A letter to the church at Smyrna from “the first and the last, who died and came to life” (vs 8) warning them specifically of coming persecution and reminding them of their richness of blessings in Christ.
The previous verse 10 (“Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life”) defines several things in this verse:
- Those that “conquer” are the ones being “faithful unto death” and receiving “the crown of life” from Jesus.
- The second death is what follows the first, physical death [for those that don’t “conquer”].
- The opposite of receiving the second death is a [second] spiritual life.
Each of the seven letters have a “To the one that conquers…” statement from Jesus, but each with a different ending…
- “…I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (2:7)
- “…will not be hurt by the second death.” (2:11)
- “…I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.” (2:17)
- “…and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star.” (2:26-28)
- “…will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.” (3:5)
- “…I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.” (3:12)
- “…I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (3:21)
Gathering all of these statements together, we get a complete picture of what awaits “the one that conquers.”