This passage is the Lord’s letter to the Church of Smyrna in Asia Minor, a church that was materially poor, but nonetheless spiritually rich in faith. Its saints and servant of God defended their faith despite being persecuted by the Jews, and even in their tribulations of death, they did not deny the Lord and His gospel of the water and the Spirit. They fought and won by believing in the Word of God.
The Lord told the saints of the Church of Smyrna not to fear the sufferings to come, but to be faithful until death, promising them the crown of life.
God told His people to fight and overcome the false doctrines of those who call themselves prophets. We must know what kind of faith is needed to be saved from all our sins. We must realize that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the true gospel, and with this faith we must fight against and overcome the false doctrines and lies that are plaguing today’s Christian world. When the whole world had been deceived by Satan, God sent our Lord to fulfill the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He has also saved all those who believe in it from all their sins. We must realize and believe in this truth.
Who are the people that have been saved from all their sins before God? They are not the strong-bodied or willed people, but the ones who have been delivered from all their sins only by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. These are the people who have fought and overcame the false doctrines and lies by knowing and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. To those who believe in this gospel and overcome the false doctrines, God will give them the blessing of avoiding the second death.
God’s Salvation Given to Those Who Overcome
As the Word of Revelation tells us, “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” Only to those who overcome will God give a new life and His New Kingdom. As we have two ears, we hear two different stories—that is, we hear both the truth and the false at the same time. Between the Word of God and that of Satan, our destiny is determined by whose word we accept and whose word we reject.
This is why we must all believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and, with this Word of truth and our faith in it, fight and overcome the false teachings. Because everyone in this world is suffering under the weight of sin, we look for and must find the gospel of the water and the Spirit that can wholly deliver us from our sins. But there are many who cannot accept the truth because of the lies that they have already been fed by the false teachers. The supposed salvation preached by these false prophets is based on the claim that if you do not sin, then you would be blessed.
But we are, in our essence, destined to sin; it is our unavoidable nature to sin, and thus we can only remain chained to the sins of this world. If the sinners’ hearts are thus chained to the sins of the world by the false prophets, how could they ever believe in God and be saved from their sins? They must return to the church of God, hear the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and receive the true rest of their hearts through the remission of their sins. Many people in this world look for the true church of God and yearn for their salvation, but most of them fail to find it and instead end up in the church of the Law—and this is why they are bound to hell.
What kind of church, then, is the church of God that the sinners are truly in need of? The church of God that every sinner needs is the one that preaches the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The church of God spoken of in the Bible preaches Jesus’ baptism and His blood on the Cross. The true church of God accurately explains and teaches just how exactly Jesus took upon all the sins of the world onto Himself and how He has made them disappear, all within the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Every sinner who has been delivered from his/her sins has done so by the faith that came from hearing the gospel of the water and the Spirit through the church of God.
Yet because many Christians have neither heard of nor come into contact with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they have not been able to be saved from all their sins. But God tells us that He will deliver from sin those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and who fight against and overcome the false gospels. God has promised us that those who overcome will not be hurt by the second death.
True deliverance from sin is available only to those who stand against and overcome the false teachers. Because we are born as sinners, if we cannot overcome the false teachings, we will end up as the prisoners of Satan, bound by sin, and destined for hell in the end. This is why God told each and everyone of us to overcome the enemies in our spiritual battle of salvation.
It is said that some animals, such as lions or tigers, train their cubs by deliberately pushing them down to the bottom of a hill and making them climb up by themselves. Only the cubs that make it back up to the hill would be raised. Likewise, God has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and only to those who fight and overcome the false teachings with this gospel will He allow Heaven.
Our salvation does not come by our own blood and flesh. We can be saved from sin only by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. True salvation is reached by the faith in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross. When our hearts believe in the baptism and the bloodshed of the Son of God that have taken away the sins of the world, we will be saved from all our sins and delivered from our certain destruction. Everyone who enters Heaven does so by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and everyone who ends up in hell does so by not believing in this gospel. This is why we must all believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and reject the false gospels.
By spreading false teachings and lies, Satan tries to prevent the people from being saved by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What are these false teachings then? The false gospels are the ones that teach that Jesus did not take away all the sins of the world with His baptism. They teach that while Jesus took away our original sin, our daily sins must be cleansed by our daily prayers of repentance. These teachings may perhaps make sense in religious terms, but when looked at with the true gospel of the water and the Spirit, they are simply false.
Everyone’s redemption comes by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit; false gospels will never deliver us from sin. This is why we must fight and overcome these false teachings. Fighting against Satan means standing against what is untrue. We must thus decide whether we would believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit or the false gospels, and having made our decision, we must fight against the other. Even those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot overcome Satan if their faith remains only lukewarm.
Many of the people who are saved had been debating between the Word of God and that of Satan before. Their sins were forgiven only when they decided to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Everyone who has been saved, from the very beginning of creation until now, has been the one who fought and overcame the false gospels. We must all find the gospel of the water and the Spirit, reject the false gospels, and be delivered from all our sins by faith.
What Are the False Gospels?
Let’s assume, for the purpose of illustration, that there is a village where everyone who lives in it has only one eye, and that a visitor with two eyes came to this village. The people in the village would call this visitor with two eyes as “strange,” “abnormal,” “very different,” or perhaps even “heretic.” The reason why they judge the visitor as a heretic is because he is different from them, who, in this case, constitute the absolute majority. Likewise, there is a bias in this world where “the majority rules,” or, to put it differently, where “the truth belongs to the majority.” But we must realize that such standards of judgment and conclusions are quite wrong.
In the eternal world, the truth is not decided by majority, but on absolute, fundamental standards. Where, then, can this truth be found? It can be found in the redemption of the sinners and their deliverance from destruction. All those who become righteous become so by being saved from their sins—after hearing, with their ears, the truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and believing, with their hearts, in this gospel.
But because so many people have fallen into the false gospels for so long, when the real truth is revealed before them, they call it strange, even heretic, and reject it. But the gospel of the water and the Spirit that they reject is the gospel of the truth that was revealed, believed, and preached by the apostles themselves, going all the way back all to the Apostolic Age. The problem of sin can be solved only by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit before God.
Jesus, our Truth, took upon the sins of the world on Himself all at once with His baptism by John, a descendant of Aaron, and shed His blood on the Cross for us. The Word of God bears witness that Jesus carried all the sins of the world with His baptism. He then died on the Cross, rose from the dead, and ascended to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God. This truth was fulfilled two thousand years ago, when Jesus became the Lord of the truth by taking away all the sins of the world with His baptism and His blood on the Cross.
Yet those who are deceived by lies still do not know that with their faith in Jesus comes their complete deliverance from sin; worse yet, many souls in today’s Christian world are lost in sin, confused by the false gospels. This is why those who believe in the true gospel of the water and the Spirit must preach and spread this gospel even more and further. Only by hearing this true gospel can people be delivered from their sins.
The truth revealed in the Bible is the gospel of the water and the Spirit (Matthew 3:13-17, Ephesians 1:13). In the above passage, God commended the Church of Smyrna, saying that despite their material poverty, they are rich in their faith. But He called the Jews as the servants of Satan, because although they claimed to believe in God, they still refused to accept His gospel of redemption into their hearts. They did not believe in Jesus as the Son of God and their Savior, even though our Lord had taken all their sins away with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Because they still did not accept the fact that Jesus had taken away their sins, even as they claimed to believe in the Jehovah God, there continued to be sin in their hearts.
Such people claim with their lips that they believe in God, but in truth they are a “synagogue of Satan” that does not believe in Him. Those who, even as they claim to believe in Jesus, have not yet accepted His redemption into their hearts also belong to this synagogue of Satan.
There exist in this world two synagogues: one of Satan, and the other of God. When the Lord returns, the synagogue of Satan will be eternally destroyed, and the synagogue of God will be eternally blessed. God will, in other words, clearly separate the righteous from the sinners. Not everyone who claims to believe in Jesus as his/her Savior will go to Heaven.
This is clearly demonstrated in what Jesus told us in Matthew 7: 21-23: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
In other words, we cannot say that Heaven is guaranteed to everyone who claims to believe in Jesus and calls upon His name. Even if they believe Jesus to be their Savior, if they do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they are, in the end, the servants of Satan, ultimately bound to hell. Because they follow the false gospels even as they claim to believe in Jesus, it is only fitting and just that they shall be sent to hell.
Those who have sin and therefore belong to Satan are bound to hell. But for those of us who have received the remission of all our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gates of Heaven will be opened. Everyone who believes in Jesus must enter Heaven by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
To be saved from the sins of the world, we must not only have a clear knowledge of our sins, but also have the spiritual ability to discern the truth from the lies. To do so, we must dwell in the written Word of God and believe according to it. If you do not want to be thrown into the lake of fire, you must reject the false gospels by faith. You must win in your battle against the false gospels. And to secure your victory of faith, you must know what the gospel of the water and the Spirit is. Only then can you avoid the second death, and only then can you enter the Paradise of God.
2 John 1:7 tells us, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” The deceiver here refers to those who deny that Jesus Christ came to this earth in the flesh. Put differently, it is those who deny that the Lord who came in the flesh is the Son of God, that He took upon all the sins of the world on Himself with His baptism in the Jordan River, and that He was judged in our place for our sins with His blood on the Cross.
Those who do not accept these facts, that He has taken away from us all the judgment of our sins, are the deceivers and the servants of Satan. These are the enemies of God and the faithful servants of the Devil. They confuse and lead many people to destruction by teaching and spreading their false gospels and standing against the true gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Those who claim to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and yet do not fight in the spiritual battle against the false gospel of Satan will eventually end up as the enemies of the Kingdom of God and His people. Such people do not care whether or not their followers believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All that they care about is only their own glory and wealth. These are the false servants who only desire to fill their own belly. They are, in short, those who belong to the Antichrist that the Bible speaks of.
The Trickeries of Heretics
Ezekiel 13:17-18 says, “Likewise, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own heart; prophesy against them, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Woe to the women who sew magic charms on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of My people, and keep yourselves alive?’” From this passage we can see how the servants of Satan seek to snatch away people’s souls.
The passage tells us that the servants of Satan sew magic charms on the people’s sleeves. In King James Version, this passage is translated as “Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes.” How uncomfortable and awkward would it be to have pillows sawn into your arms, and how unsightly would this be to others? Those who, even as they neither know nor believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, have been given the leadership positions in the church are exactly like this: uncomfortable, awkward, and unsightly. Why? Because these church positions are not fitting to them. They know that they have not even been justified or born again, for they are yet to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
How, then, could they ever work for the Lord? To do the works of God, therefore, the first thing that you must do is to receive the redemption of your sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, ascertain that the Holy Spirit resides in your heart, and then be trained sufficiently in the Word of God and His truth before you take up any post in the church.
Through the Bible God tells us, His people, that we must fight and overcome the false prophets by believing in His truth. Being born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is not achieved by doing nothing. It is achieved by winning the righteousness of God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Matthew 11:12 states, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Those who are forceful enter the Kingdom of God—forceful, that is, in their fight against the untruth. You must remember that only by accepting the gospel of the water and the Spirit into your heart and overcoming the false teachings can you be completely saved, and only then can the Holy Spirit dwell in your heart.
To reach one’s complete salvation, everyone who is born unto this earth must fight and overcome the untruth with God’s Word of truth. This world is the battleground between the forces of the truth and the forces of the untruth, between those who are born again and those who are not. This world became the battleground between God and Satan because Adam and Eve, though given life by God, ended up believing more in the lies of the Devil than in the Word of God.
Today’s era is particularly more dangerous, as Satan, knowing that his days are numbered, is trying to prevent people from believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit by confusing them with false prophets, deceiving them with false miracles, and misleading them with his false works clothed as the works of the Holy Spirit. “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Having won over the mainstream religions, Satan stands against the righteous. Though now is an era where lies are eclipsing the truth, those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will in the end be freed from all that are untrue, and ultimately triumph over them.
To be saved from all our sins, we must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and stay away from the false teachings that claim that we must daily repent to be forgiven of our sins. God has promised us that those who overcome such lies with His truth will not suffer the second death. Let us strive, like the saints of the Church of Smyrna before us, to defend our faith before God, so that we, too, would be commended by Him for our faithfulness to the Lord.