Participants: Pr. Kenneth Cox
Series Code: RJC
Program Code: RJC000003
00:20 Good evening! Welcome again this evening
00:24 to The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
00:27 We're very happy that you're here.
00:29 And all of you that are joining us by television
00:32 or radio or through the Internet
00:34 we welcome you tonight.
00:35 This is a seminar that deals with the book of Revelation,
00:40 and we're going through the book of Revelation
00:43 chapter by chapter. And this particular section
00:47 we're studying the 7 churches of Asia Minor.
00:51 These are very important because they set
00:54 the tone for the whole book of Revelation.
00:58 As we move out of these 7 churches in our next section
01:02 we will find it will take us right into that.
01:04 And so it will progress through the book of Revelation
01:07 so it's a very important one.
01:09 Also, because these are personal letters
01:13 that Jesus Christ wrote. Letters that He wrote
01:17 to the seven churches of Asia Minor.
01:20 And as we mentioned the other night,
01:22 those seven letters had meaning to them;
01:25 they have meaning to us today
01:28 and also to the church down through the ages.
01:31 So you need to look at it as we study it from night to night
01:35 in that aspect... that you will understand
01:38 what He's talking about.
01:40 As I've encouraged you - I'll encourage you again -
01:42 be sure and bring your Bible and follow along.
01:48 Underline, folks, or highlight.
01:51 Write notes because we'll be sharing different things
01:54 with you that happened in these churches.
01:57 And we hope it will help you because when we're through
02:00 with this seminar, you should be able to pick up
02:04 the book of Revelation, read it,
02:05 and understand what it's talking about.
02:08 And that's what we want it to do for you.
02:10 So we're very happy to welcome you; glad you're here.
02:13 And we hope it will bless you in a special way.
02:17 Tonight we are dealing with the second church:
02:21 the church of Smyrna.
02:23 Our next presentation that we give
02:26 will be on the third one which is the church of Pergamos.
02:32 And that is also a very important time
02:36 in history.
02:39 In fact, Pergamos... or Pergama...
02:43 was a period in Greek culture
02:46 that we'll say a little bit about that you need to know.
02:49 But much of the statues and all those Greek statues
02:55 you see came from the time of the Pergama period.
02:59 And this is a church that we're going to be looking at
03:02 tomorrow in our next session.
03:05 Tonight, as I mentioned, we're looking at Smyrna.
03:08 A very, very important lesson
03:14 for you and I to learn in this church.
03:16 And so we hope you'll follow along.
03:19 Be sure and take your Bible and write down the things that
03:24 it's talking about.
03:27 Tonight we're very happy that Dona Klein,
03:31 who has worked with us now for some 24 years now...
03:38 she's been playing for us and singing.
03:41 And she's going to sing for us tonight a beautiful song
03:45 entitled Have You Knelt At the Foot of the Cross?
03:48 But before she sings, Chuck Allgaier is going to come
03:52 and share with us the Word of God
03:54 and what the scripture says about the church of Smyrna.
04:05 Smyrna... the church of Smyrna.
04:09 What is the message to the church of Smyrna
04:13 and how does it apply to you and I tonight?
04:16 If you have your Bibles, turn them to the book of Revelation.
04:19 Revelation the second chapter verses 8 through 11.
04:24 Revelation chapter 2 verses 8 through 11:
05:20 May God bless the Word tonight. Thank you.
05:38 You have stood with the rich
05:42 and the famous.
05:47 In the paths of the great
05:51 you have walked.
05:55 You have reached for the stars
05:59 and succeeded.
06:03 But have you knelt at the foot
06:07 of the cross?
06:12 Tho' your deeds here on earth
06:16 have been mighty,
06:21 they will all be counted
06:25 as loss
06:29 when you stand to answer
06:34 this question:
06:38 Have you knelt
06:40 at the foot of the cross?
06:46 Have you knelt at the foot
06:51 of the cross
06:55 and accepted the pardon
07:00 He bought?
07:03 You can stand with the saints
07:08 up in glory
07:12 if you've knelt
07:15 at the foot of the cross.
07:29 All the kings of this world
07:33 and the princes...
07:37 they rule for a while
07:42 then they're weak.
07:46 For now they're so high
07:51 and so mighty...
07:54 but one day they too
07:59 will be meek.
08:03 For there's a great day of judgment
08:07 that's coming
08:12 when all of life's battles
08:16 have been fought.
08:20 And you stand to answer
08:25 this question:
08:29 Have you knelt at the foot of
08:34 the cross?
08:38 Have you knelt
08:40 at the foot of the cross?
08:45 Have you accepted
08:48 the pardon He bought?
08:55 You can stand with the saints
08:59 up in glory
09:03 if you've knelt
09:05 at the foot of the cross.
09:12 You can stand with the saints
09:16 up in glory
09:20 if you've knelt
09:23 at the foot of the cross.
09:45 Our gracious Father in Heaven,
09:49 tonight as we look at this letter that You wrote
09:53 to the church of Smyrna
09:55 we ask, Lord, that in these last days
10:00 in which we're living - which the book of Revelation
10:04 speaks so much about -
10:06 may we understand and may we take courage.
10:10 May we realize that indeed You are God.
10:16 There is none other like You,
10:19 and that You are more than capable
10:23 of taking care of each one of us.
10:26 For this we ask in Christ's name, Amen.
10:37 Well the second church... Smyrna.
10:41 The scripture speaks of it as a very, very
10:47 special group of people.
10:50 There is no reproof to the church of Smyrna.
10:56 The others - except for one other... and that was
10:59 Philadelphia - all the others there's reproof.
11:02 But in this one and Philadelphia there's no reproof from Christ.
11:08 And so this is a very, very special group of people.
11:12 A very special time,
11:14 and we need to follow it very carefully because
11:17 I believe there's great parallelism
11:19 between this church and the end of time.
11:22 And you and I need to be prepared in our hearts
11:26 for what God has to say about this church of Smyrna.
11:30 So it starts out and says:
11:35 "These are the things I'm going to tell you.
11:39 Put them down, write them so the people can read them. "
11:42 And these letters were read in these churches
11:44 and probably without doubt copies were made
11:47 of that particular letter for that group of people
11:50 that was kept with them
11:52 because it was taken on and read to the other churches.
11:55 But I'm sure they treasured the words that Christ had
11:59 to say to them as a group of people.
12:09 It actually comes from a plant,
12:14 myrrh, a plant that grew about 6' high
12:19 and it had a very, very nice smell.
12:24 And the interesting thing about it is
12:28 if it was crushed or beaten
12:34 it put out more. The more they beat it
12:38 the more it smelled and all.
12:41 So... and very important in relationship to this church,
12:45 what it had to say about it.
12:47 Also you might remember it comes from
12:51 the word myrrh. And you remember the wise men
12:56 brought to Christ what?
12:59 Gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
13:03 Myrrh... do you know why they brought Christ
13:06 gold, frankincense, and myrrh?
13:08 Huh? Do you know that?
13:09 Well they brought Him gold because He was a king.
13:14 That's why they brought Him gold.
13:17 They brought Him frankincense because He was a priest.
13:22 That's what they brought the frankincense for.
13:25 They brought the myrrh...
13:27 that was to anoint Him for burial
13:30 because they knew He would die. That's what they brought...
13:35 and myrrh was used many times in the burial.
13:38 And so this church gets its name from that aspect
13:43 because it was to be crushed.
13:47 Smyrna lies about 40 miles north of Ephesus.
13:52 You're looking at the Aegean Sea
13:54 and the land there, and if you went north of Ephesus
13:59 you would come to Smyrna.
14:02 As you can see, it's set more on the coastline
14:06 than Ephesus did even.
14:09 And as I mentioned to you as we studied Ephesus,
14:12 that port that there was so famous today is not there.
14:17 There's no port there. But Smyrna
14:20 who had also a very good port
14:23 today has a marvelous port
14:25 and ships come in there from all over the world.
14:28 It's a great, great port, and that's where it's set:
14:32 very close to the Aegean Sea
14:34 and had a very, very good access to land.
14:39 It was a good port.
14:42 Uh, interesting that
14:46 all these other places that we're going to be talking about,
14:51 all these other churches... not much left of them, folks.
14:56 They're... I mean, the city that they were in
15:00 is pretty much in ruins laying there.
15:02 This is not the case with Smyrna.
15:04 This today is the Turkish city called Izmir.
15:09 And Smyrna is ruins right there in the city of Izmir.
15:15 And the city of Izmir is about 300,000 people
15:19 is how big it is.
15:21 And if you fly into Turkey, that's where you fly into.
15:25 And it's quite a place there.
15:29 And as we read through the scripture,
15:32 you'll notice He makes some statements about this
15:35 that you need to apply. What you're looking at
15:38 is ruins of the marketplace.
15:41 That was the marketplace there in Smyrna
15:44 and the different ruins there. This city, folks,
15:47 was extremely loyal to the Emperor.
15:52 I mean, Rome was everything to the city of Smyrna.
15:58 They... they worshiped the Emperor.
16:02 This is what went on here.
16:03 In fact, the Senate - the Roman Senate -
16:06 built a temple to the Emperor Tiberius
16:10 and it was here in Smyrna.
16:12 And so you have some of these ruins
16:14 about the different buildings there.
16:16 I mentioned to you that in Ephesus they had a theatre
16:21 that would seat 25,000 people and all.
16:25 But there's one here in Smyrna that almost rivaled it.
16:29 They had a theatre there that seated 20,000 people.
16:32 And so what I'm trying to tell you is that
16:37 these weren't just little towns.
16:42 They were large cities where great populations of people
16:46 lived and went about their activities there.
16:49 And in the city of Smyrna
16:53 right in the middle of it was a mound...
16:58 a mountain. Not a big mountain - but it was about 500 ft. high
17:04 and it was called Mount Pegasus.
17:07 And on the top of it was a temple.
17:11 And they had roads and all going around it.
17:15 They had a road going all the way around
17:19 Mount Pegasus and the houses all laid around it.
17:23 And it gave the appearance because of the temple and all
17:27 of a crown.
17:29 OK... gave that appearance of a crown.
17:31 And she was referred to as the Crown of lona, the city was.
17:36 And the street that ran around this mountain
17:40 was called the Golden Street.
17:42 So there was a lot of things that went on here in this city
17:46 where these people lived and worshiped.
17:48 What you need to understand
17:53 is Christianity, folks,
17:56 was not favored.
18:01 I mean in no way... Christianity was a threat.
18:06 I told you last night that in the city of Ephesus
18:11 by the end of the first century there were 50,000 Christians
18:16 in that city... in Asia Minor.
18:21 In Asia Minor at the end of the first century
18:23 there were 7 million Christians.
18:26 And so Christianity was invading
18:29 all of the Roman Empire.
18:32 And as it invaded the Roman Empire
18:34 it threatened... it threatened the Empire.
18:38 It threatened their religion. You need to understand that.
18:41 So this city is not friendly to Christians.
18:47 In fact, against them.
18:50 Doing all they can to wipe them out.
18:52 This was what the Roman Empire intended to do
18:56 is to wipe out Christianity.
18:59 And every Emperor from the time of Christ
19:03 to 300 AD persecuted Christians.
19:08 Every Roman Emperor did... trying to wipe them out,
19:12 get rid of them. And this is why in this city
19:15 these people are going to suffer for what they believe
19:20 because the Roman Empire is trying to get rid of them.
19:23 Doesn't want them around.
19:27 The Christians that lived here,
19:31 uh, did so at the peril of their life.
19:35 So as we go through you'll see many statements
19:39 that talk about this and about the city.
19:42 OK. This represented a church age from about 100 AD
19:46 to 323 AD.
19:49 And I'll tell you a little bit later why
19:52 we kind of put the time of 323 AD in there...
19:56 because it fits a certain time.
19:58 As I told you the other night, don't try to tie these
20:02 church ages down to exact dates.
20:05 It represents a period of time,
20:08 and this was a period of time in which the church
20:11 was persecuted very, very strongly.
20:17 All right, let's go on.
20:22 This is where Christ identifies Himself to that church.
20:28 And He says:
20:37 Very important. He's telling those people there
20:40 who lived every day, folks,
20:43 at the threat of their life being taken.
20:46 I mean it was not something that
20:49 they heard about in the newspaper.
20:52 Wasn't something they heard about on the television set
20:56 about somebody suffering persecution on the other side
20:59 of the world. It was every day with them.
21:03 And so He's telling them: "Listen,
21:05 I'm the One who was dead, and I came to life. "
21:10 In other words, He's telling you: "Trust Me...
21:14 I can offer to you life.
21:16 What happens here on this world
21:19 and in this life isn't the end. "
21:22 Unfortunately, to many people today
21:27 who don't know the Lord,
21:31 this life is it.
21:34 But for the Christian... no.
21:38 This life isn't it.
21:40 There's a whole lot more, and Jesus said:
21:42 "I am living proof that there's something beyond this. "
21:58 He said: "I've been here; I've lived here; I died here;
22:03 I arose. You can count on it. I am the Almighty! "
22:08 And dear friend, you and I can base our faith and our belief
22:13 in Jesus Christ on what He says.
22:16 So the church in Smyrna is a group of people
22:21 who understood and accepted Christ.
22:26 But in accepting Him, they accepted Him knowing
22:31 that it put their life in danger.
22:34 Now you could compromise and live.
22:41 You hear me?
22:43 You can compromise... these people could compromise
22:47 and live.
22:51 And I find a lot of people today that are willing to compromise.
22:55 But that's not the way these people were.
23:00 Condition. We're going to take a look at the condition.
23:04 This is what was going on at that day.
23:17 That's strange.
23:19 "I know your works; I know your tribulation;
23:23 I know your poverty... but you're rich. "
23:35 Said: "I know these things; I know these people. "
23:38 Works. Now, we studied last night about
23:43 in the church of Ephesus that they had problems
23:46 with the Nicolatians.
23:48 And these were people that taught that the spiritual
23:53 and the physical had nothing to do with it.
23:55 And you find that teachings came in from Gnosticism
23:59 and brought in the idea of antinomianism.
24:02 And all that came in from here,
24:04 and that has influenced this church, folks.
24:07 All these churches are at the same time.
24:09 And so those things have come into these churches
24:11 and influenced them, and it influences us today.
24:17 Because I have people that say:
24:18 "Oh, works don't have anything to do with it...
24:22 none whatsoever. " Let me tell you something:
24:25 Every letter... every letter that Christ wrote
24:30 said: "I know your works. "
24:34 Now I'll assure you that your works don't save you.
24:38 That isn't the way it comes about.
24:41 But I'll assure you also that works has something to do
24:47 with your relationship.
25:04 Now that's strange.
25:06 Speaking against you as evildoers?
25:10 Christians aren't evildoers.
25:13 Why were they speaking against them as evildoers?
25:17 Well one... they didn't support worshiping the Emperor.
25:24 They were against what was happening there.
25:27 They weren't willing to go along with that.
25:29 This is what made them evildoers
25:32 is because they were going the other way.
25:35 They were saying: "No, I'm not going to worship the Emperor.
25:38 I'm not going to be part of your festivities.
25:42 I'm not going to partake of your pagan temple. "
25:45 That was all evil to those pagans. They were evildoers.
25:57 So He said, you know, "Let your works
26:01 speak for the life that you live. "
26:05 People ought to know you as someone who is good.
26:11 Someone who does good things. Your works...
26:16 your works ought to glorify God.
26:20 That's what they should do for you and for me.
26:39 See, folks, there is no such thing
26:45 as following Jesus Christ and walking with Him
26:51 without their being good works.
26:54 And that is the fruit that produces good works.
27:00 And if my life isn't producing good works,
27:04 isn't producing fruit, there's something wrong.
27:07 And a person needs to stop and look at that
27:11 and make sure that it is.
27:13 Important that it produces good fruit.
27:18 Good works always, always, always
27:24 produces tribulation.
27:28 Put it down... it never fails.
27:32 It produces tribulation because the devil doesn't like it.
27:37 And let me tell you something: it's the devil that
27:40 does these things, not God.
27:43 It's the devil that does it.
27:46 It's the devil that brings on the tribulation.
27:48 It's the devil that does these things.
27:51 But he doesn't like the witness of a Christian life
27:56 and therefore he brings about tribulation.
28:21 That person
28:24 who has never been afflicted
28:30 in their lives
28:33 has suffered the worst affliction there is.
28:39 That person who has never suffered affliction
28:44 has had the greatest affliction there is.
28:51 For it is tribulation
28:55 even though we don't like it,
28:58 even though it's hard,
29:00 even though it's disagreeable,
29:03 even though it makes me live in circumstances
29:06 I don't want to live in...
29:08 it is that that is necessary to change me
29:13 and to change my character.
29:17 You see... men are like
29:25 If they follow the course of least resistance,
29:30 they wind up crooked.
29:35 Therefore I must learn... I must learn
29:40 to suffer as Christ suffered.
29:52 Count it what? How many of you do that?
29:56 Count it all joys when you have trials.
30:00 But he says we are to count it joy. Why?
30:10 Have you been in situations where, you know,
30:14 you didn't like it. You couldn't...
30:17 just didn't like it at all
30:19 but you couldn't do anything about it
30:23 and you had to develop patience?
30:27 This is what God expects us to do.
30:29 It produces patience in our life.
30:32 It has me to look to Him
30:36 for guidance and for direction and for help.
30:54 So tribulation does that for you.
30:59 And since it brings about patience in my life
31:03 it produces the fruits that needs to be there
31:06 then I should accept it with joy.
31:09 You remember, don't you? You remember Paul
31:12 and Silas there at Philippi. They had been thrown in jail,
31:16 had been beaten... and they were what?
31:18 Remember what they were doing?
31:20 Singing, see? Yes!
31:22 You and I need to learn to have that same experience.
31:26 And any time you have tribulation,
31:30 tribulation always produces poverty...
31:36 because the things you have are taken from you.
31:39 You've lost it; it's tribulation.
31:40 They've stripped you of the things that you have.
31:43 And I have people say: "Oh Brother Cox,
31:45 they came in and took my home away. "
31:47 Yeah... that's part of it.
31:52 See? Tribulation.
31:56 Hard times. But that produces poverty.
32:00 What does the scripture say about poverty?
32:04 Let me tell you something.
32:05 Poverty's not a bad thing.
32:09 Just not a bad thing, folks.
32:11 You can look at it any way you want to, but it's not.
32:23 How are you rich?
32:29 Oh, there's a song that says my Father is rich
32:33 in houses and lands.
32:36 He holds the wealth of the world in His hands.
32:39 Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold
32:42 His coffers are full... He has riches untold.
32:46 You see, He's rich!
32:48 If my Father's rich, what...?
32:53 I'm rich. Yeah.
32:56 So you see, poverty in this old world isn't bad...
33:02 isn't bad at all.
33:04 If you don't have all the things that people think you need
33:08 to have today, praise the Lord!
33:11 You know?
33:30 Yes! He left heaven -
33:34 riches beyond anything that you and I can comprehend -
33:41 gave it all up to come here
33:47 and became poor so that you might become rich.
33:54 So consider poverty not a bad thing
33:57 because I'll assure you...
34:02 Well, let me just illustrate it for you.
34:05 I come here... I've lived here in the United States
34:08 I've held meetings all over this country
34:11 and people come...
34:16 but nothing like they do in countries where there's poverty.
34:21 When I go to countries where they are poor
34:25 and they don't have anything,
34:27 they come carrying their Bibles by the thousands to hear.
34:35 Where people have an abundance
34:38 and all the things that they think they need in life
34:42 and all the entertainment, they don't have time
34:48 for the Word of God.
34:50 See, poverty is not a bad thing.
34:54 I have to be willing...
34:57 I have to be willing just to give it all up.
35:01 Just to give it up.
35:05 See, there's something much better.
35:17 Here we go... here's poverty.
35:32 I have to be willing to give it all up for the Lord.
35:39 I cannot have... I'm sorry...
35:45 but I cannot have this world and Jesus too.
35:51 You have to make a decision.
35:53 Do you want Christ or do you want the world?
35:57 They're not... they're not the same, folks.
36:00 You can't hang onto both of them.
36:02 You've got to turn one of them loose.
36:05 You've either got to turn the Lord loose
36:07 and go with the world
36:09 or you've got to turn the world loose
36:11 and go with Christ.
36:13 You can't have both.
36:15 Just doesn't work that way.
36:17 And true, in this life
36:20 you may suffer persecution
36:23 and you may experience poverty.
36:26 But how much better it is in Christ Jesus.
36:32 Much, much better.
36:53 See there's such a thing
36:55 as being a rich poor man
37:00 or being a poor rich man.
37:05 See? That's what it says.
37:09 When He says that you're rich, what are you rich in?
37:13 Do you know?
37:15 When He says "you're rich, " what are you rich in?
37:19 Well, you're rich in grace.
37:24 You're rich in faith.
37:27 You're rich in patience; rich in meekness and humility.
37:32 Rich in courage... Christian fortitude.
37:34 Those are all fruits of the Spirit that are given
37:40 to you that you're rich in.
37:42 God gives all that to you and to me.
37:55 Now folks, this has to do
37:59 with the covenant. Now let me explain.
38:03 At the time of this church
38:08 there are basically three religions.
38:13 Paganism. Emperor worship, all that went along with paganism.
38:19 The Jewish belief... and Christianity.
38:23 That's what's there.
38:24 The Jewish belief and the Jewish people
38:28 joined the pagans in persecuting the Christians.
38:34 And so there were people among them
38:39 there in the church at Smyrna
38:41 that said they were Jews
38:46 but they really weren't.
38:48 Now that doesn't mean they weren't Jews physically.
38:53 They were...
38:55 as far as flesh and blood is concerned.
38:58 But they were not what the scripture counted as Jews.
39:04 You see the Jewish people
39:07 had made a covenant with God.
39:12 And that covenant was that if they would obey the Lord
39:17 and keep His commandments and follow Him
39:19 that He would be their God
39:21 and that they should be His people.
39:23 They had entered that covenant with the Lord.
39:26 These people here... they weren't willing to do that.
39:31 They wanted to persecute the Christians and yet
39:33 they said they were Jews.
39:34 He said: "They're not Jews;
39:36 they're of the synagogue of Satan. "
39:39 You see, to the Christian it says:
39:43 "If you be of Christ, then you are... " What?
39:49 "Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. "
39:55 What promise?
39:59 That "if you obey My voice and keep My commandments
40:02 I will be your God. " That's the promise God made to them.
40:05 And so you and I as followers of the Lord
40:09 come under that covenant... the covenant that was made.
40:14 And that's what He's talking about here
40:17 when He talks about these people.
40:19 All right, let's take a look at the problem.
40:31 "Don't fear any of those things you're about... "
40:35 Now He didn't say, folks, "you're not going to suffer. "
40:38 He said: "Don't fear any of those things
40:40 you're about to suffer. "
40:57 Uh, this always worries me.
41:01 Worries me very, very much.
41:04 And why it does is simply this:
41:07 do you remember the time when Jesus had fed the 5,000
41:11 and it says that He had crossed the sea and gone over to
41:15 Capernaum? And these Jewish people
41:18 had followed Him across the lake over to Capernaum.
41:23 And when they got there they asked Him -
41:25 because they didn't know how He got there -
41:27 they said: "How did You get here? "
41:28 And Jesus, in the course of conversation with them, said:
41:33 "Well I know why you're looking for Me...
41:35 because you want bread for your stomachs. "
41:38 And they said: "Well, tell us what we've got to do
41:42 to believe in You. "
41:44 And He said to them... He said: "You want to believe in Me? "
41:47 Then He said: "You must eat My flesh
41:51 and drink My blood. "
41:55 And they said: "What? "
41:57 "Eat Your flesh and drink Your blood? "
42:02 And He went on to say to them:
42:03 "The words that I speak unto you:
42:05 they are Spirit and they are life. "
42:09 And they said: "Oh, that's a very, very hard saying. "
42:13 And it says many of His disciples
42:16 walked with Him no more.
42:20 In fact, so many of them left Him
42:23 that he turned to the twelve
42:25 and He said to them: "Will you leave Me also? "
42:29 And Simon Peter said:
42:30 "Thou hast the words of life...
42:34 to whom shall we go? "
42:37 Now what worries me about this, folks,
42:40 is we live in an age when there are so many Christians
42:46 that are strictly fair-weather Christians.
42:50 They want to accept Christ but they don't want anything
42:54 of hard times or suffering or tribulation.
42:57 They don't want that to happen. In fact, they
42:59 build beliefs that are contrary to scripture
43:03 telling them that they won't have any of that
43:06 because they are strictly nothing but fair-weather
43:10 Christians. That's all they are.
43:11 This worries me because this applies to us today
43:15 and particularly to you and I who are living down here
43:18 at the end of time.
43:21 That we need to understand that we ARE going to suffer
43:25 persecution. There's no question that's going to happen
43:28 to the Christian in the last days.
43:31 Question is: is your faith in Christ strong enough
43:36 to stand there?
43:37 I can remember I was holding a meeting
43:39 and this woman came to the meeting and
43:43 we got into Biblical truths of God's Word
43:48 and we got into the question of the Sabbath.
43:51 And she had checked on a card that she understood it
43:56 and believed it and everything.
43:58 And some of the folks that were helping in visitation
44:01 went out to visit her.
44:02 And they talked to her about the... the Sabbath
44:05 and if she was willing to keep it and if she believed it.
44:10 She said: "Yes, she believed it. "
44:11 But when they asked her if she was willing to keep it
44:14 she said: "No! "
44:15 And they couldn't get anywhere with her 'cause she
44:19 just refused.
44:21 And so I went out to visit her.
44:23 Got out there and we visited and I asked her
44:26 questions about the Sabbath.
44:27 I said: "Do you understand what the scripture teaches? "
44:30 She said: "Yes. "
44:31 I said: "Do you believe it and all? "
44:34 She said: "Yes. "
44:35 I said: "Can you... can you keep it? Is it that? "
44:39 She said: "No. "
44:41 And I said: "I don't understand. "
44:44 I said: "You're telling me you understand it.
44:47 You're telling me you believe it
44:48 but you're not willing to keep it. "
44:50 And she said to me... she said: "Brother Cox,
44:53 what you don't understand is I have cancer
44:57 and the only insurance I have is with my employer.
45:04 And if I go and ask to have the Sabbaths off,
45:10 he'll probably let me go
45:13 and I'll lose my insurance. "
45:20 And I said to her:
45:24 "You know, when you accept Jesus Christ
45:30 you accept Him for life
45:34 AND for death.
45:38 You don't accept Him just for life.
45:44 You have to be willing to accept Him for both. "
45:49 And she said: "You're right. "
45:52 She said: "I'll go talk to him. "
45:55 And she went and talked to her employer
45:57 and he gave her the Sabbaths off.
45:58 She had no problem getting it off.
46:01 But what I'm trying to say is that you and I
46:04 must be willing to step out there and say:
46:09 "I'm willing to stand for the Lord. "
46:10 These people did!
46:12 Back then Rome didn't care who you worshiped.
46:18 They didn't care who you worshiped at all
46:20 because they were polytheistic.
46:22 They had many, many gods.
46:24 What Rome was concerned about was the fact that they
46:27 wanted your allegiance.
46:30 That's what they wanted.
46:31 And so they had their god - Roma Dia -
46:35 which you once a year you had to come and pick up some incense
46:40 and drop it in the fire before this goddess
46:44 and say "Roma Dia. " And if you did that,
46:46 they gave you a certificate of allegiance to Rome.
46:51 The Christians weren't willing to do that.
46:55 These folks in Smyrna weren't willing to do that.
46:58 And because of that they took them to arenas
47:04 and they made human torches out of them.
47:08 And they fed them to the lions.
47:11 What bothers me is... that's your heritage.
47:18 That's what the word Christian meant.
47:22 And you and I must understand that, and we must be willing
47:28 to stand for our faith and what we believe.
47:32 Tradition tells us that Polycarp
47:38 that John - the apostle John -
47:43 ordained him as the bishop of the church of Smyrna.
47:47 Polycarp gave his life.
47:50 Standing before the judge, and the judge asked him if
47:54 he would renounce his belief and renounce it in Jesus Christ.
47:59 And Polycarp said these words:
48:13 They burned him at the stake.
48:16 It said "you will have tribulation ten days. "
48:21 These are just some of the martyrs, folks,
48:23 during that period of time.
48:38 These are a few. Christians during this period of time -
48:44 died by the thousands - that gave their life
48:49 for what they believed.
48:51 Ten days of persecution.
48:54 That ten days... as I told you, all the Emperors persecuted...
48:59 but the last one - Diocletian - was the worst.
49:03 And for ten years - from 303 AD to 313 AD -
49:09 he persecuted the church unmercifully.
49:12 That's why it says "for ten days. "
49:15 As the scripture tells you, a day represented
49:17 a year in Bible prophecy.
49:20 And then we come to the counsel.
49:31 Interesting that He would use that terminology
49:34 since that Mount Pegasus sat right there
49:36 and was known as "The Crown. "
49:38 And He said: "Trust Me. Be faithful unto death.
49:42 I'll give you a crown of life. "
49:46 Promise to you and to me.
49:48 Do you know you're... you're given three things?
49:51 Hmmm? Do you know what those three things are
49:54 that you're given?
50:07 The three things that you receive: you receive a gift.
50:12 You receive an inheritance
50:15 and you receive a crown.
50:18 Those are the three things you receive.
50:21 What's the gift that you receive?
50:26 Eternal life. That's right.
50:28 You are given eternal life free.
50:30 You do not deserve it.
50:33 You have nothing to earn it.
50:34 It's given to you out of the graciousness of our Lord
50:37 Jesus Christ. It's handed to you and I free.
50:40 OK. You're given an inheritance. What's that?
50:46 You're given an inheritance... "blessed are the?
50:50 meek, for they shall inherit the earth. "
50:55 Yes. Given that as an inheritance because you and I
51:00 are children of the King... and He's rich
51:03 in houses and lands.
51:04 And you're given a crown.
51:06 And the crown is given to you based on?
51:13 That's what the crown has to do with... based on works.
51:17 So you have those three things that are given to you.
51:27 Listen carefully to these messages
51:30 because they have great lessons in them for you and for me.
51:35 Then He gives the promise
51:37 to the church here in Smyrna.
51:39 And the promise says:
51:46 You and I... we all face the first death.
51:53 You face it quicker than you want to, you know.
51:57 But we do... we face it. We know it's coming.
52:00 Unless the Lord comes and redeems us
52:02 and gets us out of here, we're going to face the first death.
52:06 That's not the worry.
52:08 It's the second death that you have to be concerned about.
52:24 So it says the first resurrection...
52:27 if you come forth in that, then you're not going to have to
52:31 be faced with the second death.
52:51 That's the one that you and I do not want to be
52:56 involved with is that second death.
53:07 Dear friend, the Lord Jesus Christ redeemed you from that.
53:14 That's what He died for is that there would be
53:18 redemption from death.
53:20 "O death, where is your sting?
53:24 O grave, where is your victory? "
53:25 There isn't any to the righteous
53:28 because Christ redeemed us from the sting of death.
53:32 We're not faced with that.
53:34 In Jesus Christ there's life not death.
53:48 If you want life... and I don't care who you are watching...
53:52 oh person, young person... if you want life
53:56 it's found in Jesus Christ.
54:00 Not found in this world.
54:03 All there is in this old world is death,
54:08 but in Christ there's life... life eternal.
54:20 Tonight do you know that you have eternal life?
54:27 You can have it in Christ Jesus.
54:30 Oh, yes, you may suffer persecution.
54:36 You may suffer hard times.
54:39 You may suffer poverty.
54:41 But dear friend, let me tell you something:
54:44 there's life,
54:46 marvelous life, in Jesus Christ.
54:49 Heavenly Father,
54:51 Thank you. Thank you for redeeming us.
54:55 Thank you for the hope
54:58 that we have in Jesus Christ our Lord.
55:01 Bless each one that's listening, Lord.
55:04 May they be drawn unto You.
55:06 May our hearts be open to You
55:09 in all that we do. We pray in Christ's name, Amen.
55:13 Good night; God bless you.
55:17 Hello, folks.
55:18 One of my favorite things to do in the springtime
55:21 is to take a walk and look at all the new growth.
55:25 The earth seems so fresh,
55:26 and each tree bursts forth with buds and flowers.
55:29 That reminds me of a parable that Jesus told His followers
55:34 in Luke 21.
55:35 You see, He had just described the events which will happen
55:39 immediately before His second coming.
55:56 But in verse 29 Jesus turns their attention
55:59 to the fig tree.
56:01 And ever since then, budding trees have served as a permanent
56:05 reminder that our time here is very short
56:08 and the second coming is very near.
56:26 Folks, many of these signs are already upon us.
56:30 The earth groans from the greed of those who have
56:32 exploited her resources, ravaged her land
56:36 and destroyed plants and animals and atmosphere alike
56:39 in a selfish pursuit of wealth.
56:42 Have you seen the signs?
56:44 Have you seen men's hearts failing with fear?
56:47 If you haven't, then I'm afraid you're not watching
56:50 very closely. However, the Holy Spirit is hard at work
56:54 and so are many Christians who long for an end to sin
56:58 and look forward to their soon-coming Savior.
57:01 And that's why we continue to preach the gospel
57:04 to as many as we can through any means that we can
57:08 as often as we can.
57:10 Our ministry team is supported solely
57:13 by your contributions... and we thank you for your
57:16 faithful prayers and financial support.
57:20 May God richly bless you.
57:22 Please consider what you can do for those who still don't know
57:25 about Jesus. As the Holy Spirit impresses,
57:28 please send your tax-deductible gifts to:
57:43 Thank you for helping us spread the light of God's Word
57:45 through television and radio.
57:47 Your gifts help bring the blessed hope of salvation
57:49 to millions around the world.