Reading through Revelation, Chapter 2:1-7



Revelation 2:1-7

1599 Geneva Bible

The Revelation of Saint John the Apostle

1 John is commanded to write those things which the Lord knew necessary to the Churches of Ephesus.

Unto the Angel of the Church of Ephesus write, These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, and walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.

I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear with them which are evil, and hast examined them which say they are Apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.

And thou wast burdened, and hast patience, and for my Name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.

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

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works: or else I will come against thee shortly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou amend.

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

Let him that hath an ear hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches: To him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.


my two cents 

What does it mean to “have left thy first love”? This has puzzled and convicted me. To ‘have left’ is an action that was taken. Is it to abandon our initial all-consuming love for the Lord, His Word, and fellowship with other Christians? These go together, brethren. Please correct me, if correction is needed! 


Most Christians probably wonder who the Nicolaitans were, so to better understand them, I’ve included two helps: one from Matthew Henry’s Commentary at Biblegateway.com, and the other from Bible Study Tools: 

The Nicolaitans were a loose sect who sheltered themselves under the name of Christianity. They held hateful doctrines, and they were guilty of hateful deeds, hateful to Christ and to all true Christians; and it is mentioned to the praise of the church of Ephesus that they had a just zeal and abhorrence of those wicked doctrines and practices. An indifference of spirit between truth and error, good and evil, may be called charity and meekness, but it is not pleasing to Christ. Our Saviour subjoins [appends] this kind commendation to his severe threatening, to make the advice more effectual.

Smith’s Bible Dictionary at Bible Study Tools:

Nicolaitans (followers of Nicolas), a sect mentioned in (Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:15) whose deeds were strongly condemned. They may have been identical with those who held the doctrine of Balaam. They seem to have held that it was lawful to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication, in opposition to the decree of the Church rendered in (Acts 15:20; Acts 15:29). The teachers of the Church branded them with a name which expressed their true character. The men who did and taught such things were followers of Balaam. (2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11) They, like the false prophet of Pethor, united brave words with evil deeds. In a time of persecution, when the eating or not eating of things sacrificed to idols was more than ever a crucial test of faithfulness, they persuaded men more than ever that was a thing indifferent. (Revelation 2:13; Revelation 2:14) This was bad enough, but there was a yet worse evil. Mingling themselves in the orgies of idolatrous feasts, they brought the impurities of those feasts into the meetings of the Christian Church. And all this was done, it must be remembered not simply as an indulgence of appetite: but as a part of a system, supported by a “doctrine,” accompanied by the boast of a prophetic illumination, (2 Peter 2:1) It confirms the view which has been taken of their character to find that stress is laid in the first instance on the “deeds” of the Nicolaitans. To hate those deeds is a sign of life in a Church that otherwise is weak and faithless. (Revelation 2:6) To tolerate them is well nigh to forfeit the glory of having been faithful under persecution. (Revelation 2:14; Revelation 2:15)

EPHESUS (Ephesos, “desirable”) was one of the two most important cities of Asia Minor, Smyrna being the other.

Street scene at the archeological exacavations at Ephesus. Ephesus (Ancient Greek Ἔφεσος, Turkish Efes) was an ancient Greek city on the west coast of Anatolia, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey.Street scene at the archeological excavations at Ephesus.


Reading through Revelation, 2

 



Revelation 1

1599 Geneva Bible

The Revelation of Saint John the Apostle

1 12 Then the mystery of the seven Candlesticks and stars, 20 is expounded.

I John even your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the Isle called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the witnessing of Jesus Christ.

10 And I was ravished in spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as it had been of a trumpet,

11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, that first and that last: and that which thou seest write in a book, and send it unto the seven Churches which are in Asia, unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

12 Then I turned back to see the voice that spake with me: and when I was turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks,

13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks, one like unto the son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girded about the paps with a golden girdle.

14 His head and hairs were white as white wool, and as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire,

15 And his feet like unto fine brass burning as in a furnace: and his voice as the sound of many waters.

16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword, and his face shone as the sun shineth in his strength.

17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead: then he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not: I am that first and that last,

18 And am alive, but I was dead: and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen: and I have the keys of hell and of death.

19 Write these things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall come hereafter.

20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks, is this, The seven stars are the Angels of the seven Churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest, are the seven Churches.

Chiliomodi island in Patmos, Greece, photo by Waldviertler


 

Reading through Revelation


Revelation 1

1599 Geneva Bible

The Revelation of Saint John the Apostle

2 He declareth what kind of doctrine is here handled, 8 even his that is the beginning and ending.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly be done: which he sent, and showed by his Angel unto his servant John,

Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

John to the seven Churches which are in Asia, Grace be with you, and peace from him, Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come, and from the seven Spirits which are before his Throne,

And from Jesus Christ which is that  faithful witness, and that first begotten of the dead, and that Prince of the Kings of the earth, unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his blood,

And made us Kings and Priests unto God even his Father, to him, I say, be glory, and dominion for evermore, Amen.

Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him: yea, even they which pierced him through: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail before him, Even so, Amen.

8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come, even the Almighty.


Geneva BIBLE

Photo: Hi540, Wikipedia


 

A word in season – the Apostle John


 

Revelation 18

AKJV

18 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. 7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. 8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.


The Bible – Inspired, whatever the language!

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A Bible study

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Revelation 5:8-10

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”


Like many Catholic schoolgirls, I had to learn to speak and read at least a little French. Lately I’ve been trying to learn again, and even had the joy of reading short passages of the Word of God (La Parole de Dieu) in French. At Béréenne Attitude (Berean Attitude) in a post entitled “The Bible, a sacred book!” (La Bible, un livre sacré!), I found a link to the incredibly informative list about the Canon found below. 

In relearning what I’ve lost, there have been places to go for help. Here is an example of the simple kind of work I did to truly grasp Béréenne Attitude’s post. I’m grateful for the help of Google Translate, for one thing, which corrects or teaches me, as here, in how to correctly translate the title of the post:

<< La Bible, un livre sacré! >>

“The Bible, a sacred book!”

I didn’t have trouble grasping the simple French but I didn’t know if this should be translated ‘sacred’ or ‘holy’. What fun, but serious (sérieuse) too!

Here is a quote from this post in which the link was found. It states what we always affirm with joy, that the Bible that has come to us is worthy of all trust:

<< Ces listes englobent toutes à peu près les mêmes livres. >>

“These lists include nearly all the same books.”

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Ancient Canon Lists


“These are the fountains
of salvation, that he who
thirsts may be satisfied
with the living words
they contain. In these
alone the teaching of
godliness is proclaimed.
Let no one add to these;
let nothing be taken
away from them. For
concerning these the
Lord put to shame the
Sadducees, and said, Ye
do err, not knowing the
Scriptures.”

Athanasius

  1. The Muratorian Fragment (c. 170).
  2. Melito (c. 170).
  3. Origen (c. 240).
  4. Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 324).
  5. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 350).
  6. Hilary of Poitiers (c. 360).
  7. The Cheltenham List (c. 360).
  8. Council of Laodicea (c. 363).
  9. Letter of Athanasius (367).
  10. Gregory of Nazianzus (c. 380).
  11. Amphilocius of Iconium (c. 380).
  12. The “Apostolic Canons” (c. 380).
  13. Epiphanius (c. 385).
  14. Jerome (c. 390).
  15. Augustine (c. 397).
  16. Third Council of Carthage (397).
  17. Rufinus of Aquileia (c. 400).
  18. Codex Claromontanus (c. 400).
  19. Letter of Innocent I (405).
  20. Decree of Gelasius (c. 550).
  21. Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae (c. 550).
  22. John of Damascus (c. 730).
  23. Others

SOURCE: Bible Research | Internet Resources for Students of Scripture