Revelation 2:1-7

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

Introduction

It is important that as we enter into this study of these next two chapters, we realize that these seven churches are the one complete church, just as the seven spirits before the throne of Christ, are the one spirit, into which we are all baptized. Two of these churches seem to be above reproach, but we are always told “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the [ all seven] churches.

Rev 2:29  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

As the deplorable conditions within them demonstrate, this church is the same church mentioned in chapter 12, which brings forth the “man child who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron” but cannot go with that man child up to the throne of God. 

Rev 12:5  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and [ to] his throne.
Rev 12:6  And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [ and] threescore days.

The reason this woman is not “caught up unto God and His throne” is important for us to understand. It is important because we are the subject in both cases. We are this woman before we are this man child. We live by every word. So we must realize that these seven churches, which are Christ’s wife, are also Christ’s fallen wife of chapters 17 and 18, and those two chapters describe how God feels about our apostasy from His word, and how He is judging us for that apostasy. It is of utmost importance that we understand that all seven churches and their judgment are experienced within God’s elect. We “keep the things which are written therein… every word.”

We have seen that it is Jesus Christ in His elect who opens the seven seals, which seven seals are simply the complete sealing of this book. Until Christ comes into our hearts and minds, we cannot see or hear “the things written therein.” We have seen that this opening of the seals is to be accomplished by the lamb, which takes the sealed book, out of the hand of the man on the throne, which ‘lamb’ happens to be Christ in his elect.

Rev 13:8  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
1Co 2:7  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
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,

We were “in Christ Jesus before the world began,” and are therefore, in him the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Christ, and we in Christ, die for the sins of the world:

Joh 20:21  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

God sent Christ to suffer for and to save this world. How does that relate to Christ’s Christ?

1Jn 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

So what are we to do?

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

And what does all of this make us? It is hard to receive, but here it is:

Oba 1:21  And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.

If it has been granted us to “read and hear the words of this prophecy, and to keep the things which are written” in this prophecy, and if we have been given to realize that the time is at hand to do so, then this promise of our Lord, given to us on the night of His apprehension by the Jews, has also been given to us:

Joh 16:12  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Joh 16:13  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Joh 16:14  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

“The spirit of Truth” is “the seven spirits before His throne.” It is the holy spirit, which is “the spirit of Truth.” It is also the holy spirit in us, which is “one of the angels which had the seven vials of the wrath of God, which has many things to say unto you, which will guide you into all truth, and show you things to come, and receive of mine and show it to you.”

Here in the three verses of Joh 16:12-14, it is revealed that everything which is shown to us by “the seven spirits which are before His throne, which seven spirits are sent forth into all the world to show me the things which must shortly come to pass,” is the holy spirit within each of us. Everything done by the seven angels who show me these things, is done by the hoy spirit within me. These seven messages and everything which “the first voice which I heard, which was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter,” is the holy spirit within me. “One of the seven angels which had the seven vials of the wrath of God which showed me the judgment of the great harlot,’ is the holy spirit within me. “One of the seven angels which had the seven vials of the wrath of God, which showed me the bride the Lambs wife” is “Christ in me, the hope of glory.” All of these “show unto you” verses, are actually “the spirit of Truth guiding me into all Truth… showing me things to come.”

Joh 16:13  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [ that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Joh 16:14  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

“The spirit of Truth is come… we are now joined to Christ in one spirit… our bodies are members of Christ,” and that is how seven becomes one. The seven spirits before His throne” are one complete spirit; the seven churches are one complete church and the seven seals are one complete sealing up of the things written therein; the seven trumpets are one warning of the death of the flesh within us all, and the seven vials of God’s wrath, is all of God’s wrath “written therein,” all of which we must all keep.

1Co 6:15  Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
1Co 6:16  What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
1Co 6:17  But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

 We cannot parse “those things which are written therein.”

Because this has been such a huge issue let’s take the time to ask, what are “the words of this prophecy?” Let us also ask how many of the words of this prophecy are we to keep? The answer to those questions are in these verses:

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Rev 22:18  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

We will therefore proceed with the understanding that all of God’s Words are “the words of the book of this prophecy”, and that we are to “live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. That they are sealed with seven seals from the masses of mankind we know to be true simply because of these few verses:

Psa 119:160  The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever. (ASV)
Isa 28:9  Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
Isa 28:10  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
 
Isa 28:13  But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

That is why so very few realize that the apostle John and you and I and all of John’s fellow laborers are the seven angels in the “one spirit” of this book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Is all scripture “the word of the Lord?” Are all the stories which inform us of all of the lies of the Adversary, to be considered as part of “the word of God?” Yes, every word has proceeded out of the mouth of God, and it was all ordained to be so “In thy book… before any of my days were.”

Psa 139:16  Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them. (ASV)

Read also this letter which deals with the question of whether the scriptures are to be considered “the word of God.”

http:// www. iswasandwillbe. com/ Is_ Scripture_ The_ Word_ Of_ God 

Of course the scriptures are the word of God, and we will “live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

Joh 16:13  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Knowing that it is only the holy spirit which “will guide me into all truth… and show me things to come;” Knowing that I am to “live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God;” and knowing that I am to “keep the things that are written therein,” we will now look at what the spirit in Christ in us says to the church of Ephesus within us.

You have left your first love… repent, and do the first works

That is right, I said “us within us.” Remember that we “look behind us” to see this revelation of Jesus Christ. So when we read these words, we understand them only after we have ‘been there and done that.’

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;
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:
Rev 2:3  And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
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.
Rev 2:6  But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
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.

Remember that no one can live these words or keep the things written therein except the Father drags us to Himself  through His own fiery Word.

Joh 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him [ Greek, drag]: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:45  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

But then what? Are we now saved? Has Christ done it all on the cross, and we are now secure and beyond the reach of the Adversary? Or isn’t this the very point at which God calls the Adversary over to ask him, ‘Have you considered my servant Mike Vinson or whoever you are?’ Could it be that you and I are required to be judged after Christ comes into our life? Could it be that we must still “endure to the end to be saved?”

1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Is this ‘judging and chastening’ just a gentle slap on the wrist from time to time as needed, or is much more required? What do the scriptures teach? Here is what the scriptures teach:

Mat 3:10  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 3:11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Mat 3:12  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Mat 13:40  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
Mat 13:41  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Mat 13:42  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:43  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Is there a single verse here which does not have a personal application for me and you? If there is then we simply do not have “ears to hear” because this is the Truth of this matter:

Mar 9:49  For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

When does this take place? Is this speaking of some distant ‘day of judgment?’ Is this for someone else? Here is what the scriptures teach:

Luk 12:49  I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

Do you think this is just a possibility which you and I can somehow avoid, or is judgment even now on the house of God? No, judgment cannot be avoided, and judgment is already upon the house of God, and the baptism of fire has begun already in God’s elect:

1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

1Pe 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Remember last week’s study about the lamb that has been slain? “We are  partakers of Christ’s sufferings.” We are the lamb of God which God is “sending into all the earth.” It is Christ in us who removes the seal from the revelation of Jesus Christ within us. Being a lamb slain is judgment, and it begins with us.

1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
1Pe 4:18  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

The seven churches in the Old Testament

Job’s sufferings and his loss of his seven sons denotes the destruction of the flesh in the seven churches. Job also tried the spirits of his so- called comforters and “found them to be liars.” But as is always the case with us all when we have “left our first love,” we simply cannot, at that time, see it as such. The opposite is true. We are our most self- righteous when we have “left our first love,” and we will not recognize that fact until we “look behind ourselves to see the voice… which shows us these things.”

Job 1:1  There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
Job 1:6  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
Job 1:7  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
Job 1:8  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Job 1:9  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Job 1:10  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
Job 1:11  But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
Job 1:12  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

The Lord is the one who is calling all of the shots. The Lord is trying us all in the fire of His words which are spirit. It is the same “one spirit” telling us about righteous Job and the hard working, righteous Ephesians:

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

Job was as righteous and as diligent as we are as Ephesians, and we, as Ephesians, are as perfect and upright and God fearing and as turned off and eschewing of evil, as was Job. But our calling requires this in our training, because God is not calling mere troops to rule the kingdoms of this world. He is not even calling us to be officers in His army. Our calling requires a much more demanding training than what is needed by either troops or officers. We are our Lord’s Christ, and as such we are being prepared to become kings and priests, and to rule over the kingdoms of this world. There was much talk during the presidential primaries and during the general election about being qualified to be the ruler of the greatest nation on earth. The only people who are truly qualified to rule this earth is “our Lord and His Christ.”

Rev 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

As carnal Ephesians, our works, our labor and our patience are intact. We have not tolerated evil men, and we have even tried the spirits of false apostles and have demonstrated that they are all liars. We have been patient in our labors and have not fainted, and yet we are still lacking in one way as spiritual Ephesians within us all:

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

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

There has been much speculation about who are these mysterious ‘Nicolaitans,’ whose deeds we are twice told the Lord hates.

Rev 2:12  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
 
Rev 2:14  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
Rev 2:15  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

Ephesus within us hates the deeds of the Nicolaitans, but Pergamos within us “holds fast, both the doctrine of Balaam, and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans”. I can personally vouch for the fact that it is possible to be an Independent Pentecostal or an Independent Freewill Baptist, and then become a member of the highly structured World Wide Church Of God, where the doctrine of the Nicolaitans rules supreme. But just what is this “doctrine of the Nicolaitans? Here is what Strong’s Concordance has to say about this word:

“G3531 Nikolaite s nik- ol- ah- ee’- tace, From G3532; a Nicolaite, that is, adherent of Nicolaus: – Nicolaitane.

So a Nikolaitan is “an adherent of Nicolaus,” and this word Nicolaitan comes from G3532 or Nicolaus. Here is what Strong’s has to say about the root of this word:

“G3532, Nikolaos, nik- ol’- ah- os, From G3534 and G2004; victorious over the people; Nicolaus, a heretic: – Nicolaus.

What we are being told is that Christ in us hates the doctrine of ‘Niko’ victory through conquest of the ‘laity’ or “the people.” “Victorious over the people.” Does Christ say anything to this effect elsewhere in His doctrine? As a matter of fact Christ saw fit to deal with this spirit specifically while He was still here in the flesh:

Mat 20:20  Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
Mat 20:21  And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
Mat 20:22  But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
Mat 20:23  And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but [ it shall be given to them] for whom it is prepared of my Father.
Mat 20:24  And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.
Mat 20:25  B ut Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mat 20:26  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mat 20:27  And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Mat 20:28  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

“It shall not be so among you,” is the doctrine of Jesus Christ. “But whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.”

The Tree of Life In The Midst of The Paradise of God

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.

What is “the tree of life?” What and where is “the paradise of God?” With all we have learned about Christ giving this book sealed with seven seals to a seven horned, seven eyed lamb to show to the seven angels of the seven churches; To learn that all of the sevens in the prophecy of this book are actually “joined to one spirit,” it should be no great surprise to find out that the “tree of life” is Christ and that the paradise of God is also Christ, in whom we, His body, the angels in his right hand, dwell. Christ is our paradise.

Psa 16:11  Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Luk 23:43  And Jesus said unto him [ the thief on the cross] , Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

It is only “in Christ” that we receive any of the promises we have been given:

Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

This certainly includes both the promise of eating of the tree of life and being in the middle of the paradise of God:

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.
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.

Christ IS “the way, the Truth, and the life:

Joh 1:4  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
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.

Conclusion

So when we “look behind us to see the voice that is speaking to us” about the church of Ephesus within us, what have we seen that was within us? We saw that we, like Job, are in Christ’s right hand as the apple of His eye. We have seen that we have been very patient, yet hard working and careful to try the spirits of many false apostles and we have found them to be liars. We have done many wonderful works, and yet, though we have had the patience, and the good works of Job, we have also had the self- righteousness of Job, and in taking pride in all the things we have done that are right, we have ended up “leaving our first love,” for which we must repent and “do the first works.” This is but the first of seven churches, all of which “things written therein” we must keep” as we continue to be shown the revelation of Jesus Christ. Next study, Lord willing, we will be shown the things written therein about the church of Smyrna, within us as we look behind us to see the voice which is talking to us and showing us all these things.

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