The Revelation Given to John by Jesus Through the Angel
Lesson four continued
“Don’t fear at all the things you are about to suffer: be aware that the devil will throw some of you into prison so that you will be tried. You shall have tribulation for a time, but be faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life.”
The assembly at Smyrna had already suffered tribulation and now Yeshua[i] tells them not to fear the added trials of prison that will prove their faith before men and angels.
Their living Hope, The Lord Yeshua Ha Mashiach[ii], called them to an incorruptible inheritance that would not fade away and was reserved in heaven for them. They could rejoice that the resurrection power would keep them and the trial of their faith, which was much more precious than perishable gold, would result in praise, honor, and glory. They could say, with Job, “I know that my Redeemer lives and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh, I shall see God.” They knew that nothing could separate them from the love of God that is in Yeshua Ha Mashiach. Their testimony has survived throughout the centuries.
He that has an ear to hear; let him hear what the spirit says to the assemblies. He that overcomes shall in no way be injured of the second death.
As anyone who wants to listen can hear what the Spirit is saying to the assemblies – the people who gather in Yeshua’s name. We don’t need a special anointing from God, the Church of the Living God has been anointed by the Spirit of God to hear and understand. However, anyone who has the will to listen may hear the message of life spoken by his Spirit through his body of believers and his word.
The second death is eternal separation from God and all that is implies. Since we know that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father, it follows that severance from the Father for eternity means lasting exclusion from anything good or perfect. We also know that death and the grave will be thrown into the lake of fire that burns forever and ever.
The wonderful promise, that we who overcome by the blood of the Lamb of God, is part of that blessed hope. The knowledge; that Yeshua has prepared a place for us in the kingdom of his Father, is coming again to gather us to him, we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and our salvation will be complete; will be crowned with the joy that death is swallowed up in victory.
What do we see when we look at ourselves in the reflection of the lies of the Christians at Smyrna? When we are asked to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in other lands today, are we inclined to beg god to give them immediate freedom, or do we pray that they will come forth strong in the glory and honor of the Lord?
We are rich in goodness, strength, mercy, grace, and the guiding hand of the Alpha and Omega, our Strong God. Mashiach[iii] didn’t just lie once, he is Life. He wasn’t just resurrected from the dead, he is the Resurrection. He became dead, but it was a passing phase; he passed through death because he is the Resurrection and the Life. He experienced the worst that life could do and emerged triumphant, so we can trust to bring us in victory through our trials. [iv]
Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving us discernment to tell the difference between trash and treasure, hold tight to the treasures with an eternal weight of glory, and leave the trash alone. We desire more than anything to live in your resurrection power so that it is you who lives through us and your words, love, decisions, and objectives operate through us. And blessed be the name of the Lord God from this time forth and forevermore.
O Lord, how sweet it is to know that you are the Resurrection and the Life. How good to know that “I am Crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. “ and that life, lived through me, is in your resurrection power. Oh the blessed thought, that I might know you and the power of your resurrection and the fellowship of your suffering, being made conformable unto your death.
Oh Lord, so that my light won’t go out, make me so heavenly minded that I am no earthly good. When I look at tribulation, I will see victory and I will rejoice. We love you, O Lord, God Almighty. We praise you O God of the Son of your love who has set us free into the kingdom of your righteousness where joy is complete and life is safe from the curse of sin and death and all they produce. And blessed be the name of the Lord God from this time forth and forevermore.
[ii] The Lord, Jesus Christ
[iv] I John 5:4; I Corinthians 15:57