Smyrna is Crushed

To the messenger of the assembly of Christ-followers at Smyrna (whose name reflects the myrrh plant, which releases its fragrance when crushed), write this at once.  This message is directly from the One who is the First and the Last, and the One who was crucified and is resurrected.  He is alive!

Jesus knows all about your difficult circumstances.  He understands what you are going through with absolute clarity and accuracy.  He sees your tribulation – the anguish, the affliction, the burden, and the persecution.  He sees your poverty, but He looks beyond that to the greater reality that you are possessors of wealth and greater riches.  He is also aware of the slander and the vilification that you encounter and endure from blasphemous pretenders who claim to be righteous Jews.  Actually, their assembly resembles a synagogue of Satan.

You are about to suffer.  Do not be surprised by this.  Being disciples of the Christ makes you outlaws in this culture.  These enemies of the cross will make every effort to diminish and denigrate God’s Word.  Satan will influence them to throw you into prison, but this only serves to strengthen you and to spread the message of the Kingdom.  This testing shows the genuineness of the Spirit within you.  All persecution has parameters.  Yours will last ten days (in history, this time period is from approximately AD 54-305, when ten crazed Roman emperors starting with Nero and ending with Diocletian, severely persecuted Christians).  Continue to be increasingly and intensely faithful, even if it costs your lives.  If you die a martyr’s death, Christ Himself will present you with the victor’s wreath.

Are your ears awake to attentively hear and listen to what the Spirit is saying to all of the local assemblies collectively as the Body of Christ?  For those of you who make the serious and intentional choice to overcome – to conquer, to prevail, to subdue, and to gain the victory by following instead of by fighting – know with assurance that you will not at all be hurt by eternal death.

Revelation 2:8-11, an expanded translation.


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