Message Begins at 27:50
The Message in the Myrrh
An Exposition of Revelation #4
8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9 I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not,but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. 11 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.
In the language of the New Testament, "Smyrna" translates to "myrrh"; a gift given to our Lord to foreshadow his trials and tribulations.
The Lessons in the Myrrh
(1) There's a blessing in bad situations
(a) The Drastic Contrasts - First and Last (8); Died and came to life again (8); afflictions and poverty, yet rich (9); faithful to death and I will give you victor’s crown (10); victorious not hurt by 2nd death (11)
(b) How to See Them
(i) Don’t be consumed in your thought life by the situation – obsessing does nothing to control it (Phil 4:6)
(ii) Smallest blessings are worthy of your utmost attention (Ex 23:30)
(iii) Associate with joyful people. The more you do, the more you learn to count your blessings as they do (Phil 1:4)
(iv) The sun doesn’t change. It’s what comes between us and the sun that effects how we react to it.
(2) The easiest correction is the hardest to practice: Do not Fear what lies ahead (10a).
10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer
(a) Over 70 “Do not fears” in the Bible
Most within the context of heavenly encounters (Luke 2:10). Here though, don’t be afraid of impending hardship
(b) Why we fear what lies ahead:
(i) Correlation between what lies ahead and past experiences (Why Paul says the least of the apostle’s)
(ii) Obstacles ahead are dangerous and treacherous (Num 13 – There’s giants in the land)
(iii) Obstacles ahead are unfamiliar (Moses).
(c) So why inform Symrna of what lies ahead?
(i) What lies ahead demands faithfulness to traverse
(ii) Some stands you have to make in life are more important than life itself
(3) Prepare best for future tests by passing the ones given in the present
10bI tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days 10 days
A harkening back to test of Daniel and his friend’s (Daniel 1). The Victor’s crown and the wreath – Smyrna home to Olympic games; wreathes in their city monuments to symbolize Roman might.
(a) Difference between test and temptation
Test – God; Temptation – Devil
Test – Demonstrate Faith; Temptation – Lead Astray
Test – Perseverance is a must; Temptation – Resist
Test – God’s says his name is in us; Temptation – the Flesh is Weak
Test – Glory of Proven Character; Temptation – Spiritual, and or physical, death
Test – Must not shrink back; Temptation – must not fall into
(b) Why tests are important
(i) Faithfulness in small tests now will directly impact the behavior patterns you demonstrate in the future.
(ii) Every test passed, no matter how small or large, comes with a victor’s crown of some type.
**(4) Supply of strength we have is greater than the trial
(a) Why It’s Greater
(i) Because it’s providentially designed – First and Last (8)
(ii) Because someone’s gone before you – Death and Resurrection (8)
(iii) Because we know our ultimate destiny – victorious will not be hurt by 2nd death (11)