2016 ITEROF Message Three


Returning to the Orthodoxy of the Church

Message Three

The Church in Smyrna

Opening Word of the Prophesying Meeting

Reading the verses in each day.

Reading the main points in the outlines.

Pray-reading the verses:

And to the messenger of the church in Smyrna write: These things says the First and the Last, who became dead and lived again—Rev . 2:8.

Do not fear the things that you are about to suffer…and you will havetribulation for ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life—v. 10.

Word of Appetizer

In speaking to the church in Smyrna, the Lord said that He is “the First and the Last, who became dead and lived again, what is its meaning?

The church in Smyrna was a suffering church; In suffering, the church must know that the Lord is the First and the Last, the ever-existing, unchanging One. Whatever the persecuting environment may be, the Lord remains the same; nothing can precede Him, nor can anything exist after Him; all things are within the limits of His control.

Spiritual Burden

The Lord’s purpose in allowing the church to suffer tribulation is not only to testify that His resurrection life overcomes death but also to enable the church to enjoy the riches of His life.

All the local churches need to believe that the Lord Jesus is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End; He will accomplish what He has begun in His recovery .

Concluding Word of the Prophesying Meeting

The Revelation of the Truth

The church in Smyrna was a church under the suffering of persecution.

In speaking to the church in Smyrna, the Lord said that He is “the First and the Last, who became dead and lived again.

“Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life”.

The Experience of Life

The resurrected Christ, the living One, is living in us and among us; therefore, all the churches should be living as He is, full of life and overcoming death. As the living One, Christ cares for the churches by giving us Himself not only as life but also as the life supply .

Practice and Application

“Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life”. The Lord insists that the life of all those who serve Him belongs to Him; this is why we must be faithful even unto death.

As to our attitude, we must be faithful even unto death.

As to time, we must be faithful until death.

Using Key Verses to Have a Bird’s-Eye View over the Whole Outline

Key Verses (1)

And to the messenger of the church in Smyrna…. I know your tribulation and poverty (but you are rich) and the slander from those who call themselves Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan—Rev. 2:8-9.

I. The church in Smyrna was a church under the suffering of persecution

In Greek Smyrna means “myrrh,” which signifies suffering; the church in Smyrna was a suffering church.

The church in Smyrna suffered “the slander from those who call themselves Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan” .

•The persecution of the suffering church was a cooperation of satanic religion and devilish politics.

•To the suffering church the Lord Jesus said, “I know your tribulation” .

Key Verses (2)

And to the messenger of the church in Smyrna write: These things says the First and the Last, who became dead and lived again—Rev. 2:8.

And the living One; and I became dead, and behold, I am living forever and ever; and I have the keys of death and of Hades—1:18.

II. In speaking to the church in Smyrna, the Lord said that He is “the First and the Last, who became dead and lived again”

•The fact that Christ is the First and the Lastmeans that He never changes.

•The Lord’s declaration in verse 8 implies the creation—the First—and the completion—the Last—and it also implies Christ’s incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection.

•As the One who became dead and lived again, Christ is the living One. He entered into death, but death could not hold Him, because He is the resurrection

• As the One who became dead and lived again, Christ has the keys of death and of Hades.

Key Verses (3)

Do not fear the things that you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison that you may be tried, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life—Rev . 2:10.

III. “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life”

A. “Be faithful unto death” : The Lord insists that the life of all those who serve Him belongs to Him; this is why we must be faithful even unto death.

•As to our attitude, we must be faithful even unto death.

•As to time, we must be faithful until death.

B. “I will give you the crown of life” :

•The crown of life, as a prize to those who are faithful unto death in overcoming persecution.

•Not only the tree of life but the crown of life will be a reward to the suffering church.

Prophesying Topics—Twelve Topics per Week

D1

T1   In Greek Smyrna means “myrrh”, which signifies suffering (Rev. 2:8)

(Please explain that the church in Smyrna was a suffering church.)

T2   “Fill up …that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ” (Col. 1:24)

(Please explain what the two categories of the afflictions of Christ are.)

D2

T1   Christianity is the religious world (John 15:18-20)

(Please explain that the religious system opposes not only Christ, but also the church.)

T2   Tribulation is a test of life (Rev. 2:9)

(Why is tribulation precious to the church?)

D3

T1   The fact that Christ is the First and the Last means that He never changes (Rev. 2:8)

(In suffering, the church must know that the Lord is the First and the Last. What does it mean?)

T2   “I became dead, and behold, I am living…” (Rev. 1:18)

(Please explain what it means that the Lord comforted the suffering church with such a word.)

D4

T1   If we would be living, we need to eat Christ (Rev. 2:7, 17; 3:20)

(In His seven epistles to the seven churches, what are the three promises of eating that the Lord as the living One presents?)

T2   Christ Himself is the One who became dead and lived again (Rev. 1:18)

(Please explain that death was not the end—it was the gateway into resurrection.)

D5

T1   The keys of death and Hades are in His hand (Heb. 2:14; 1 Cor. 15:52-54; 2 Tim. 1:10)

(Please explain that Christ has nullified death and has brought us eternal, indestructible life according these verses as mentioned above.)

T2   Be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10)

(Please explain that being faithful unto death is a matter both of attitude and of time.)

D6

T1   “I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:7, 10)

(Please explain that not only the tree of life but the crown of life will be a reward to the suffering church.)

T2   Sufferings afford us the best opportunity to enjoy the dispensing of God (Rev. 2:10)

(Please use your experience to explain that God assigns sufferings to us, and these sufferings are needed for our growth.)

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