Battle Plan: Smyrna

Revelation: Uncovering the Spiritual Realm  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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City Intel

Harbor City
Geographical importance in influence (not quiet as extensive though as Ephesus)
Emperor Worship
Cult worship of politics
City served the goddess Roma
Personified Rome
Roman Propaganda
Patriotic Idolatry
Pagan Guilds Controlled Majority of Employment
Resulted in religious discrimination of employment (in a sense they were experiencing Revelation 13:17)
Had an alter for Zeus
king of the Greek gods
Large Jewish community
Hostile towards Christian community

Church Intel

Spiritually Strong
Jesus listed no cons against them
We believe was discipled by John
Martyred 155/156 (in Rome)
Influential leader
wrote a letter to the church at Philippi
letter shows:
He is well versed in Scripture and recognized its authority
Lays out healthy structure for deacons
Spiritual warfare
Mentor importance
Shows churches had relationships working together
appears to have a relationship with the church at Philippi
more than likely strong exposure then to the book of Philippians

Training Camp

Need to compliment their spiritual foundation and give words of encouragement
“I know your tribulation”
Jesus knows it and has walked it.
We are doing good, but what can we do better? (always room for improvement)
How can we be proactive in preparation for trials? (Jesus says they are coming, how are we going to respond)
Proactive plan rather than a reactive plan


Physical poverty, not spiritual
What is the cause?
Pagan guilds
Revelation 13:17 ESV
so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.
If they don't accept pagan beliefs, deny their Christianity this was their reality
How do we respond to this situation?
Don’t deny Christ (Matthew 10:28)
Learn the truths in Philippians 4:10-13
Philippians 4:10–13 ESV
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Contentedness is not to be based on external situations, but on the internal situation of a relationship with Christ.
Paul wrote this from prison
Look for God’s purpose in the midst of it all


What is the source of slander?
Jewish synagogue
What are their intentions (practice empathy)?
Tensions going back to the resurrection (Matthew 28:11-15)
What are their goals?
Knowing their goals can help us be more proactive rather than reactive
Be slow to respond to slander
Proverbs 15:28 ESV
The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
Strive to be above reproach
In a sense don’t give them any ammo
For example if i was living near this community, I would practice kosher in public

Synagogue of Satan

This phrasing reminds us of the root of the issues, Satan
John 8:44 ESV
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
How does this knowledge affect our combat strategy?
The heart of warfare is spiritual, thus what should be our primary weapons?
Spiritual weapons, spiritual strategy

The Price of War

I want you to take notice that this church was very much unjustly persecuted. They were persecuted for the fact they were believers. But Jesus in his words encourages them to be faithful unto death. He does not call them to fight to the death, but to be faithful to death.
Romans 12:19–21 ESV
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
As we are persecuted we need to be wise with our speech and point to God and defend the Gospel unwavering.
Matthew 10:16 ESV
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.


Why were they thrown in prison?
To be tested (reflect on Job)
1 Peter 1:7 ESV
so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
“Ten days”
symbolic of completeness
Limited time


Reality is not all would come home from prison
Two scriptures to bear in mind
1 Corinthians 15:55–57 ESV
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
death has lost its sting. Their is freedom rather released from the cell or our mortal bodies
2 Timothy 1:9 ESV
who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
God has a call on your life with purpose in all that you go through

Mission Statement

Let us not grow content in our faith, but strive daily in growing more holy with the expectation persecution will increase as your faith increases.
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