8 And to the angel of the church of Smyrna, write: These things, says the First and the Last, who became dead, and lived: 9 I know your works, and the affliction, and the poverty; but you are rich. And I know the evil speaking of those saying themselves to be Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not at all fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the Devil is about to throw you into prison, so that you may be tried; and you will have affliction ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one overcoming will not at all be hurt by the second death.
The Message to Smyrna
(To the Angel and the Church)
- Spirit – The first and the last who became dead and lived
- Accomplishments – Works, affliction, poverty, persecution, imprisonment, faithful
- Failure – None.
- Commandment – Be faithful until death.
- Reward for Overcoming – Crown of Life and will not be hurt of the second death.
- Judgment for Failure – No Crown of Life and perish.
Listen to what Jesus is saying here. You don’t just die once. The first time you die, is here on earth and your flesh goes into the ground and your spirit to the Lord that gave it. The second death is at judgment. When you have had all the chances you will get to do what God says. If you have to suffer the second death, there is nothing else. There is not a third or a fourth, you will perish.
Jesus found no fault with the angel of the church of Smyrna. In his pure eyes, the angel and the church were doing the will of God and suffering because of it. The angel and the church at Smyrna carry the true cross of Christ. The very livelihood of the angel and the church was the same as Jesus’ time here on earth. He walked in poverty, but he was rich with glory of God. Jesus suffered humiliation and persecution in the name of God, but is most Beloved of God. They gave Jesus a crown of thorns but God gave Jesus a Crown of Life. Jesus offers the same to the angel and the Church of Smyrna.
There is more written in Revelation that comes from the Old and New Testament than most would believe: Isaiah 44:6, “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel and his redeemer the Lord of Hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
In spite of the physical poverty of the angel and the church, the Lord said, “but thou art rich”. The lesson in this for us is that it is better to be poor in the eyes of the world, but rich before Christ. (Acts 4:13) This is in contrast to the angel and the church at Laodicea which was rich in its own esteem, but poor in the sight of Christ. Men of the world looked at the saints in Smyrna and saw nothing but poverty, but Jesus saw the true riches of the angel and the church.
The angel and the church were going to endure blasphemy, slander and misrepresentation of the Jews who showed contempt against the Christians in Smyrna. The Jews considered themselves as the “Synagogue of God,” but were actually the “Synagogue of Satan.” The Jews escaped the fate of the Christians by offering prayers to the emperor. Smyrna refused to do so and only offered prayers to God, thus they were imprisoned for 10 days for refusing to burn incense to the emperor of Rome as God.
There is no one on this earth that we are to bow down to and worship and pray to. Jesus said “Call no one on this earth your Father”. For you have one Father and that is God”.
This is where you have to be careful of doctrine of men, because doctrine of men will lead you straight to perdition! If you want a fast track to perishing, then you continue following the doctrines that make void the word of God! There is no man on this earth, not anywhere in this world who, is supposed to be called Father, and let alone Holy Father! We have one Father and that’s God! That’s the God that we pray to everyday. He is the only one who can say who’s a saint, and who’s not a saint. There is not one man on this earth that can declare anyone a saint. We need to stay away from the traditions of men. Our very lives depend on it. Jesus promises the angel and the church of Smyrna the crown of life. It is the most that any of us can hope for.
Actions Needed to Overcome At Smyrna: Continue To Remain Faithful to God.
- What was the church at Smyrna instructed to do?
- What is the reward for overcoming at Smyrna?
- Which Spirit is speaking to the church at Smyrna?
- List the good things about the church at Smyrna.
- List the bad things about the church at Smyrna?
- What did the church at Smyrna do wrong?
- What will God do to those at Smyrna who do not overcome?
- In God’s eyes, was Smyrna a poor church?
- Why were the Christians in Smyrna put in prison?
- How did the Jews at Smyrna escape the fate of the Christians?