Revelation 2:8 – the church in Smyrna
Revelation 2:8 – And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write…
The name Smyrna means: “Myrrh,” from the Greek “smurna.” Myrrh is a bitter spice that releases a fragrant aroma when crushed. Myrrh was a spice used in embalming the dead.
Historical background of Smyrna:
Smyrna was an ancient city located at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. Thanks to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defense and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence.Smyrna’s position at the mouth of the small river Hermus at the head of a deep arm of the sea (Smyrnaeus Sinus) that reached far inland and admitted Greek trading ships into the heart of Lydia, placed it on an essential trade route between Anatolia and the Aegean and raised Smyrna during the 7th century BC to power and splendor. One of the great trade routes which cross Anatolia descends the Hermus valley past Sardis, and then, diverging from the valley, passes south of Mount Sipylus and crosses a low pass into the little valley where Smyrna lies between the mountains and the sea. Miletus and later Ephesus were situated at the sea end of the other great trade route across Anatolia and competed for a time successfully with Smyrna; but after both cities’ harbors silted up, Smyrna remained without a rival.The archaic city (“Old Smyrna”) contained a temple of Athena from the 7th century BC…. As one of the principal cities of Roman Asia, Smyrna vied with Ephesus and Pergamum for the title “First City of Asia”…. A Christian church existed here from a very early time, probably originating in the considerable Jewish colony.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smyrna
Revelation 2:8 – These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life…
100 to 313 A.D. – The Persecuted Church.
“Smyrna”: Located about 35 miles north of Ephesus, Smyrna was a rich and beautiful commercial city in Asia Minor and was recognized by Rome as its loyal ally and a center of emperor worship. In His message to this church, the Lord again commended their good works, “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty”. These believers were persecuted and often lost their means of livelihood as a result of their commitment to the Lord.
Making a public confession of their faith meant poverty, hunger, imprisonment, and sometimes death. The word “tribulation” used here paints a picture of a huge rock crushing whatever lies beneath it. The word conveys intense and constant pressure. Can you identify with that? Many of you are experiencing “intense and constant pressure”. You aren’t forgotten! Jesus sees and knows.
It is interesting to me that Jesus calls Himself differently here than at the church of Ephesus. In the Ephesus letter He says, “he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks”. Here at Smyrna He calls Himself, “the first and last, which was dead, and is alive”.
The designation here is that this message is not from the Father or the Holy Spirit, but from God the Son, Jesus as we know Him. We see from this that God does not deal exactly the same with everyone. He deals with us at the level of our understanding.
You see in the synagogue in Jerusalem, when Jesus called them “whited walls” (Matthew 23:27), clean on the outside and filthy on the inside. Jesus said, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”. Jesus called them a generation of vipers (Matthew 23:33).
You see not all those who claim to be Christians are actually Christians. If we are not careful, we will be like these Jews. We may say we are a Christian, and the world might actually believe that we are because of our outward appearance, but Jesus looks at the heart.
Matthew 7:22-23 “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (see Why Jesus Said That).
Their Christianity was a front for some selfish motive.
The repentance and salvation that really counts is what goes on in the heart. It is like having a new regenerated heart placed inside of you, washed in the Blood of the Lamb. Being born again is having a brand new heart, having no desire to sin. The heart is either desperately wicked or clean in Jesus. Some call it a change of heart. Whatever commitment is made must be made in the heart.
(1) When Jesus speaks of His being “the first and last”, He is speaking of His Eternal Spirit;
(2) When He speaks of “which was dead, and is alive”, He is speaking of His body which resurrected from the grave.
Jesus knows all; He was walking, and is walking amidst the churches. These eyes of fire see everything, even in our hearts. He has nothing but good things to say about this church in Smyrna. To know them is to love them. Jesus knows how hard they have worked for the kingdom. He knows that they are rich in service to Him. They are rich in knowledge of His Word. They have diligently sought Him in His Word. They are rich in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They have been through great tribulation. Tribulation comes to make you strong. They are strong, because they have been tried and they have not failed God.
image courtesy: Revelation 2-8 bible.com
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.