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Updated on September 23, 2014

The Smyrna Church mentioned in the Book of Revelations is connected with the prophecy of Isaiah 4:1 as the second of seven churches in the Old Testament.

Revelation 2:8

  • 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.

Revelation 2:9

The prophecy uttered by Isaiah in the Old Testament is explained in the prophecy proclaimed by John the apostle in Revelation 2 and 3 to the seven (all) churches. Jesus Christ commends, condemns, corrects or commands the seven churches. The church in Smyrna is the second church mentioned in the Book of Revelation.


"And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, "We will eat our own bread and wear our own apparel. Only let us be called by thy name To take away our reproach."


The day (future to Isaiah’s prophecy c. 740 B.C.) will come when all the women (church, bride to be of Christ) shall take hold (seize, gain possession, win, charm, captivate, conduct, adopt, interpret, to operate) of one man (Jesus Christ) saying, "We will eat our own bread (own Manna, own words of life, own doctrine) and wear our own apparel (own garments of salvation or robe of righteousness); only let us be called by thy name (Jesus, Christian to take away our reproach (shame, scorn, disgrace).


The Poor but Rich Church

Smyrna, a rich, prosperous and dissolute city of Ionia, forty miles north of Ephesus. It was one of the finest cities of Asia, and was called “the lovely – the crown of Ionia – the ornament of Asia.” It was largely inhabited by Jews bitterly opposed to Christ.

The Smyrna church was destitute, defendless, and under persecution, but Jesus tells them, "I know thy works and tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich)." Smyrna was poor but rich spiritually, in spite of their condition, because they were true to God and thus found favor with Him. The only true riches is true faith, and those works accomplished to the glory of Christ are subsequently stored in heaven and are considered the only true treasure (Matt.6:19-21).

Revelation 2:9

  • 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

Explanation (vs. 9)

God knows the works of the Church in Smyrna. Works cannot lead to salvation but faith in Jesus Christ can. The church that prides herself on the amount of works she has done cannot receive salvation. The church may have raised great amounts of money for charity and build many hospitals and schools. She feeds the poor and does many other charitable works but that still would not lead her to salvation. Faith in Jesus Christ and not works will save us.


Physical Works will not lead to Salvation. We are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. Works may be charity, buildiing schools, hospitals, feeding the poor, and doing all kinds of charity work. Faith by itself will not stand alone, but must be accompanied by works. It is therefore, to say you have faith in Christ, but does not do anything to show your faith.

Revelation 2:9

  • I know thy works.

Hebrews 11:6

  • But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Hebrews 12;2

  • Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

Romans 10:17

  • So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of the Lord.

James 2:17

  • Even so faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone.


The world is full of tribulation for there are some born poor and have to struggle to keep their heads above water, while others are suffering from illness of different kinds. There are those who do not believe in God, and when tribulation strikes, there is no where they can turn their troubles to and they go to pieces.. Wars may also occur between enemies and among fathers and brothers. When there is no God in their hearts, they are at a loss to combat tribulation.

  • In this world, everyone goes through tribulation. No one is exempt.

Acts 14:22

  • We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Romans 8:35

  • Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Deuteronomy 4:30

  • When thou art in tribulation, ... turn to the Lord thy God.

Romans 5:33-5

  • We glory in tribulation also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience: And patience, experience; and hope;


The church that withholds the truth from her congregation is deemed to be "poor spiritually." She may be poor in worldly goods, but rich in liberality if she trusts and relies on God completely..

Proverbs 11:24

  • There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that with- holdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.

2 Corinthians 8:2

  • Their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

2 Corinthians 6:10

  • As poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things


Spiritually a church may be poor in substance, but spiritually rich in Jesus Christ. God believes in what is in the hearts of men, rather than their outward appearance. Richness is materialism and does not count with God.

Revelation 2:9

  • (But thou art rich)
    Meaning the church is rich spiritually but poor financially.

James 2:5

  • Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith?

Revelation 3:17

  • Because thou sayest, I am rich …and knowest thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor,

Luke 12:21

  • So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

1 Timothy 6:17

  • Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, not trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.


Blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not. In the old Jewish law, it means to revile or curse God, or the king, who was God's representative and also. intentional indignity offered to God or sacred things. Cruden's Complete Concordance

Romans 2:17

  • Behold, thou art called a Jew, and rested in the law, and makest thy boast of God.

Romans 2:28-29

  • For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly.


II. BE FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH (Revelation 2:10)

If a good man turns into a murderer or a thief halfway in his life, he cannot be considered a good man because he was not good until he died. He would be labeled a murderer or a thief. A person must be consistent in his character until the end of his days.

  • Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

    Hold on to Jesus Christ until the end and you shall have life.

Explanation (Revelation 2:10)


Matthew 24:13

  • But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Mark 13:13

  • he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved

Psalms 31:23

  • the Lord preserveth the faithful

Psalms 37:28 the Lord… forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever


James 1:12

  • for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life

Proverbs 4:9

  • She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown Of glory shall she deliver to thee.

2 Timothty 4:8

  • Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord shall give me

1 Peter 5:4

  • And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

III. HE THAT OVERCOMETH … Second Death – Revelation 2:11
What is the first death?

A. First Death – Spiritual Death (Symbolic)
Col 2:12-13

  • Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God … And you, being dead in your sins…

The first death occurs when we are baptized (and buried with him in the water) in the name and manner of Christ’s death and are resurrected in Him to become a new man.

Baptism in Jesus Christ cleanses our sins and we become a newborn person. The old person has died and a new man emerges. This is the First Death.

Romans 6:3-5

  • Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus were baptized into his death?
  • Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:that like as Christ was raised up from the dead … even so we also should walk in newness of life.
  • For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

B. SECOND DEATH – Physical Death
When the soul departs from the body, no heart beat and drained of blood, he is clinically dead. The body would deteriorate.and is lifeless.

Revelation 20:6

  • Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection
    (spiritual) on such the second death hath no power,

Revelation 20:14

  • And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the
    second death.

Revelation 21:8

  • But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (first death also spititual).

FINAL COMMENT – Revelation 2:11

Revelation 2:11

  • “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the
    churches; he that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.”

He who is baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and keeps the commandments of God until his last breath will not be hurt at the second death. He has resurrected from the first death for his old self died when he is baptized and he emerges a new man walking after the commandments of the Lord until he is called to his final and second physical death. Between his first death which is spiritual, he has emerged as a new creature in Christ. He is now ready to be admitted to heaven for an everlasting life. Praise the Lord!

Introduction to the Church at Smyrna - YouTube

► 4:38► 16, 2009 - Uploaded by SalisburyBibleIntroduction to the Letter to the Church at Smyrna (Rev. 2:8-11) Salisbury ...

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Prophecy (2) Isaiah 4:1 Church of Smyrna

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© 2011 einron


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    • einron profile image

      einron 23 months ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Thanks for comments!

    • profile image

      Anjumiqbal153@gmail 24 months ago

      i read all and fully satisfied

    • einron profile image

      einron 6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA


      Praise God the church will be saved not by works, but by faith.

      If we are faithful, genuine and consistent to the end, we shall meet God.

      Peace and blessings!

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 6 years ago

      I loved your explanation of Revelation 2:9 and Isaiah 4:1. I also liked how you showed that the church was not saved by her works but that her works did exhibit her faith.

      It is my hearts desire as your hub states to be faithful, genuine and consistent. I was pleased that you mentioned all of these that confirm this to me.

    • einron profile image

      einron 6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA


      Thank you for agreeing with the contents of the hub. Glad that you came on the scene.

      God bless.

    • Wehzo profile image

      Nathaniel Stalling Jr 6 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Very good hub, full of insight and wisdom. Thank you for sharing it.

      God Bless,