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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Letter To The Church Of Smyrna Revelation 2:8-11

To see Revelation 2:8-11 without my comments click HERE.

Continuing in Revelation, we come to the letter addressed to the Church of Smyrna.
The second church that was addressed by Yashua (Jesus) through Paul, was the church of Smyrna. The Messiah describes himself as being the last which was dead and now alive (first to be born again). Although the members of the church of Smyrna were poor in worldly goods, they were rich in a way where they were preparing themselves for God's kingdom when it comes to earth; Matt 6:19-20.

The Church of Smyrna suffered greatly in tribulation, Tribulation of course means the stress of being a Christian and being put on the spot for your faith; Romans 14:12. The church of Smyrna was being persecuted by false Jews that allied themselves with Rome. Specific lies that the Jews spread at that time,were: the Christians were anti-family because they would call each other Brother and Sister, and they were cannibalistic because they would refer to the Passover meal as the body and blood of the Messiah.
The Christians were literally blamed for all the problems of Rome by the false Jews, just as it seems to starting today also. Please note I am not just making up untrue things to say about the Jews, but rather it's very clear in the Bible of their persecution against the Christians . If you look at the book of Acts, it was the Jews that persecuted the Christians every time and eventually they persuaded the Romans to persecute Christians; Acts 13:50, 14:2 and 5, 14:19, 17:5, Ect...
Revelation 2:9 refers to the false Jews that practiced the anti-Christ religion of Talmudism, and literally were the synagogue of Satan.
In verse 10 the church of Smyrna was told that some of them will be cast into prison and have tribulation at the hands of the devils (false Jews) for 10 days; John8:44. 10 days in the Bible refers to the shortest period of time to establish a fact, as set by examples in; Genesis 24:55, Job 19:3, Daniel 1:12.
The persecution of the Christians in Smyrna is best summed up by Lt. Gordon “Jack” Mohr USA Ret. In his book “The Mystery Of True Israel”, on pg 30. he states
This message from our Savior, was sent to a church which was under merciless persecution not only from the Romans, but a Jewish element which was bitterly hostile to Christians, and which like the Zionists of today were dedicated to its destruction. (In this connection, it is interesting to note that Emperor Nero's wife, was a Jewess who hated Christians with a virulet hatred.) Smyrna was the center of the “Imperial Cultus,” which mercilessly persecuted any religious sect which did not recognize Caesar as God. For some reason, which I will not attempt to explain, this persecution did not reach to the Jews in Rome. These Jews, not the “seed of Abraham,” as Deboer claims, but the “pseudo-Jews” of Smyrna, had been exempted by royal decree from having to worship Caesar. They were able to carry on their heathen Talmudic worship without coming under the Roman ban for treason and blasphemy. These were the same crowd who a few years before had cried to Pontius Pilate: Away with Him! (Christ) Away with Him! Crucify Him. We have no king but Caesar.”

The worship of Caesar in Smyrna consisted of only a token tribute. There were many heathen faiths in Smyrna that just went along with the worship of Caesar, just one time a year when it was necessary. This token worship consisted of only throwing a pinch of incense into a fire and then they were granted a piece of paper showing they recognized Caesar as god. The true Israelite Christians of the day that would have no other gods ahead of the one and only true God, refused to throw the pinch of incense into the fire. The true Christians were persecuted by being fed to lions, or were burned at the stake.
Many Smyrnans forfeitted their lives at the hands of the false Jews during their 10 days of tribulation. The most famous to lose their life was the Bishop of Smyrna, who's name was Polycarp. Polycarp was over 100 and was the last person to have personally known an Apostle. He was personally appointed to be Bishop by John and was his contemporary. Polycarp refused to honor Caesar by putting incense into the fire. One night Polycarp had a dream that his pillow was on fire and told the people that he knew, that he felt it was a sign from God, and he was going to be burned at the stake for not worshiping Caesar. Three days later, Roman soldiers came and arrested Polycarp at his home. When the soldiers came for him, he actually welcomed the Roman soldiers and fed them. In return he asked to be allowed to pray for an hour before going with them. The Roman soldiers agreed to let him pray and some in turn became Christians themselves. When Polycarp arrived to his destination, he was given an ultimatum to pay homage to Caesar or to die. Polycarp said:
86 years have I have served him, and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?”
Then he was sentenced to be burned at the stake and was tied to a pole. The fire was lit under him and a wind came and blew the fire away from Polycarp. After an extensive amount of time a Roman soldier was ordered to stab him to death. Polycarp had no fear, but had faith in God. Faith is the opposite of fear, and will deliver those who look to the Father in tribulation; Psalm 91
This is the only picture I could find depicting Polycarp, the Bishop of Smyrna..

When he died, he was over 100 years old. His life was a living testament as he both lived and died for the truth of God's Kingdom. In this picture he has a halo because he was canonized as a Saint by the Roman Catholic Church. As far as why a hundred year old man is jacked with six pack abs, I offer no explanation.
 It's my prayer that all Israel would have the faith of Polycarp

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