Summary: A discussion of the first four Churches in Asia
Revelation 2:-3:22 The Seven Chuches
The second Chapter is the beginning of Christ talking to the seven churches in Asia. Although they were specifically the churches that Christ was speaking to, this was meant for every one of us. Look how he ends each letter to the seven Churches. (2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:29; 3:6; 3:13; and 3:22) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. That to me is saying that this is for every one that is able to hear. I believe this was written to specific churches, as well as every congregation to follow. As we look at these churches, we should see some characteristics that our church has. Unfortunately, we will not only see good characteristics, but bad ones as well.
We should also take notice here that the letters are written to the Seven Angels of the seven Churches. I believe that these first and foremost represent the Pastor of the Church. I believe also that when God gives a testimony to an old saint of God, that they become an angel of that Church. This may not make sense right now, but when we read the 8th chapter, we will get a better understanding of this.
Church of Ephesus: V 1-7
Christ begins speaking to the Church of Ephesus by letting them know that the message they are about to hear is from the one that is walking in the midst of the seven Churches. In other words, there is no use and hiding or denying, he already knows where they stand. Many times in life we try to conceal thing from God, but remember that he is a revealer. Those things that we try to conceal will be shouted from the rooftop. Each letter to the Churches, start by Christ saying, I know thy works, and thy labour.
When we begin to look at this Church, it becomes clear to me this is a Church that God could use. This was a Church that had been founded by Paul in Acts 19. The bible also states that this was where Timothy was located when Paul sent the two Epistles to him.(I Timothy 1:3) The Bible says that they had works and labour. Church discipline was not a thing of the past here. They canst not bear them which are evil. What does that mean? They didn’t allow garbage to get into the Church. Many Churches today have removed doctrine from their fellowship. This was not a place that was afraid to take a stand for the Gospel of the Kingdom. When we allow sin into the Church, it will infest the whole body. I Corinthians 5:6,7 says, Know ye not that a little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump? PURGE out therefore the old leaven! This false doctrine of allowing the world to come in and be counted among the Pure and undefiled bride of Christ is unbiblical. We are to purge them out. No where in the bible does it teach, or endorse acting or becoming like the world, to reach them. A matter of fact, it says to come out from among them! This was a body of believers that hated the Nicolaitans deeds, and wouldn’t allow them in the body.
All this the Church had going for them, yet God had somewhat against them. I heard a man say that, you can dot every I, and cross every t, and still spell the word wrong. That is what this Church had done. In the misdt of their works, labor, patience, discipline and discernment, they left their first love.
Love is something that is commanded to all. John 15:12 says, this is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. What a commandment. In 1 John 3:14, love is evidence that we have passed from death unto life. 1 Corinthians 13:2 says, and so I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. Love is a commandment, evidence of salvation, and more important than having faith, which without faith, it’s impossible to please God! (Hebrews 11:6). Knowing its importance, we should know what LOVE is. The definition is not found in Webster’s, but in 1 John 4:8. For God is love. The church of Ephesus had left God out of the equation. We know that they were commended for their work, but when you leave God out of it, the good works become dead.
Paul recognized Ephesus love in Ephesians 1:15. Like the world today, they left their first love. Look around in our world today. Millions of assemblies with a steeple on the roof, which has no power, no spirit, and above all, no God! I’ve have heard people in my own family say that when they leave the service on Sundays, they don’t even feel like they have been to church. Why is that? People have gotten so caught up in building crowds, bank accounts, food pantries, that they have forgotten about God! While many of their works are important, we must not forget to obey and follow God.