Thursday, July 10, 2014

Revelation Vs by Vs Study: The Church At Smyrna Some History

A Verse by Verse Study
My own personal journey
"A journey of studying what’s revealed to me!"

Jesus, His Outline for the Church, Your Outline for the Church


REVELATION 2: 8 And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Smyrna write:

These are the words of the First and the Last, Who died and came to life again:I know your affliction and distress and pressing trouble and your poverty—but you are rich! and how you are abused and reviled and slandered by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.10 Fear nothing that you are about to suffer. [Dismiss your dread and your fears!] Behold, the devil is indeed about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested and proved and critically appraised, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be loyally faithful unto death [even if you must die for it], and I will give you the crown of life.11 He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). He who overcomes (is victorious) shall in no way be injured by the second death.

The persecuted church at Smyrna was the only church that got no rebuke or correction.  The only warning from Jesus was to be faithful to the end.  He also forewarned them (having preeminent knowledge) that they (some of them,) were about to be thrown into prison.  Many of us may never be persecuted to the point of prison or death but what if we were?  What if someone snatched you up and threw you into a prison, threatening to cut off your head if you didn’t renounce Jesus?  Would you renounce him to save yourself or would you lose yourself to KEEP him.  Here’s what Jesus says in Matthew 16: 24-28

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

While we may say or think, “that’s for others,” it’s not!  Those that die because of their faith aren’t just found in foreign countries.  Persecutions come in many ways.  What about something as simple as what former friends think or what fun or material pleasures you have to give up in order to pursue Christ?  What if you were trying to lead someone to Jesus and they mocked you?  Would you let that silence you and throw you into the prison of testing?

The purpose of my study is not to read all of the history of the city called Smyrna.  I’m wanting to find what “THE BIBLE” says about it.  Did you know the church at Smyrna is only mentioned twice in the bible?  Why is that?  It’s because they were steadfast even in persecution.  They didn’t change from their beginning to their end.  They didn’t dry up.  They stayed hotly on fire for Jesus witnessing and spreading the gospel.  They contended for his name to the point some died and some were thrown into prison but all, after enduring, were able to see victory even if it meant waking up in the arms of Jesus!

If you would like further reading on the city of Smyrna, Biblegateway has an article here that further confirms what the bible has to say about Smyrna:

Your sister in Christ,

Friday, July 4, 2014

Freedom Isn't Free! Freedom is Fought For and Bought With A Price!

Freedom has always historically been something you have to fight for! There's always some dominating ruler in some nation "or group" that wants more power. Until Jesus comes back, man will always be trying to achieve more power in order to keep and advance his own. Then comes the United States, a free country where the people can work at chosen jobs, worship in chosen religions and speak chosenwords without fear of beheading, or imprisonment (well, except the video Benghazi was supposedly about,) but that freedom we have wasn't free. It was fought for..... in a war..... and won! To think we can lay down our arms and never have to send troops anywhere again is to not understand freedom. In order to keep our own freedom we also have to fight for the freedom of our friends. If we don't our enemies grow larger and stronger and takeover more power. Eventually they will take ours should we let it go without doing anything long enough. This was the story of WWII. Hitler would have ruled the world had the United States not stepped in and fought with the allies. Freedom isn't free. It's something you have to fight for! ---

The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics
By Francis Scott Key 1814

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

.... and one last word about freedom. At the time this was written there were slaves in America; not only America but many slaves throughout the world. There are still many slaves throughout this world in many countries. In this country, the very freedom fought for by men (some with slaves,) was the very freedom those men had to come to realize wasn't just for them but was for all men in this nation. The freedom we fought for was that same freedom that was responsible for the freeing of every slave in this nation. America was the first nation to outlaw slavery!

Even that freedom was fought for and lives were lost. There will always be a fight for freedom until Jesus comes back. Let's not ever buy the lie that evil men will stay in their place if there isn't a strong nation to keep them in check. The men who have died for our freedom will not have fought in vain if we continue to realize this!
 — feeling wonderful.