Revelation 2:1-7 If you have an ear, please hear what Jesus Christ says to one of seven churches in a particular locale. I invite you to open your ear to One who speaks like a trumpet blast that rocks the earth on its axis (Rev 1:8, 10, 15)! What a fierce Man, standing in the middle of seven “lampstands,” with fire-flaming eyes set in a face that shines like the brilliance of the sun (Rev 1:11–16)! A sword proceeds from his mouth and he omnipotently holds seven angels in one mighty hand. This is none other than God Himself--One of whom human words cannot convey such power and glory. The writer of Revelation, John the apostle, falls as though dead at the feet of the Lord God Almighty (Rev 1:17). John falls before the Lord Jesus Christ, his King. Though paralyzed by awe, John is still able to hear with his ears. He feels the touch of Jesus’ right hand on him: “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen. This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches." (Rev 1:17–20 NLT) How do I respond to Jesus? How do you? Does Jesus need to say to me, "Don't be afraid!"??? To brothers and sisters who lived 2,000 years ago we still have the words of Jesus written for them in Revelation 2:1-7: 1 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands: 2 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. 4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! 5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. 6 But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do. 7 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:1–7 NLT) 1 Τῷ ἀγγέλῳ ⸀τῆς ἐν Ἐφέσῳ ἐκκλησίας γράψον· Τάδε λέγει ὁ κρατῶν τοὺς ἑπτὰ ἀστέρας ἐν τῇ ⸂δεξιᾷ αὐτοῦ⸃,* ὁ περιπατῶν ἐν μέσῳ τῶν ἑπτὰ λυχνιῶν τῶν ⸁χρυσῶν·* 2 οἶδα τὰ ἔργα σου καὶ τὸν κόπον ⸆ καὶ τὴν ὑπομονήν σου °καὶ ὅτι οὐ δύνῃ ⸀βαστάσαι κακούς, καὶ ἐπείρασας τοὺς λέγοντας ἑαυτοὺς ἀποστόλους ⸇ καὶ οὐκ εἰσὶν καὶ εὗρες αὐτοὺς ψευδεῖς,* 3 καὶ ⸂ὑπομονὴν ἔχεις καὶ ἐβάστασας⸃ διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου καὶ ⸄οὐ κεκοπίακες⸅. 4 ἀλλʼ ἔχω κατὰ σοῦ ὅτι τὴν ⸂ἀγάπην σου τὴν πρώτην⸃ ἀφῆκες .* 5 μνημόνευε οὖν πόθεν ⸀πέπτωκας καὶ μετανόησον καὶ τὰ πρῶτα ἔργα ποίησον · εἰ δὲ μή, ἔρχομαί σοι ⸆ καὶ κινήσω τὴν λυχνίαν σου ἐκ τοῦ τόπου αὐτῆς, ἐὰν μὴ μετανοήσῃς.* 6 ἀλλὰ τοῦτο ἔχεις, ὅτι μισεῖς τὰ ἔργα τῶν Νικολαϊτῶν °ἃ κἀγὼ μισῶ.* 7 Ὁ ἔχων οὖς ἀκουσάτω τί τὸ πνεῦμα λέγει ταῖς ⸀ἐκκλησίαις. Τῷ νικῶντι δώσω °αὐτῷ φαγεῖν ἐκ τοῦ ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς, ὅ ἐστιν ἐν ⸂τῷ παραδείσῳ⸃ τοῦ θεοῦ⸆. Kurt Aland et al., Novum Testamentum Graece, 28th Edition. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012), Re 2. This letter isn't written to you. Yet it reveals God's heart for His covenant people. My desire is to let this letter to an ancient church probe my heart. Jesus is commanding John to tell the Ephesian church, "You have a love problem." Similarly, God moves the apostle Paul to say this as well: "You have a love problem." Ephesians 5:1-4: 1 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. 3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013), Eph 5:1–4. There was a love problem in Ephesus. They did all the right works and work and endured it patiently, but they abandoned "the love the first." So Jesus calls them back to do the works they did at first. There were other problems in other churches Jesus speaks to in Asia Minor, but here He speaks of love. Do you love Jesus as you did at first? It's a love seen in what you do. Three imperatives. One command. Revelation 2:5: Remember ( μνημόνευε ) και Repent ( μετανόησον ) και Do ( ποίησον ) Do the works you did at first. That is love at last.
Main point summary
Remember Where You Were, Repent From Where You Are, Do The Works You Did at First
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
Τῷ ἀγγέλῳ τῆς ἐν Ἐφέσῳ ἐκκλησίας γράψον •
To the angel of the church in Ephesus, you must write:
‘The words of e him who holds the seven stars in his right hand,
Τάδε λέγει ὁ κρατῶν τοὺς ἑπτὰ ἀστέρας ἐν τῇ δεξιᾷ αὐτοῦ,
This is what He says, holding the seven stars in His right hand—
f who walks among the seven golden lampstands.
ὁ περιπατῶν ἐν μέσῳ τῶν ἑπτὰ λυχνιῶν τῶν χρυσῶν•
the One walking in the midst of the seven lampstands of gold.
g “‘I know your works,
οἶδα τὰ ἔργα σου
I know your deeds (works)
καὶ τὸν κόπον
and labor (work)
and your patient endurance,
καὶ τὴν ὑπομονήν σου
and your patient endurance
and how you cannot bear with those who are evil,
καὶ ὅτι οὐ δύνῃ βαστάσαι κακούς,
and that you are not able to endure evil,
but h have tested those i who call themselves apostles
καὶ ἐπείρασας τοὺς λέγοντας ἑαυτοὺς ἀποστόλους
and you tested [those] calling themselves apostles
and are not,
καὶ οὐκ εἰσὶν
and they are not
and found them to be false.
καὶ εὖρες αὐτοὺς ψευδεῖς,
and you found them [to be] liars.
I know you are enduring patiently
καὶ ὑπομονὴν ἔχεις
And you have patient endurance
and bearing up j for my name’s sake,
καὶ ἐβάστασας διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου
and you endured because of my name
and you k have not grown weary.
καὶ οὐ κεκοπίακες.
and [you have] not become weary.
But I have this against you,
ἀλλʼ ἔχω κατὰ σοῦ
But I have [this] against you,
that you have abandoned l the love you had at first.
ὅτι τὴν ἀγάπην σου τὴν πρώτην ἀφῆκες .
that you left your first love.
Remember therefore from where you have fallen;
μνημόνευε οὖν πόθεν πέπτωκας
You must remember, then, from where you have fallen
and you must repent
and do m the works you did at first.
καὶ τὰ πρῶτα ἔργα ποίησον •
and do the first deeds (works).
εἰ δὲ μή,
But if not,
n I will come to you
I come to you,
and remove your lampstand from its place,
καὶ κινήσω τὴν λυχνίαν σου ἐκ τοῦ τόπου αὐτῆς,
and I will remove your lampstand from her place,
unless you repent.
ἐὰν μὴ μετανοήσῃς .
if you should not repent.
Yet this you have:
ἀλλὰ τοῦτο ἔχεις ,
But this you have,
you hate the works of o the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
ὅτι μισεῖς τὰ ἔργα τῶν Νικολαϊτῶν ἃ κἀγὼ μισῶ .
that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans which I also hate.
p He who has an ear,
Ὁ ἔχων οὖς
The one having an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
ἀκουσάτω τί τὸ πνεῦμα λέγει ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις.
he must hear what the Spirit says to the churches:
q To the one who conquers
“To [the] overcoming [one]
I will grant to eat of r the tree of life, which is in s the paradise of God.’
δώσω αὐτῷ φαγεῖν ἐκ τοῦ ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς, ὅ ἐστιν ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ τοῦ θεοῦ.
I give to him to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.