The Letter To The Church At Ephesus (Revelation 1:19; 2:1-7)

Temple of Hadrian Ephesus

Temple of Hadrian in Ephesus

My notes on this sermon by Pastor Bill Mencarow, given on November 19, 2006. What follows is not a full transcript but a summary transcript/paraphrase of the salient points made regarding the interpretation of Revelation. Please listen to the entire sermon to get the full message as it was presented.


Revelation is about the spiritual battle of the church and the nations at war against her and how that is worked out in human history

Revelation 1:19: Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

  • Geneva Bible: the Bible of Calvin and the Reformers. “The Apostle must write what he sees, adding nothing nor taking away anything.”
  • Verse 19 is a key verse, a time text
  • John had seen the first vision of verses 1-18
  • “Things which are” = things contemporary in John’s time, the condition of the 7 churches in chapters 2 and 3
  • “things which shall be hereafter” = chapter 4 to end of book; after John’s time

7 Churches:

  • About 10% of Revelation talks about the 7 churches
  • do not represent future successive ages as dispensationalists claim
  • addressed to real churches and have spiritual lessons for churches today

Ephesus

  • Large church in largest city in Asia Minor, population about 250,000
  • Rich city, trade city
  • Famous for Temple of Diana
  • Paul, Timothy, and John all pastored this church

Revelation 2:1: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;

  • “he” = Jesus; Christ is present with His church and watches over us
  • 7 candlesticks = 7 churches, give the light of the gospel to the world

Revelation 2:2:I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

Revelation 2:3: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

  • Members of the church had labored to bring the Gospel to many, exercised the Dominion Covenant (taking possession of the world through the gospel for Jesus Christ)
  • Church did not tolerate evildoers in their midst, practised church discipline (cf. Acts 20)

Revelation 2:4:Nevertheless I havesomewhatagainst thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Revelation 2:5:Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

  • They had cooled off in their love for Christ and the brethren and consequently in their desire to bring the gospel to the world
  • Compare your present to your former state
  • Church is no longer in Ephesus; it was removed by Christ
  • If a church loses its first love, Christ will remove the light of the gospel from it – has happened to many churches/denominations in our time

Revelation 2:6: But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

  • Nicolaitans = the hippies of the time
  • Called themselves Christians but did whatever they wanted; marriage meant nothing to them

Revelation 2:7: 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.

  • “he that hath ear” = having a spiritual ear, have ears that have been opened by God
  • What is in the scriptures is spoken by the Spirit of God to all the churches
  • “tree of life” = Jesus; fruit = blessings of life and grace
  • We must fight against sin, the devil, the flesh, the world, our entire lives
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