Summary: Bible study series on Revelation
Pastor Brian Matherlee
September 12, 2007
Remember the letter of Revelation would have been read in every church in its entirety. The people of Ephesus would have heard what God was saying to Philadelphia and vice-versa. Lest we feel too badly or too good about our standing before the Lord we hear these words to the churches and should realize that their problems are common to mankind and common to church life.
Notice in verse 2:1 that Jesus establishes himself as the one speaking.
He reminds us that He holds the stars in His right hand. Now, the stars were the (angels) local pastors of the churches.
Remember some Scriptures that give us insight into what the right hand symbolized:
• Authority (1 Peter 3:22)
• Salvation (Psalm 17:7)
• Blessing (Genesis 48:14)
• Sustenance (Psalm 18:35)
• Judgment (Psalm 109:6)
Jesus is telling the pastor of the church at Ephesus:
• I’ve got you in my hands (Allstate says they are the “Good Hands People”)
• I am in control of you (like Faye Ray in “King Kong’s” hand.
He walks among the seven golden lampstands which represents the church. In this Jesus tells the churches:
• I am near to you. I am here for you.
• I am aware of your living.
Jesus does 3 things in verses 2-7:
1. He Praises
a. Deeds & hard work (did good)
b. Perseverance, suffered hardship and not grown weary (stayed strong)
c. Right belief—refused tolerance of wickedness/tested & uncovered false prophets (believed right)
2. He Probes
a. Forsaken First Love
b. What was life like when you first came to Jesus?
c. What could all of the good things become over time if the people didn’t renew their first love?
i. Social movement--Deeds were done without God’s love
ii. Humanism--Perseverance was in their own strength
iii. Legalistic--Stance against wickedness & false doctrine would slip into nothing more than legalism. Rev. Harold Loman was a great holiness preacher. His son is now the pastor of the Mt. Airy church. He told me last night that his dad preached much of his life on things but at the end of his time preaching would say to other preachers that he had learned that you could preach on God and things would take care of themselves. We must be motivated by love.
3. He Prescribes
a. Recognize your need for revival--Look where you’ve fallen from! Everybody knows you can’t change someone who doesn’t recognize and fervently admit that they need to change.
b. Repent—nothing is ever restored spiritually without turning away from the wrong and embracing the right.
c. Return—Do what you did at first.
Jesus warns Ephesus that if they do not do what He prescribes He will remove their lampstand. Their influence for the Kingdom will be gone. The physical location of a congregational meeting might remain but the blessing and provision of God will not be there.
That is why a church can be meeting every week and never see a soul grow in Christ. The doors can be open but new ones who come in to find hope never return. People gather but God is not present.
There are more churches like this than we would like to believe.
Jesus says if we have ears, use them and take to heart what He is saying to us! If we do we will receive such blessing!