Message to Ephesus

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THE MESSAGE TO EPHESUS

Our text for today: Revelation 2:1-7

There are some things we need always to remember in our study of God’s word. He does things in order and He has a purpose for everything He does. We also know that God’s purpose and His order will always work out for the best for His children, every believer.

1Co 14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order.

2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

So why did He choose to begin with the church of Ephesus?

First let’s remember how the Lord Jesus Christ Himself divided up this book for our study.

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

In chapter one we had the things which the Apostle John had seen. We now will look at the things that are. The things that are, are the church age which we still live in. This is the age of “mercy” and “grace” God has provided for those that will believe. It will last until the time of the rapture of the the church, which could happen at any moment as there is no other prophesy that needs to be fulfilled for this time to end. The Apostles new about the “ages” because they wrote of them.

Eph 2:7  That [in the ages to come] he might shew [the exceeding riches of his grace] [in his kindness] [toward us] through Christ Jesus. (that toward us is the church of the living God)

You know the Apostles Doctrine did not begin until the book of Acts. The Gospels is our record of their discipleship. Only after the Holy Ghost came upon them at Pentecost did they begin the work assigned to them of Christ.

Joh 16:7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; [It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you].

Joh 15:26  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, [he shall testify of me]:

The love of Jesus and our service to Him must be the primary motivation and activity in every true church. All ministry, service, deeds and actions must spring from our affection for Jesus Christ. If we are filled with the Holy Spirit we will also be led by the Holy Spirit who still testifies of Christ Jesus and Him only.

Mar 12:28  And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
Mar 12:29  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
Mar 12:30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Mar 12:31  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, [which he hath purchased with his own blood].

The church belongs to Jesus Christ. If we do not put Christ Jesus first in the church then it cannot be called a church. That word is used an awful lot in America and throughout the world but by definition a church has God as it’s founder and the foundation of God’s church is Jesus Christ.

1Co 3:9  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
1Co 3:10  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11  [For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ].

What is a church? The collective body of Christians, or of those who profess to believe on Christ, and acknowledge him to be the Savior of mankind.

Most people now refer to the building where the children of God meet as the church but it is actually just a place where God has placed His name.

Jer 7:12  But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, [where I set my name at the first], and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.

Deu 15:20  Thou shalt eat it before the LORD thy God year by year [in the place which the LORD shall choose, thou and thy household].

What is a true church?

Mat 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

So then a church is only a church when they are gathered around Christ Jesus!

Jesus Christ sent these messages to seven churches in Asia. They seem to be seven typical places of worship. We will see that it is He(Jesus Christ), not we as members, that decides if these places are what he expects. We must ask ourselves, “is Jesus Christ happy with our church”.

I believe these seven churches also represent the changes the church has gone through in different periods of time up till the day we are in now.

The entire book of Revelation was written to these seven churches. Every church got to read what Jesus said about every other church and every church got to read about the future and every church got a copy of the book of Revelation. We will need to see how the place we worship compares to these of the Bible as they are the examples given to us to learn by. This book was not written to the lost of this world nor to the governments of this world nor to the Jew. This book was written to the bride of Christ. The church of the Living God.

A little history of this city Ephesus:

Ephesus was a very prominent city on the western part of the Roman province of Asia, had enjoyed the ministry of Paul for three years (Acts 20:31). Timothy also had apparently served this church as pastor. Later, before his exile to the Isle of Patmos, the Apostle John had served as one of the pastors of this church.

Ephesus was a large city with an excellent harbor, and it was known at this time as the marketplace of Asia. It was also a banking center because of its great vault in the Temple of Diana, which was considered the safest place in Asian Minor. “Ephesus was also an important religious city. The Temple of Diana (or Artemus, as the Greeks called her) was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The goddess Diana was the patron of all the prostitutes and, with her many-bosomed image, represented fertility and sexuality. Many writers in ancient times described the immorality of the city.

One pillar in the Ephesian economy was the production of silver images of Diana by the many silversmith who plied their trade there. Devotees of this goddess brought much gain to the city (Acts 19:23-27). Black magic was also widely practiced in Ephesus.

Ephesus was known as the light of Asia at this time and it was the strong hold of Satan’s power over the then known world. The Apostle Paul wrote an entire epistle to the church at Ephesus.

OUR TEXT:

**********Rev 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;

(unto the angel)

That angel we have already established to be the pastor of this church.

Rev 1:20 [The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches]: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

The Strong dictionary: a?´??e??? aggelos ang’-el-os
From a???e´??? aggello¯ (probably derived from G71; compare G34; to bring tidings); [a messenger; especially an “angel”; by implication a pastor: – angel, messenger].

G71 a?´?? ago¯ ag’-o
A primary verb; properly [to lead]; by implication to bring, drive, (reflexively) go, (specifically) pass (time), or (figuratively) induce: – be, bring (forth), carry, (let) go, keep, lead away, be open.

G34 a??e´?? agele¯ ag-el’-ay
From G71 (compare G32); [a drove: – herd].
If you are to lead a herd then you are typically the shepherd.
1Pe 2:25  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
These angels of the church are the shepherds called to lead the flock until the true Shepherd (Jesus our Lord) comes again.
By saying He is holding them in His hand, Christ says it is He that has the power over the these shepherds. Any pastor or preacher that is not led by the Holy Ghost will not be a true pastor or preacher.
Heb 5:4  And no man taketh this honour unto himself, [but he that is called of God], as was Aaron.
Being the pastor of a true church is not a job, “but a calling of God”.
Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
*****Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? [and how shall they hear without a preacher]?
*****Rom 10:15  And [how shall they preach, except they be sent]? as it is written, [How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!]
Paul said:
1Co 1:17  For [Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel]: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
1Co 9:16  For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: [for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel]!
*****Now we can see the location of our Lord. We know that He sits at the right hand of God.
Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We know that He is also walking in the midst of the church. We already know that is where He said He would be.
Mat 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Christ is not just walking about in these seven places of worship but He walks in the congregation of every true church when they meet in His name. If a congregation is gathering together in any other name then they are just having a meeting. They have not come together to worship God. If we do not gather in His  name, worship in His name, or pray in His name, we have missed the point of “salvation”. It’s all about Jesus and not about any other so called god, Allah, Mohamed or any other such or so called prophet. It’s not about Buddha, or Confucius, or any of the others. Jesus Christ is still the only way to get to Heaven.

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

There is no other God and there is no other way!

**********Rev 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:

(thy works)

Though there are those that still believe it is by the good works they do that will get them into Heaven, there is only one work that is acceptable. That work is to simply believe on the finished work of our Saviour. The works of this verse is work that takes place after Salvation.

Rom 6:13  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: [but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God].

We are to yield our bodies to be instruments for the use of God. Jesus tells this church at Ephesus that He is keenly aware of their good works.

Rom 6:16  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Paul reminds us that it is who we yield ourselves too that we will obey. If we yield to Jesus then we will obey Jesus Christ. If we yield to Satan then we will do the works of Satan. You cannot do the works of Satan and call yourself a Christian. The gospel of salvation by grace shows that good works are necessary. It is true, unchangeably true, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. “Neither adulterer, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkard” shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Works are “good” only when, they spring from the principle of love to God and “good works” have the glory of God as their objective.

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

(thy labor)

We must remember this church was located in Ephesus, the sin capitol of the world at this time. The Temple of Diana which served also as the seat of government at times was there. This temple was listed as one of the seven wonders of the world. It would have been hard to do the work of God in this city.

The Apostle Paul wrote of this city(Acts 19):

1Co 15:32  [If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus], what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

The word beast in the Strong dictionary:  “the¯riomacheo¯” (thay-ree-om-akh-eh’-o)
From a compound of G2342 and G3164; to be a beast fighter (in the gladiatorial show), that is, (figuratively) to encounter (furious men): – fight with wild beasts.

These were furious men who defended their false religion. It was hard to be a witness for Jesus in Ephesus.

Again Paul wrote:

2Co 1:8  For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
2Co 1:9  But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
2Co 1:10  Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

It was not any different and probably worse in this time of the Apostle John.

(thy patience)

patience used here: “hupomone¯ ” (hoop-om-on-ay’)
From G5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

You know our job is to sow the seed. It is God that will control the increase. If we do not see any fruit from our labor it does not mean it’s our fault. If we patiently do the work of God with all our heart there will be results and the rewards of our labor will be shown to us when we meet Jesus. This is not a part time job and we cannot retire from it. So it’s best to have patience. In other words get out of God’s way. Just surrender yourself to Him in everything we do.

Luk 1:74  That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
Luk 1:75  In holiness and righteousness before him, [all the days of our life].

(have tried them that say)

Not everyone that say they are Christian are!

Mat 24:5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

The Apostle Paul said use him as an example:

Php 3:17  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
Php 3:18  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Paul also admonishes us:

Gal 1:6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

There were only 12 Apostles and there will never be any more.

Act 1:22  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

You had to see the resurrected Christ to become an Apostle. Only the Apostle Paul was not with these original disciples but he saw the Lord Jesus Christ on at least three different occasions.

These believers of Ephesus had put all those that had come to preach in Ephesus to the test. It’s not that hard to see a liar if we have God’s word and accept it as truth as our standard of truth.

2Co 11:13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
2Co 11:14  And no marvel; [for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light].
2Co 11:15  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Paul said it’s going to get worse:

Act 20:29  For I know this, that after my departing [shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock].
Act 20:30  [Also of your own selves] shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

All we need do is listen to the false doctrine being preached behind most all pulpits in America and throughout the world to know this is true and sadly only a few believers seem to care.

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

(and has borne)

Jesus told this church that even as tough as it was they had truly stayed with it and endured all the persecution for witnessing for Jesus. Again with patience continuing in the work of the Lord.

(for my name’s sake)

You open a window to get air. We work to get a paycheck. We read the Bible to get instruction. We witness for the sake of Jesus or we are doing it all for the wrong reasons. This church was doing things for the right reasons. The phrase “name’s sake” is used 30 times in the Bible. God does these things to make the world know that “there is a God”.

Psa 106:8  Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.

(Hast labored)

In verse 2 we saw the word labor: The Greek word “kopos” (kop’-os)
From G2875; a cut, that is, (by analogy) toil (as reducing the strength), literally or figuratively; by implication pains: – labour, + trouble, weariness.

This just meant it was troublesome to do the work of God in Ephesus. Remember what Paul had said about the “beast” (furious men) of Ephesus.

Here in verse 3 The Greek word “kopiao¯” (kop-ee-ah’-o)
From a derivative of G2873; [to feel fatigue; by implication to work hard]: – (bestow) labour, toil, be wearied.

This means that even though the work was very hard these people had remained faithful to the work. Why should we be so busy for the Lord Jesus?

2Co 5:9  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, [we may be accepted of him].

Now this has nothing to do with salvation but it does have something to do with the day we meet the Lord in the air.

Mat 25:21  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

If our work for the Lord is not because we trust Him then our salvation is based on the wrong things. How does that song go? (Only Trust, Only Trust Him Now)

Heb 2:13  And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

1Ti 4:10  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

(hast not fainted)

To faint is to become feeble; to decline or fail in strength and vigor; to be weak. This church had not become weak in God’s work. They had remained strong.

2Co 4:1  Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2Co 4:2  But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Gal 6:9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

This is a must do for any true church. Persecution of the church is on the rise. If we do not go the work of the Lord now, we surely won’t go when things get worse.

**********Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

(Nevertheless)

Ouch! What a word! This word is actually used 97 times in the Bible. This the Greek word “alla” and I believe we get our word alas from this word. Jesus says contrary to the good things I have just told you, you need to know this also.

(I have somewhat against you)

The word “somewhat” was not in the original text but was added in this English translation to clarify the words. In other words Jesus was saying He was  disappointed or disturbed about this one thing.

(Thou has left thy first love)

What is the first love of the Church?

Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, [Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.]

Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and [upon this rock I will build my church]; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (the rock of Jesus)

The church is built on Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God!

Mar 12:29  And Jesus answered him, [The first] of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
Mar 12:30  [And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment].
Mar 12:31  And [the second] is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

What we do not realize sometimes as a church is that we can get so involved in the work of God, that we actually make an “Idol” out of that work. What is an “Idol”? An “Idol” is anything we place between us and our Lord God. It is also sin!

1Jn 4:15  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
1Jn 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

1Jn 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us.

When we quit dwelling in the Love of God and dwell in anything else we are in sin to God. We will not lose our salvation but we lose the basis of the church. We will remain saved but it will not be very long before that church will close the doors and not exist any more.

The church belongs to Jesus!

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, [which he hath purchased with his own blood].

The modern day humanistic church that has removed, the blood of Christ, the Virgin birth of Christ, The Cross of Christ, The Deity of Christ have surely like this church at Ephesus left there first love.

It’s all about Jesus. The Church, The Bible, And the Bride. Who wants an adulterous bride for a wife. Think about it church!

1Pe 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

We certainly were not chosen just so we could forget the one that saved us! If not for the mercy of God we would all burn in Hell.

**********Rev 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.

(remember)

To remember is to preserve the memory of; to preserve from being forgotten. This not the same as to recollect something we have temporarily forgotten. Jesus says to lock this thing in to your mind. Preserve this fact. This is  something to never forget.

Take this quick test:

1.) Am I willing to separate myself for Jesus?
2.) Am I totally focused on Jesus?
3.) Am I steadfast for Jesus?
4.) Am I bringing Jesus to others?
5.) Is Jesus All I need everyday?

Jesus Christ is the “Rose of Sharon” and the “Lily of the Valley” can you say “yes” to these questions?

(therefore)

Remember (for that or this reason, referring to something previously stated).

(whence thou art fallen) (Remember that because you have forgotten the first love). This is a fallen position. This a change of direction. This is being disobedient to God. This is being in sin.

(repent)

There is only one option when we are in sin. We had to repent to be saved and that is where we met our first love. We never have to repent to keep our salvation again but we must repent every sin to God on a daily basis. Sometimes on a moment by moment basis. It’s best to repent as soon as you realize you have sinned. And even when you may not realize it but you can feel the tug of the Holy Spirit, it’s best to ask the Lord to forgive.

1Jn 1:6  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1Jn 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1Jn 1:8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
*****1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

The lesson of repentance:

Mat 21:28  But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
Mat 21:29  [He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went].

Obey our Father in Heaven and go and do what He tells us to do!

Ecc 12:13  [Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.]
Ecc 12:14  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

(do the first works)

1Jn 5:20  And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
1Jn 5:21  Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Remember an Idol is anything that we put before our God.

1Co 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and [we in him]; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, [and we by him].

Any other way is the wrong way!

Mat 24:11  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12  And because iniquity shall abound, [the love of many shall wax cold].

Without the first love there can be no love for others. We see this result now in our own lifetime.

(come to thee quickly)

There are many churches closing down every day. I read not long ago that as many as 50 were closing their doors monthly for various reasons. When you take out the blood, the virgin birth, the cross, and forget about the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ our Lord, the doors will soon close. Those that are false churches were never a place where God placed His name.

(will remove the candlestick)

The candlestick is not the light. The candlestick is the place where the light would emit. If the church has no candlestick then there will be no place for the light of Jesus, who is that light of salvation, to shine from. There is no need for the candlestick without the true light.

Joh 1:6  There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
Joh 1:7  The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
Joh 1:8  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Joh 1:9  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Joh 1:10  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
Joh 1:11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

1Jn 2:8  Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and [the true light now shineth].

(repent)

There are three steps to take to recover from this fall.

1.) Remember
2.) Repent
3.) Do the first works.

We cannot recover from any fall until we have done these things.

1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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

1.) Nikos = dominating the defeated
2.) laos = working class people
3.) tan = the

4.) The deeds = Power of action.

The Apostle John writes of such persons:

3Jn 1:9  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, [who loveth to have the preeminence among them], receiveth us not.
3Jn 1:10  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, [prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would], and [casteth them out of the church].
3Jn 1:11  Beloved, [follow not that which is evil], but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: [but he that doeth evil hath not seen God].

This is someone in the church that assumes lordship over God’s people. An elder, a pastor, a pope or such (but false).

Jesus Christ says He hates this thing. He didn’t use the word hate very much.

Luk 16:13  [No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other]. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Proof:

2.The name, Nicolaitans (Nicolaitanes), is a compound word which is composed of three Greek words, and which, because of being a proper noun, is transferred instead of being translated into English. As thus transferred, it is subject to the laws of Greek construction in regard to ellipsis, contraction and phonetics.

3.The Greek words used in its construction are first: “Nikos,” of which we use the English equivalents instead of the Greek letters, as we shall also of the other two. [Nikos is defined as “a conquest; victory; triumph; the conquered]; and by implication, dominancy over the defeated.” Another transferred name in which this term is used is “Nicopolis,” i.e., Niko – conquest; polis city. Hence, the city of conquest, or city of victory. Also Andro — nikos a man of conquest, of victory.

The second term used in the name under consideration is “laos,” — people, another use of which is Nicolas, which is transferred and is composed of Nikoslaos and means [one who is “victorious over the people,”] the letter “s” being, in both words, the nominative case ending, which is retained only at the end of the word to denote the case, while “a” short and “o” short are contracted into “a” long.

“Laodicean” Also, a still further transferred use of “laos” is found in the name Lao(s)diceans, compounded with dike or dice as the Greek “k” is the equivalent English “c.” Thus, in the name Laodiceans, [we have laos — “people”] and dice judgment, or vengeance, i.e., the people of my judgment, or of my vengeance. Also the Greek word la(ic)os means “laymen,” of which laos is the root and stem, which selfsame word, with the “o” short contracted to “i”, to which root and stem the plural definite article ton is joined to form laiton — is a Greek phrase meaning “the laity.”

The third and last word entering into the construction of the proper name Nicolaitans (Nicolaitanes) is ton, in which omega, the long “o”, is contracted into long “a”, thus making the word “tan” which is the genitive case plural in all the genders of the definite article ‘the.’

Therefore, we have, without the legal Greek construction, the English hyphenated word Nickos-laoston, but which, with its lawful elisions and contractions, becomes the English name: Nicolaitans (Nicolaitanes), the full meaning of which, in its native tongue and in its ecclesiastical setting, [is that the bishops and prelates of the Church have gained a triumphal victory or conquest over the laiton — the laity — until they have been compelled to submit to the arbitrary dominion of men who have become that thing which God hates – (‘Lords over God’s heritage’):]

1Pe 5:1-3 “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (Neither as being lords over [God’s] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.) ”

Jesus Christ Our Lord said:

Mat 23:8  But be not ye called Rabbi: [for one is your Master, even Christ; and (all ye) are brethren].
Mat 23:9  And call no man your father upon the earth: [for one is your Father, which is in heaven].
Mat 23:10  Neither be ye called masters: [for one is your Master, even Christ].
Mat 23:11  [But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant].
Mat 23:12  And [whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased]; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

**********Rev 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 an ear)

Remember these letters were sent to the church. Then every brother and sister in Christ should open their ears to these words. The Holy Spirit said “listen to what I am saying” This is important stuff. We know John was told to write what he saw. We know he saw Jesus standing in the midst of these seven churches. Now we see it is the Holy Spirit that still guides the words that are said.

Eph 3:4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Eph 3:5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

And the Holy Spirit will always speak of Jesus Christ!

Joh 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, [he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you].

(eat of the tree)

Where else have we seen this tree?

Gen 2:8  And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
Gen 2:9  And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The way to this tree was blocked because of sin!

Gen 3:22  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Gen 3:23  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Gen 3:24  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Here in this verse we see it is the brothers and sisters of the church that will have access to this tree, that is located in the New Heaven.

Rev 22:2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Only those that obey God have the rights to this tree.

Rev 22:14  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

THIS IS THE PARADISE OF GOD!

Let’s pray!

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