Archive for Smyrna

Revelation The Last Letter

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2018 by paulthepoke
Now Available on Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1720136084

TheLastLetter_Cover_forWeb

These are the last of words of Jesus before He comes for His bride the Church. Revelation The Last Letter looks at the seven churches in their historical and geographical context in the first century. These were actual churches in actual ancient cities in what is modern day Turkey. What did Jesus actually say to the churches? Please, listen to the good news from Jesus Himself…

 

 

This is a great resource for small group Bible studies. Study questions are provided at the end of each chapter.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Revelation-Last-Letter-Paul-Lehr/dp/1720136084/

 

Advertisements

Revelation: Smyrna…Matter of Eternal Life or Death

Posted in Hell, Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , on January 8, 2017 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:10b-11 Be faithful until 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 will not be hurt by the second death.

This is the closing statement to the church at Smyrna from Jesus. He is going to discuss life and death matters for both the present life on earth and eternal considerations.

Be faithful…The idea expressed in the original Greek is a matter of practice and lifestyle. Be faithful in your life. Continually practice your faith…to the point of death.

 θάνατος/thanatos is the Greek word for death. Here is the idea in the original language. The separation (whether natural or violent) of the soul and the body by which the life on earth is ended with the implied idea of future misery in hell. –Strong’s Concordance

This death is in reference to bodily, physical death. Humanity in its current fallen condition is either going to die or be transformed at the rapture.

How are we going to overcome that? Jesus has an answer. I will give you the crown of life. The crown of life is an eternal gift. Below are three of many verses claiming eternal life through Christ.

John 10:28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. -Jesus

1 John 5:11-12 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

John 11:25-26  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”-Jesus

He who has an ear…Listen up! The Spirit and Jesus are talking to YOU!

He who overcomes…Another translation for the word “overcome” is conquer or win the case as a legal matter. The Greek word is νικαο/nikao. This is arguably a continuation of the legal language to the church at Smyrna. Remember, Satan is the prosecution in this legal matter (Revelation 2:10).

Jesus is the ultimate conquering hero. He has overcome death and sin.

Revelation 5:5 and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”

As members of the body of Christ, we conquer via the Overcomer. Scripture is very clear. There is only one way to conquer.

1 John 5:4-5 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world…our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

The second death is the one to be avoided. It is a one way ticket to hell.

Revelation 20:14-15 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Choose Jesus…

Revelation: Smyrna on Trial

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , on January 1, 2017 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days…

Fear not! That is what the text says. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Jesus tells the church at Smyrna not to be afraid. The Greek word is πηοβεο/phobeo. This is where we get the English word “phobia”. In the Greek it is defined as: fear, to be afraid, to be seized with alarm. –Strong’s Concordance

The idea is the church cannot live in a state of continual fear as a lifestyle. Avoid being gripped with fear. Keep your wits and be sensible, difficult times are coming.

Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested

Bad news. It is Satan and he is holding a trial. The language of this part of the verse is legal in nature.

Satan is going to “test” and it is the Greek word πειραζο/peirazo. It is defined as:  to test one maliciously, craftily to put to the proof his feelings or judgments; to try or test one’s faith, virtue, character, by enticement to sin, tempt.

This is hardly a fair trial. We know Satan is a prosecuting attorney from multiple sources in the Bible in both the Old and New Testament. Granted we are guilty. But he is a tattletale all the time.

Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.

Zechariah 3:1  Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.

Some would ask the question. Who is in charge Satan or God? God will allow Satan to test people with limits. God grants that authority to Satan with Job. Satan knows who is in charge. When God calls, Satan comes. See Job 2 for a detailed account of a conversation with Satan and God. Specifically, look at Job 2:6 So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.”

In this case, Jesus is allowing Satan to test the church.

…and you will have tribulation for ten days. Here is the word for “tribulation” in the Greek is τηλιπσισ/thlipsis. The church will have pressure for ten days. There is much speculation around these “ten days”. What is meant by “ten days”? There are no definitive answers.

However, there is a parallel in the book of Daniel. Daniel and his three friends had been taken captive to Babylon. A diet was being imposed on the young Jewish boys. Daniel had a request of the warden.

Daniel 1:12 “Please test your servants for ten days by providing us with some vegetables to eat and water to drink.”

Daniel 1:14-15 So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food. 

The result of “ten days” of testing was improved health and appearance in comparison to their peers. But that wasn’t all. Daniel 1:20 As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm.

Observation regarding Daniel and ten days was provided by The Revelation Record, Henry M. Morris, p. 56.

Short term suffering and pressure in this life on Earth cannot compare to an eternal life of blessing with God the Father, Son, and Spirit. Keep your eye on the prize.

Revelation: Smyrna Under Pressure

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2016 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:8 And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:

The first and the last…The idea of the Messiah being the first and the last goes back to the Old Testament prophets. The phrase is the calling card to identify the Messiah. Jesus identifies Himself as the first and the last in Revelation 1:17.

Isaiah 44:6 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me”.

Isaiah 48:12 Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last.

At the last of the book of Revelation and the Bible closes with this reminder.

Revelation 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. -Jesus

…who was dead, and has come to life… The gospel message is simply stated in the first sentence to the church at Smyrna. We know Jesus died on a cross. We know He was buried. We know He resurrected. Jesus is the person talking. Christ proclaims His good news.

Revelation 2:9 ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

The English word “tribulation” is the Greek word τηλιπσισ/thlipsis. Per Strong’s Concordance it is defined as:  pressing, pressing together, pressure; metaphorically it means oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits.

In other words, as believers in Jesus Christ, we are going to come under pressure from the world. This life promises stress and oppression. What we believe will come under affliction.

“Tribulation” or τηλιπσισ/thlipsis is not the same word used for God’s “wrath”. The Greek word for “wrath” is οργε/orge. The word is defined as: wrath, indignation; anger exhibited in punishment, hence used for punishment itself; of punishments inflicted by magistrates.

A couple of example of God’s wrath are noted below.

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…

Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

The church does not come under God’s wrath. But the body of Christ was, is, and will be pressured during our earthly lives.

…(but you are rich)…The church at Smryna was materially poor of wealth and worldly possessions. The reality, they were wealthy in an eternal sense. The Greek vocabulary says these folks were people of virtue and character. And they believed in Jesus Christ, their Heavenly possession.

…but are a synagogue of Satan. This is the first of four references to Satan in the book of Revelation.

The Greek word for “synagogue” is not the same Greek word used for “church”.

The word for “synagogue” is the transliterated word συναγογε/sunagoge. Two points about this word. One, it is a physical structure or building. Two, it is an assembly of men.

The Greek word for “church” is εκκλεσια/ekklesia. It means: a called out group of Christians; the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth. The church is not a building.

Satan’s synagogue is different than Jesus Christ’s church.

Satan’s crew, the so called Jewish congregation had some character issues. They used the Lord’s name in vain and they were liars.

Revelation: Historical Smyrna

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , on December 11, 2016 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:8a And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write…

Ancient Smyrna today is Izmir, Turkey. It is located about 35 miles north of Ephesus. Smyrna was founded by the Greeks approximately 3,000 years ago. The city was rebuilt by Alexander the Great in roughly 340 BC. Later, the Romans were given control of the city in 133 BC as a part of Eumenes III will and testament.

Ancient Smyrna was a port city and relied on commercial trade.

The martyr Polycarp was the Bishop of Smyrna. He was killed in 155 AD.

Smyrna became a territory in the eastern leg of the Roman Empire. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 178 AD.

Eventually, Smyrna became part of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century.

Today, Izmir is the most populous Aegean port city in Turkey. The city is predominantly Muslim. It is the third most populous city in Turkey. Izmir is home to Turkey’s second largest Jewish community of about 2,500. (Wikipedia)

Revelation Churches: Modern Day Turkey

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2016 by paulthepoke

Revelation 1:11 saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” –Jesus

The Greek word for “book” is Βιβλιον/biblion. It means: a small book, a scroll, a written document. This is the word where we get the term Bible.

The word “book” is singular in the sentence. It would appear John sent one “book” or epistle to the seven churches. The book was sent from the island of Patmos. The order of the seven churches listed is geographical and clockwise in nature. The first stop on the mainland of Turkey was Ephesus. Next, the letter would have gone north to Smyrna. The third stop was north in Pergamum. Following Pergamum to the east and a bit south was Thyatira. The fifth stop to the south would have been Sardis. A jog to the east and the letter stopped in Philadelphia. The last stop to the south and east was Laodicea.

All seven churches are located in what is modern day Turkey.

Four of the seven churches in Revelation have references to Satan. Jesus is the one talking directly to the churches. Jesus got His information from God the Father (Revelation 1). This is not conjecture. The churches are: Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, and Philadelphia.

Acts 16:6 They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia… The Holy Spirit made sure Paul and his companions stayed in modern day Turkey instead of advancing east to China. The regions of Phrygia and Galatia are in the heart of Asia Minor.

Satan has his trinity. He plays the role of God. The antichrist plays the role of Jesus. And the false prophet plays the role of the Holy Spirit. Satan clearly has a foot hold in Turkey per the comments of Jesus to the churches in Revelation. Satan has a religious system and structures in place in this geographical area. If Satan’s home land is modern day Turkey, would it make sense for him to establish his kingdom with his minions here?

 

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch

God in a Nutshell project

A Trey Smith project

%d bloggers like this: