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In our last study, we saw the introduction of the seven candlesticks and stars. The Lord Jesus had appeared unto John in the midst of the candlesticks. He noticed that the Lord had the seven stars in his right hand. This imagery is interesting and symbolic as we will see below–
- The Holy Spirit defined the stars as angels. The Greek word for Angels is Aggelos, which means human messengers. These were the Pastors of the churches located in Turkey.
- The candlesticks were defined as the churches. There were seven churches mentioned —-
- Ephesus–The Loveless church
- Smyrna–The Suffering church
- Pergamos–The Worldly church
- Thyatira–The adulterous church
- Sardis–The dead church.
- Philadelphia–The faithful church
- Laodicea–The Lukewarm church.
The church of Ephesus
For the sake of our studies, we will take a look at the church of Ephesus. It is interesting what we will find described below–
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 2:1)
Let’s begin by taking a look at our Lord Jesus. Jesus came to earth to die for our sins. He rose up on the third day and is sitting on the right hand of the Father. Sitting is symbolic of rest. He completed his work on earth There are times in which he has stood up for important events.
One good example was with Stephen. As he was getting ready to be martyred by the mob, he had a vision. Jesus stood up to honor Stephen. (Acts 7:55) In Rev 1:13, we see Jesus standing again in the midst of the candlesticks.
As we turn our attention to Rev 2:1, we see him walking. Jesus wanted to see the whole picture concerning what was happening in the churches. Walking among the churches gave him a better view of existing issues within that area. Let’s look at the following verses below —
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:
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. (Rev 2:2-3)
Notice how the Lord begins his conversation. I know thy works! The Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He starts off commending them for their good works. They labored (Worked hard in the ministry), exercised patience, and hated evil.
A blow against idolatry
It would do the body good to hate evil and love righteousness. It will bring a spirit of joy which, in turn, will give us strength. It gave the church of Ephesus the strength to do God’s work. (Heb 1:9) Joy is a powerful force.
One point to consider is the name of Ephesus. The word Ephesus means desirable. God desired to reach the city of Ephesus. It was a stronghold for the godess Diana. Its temple housed a great multitude of people. It is believed that it seated about 20,000 to 30,000 people.
Idolatry was big business in that area. It brought great gain in the financial realm. Silversmiths were making good money craving the idol of Diana for the people. The Apostle Paul was sent by God to do his work in that area for about three years. God used him to bring about a mighty revival in that area.
The turning of the people from Diana to God affected the idol trade. Greedy and evil people stirred the mob against Paul, putting his life in peril. (Acts 19) God’s word prevailed, and the church developed tremendous revelation knowledge to win that whole city for the Lord. In our next study, we will see how important it is for believers to enter into God’s rest. We will, also, see some wonderful revelation knowledge that was brought to that church.
Prayer–Dear Lord, help me to apply this lesson to my life. Help me to love righteousness and hate iniquity. Restore the joy of my salvation. Use me to impact my family, community and society–In Jesus name. Amen.