Ch.2: The 7 Churches]
Church of Ephesus
The Ephesian Church was started by Paul on his second missionary journey.
Paul had stirred up the city with his dynamic preaching and the response
was so positive and overwhelming that the silversmiths created a protest
riot. The Ephesian church was one of the largest churches in the area.
The whole city of Ephesus worshipped the goddess Diana. Its famed temple
of Artemis is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Ephesus means "desired one." It represents the Apostolic Church,
the most desirable of all church periods.
2:1 ...the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the
midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Christ is ever watchful over His churches. His power and presence are
always available to His people.
2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast
left thy first love.
This church succumbed to the common temptation of letting the wonderful
memory and decision of early conversion become commonplace. Their
spontaneous sparkle of love for Christ was no longer there. Most of the
Ephesian Christians were second-generation believers. Some 35 years
earlier, Paul had praised their great love (Eph. 1:15-16).
2:6 thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans
The word "Nicolaitans" comes from "niko" (to conquer)
and "laos" (people). Early on, there was an effort to set up a
system of ecclesiastical rulership, such as bishops, cardinals, popes. But
this church evidently was able to withstand ecclesiasticalism, which the
Pergamus church later accepted (Rev. 2:15).
2:7 eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the
paradise of God
tree first appeared in the Garden of Eden, as forbidden to Adam and Eve.
It reappeared in the final scenes of the New Jerusalem--a welcome to all
saints. The tree of life is a symbol of eternal life.
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