5. The message to each church: i. – The church at Ephesus
To (by/through) the angel (messenger) of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lamp-stands:  “I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance. I know that you cannot tolerate evildoers; you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false.  I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary.  But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.  Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lamp-stand from its place, unless you repent.  Yet this is to your credit: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.  Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who overcomes, I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God. (Rev 2:1-7 NRSV)
The City of Ephesus
Ephesus was a city of about two hundred thousand people. A major city with an outdoor theatre seating about twenty thousand people and pleasure centres frequented by the Roman emperors of the day. The wealthiest and greatest city of Roman Asia and known as the “Gateway of Asia” its fine marble buildings were renowned in the empire.. A Roman writer called it “Lumen Asiae” or “The Light of Asia.” It was a seaport and ships plying the waters of the I Mediterranean Sea frequented this fine anchorage. Travellers and goods from the east passed through the city. When Christians were shipped to Rome to be flung to the lions, Ephesus was the port of embarkation. Ignatius called it the Highway of the Martyrs. The city was best known in the ancient world for its sexual perversion. Many thousands of people came to the city for this purpose. The temple of the goddess Artemis/Diana was located in the city and every form of immorality was centred in the temple worship
Model of Temple of Artemis, Miniaturk Park, Istanbul, Turkey.
Sacred sex” was one of the prominent features of the cult of Diana. Ephesus was the city one went to make lust—everything was legal. The temple of Diana was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Inside the temple an altar stood in front of three velvet curtains concealed the image of Diana. An ancient figure of unknown origin, none could remember where it originated, sustaining the belief that it fell from heaven. Diana was not a beautiful woman, but a repulsive, dark, squat figure, covered with many breasts, each representing a different aspect of her character. Among other things she was the goddess of fertility and sex. Around her worshippers indulged in gross orgies. About her, day and night, unceasing music played and all that appealed to the senses was indulged. Some ten thousand girls and women called “holy women” who “united” male worshippers with their goddess. Male prostitutes and sodomites were available for the women and the effeminate. In the midst of such a city one of the assemblies of Christ shone as a light in a dark place.
The Mother Church
The first church Ephesus was the “mother church” for all the other assemblies in that part of Asia. The other six churches developed around the church at Ephesus. The letters that were sent to these churches customarily started at Ephesus and circulated from church to church.
And he went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when hearts were hardened, and believed not, but spoke evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. And this continued for the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. (Acts 19:8-10).
The churches encircled Ephesus. They were not a great distance from each other.. By the time the book of Revelation was written Paul was dead and John had become a spiritual elder travelling to the seven churches before being banished to the isle of Patmos. Amidst the afflictions of Patmos his heart would still have been in those churches.
The Seven Spirits of God.
Ministering to the seven churches is the oversight of the Son of God who has the seven spirits of God. The seven spirits are identified by the prophet Isaiah.
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. (Isa. 11:2).
In the symbolism of the Revelation there is a spirit that is the revelatory messenger of each church. The spirit is called an “angel,” messenger and reveals the word of the Lord to that church. To know which of the seven-spirit-star-angels is speaking in the exhortation to each church enhances understanding. Each of the seven spirits embracing each message represents an aspect of our growth and development into the fullness of Christ.
Angels in the book of Revelation are symbols representing the living word of God An angel came and showed things to John means that a word of the Lord came to John out of the heavenly realm of the Spirit, speaking mysteries to his heart/spirit and passing before his spiritual eyes visions of wonders to come.
He sent and signified it to His servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all that he saw. (Rev. 1:1-2).
The voice of the angel was a figure for the living word of God by the Spirit.
To paraphrase … . God says, “Now listen John I ‘m sending a word to the churches. It’s a word of my Spirit. It’s out of the seven-fold spirit of my own nature, mind, power, and glory. John—by the angel/my messenger who you know as the Holy Spirit write this word and send it to the churches.
The entire book of the revelation was written in the Spirit. John was in the Spirit when he received it, and he wrote it by the Spirit. This living word is not the word that you hear from human lips, or read from human writing. It’s not the word that falls on natural ear or physical eye. This word comes by the anointing , by the illumination of God—this is the word that enlightens your mind, penetrates into your spirit, transforms your life, and brings forth within you the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The revelation of Himself
These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lamp-stands. (Rev. 2:1).
I know … your works.
I know your works and your labour … . (Rev. 2:2).
I know … your patience.
I know … your patience. (Rev. 2:2).
Patience is mentioned twice. Having the stature of the mother church of all in Asia, with all the false doctrines of the Judaizers and Gnostics and a myriad others round about patience was needed. To try each one by the discernment of the Spirit and see what the doctrines were and what was in the hearts of these teachers exercised longsuffering/patience.
Similarly the Lord’s called out ones (ecclesia) today need patience concerning the work of God within. The Lord’s children are not innocent of such questioning as “O God, are we there yet? Haven’t we been through enough?
The three most common words heard among believers in time of trouble are: “Lord, do something.” It is so contrary to our nature as human beings to stand still and do nothing when we face perplexing trials.
Waiting patiently for God to act is a most difficult thing. How often the cry is “if you don’t act now, it will be too late.” But God is never too late. Mary and Martha experienced this when Lazarus died and was buried. God always acts—but not according to our schedule.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delights in his way. (Ps. 37:23).
The Hebrew word for “ordered”” means “prearranged, step by step, fixed, and ordained by God.” This means it is not the devil or some chance but often the Lord Himself who leads us into difficult places. Whenever God requires anything there is always a reason for it. Failure to attain to great heights in the Spirit may be an inability to see God’s purpose and loss of the faith to lay hold upon such heights in Him. His word is: “Will you be the one who does not panic—who will not charge God with forsaking, abandoning, and failing you? Will you stand still in your crisis and testing, leaning upon the faithfulness of our Father, trusting Him to reveal His power in you?”
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. (Ps. 37:7). “
But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. (Rom. 8:25).
Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Heb. 6:12).
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward. For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise. (Heb. 10:35-36).
Patience often fails when God does not seem to accomplish His work in our lives, in others, or in the earth as quickly as we think He should. Every disciple should understand that God does use delay as a process in the development of character and faith. Wait. Be patient. Every promise of God will be fulfilled in His appointed time, when every necessary preparation has been completed. God will finish His work and show forth His glory in his people. He will do it. He is doing it. The work of God within is setting the stage for God’s great tomorrow. Not one thing will fail of all that He has spoken.
Those who say they are apostles
You have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars. (Rev. 2:2).
The Apostle Paul is dead, Peter is gone, and John has only a few more years to live—he is the last of the twelve apostles—and already false apostles were rising up in the midst of the Lord’s people.
Typically false apostles tend to tell you they are apostles. The wording—”those who say they are apostles,” reveals something happening in their day that is characteristic of the church in every generation and age. In John’s day there was a great rising up of people who declared they were apostles and they were not.
Similarly today is also a time of false apostles, deceitful workers, assuming the guise of an apostle of Christ;
(2 Cor 11:13-15 NRSV) For such boasters are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So it is not strange if his ministers also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness. Their end will match their deeds.
Any preacher can come up with a unique twist of doctrine, an apparent gift of some kind, and using a liberal dose of personal charisma gain a following and start a little movement around themselves, imagining they are apostles.
The called of God have a divine obligation to investigate, scrutinize, and seek the Lord about everything that anyone teaches and in the Spirit and by the Spirit to observe the life of every minister of God. Never blindly follow any person’s words or ministry; particularly in regard to forms of worship and doctrine. Make sure of all things, search the scriptures personally and be led by the Holy Spirit within. The word of the Lord is sure to all who humbly and sincerely follow on to know Him.
If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. (Jn. 7:7).
You will know within yourself, by the anointing abiding in you. If you do not know the truth within yourself then you do not yet know the truth. When someone shares what they believe the Father is saying to them with you, there will be a witness of its veracity in your Spirit. Even if your conscious mind was not aware of this truth, you find that in the depths of your spirit you already knew. Unspoken, there will arise a thought of acceptance or rejection.
But the anointing which you have received of Him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in Him. (I Jn. 2:27).
You can trust the anointing within. It is the oracle of God within the spirit of every anointed son. Never violate the voice of God in your own spirit. God’s sons are not ruled over by those claiming position and power over the saints. The Father Himself loves anointed ones and shows Himself to them. Sharing can encourage and confirm one another in the word of God but there are no “popes” in the kingdom realm.
For the sake of my Name
The name is synonymous with the nature and nurturing of the nature of Christ within leads us on to higher realms of service. Paul spoke of a higher realm than that generally seen in the church of our day when he said,
Now thanks be to God, who always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place. For we are to God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. To the one we are the savour of death to death; and to the other the savour of life to life. (II Cor. 2:14-16).
God’s purpose is to “make manifest the savour (fragrance) of the knowledge of Christ in every place.” A person who seeks to be completely possessed by Christ and to walk in the Spirit of God can manifest such sweetness. Dependence on doctrines, forms, ways and methods makes known knowledge rather than the fragrance of being the knowledge.
The call to the over-comer is to be the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ. Flowing out from a committed life the fragrance becomes a teaching—men learn of Christ by seeing Him as He really is in those who are His body. Humankind will come to understand His heart, see His beauty, appreciate His ways and be captivated by His spirit through the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ emitted from those who are becoming over-comers.
This is a call to ministry on a higher level than usually known in the old-order church. God is calling for and has always called for an essence-ministry, the outflow of Christ from a people that have broken through all form into the spirit of the word and are equipped to breathe the breath of life into the souls of men.
The coming ministry of the man-child of God will not be like any of the church order ministries we have known. This ministry will have no need of organized meetings, buildings, pulpits, sermons, choirs, programs, baptisms, communions, worship services, pastors, apostles, organizations, promotions, or any thing known in the Pentecost age.
Jesus also had no need of such things for He was the essence of the Father in the earth—at all times, in all places, and in all power. He was the fragrance of the knowledge of God.
The love, compassion, and goodness of God from His life touched and transformed all that came under its power. It worked everywhere at all times. The fragrance flowed out of His life in the streets, in the homes, in the markets, in the fields, on the mountains, by the seashore, in synagogues and temple, at feasts, weddings, and funerals.
Similarly the coming man-child company will move by the essence-life of the Father and have no set form in which they move. Those who move in the higher order of manifest sonship and the kingdom will be like Jesus. A fragrance—nothing anyone can define and say, “I know how you operate in this realm, I know how it is done,” or, “I know what you believe.” Just an essence … a savour … like the wind.
This is the true nature of the name of the Lord.
Left Your First Love
Nevertheless I have something against you, because you have left your first love. (Rev. 2:4).
The saints in Ephesus had left their first love, and the One who walked in the midst was unrecognized and only dimly known. They were commended for great works yet under such excellence a falling away.
Losing first love first suggests a quality of love possessed in the beginning of a walk with the Lord that was set aside. The first joyous sensations of childhood and being born into the family of God is quickly forgotten and set aside if love fails to grow and mature. It is a mistake to believe that the immature love first experienced when coming to Christ is the full quality of love. Love grows, develops, increases, intensifies and deepens through the years. The young love of the spiritual child, untried love, immature love, romantic love is not the greatest love and not the love mentioned in the rebuke to the Ephesian church.
Going back to that more innocent time is not enough.
When Jesus uses the words “first love” He speaks of exclusive love—first place in our hearts above all other things. Christians in religious systems who are satisfied with merely an entrance into the family of God enjoying as children the blessings and wonderful benefits of God’s mercy, kindness, and goodness are blind to the higher purposes of God. But the new birth; the most astounding miracle of the ages is nevertheless the birth of a spiritual infant. There are many further steps that follow this birth.
Spiritual heavenly wealth, power, glory and usefulness is given to those who grow up into the fullness of Christ. In the family of God we may give ourselves to become either poor or rich in spiritual maturity. The choice is to remain as infants or by His grace to mature in wisdom and stature to become kings and priests upon the throne of the universe. The stronger the understanding in the Spirit of the high purposes of the heavenly Father the less is the desire to return to any stage of spiritual development or any hope that we had before.
The will of the Father becomes our first love. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus is our first love. The fullness of God himself is our first love.
To return to this love is the challenge to those in the Ephesian condition .The priority is not in doing all kinds of religious works, getting all kinds of worldly blessings, or in trying to convert the world by methods of man’s invention. The fullness of the righteousness and power and glory of God’s heavenly kingdom on earth, the image and likeness of Christ within, and our full stature and inheritance in Christ Jesus, is the supreme quest, the first and highest love of the overcoming life.
Remember … and repent.
Remember therefore from whence you are fallen, and repent … . (Rev. 1:5).
The call is to repent of having left or deserted their foremost love, or the love of the highest. The Greek word for repentance is metanoia meaning a change of mind.. A better rendering would be to take another mind. Change in the conceptions of the mind may bring another viewpoint with the possibility of being just as mistaken in the new opinion. To take another mind brings into being a new creature, one who cannot revert back to the old viewpoint or adopt another faulty reasoning out of the limited powers of the old mind. Repentance that takes another mind, a mind beyond us, is not simply a new decision of our old carnal mind. It means putting on the mind of Christ. There is to be no mixing of old leaven with the new bread.
Do the First Works
and do the first works. (Rev. 2:5).
The first works are like the first love—not the child like, immature, sometimes over zealous works of the enthusiastic new born but the principle works, the works of the highest order. These works are the works of faith and love given as we sit as individuals at His feet and submit in obedience to the Father working in our lives to bring us into the fullness of His purpose.
Love is one of the “first works”
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. And now abideth faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (I Cor. 13:1-3,13).
I will remove your Lamp-stand
or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your lamp-stand out of his place, unless you repent. (Rev. 2:5).
I will come in discipline, in correction; I will remove your lamp-stand and take it out of its place.” The lamp-stands are symbolic of saints in local assembly and we often observe this correction. Some seemingly strong assemblies of God’s people are often like the seasons; there for a while and then they are gone. They have great pomp and programs and activities, but they no longer have a deep and genuine walk in the Holy Spirit. To be religious zealots promoting grand programs is not enough. Disciples of Christ are to be shining ones illuminated by the Christ within. The purpose of a lamp-stand is to hold shining lamps.
(Mat 5:14-15 NIV) You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
The actual Ephesian church in Asia it seems never repented. The light went out. Later the darkness of Islam swept over the land. There remains nothing but the ruins of a once great city. The church from the corridors of which thousands proclaimed the greatness and the glory of the Christ of God, has gone.
Ephesus now is nothing but scattered shells and columns of once majestic and beautiful buildings. Nothing but heaps of stones and collapsing walls where the apostles Paul and John had stood and in the villages and cities nearby no church buildings is to be seen, only mosques. The epistle to the Ephesians is read the world over, but there is no believer in Ephesus. They did not repent; they did not stay focused on the “first love” and the “first works” the real purpose of God in their lives, The Ephesian pattern is a typical church and the Lord’s solemn warning applies to every person and movement that has the Ephesian spirit and character.
The Deeds of the Nicolaitanes
But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. (Rev. 2:6). “So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. (Rev. 2:15).
The Ephesians were commended because they hated the deeds/works of the Nicolaitanes. Later In Pergamos, the third church, these deeds had become accepted doctrine. History has not recorded the precise teachings of the Nicolaitanes however when a name appears in the scriptures its meaning sheds light upon the spiritual reality behind the name. The word comes from two Greek words: nikao, “to rule over or to conquer,” and laos, “the laity or the people.” These meanings convey the idea of a domineering ruling class within the body of Christ whose main agenda is to get the upper hand, to conquer, subordinate, and subdue those who they consider less gifted, less knowledgeable or less qualified than themselves.
This pattern did come to pass in the religious world in the development of “clergy” and “laity.” “Laity, lay person, and layman” are all derivatives from the Greek word laos. Clergy (Christian ministers?) came to be called the “reverends,” “doctors,” “pastors,” “teachers,” “evangelists,” “overseers,” “bishops,” “ministers,” “priests,” “superintendents,” and leaders,” Often termed “men of the cloth” they usually wear special attire as a means of identification and have appropriated in various ways titles, power, authority and lordship in the church. The church stopped being a family and became an audience.
A “caste system” of “clergy” and “laity” has developed which has been clearly repudiated by the Son of God.
You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men hold them in subjection; but it must not be so among you. On the contrary, whoever desires to be first among you must be your slave; and whosoever may desire to take rank among you, let him be your servant: just as the Son of man came not to be served, but to serve. You are not to be called teacher, for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth father, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. And you must not be called leaders, for you have one Leader, the Christ. He who is greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whosoever humbles himself shall be raised to honor. (Mat. 20:25-27; 23:8-12, Amplified and Ferrar Fenton).
Many churches or groups fail to observe these words of the Lord Jesus.
God has established a spiritual order for those who are in Christ. The order the Lord Jesus gave to his disciples. This order of the spirit of sonship has always surpassed the clergy substitutes, be they be bishops, pastors, priests, cardinals, popes, father or any other nicolaitane title. There “are” spiritual ministries in the body of Christ but they are servants, not leaders or rulers.
To be sons of the father is to have the spiritual ability to hear all the Lord says us and to know by personal experience of His fullness growing within. His called and chosen ones have no need to submit to the lordship of others hearing and acting for them. As brethren in the body of Christ they are to share the same mind, nature, life, and power and so admonish, encourage, confirm, and bless one another as each joint supplies. Only the head rules; one head and one leader, who is Christ dwelling within. This is worship in spirit and in truth.
Even before the apostles died, a spirit and a system had grown among the saints and many people were wearing the Babylon garment. Instituting rules and regulations, laying down laws, formulating creeds, observing days, establishing sacraments and ordinances and in elevating human government they became followers of men like Apollos, Cephas, and of many others. The babble had begun and the mysterious man of sin was raising his head. Soon began the setting themselves up as “bishops” and “lords” over God’s heritage in place of the Holy Spirit.
A group of leaders also rose up in the churches just about the time the first apostles were passing from the scene styled The Apostolic Fathers. Ignatius A.D.69 for example who was the second bishop of Antioch. A number of his letters to various churches; Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralles, Philadelphia, and Smyrna still exist. These letters and others of the “Apostolic Fathers” are illustrative of and give and emphasis to the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. An example follows.
Since, then, I received your whole congregation in God’s name in the person of Onesimus, a man of inexpressible love and your bishop, I beseech you by Jesus Christ to love him and, all of you, to be like him. For blessed is he who gives you the gift, worthy as you are, of obtaining such a bishop. Therefore it is fitting for you to run your race together with the bishop’s purpose—as you do. For your presbytery is attuned to the bishop like strings to a lyre. For if in a short time I had such fellowship with your bishop as was not human but spiritual, how much more blessed do I consider you who are mingled with him as the church is with Jesus Christ and as Jesus Christ is with the Father, so that all things are harmonious in unison. If the prayer of one or two has such power, how much more does that of the bishop and the whole church? Let us therefore be eager not to oppose the bishop, so that we may be subject to God. And the more anyone sees the bishop being silent, the more one should fear him. For everyone whom the master of a house sends for his stewardship, we must receive as the one who sent him. It is obvious, then, that one must look upon the bishop as the Lord Himself … obey the bishop and the presbytery with undisturbed mind.”
Instead of conquering by the power of the Spirit and Truth, as in the early days, men began to substitute their ideas and their methods. Soon the glory and power, the presence of God in the morning time church began to be eclipsed, and the power of carnal-minded men gradually took the place of the presence of God. Humankind’s carnal understanding interpreted the scriptures, and as the Spirit of Christ fled from their midst, men established a vast and elaborate system of substitutes to take the place of reality.
The true ministries in the body of Christ carry in them the nature of Christ, taking the way of the cross, going without the camp to bear reproach and shame because of what God has spoken into their heart. They seek no power over other men’s lives, no control, nothing for themselves. They do no works that the flesh can boast in, assume no title, no identification that the world recognizes. They build no kingdoms about them, establish no hierarchies, become living epistles of Christ, examples to the flock, and servants of all.
Made alive in Christ their fellowship one with another does not cease but their spiritual walks are individual paths, sovereignly directed by their heavenly Father.
The hierarchical structure of any/every church system inevitably grows into a structure that by its nature exercises a lordship over the souls of men. Bowing to a code of limited doctrines, worldly organization or hierarchical domination leads to a dogma dominated life and denial of the leadership of the Spirit in an individual’s pathway
He that has an ear
He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches … (Rev. 2:7).
To eat of the Tree of Life
To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Rev. 2:7).
The promise given of eating of the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God does not mean that the overcomer will live in an earthly paradise. The paradise of God is not a physical place. It is a higher state of being in the heavens of God’s Spirit. A Garden of Eden form of life, living in the presence of God, eating of the incorruptible life of God, living above sin, sickness, fear, limitation, pain and death, as master and lord over all things. This is a garden within a garden, man both in a state of being and in an environment of the holy. In such a paradise the overcomer will eat of the tree of Life.
The tree of life was in the midst of the first paradise. Humankind was banished and shut away from the blessings of that tree. It is mentioned three times in Genesis and three times in the Revelation. The story ends as it began—with a perfect Eden life and state of being. All the tangled threads of prophecy, prose, poetry, history, type, shadow, and promise find their fulfilment and consummation in the last book of the Bible—”The Revelation.”
The tree of life is mentioned very simply in the opening chapters of Genesis. It was in the middle .
(Gen 2:9 NIV) And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground–trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God, the source of life is in the middle. In the midst of Adam’s garden world which he was given dominion was the tree of God’s eternal and incorruptible life. Man was created with the capacity of living by Spirit or walking after the flesh. He was free to eat of the tree of life, or to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. One of man’s created potentials was to know God in the Spirit as the centre and source of his life in contrast another was to know self as the centre and source of his life.
With God as his centre man can have Life. The tree of death also stands in the middle of man’s nature. Man can make the world, the outer physical realm, his bodily senses and appetites, his centre. Death and the law of sin and death governs its function. Jesus understood this principle..
There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evils come from within, and defile the man. (Mk. 7:15,21-23).
Life and death are in the middle. Two trees are in the midst of the garden of man’s experience and being.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life … . (Rom. 8:5-6).
Two minds—in the middle.
By the two trees of life and death in man’s middle boundaries are set. The tree of death, the carnal mind and the realm of the flesh can carry humankind down to the realm of darkness containing every sorrow, tragedy, pain, trouble, sickness, hatred, strife, heartache, ignorance, fear, and torment known, or up to the eternal and incorruptible life of God.
For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live” “Rom. 8:13).
This I say then, Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. (Gal. 5:16).
The tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God is “in the world” but not “of the world.” The life of this tree is within man, the life of God in his spirit and man’s spirit is not of this world, not formed of the dust of the ground, but breathed into his nostrils by the Father of spirits. “God breathed into his nostrils the spirit (Heb.) of life.” The glorious life of Christ on earth is the essence and reality of the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God. This tree of life within man had nothing to do with the realm of earthiness of man’s soul and body, for it is heaven’s own divine life breathed into humankind. In the tree of life God invites man to find Him as the source and centre of life.
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A better term than “make love” which is freely used even today to describe such behaviour.
The word “angelos”from which angel is derived is more correctly messenger. Certainly not some fanciful being with wings. They are spiritual beings not birds.
A domain or reality uf a different sort.A different dimension of existence. Not of this cosmos.
1. The act of applying oil or an oily liquid
1. Choose by or as if by divine intervention
2. Administer an oil or ointment to ; often in a religious ceremony of blessing
The “one man band” concept is not correct. Elders (plural” have the oversight of the church. NEVER one man
1. An authoritative person who divines the future
2. A prophecy (usually obscure or allegorical) revealed by a priest or priestess; believed to be infallible
3. A shrine where an oracular god is consulted
4. A person considered to be a source of great authority
Revive or gain pleasure from, a fragrance, pleasurable taste
Removal of the anointing, a departure of the Holy Spirit.
Ceremonials, display ands splendour
A fervent proponent of something
Before the time of electric railway-crossing gates an old fellow was in charge of one particular crossing. Sitting in his little cabin at night, dozing, he would sometimes hear the rattle of the tracks in the distance. He would then quickly grab his lantern from the wall and run out into the night to warn any cars that a train was coming. But one time he had waited a little too long. Headlights were already coming up the road and the train was fast approaching. Hurriedly he ran down the highway, swinging the lantern in a wide arc back and forth, screaming, “Stop. Stop.” At the last minute, he jumped out of the way of the car as it raced past him and smashed into the freight train. When the authorities put the old fellow on trial for negligence, his astute railroad lawyers proved beyond doubt that the young people in the car had been drinking and that the old gentleman was respected in the community and considered trustworthy. He would probably have gotten off, but the prosecuting lawyer happened to ask the old man in an unguarded moment, “In your hurry, old timer, did you think to light the lantern?”
Swinging the lantern is not enough—there must be a light. Ringing bells, singing hymns, clapping hands, preaching sermons, performing ordinances, having outreaches, is not enough—there must be spiritual light in the lamp-stand.
Shining ones are able to say to any and all “I am the light of the world”
The removal of the lamp-stand means the snuffing out of the light. It means the lifting of the anointing. It means the fleeing of the presence of God. It means the cloud will move on, while the people remain in the wilderness. It means the people will still be carrying on, singing their songs, clapping their hands, preaching their sermons, promoting their programs, doing their works, going through the motions like a robot—but there is no Life. The glory departs from such church systems of men if the spiritual light of Christ has gone out, the once glorious works of the Spirit have been removed, and God has moved on. How many lamp-stands have been removed from our communities, towns, cities and the people do not even realize it? The people may still gather together week after week, polishing their lamps in the darkness of their carnality, they do not realize that the light is missing. A lot of excitement, a lot of emotion, a lot of zeal, a lot of promotion and activity, and a lot of beautiful music emanating from church groups all across the land, yet it may well be that the Lord has removed their lamp-stand—they are no longer the true spiritual Light of Christ in the world. Having a form of godliness, they deny within themselves the power of the Spirit. These assemblies may cry out to the world to repent and believe the gospel but the living Christ is crying out them to repent.
No member of the Ecclesia should have a title.
The man is a plurality.
Man seeks by the wisdom of the carnal mind and by fleshly means to protect and control the moving of God—supposedly to keep it pure, to safeguard it, to preserve and maintain the status quo, and to keep out all who are not worthy. As soon as man puts his hand to the move, the Spirit flees, the anointing lifts, and the glory departs. Soon there is no life anymore—everything becomes organized, structured, controlled, systematized, just a going through the motions of what was once a beautiful flow of life and light and power.
NEVER because our church say so, I will believe it. Doing this is accepting the Nicolaiatin doctrine. Jesus hates this behaviour..
Such walking out your spiritual life under the domination of Nicolaitanism is the repudiation of the liberty and power of the Spirit of God within. Any control from the pulpit, from structured programs, orchestrated worship, and formulated creeds are the cataracts of spiritual vision. They make you blind to the on-going purposes of God and the unfolding glory of God. Yielding to their authority is the numbing of the mind of Christ within you. It is your acceptance of serfdom and you will never move beyond the little patch of salvation that they control.
Unsubstantiated teachings. Blindly accepted instruction.