interpretations of who/what the seven churches are today, taking into account the specific warning to Smyrna of a time of persecution that would last for “ten days”.
Is the number literal, symbolic, or spiritual? Or have those events described in the opening chapters of Revelation taken place in past history? After all, many different Christian denominations exist today in those named locations. If the persecution is still to happen, then which churches claim the prophecies apply only to them?
There is no right or wrong answer. This is a denominational survey and will be extended later to include other denominations.