SMYRNA CHURCH

The message to the end-time Smyrna attitude is the shortest of the 7 letters—only four verses:

Revelation 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 9 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. 10 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. 11 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.

In the instructions from Christ, the Smyrna attitude (church) and the Philadelphians have two things in common: (1) They have a synagogue of Satan right in their midst and (2) God basically is pleased with their works. Christ offers no correction to either church, just encouragement.

In Revelation 2:8, Jesus Christ establishes His authority:

Revelation 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

In verse 9, He gives a personal message of instruction to the end-time Christian. He knows if they are genuine or of the church of Satan:

Revelation 2:9 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.

Remember, the Bible is written with all its examples (prototypes) for the end-time Christians, upon whom the end of the ages has come:

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

“Ensamples” is Strong’s #5179: “a die (as struck), i.e. (by impl.) a stamp or scar; by anal. a shape, i.e. statue, (fig.) style or resemblance; spec. a sampler (“type“), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning).”

Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament says: “type, as a constituent element of a parable or model of some reality which was yet to appear, a prototype of that which was yet to be developed and evolved.”

How can a church of Satan be right in the midst of the Smyrna and Philadelphian churches? One thing is certain—God allows it and tells us about it in Matthew 13. He even gives some indication of the percentages:

Matthew 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

In verse 25, we are told that the enemy (Satan) comes and puts weeds in the wheat field (the Church).  In verse 29, God makes it clear that the weeds make up a minimum of 50% of the congregation of any given Church of God. If they were only 10%, 20% or 30%, the weeds could be extracted without damage to the wheat. But the weeds are thick enough to uproot some of the wheat if they were to be extracted. To understand the end-time events, we have to understand and believe 1 Corinthians 10:11:

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

The parable of the sower is explained in Matthew 13:37-43. We need to study this to understand this church of Satan:

Matthew 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The parable of the wheat and tares has its greatest application right now. God’s harvest of the end-time (Revelation 7:1-4, 9 and 14) is larger than the entire 6,000-year harvest prior to this time.

Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands………14….And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

In Revelation 7:1-4, the tribulation is held up so that this end-time group of 144,000 Israelites can be sealed. The 144,000 of Revelation 14:1 is the complete harvest PRIOR to the time when the tribulation is held up. Notice in these two passages that the 144,000 of Revelation 7 are Israelites. The 144,000 of Revelation 14 comes from among men:

Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads……3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

“Men” in verse 4 is Strong’s #444 meaning, “man-faced, i.e. a human being…” This indicates that the 144,000 of Revelation 14 comes from ALL nations, and are not just Israelites.

I mention all this to bring your attention to Matthew 13:25

Matthew 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

The word “slept” is Strong’s #2518, the same word used in Matthew 25:5 meaning “(to sleep); to lie down to rest, i.e. (by impl.) to fall asleep (lit. or fig.)…”

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

We are all asleep until the cry at midnight comes to us—there are no exceptions. This includes your favorite minister, if you have one. While we are sleeping, Satan is doing his dirty work to the greatest degree (Matthew 13:25) since there are more people involved in the end-time harvest than at any other time in history. This sleep is caused by the famine of the word:

Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

Revelation 2:9 gives us some additional information about this church of Satan that the end-time Christians have to deal with:

Revelation 2:9 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.

This church of Satan is made up of people who claim to be Christians (Jews) but are not. Understanding and accepting the fact that there is a church of Satan in our midst can clear up many questions we may have about our experiences with other lay members and ministers. If you have ever wondered about the behavior of a fellow “Christian” or a “minister,” this is the explanation. Satan has ministers and followers also.

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:  29  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.

The Smyrna church apparently was smitten with much tribulation and poverty. This is a prototype for the end-time Smyrna attitude. According to Unger’s Bible Handbook, the original town of Smyrna included a large Jewish community that was bitterly opposed to Christ and Christianity. This explains why they had much tribulation and poverty.  These Jews who opposed Christianity, playing church in their usual fashion, would control the money, jobs, commerce, etc. Whoever has the money among men has control. You know the golden rule—he who has the gold rules.

Revelation 2:9 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.

This word “poverty” is Strong’s #4432 meaning, “beggary, i.e. indigence (lit. or fig.):—poverty.” The Bible is written for the end-time Christian (1 Corinthians 10:11) and contains these “examples” (prototypes) for us.

The end-time Smyrna Church (attitude) will be poverty-stricken and will see much tribulation. Why do I say this? The Philadelphians go to a place of safety and the Laodiceans go into the great tribulation. If God’s word is true, this is also true about the Smyrna people. This attitude (church) will no doubt include people in many parts of the world. They will be away from the wealth that some of the end-time Christians will enjoy.

The man with 5 talents in Matthew 25:15 had lots of God’s tithe money to deal with:

Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

The word “goods” in verse 14 is God’s tithe. The only thing I was given by God when I was called was His tithe.

The Smyrna people will not be wealthy. They may be barely getting by on a very meager income. This Smyrna person could never be a Philadelphian. The Philadelphian has the goods (God’s tithe money) to go through the doors of Revelation 3:8.

Rev 3:8  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

This mighty God the Father and Jesus Christ consider these Smyrna people RICH—spiritual riches are what counts and the Smyrna attitude is wealthy in this respect, regardless of their physical conditions. These spiritual riches are what the Laodiceans are lacking:

Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Can we start to see what the messages to the seven churches are all about? The end-time Smyrna Church (attitude) will suffer much:

Revelation 2:10 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.

Apparently, there are no exceptions to the rule. “Thou” in verse 10 seems to be all-inclusive. “Tried” is Strong’s #3985 and means, “to test (obj.), i.e. endeavor, scrutinize, entice, discipline.” Many of the Laodicean people also will suffer martyrdom:

Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Christ will be scrutinizing these people as they work out their own salvation. This goes on for ten years, not necessarily all starting and stopping at the same time. The end-time events are going to take a period of time. It will not be over quickly because Christ and the Father have a lot of sorting to do. In reality, we sort ourselves—5 of the 10 virgins are wise and 5 are foolish. We must choose daily whether or not we will be saved:

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Revelation 2:11 is a warning to all Christians:

Revelation 2:11 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.

Those who have a (spiritual) ear, let them hear what God says to ALL the churches. If we won’t listen, the second death is our future.

Published May, 1999

© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA
edgar@solidrockspeople.org
www.solidrockspeople.org