Sorry that I did not get these posted online in a timely manner. Therefore, I am posting 4 at the same time. Just study them at your convenience. Thank you.
Revelation 2: 1-7…one more insight into history before we begin….why were the Christian Jews in churches scattered about the Mideast? It was because in 70AD Jerusalem was attacked by Rome and burned. Yeshua Jesus had warned the people prophetically about this in Matthew 24….huge temple stones had fallen. Trade was big in the previous nation of Israel because it was the hub between Europe, the Far East, Egypt, and Africa. So, many Jews fled to areas and people they knew, hoping to be welcome there.
Ephesus was modern day Turkey. Ephesus had the Temple of Artemis, the many breasted fertility goddess; this temple being one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Ephesus was prosperous and a major center of commerce and trade. It was one of the largest cities in the area. This is where the disciple John and Mary, the mother of Yeshua Jesus, lived and assembled together with other Christians. Ephesus was under Roman rule, so persecution of Christians came from government, traditional Jews, and local pagan Gentiles. Remember, John was exiled on Patmos for teaching about Yeshua Jesus. The church at Ephesus had both Jewish and Gentile Christians.
Yeshua Jesus introduces Himself to this church as the One who walks among the churches. He desires to live with them. He commends them for their hard work, good deeds, patient endurance, intolerance of evil, critical appraisal and recognition of false prophets and teachers (wolves in sheeps’ clothing), and bearing up in faith and truth. But, Yeshua has a warning for them. You have left your First Love, the depth of love they had at first for Him when they first believed. He says to remember and repent…change. If you do not, your light could go out, plus you will lose your impact. Relationship is more important than works. But, it is good that they hate the corrupt teachings and works of those who try to control people through deluding and misleading religion and laws (the Nicolaitans).
Hear and heed what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
Overcome the world by believing that Yeshua Jesus is the Son of God. He is to be our first love above anyone or anything in this world…even given more attention than the good works we do “for Him”….loving relationship first!
The promise and reward of relationship with Yeshua Jesus is the privilege to eat from the tree of life in the paradise of God. This is an amazing promise and reward for now and our eternal future. Yeshua Jesus is Himself our Tree of Life! We already eat of His body and His blood in our New Covenant relationship. That is why we overcome the world. We just need to really love Him first, above all, in close loving relationship of mind and heart…with intent to follow Him! Love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength…my primary bonded relationship, continually aware of His presence with me. Stay on track, on the straight narrow road…examine myself often…am I a faithful bride/spouse of Christ?
This is His message and warning to the church at Ephesus, and still is to us today.