Rev 2:9-11 “I know your works, and pressure, and poverty – yet you are rich – and the blasphemy of those who say they are Yehudim and are not, but are a congregation of Satan. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. See, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, in order to try you, and you shall have pressure ten days. Be trustworthy until death, and I shall give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. He who overcomes shall by no means be harmed by the second death.”
We looked at “works” in the article entitled “Overcoming #1 – At Ephesus”…
We intend to consider the blasphemy of the false Yehudim in a later article…
In this article, it appears that the primary focus to those in Smyrna is “fear.” We will consider the origin of fear, fear’s impact, Who gives us victory over fear and what were a couple of specific fears that The Master is exhorting those in Smyrna and also us to overcome.
Where do we first encounter the concept of FEAR in the scriptures?
Gen 3:9-11 “And Yahwah Elohim called unto Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who made you know that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Fear originated in the garden as the result of disobedience to YAHWAH’S Commandment.
Adam’s disobedience resulted in:
Fear of punishment. Adam now fears The ONE Who he once walked with in the garden…
Fear of his nakedness. Adam now becomes self aware…
Fear of guilt. Instead of openness being guilt free, Adam now tries to hide…
Fear of death. Adam lived for 930 years passing his fears on to all thereafter!
But the Good News is that Messiah’s obedience to HIS Father’s Commands delivered HIM and those who believe IN HIM, from all of the fears that we inherited from Adam, including the fear of death!
Heb 2:14-15 “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, HE HIMSELF similarly shared in the same, so that by means of HIS death HE might destroy him having the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver those who throughout life were held in slavery by fear of death.”
To believers at Smyrna and throughout the world, Messiah’s exhortation is timeless for us to not have fear of persecution nor of death.
The Master exhorts HIS own to not have fear of persecution;
Mat 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the being. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both being and body in Gehenna.”
John 16:33 “These words I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you have pressure,(persecution) but take courage, I have overcome the world.”
Perfect Love Casts Out Fear!
1Jn 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear holds punishment, and he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
1Jn 2:3-6 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth(SPIRIT of Truth) is not in him. But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.”
To the believers in Smyrna (and to us), Messiah is saying that those who have guarded HIS Commands do not have to fear punishment from YAH, but may be persecuted by the lawless for HIS Name!
2Ti 3:12 And indeed, all those wishing to live reverently in Messiah YAHUSHA shall be persecuted.
Through belief expressed in obedience to HIS Word, including HIS Commands, love is perfected in us and fear no longer has power over us! This can only take place through receiving and walking in obedience by the power of HIS SPIRIT as described of those who receive the New Covenant!
Ezekiel 36:26-27 “And I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. And I shall take the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I shall give you a heart of flesh, and put My Spirit within you. And I shall cause you to walk in My laws and guard My right-rulings and shall do them.
John 14:16-17 “And I shall ask the Father, and He shall give you another Helper, to stay with you forever – the Spirit of the Truth, whom the world is unable to receive, because it does not see Him or know Him. But you know Him, for He stays with you and shall be in you.
Phil 2:12-13 So that, my beloved, as you always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much rather in my absence – work out your own deliverance with fear and trembling, for it is Elohim who is working in you both to desire and to work for His good pleasure.
Having a love for HIS Word is evidence that HE (HIS SPIRIT) is at work IN you, leading you, guiding you, teaching you, correcting and causing you to accomplish HIS good pleasure. The more that you obey HIS Word in “denying yourself” (the self awareness of the Adamic nature), the more HIS Love (HIS SPIRIT) is being perfected in you!
You will know that love is being perfected in you when you no longer FEAR:
punishment (from YAH for disobedience to HIS Word),
persecution (from those disobedient to HIS Word) and
death (resting in the knowledge that HE has OVERCOME death) and so will you!
Heed the exhortations to neither “grieve” nor “quench” HIS Spirit! (Eph 4:30 & 1Thess 5:19)
As we follow the Master in belief and obedience, we are actually putting to death the Adamic nature (also called carnal, and / or natural man), being emptied of the one who fears, and in his place we are being filled with The Set-Apart Spirit of YAHWAH (also called the new man);
Eph 4:22-24 “…that you put off – with regard to your former way of life – the old man, being corrupted according to the desires of the deceit, and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to Elohim, in righteousness and set-apartness of the truth.”
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. He who overcomes shall by no means be harmed by the second death.”