Key Verses: Revelation 1:10-11, Revelation 2:1-7
Apostle John was the author of the book of Revelation. He received a revelation from Jesus while imprisoned on the island of Patmos for witnessing for Jesus. The purpose of this revelation was to encourage the seven churches because they were about to enter into a phase of greater persecution due to emperor worship.
All seven churches were important trade and communication centres, connected by the major road in the New Testament times. To each church Jesus revealed one aspect of His character that was specifically appropriate to them. In the letters to the seven churches a pattern was revealed on how Jesus talked to them.
Jesus reveals His character to the Church – (Rev. 2:1)
The letter was addressed to the pastor of the Ephesus church. Jesus is the one who calls, guides and leads the pastor of the church.
The resurrected and glorified Jesus revealed Himself as the one who holds the seven stars in His right hand and the one who walks among the seven golden lampstands (Rev. 1:20). His presence is in the midst of the church.
The ‘seven stars’ refer to the messengers or pastors. The ‘right hand’ speaks of a covenant relationship. The ‘seven lampstands’ are the seven churches. Lampstands should shine for Jesus, reveal His glory, and be a light to a world in darkness leading them to Christ.
Jesus evaluates and praises each church for its characteristics that pleases Him – (Rev. 2:2-3)
Jesus was pleased with their work, patience and perseverance. The Ephesus church also had the wisdom and discernment to test false prophets and also their teachings. These false prophets and false teachings were attacks from within. As believers we need to be discerning and test that teachings are in-line with the Word of God.
Jesus condemns characteristics that displease Him (Rev. 2:4)
The Ephesus church was working hard serving their Lord however in their busy-ness the church forgot Jesus. Our first love should be Jesus. Even in our own lives in our busy-ness we can neglect Jesus. Working for Jesus is not about running here and running there, working for Jesus is to believe in Him and believe in His Word. Do we pass the test? Have we neglected Jesus our first love?
Jesus calls for repentance and warns if they persist in disobedience – (Rev. 2:5)
Jesus gives people warnings to repent and be restored. If you don’t repent, the lampstand/the church will be removed. Today there is no church in Ephesus, so the lampstand was removed. Therefore it doesn’t matter how good you think you are, when you don’t do what is right Jesus will remove the lampstand.
Promises to those who overcome – (Rev. 2:7)
Jesus promises to those overcomers who obey the Word of God they will eat from the tree of life in the midst of paradise. Rev. 22:2, 14 describes the promise of eternity with Christ. Jesus is the Tree of Life, the Bread that came down from heaven. We are to partake of Him.
The Ephesus church was a hard-working church, able to discern false prophets and persevered in faith. Jesus condemned them for leaving their first love, but for those who repent and turn to Him these overcomers will enter into eternity and eat from the Tree of Life.
If you would like to accept Jesus into your heart please pray the following prayer.
“Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Saviour.”
If you have just prayed this prayer and accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, congratulations! We invite you to contact us as we would love to pray a blessing over your life and help guide you on your journey.
The next step. As a way to grow closer to Him, the Bible tells us to follow up on our commitment.
- Get baptised as commanded by Christ.
- Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.
- Spend time with God each day. It does not have to be a long period of time. Just develop the daily habit of praying to Him and reading His Word. Ask God to increase your faith and your understanding of the Bible.
- Seek fellowship with other followers of Jesus. Develop a group of believing friends to answer your questions and support you.
- Find a local church where you can worship God.
God bless you.