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August 29, 2021 6:20 am
Welcome to the addition of truth matters with Dr. Shirley on our last guest, Dr. Dave assured an overview of the church of Ephesus church that lost his love for Jesus and consequently lost its light today. Dr. Davis takes us to the second church in the Revelation church of Smyrna. The church that was faithful, while enduring much persecution and suffering at the hands of the Romans in the attacks of Satan. The city of Smyrna enjoyed much prosperity. However, Christians were often mistreated and their property unfairly confiscated because of their devotion to the faith.
Cheers Dr. Davis and the suffering church at Smyrna and Dr. Cheryl Davis. We are continuing our journey into the seven letters to the churches of Asia minor last time talked about the church and in that it was a dynamic church.
It was dedicated, determined discipline and discerning, but it's one negative was that it had lost its first love that its relationship with Christ is no longer a relationship, but a religion.
Christ offered a remedy for their sin.
He offered them to remember to repent and to repeat, do the first works over again that we have to remember that the church that loses its love, will send was that slight. Examine your hearts today about where your love is and if it is within Christ to move on to the second letter today and chapter 2 verses eight through 11 and this is the church of Smyrna and it's known as the persecuted church or the suffering church that really suffering for Christ is a foreign concept in America we really have freedom of religion in America and are not familiar with the type of persecution that other countries experience.
Let's read verses eight through 11 of chapter 2 and the angel of the church in Smyrna write these things says the first and the last was dead and came to life. I know your works, tribulation, and poverty but you are rich and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer.
Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation 10 days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death just to get into some historical context of the city of Smyrna is the second church to receive a letter from Christ. The city was founded around 1000 BC it was destroyed in 600 BC it was rebuilt centuries later by one of Alexander the great's generals.
It's really a matter of pride to the city that it had died. Come back to life. Smyrna was the most beautiful city. The Greeks ever built. It was called the glory of Asia because it looked like the city wore a crown emperor worship with sinners here during the Roman period, the city is for the church of Smyrna of Jesus Christ is located get into the church.
The church is located 35 miles north of Ephesus, known today as Turkey. It was the busiest port on the ENC. We don't know who found it, but we know it suffered great persecution. It's letter is the shortest of all letters and it contains no condemnation, but when you look at the word Smyrna. It means bitter. It really comes from the word murder, which is a sweet fragrance that is released only when it is crushed but why did they suffer. Why was Smyrna persecuted. If you remember earlier I said that emperor worship was centered in Smyrna. The main reason for persecution and suffering is because of emperor worship. We have a different view of the Roman government than the Romans because we've grown up in America when Rome became the world power piece covered the Mediterranean world, and it removes the threat of war's said the citizens were very grateful.
Rome strength guaranteed peace and safety. There were laws, roads, commerce, most Roman citizens were happy with their lot in life really emperor worship grew out of a patriotic and grateful attitude on what Ron provided for the people. It was political worship not necessarily religious worship. This is the reason that John was exiled to the Al of Patmos.
As a result of his unwillingness to worship the emperor.
The Christians were marginalized in their society. We see this today is the same as cancel culture same concept of marginalization Christians were in constant jeopardy of being bad citizens tortured on the rack boiled in oil roasted over slow fires crucified and fed to ravenous beast all is a form of entertainment for the true citizens of Rome, given that context.
Let's get into the letter. As I said before, will dissect each letter. If you look at the destination of the letter. The destination is the city of Smyrna, which we talked about being the center of emperor worship for Rome.
The description of Christ that he begins in the beginning of the letter is that he is the first and the last, who was dead and came back to life the diagnosis. The church is all positive. There are no negatives like in the church of Ephesus that Christ found with this church.
In verse nine Christ says I know your works, tribulation, and poverty but you are rich. If you look at the word tribulation. We get the Greek word… Which means pressure really and unrelenting pressure is like having a boulder on your chest which causes you to suffocate lowly Christians experience the same pressure from the Roman empire was slowed unrelenting, never ending, day after day after day. The next word that Jesus uses describe is knowing them. Poverty is two words that designate poverty in the New Testament kinase which is we get our English word penny which is poor working daily for daily wages to earn a living for the second word in the New Testament is at the Keisha which is an object, poverty or destitution. Someone with no resources whatsoever. Jesus Christ used the TCF to describe the poverty of the Christian in Smyrna there church was in the glory of Asia that they had absolutely nothing there. Poverty was due to their faith and their lack of loyalty to the Emperor. The same concept applies and cancel culture today. Recently my pillow founders products were dropped from big-box stores due to his support for Trump which is very similar in Rome, they were marginalized as not being patriotic citizens. Therefore, their businesses were not successful in the last word that he uses is persecution.
I know your works, your tribulation and your poverty but really the word blasphemy in which Jesus mentions here to say I know the blasphemy of those might be better rendered a slander.
There were Jews who makes Judaism and the grace of Christianity.
The church was being slandered by this group who is the synagogue of Satan. So with each diagnosis you Jesus Christ offers a remedy for their situation and say in this case the offer. Smyrna counsel. He counsels the church with two things.
Do not fear, and to be faithful says in verse 10 do not fear any of these things which are about to suffer. Be faithful unto death. Be fearless and be faithful. First, do not fear to not fear any of the things that you are about to suffer. Don't be afraid of the things that you are facing in a David read about this in the 23rd Psalm verse four yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me your rod and your staff they comfort me. Jesus also tells them.
Be faithful unto death.
That's really hard for us to digest.
We want to run when it gets to be too much. Our calling is to remain right in the middle of the pressure. The poverty and the persecution and to be faithful. It will be easier for all of us to find places to live and work where there wasn't so much pressure the crisis we are to stay put. But really, why should we be faithful unto death, know him and Christ told us that you could simply say we are to be obedient, but is not just for simple obedience. He says I will give you the crown of life.
This is a special reward in heaven.
To those who suffer intense persecution and martyrdom for the faith. There are five things in the book that the church of Smyrna can deduct from God's command said in chapter 2, the reputation of Christ was better than the reputation of the world, the reputation of Christ was better than the reputation of the world. The eternal aspect of Jesus Christ that he references in verse eight, is how John describes him. In chapter 1, the first and the last, who was dead and came to life. The city of Smyrna described itself, the same way they had risen from their own ashes for Christ is greater than all Greeks and Romans. We serve a God who has all is already dominion and power over all the earth, the reputation of Christ is better than the reputation of the world. The recognition of Christ is better than the recognition of Rome.
When Christ says I know is the Greek word Aleta does mean just an intellectual knowledge, but it means to know by virtue of experience. He identifies with the church because Christ has been pressured. He has been poor, has been persecuted in all his deity. He set aside and thought it not robbery of God to come in the form of a bondservant, made into human flesh so that he could identify with the human race. I would rather be recognized by Christ in the world. Next, the riches of Christ are better than the riches of Rome. In verse nine Christ says I know your poverty but you are rich, really, how can that be have a God really has a different value system in the world is completely opposite. If you contrast Smyrna with Laodicea.
They were rich in worldly goods, but they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Often times our wishes and God are invisible. We are laying up treasures that have eternal lasting that the mosque cannot eat.
The fourth thing is that the reckoning of time by Christ was better than the reckoning of time by Rome in verse 10 Christ is here about to suffer. The devil's going to throw some of you into prison, which is really persecution for 10 days. In second Peter 38 talks about time. I'm just gonna read that. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years thousand years as one day God's time is not how we count time sent from God's perspective. 10 days is a short time, but no suffering is too much to endure.
With his help, his time takes precedence over hours and lastly the rewards of Christ are better than the rewards of Rome. Christ promised them a crown of life. If they overcame. But because of the crown of life. We are not hurt by the second death the first death is this physical's separation from the spirit from the body. The second this is spiritual, eternal separation from God said because will have the crown of life. We will not be hurt by the second death. The second death is a lake of fire which is eternal separation from God that is mentioned in revelations 21 Angel Dr. Davis will continue her teaching in the coming weeks. Of the seven churches of Revelation, also known as the seven churches of the Apocalypse and the seven churches of Asia, located in present-day Turkey, which was an area in Asia minor region commerce military might for the early church florist even though they were greatly persecuted by Rome next week. The troop train takes us to the third church. The church of Pergamum the compromising church in the city were Satan had dwelt and established his throne in the early 30s Satan's altering for most was excavated stone by stone to a museum in Berlin Germany where it stands today.
Scholars are not certain why Jesus began the first three chapters of the Apocrypha Revelation with letters to the seven churches one can only surmise that Jesus was giving advance warnings of the last day church spiritual weakness in the early church. And as we look to the modern church today, we can clearly see the similarities of the seven churches in Revelation chapters 1 to 3 to the spiritual health of the church today will the modern church has been spiritually weakened by compromise, lukewarmness, and unfaithfulness. There is a remnant that is remain faithful and poor because of her love for Jesus. This church will be the triumphant church as we near the end of the church age and the retro believers directories when the church is removed from Earth escaping the great judgment of God would be our hope that you would be one of those were rapture escaping this distressful time in history and given eternal life because of your confession of sin and redemption by Jesus Christ. If you need help, please contact the truth team by firstname.lastname@example.org or write to her at truth matters PO Box 159 St. Paul's, North Carolina 2834 truth matters with Dr. Cheryl Davis is a ministry of truth project