Wednesday, May 07, 2014
I will confess that I didn’t read the whole book of Revelation this week. I DID listen to it on The Word of Promise CDs, though. And I did spend quite a bit of time studying 2:1-7, our text for today. It is the letter Jesus dictated to John to be sent to the angel of the church of Ephesus.
Dr. Missler has spent quite a bit of time recapping the previous week’s study during the last couple of videos. The material unique to this week’s study is about the church of Ephesus. Ephesus means “Desired One” or “Darling”. Jesus knows their works. He knows our works, too. What will that portion of your report card say about you? What do you want it to say? What are you willing to do/allow the Lord to do to achieve that?
Ephesus was founded in 1400 BC. It became associated with Diana (Artemis) in the middle of the 6th century BC when the city was captured by Lydia and Ephesus joined the Ionian Confederation. Ephesus was called the Queen of Asia, and was an incredibly wealthy and beautiful city. It was also a busy port of trade with Greece and Italy. Lots more background information was presented and some incredible photographs were shown in the video.
It’s interesting to know that home fellowships were the original form of fellowship of the church. It’s also interesting to know that the church of Ephesus is no more – their lampstand has, indeed, been removed.
The church of Ephesus represents the Apostolic Church prophetically. Even in the first century, Christians were struggling to walk in the Spirit! So what can we do today to avoid the pitfalls that removed the lampstand of this seemingly spiritual healthy church? Focus on the teaching of the Word, commit to assembly and fellowship, break bread in remembrance of Christ, commit to pray. This is convicting for me. I pray it is for you, too.
I learned recently from another study that some scholars believe there is a correlation between the seven kingdom parables of Matthew 13 and the letters to the churches of Revelation. The passage that corresponds to the church of Ephesus is the parable of the sower and the four soils in Matthew 13:1-9. Prayerfully read that passage in conjunction with these seven verses and leave a comment with any thoughts and insights.
Homework for next time: Read chapters 2 & 3. Outline the letter to Smyrna. Contract the Olivet Discourse according to Matthew 24 and Luke 21.
Posted by Stacey at 12:00 AM