The Church at Smyrna

The Church at Smyrna 01

 

The Church at Symrna
             By: R.S. Helms

It may be a change to read about something positive, or at least as the Lord viewed the church at Smyrna. This is a church, which may well reflect in the universal church, your local church, and of course, the church is people, it is a good standard to judge our personal spiritual position.

The word Smyrna has as its root, the word myrrh is a substance that has the sweet smell and used in the making of perfume, incense, and medicine. Smyrna was a beautiful city with rich farmland; and often referred to as the ‘crown of Asia.’ Nonetheless, it was also the center of Caesar-worship in Asia Minor; the infamous ‘golden street’ that ran from the harbor up to Mt. Pagos. Along the way one passed by an imposing array of pagan temples to Cybele, Apollo, Aesculapius, Aphrodite, and Zeus. Yet, there was a Christian church, which would only relate to the persecution that the Christians underwent. It was the martyr Polycarp who was burned at the stake for his Christian faith in Smyrna.

In the Revelation of John, we read the running commendation of Jesus as he found no fault with the church.

Revelation 2:8—11 … “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write. These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life… 9). ‘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.   10). ‘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. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.   11). ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ‘

First, allow me the opportunity to clarify just a couple of things here. In vs. nine, the church was not rich with money, but in faith and commitment, the Christians were the outcasts in this stronghold of paganism, and under persecution from the Jews and Romans as well.

Jesus has a wonderful way of calling it like it is; the Jews, whom he is speaking, were Jews who found favor with Rome, because of their trade, and they kept that relationship going by worshiping Caesar. Jesus therefore called it, as it was, the synagogue of Satan. Of course, that would only cause additional persecution from the Jews in Smyrna.

Some of the Christians would be thrown into prison; the indication of ten days refers to a ‘short’ period; yet some would die during the mal-treatment or persecution. Jesus promises a “crown of life” for those who stand strong in the faith. “He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” This refers not to the pieces of flesh and gristle hanging on either side of one’s head; rather to the spiritual ears, which hear the voice of the Spirit.

In a time of serious persecution, this church stood firm in the faith, they kept doing what Jesus expects His church to do; love Him enough to keep teaching and preaching in the Spirit and Truth. Not to hide under a bushel, or fall to the ways of the world. The persecution will get stronger, as time goes on, but we need to be about the Lords business, and above all, they did not deny Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Today, it seems as though the world is on fire. The chaos in the world today only verifies that the Devil is truly, what scripture says; he is the prince of the air, and the ruler of principalities. It a world that is poised to engage in world war three, or so it seems. Jesus told the disciples that the end is at hand, the end is near, and problem is, we do not know what actual span of time ‘near’ is.

The church at Smyrna knew the end was near, and it escapes my thinking, that this church, under such circumstances just did not throw up their hands and leave. By all indications, the church survived through earthquakes, pestilence, death, and serious persecution. During the time of Muhammad, Smyrna was considered an infidel stronghold; (Christian population). Nonetheless, they stayed strong in the faith, even after their first Bishop Polycarp was martyred.

Today, it is difficult to recognize our most eminent danger nor the severity of the danger. We think we are persecuted, but we have yet to experience any serious persecution. The churches of our time who fall short of the church that Jesus intended or more of the world than of Christ, will find out just what these seven churches warn us. This is a church, which found favor with Christ, Christ’s promise is a crown of life, and this church would not be harmed by the ‘second’ death. What is the ‘second death?’ To the Christians in Smyrna it meant the first death of which they would endure, the physical death through which we all must travel. Nevertheless, the second death would be the death of the soul, which they would not have to endure; the protection of the crown of life, life everlasting.

The hope that is in us is Jesus, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, brings the promise of life and life everlasting, life after the first death, which is the physical, our soul lives on in the presence of God when we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we receive life everlasting. The Gospel of John, Jn. 3:16… For God loved R.S. Helms that He gave His only begotten Son, that if R.S. Helms believes in Him; R.S. Helms shall not parish but have everlasting life. It just does not get any better than that. That is an example of how personal my relationship is with God.

The church at Smyrna had such a relationship with God, they were the overcomers, and Jesus knew the condition and position of the church, the people; therefore, Jesus launches into his running commendation of the church. Today, we face the same foe. The enemy is cunning, bold, strong, smart, and gaining ground. We watch as this enemy, (Satan, his demons, and his devils), have our Christian nation in chaotic evil hatred of one another.

For ages, the enemy’s war on the people of God waged on with a fervor, ever escalating to its end, when the final battle is finished, and God takes the book of life, and reads the names of those whom are contained within, to stand at his right hand. They are the ones who stood firm in the faith; they, like the church at Smyrna, have recognized the false doctrines of men, and showed them to be of the synagogue of Satan.

I firmly believe this nation is a Christian nation. What others may try to make you believe, or force you to do, is of the world, if it is not of God. Satan used scripture to temp Jesus; however, Jesus used scripture to defeat the temptation. Providing you are in Christ, you can discern what is of God and what is of the doctrines of man.

It is time to take back what charlatan preachers have torn-down with false teachings and doctrines. It is time for the Christian to reclaim the freedoms, which liberal Marxists stole from the people. All of this can be done only if the overcomers listen with the spiritual ears what the Spirit is saying to the church, confess our transgressions, repent, and pray as one people with one mind, then God has promised to hear and heal our land.

God, let my life so reflect the mindset of the church at Smyrna, and stand firm in the face of persecution to overcome the doctrines of the world. Amen.

I made a blog!

Sounds like a very worthwhile mission.. and you have my attention.

Metrical Words & Poetry

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Dear friends,

After being inspired by many other blogs, I decided to make one of my own.  The only thing I really had to think about is, what would I put on it?  I have decided to just use the gifts God has given me and share it with you guys.  I will share my poetry, scriptures, my thoughts on things, and modest clothing.  My mission is to reach the ones in need for some sisterly guidance and ones in need of clothing guidance, because a little guidance is never a bad thing!

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The Church at Ephesus

The Church at Ephesus

Church at Ephesus

Perhaps, there are those Christians in the church today who have never heard about the Seven Churches of Asia Minor, (Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ to St. John; chapter 2 – 3), there are some so-called Christians that do not read and study the Bible on a regular basis, and some preachers seldom preach from the book of Revelation.

Nonetheless, the book is a wonderful book of study for the Christian, and the seven churches may be used very effectively for a measuring gage in three aspects of your spiritual wellness, as an individual, as a church, and as the church universal. The conditions, which Jesus addresses, cycle through the Christian church experience, as well as the individual relationship of Christians to Christ.

The church at Ephesus, its history of spiritual good works for the kingdom, and its fault

Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.     (Revelation Chapter 2:1-7. KJV).

“To the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life,which is in the paradise of God.   (Revelation chapter 2:1—7 NIV)

Ephesus, a thriving metropolis, and the gem of Asia Minor, then known as “the metropolis of Asia”.  The temple of Artemis, (Diana, KJV), with such splendor it was counted as one of the wonders of the world.  Of course, the Romans had their gods and goddesses.  The church in Ephesus had been a strong church, a growing church, a church that persevered through tough persecution.  However, Jesus, He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, and walks among the seven lampstands, notices something amiss in His church.  Jesus alone, which has the authority as the head of all Christian churches, signified by the seven stars he holds in his left hand and his omniscient presence among the seven lampstands.

Jesus tells John to address the letter to the angel of the church.  It would be the pastor, elder, or bishop, the one who leads the church, the under-shepherd – the one who prophesied (forth-tells), the word of God.  To this servant write, I know what your strong points are, and you are to be commended on your outstanding work; but I have this against you.  Jesus, is the head of the church, He legislates the law, and he executes the law, his law.  What we must never try to do is shut Jesus up in heaven.  He is not an absentee leader, he holds the seven stars in His right hand still, and He walks among the seven candlesticks. Seven is the perfect number and represents the fullness of the Christian church.

Jesus says you are doing what I wanted you to do, but the thing I have against you is you have left your first love.  The church at Ephesus had begun to move into a comfort zone, the things they first had done through the love for Jesus, the work for the kingdom with love and enthusiasm.  They taught the word, they reached out to the unsaved, they fed the poor, the outcasts in poverty, the sick, and reached out to those in prison, the widows and orphans, they tested those who gave claim to the Apostolic Authority and found them to be liars, and they hated sin, and would not tolerate those who practiced sin.  This is the meaning of the first love, and it only starts with that deep personal love for Jesus.  Jesus is the one who said, “As the Father has loved me, I also have loved you, abide (live), in my love…”  “If you keep my commandments my commandments you will abide (live), in my love.  (Read in context, Jn. 12 through 15).

To the angel of the church, the star, the leader, or Pastor, (Jesus is the head), the Holy Spirit is the life, the “under shepherd” is who the letter is addressed, it is he who is held accountable to God for the condition of the church, and each individual in that body. This is the Chairman of the board, writing a letter to the CEO. It is great to have a boss like Jesus.

Jesus starts by telling them what wonderful work they have done, I know your work, which is not easy, but you have done a good job at it, you have been a committed church working hard, and standing firm in the faith. You cannot tolerate sin, or wicked people. You have tested those who say they are Apostles and found them to be liars; you have not allowed your pulpit to be used by charlatans, or those who teach another Gospel than Jesus Christ.

You have persevered, when others came against you, you have endured some hard times, for my name, and still have not given ground to their idiocies and slanders; these are good things. I commend you for your courage and commitment, which is well deserved.

Then the “nevertheless,” the dreaded but, the nevertheless in a running commendation for their extraordinary service. This is where the rubber meets the highway moment. I have a bit against you, (the word here is ‘somewhat’, not bit, bit is my insertion of a small thing which left alone could sink their ship.

Jesus says, you have left your first love. Remember, as an individual who having matured enough to experience the love in doing the work of the church? Being involve in church. It is an experience not easily forgotten; but actually comes about by neglect, or wrong motivation. Today, we leave our first love because of our lack of spiritual strength, through allowing the world to rob the church of its commitment to Jesus.

How do we allow the world to rob the church? By paying more attention to what the world is doing than what God wants us to do. Political correctness is one of the greatest enemies we face in the church today. Bullied by liberal politics, anti-Christian movements that rob the nation and the church of our principals in favor of a false prophet, to rob of our moral values, in favor of sexual depravity, moral accountability in favor of charlatans, preaching liber and liberation theologies, and not the gospel, which the Apostles preached.

We allow the world to rob God’s church when we leave our first love and follow after the world in the name of tolerance. Our human nature simply cowers before the name calling and belittling by the politicians and liberal movements not having any morals, and liberal anti-Christian persecution.

In all due respect to some of the “mainstream” denominations, who have fallen prey to the liberal movements and political agenda of this administration. When they have allowed sexual depravity, and progressivism, defile the pulpits and biblical doctrines, which Jesus entrusted to the church, it is shameful.

Moreover, it truly makes me wonder about the salvation of their leaders, but the Bible tells us that we are the ones that are accountable to Christ for the wellbeing of the church. Therefore, it is not mine to judge but perhaps expose and warn against the leaving of the first love.

As previously mentioned, the teaching of these seven churches may be applied to the church age, the universal and local church as it cycles through these seven conditions, and not to be forgotten, the individual Christian, as they grow in the faith, and find themselves frustrated by personal interaction with the church and their relationship to God.

In summation.

In the United States, as well as the free world, we find the devil has brought a great confrontation against the Christian and the Christian church. Our liberal and progressive movements have brought somewhat of a persecution to the church. I do not believe that what we see as persecution actually reflects what Jesus meant by persecution. The persecution that we find in the nation today is nothing like the persecution of the early church, and the persecution of which we witness in the Middle East, and other countries; that is serious persecution.

What we experience here today is more of a buffing, if you will, but it is enough to cause the falling away from the church, we call the couple of generations that may not return, millennials and they are the ones who being educated by liberals for the purpose of the liberal and progressive movement.

If you find yourself or your church becoming more worldly, more liberal, then you might want to examine your heart and see if you might have fallen from your first love. The instruction is clear, first admit it, then confess it, and repent—change directions and return to doing the first works of your Christian walk.

If it is the church that you notice the change in accommodating the world; do not start a battle, just simply find a good Bible believing church that teaches and preaches the word of God in the truth and the Spirit, there God will bless you and you will be the Christian you ought to be. If you are too worried that the world is calling you some sort of a phobia, or nutcase, intolerant, Bible thumper, believing fantasies and being part of antiquity. Just remember Christ is standing beside you, and the world hated him first.

How to Make Blog Traffic Skyrocket with Stumble Upon

another door….

Reflections

Stumble Upon Can Help Increase Page Views You can still use StumbleUpon to massively increase your blog traffic.

What a shock!

Talk about bad timing!

Within days of my guest author‘s April 21 guest post on how to use StumbleUpon to increase blog traffic, WordPress discontinued its StumbleUpon social sharing button.

No one saw that one coming.  Thinking there was a technical problem, I Googled the situation.

A hue and a cry had gone out.  Bring back our StumbleUpon sharing button, WordPress users cried.

Outrage is no longer necessary.  This post will explain how to not only add your posts to StumbleUpon, but how to get boatloads of referral traffic from it.

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Please make it easy for me to share your talent.

a good blog deserves passing on

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

As a writer I am delighted when a fellow blogger or contact on social media shares my work or my posts. In turn it gives me great pleasure to reciprocate but it helps when people come to me or make it easy for me to share their books, posts, tweets etc.

On WordPress there are a number of buttons that you can install that enables others to follow and share. I notice that some bloggers choose not to display the Reblog button which is quite useful as a sharing method… If a post is special, relevant, contains important information or is entertaining reblogging helps bring traffic to your blog and also gets your post to a wider audience. When it is reblogged only the first paragraph or sentences are shown and then you have to click a link to be taken to the original. It is also best is the…

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The Tree of “Hope” is Dead and Gone. What Does That Mean for America?

Some interesting stuff her, and this post is stand’n tall…

The Harley Factor

In Jonathan Cahn’s book The Harbinger, he speaks about the warnings that God is giving to America and how they coincide with the warnings that God gave to the children of Israel. It seems the 7th harbinger is dead and gone. The tree of “Hope” that was planted at ground zero is no more.

“‘Harbinger’ author says loss of ‘Tree of Hope’ a warning.
The author of “The Harbinger,” the inspiration behind the “Isaiah9:10 Judgment” documentary, says the seventh harbinger is no more.
A tree that was placed at the site of the 9/11 Muslim terror attack in New York City has died, has been removed, and destroyed.
“Harbinger” author Jonathan Cahn says it’s because of his book that the tree will not be replaced.
His work examines the nine harbingers, or warnings, recorded in the Bible that were delivered to Israel before the nation disintegrated. He contends God…

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