And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the First and the Last, which was dead, and is alive; 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. 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. he that hath and ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; he that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death.
Attribute: “the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive”
This is one of only two churches that Jesus did not find any fault with and with Smyrna He is warning them and giving them encouragement He is also addressing fear.
- their works
Jesus is telling the church at Smyrna that He is very aware of them and what they do for Him. He knows they are very obedient to Him. He also know what because of that they are being troubled by those around them for their faith and teaching/preaching the gospel. They are a poor church but He says they rich in the Word and are storing up treasures in Heaven–Matthew 6:19-21 through being obedient.
Jesus is warning them that they will suffer because of those that are of satan's group, and some of them will be cast into prison for 10 days. But He tells them to not be afraid what those things. He always tells us to fear NOT!
Attribute applied: He also knows because He has been through it Himself when He lived here on the earth. He IS The First and The Last, was dead, and IS alive! He has lived here on the earth for 33 years and has faced what the Smyrnaians have faced. He knows they will be severally tried and He tells them to remain faithful unto death. He is telling them: ‘I have been there and come out on the other side. I am the first and last; I was dead and now alive. I know what is awaiting for you––remain faithful!!’ Don't get discouraged. Never give up. (Winston Churchill!)
He is telling us the same thing: Remain faithful!! Keep focused on Jesus and be obedient to what He tells you to do through though severely tried-remain faithful! And you will:
Reward: “Not be hurt of the second death”