8 And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last , which was dead, and lived , says this: 9 I know thy works , and tribulation , and poverty, ( but thou art rich ) and the slander of those which say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer . Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried , and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give thee a crown of life . 11 He that hath an ear , let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches . He who overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death .
Notes: Smyrna was the persecuted Church , so that the Lord reminds them of their own suffering , death and resurrection . The saints were faithful in spite of suffering . They thought they were poor but they were rich , but they were poor. Satan is behind all this persecution even that is done behind the religion . False Christians blasphemed the saints.
Smyrna means “bitter ” and is associated with the word ” myrrh ” .
The Lord does not criticize this Church but nevertheless there is a present danger . It was a poor church and suffered. How easy it had been to make commitments with ( Satan ) getting rich and escape persecution . Exactly what today is happening in many churches , make pacts with Satan with false gospels and false beliefs to escape poverty and make false teachings led by false teachers , teaching a gospel based on money ” prosperity” and no faith in the Lord. How they must have been discouraged this church because they were not “rich” as the church of Laodicea.