1-1. The Details of the Church in Ephesus

 

7starsTo The Church in Ephesus ================================================================

 “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

(Rev 2:1)


2:1

 

 

 

First of all, this letter confirms the words of Jesus and symbolizes that the seven stars to which the seven spirits of God work, “the servants” in Revelation 1:1 who are the receipients of Revelation, become the messengers of Jesus being sent to each church and witness the words of God with the Guardian Angel.Here, the seven golden candlesticks symbolizes, as seven candlesticks are lighted by the same olive oil, that Jesus works in each of the churches with the identical words of revelation.

 

Also, Jesus holding the seven stars in his right hand shows that the authority of Jesus’ right hand is with his disciples who are “the servants” (Rev 1:1) symbolized as the receipients of Revelation, and many people on whom the seven spirits work to bring back to the right place (Da 12:3).

In addition, Jesus walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks means that he closely examines the churches, which have been spoiled and plundered by the seducers. (Heb 4:12-13/Mt 10:26)

 
2:2 The Church in Ephesus, through actions, effort and patience, did not accept the false deeds and revealed the appearances of the evil ones, who are the seducers that belonged to Satan (1Jn 3:12/Mt 13:19), and hirelings who call themselves the apostles and the disciples of Jesus (Eze 34:1-31/Jn 10:12), they are the false ministers who use Jesus’ name to increase their own riches (Php 3:18-19).
2:3 And the church patiently and diligently acted and performed in order to shine the name of Jesus.

 

Therefore, the Church in Ephesus is academically equipped well, and shows how passionate and systematic the church is without any laziness but with hard work and patience, all of which is fully observed and noted by Jesus (Ro 16:17-18).

2:4 However, despite all of their deeds and efforts and patience, the Church in Ephesus has lost the first love, which is the most important element, thus being heavily rebuked by Jesus.

 

Here, the first love and the first deed are based on the new commandments of Jesus shown in John 13:34, which tells us to “love one another”. They symbolize the continuity of unfaltering love including the love between close relatives, neighbors and believers, the genuine friendship between David and Jonathan, the son of King Saul, and loyalty which continued onto his descendants (1 Sa 20:17).

 Therefore, retaining the first love and the initial attitude, which is the reference point by which we must always repent when we digress from the right path (2 Ch 17:3-5), is the basis of the church, and we must understand that love itself is the greatest priority for a believer.

 It shows how, even though the Church in Ephesus has many strengths, the loss of this first love and the first deed has led the love for the Lord and the love of brothers and sisters to be spoiled, transform into the love for the wordly materials, become secularized more and more and lose the essential value of a pure church (Mt 24:12).

 God is love (1 Jn 4:16) and love belongs to God. Unlike those who love one another and go to God to know him more, those who do not love one another inherently cannot be with God. They, in essence, have left God, and are not the true disciples of Jesus, and if they do not repent, they will become people whose relationships with God are disconnected.

Therefore, the church that forgets the new commandment of “love one another” that Jesus has said for his true disciples, and hates brothers and sisters with arrgoant hearts whose small love, even, has become so cold does not have any reasons for existence anymore. Here, having no value for existence means that, even if churches unite with one another systematically and increase in size, they do not retain any value added from the fundamental point of view.

 Even if they may have all of the necessary formats, churches that are not based on knowing God properly and having the humane love, tend to forget their initial attitude and lose love, as the candlelight of Jesus moves away from them, will surely digress from the right path of salvation and become a cult that has a different ending(Hos 6:6-7/1 Co 13:1-3).

It shows that, because unlawfulness by the seducers abounds, in the end times when love of many people will become cold (Mt 24:10-12), love especially is the supreme order that Jesus gives to all of his disciples who hope for salvation, the completion of all laws (Ro 13:9-13), and the essential element needed in the process to reach salvation (1 Pe 4:7-8).

 When a prophecy is fulfilled, it is achieved as something that is now and gets automatically finished, love essentially is eternal with no end.

Especially, the genuine love within families and brothers and sisters in Christ is the driving force of the universe’s positive life energy, changing family members and relatives into true disciples of Jesus, instead of leaving them without faith (Pr 23:25/2 Pe 1:5-7).

 Therefore, it is important to keep the first love, which is the pure love that God plants inside the chosen people who have pursued the appearance of Jesus since the creation of man to become his true disciples, in our hearts and to unite with fellow believers through the relationship of true love, which makes our hearts always vibrate and actively move (Ro 8:28-30).

2:5 Also, since the Church in Ephesus has currently lost the first deed for God, which is like the perfect first path of David, if it does not recapture the first love and the first deed, the verse shows how urgent the situation is as God’s candlesticks are about to be moved in a similar manner as what happened to the house of the chief priest, Eli, in Shiloh (1 Sa 4:11-22/Jer 7:1-16).

 

When the candlesticks were moved away from chief priest Eli who had become powerless and old to chief priest Samuel because of Eli’s corrupt sons, there was the faithful prayer of Hannah, Samuel’s mother, who was with God and the true hope to raise the horn of the one who poured oil (1 Sa 2:1-10). On the other hand, when King Saul’s candlesticks were moved to David, there was Samuel who poured oil onto shepherd David, the son of Jesse, in place of Saul whose relationship with God had been disconnected (1 Sa 16:1-13).

 Therefore, we must think about sincerely the loss of the the first love and the first deed, which are the essence of a church, as something inevitable. And we must carefully examine when and where the realationship with God, which is the string of love, started to become disconnected, and repent deeply and seriously.

 Also, it must be taken to heart that only when our good memories are filled with the knowledge to know Jesus wholly based on the faith only working through love (Gal 5:6), the life of a church will be alive (Php 1:9-11).

2:6 One of the things that the Church in Ephesus truly does right in fulfilling the will of Jesus is that they hate the Nicolaitans.

 

Here, the Nicolaitans are not related to Nicolas who is one of the seven evangelists (Ac 6:1-6), but is rather a combination of Nico, which means conquering, and Laos, which means people, resulting in a term based on the word “Nicolaus”, which means the conquerer of people. They represent “spiritual brokers who dominate and rule over the people of God”, similar to Balaam who shows up in letter to the Church in Pergamum (Rev 2:14-16).

2:7 Also, “he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” shown in Verse 7 comes up 7 times in the end of each of the letters sent to the seven churches. Format-wise, this is the work of the seven Spirits of God who governs the times of Revelation and characteristically, it is the spirit that speaks for Jesus’ prophecies while role-wise, it is the paraclete Holy Spirit that teaches the evidences of Jesus. The Holy Spirit of the truth that, depending on time, works equally to all of the believers of God (Rev 1:2/Gal 1:1-3/Ro 10:17/Ro 15:10-13/Isa 52:7-10).

 

Holy Spirit is the identical, one and only Holy Spirit, but it works in different names depending on the situation, subject and time. This is similar to a woman sometimes being called a mother, sometimes a wife and sometimes a daughter or a daughter-in-law.

The end times symbolize the seven spiritualities of the Holy Spirit as follows, and is a special time in which each of the situations is made to be viewed from Jesus’ perspective and spiritual vision is opened by the work of the seven Spirits which give off brightness that is seven times greater (Rev 1:4-6/Rev 4:5).

<Isa 11:1-2>

1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

<Isa 30:26>

26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.

The work of the seven Spirits appear seven times in Revelation Chapter 2 and 3. As we all listen to the prophecy of Jesus who says, “hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”, the seven Spirits work in our hearts when we realize the earnest and urging words of the Holy Spirit to the seven churches and obey the words of the prophecy.

 As a result, the work of the graceful gift of the Holy Spirit, who helps according to time, occurs, and the life of bearing fruit of the Holy Spirit as well as the changes in the scenes of our lives begins (1 Co 12:4-13/Heb 4:16/Gal 5:22-23).

Also, as these works of the seven Spirits occur in each of our hearts, we become those who witness the end times as the kingdom and the priests of our Lord and Christ who have been anointed when we, as people who have received the authority and the prophecy, share one another’s burdens and understand the words of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ with only the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Co 2:10/1 Jn 2:27/Rev 12:11/1 Jn 4:6).

The ministry of the Holy Spirit, though it varies in its forms, characteristics, roles and names, describes the identical activities of the one Holy Spirit.

 The seven Spirits working in the end times is the nickname of the same Holy Spirit, which is called in various nicknames based on its roles such as another Comforter Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth enabling us to worship in spirit and in truth, and the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10) that speaks the prophecies of Jesus and shows the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:2).

 This is same as water, which changes its forms among solid, liquid and gas, changes its characteristics as it sometimes freezes or boils, and has varied roles such as maintaining lives, extinguishing fire or causing floods. But all of the above are just different means to express the same water (Jn 15:26-27/Ac 2:4/Eph 1:13-14/Heb 10:29).

 Therefore, the gifts of the Holy Spirit given to each of us are diverse but the Holy Spirit that works these gifts is one. Just as we have many entities in one body but not all entities have the same responsibilities, many of us have become entities of a single body whose head is Christ. Thus, the gifts given to us and received with grace can sometimes be emphasized, they are not to be discriminated based on their different characteristics or abilities but rather, every one of those gifts is precious in Christ (1 Co 12:28-31).

Through the activities of the identical Holy Spirit who teaches about each church with the testimony of Jesus, the works of the seven Spirits who open the spiritual vision of the believers, gather those who have been scattered, cure the broken-hearted and tend our wounds are the wisdom of God in the middle of the mystery

(1 Co 2:7) and the law of life that unites the religious realm in the end times and the eternal gospel, which must not be interfered with.

Therefore, we must understand that the crime of interfering with the works of the seven Spirits will lead us to a spiritual death. We must be careful with our words and actions for the bearing of fruits, get rid of vested rights and stereotypes and focus on fulfilling the words and prophecies of Jesus (Mt 12:30-32/1 Th 4:7-8/1 Jn 5:16-17).

<Mk 3:28-29>

28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

Especially starting from the Church in Ephesus in which the verse says, “ 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.“, the fact that it is expressed in plural as “churches” seven times at the end of the letters to each of the churches explains that the entire letter is the prophecy of Jesus to all of the churches in the Revelation times and also shows that the works of the seven Spirits who witness the prophecy of Jesus and open the spiritual vision of those who have received the prophecy are relevant to all of the churches.

 In addition, the fruits from the Tree of Life, which are the gifts given to the believers who open the spiritual vision in the Revelation times, open up the hearts of love, listen intently to and obey the prophesying words of Jesus, and conqurer the world as the hosts of prophecies, are the fruits borne from the new covenant.

This Tree of Life from which gifts of fruits are given to them by the grace of the Lord has already appeared in Genesis (Ge 2:8-9) but the access to it was restricted due to the disobedience of Adam and Evee (GE 3:22-24). However, it shows up again in Revelation(Rev 2:7) in which the servants of God eat the fruits of the Tree of Life and taste the incredible blessings reaching the eternal life. Like this, Gensis and Revelation, the beginning and the new beginning, are connected to each other.

 Comparison between Genesis and Revelation regarding Tree of Life

Genesis Revelation
The beginning of the Bible (First Beginning) End of the First Beginning – the New Beginning
Temptation of Satan (Ge 3:1-24) Fall of Satan – the ultimate victory of Christ (Rev 20:1-3/Rev 20:10)
Restrictions and sadness resulting from disobeying God’s laws and the beginning of death (Ge 3:14-24/Ge 4:1-12) Forgiveness of sins as well as the end of tears and death (Rev 21:1-7)
Forbiddance to access the Tree of Life (Ge 3:22-24) The blessings of eternal life from eating the fruits of the Tree of Life (Rev 2:7/Rev 21:3-4/Rev 22:14)
Beginning with the first covenant  (Ge 1:26-29) Bearing fruits with the new covenant (Rev 1:3/Rev 22:1-7)
Disobedience of men, which resulted in incomplete relationship with God – immature relationship (Ge 3:8-24) Completion of the relationship with God – mature relationship (Rev 21:3-7/Rev 22:1-5)
First Adam and the Garden of Eden (Ge 2:15-25) New Jerusalem (1 Co 15:44-58/Rev 21:2/Rev 21:10-27)
The beginning of the Bible – first heaven first earth (Ge 1:1-31) The completion of the Bible and the new beginning – new heaven new earth (Rev 21:1-7)

 Also, the Bible is the book that records the process to obtain wisdom for the sons and daughters of God to reach the Tree of Life through the grace of Jesus Christ who, in the Revelation times, restored the path of eternal life, which was blocked by God in Genesis due to the sins of Adam and Eve


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