Revelation: Ephesus…Hey Listen!

Revelation 2:6 ‘Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

The Nicolaitans are a difficult group to track. There is no reliable documentation to confirm their identity. They are suspected to participate in pagan feasts and orgies. -Holman Bible Dictionary

Some critics argue Jesus is contradicting Himself. Jesus said in Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…

But in Revelation 2:6, Jesus hates the deeds of the Nicolaitans. The local church at Ephesus and Jesus did not hate the people or the Nicolaitans. The deeds of the people were hated. The Ephesians were commended for hating sinful action. The Greek word for “hate” is miseo/μισεο. It means to pursue with detest.

The mindset of the Ephesians was a continual, lifestyle attitude. They repeatedly detested the actions of the counter culture.

The Greek word for “deeds” is ergon/εργον. It means: any product whatever, anything accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind. The Nicolaitan undertaking was a labor of sin. They worked at rebellion. These folks were committed to opposing the will of God.

As believers in Christ, we are called to stand against detestable actions. But at the same time, we should be merciful, gracious, and forgiving to the people who are engaged in these deeds. That does not mean excuse deviant behavior. That does not mean withhold civil punishment if warranted. Justice is still served.

Revelation 2:7 ‘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.’

All seven churches in the Book of Revelation are told…“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” We all have ears! Use them!

“Hear” or akouo/ακουο. The word can mean the following: attend; consider what is or has been said; to understand or perceive the sense of what is said; to find out, learn; to give ear to a teaching or a teacher; to comprehend. Definitions provided by Strong’s Concordance.

The reward is the “tree of life”. The tree was introduced in Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The language in Genesis surrounding the tree of life is singular. There appears to have been one tree of life in the beginning.

In the future, things get better. The tree of life appears to be a species and there is a grove along the river. Revelation 22:2b On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

You had better listen carefully!

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