Chapter 2



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(Rev 2:1)  Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars [“the angels of the seven churches” Rev 1:20] in his right hand [indicating His supreme authority and awesome power], who walketh in the midst [as the Light generating core (syn: heart, nucleus, foundation, substance)] of the seven golden candlesticks [“the seven churches” Rev 1:20];

1.       Commentary: Most likely “the angel of the church” was the senior pastor at Ephesus to whom this letter is figuratively addressed, else why would the Risen Christ command John to “write” a letter to an angel? Stars shine brilliantly, speaking of godly power and authority; and as the messengers (messages) of God, stars generate enlightening rays of Truth that enter into (spiritual) the darkness of our minds.

2.       Commentary: At this time, Ephesus was a major city of 300,000 people located in Asia Minor, or what is presently western Turkey on the Aegean Sea. Ephesus wielded much influence as the main center of Grecian culture and heathen idolatry in Asia. Here was located the temple of the multi-breasted Greek goddess Artemis, or Diana (Acts 19) according to her Roman name, which seated 25,000 and was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. A chief industry of this city was the manufacture of idols of the goddess Diana who was known variously as the moon goddess, the goddess of hunting, and the patroness of young girls. Aquila, Priscilla, and Apollos labored for the gospel in this city, and the apostle Paul preached here for three years. The apostle John ministered from this city to Asia Minor for thirty years, until his death in about 100 A.D., excepting for his exile to the island of Patmos for eighteen months concluding in 96 A.D. with the death of the Roman emperor Domitian.

(Rev 2:2,3)  I know thy works [Gk: toil: deeds], and thy labour [Gk: toil (as reducing the strength), by impl. pains: trouble, weariness], and thy patience [the fruit of grace and peace: Rev 1:4, syn: “goodness and mercy” Psa 23:6], and how thou canst not bear them [Gk: endure (through the idea of support)] which are evil: and thou hast tried them [Gk: tested: examined] which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne [the Word of God], and hast patience, and for my name's sake [for and in the name of Jesus Christ] hast laboured [Gk: to feel fatigue; by impl. to work hard: toiled, be wearied], and hast not fainted.

1.       (Mark 6:45-48)  And straightway he constrained [Gk: to necessitate: compelled] his disciples to get into the ship [of the church made out of wooden priest-boards: Exo 26:15], and to go to the other side [figuratively, to the Promised Land, to Heaven] before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the [unsaved] people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing [occupying themselves with inspired works]; for the wind [of this world, the world of which Satan is the god: 2 Cor 4:4] was contrary unto them [vainly attempting to stop them from obeying the Lord’s command to “go to the other side”]: and about the fourth watch of the night [about 6am, about sunrise] he cometh unto them [from the east], walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them [Why? Because what He commands us to do, He empowers us to do].

a.       constrained = “made” NKJV & NIV; “insisted” Amplified Bible.

2.       (Luke 8:15)  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

a.       patience = Gk: cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy:--enduring, patient continuance (waiting) /// to stay under (behind), i.e. remain; fig. to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere:--abide, endure, (take) patient (-ly), suffer, tarry behind.

b.       (2 Tim 2:3,4)  Thou therefore endure hardness [patiently], as a good soldier [Gk: warrior] of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

c.       (Luke 21:19)  In your patience possess ye your souls.

3.       (1 John 4:1-3)  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world [Gk: kosmos; cosmos, (universe)]. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist [against Christ], whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

(Rev 2:4-6)  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 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. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes [a heretical sect of unspecified doctrines], which I also hate.

1.       Matthew Henry’s Commentary: Thou hast left thy first love; not left and forsaken the object of it, but lost the fervent degree of it that first appeared. Observe, (1.) The first affections of men towards Christ, and holiness, and heaven, are usually lively and warm. God remembered the love of Israel’s espousals [declarations, oaths], when she would follow Him withersoever He went. (2.) These lively affections will abate and cool if great care not be taken, and diligence used, to preserve them in constant exercise. (3.) Christ is grieved and displeased with His people when He sees them grow remiss and cold towards Him, and He will one way or another make them sensible that He does not take it well from them.

a.       (Heb 5:13,14)  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both [discriminate between] good and evil.

2.       King James Bible Commentary: The church is commanded to repent or suffer removal. This does not mean that individuals lose their salvation, but the church can forfeit its place of light-bearing and witness. Ephesus is a city now wrapped in the mantle of Islam [i.e., darkness]. The light of the church has indeed been moved.

(Rev 2:7)  He that hath an [anointed] ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches [this is both a blessing and a warning]; To him that overcometh [Gk: to subdue: conquer, prevail, get the victory] will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise [Gk: a park, i.e. (spec.) an Eden] of God.

1.       (Gen 2:8,9)  And the LORD God planted a garden [Heb: a garden (as fenced) /// to hedge about, protect: defend] eastward in Eden [Heb: pleasure: delight]; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 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.

2.       The Nelson Study Bible: The promises are experienced only by believers who are faithful and obedient, and failure to overcome means a loss of rewards, not salvation. The problem in the church at Ephesus was a lack of fervent love for Christ. The church is commanded to “repent, and do the first works” which suggests a lapse in Christian living. The reward for those who obey is the promise that they will eat of “the tree of life.” Eating of the tree of life is a promise of special [and eternal] intimacy with the Lord [that all born-again Christians will share], a promise of renewing the fellowship lost [enjoyed] before the Fall. Paradise is the place Jesus told the believing thief he would go after his death on a cross. Paul uses the term [paradise] interchangeably with “the third heaven” in 2 Cor 12:2-4.

a.       (1 Cor 3:15)  If any man's work shall be burned [i.e., all non inspired work], he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

3.       Commentary: The Most Holy Place in the tabernacle of Moses where God dwells is a type and shadow of “the third heaven.” The courtyard, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place are all three types and shadows of heaven, three intensifying realities, each possessing various and increasing attributes of heaven experienced in our journey as we, inexorably drawn upward like a caught fish, become able to bear them.


Thank you, Russ for the drawings...

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