Who is addressing the church? The First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life (2:8; Isa. 48:12). As the First, He made all things. As the Last, He will judge all things.
Their Deeds/works: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan (Rev. 2:9; 2 Cor. 6:8-10). Though one may be considered poor in worldly materials, but if one has abundance of faith and spiritual strength one is rich – as opposed to the Laodicea church in 3:18 which God counts as poor, although they thought they were rich.
Their Offenses: None
God’s Judgement: None
The Way Out: Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days (Rev. 2:10)… “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (Rev. 2:11).
Promises for those who endure:
- Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life… He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ’ (Rev. 2:11).
- These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
Implications: The One who is addressing the church was dead and came to life. Although the church in Smyrna was not the only one to whom Christ introduced Himself as “the First and the Last” (Isa. 44:6; Isa. 48:12; Rev. 22:13), the universal message is that He is able to bring people to life if their persecution leads to life.
How rich am I in faith?