We continue in Revelation Chapter 2 as we come to our second church(gathering).
Rev 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;
This assembly of believers is at Smyrna, which was about 40 miles north of Ephesus. The city was established by Alexander the Great many years before Jesus walked the earth. It was also a place where Olympic games were held and so at the time it was a bustling city. It is still a busy port city, renamed Izmir after the Turks took it over sometime in the 14th century.
Of significance is the name Smyrna, which is believed to have come from the Greek word, “myrrh”. Myrrh is most known for is aromatic smell and often a term used for perfume. It is used as incense as well. For our understanding Myrrh is used in healing salves, in liniments to this day. It has healing properties, as an antiseptic for cleansing and as analgesic for aches and pains. It is perfumed oil. Oil being very significant of “truth”.
Of course, we know it was one of the three gifts given to the baby Jesus by the magi, the wise men. It was also used in the burial of Christ. And that has spiritual significance as well.
So this gathering is a gathering in healing, very special spiritual healing through Christ Jesus.
Jesus identifies Himself to let them know the message is legit! Once again, he is the first and the last, Alpha and Omega. He is the One who was dead but is alive!
Rev 2:9 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.
Jesus first acknowledges this group at Smyrna and what they face. He knows their works in Him. They weren’t lazy. He mentions their tribulations as well. I am sure they faced as much if not more persecution being in the “jewel” of Asia Minor. The Romans abounded in that city. He also mentions their poverty. This is moreso self-induced poverty as the generous heart gave to those who needed. But as Jesus says, “but you are rich”! Rich in love and mercy. That is true wealth. Then he says something that a lot of bible teachers just pass over, explaining that it is spiritual and speaking of circumcision of the heart. Those who “say they are Jews, but are not” is not to be taken spiritually here. Of course there are fake Christians. But Jesus wouldn’t refer to only Jews if that is what He were talking about. This is much deeper than that simple explanation.
We see this as Jesus speaks to the church in Philadelphia as well. Smyrna and Philadelphia are the only two churches who understand this. And it is this church and Philadelphia in which he does not address any faults. He only speaks blessings on these two. Here we have the second candlestick, a light of healing and they know who those are that say they are Jews, but are not Jews. These are those who killed the prophets, slaying priests on the altar, and ultimately caused Jesus to be put to death.
Jesus taught us of these he is referring to. I will go into detail further when we reach the church at Philadelphia. For now, I want you to look and ponder Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, Matthew 23:29-36, John 8:31-47. It is a very deep subject for another time. But I hope you will study those scriptures and I may speak more on this subject when we get to Philadelphia.
Rev 2:10 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.
Do not fear anything you might suffer, the Lord is with us. The devil, the son of perdition, may cast some into prison for ten days. There is a reference in Jeremiah about a ten day period of prayer. Jeremiah had been asked to pray for the remnant left in the land(Related to those who are left and not worshiping the Antichrist.), because they were deciding whether to enter Egypt. After the ten days, the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, “(10)If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you. (11)Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. (12) And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land. ” – Jeremiah 42:10-12
I encourage you to read that whole chapter. The king of Babylon has symbolic significance here as this is a spiritual reference to the devil, Babylon is “city of confusion” from the word Babel, “confusion”.
Also look at Daniel chapter 1. Daniel would not defile himself with unclean meats and drink . He had favor with the chief eunuch of Nebuchadnezzar and asked that they not have to eat and drink the unclean things but given water and pulse(vegetables only and no meat offered to idols). At first the eunuch was concerned that the King would see their appearance as weak and sickly, having not had much food. But Daniel asked him to do so and then he could look on Daniel and his friends and deal with him accordingly. So the eunuch agreed, and after ten days, they were fatter, their health was better, and fairer than the other servants who ate the king’s meat.
What does that have to do with this verse in Revelation?
Father God has said that He will never leave us or forsake us. He will sustain us in times of need. Especially as the “tribulation” takes place and the Antichrist comes. Father will keep us in good health, in strength through the Holy Spirit, through His power we will overcome antichrist if we are faithful, knowing he will take care of us during those times as he took care of Elijah, sending crows with food to Elijah to sustain Him. (1st Kings 17:6) God owns it all! Do not worry for how you will be provided for, because Father God owns it all and will bless those who stay true to Him.
Be faithful even to death and you will receive that crown of life, eternal life. Don’t give in to the false shepherd, hold firm in the Lord Jesus!
Rev 2:11 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.
We see again, those with an ear, listen! Hear what the Spirit of God is saying to the gathering, the assemblies, the churches. Whoever overcomes will not be hurt by the second death!
What is this second death?
There are two deaths and two resurrections. The first death, is death of the flesh. The second death is death of the soul.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
The second death occurs as one is cast into the lake of fire. That fire is our Father God who is a consuming fire. (Deuteronomy 4:24, 9:3, Hebrews 12:29) He who destroys both body and soul in “gehenna”, the lake of fire. (Matthew 10:28) That is not kill, not apoktieno, to slay, but “appolumi” in the Greek, completely destroy. You want to know why there is no pain, or tears, or suffering? Why there is no evil, no wickedness? Because it no longer exists. It is wiped out! The former things are passed away, behold all things have become new!
The first resurrection, is the resurrection of the just. The ones who believe upon the Lord are resurrected with immortal bodies. Bodies that cannot die or catch disease. (1st Corinthians 15:52-55) At that resurrection, the gift of eternal life is realized.
The second resurrection is the resurrection of the unjust. Not as we who are believers but called to the throne to be judged as they are already condemned. We all will face the throne and give account of our deeds. Those who have not received Christ are brought forward to face the second death. Wiped from existence. Yes I teach the doctrine of annihilation. Because it is the truth. Truth doesn’t seek to be acknowledged, either you do or don’t. And if you disagree with me, then you are disagreeing with what the Word of Truth teaches concerning that topic. I have shown you scriptures, will you receive it? I hope you will.
Alright! There is the church of Smyrna. A lot to take in for this one and we will continue with Pergamum next time. I hope this is a blessing to you. I know that if you study and take in His Word everyday, you will draw closer to Him and have a more intimate relationship with your Father. As it is written, “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you.”
Peace, and Maranatha!