Revelation 2:8 ESV
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.’”
This is Jesus Christ speaking. He is the first and the last, the Alpha and Omega. He is God. He was crucified on a cross for a crime he did not commit, but it was God the Father’s will that he should suffer so. For in his death, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God, but not just in status, but in practice.
And then God the Father resurrected him from the dead and after about 40 days he ascended back to heaven with the Father and from there he sent his Holy Spirit to indwell his true followers. And because of what Jesus did for us we can be crucified with Christ in death to sin and be raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in Him, created to be like God in his righteousness.
Revelation 2:9 ESV
“I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”
There are many people today, at least here in America, who are being taught institutional Christianity and not the true gospel of Christ. For this institutional Christianity comes not from the mind of God but from the mind of human beings. It is an all-inclusive religion that, although it claims Christ as Savior and Lord, in truth it does not honor him as Savior and Lord. For it teaches that a mere profession of faith in Jesus will secure for you forgiveness of all sins and eternity in heaven when you die.
So, basically, anyone of any religion can say that they believe in Jesus and they can be told that they are now part of God’s family and that all their sins are forgiven and that they are on their way to heaven, but that it doesn’t have to alter their lifestyles at all. In fact, they do not have to submit to Christ as Lord, so there is no honor of God in this religion, and they don’t have to obey Jesus or forsake their sinful practices, and yet they are being promised forgiveness of all sins and a guaranteed place in heaven.
This is man-made religion, it is false, and it is of Satan, not of God. And those who worship this religion and who follow it are not of God but of Satan and of the synagogue (church) of Satan. And they are the ones who are persecuting the saints of God who have died with Christ to sin and who are living to God and to his righteousness, and who daily by the Spirit are putting to death the deeds of the flesh and who are walking in obedience to the Lord in holiness and righteousness.
Those of the synagogue (church) of Satan are all those who are following the teachings of man over the teachings of Christ and of his New Testament apostles. They may, though, have the appearance that what they are teaching is Scripture, but they usually will teach Scriptures out of their context and will twist and alter them to make them say what they want them to say and to give people a false hope of salvation from sin and a false hope of eternal life with God in heaven.
Who are those who are leading the way for this false gospel? They are the intoxicated to sin, the self-indulgent, liars, deceivers, and manipulators who are saying what itching ears want to hear. Many of them blend the truth and the lies together so skillfully that many people are not aware that what they are believing are lies and not the truth. Yet the Scriptures teach that they are without excuse for God has revealed to all humankind who he is, and yet people love the darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil.
For the truth of the gospel is that we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and be raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him. And then we must now walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh or we don’t have eternal life with God. For faith is obedience and disobedience is unbelief. Faith in Jesus Christ involves humbling ourselves before God, dying with him to sin, and walking with him in holiness and righteousness in accord with the teachings of his word and in obedience to his commands.
And those of us who have died with Christ to sin, and who are daily dying to sin and to self and who are walking in obedience to his commands, are being slandered and persecuted and mistreated and rejected for our beliefs and for what we practice. And our persecutors are mainly those of institutional Christianity who are following after an all-inclusive religion which allows the sinner to keep on his deliberate sin and which makes no requirements for submission to Christ, for obedience to him, and for the forsaking of sins.
[Matt 5:10-16; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Acts 1:8; Acts 26:18; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 1:3-11; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Phil 3:7-11; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 3:13; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Pet 4:12-17]
Revelation 2:10 ESV
“Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation.”
But we are not to fear their persecution, their rejection of us, their lies being spread about us, and/or their ignoring of us and of the truth of the gospel which we are teaching. We are not to be afraid of their verbal attacks against us or perhaps more severe forms of persecution. We are not to fear the things they are saying about us, some of it behind our backs, and some of it out where we can hear it or read it. And we are not to fear that so many are following the lies and that so few appear to be adhering to the truth.
We are to be those who are overcomers, who face the reality of our situations, and who do not deny them, but who conquer them in the power of God’s Spirit. For Jesus did not promise us that life would be easy or free from pain and suffering. He promised us that life would be hard and full of suffering and persecutions if we follow him with our lives. But he also promised us a life of victory in him, and of joy and peace in knowing Him as our Lord and Savior and in serving him with our lives.
Revelation 2:10-11 ESV
“Be faithful unto 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. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.”
Yes, we are going to have trials and tribulations which try our faith, and some of us will even be martyred for our walks of faith and for our testimonies for Jesus Christ. But if we remain faithful to our Lord to the death, he will give us the crown of life. We will have eternal life in him. For it is the one who conquers who will not be hurt by the second death, i.e. who will have eternal life with God and who will not face the wrath of God.
For, the Scriptures do not promise eternal life to everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ. It is only those who walk in obedience to the Lord’s commands (New Covenant), who forsake their sinful practices, and who submit to the Lordship of Christ and walk in holiness and righteousness until the very end of time who have the hope of salvation from their sins and the hope of eternal life with God. For not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the one DOING the will of God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]
Oh, That Will Be Glory
By Charles H. Gabriel, pub 1900
When all my labors and trials are o’er,
And I am safe on that beautiful shore,
Just to be near the dear Lord I adore,
Will through the ages be glory for me.
When, by the gift of His infinite grace,
I am accorded in heaven a place,
Just to be there and to look on His face,
Will through the ages be glory for me.
Friends will be there I have loved long ago;
Joy like a river around me will flow;
Yet just a smile from my Savior, I know,
Will through the ages be glory for me.
Oh, that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me,
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.
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