I. Rev 1:11 Part 10 (bridged with Rev 2:10)
Rev 1______/TTTTTTTTTTTTT\______Re v 2
II. Jesus: "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I TELL YOU, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." Rev 2:10
1. "I" Tell You (Behold)- The Lord is actually prophesying and perceives "ahead of time" what is about to occur to the faithful church simply because they refuse to worship the emperor and say that the emperor is lord. One of Smyrna's main religions was emperor worship and the Christians (both Jews & Gentiles) wouldn't do it.
Btw, I believe that the personality of the church of Smyrna is representative of one of many to come in the future. I believe this holds true for the other personalities of the other six churches mentioned in Rev 1:11
A. Regarding the situation with the church of Smyrna, history repeats itself in some similar way. A couple of hundred years later the "early" Roman Catholic Church persecuted and killed people (Christian and Pagan) for not joining the universal church. When the RCC became legalized in 300 something AD, by the order of the emperor Constantine it was used to merge both paganry and christianity into one religion. Basically, Constantine's empire was in shambles and incorporating the RCC was an ingenious excuse for the fledgling government to regain control over the people and recover power. Catholic means "general" or "universal" by the way. Those faithful Christians who refused to join the christian/pagan merger... and those faithful pagans who also refused to join were deemed heretics... they were tortured to submit or were killed by various and extraordinary means. Now in that, anti-semitism continued and increased. Now the RCC isn't "at all" how it was back in those days.
B. But it wasn't just the Catholics who persecuted people for not adhering... it was "some" of the protestants too! Calvin for instance... because of his own local governmental control over Geneva... he would have people killed and persecuted for not adhering to his own interpretation of scripture. He had his own secret police called the The Consistory who would go from house to house to make sure people were adhering to his own interpretations.
Now though it has gnostic origins, John Calvin is actually credited with reinstituting the Once Saved Always Saved principle (OSAS).
2. So history repeats itself. Christians have been warning of a one world government for as long as I can remember. I couldn't see it... didn't necessarily know what to make of it. The U.N.(at the time)? Who are those people? I kind of thought that idea was laughable. I did see quite a bit of the "left behind" video series which had shoddy directing but it was interesting none the less. In any case, fast-forward to now... we have the internet, we have a world court, the U.N. as increased in size and scope, the U.S. may sometimes operate under a U.N. mandate... through social engineering efforts to bring more global cohesion we all have been "minded" to want to "save the planet" via social or deep ecology methods (that is, going green or reducing one's carbon footprint)... Soon we will have a global "carbon-based" economy (in the works). The displays of the 10 commandments are being dismantled in the U.S. everywhere you go due to godlessness. Christians are okay in this one-world thinking unless they say that Jesus is the only way then we will come after them... it's all being set-up folks. The Sign of the times and most people don't even recognize it. They won't even recognize it when they are sold the benefits of being implanted with a chip.
Sorry for any doubles