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Revelation 2:1-7
A message to the church of Ephesus!
By Brother Mike (1-31-19; 45 minutes)
   

1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks ;
2
I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, 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 :
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast labored, and hast not fainted .
4 Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent .
6 But this thou hast, that thou hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God .


INTRODUCTION    

In these verses of Revelation 2:1-7, it is revealed what Christ said about the church of Ephesus in the first century AD. Indeed, Christ had many good things to say about the church such as He knew their works, and their labor, and their patience, and how they cannot bear them which are evil: and they have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars. Furthermore, the church of Ephesus had borne, and had patience, and for Christ's name sake, they had labored, and had not fainted. They even hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which Christ also hated. So, there were many good things about the church of Ephesus.  

But, even though Christ had many good things to say about the church of Ephesus, they had one major flaw: they had left their first love so that Christ said to them, Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Now, let's look a little deeper into these things by expounding on each verse, and then conclude as to what we will then have learned. May our Lord Jesus Christ bless this study unto each of His elect, and to His glory, amen.   


Revelation 2:1
:  

1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks . . . 

In this verse, we first read, Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write. In our previous study , we learned that the seven stars were the angels of the seven churches. And, the angels of the seven churches were the elect of all the churches that ever existed during the Church Age. So, the angel of the church of Ephesus would be the elect of the church of Ephesus. In other words, the angel of the church of Ephesus refers to all the elect who are in the church of Ephesus, for they are the angel (messenger) of the church of Ephesus. It is unto them to whom the apostle John is commanded to write. 

Now, John is commanded to write the following to the elect (the angel or messenger) of the Church of Ephesus: These things saith He that holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. These things which Christ says about the church of Ephesus are what follows in the next verses. But, at this point, notice that we are told once again that Christ holds the seven stars in His right hand. As we learned in our previous study, this means that the elect of all the churches are in a place of great blessing by virtue of their being in Christ's right hand, and they are under Christ's complete control or will by virtue of their being in Christ's hand. Furthermore, we are told that Christ walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. And, since, as we learned in our previous study, that the seven golden candlesticks are all the churches that ever came into being during the Church Age, that Christ walks in their midst means that He knows and sees all that ever took place in the churches during the Church Age. The implication is that what Christ is about to say about the church of Ephesus is true and right because He walked in their midst, and, thus, knows exactly what is true about the church.    


Revelation 2:2
:     

2 I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, 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 . .

Here, Christ first says to the elect of the church of Ephesus, I know your works, and your labor, and your patience. By saying this, it is clear that Christ knows everything about the church of Ephesus. First, we read, He knows their works or deeds. That is, He knows exactly where the church has disobeyed, and He knows where they have obeyed. He sees all things in the church, for He walks among them. Furthermore, we read that He knows their labor. That is, He knows all the trouble and toil that the church has gone through in remaining faithful to the commands of Christ including all the trouble and toil that they have gone through in sending out of the gospel. What's more, we are told that Christ knows their patience. That is, Christ knows their patience (endurance) in remaining faithful even through all their trials and hardships. They have not given up or quit, but they have endured with great patience or endurance through everything that has come upon them, and Christ sees and knows all these things.  

Now, we are not only told that Christ knows their works, labor, and patience, but we read that He also knows how they cannot bear them which are evil: and they have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found then to be liars. Apparently, there were certain people in the church of Ephesus who claimed to be apostles. That is, they claimed to be commissioned or sent out by Christ to lead and teach the church. But, by careful examination, the elect of Ephesus found them to be false. We are not told exactly how they were found to be liars or false, but we can reason that the elect in Ephesus listened very carefully to their teachings, and they found them to not agree with what they had learned from the apostle Paul and the Holy Scriptures. They also may not have been living according to the Word of God, but they were found to be living in sin in some way. Whatever the case, we are here taught to not just except every leader or teacher that comes along, but we are to make sure that they are remaining faithful to the Holy Scriptures in their teachings, and that their lifestyle is in accord with Holy Scripture as well. If not, we are to expose them for what they really are, namely liars, and turn away from them as evil men, especially if they are found to not only be teaching some false thing, but to be preaching and teaching a false gospel.    

Now, we, like the elect of Ephesus, have found in our midst some people today who call themselves apostles, but we have found them to be false because they are teaching a false gospel. These people are those who teach that Christ died for sin at or before the foundation of the world, and who, therefore, say that when Christ died in 33 AD on the cross, it was merely a demonstration of what He already did at or before the foundation of the world. This, we have found to not just be a false teaching, but to be a false gospel according to the Holy Scriptures (see The demonstration gospel is false , God Cannot Lie! , The Lamb Slain from the Foundation of the World , Christ died for sin in 33 AD; not before the world , When Did Christ Die For Sin? , The phrase, from the foundation of the world . . . , Could you be going after strange flesh , The Final Test , Jude 1:7 , Luke 11:50 exposes truth , Email Messages by Charles Brown that refute the false teaching that Christ atoned for sins at the foundation of the world, Without shedding of blood is no remission of sin ). Therefore, we are to turn away from those who teach this doctrine - we are to stay away from their teachings and ministry - and we are to see them for what they really are, namely liars even though they think they are in the truth. No matter how much truth they may seem to teach in some areas, because they teach a false gospel, and not just a false teaching, they are accursed of God. As we are reminded in Galatians 1,  

8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed .
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed .   

So, just as the elect of Ephesus found those who called themselves ministers of Christ to be false, we have found those who call themselves ministers of Christ to be false as well. And, we can be assured that just as Christ commended the church of Ephesus for uncovering that which was false, so He now commends us for uncovering that which is false. And, as a result, we are encouraged to remain vigilant in comparing all things to the Word of God to see if they are true, or if they are false. And, we must always remember that Satan comes as an angel or messenger of light, and, so, it is no wonder that his ministers come as ministers of righteousness or light as well as we read in 2Corinthians 11,   

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ .
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light .
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works .  


Revelation 2:3

3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast labored, and hast not fainted .  

In this verse, Christ says more good things about the church of Ephesus: He first says to them, And you have borne. That is, you bared or carried what is burdensome. And, then, He says to them, and you have patience. This word patience can be translated as endurance, and it means that even in their difficult trials and hardships, they have patiently endured and remained faithful. So, once again, as in the previous verse, Christ commends them for their patience or endurance amid trials, burdens, and hardships. Furthermore, He says to them, and for my names sake you have labored, and have not fainted. That is, in order to be obedient to Christ, the church of Ephesus had labored or toiled, and had not fainted or grown weary. Perhaps this had to do with the sending forth of the gospel. If so, we are being told that the church of Ephesus had labored or toiled in sending forth the gospel into the world, and even though it required hard labor or toil, they did not faint or grow weary, for they walked according to the scripture which says,   

Ga 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not .  

Yes, the Lord had many good things to say about the church of Ephesus, and, since the church of Ephesus was a picture of how, at least, some of the churches would be during the Church Age, we know that there were faithful churches during that period. Yet, even though the church of Ephesus had many positive attributes, it had a serious problem of which we will learn in the next verse.  


Revelation 2:4
:  

4 Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love .  

Here, we discover the major flaw in the church of Ephesus. Christ states, Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. This is always what happens to a church before they begin to deteriorate, namely they leave their first love. And, their first love, of course, was Christ. It used to be that they looked forward to spending more and more time with Christ in prayer, worship, and the study and reading of His Word. They even made note of each thing that they needed to change to be more aligned with the Word of God, and then they changed it. But, now, they have left their first love, and they are spending less and less time in prayer, worship, and the study and reading of His Word, and they are no longer sensitive to those things which need to change to be better aligned with the Word, but they have just been maintaining the status quo. They have lost their zeal for Christ, and things have become old and routine, and boring. Indeed, they have left their first love. 

Now, we must ask ourselves, have we left our first love? Are we still spending the same quality and amount of time in prayer and fellowship with Jesus Christ? Do we still spend the same quality and amount of time in the study and reading of His Word with a view to being obedient to everything we find? Or, have we left our first love, and other things have taken priority over the things of God? These are some of the questions that we must ask ourselves. And, if we find through self-examination that we have left our first love, then we should pay careful attention to what is revealed in our next verse.   


Revelation 2:5
:  

5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent .

In this verse, we first read, Remember, therefore, from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works. In other words, remember how you were when you were on fire for the Lord: when you spent long hours in fellowship, study, and prayer with the Lord; when you read and studied the Bible with a view to being obedient to everything therein, and you actually were obedient to everything of which was revealed to you. Remember these things, and repent. That is, remember these things, and change your mind toward how it used to be when nothing was more important than spending time with the Lord, and obeying Him in every detail of your life. When worshipping and praising and praying to Him consumed your life; when the joy of His salvation overwhelmed you, and you were just so thankful for His mercy that you were willing to do anything, and go anywhere, to sacrifice your life unto His glory; when reading His Word was a pleasure, and every new thing learned was new and exciting; when your whole life was centered around pleasing Him. Yes, remember, therefore, from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works. That is, do the works that you did when you were first saved: how you were on fire to share the gospel with everyone, and share your testimony of how the Lord saved you. How, as a new born babe, you desired the milk of the Word to grow up in the Word so that your thoughts and actions would become obedient to the Lord. How you spent hours in prayer, worship, reading, and the study of His Word because you yearned for the fellowship and presence of Christ who brought you great peace. How you were ready to obey the Lord in everything, even to the death of the cross. How nothing else really mattered but Jesus Christ.  

Now, we, ourselves, need to examine ourselves to see where we may have fallen, and repent, and do the first works that we did when we were on fire for the Lord. What were these first works? Certainly, some of these works were our devotion to prayer, reading, and the study of His Word. Would we say that we are now more devoted to these things, or less devoted? If less devoted, we must repent, and do these things as we once did. And, would we say that we are now more obedient to the Lord, or less obedient? If less obedient, then we must repent, and do the things that we once did. And, would we say that we are now more obedient in spreading His Word? No, we are no longer called to spread the gospel, but we are called to spread His Word of judgment. Are we doing this as we once spread the gospel? If not, we need to repent, and start spreading His Word of judgment as we did the gospel. Yes, we must examine our lives in every detail, and ask the question, are we as faithful to the Lord in this detail and that detail as we once were? If not, we must repent, and do the first works. It is so easy to fall into a sort of slumber and fall away from doing the first works that we once did for the Lord. We need to ask the Lord to reveal where we need to change, and then change so that we remain on fire for Jesus Christ.  

Next, the church of Ephesus is told what will happen to them if they don't repent and do the first works. We read, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. The candlestick is that which holds up the candle light so that all can see, which is a picture of the elect in the church holding up the light of Jesus Christ so that all can see. But, if the candlestick is removed from its place, then there is no longer a church holding up the light of Jesus Christ so that the church has become darkness instead of light. So, when Christ says that He will come quickly, and will remove their candlestick out of its place, except they repent, He is telling them that He will remove their light, namely Jesus Christ, unless they repent. The candlestick represents the elect of the church who hold up the candlelight, Jesus Christ, and if a church will not repent, then God is saying that He will remove their candlestick; that is, He will remove the elect who hold up the light of Jesus Christ from the church so that the church no longer shines forth light. To put it another way, unless the church of Ephesus repents quickly, Christ will remove His elect, the candlestick, and Himself, the candlelight, from that church so that the church is left to darkness with no light. And, if the church be darkness, how deep is that darkness.    

Now, what Christ says to the church of Ephesus should be a warning to all of us today. If we leave our first love, namely Jesus Christ, and do not do the first works that we did when we were first on fire for the Lord, we must repent quickly, or Christ will remove Himself from our midst, and leave us to darkness. This, of course, is what He has done to all the churches in our day. Because they would not repent from having left their first love and their first works, Christ has removed Himself and all the elect from the churches so that they are all now left with darkness. We, the elect, who have been led out from all the churches should surely take heed. If Christ left all the churches because they left their first love, and they left their first works, how much more will Christ remove Himself from us if we have left our first love, and we have left our first works? Therefore, let's examine ourselves to see if we have left our first love, and to see if we have left our first works, and repent. Let's think back to how we were when we were on fire for the Lord, and make sure that we are still doing those works. Were we spending better quality and more time in prayer? Then, let's start spending better quality and more time in prayer once again. Were we more readily reading and studying the Word of God? Then, let's begin doing so once again. Were we more zealously spreading the Word of God? Then, let's begin spreading the Word of judgment with the same fervency that we once spread the Word of salvation. Were we once careful to be obedient to everything revealed to us through prayer and the study of His Word? Then, let's begin to do so once again. Let's not be like all the churches, but let's be the one and only eternal church that Christ has made us to be and prove ourselves to be the children of God unless we, too, find ourselves given over to darkness instead of light. Yes, we should work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).   


Revelation 2:6
:    

6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate .   

Here, Christ has one more final good thing to say about the church of Ephesus. He says, But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Exactly what the deeds of the Nicolaitans were, we can not say for sure, but the doctrine of the Nicolaitans as well as the doctrine of Balaam was held by some in the church of Pergamos as we read in Revelation 2,  

14 But I have a few things against thee [the church of Pergamos], because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication .
15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate

Once again, we are not told exactly what the doctrine of the Nicolaitans was, but, nevertheless, it is mentioned right alongside the doctrine of Balaam, which was a doctrine that taught the people of God to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So, we can probably assume that the doctrine of the Nicolaitans also taught the people of God to sin in a similar way. It may have been the teaching such as that of the Gnostics which taught that only the spiritual mattered so that what one did with their physical body was of no consequence. Therefore, one could do with their physical body whatever they desired including fornication and eating things sacrificed to idols because what one did in the physical realm didn't matter; it was only the spiritual realm that mattered, and this spiritual realm was separate and apart from the physical realm. Whatever the case, Christ commends the church of Ephesus for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans.  

Finally, before leaving this verse, we should perhaps mention that the word Nicolaitans comes from the word Nicolas, and the person Nicolas was one of the first seven deacons chosen in Acts 6 where we read,  

1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration .
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business .
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch :
6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them .

Now, the reason I bring this up is because the doctrine of the Nicolaitans may have started with this deacon, Nicolas, for false teaching does not normally come from without the church, but it comes from within the church, and this deacon Nicolas was in a good position in the church to bring such false doctrine about.    


Revelation 2:7
:  

7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God .  

In this verse, we first read, He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches. A more literal translation reads, the one who has an ear, let him [or her] hear what the Spirit says unto the churches. Obviously, this is not a command for everyone who has a physical ear to listen to what the Spirit says unto the churches, but it is a command for everyone who has a spiritual ear to listen to what the Spirit says because everyone who simply has a physical ear is not capable of comprehending spiritual things. In fact, the natural unsaved man receives not the things of the Spirit as we read in 1Corinthians 2,   

14 But the natural man [the unsaved man] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned .   

So, when Christ commands the one who has an ear to hear what the Spirit says unto the churches, He is not commanding the natural unsaved man to hear what the Spirit says because the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, but He is commanding everyone who has a spiritual ear, which are all those who are spiritually saved, to hear what the Spirit says unto the churches because only they can actually comprehend what the Spirit says, for [they] have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that [they] might know the things that are freely given to [them] of God (1Corinthians 2:12).  

Now, our verse continues by saying, To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life. But who is he that overcomes? We read in 1John 5,  

1Jo 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith .
5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God ?

The one, then, who overcomes is the one who is born of God, which are all those who have been spiritually born from above. And, these have not been born of God or born from above (saved) by something that they have done, but by the gift of God as we read in Ephesians 2, 

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God :
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast .  

And, again, we read,  

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost . . . 

Therefore, when Christ says, To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, He means that all who have been born of God by His gift of eternal salvation will be given to eat of the tree of life.  

But, what is the tree of life? We read of the tree of life in Genesis 3, 

Ge 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever :
23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken .  

Notice that if Adam were to have then eaten of the tree of life, he would have lived forever. So, clearly, the tree of life is a picture of Jesus Christ because when we spiritually eat of Him through the gift of faith and belief in Him, we are given eternal life. Therefore, when our verse says, To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, it means that the one who overcomes by having been born of God, or saved, will be given to spiritually eat of the tree of life, namely Jesus Christ, which is to say that he will come to have faith or belief in Jesus Christ. In other words, everyone who overcame by having been spiritually and eternally saved will be given to believe in Jesus Christ. That is to say, first comes the overcoming by spiritual birth and salvation, and then comes the spiritual eating of Jesus Christ by believing in Him. So, we are not first saved by believing in Him, but we are first saved by the gift of salvation upon hearing the Word of God, and then comes the believing by being given to eat of the tree of life, which is the same as being given to believe in Jesus Christ.  

Now, finally, we are told that the tree of life, namely Jesus Christ, is in the midst of the paradise of God, and, right away, we wonder where this paradise of God is. When we look up this Greek word for paradise in the Bible, it is only found in three places. The key verse is what we find in Luke 23 where we read,    

Lu 23:43 And Jesus said unto him [the thief on the cross], Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise .  

That is, Jesus said to the thief on the cross that when you die today, you will see me in paradise. And, since we know that a saved person goes to heaven when they die, paradise must be in heaven.  


CONCLUSION 

We learned that Christ had many good things to say about the church of Ephesus. He said to them, I know your works, and your labor, and your patience. That is, he knew where they were being obedient and where they were not; that is, He knew their works. And, He knew their toil and hardship; that is, He knew their labor. And, He knew how enduring they were even amid all their trials and hardships; that is, He knew their patience. And, He even knew how they could not bear them which were evil so that they tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and had found them liars. They looked at how those self-proclaimed apostles lived, and they listened to their teachings very carefully in comparison to the Word of God, and they found them to be liars. This is similar to what we have found with those who teach that Christ died for our sins at or before the foundation of the world so that when Christ died on the cross in 33 AD, they say, He did not die for sins, but He was merely demonstrating what He had already accomplished at or before the foundation of the world. To this, we say, it is a false gospel. And, because we have found their demonstration gospel to be a false gospel and not just a false teaching, we have separated ourselves from them, for the scripture teaches that they are accursed, and we must come out from that which is accursed lest we find ourselves to be accursed as well. 

Now, Christ had more good things to say about the church of Ephesus. He said that they had borne, and had patience, and for Christ's name sake, they had labored and did not faint. They also hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which Christ also hated. That they had borne means that they had bared up or carried that which is a burden. And, that they had patience once again means that they had endurance through all their trials and hardships while remaining faithful. And, that for Christ's name sake, they labored and did not faint means that in order to be obedient to Christ, they toiled in trouble and hardship, and did not become weary. And, finally, that they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans means exactly that, that they hated what the Nicolaitans taught, and what they did, even as Christ also hated those things. Exactly what those things were, we cannot say with any certainty, but they may have been teaching that only spiritual things matter, and, therefore, what they did with their physical bodies was of no consequence including fornication and eating meat sacrificed to idols. Whatever the case, the church of Ephesus hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans, and Christ commended them for that.  

Yet, even though Christ had many good things to say about the church of Ephesus, they had one major flaw: they had left their first love, Jesus Christ, which prompted us to ask the question, is it possible that we also have left our first love? Are we still spending good time in prayer? Are we still spending good time in the reading and study of God's Word? Are we spreading the Word of judgment even as we once spread the word of salvation when leading up to May 21, 2011? Are we being careful to be obedient to everything that the Lord reveals to us through His Word? These are some of the questions that we must ask ourselves. And, if we fall short, we must do what Christ commanded the church of Ephesus to do, namely remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. And, we had learned that to remove our candlestick means that if we do not repent, Christ will remove Himself, the candle light, and the elect, the candlestick, from our midst so that we will be left in darkness. So, let's examine ourselves and change where we need to change by remembering from where we have fallen, if we have fallen, so that we not be found naked and blind in darkness on that Last Day. 

Now, finally, Christ ended His message to the church of Ephesus by saying this: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. By saying, He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches, He is commanding us, and all those in the church of Ephesus, who have spiritual ears to listen. And, by saying, To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God, He is saying that the one who overcomes; that is, the one who is born of God or saved, will be given to eat of the tree of life, which means the one who is born of God or saved will be given to believe in Jesus Christ. So, first comes the overcoming by the gift of eternal salvation, and then comes the eating of the tree of life, which is the believing in Jesus Christ who is in the midst of the paradise of God, which is in heaven. 


Now, may the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace .

1:16-20
2:1-7
2:8-11
2:12-17 
2:18-22 
2:23-29       

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