Revelation 2:9 – a synagogue of Satan …
Revelation 2:9 – I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich)…
It will become clear in a few verses that the works of the church at Smyrna relate to enduring persecution, because the Lord promises a reward to them for being faithful to Him even unto death (Revelation 2:10). The “tribulation” that Smyrna was going through led to physical poverty. Many believe that the guild, or union structure, of Smyrna’s economy may have led to persecution of the Christians there.
Some believe that the unions boycotted Christian services, driving believers in Smyrna into poverty. Being in poverty, yet rich is a paradox, but Jesus was speaking in terms of the spiritual versus the physical. Paul and James spoke about the spiritual riches that believers can look forward to, regardless of what we might have to endure physically:
2 Corinthians 6:4-10 – But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
Hebrews 10:32-34 – But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.
James 2:5 – Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
Revelation 2:9 – …and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
It is a blasphemy against God for people to call themselves Jews, merely by ancestry, or by trying to keep the Mosaic Law, which has been an impossible task for all but Christ (Acts 15:10). God only considers those circumcised in the heart that do not resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51), as true Jews:
“Which say they are Jews”: Although they were Jews physically, they were not true Jews but spiritual pagans (compare Rom. 2:28). They allied with other pagans in putting Christians to death as they attempted to stamp out the Christian faith.
“Synagogue of Satan”: With the rejection of its Messiah, Judaism becomes as much a tool of Satan as emperor worship.
Perhaps, their poverty spoken of here indicates that they are not obsessed about having worldly wealth. They are not rich in things the world would class as wealth. Their wealth is of spiritual things. The treasure that we should all be seeking is the treasure stored up in heaven.
If there is a church in this group that we should all want to be like, it would be this church at Smyrna.
This “synagogue of Satan” that comes against them is what we were discussing before. These are religious people with an outward appearance of belief but with no inward conviction. This literal church at Smyrna had many martyrs who stood against the evil, idolatrous people around them even unto the death.
In our day, it is the same situation. If we are in God’s army, we must be willing to stand for what is right even unto death. The Spirit and the flesh (world), will be locked in battle until the return of Jesus. The world and its system, and even the idolatrous church is opposed to true righteousness and holiness. Jesus is coming back for a church that is without spot or wrinkle.
Romans 2:17-24 – Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.
Romans 2:25-29 – For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
The religious leaders in Jerusalem mandated that anyone that confessed that Jesus was the Messiah were not allowed in the synagogues, where Jewish believers gathered to worship:
John 9:22 – …the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.
John 12:42 – Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue.
John 16:2 – They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.
These religious leaders were looking for the Messiah, but rejected Him when He came. Their rejection was satanic in origin:
John 8:42-44 – Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
Therefore, those who call themselves Jews, yet deny that Jesus is the Messiah they are a “synagogue of Satan.”
image courtesy: Revelation 2-9 virtueonline
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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.