The Revelation Given to John by Jesus Through the Angel
Lesson three continued
The Church at Ephesus starter out so well, but by the time John wrote the Revelation it had turned from its first love, the love that stimulated its faith, works, and courage. The people turned to a cold regiment; motivated, not by love, but by habit.[i]
False teaching[ii]was then, as it is now, a tool of Satan to distract the church from its goal. Super apostles emphasize their own importance. Judaizing requires circumcision and adherence to Jewish customs, Montanism was legalistic[iii], and Gnostics make the natural world evil[iv]and advance knowledge to usurp the cross for salvation. The denial that Yeshua came in the flesh is in competition with that he came as Immanuel – God with us. The Ebionites[v] denied the deity of Yeshua.
Yeshua said, “But you do hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans[vi], and so do I.” He didn’t stop warning the Ephesians that they would lose their testimony if they didn’t get back their first love but he praised them for another point where they were in agreement with him.
Since I didn’t find any accurate information from the Bible reference about who this is that the Ephesians are in agreement with Yeshua against, I decided to take the Greek word apart and see if it shed any light on the kind of work these dedicated Ephesians hated.
- Strong’s translation of Nikolaites: The word comes from a Nicolaite, i.e, adherent of Nicolaus: — Nicolaitane.
- Strong’s translation of Nicolaos, which comes from two words: Nicolaus, which means victorious over the people; and Laodikeus, a Laodicean, i.e. inhabitant of Laodicia.
- The Laodiceans thought they had everything and so were very complacent about everything. Yeshua told them what he thought of them. “I Am about to vomit you out of my mouth!”
Perhaps the Nicolaitans came from the kingdom of thingdom where the people were ruled by reasoning and logic and resided quietly in their own little Tranquil Valley; and the Ephesians were fervent for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Perhaps the people of Ephesus went door to door with the word of God. They went first to a housing complex. They stopped at the first door and paused to pray for the filling of Rauch Ha Kodesh[vii]to accomplish his will with whoever answered the door. Then they knocked and were met head on by a man who took out an ugly looking knife and threatened to cut their hearts out for naming the precious name of Yeshua. They went away rejoicing that they could speak the word of God with boldness; not fearing what man could do to them because “Greater is he that is in you than that is in the world” was a reality to them.
They paused to pray again at the next door and it was opened by a woman whose language they couldn’t speak; but Rauch Ha Kodesh could speak her language, they left a new-babe-in-Mashiach rejoicing with them.
Later those same fervent Christians stumbled on the kingdom of thingdom. They met at each door by a smiling face, vacant eyes, and a complacent “thank you so much for caring to come by today. Have a nice day now.” How discouraging!
When we look for our reflection in this aspect of the life of the Church at Ephesus, we have been busy testifying and witnessing for Yeshua and meeting a world that just doesn’t seem to care, but we have the answer inverse five. Love for Yeshua that flows from us to each other and the world, like rivers of waters, is a bright light that attracts others to Yeshua. God is love and when we love God we love each other, and the world sees god deeds and glorifies our Father in heaven.
To be continued
[i] Revelation 2:4
[ii] Ibid 2:6
[iv] the belief that all matter is evil and the body is a prison to escape from – First coined in Plato’s Politikos [‘Statement’] as gnostikoi [‘those capable of knowing’], and linking it with knowledge [episteme] (Introduction to Politikos. Cooper, John M. & Hutchinson, D. S. [Eds.] (1997)
[vii] The Holy Spirit