The Church at Smyrna: Where Dragons Are, Jesus Has Been
October 16, 1994
When Jesus told the angel at Smyrna that He was the first and the last, He was indicating that through our trials, "I am at the beginning of it; and I will be at the end of it, and I will be with you all the way through. I am the first and the last."
In the days when the earth was virtually unexplored, the lands beyond were mysteries. The map makers therefore would write over an unknown country, "Here be the dragons."
The land of the unknown may be unknown by us, but Christ knows every place and everything to come!
The city of Smyrna was a beautiful city set on the side of a hill fronted by a magnificent harbor. As far back as recorded history, there was always a Smyrna. It was the largest city in Asia Minor. During Roman times, it was a great city of world trade, its harbor going back inland over 35 miles. The city itself was the end of the road from the interior and lay in the Herms Valley. Its political clout was due to the fact that Smyrna was never on the side of a loser in the Roman Empire's civil wars. Smyrna was a "free city" and was not under tax or tribute to Rome.
Smyrna considered itself the first and last as far as cities go. It was a "planned community," being built from the docks up the hillsides, setting like a crown on the bow of the hills. Streets were paved, wide and spacious, and designed to run at right angles from one end of the city to the other. Golden street began at the Temple of Cybele by the Aegean seaside, ran through the city past the Temple of Apollo and the Temple of Aphrodite. On its way, you went past a monument to Homer and ultimately to the Acropolis on Mount Pagos, where the Temple of Zeus was located. It claimed to the most beautiful city of the Greeks.
**Hugh stadiums, cultural theater (seated 20,000), programs, athletic contests, festivals and incredible temples.
I. Th ...
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