Reading through Revelation, Chapter 2:1-7 – Ephesus

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, 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.

21 thoughts on “Reading through Revelation, Chapter 2:1-7 – Ephesus

  1. Maria, Oh, I know exactly what it means to “have left thy first love,” even more so than these saints at Ephesus. I walked away from the Lord for many years after becoming embittered with our first church. Soooo dumb of me, but I praise the Lord for His mercy and patience! RE: Your new profile pic, say Hi to Greta for me!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Maria, the great thing about this His words to us here is that they do convict us in order to turn us back. Satan I believe uses the cares of this world to attempt his deception and robbery of our gifts from God. Not that our love for Him is a gift, because it is the only thing that we have to offer Him that is truly of ourselves. Peter lovest Thou me? Our faith is a gift that if he Satan is effective in tainting in any way it impacts our only true offering back to our Lord — our love. Love the Lord with all your heart, mind and Soul and love your neighbor as yourself. The only command that is ours to keep we so often fail in. Thank you Lord for your mercy and grace for we can only depend on you to make us right before you. Sorry for rambling but I think He cherishes our Love.
    Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.
    John 14:23-24
    We can know that we love Him if we love His word enough to be true to it. He is the Word made flesh. We have no righteousness of our own to offer Him. Just our love. I love you guys who post His word. and I know that you love His word, you love Him. Sorry I’m so windy.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. We have the spirit of the Nicolaitans today to contend with. From the Gnostics to the Roman Catholic Church there is an unbroken spirit of the Nicolaitan.

    On meats sacrificed to idols, I believe the commentators believe it is wrong due to a wrong interpretation of Acts 15:20, 29. If they are correct then 1 Corinthians 8 is wrong to heed. There are interpretations that read “things” instead of “meats” which has no contradiction with 1 Corinthians 8. And with that interpretation it convicts us of celebrating pagan days that the Roman Catholic Church illegally christianized (which is an oxymoron-Christo-paganism).

    So glad to be back online, Maria! Love you! God bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Maria my friend, God bless you and Tom, and good ole Greta.

    I believe you are a Christian that God loves very much, and I believe that your continued striving to pursue scriptural knowledge is commendable.

    I believe you did a fine job in your analysis of those verses.
    And may I tell you, I enjoy reading what you think scripture means, more than those experts you cited.

    So how did that church lose it’s first love? I don’t know any more than you do. But my feeling is that it may mean a love for Jesus that diminished and was replaced by a cold doctrine oriented body. (I’m not knocking doctrine; doctrine is vital). But I think ya know what I’m trying to say.

    As to the nicolaitans, the most frequent explanation of them that I’ve heard is this…People-Crushers – Nicolatianism – a Greek word from two words, ‘nicos’ meaning ‘ conqueror’, and ‘laos’ meaning ‘ordinary people’.  (That was a quote that I pasted from Google).

    Oh, I almost forgot, the title of your post says Revelation 3, but the text is from Revelation 2.

    Anyhoo, I thank you for your kindness, and keep loving the Lord sister!☺

    Liked by 2 people

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