The church of Ephesus
Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Jesus begins to speak to each the messengers in each church, describing each churches good qualities and showing them where they need to improve. Jesus does watch us and he wishes to encourage and correct us, as he keeps us in his hand. He begins with the church at Ephesus. Which church body best represents where you worship? We will see what the seven churches are like.
1 Cor 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1 Cor 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
1 Cor 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
1 Cor 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
Rev 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Jesus begins to list what he likes: their works and labor, their patience, their discernment in knowing those who are true apostles and the liars:
We need this very much today. So many claim to be what they are not.
Paul wrote to this same church:
Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
Rev 2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
1 Th 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
This sounds like a good church. What were they lacking, what are some of us lacking?
But, there is a danger of just being critical and losing our love for Jesus and others.
Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Nevertheless, in spite of all the good something was lacking. Have you been to a church that taught the word, that was against false ones, who did good works, but something was missing? Perhaps the presence of the love of God? They left that closeness that they once had. The trials of life had hardened them, perhaps. So much sin, so many false ones, so many self seeking deceivers and everyone seeking things that are not of God?
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Are you bored, confused, feeling far from God, seeking things and pleasures more than God?
Repent, stop sinning and do the first works. What are the first works? Remember when you were first truly saved and committed to God? Return to these things:
Great Joy and thanksgivingOr else I will come quickly, and remove your candlestick from its place. Jesus will remove His presence, and the church will be in trouble: divisions, strife, removal of the Pastor or perhaps the closing of the church. These are some possibilities of not repenting.
Read your Bible
Enjoy the fellowship of other believers
Be a blessing to others
Witness for Jesus
Love for everyone without compromising the truth
Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
What is the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes?
Nicolaitanes, meaning "conquering the laity", It has been suggested that the teaching of the Nicolaitans was the division of the clergy from the laity, whereas before no such distinction was formalized in the church. For example priests that lord it over the church, keeping them from truth and living impure lives.
Irenaeus said that, "They are the followers of that Nicolas who was one of the seven first ordained to the diaconate by the apostles." They taught that it was a matter of indifference to commit adultery or eat things sacrificed to idols. It was an exaggeration of the doctrine of Christian liberty which attempted an ethical compromise with heathenism. They committed fornications and adultery. They were not separated from the worlds sinful ways.
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
He that has an ear to hear, he that is born-again of God, who can understand spiritual things, to him that overcomes the works of evil; those trusting and obeying Jesus. Those who have returned to their first love. I will give to eat of the tree of life; eternal life, in the midst of the paradise of God.
The tree that Adam and Eve ate of, was the tree of the knowledge of sin and evil. The angel protected the garden so that they could not partake of the tree of life in a sinful body.
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Gen 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Jesus came with the sword of truth, through him we have access to the tree of life and our sins are forgiven. May we repent as we learn where we need to improve, so that we may please him who has saved us unto his glorious hope.