Yeshua knows each of His followers’ innermost thoughts and motivations. He knows us fully and truthfully, even when we may deceive ourselves as we rationalize what choices we make. I appreciate how he sends this message to each church, personalized. Each is in a different place. Each has different struggles they face. He compliments them on what they are doing well and then rebukes them on where they need to change… and He does want them to change. He is not accepting them “the way they are”, as so many teach today in churches.
I believe when He refers to angel of the church, He is perhaps referring to the pastor or leader of that body of believers rather than an “angel” literally. For starters, why would He ask John to communicate with angels. Secondly, the Hebrew word for angel and messenger are one and the same. Understanding that this was written in Aramaic, I still conjecture that the Hebrew writer is likely referring to the messenger or leader of the church.
As we read each letter, remember that it has a specific audience, which is not us. However, many of the same issues are still relevant. Look for what warnings and encouragements may apply to you and ask the Spirit to show you what to apply in your life. Expect that Yeshua wants each of us to change, just like He was calling each church in Revelation to change.
Message to Ephesus
1“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:
2‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. 6‘Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’
Yeshua hates false teaching that comes from those who claim to teach the word of YHWH. The Nicolaitans are one example in the past, but there are many around today.
They are praised for hating and rejecting evil men, and not encouraged to accept them or invite them into their congregation to fill seats or make donations or even to hear the word taught. We are to be separate from evil men.
Yeshua praises them for testing and judging who is teaching truth and who is teaching false doctrine. They would have used the Old Testament for this task, testing teachers vs. the word of YHWH. We are expected to judge rightly good from evil.
Perseverance and endurance in striving to live for YHWH is recognized and complimented. We will encounter trials and resistance if we stand true to His word in full.
A very important lesson for us to reflect on, truly and prayerfully… Yeshua calls out the church for losing their love for Him and for pursuing Him. They are active and doing “all the right things” on the outside, but they have lost their love for Him. This is a big deal. Even if we “do everything right”, but have no love for Yeshua and for what He calls us to be and do, then we shall be rejected. It is through relationship, not works that we are saved. For more, consider reading at GotQuestions.org/left-first-love.html.
Whatever we are doing for Christ, let us do it with love.
The Excellence of Love
1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.