Class Notes: 12/6/2020
Smyrna, the pivot for SPQR, and The Doctrine of Historical Trends part 1
Jer 17:9 (NET) The human mind is more deceitful than anything else. It is incurably bad. Who can understand it?
Eccles 8:8; No man has authority to control the wind, the weather or the climate, or authority over the day of death; there is no discharge in the midst of a battle, and evil people will not be rescued by their evil deeds.,, they sow the wind And they will reap the whirlwind. Hosea 8:7a;
Eccles 8:11; Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.
God gave the Jews in Judea 3.5 years and they crucified Jesus so why should God give client nation USA get any more time? Evil people never stop crucifying the truth. But in the end the truth always wins 2Cor 13:8;
Smyrna the pivot power of SPQR
Rev 1:9-11; I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,
11 saying, "Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea."
Rev 2:8-11; "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:
9 'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who 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 is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.'
Smyrna was a large ancient city on the west coast present day Turkey that has been renamed Ismir by the Mohammedan Turks after they burned it down in September 1922 . It is at the head of the Gulf of Smyrna that reaches 30 miles inland from the Aegean Sea.
The city of Smyrna was originally settled by a group of people called the Lelages. These were an Asiatic people who are identified with the Carians, who were famous mercenaries of the ancient world.
About 1100BC Smyrna was taken from the Lelageans by the Aolean Greeks. In 688 BC Smyrna was taken over by the Ionian Greeks and in 627 BC the Ionian city was taken over by the Lydians.
The Lydians are central to a lot of things, not only in western Turkey but also for the entire Mediterranean basin.. They are related to Latins who were the origin of the Romans who were a very different people from the people native to the region where Rome began.
We will see that the real key to the Romans is blessing by association with Smyrna that was the city where the original Roman founders came from.
The three things that were the basis of the rise of Rome was respect for law, tremendous self-discipline, and the willingness to sacrifice for their government. All of these things were a part of their colure.
The power that would sustain and eventually make Rome great were believers in Jesus Christ and the spiritual power system that God provides to every believer as a member of the new spiritual species that comprises the Church, the spiritual body of Christ.
Their persistent choice to function inside God's spiritual power system was in opposition to other believers who functioned in satan's cosmic system. The up-trends of history came from the believers on the west coast of Asia Minor, and the downtrends came from all over the empire wherever believers became involved in satan's cosmic system.
Under the doctrinal concept of manifest destiny all great nations including Rome start with a landed aristocracy that eventually provides the prosperity and freedom that is necessary to develop an industrial complex.
Also, there is always an undeveloped frontier for expansion. People who can't make it under the landed aristocracy will go out to the undeveloped frontier. But eventually if the nation is going to be great there a new leadership from the industrial complex must be developed.
An industrial complex that has integrity from Doctrine can never be defeated, and there is a reason for that under the doctrine of manifest destiny. This is explained in (Deut 11:26- 32;) Manifest destiny reveals that if a nation is going to be great it will eventually combine all three factors under positive volition to God's Word of truth that is the basis for manifest destiny.
The landed aristocracy will combine under the leadership of the industrial complex and eventually they will annex, develop and expand into the undeveloped frontier. Many who do not understand God's grace policy think that the issue is race but race is not the issue. Divine Establishment is the issue. Jesus Christ is the issue. Bible Doctrine is the issue
God reveals this in. Isa 9:1-7;
The combined leadership produces outstanding leaders in every civic, business and military venue.. In the case of the Romans, the Spaniards had the advantage of numbers, the Gauls had the advantage of physical strength, the Carthaginians had the advantage of mental sharpness, the Greeks had the advantage of culture, the Latins and the Italians had the advantage of shrewd common sense, but Rome conquered them all.
Notice the distinction between the Romans and the Latins and the Italians. They were not the same people. The Romans conquered the Latins and the Italians and eventually gave them citizenship.
After the city-state of Rome was developed it conquered Italy and after it conquered Italy it conquered everything in the Mediterranean basin which became the basis for setting up the first Gentile client nation to God, SPQR.
We will see how the entire world was evangelized because the Roman legions successfully went all the way to the Euphrates, to the southern Danube, to the Rhine, all of the way to the Caledonians in Scotland.
And while they could go no farther there was one thing that stepped beyond the Roman eagles and standards of SPQR. Christian missionaries crossed the Euphrates, the Danube, the Rhine, and went beyond Hadrian's Wall and by so doing one of the greatest periods of Christian missionary activity that has ever existed occurred.
The Roman conquests were often cruel because war is often cruel but while there is cruelty in war but that doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with war. Without war there would be no freedom, there would no evangelism, and we would not have a civilization or the greatest blessings that have ever occurred in the history of the devil's fallen world.
The key to everything in Rome was Smyrna because Smyrna provided the greatness of the Roman empire. In 688 BC the Ionian Greeks took over and when Alexander conquered the world he went through and took Asia Minor, and after his death, the Macedonians ruled the city of Smyrna.
Lysimachus, one of Alexander's generals rebuilt and ruled city relocating it to at the head of one of the main highways of that area that resulted in the city becoming a trading center that became one of the most prosperous port cities of the ancient world.
Smyrna, along with Ephesus and Pergamum, became one of the most brilliant and prosperous cities of Anatolia that is now part of western Turkey. At the time John wrote, the population of the city was about 200,000.
Thanks to the excellent planning and execution of Alexander the Great, Smyrna had wide, paved streets. For that reason alone they could expand and expand, and it became the center of commerce and for several hundred years it was one of the most prosperous cities in the ancient world.
In AD 23, less than a century before our passage opens up, a temple that was connected by a wide golden boulevard was built in honor of the emperor Tiberius and his mother Julia.
This became one of the most famous boulevards in the ancient world and people would actually travel thousands of miles just to walk on the golden boulevard. Because the trade there was so great the Jews moved in and there was a large Jewish population.
There was also a very large Roman population, a large Greek population and, of course the Asiatics. There were a strong group of believers in Smyrna. The church is one of the greatest of all time.
Smyrna is the only church in Revelation 2 & 3 that Jesus did not criticize. Under the principle of the pivot power it became the bulwark of the Roman Empire and the sustaining power of the first gentile client nation, the Roman client nation to God.
By 300 AD the majority of the people in Ephesus and Smyrna were believers, they became almost totally Christian cities. Smyrna was the last city to hold out against the Mohammedan invasions, it did not fall to the Turks until the year 1424 AD and had a large Christian population until the Greek Armenian Christian genocide of 1915-16 and was burned to the ground in September 1922.
It was the discovery of America and the discovery of the sea routes to India that bypassed the overland highway that eventually caused a reduction in Smyrna's trading business.
Polycarp, the pastor who succeeded John, was one of John's parishioners. He was a young person in John's church in Ephesus. After the death of John he went to Smyrna where he became their pastor.
During a pagan festival, Polycarp was brought before the proconsul, Philip who
tried to force him take an oath against Jesus Christ. Of course, Polycarp refused. His answer was very simple: "For eighty-six years I have been a servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, and He has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my Lord and King, my only savior?"
Polycarp was then seized and burned at the stake. The Roman empire had many horrible Caesars and very few good rulers. They had many things against them and yet, because of the city of Smyrna, because of the tremendous advance of believers inside God's spiritual power system it was the invisible source of the pivot power that carried the Roman empire for over 300 years.
The mandate from our Lord Jesus Christ to John in Rev 2:8; is the aorist active imperative of the verb "grapho", translated write. The culminative aorist tense views the writing of the entire book of Revelation but it regards it from the viewpoint of existing results,
The completion of the canon of scripture, the history of the world from the time of writing in 96AD to the end of world history and the launch of new heavens and earth.
The book of Revelation is therefore a textbook of world history. In chapters two and three we have the historical trends of the Church Age, the dispensation of no prophecy. The next and only remaining Church Age prophesy is the prophesy of exit resurrection of the Church. 1Thess 4:14-18; 1Cor 15:51-52;
Everything that occurs during the Church Age prior to the exit resurrection of the Church is discerned through historical trends. This brings us to the doctrine of historical trends that we will insert here.
The Doctrine of Historical Trends
Even though history is the record of man's thoughts, decisions, actions and motivations, it is Jesus Christ who controls history. The Church Age is the first dispensation where Jesus Christ controls history from His Hypostatic Union.
There are two sources of judgment in history: the sovereign decisions of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the evil erroneous decisions of mankind.
As goes the believer, so go the historical trends at any point in any generation of the Church Age. Residence, function and momentum inside the operational spiritual power system creates historical uptrends, while involvement in the satan's cosmic system creates historical downtrends.
People individually and collectively are the products of their own decisions. Decisions create environment, not environment decisions and bad decisions limit future options.
There are no tragedies in history, just historical disasters. So-called historical disasters are not tragedies since individuals, nations, and empires are the products of their own self-determination.
The pattern of historical disaster begins with moral and immoral degeneracy, advances to economic depression and pandemic and ends in military disaster. God uses the most evil nation to administer the fifth cycle of discipline to a degenerate client nation.
The active arrogance of evil one destroys the passive arrogance of evil two. Evil one is always attracted to evil two to destroy evil.
Individual subjectivity destroys national objectivity. Arrogant people create arrogant nations. Arrogant people or arrogant nations never see their own hypocrisy they only see other's hypocrisy. Jealous people and envious nations never see their own sins and production of evil, only the sins and evil of others.
This is why Jesus taught the doctrine of perpetual warfare until He returns. Matt 24:6-9; The only way to prevent war is to be so well prepared that no one will attack. When a nation has maximum subjectivity, God will destroy that nation, not directly, but through the function of declining historical trends.
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