Summary: The first two churches in Asa Minor will show us types and shadows of the present day church. The first loveless, maybe mechanical. The second, persecuted, but strong and proven. This is a verse upon verse spreaching on the book of Revelation. Enjoy.
Revelation 2:1-11 The Book Unveiled- the Body of Christ Pt.3
“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: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. 6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’
8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,
‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: 9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’
These seven churches are surly worth evaluating. Yes, these were seven churches in Asia Minor; however, they are types and shadows of the modern church. Remember, Jesus is peering down with His lazar eyes observing His body. Tonight we are looking at Ephesus and Smyrna.
Revelation 2:1NLT “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:
Ephesus: Provided the greatest harbor in Asia Minor. (It was known as the gateway into Asia.) It was the home of the pagan worship of Artemis (Greek) and Diana (Roman) whose temple of worship was one of the seven great wonders of the Ancient world.
Paul served or pastored there for 3 years, also Timothy, Tychicus and the Apostle John, he was arrested there, and sent off to Patmos.
Notice, Jesus walks around His churches. Remember, Jesus is the head of the church (Body).
Revelation 2:2NLT “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars.
The Ephesians exercised spiritual discernment, they knew how to evaluate men who claimed spiritual leadership.
So what happened? Maybe rules overrode love! (When love is left out everything gets out of sorts.)
1 Thess. 5:20-21NLT Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.
1 John 4:1NLT Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.
What should be the test as new people enter Crane Eater Community? The fruit of the Spirit.
Revelation 2:3NLT You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.
For over 40 years this church body had remained faithful to God’s word. (The members were driven by motive).
Hebrew 12:3NLT Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
Bitterness can override God’s blessings if you don’t keep first things first. Priority is Jesus Christ and what He endured!
Revelation2:4NLT “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!
To be a true believer means that you love the Lord Jesus Christ. They had become cold and mechanical. Their disciplines wasn’t any match for true love.
1 Corinthians 16:22NLT If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come!
Revelation 2:5NLT Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.