,, And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;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. 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. 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.”
The news of the gospel probably reached Smyrna through the apostle Paul, who preached in the church of Ephesus for about two years.
,, And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.”
Based on this text, we can conclude that the church in Smyrna was created under the influence of the sermon of the Apostle Paul, because it is very possible that someone listened to the Apostle Paul and then conveyed the good news in Smyrna where the church was formed. they worship Roman emperors who were proclaimed deities, so it was in Smyrna where they built a temple in which they worshiped Roman emperors. Roman law prescribed that every citizen of the Roman Empire should take a piece of incense and throw it on the altar in front of the imperial figure and It was an acknowledgment that Caesar was the Lord. After this ritual, the citizen could worship and respect at any time. Since the Romans knew that the Jews would not want to observe this, they were exempted from these ceremonies and only needed to offer sacrifices to the Lord the happiness of kings and to send them gifts.
In the beginning, apart from the Jews, Christians were also released from this obligation because the Romans did not differentiate between Jews and Christians, but after the sixtieth year, more than thirty years have passed since Jesus' death and resurrection. of the Apostle Paul, who eventually reached Rome itself because no solution could be found before various lower courts. From now on, the Romans began to distinguish between Christians and Jews because Christians did not belong to any legal religion and therefore considered that they did not have the same rights. as Jews, which resulted in them no longer being relieved of the obligation to worship Roman emperors.Natural Christians did not want to do so so there was the first persecution of Christians.Soonly after 64, when Rome was burned to take off guilt and removed suspicion Nero accused the Christians that they were responsible for the event. Persecutions, dungeons, death sentences have since become frequent and a large number of Christians were persecuted or suffered because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
In Smyrna, the main source of income was oil called "myrrh" and it was extracted from bitter wood to be processed into a perfume that was sold. This perfume was used to make clothes smell nice.
,, All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia,”
it was used to beautify girls and women
"for so long they were to beautify themselves, six months with myrrh oil, and six months with fragrances and other things for female beauty."
,, … according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, [to wit], six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with [other] things for the purifying of the women;)”
and was also used to anoint priests.
,, Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred [shekels], and of sweet cinnamon half so much, [even] two hundred and fifty [shekels], and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty [shekels], And of cassia five hundred [shekels], after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. "
Exodus 30: 23-25
Finally, this perfume was used when placing the body of Jesus in the canvas according to Jewish custom.
,, And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound [weight]. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.”
John 19: 39-40
"And thou shalt write unto the angel of the church of Smyrna, Thus saith the First and the Last, which was dead, and, behold, he liveth."
Since the church in Smyrna was persecuted and many of its members were killed by the Roman Empire, Jesus approached this church with consolation, who was dead and is alive: "These words were to comfort the believers of the church in Smyrna because Jesus tells them that He was dead, but now he is alive, which means that the brothers who were killed by Rome are not dead but alive, and it was really a lot of people killed, and some building of about a thousand Christian heads was built.
,,,, And write to the angel of the church of Smyrna: "We saw earlier that the angel of the church is a preacher, so now here we have a preacher of the church in Smyrna named Polycarp and he lived from 70 to 155 and is known to have been a friend of the apostle John.
We have seen that "myrrh" is mentioned far in the past in the second book of Moses and they probably knew that this perfume has been used since "antiquity" but Jesus tells them "Thus saith the First" or "I am the first". I am before myrrh ",,, I am from eternity" ,, I am the eternal God and then immediately ,, and the Last ". So ,, your" myrrh "will pass but I will never" ,, I am through eternity " hence the Eternal God,
So Jesus continues, "who was dead," Jesus reminds them that he died on the cross so that they and we can live because Jesus is alive, so we will live too.
,,... b because I live, ye shall live also.”
"I know your deeds, and your affliction and poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemies of those who say they are Jews and they are not, but a collection of Satans." Because of the sale of perfume the inhabitants of Smyrna were rich but the church was poor and persecuted because Christians were not they wanted to worship the statues of the gods and they did not make a statue of Jesus in order to worship him and if they did, the rest of the people would probably act as they did towards other false gods, ie their statues.
,, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:”
,, Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.”
Because of all these problems, perhaps the Christians of the Church in Smyrna thought that Jesus had forgotten them, so such troubles happen to them, but here is what Jesus tells them:
"I know your deeds, and trouble and poverty"
Jesus knows everything and of course what happened to the church in Smyrna and that is why he adds something "but you are rich" and this sounds strange but the apostle Paul wrote
,, As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and [yet] possessing all things.”
2 Cor.6: 10
So the Christians in Smyrna were poor materially but they were rich spiritually and that gave them hope and strength to resist all the problems they were facing ..
"And blaspheme those who say they are Jews and they are not, but the assembly of Satan
Here Jesus calls the Jews a "collection of Satan" because they were good merchants, businessmen in Smyrna built a synagogue where they had worship but at the same time hated Christians and accused and slandered them so they blasphemed Christians and Jesus says that they were not "Jews" but a "collection of Satan" because they "allied themselves with Satan" and wanted to destroy the Christians they even went so far as to bribe the Roman authorities to succeed in destroying the Christians of Smyrna. the first persecutor of Christians and history records that two Jews persuaded Nero to falsely accuse Christians of burning Rome, thus giving them cause for persecution and murder.
"They say that they are Jews and they are not" and why they are not Jews when they are from Israel we can see from the text written by the apostle Paul.
,, For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.”
True, these Jews were Jews in the flesh, but they became "Satan's collection" because one of Satan's names is "the accuser of the brethren," just as these "Jews" did to the Christians in Smyrna.
"Don't be afraid of what you will suffer. Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tempted, and ye shall have tribulation within ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the wreath of life. "The preacher of the church in Smyrna was Polycarp, who was also persecuted and executed by being burned because he did not want to renounce the Lord Jesus. He was replaced by a preacher named Pion, but he was later burned because of his faith in Jesus Christ. .
"Behold, the devil will throw some of you into prison," and Christians were thrown into dungeons, and here we see why they were thrown, "to be tempted," was the answer of the Lord Jesus. temptations have time and certain limits, and here we see how long those trials lasted, "and you will have trouble for up to ten days." That was the measure they could bear. Here is what the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, and of course it applies to everyone. even to the Christians of Smyrna.
,, There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].”
1 Cor.10: 13
The church in Smyrna has become a symbol of the persecution of Christians and that is why the Lord Jesus sends them encouragement and a promise to receive the "crown of life", "Be faithful until death itself, and I will give you the crown of life." This is a reward for faithfulness and not eternal life. and such a wreath is given to those who suffer martyrdom for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ.
"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."
So whoever wins will not be harmed by the "second death" and what the second death is is written in Revelation.
",,And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death”
,, 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.”
Based on this we see that the second death is a lake of fire and it is not a place where believers will end the truth will go through physical death to heavenly glory except a group of believers who will be alive to be taken to heaven when the Lord Jesus comes to the clouds for the church. which we can conclude we can also confirm on the basis of what it says that all who are not faithful will be thrown into the lake of fire.
"He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" this is a warning but also an encouragement not only to the church in Smyrna but to all who can "hear and understand" what the Spirit says to the churches and speaks of victory and victory is faith and only the newborn have it, and whoever believes in Jesus also receives a rebuke from Jesus, "Whoever overcomes will not be harmed by another death."
",,For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
1 Job 5: 4-5
Only newborns have an ear that can "hear" this because it clearly says:
“,,That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
John 3: 6
,, But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.”
1 Cor.2: 14
And those who can "hear and understand" have promises
,, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
,, Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
Rev. 20: 6