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Revelation 2:1-7. To the Church in Ephesus

To the church in Ephesus

“The words uttered where not alone for John on the Isle of Patmos, they were not for the churches alone, but through these churches was to come the inspired message for the people, to have its powerful impression in every age to the close of this earth´s history.”[1]

Ephesus: There is general agreement that the period thus represented spans the apostolic age, and may, accordingly, be dated approximately from A.D. 31 to A.D. 100.[2]

Rev 2:1. To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, “These things says he who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands.”

It is Christ who holds the seven stars or angels in his right hand. It is Christ who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands representing the seven churches in Asia Minor, and the church through the ages of history from the first century to the Second Coming of Christ. Christ´s presence is with his people always. Matt 28:20. Lo, I am with you always to the end of the age. Amen.

“Christ walks in the midst of his churches through the length and breadth of the earth. He looks with intense interest to see whether his people are in such a condition spiritually that they can advance his kingdom. He is present in every assembly of the church. He knows hearts he can fil with the holy oil, that they may impart it to others. Those who faithfully carry forward the work of Christ, representing in word and deed the character of God, fulfil the Lord´s purpose for them, and Christ takes pleasure in them.[3]

Rev 2:2. I know your works and your labor and your endurance, and you are not able to bear evil people. And you tested the ones saying that they are apostles, and they are not, and found them liars.

Who are the apostles that are liars in the New Testament?

John 8:44. (The Devil). He is a liar and the father of it.

John 8:55. Yet you have not known him, but I know him. And if you say, “I do not know him,” (God the Father). I shall be a liar like you. (Jesus speaking to the Jews in verse 48).

1 John 1:10. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 2:4. He who says, “I know him,” and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1 John 2:22. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:20. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar.

1 John 5:10. He who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of his Son.

Conclusion

The Devil is a liar. If you say you know God but do not know him, you are a liar. If we say we have not sinned, we are a liar. If we do not keep the commandments of God, we are a liar. If we deny Christ, we are a liar. If we hate our brother, we are a liar. If we do not believe in God, we are a liar.

Rev 2:3.4. You have endured and you have borne patiently on account of my name and did not become weary. But I have against you, that you have left your first love.

What is the first love which is άγαπη in the Greek?

Jude 21. Keep yourself in the love of God.

2 John 6. This is love, that we walk after his commandments.

1 John 2:5. But whoever keeps his word, truly the love of God is perfected in him.

1 John 2:15. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John 3:1. Behold what manner of love the father has bestowed n us, that we should be called children of God. Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know him.

1 John 3:16. By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

1 John 3:17. But whoever has this world´s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

1 John 4:7. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who is born of God, knows God.

1 John 4:8. He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love.

1 John 4:9. In this the love of God is manifested towards us, that God has sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

1 John 4:16. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.

1 John 4:17. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment.

1 John 4:18. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

1 John 5:3. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.

Conclusion

Love is related to the love of God, walking in his commandments, do not fear, boldness in the day of judgment, abides in God. It is related to God has sent his only Son into the world, knowing God, born of God, helping one in need, laying our lives down for the brethren, God´s children, not loving the world and keeping God´s word.

Rev 2:5. Remember therefore from where you have fallen and repent and do the first works, but if not, I am coming to you swiftly and I will remove your lampstand out of its place, if you do not repent.

Works are related to love, which the Ephesian church ceased to practice. They ceased to practice the same works as Christ did when he was on earth. These included the preaching of the Gospel, visiting people from door to door like the disciples did two and two. It is the healing, helping people to understand the Gospel. These things the Ephesian church ceased to do.

“I will remove your lampstand out of its place.”

A lampstand is a symbol of the local church Rev 1:2. Therefore, Christ will remove the church as a means of saving people to God´s kingdom. They do not exist as a church in God´s eyes. Even if they assemble each week in the weekly gathering according to tradition, to sing hymns, hear sermons and pray to God. This church does not exist in God´s eyes unless they repent of their deeds and witness to other people as Christ did.

Rev 2:6. But this you have, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Who are the Nicolaitans?

The Bible does not reveal very much about this group of people. Ellen G. White writes about these people: “The doctrine is now largely taught that the gospel of Christ has made the law of God of no effect; that by believing we are released from the necessity of being doers of the Word. But this is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which Christ so unsparingly condemned.”[4]

This doctrine of the Nicolaitans is in agreement with the rest of the context in Rev 2:1-7.

Rev 2:2. Those who are evil. Those who say they are apostles and are not. They are liars. They do not know God or keep his commandments.

Rev 2:4. They have left their first love. This includes the love for God, Christ, the ten commandments and the word from the scriptures. It involves laying down our lives for the brethren and not following the world.

Rev 2:7. The one having an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one overcoming I will give him to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of my God.

Facts about the tree of life.

Gen 2:9. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Gen 3:22-24. Then the Lord God said, “Behold the man has become like one of us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever – – -.” Therefore, the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

“When the tide of iniquity overspread the world, and the wickedness of men determined their destruction by a flood of waters, the hand that had planted Eden withdrew it from the earth. But in the final restitution, when there shall be a new heaven and new earth, it is to be restored more gloriously adorned than at the beginning.”[5]

 

Endnotes

[1] Ellen G. White, Ellen G. White Diary 1888, 779.3 (Washington D.C.: December 27, 1890).

[2] Francis D. Nichol, Edit., The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7 (Washington D.C.: Review & Herald Pub., Assoc., 1957), 752.

[3] Ellen G. White, Review & Herald, May 26, 1903.

[4] Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times, January 2, 1912.

[5] Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Assoc., 1958), 62.

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