Philadelphia Earthquake Shocks
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Philadelphia Earthquake Shocks
(Revelation 3.7-8)
Page 69

"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.'" (Revelation 3.7-8)✞

Extinct Volcano

Grape VinesPhiladelphia was an important and wealthy center of trade in Asia Minor in the Roman Empire. It had a physical characteristic which left its mark upon this letter. It was on the edge of a great plain called "The Burned Land." This was a large flat valley left behind by an extinct volcano on a fault line. The land there was naturally very fertile and Philadelphia benefited much by becoming the hub of a grape growing region and a famous wine producer. But it still sat on a fault line and an extinct volcano.✞

Earthquake Tremors

Extinct VolcanoEarthquakes had their perils and left their mark on Philadelphia more than on most cities. The Greek geographer Strabo (BC 63-24 AD) who travelled widely wrote that in 17 AD a series of earthquake shocks destroyed Sardis, which was the name of the modern city of "Sart" in Turkey, and ten other cities in the area. In Philadelphia, the earthquakes and tremors went on for years. Philadelphia came to be described as a "city full of earthquakes."

Every Day Shocks

EarthquakeWhen earthquakes happened, people met them with courage, but re-occurring minor earthquake shocks drove people to panic. That was what happened in Philadelphia. Shocks and after shocks became an everyday occurrence. Gaping cracks appeared in the walls of houses and roads. One part of the city was in ruins, then another. Most of the population lived outside their houses in temporary shelters on the streets and feared even to go into the city lest they should be killed by falling masonry during a sudden unexpected collapse. It was a dangerous and a stressful time for the Christian church but Jesus encouraged them because they had kept his word and not denied his name.

"Philadelphia Earthquake Shocks"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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