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;
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:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
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.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
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 (Revelation 2:1-7).
In keeping to a method of interpretation that considers the spirit, or heart, of what is written to the angels of the seven churches, here is what the Lord, Jesus is saying by His Spirit:
There is a time for standing up for what is true and good. Doing so requires a lot of work, even in the face of great opposition. However, when being right becomes what is most important, we can lose sight of what matters most: Jesus Himself and His teachings—teachings that encourage us to love one another.
When being right becomes our aim, we can become inflated with a false sense of superiority, and all the more as we take our focus off of Jesus and steadily go after the sins of others.
Furthermore, the higher we are, the further we will fall—just as Satan himself—who says, “I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I also will sit on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the North. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the most high.” As it is written of him: “Thou shalt be brought down to the grave, to the sides of the pit.”
In general terms, the spirit of this church is one that feels superior to all others, viewing themselves as the “true” church while esteeming others to be lesser than themselves. They also have great pride in their knowledge, feeling themselves worthy to assume positions of importance or authority.
Even so, this one thing they have: they hate the deeds of the worldly church.
This church takes the truth seriously, devotes themselves to working for the Lord, and takes a stand against sin and all manner of corruption within the church and the world at large as they see fit. This is not wicked. However, when the heart is corrupted, they lose sight of Jesus who is their first love. They also lose sight of their brethren—who Jesus holds in His right hand.
These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks
Jesus is the One who holds all ministers in His hand, and none will rise above Him. Therefore, we should not be as he who says, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” We should not esteem ourselves as better than another, because all belong to God and all serve Him. Jesus is in control and He walks among us all. We are not He. Therefore, we should look to Him, and in so doing, we cannot help but be humbled by the only One who is truly holy and perfectly true.
The spirit found in Ephesus goes beyond our churches or beyond any specific Christian denomination or sect. This spirit is common to all of man. Anytime we stand up for what is true and good, but in a manner that is not of God, we are forgetting our first love. Being right is not as important as being righteous—and they are not always the same thing.
This idea is further explored in, “These Things Saith He—Overcoming Ephesus.” Biblical precedence is explored in, “These Things Saith He—Ephesus Scripture.”
In closing for this chapter:
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
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.
3And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 22:2-5).
When we overcome—when we keep the faith of Jesus Christ and that which He taught—we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Therein is the tree of life.
It is far better to heal the heart than it is to fill the mind with knowledge that puffs up. When that which is perfect is come, there is no need for all our knowledge apart from the knowledge of the Lord. All vain knowledge vanishes away and what remains is that we loved Jesus and one another.
In Jesus’s Kingdom, He alone will give us light. He will show us what is truly good, truly holy, and truly healing. There is no need for, nor is there any place for, high-minded ministers and individuals because Jesus Himself is there. Those who overcome will reign with Him, but they will also be as He is. “It does not yet appear what we will be, but when He appears, we will be as He is.” This is only possible because He makes us as He is and we all need Him.
The above is the draft version of the fourth chapter to a book I plan to write and publish in a manner that is free of charge to the public.
I wrote in These Things Saith He: Contents that I will publish the drafts here first and offer opportunity for others to share their thoughts before the final work is completed.
I’m open to and greatly value the insight, experiences, and thoughts of my Christian brethren because we are a body knit together in Christ that is meant to work together without over reliance on our leaders. I am not your leader, but I do try to be faithful to what I have received to the best of my ability, and I look to Jesus for gracious judgment of my service and the service of all who truly love Him.