The Seven Churches Of Revelation, Part 1: Ephesus

Revelation 2:1-7
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patienceand that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that YOU HAVE LEFT YOUR FIRST LOVE.”
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works,
or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.  But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’
Left your first love
Jesus through John, His Jewish secretary, wrote seven different letters to the seven Churches in Asia.  He wanted to make sure that He addressed certain problems or issues they were having at the time.  They also teach us about dispensations of the Church and speak of the end times.
Messengers.
Why did He say, “To the ANGEL of the Church of Ephesus,” and not simply “To the Church of Ephesus?”  Why put the word, “angel” in there at all?  Who is this “ANGEL” He’s addressing?
Angel, in Greek, is the word, “Ángelos”  It can refer to an angel, as in one from heaven, but simply put, it means, “Messenger.”  Also, notice that the word is SINGULAR.  Who is this messenger for each of these Churches?  

Another clue that this is not an angel from heaven is this little phrase:  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works,

or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”

Obviously, God would not have a FALLEN ANGEL watching over His Church.  So who is the one who is fallen?  THE SENIOR PASTOR.  

These letters are not written to the rank and file; they are directed at the senior pastors of the Churches to encourage, admonish and correct some wrong doctrines, which were found in five of them.  The only two pastors who were not corrected were the ones at Smyrna, who were under great persecution at that time, and Philadelphia.
First Love.
In the case of Ephesus, they had “Left their first love.”  What does that mean?
Most of you have heard a sermon or two on this topic telling us that we need to put God first and love Him more.  They’re implying, of course, that we would live more holy lives if we worked harder to show our love for Him.  But is that Jesus’ message here?
Surprisingly, NO.  But you know how religious folks are.  Man always feels the need to twist everything around to make it all about man, as if there’s anything you and I can do to add to what Jesus has already done.  HELLO!!!  His work is FINISHED!
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First Love.
Church, Jesus wasn’t telling the Church at large they needed to love Him more.  THE PASTOR FORGOT IT WAS JESUS WHO FIRST LOVED US.”  He had been telling his people to love God more instead of unveiling Jesus and His love FOR us.
That’s what He meant by “FIRST LOVE.”
The Church at Ephesus used to be described this way:
I Thessalonians 1:3 “…remembering without ceasing your WORK OF FAITHLABOR OF LOVE, and PATIENCE OF HOPE in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father….”
Notice the words He left out of the verse in Revelation?  FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE.
Their works lacked faith; their labor lacked love and their patience lacked hope. 
What He wanted that pastor to do was to turn once again and focus on The One Who “FIRST LOVED” him and teach it to his Church.  Then faith, hope and love would once again be found in their works, labor and patience!  These things become a “fruit,” when we are rooted and grounded in His love, as opposed to a dead “work.”
That’s why the people’s love for God had cooled.  Jesus’ love was not being unveiled to them.  Remember, we are transformed by beholding Him.
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Wrong  Direction.
The spotlight isn’t shining on you and me, on what we are doing or not doing.  Preachers are POINTING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.  Under the Old Covenant, God commanded the people to “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your and soul and with all your mind.”  But has anyone done that?  Can anybody do that?  BIG FAT NO!  We try…..and fail MISERABLY!
SO God TOOK US OUT OF THE EQUATION.
This is love under the new covenant:
I John 4:10
“In this is love, 
NOT that we loved God, BUT THAT HE LOVED US and sent His Son to  be the propitiation for our sins.”
You saw how God used to describe the Church.  They forgot WHO it was that first loved them:  JESUS!  It’s not the other way around.  See how man twists things?  Full consciousness of that one fact is what activates (energizes) faith.  Faith comes by HEARING.  HEARING causes  miracles to take place.  FOCUS ON THAT.
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Clarity In The Greek Text.
Galatians 5:6
“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but 
FAITH WHICH WORKETH BY LOVE.” 
The word for “Worketh” above is the Greek word “Energéo,” from which we get the word  “energy.”  Focusing on Jesus’ love FOR us “ENERGIZES” the faith that creats miracles!  Want your faith to grow and energize miracles in your life?  Focus on the love of Jesus FOR you!
So, Church:  Why do we love God?  We love Him because HE FIRST LOVED US.
He first loved us
JESUS…..He is our FIRST LOVE.
Please follow the link below to Part 2:

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