Archive for Ephesus

Revelation The Last Letter

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2018 by paulthepoke
Now Available on Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1720136084

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These are the last of words of Jesus before He comes for His bride the Church. Revelation The Last Letter looks at the seven churches in their historical and geographical context in the first century. These were actual churches in actual ancient cities in what is modern day Turkey. What did Jesus actually say to the churches? Please, listen to the good news from Jesus Himself…

 

 

This is a great resource for small group Bible studies. Study questions are provided at the end of each chapter.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Revelation-Last-Letter-Paul-Lehr/dp/1720136084/

 

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Revelation: Ephesus & Repent

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , on November 27, 2016 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:4 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

What was the first love of the local body in Ephesus? Jesus Christ. This was established in Revelation 2:3. They had “endured for My name’s sake.”

The Greek language of the verse is consistent with divorce in a marriage. The word for “left” is απηιεμι/aphiemi. It means: to send away; to bid going away or depart; of a husband divorcing his wife; to let go, let alone, let be; to disregard; to omit, neglect; to give up, keep no longer. –Strong’s Concordance

The church at Ephesus had essentially divorced itself from the head of the body, Jesus Christ. The irony is the Apostle Paul had written the Ephesians regarding this very topic in Ephesians 5:22-23. The passages discuss how the body of believers should submit to Christ because He died for her. His death allows believers to be free and cleansed of sin. The body is to be the pure and blameless bride. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the body.

Where does the body of Christ stand today in the 21st century. Are we any different than the church at Ephesus?

Revelation 2:5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.

The word “repent” is stated twice in the verse. “Repent” is not a mystical, spiritual word that has some deep theological meaning. The Greek word for repent is μετανοεο/metanoeo. It means: to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.

One should be ashamed of their actions. There should be some conviction. Be honest. Right is right and wrong is wrong. We can all do better.

This verse is not discussing eternal salvation. Salvation was not lost for the individual believer. The individual’s position in Christ would not change. The issue is the local church at Ephesus. The church can be taken away.

Jesus gives the solution first. Get back to the basics as they were doing previously. Revelation 2:2-3.

https://paulthepoke.com/2016/11/21/revelation-ephesus-perserverance/

Jesus stated the consequence. There was accountability. The lampstand or the church would be removed.

The church at Ephesus had fallen and it did not get up. History tells and shows what happened. Today, the church and the city of Ephesus are ruins.

It did not have to be for Ephesus. And it does not have to be for us.

Change your heart. Change your mind. Rethink. Refocus…Jesus Christ.

Revelation: Ephesus & Perserverance

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , , on November 21, 2016 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:2-3 I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.

Good news from Jesus Christ to the church or local body of believers at Ephesus. He is watching and He knows what is taking place.

Perseverance…This word is used twice in the verses above. Perseverance is the Greek word ηυπομονε/hupomone. Per Strong’s Concordance, it means: constancy, endurance; in the New Testament the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith by even the greatest trials and sufferings; patiently and steadfastly enduring.

The people at the church of Ephesus were focused grinders. The text tells us their work and life was difficult from the word for “toil”. It comes from the Greek κοποσ/kopos. It means: a beating of the breast with grief, sorrow; intense labor united with trouble.

…and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false…

False teachers…a topic believers are continually warned about throughout the Bible. Jesus Himself warned against these folks. Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Matthew 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Whatever the future holds will be off the charts in deception.

The New Testament letters of Galatians and 1 Thessalonians warn against false teachers. The Apostle John warns about the ultimate false teacher, the antichrist.

The church at Ephesus “put them to the test”. They had the attitude of the Berean Church. Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if these teachings were true.

Were the false teachers telling the truth? Apparently not. False teachers are evil, wicked, and destructive.

What was the focus of the church at Ephesus? My name’s sake…The body of believers at Ephesus was focused on Jesus Christ.

These two verses are calls to believers in Jesus Christ today. We are to focus and work for the communication of the gospel of Christ regardless of the circumstances. We are called to persevere, stay vigilant, and focus.

Christians are called to guard against false teachers and verify with Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. “All Scripture” includes the Old Testament. The Old Testament is buried treasure. It will reveal the New Testament to life in the person of Jesus Christ.

…and have not grown weary. Do not become κοπιαο/kopiao. Yes, we will grow weary, tired, and exhausted with toil, burdens and grief.

This personal message is given to us by Jesus is at the beginning of the book of Revelation. This message is one of the first things He tells the church. Difficult times are coming. Don’t quit. It is worth it in the end.

Revelation: Ephesus, Stars & Lampstands

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2016 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:

Scripture interprets Scripture…Wild guesses, speculation, and conjecture are not necessary. But one is going to do some homework.

Where did John get his information? John tells us multiple times in the first chapter of Revelation. A couple of examples include Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John…

Revelation 1:17-18 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

John’s source of information is Jesus Christ.

To the angel…The Greek word for “angel” is aggelos/αγγελοσ. It means: a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God. The word is essentially transliterated.

…of the church…The Greek word for “church” is ekklesia/εκκλεσια. It means:  an assembly, congregation; the whole body of Christian believers. People called out from the world and to God, the mystical body of Christ; the universal body of believers whom God calls out from the world and into His eternal kingdom. –Strong’s Concordance.

The church is not a building. 1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.

The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand…What are stars? The answer is given in Revelation 1:20b …the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches… Stars are angels of the churches.

…the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands…What are lampstands? The answer is given in Revelation 1:20c …and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Lampstands are churches.

Jesus is the source of information to John. Jesus is the One talking. Jesus is the One giving directions. Jesus is the One holding the seven stars. Jesus is the One walking among the lampstands.

Colossians 1:18a He is also head of the body, the church…

Revelation: Historical Ephesus

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , , , on November 6, 2016 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:1a To the angel of the church in Ephesus write…

Historical Ephesus was the largest city of the seven churches.

This is the city for Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Ephesus was located on the Cayster River. The city was between the Maeander River to the south and the Hermus River to the north. The city was also a great seaport on the Aegean Sea. The geography allowed Ephesus to be a significant commercial destination. It was the most important port in the Aegean.

There was a great theater in the city. It was believed to seat 50,000 people. The Apostle Paul wanted to go and speak to the multitude but his disciples had another idea. Acts 19:31 Also some of the Asiarchs who were friends of his sent to him and repeatedly urged him not to venture into the theater.

Ephesus was home to the fertility goddess Diana or Artemis. The temple of Diana was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The city was the location of the riot in Acts 19. The Apostle Paul was having an economic impact on the literary and idolatry industry. People were turning to Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul spent more time in Ephesus than any other church. Acts 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.

Acts 20:31 “Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.”

Extrabiblical historical sources indicate Mary the mother of Jesus died in Ephesus. The Apostle John is thought to have died and was buried here as well.

Today in the 21st century, there is nothing left but ruins.

The Revelation Record by Henry M. Morris; Holman Bible Dictionary; Nelson Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts; Tyndale Handbook of Bible Charts & Maps; Key Word Study Bible.

Revelation Churches: Modern Day Turkey

Posted in Prophecy, Revelation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2016 by paulthepoke

Revelation 1:11 saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” –Jesus

The Greek word for “book” is Βιβλιον/biblion. It means: a small book, a scroll, a written document. This is the word where we get the term Bible.

The word “book” is singular in the sentence. It would appear John sent one “book” or epistle to the seven churches. The book was sent from the island of Patmos. The order of the seven churches listed is geographical and clockwise in nature. The first stop on the mainland of Turkey was Ephesus. Next, the letter would have gone north to Smyrna. The third stop was north in Pergamum. Following Pergamum to the east and a bit south was Thyatira. The fifth stop to the south would have been Sardis. A jog to the east and the letter stopped in Philadelphia. The last stop to the south and east was Laodicea.

All seven churches are located in what is modern day Turkey.

Four of the seven churches in Revelation have references to Satan. Jesus is the one talking directly to the churches. Jesus got His information from God the Father (Revelation 1). This is not conjecture. The churches are: Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, and Philadelphia.

Acts 16:6 They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia… The Holy Spirit made sure Paul and his companions stayed in modern day Turkey instead of advancing east to China. The regions of Phrygia and Galatia are in the heart of Asia Minor.

Satan has his trinity. He plays the role of God. The antichrist plays the role of Jesus. And the false prophet plays the role of the Holy Spirit. Satan clearly has a foot hold in Turkey per the comments of Jesus to the churches in Revelation. Satan has a religious system and structures in place in this geographical area. If Satan’s home land is modern day Turkey, would it make sense for him to establish his kingdom with his minions here?

 

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