Revelation – Thought for Today

Revelation – Thought for Today

Revelation 38
revelation-art38 The Son of man told John to write to "the angel of the church of Ephesus," these words,

I know thy works [toil], and thy labour [reducing the strength], and thy patience [hopeful endurance], and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured [to feel fatigue], and hast not fainted.

The believers in Ephesus were experiencing an event or events in their lives that mirrored the need for the character traits expressed in the writings of Peter, Paul, and James: they were being tested (James' temptation), experiencing pressure (Paul's tribulation), and would need to stay under control (Peter's temperance). John commended the believers in Ephesus that they "hast borne, and hast patience,and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted." They were manifesting temperance under the pressure of the trials of their lives. In this passage of Scriptures, the Greek word of the original language that is translated evil in English means, "worthless - in reference to character," as opposed to the most often used original word translated evil which means "hurtful." The believers in Ephesus were being commended for not enduring those among them who were of dubious character. They were also able to discern the deceitful ways of those who were claiming to be "apostles and [were] not." Evidently, these bogus "apostles" were trying to justify their authority and teaching by claiming they were sent by God to the believers in Ephesus. In addition, the risen Christ also commended them "that thou hatest [detest] the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate." Although it is not revealed exactly who were the Nicolaitans or exactly their evil deeds, these followers of Nicolaus, based on the meaning of the original language, were probably attempting to gain positions of power and influence over other believers. Whatever the deeds of the Nicolaitans were, the believers in Ephesus were being commended "that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans." With the risen Christ already praising the works, the labor, and the patience of the believers in Ephesus, it would seem that all was well in the church. However, John was told to record a word of warning to the believers in Ephesus: "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love." Even with all the positive things being experienced among the believers, there is always the danger of what I call the curse of the blessings. Of course, there is no curse in the blessings of God. But, how long does it take for the human species to experience good things in life before he begins to perceive that he had something to do with the good that is happening. The blessings of God become so good that our eyes begin to shift off of the God who produced the blessings and on to the blessings themselves. We get so carried away talking about the blessings bestowed upon us we soon move our eyes, often without thinking, off of the Creator of the blessings. We are tempted to fall away from worshipping the Creator to become trapped in the worship of creation, that which God has done: "thou hast left thy first love." Heavenly Father, I know that I am, as the Psalmist said, wonderfully made. I know that the breath I breathe, the beat of my heart, the thoughts of my mind only occur because of being wonderfully made. But, heavenly Father, I do not want to fall from my first love. Keep my eyes upon Jesus for he is my breath. He is my heartbeat. He is the thoughts of my mind. Continually, create in me, the reality that only in Jesus do I live, and move, and have my being. This, I pray. Amen!