All of it is meant for all of us.
When the Lord wrote to the churches he spoke of correction and to return to the truth. He told them of their strengths, and their weaknesses and what they needed to repent of and get back to His teachings. And not a one of the things he said was for them to interpret the end times better. Why is that? Could it be because they all knew they were already in the days of great tribulation He forewarned them of? It appears they already knew that and the Lord was showing them to not be deceived and return to His truth and their mission and how to overcome the trials they faced.
He did not tell them to go back to figuring out the end he told them how to be in the present, in their lives and their mission.
When the Lord wrote to the church of Ephesus, he said, Revelation 2:2-7, “2 I know thy works, and thy labour, 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 laboured, 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 hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.”7 He that hath an ear, let him 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.
The Lord acknowledged that they did discern who was of God and who was not and was patient and continued to labor in the truth… but he said they left their first love. Which he never clarified directly… but he knew they knew for he 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.” And that was it. Short and sweet.
So what was their FIRST LOVE?
Matthew Henry in his commentary written in 1708–10, says that removing thy candlestick means He will unchurch them, take away his gospel, his ministers, and his ordinances from them, and what will the church and its ministers do if the gospel is removed? So thy must repent and return to their first love. Which makes sense to mean the two commandments the Lord told us that if we do those, we will have done them all. Which were to love God with all of our heart, mind, strength and soul, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. That is the first love. That is the mission to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. Love is the keys to the kingdom.
Now in repenting one must go back and look at oneself to where they got off onto the wrong track and see what that was and retrace how they got to this state of having fallen. The clue for us here is they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans which Jesus also hated. So who exactly were the Nicolaitans and what exactly were their deeds? (stay with me here… and you will see how this all pertains to each one of us this very day, as it did to the first followers of the way of the Lord and has to all generations.)
The Nicolaitans are only mentioned twice in the Bible and many are uncertain as to what that pertains to and many believe that type of thing is long gone. Whereas it is yet alive and well in the church this very day.
Matthew Henry describes the Nicolaitans and interprets the meaning to the church at Ephesus this way: “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 this kind commendation to his severe threatening, to make the advice more effectual.”
This to me, sounds like he is pointing out we are to love the sinner and hate the sin and there is a thin line in all of that discernment… of which the first love undoubtedly was empathy for the sinner who knew not what he has done and over time… the zeal for doing what was good and hating evil had tainted the whole ministry to the point the focus was on judgement of the sins and little compassion for the sinner.
But there is much more. Are Gnosticism and Nicolaitan teachings the same?
Gnosticism is a term that refers to schools of philosophy that combined Christian ideas of redemption through Christ with other sources of speculation and mysticism. Gnosticism claimed to have a secret knowledge (gnosis) that revealed the way to salvation. Gnosticism was not based on the full Christian doctrine, but on a distorted view of Christ and his role as the redeemer. Mixing philosophy with the words of Jesus… the same as modern day psychologists present their views on the Christian religion. The ego of man wants to somehow believe they are above Christ and can find their way through cosmology principles. Pyschology is the modern day version of philosophy. Both are driven by intellect and dissecting how man thinks. And the ancient art of mind control of the masses.
Oh they have it all figured out…just ask Peterson… and his ARC fellows. These sorts lay both God and Jesus, as well as their flocks who follow them, on their couch and analyze them like a patient who needs their therapy. Deciding through their own foolishness what is in their mind and what made them act out on their thoughts, as though they will teach both God and Jesus (as one together) something about themselves? In this process they truly desire to enlighten all of God’s children into their way of thinking. You see the modern version of…“Knowledge is power my dear, you shall not surely die. You will learn to live life to the fullest in this world in which you were born. Come… listen to our words of wisdom.”
And in their new found Gnostic Nicolaitan enlightenment they have deemed themselves worthy to lead the masses to their ARC which is their own version of an alliance of responsible citizenship. So we went from the Word of God to an ARC of responsible citizenship, to the god of the lizard people which is climate change responsibly. Of which, I am sure this is a thing that God hates.
Church Life after Ephesus….
Whereas, the Nicolaitans combined pagan gods and practices into the words of God, Constantine the Great’s new religion that he united for himself at the council of Nicea in 325 A.D., slyly blended religious practices of Sun Worship and Roman gods into the Christian teachings of the Old and New Testament, which included worshipping to statues of saints. While we are told the first “Pope” was the disciple Peter which he was no such thing (Peter never kept Sunday/Easter/Christmas nor did he believe in a Trinity God) it was actually Emperor Constantine who decreed the pagan holidays as holy and also gave himself the title “Pontifex Maximus”, which literally means “High Priest” of the sun god Zeus/Apollo (Greek incarnations of Nimrod/Tammuz). He continued his warring to bring all the followers of the way into his fold. Which was now the new religious way of the western Christian world by his decree.
Throughout the centuries of Rome’s existence, the popes have regularly claimed to be divine and hold the position of God on Earth, and ability to judge and excommunicate angels. Read: 83592 (interamerica.org)
Gnosticism and the Nicolaitans are one and the same…
When all is reviewed and clearly discerned, they are both one and the same. The work of Richard T. Ritenbuagh is valuable in understanding this subject. He has researched and written much on this topic. Here are some key excerpts that can help us form a better understanding of what it is. “Both Irenaeus (Against Heresies and Clement of Alexandria consider Nicolas of Antioch to be the founder of the Gnostic sect known as the Nicolaitans. Another early writer, Hippolytus, adds that Nicolas “departed from sound doctrine, and was in the habit of inculcating indifferency of both life and food” (Refutation of All Heresies, 7.24), meaning he taught the Gnostic belief of the irrelevance of physical things. This reinforces Clement’s claim that Nicolas became an ascetic and that his followers later perverted his teachings to encompass idolatry and immorality, becoming what we know as Nicolaitans.
“From this information, we can hypothesize the evolution of Nicolaitanism. Roman church historian Eusebius writes that Nicolas himself was a moral man (Ecclesiastical History, 3.29). Though sincere and devout, he came to believe that the only way to grow spiritually was to consider his body and its desires as unimportant. In this way, he could ignore them in favor of spiritual pursuits. His fundamental doctrine appears to have been “the flesh must be treated with contempt.”
“Over the years, however, this teaching took on a more Gnostic spin: Since the flesh is unimportant, even contemptible, what one does in the flesh is of no consequence. Spiritual life, growth, and ultimately salvation occur in the soul, and since God is spirit, He has no regard for the flesh. Therefore, Nicolaitans reasoned, what does it matter if one satisfies the flesh’s desires? At some point in its early history, then, Nicolaitanism evolved from an ascetic philosophy to a licentious one—one that Christ says He hates.” Richard T. Ritenbaugh, from “Nicolaitanism Today”.
Ritenbaugh’s research and work gives us a Biblical account of the times and the scriptures that pertained to the letters of corrections Paul wrote to the early churches who were striving with this real issue. The struggle to keep the pagan god practices, and philosophic Hellenistic views out of the teachings of Jesus.
“Gnosticism – mixing pagan mystical beliefs and man’s philosophical speculation with the word of God. Nicolaitans… teaching pagan beliefs with the word of God. Both intertwined with paganism and using the teachings of Jesus as the keystone of their false teachings. An abomination and the thing Jesus hates. Gnosticism is the teachings of the practices of Nicolas… and called the teachings of the Nicolaitans.” Read More: What the Bible says about Gnosticism (bibletools.org)
What Does Being Gnostic MEAN In Our CONSUMER CULTURE? | Philosophy feat. This is modern day gnostism. Alive and well and being used by lizard people who desire their RESET.
Gnostic teachings include ancient pagan Baal religious ideas of the Lord of the world…. with teachings such as “Lucifer; Yaldabaoth (which is Saturn) and his six sons were rebels and wanted to establish a kingdom against God, the reason why you have this God in the first place is because it is the son of goddess Sophia who resembles regenerative wisdom”. All of this is a mocking of God and Creation. It is the thing God hates.
Manly P Hall, 33 degree mason, writes in his book, “The Wisdom of the Knowing Ones: Gnosticism: the Key to Esoteric Christianity”:
“Sophia Achamoth, the generative wisdom of the world was lured into the abyss by beholding her reflection in the deep. Through union with the darkness, she gave birth to a son – Laldabaoth, the child of chaos and the egg. Sophia Achamoth, being herself a spiritual nature, suffered horribly from her contact with matter, and after an extraordinary struggle, she escaped out of the muddy chaos which had threatened to swallow her up”. Manly P. Hall – Freemason and Philosopher | Freemason Information
Which bring us to the reality that this is the very same evil we are fighting today and what we need to remember in our going forward.
Whereas in these days where we are learning to discern all things, it is easy to begin to make a list of not only the bad things being done and hating those things, but also adding the sinner to the list as America’s most hated, almost even more than the sin itself. In that action, we miss the entire message of Christ to hate the sin but love the sinner:
Jude: 1:17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
There is a strong message here TO KEEP OURSELVES IN THE LOVE OF GOD AND HAVING COMPASSION, MAKING A DIFFERENCE...OTHERS SAVE WITH FEAR, PULLING THEM OUT OF THE FIRE, HATING EVEN THE GARMENT SPOTTED BY THE FLESH. In other words love the sinner and not the sin. This is our first love and the message we must glean from the Words of our Lord to the churches.
We have many interpretations of the letters to the churches and most of them are intellectually determined and in so doing the greater message is lost. That message today is so misconstrued there are over 40,000 Christian denominations and confusion among God’s people that has caused much strife and bitterness and the focus is on who has interpreted the mysteries of the prophets the way that is right and the first love has been abandoned by man- made doctrines and interpretations that divide. There are no pastors if any that will say…yes I am the church spoken of in Revelation that has gone astray and left my first love… and no one wants to be several of these… most all claim we are as the church of Philadelphia which was the church that got the most right among the candlesticks.
The Church in Philadelphia. (A.D.95.)
Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Of the church of Philadelphia , Matthew Henry has this to say:
II. The subject-matter of this epistle, where,
1. Christ puts them in mind of what he had done for them: I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it, v. 8. I have set it open, and kept it open, though there be many adversaries. Learn here, (1.) Christ is to be acknowledged as the author of all the liberty and opportunity his churches enjoy. (2.) He takes notice and keeps account, how long he has preserved their spiritual liberties and privileges for them. (3.) Wicked men envy the people of God their door of liberty, and would be glad to shut it against them. (4.) If we do not provoke Christ to shut this door against us, men cannot do it.
2. This church is commended: Thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name, v. 8. In this there seems to be couched a gentle reproof: “Thou hast a little strength, a little grace, which, though it be not proportionate to the wide door of opportunity which I have opened to thee, yet is true grace, and has kept thee faithful.” True grace, though weak, has the divine approbation; but, though Christ accepts a little strength, yet believers should not rest satisfied in a little, but should strive to grow in grace, to be strong in faith, giving glory to God. True grace, though weak, will do more than the greatest gifts or highest degrees of common grace, for it will enable the Christian to keep the word of Christ, and not to deny his name. Obedience, fidelity, and a free confession of the name of Christ, are the fruits of true grace, and are pleasing to Christ as such.
3. Here is a promise of the great favour God would bestow on this church, v. 9, 10. This favour consists in two things:—
(1.) Christ would make this church’s enemies subject to her. [1.] Those enemies are described to be such as said they were Jews, but lied in saying so—pretended to be the only and peculiar people of God, but were really the synagogue of Satan. Assemblies that worship God in spirit and in truth are the Israel of God; assemblies that either worship false gods, or the true God in a false manner, are the synagogues of Satan: though they may profess to be the only people of God, their profession is a lie. [2.] Their subjection to the church is described: They shall worship at thy feet; not pay a religious and divine honour to the church itself, nor to the ministry of it, but shall be convinced that they have been in the wrong, that this church is in the right and is beloved of Christ, and they shall desire to be taken into communion with her and that they may worship the same God after the same manner. How shall this great change be wrought? By the power of God upon the hearts of his enemies, and by signal discoveries of his peculiar favour to his church: They shall know that I have loved thee. Observe, First, The greatest honour and happiness any church can enjoy consist in the peculiar love and favour of Christ. Secondly, Christ can discover this his favour to his people in such a manner that their very enemies shall see it, and be forced to acknowledge it.
Thirdly, This will, by the grace of Christ, soften the hearts of their enemies, and make them desirous to be admitted into communion with them.
(2.) Another instance of favour that Christ promises to this church is persevering grace in the most trying times (v. 10), and this as the reward of their past fidelity. To him that hath shall be given. Here observe, [1.] The gospel of Christ is the word of his patience. It is the fruit of the patience of God to a sinful world; it sets before men the exemplary patience of Christ in all his sufferings for men; it calls those that receive it to the exercise of patience in conformity to Christ. [2.] This gospel should be carefully kept by all that enjoy it; they must keep up to the faith, and practice, and worship prescribed in the gospel. [3.] After a day of patience we must expect an hour of temptation; a day of gospel peace and liberty is a day of God’s patience, and it is seldom so well improved as it should be and therefore it is often followed by an hour of trial and temptation. [4.] Sometimes the trial is more general and universal; it comes upon all the world, and, when it is so general, it is usually the shorter. [5.] Those who keep the gospel in a time of peace shall be kept by Christ in an hour of temptation. By keeping the gospel they are prepared for the trial; and the same divine grace that has made them fruitful in times of peace will make them faithful in times of persecution.
That being said, Matthew Henry gives an account of understanding regarding the candlesticks. He states in his commentary concerning Ephesus and to all the churches, the following:
“II. We have the conclusion of this epistle, in which, as in those that follow, we have,
“1. A call to attention: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Observe, (1.) What is written in the scriptures is spoken by the Spirit of God. (2.) What is said to one church concerns all the churches, in every place and age. (3.) We can never employ our faculty of hearing better than in hearkening to the word of God: and we deserve to lose it if we do not employ it to this purpose. Those who will not hear the call of God now will wish at length they had never had a capacity of hearing any thing at all.
2. A promise of great mercy to those who overcome. The Christian life is a warfare against sin, Satan, the world, and the flesh. It is not enough that we engage in this warfare, but we must pursue it to the end, we must never yield to our spiritual enemies, but fight the good fight, till we gain the victory, as all persevering Christians shall do; and the warfare and victory shall have a glorious triumph and reward. That which is here promised to the victors is that they shall eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God. They shall have that perfection of holiness, and that confirmation therein, which Adam would have had if he had gone well through the course of his trial: he would then have eaten of the tree of life which was in the midst of paradise, and this would have been the sacrament of confirmation to him in his holy and happy state; so all who persevere in their Christian trial and warfare shall derive from Christ, as the tree of life, perfection and confirmation in holiness and happiness in the paradise of God; not in the earthly paradise, but the heavenly, ch. 22 1, 2. Read: Revelation 2 Commentary – Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete) (biblestudytools.com)
So one of the most important scriptures to all of God’s people are those found in the letters to the churches. For it is within these corrections that we find what God loves in us and what we need to work on… as well as what things God hates.
In this war between good and evil we are not unique in the year 2023. We are not the first generation to have such wickedness befall us. We are the first to see such evil acts with technology since the recorded time of our days after the flood, but not the first to see the tortures of believers and tyranny of man over the people. And not the first to see how religion has been used to head the tyrannical rule.
We fool only ourselves if we believe the cunning sorcery is anything new… and to think that today’s tribulation is far worse than the tribulation of those at any other time in history of evil tyrannical rule out to kill, steal and destroy we fool ourselves. For did not the Lord God destroy the entire world in a flood? Did not the Lord God bring fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah and char it to ashes? Did not Lot’s wife look back and turn to a pillar of salt? Did not the entire city of Jerusalem get wiped out by the Romans and no one left to bury the dead in 70 A.D.? Did not Nero delight in burning Christians at the stake to light his parties? Did Nero not delight in torturing Christians in all sorts of horrific ways in the Circus Maximus? Did we not have a dark age where no one was allowed to own a Bible nor read a scripture? Where Christians were tortured and burned at the stake for believing in the Lord and not bowing to the papacy?
Do we not yet have human and child trafficking and children being tortured to harvest their adrenochrome filled blood for the wicked ones to drink?
Are we not yet now in such a lawless state of affairs?
I have yet to find a seven year period where such wickedness has stopped let alone awaiting for some final seven years to appear where these types of monstrosities will begin to happen upon the earth, for they have yet to cease from the beginning of the days of the Apostles and the first followers of the way!
I do see where the manner of evil has progressed into such a state because the waywardness of the seven churches and the removal of many of the candlesticks. All of that is much to ponder and ponder it all with the Holy Spirit guiding your heart and ask for Wisdom in all of this. Open the door for the lord is knocking for all to see and hear what he has said unto the churches. His way is not man’s way and it is of love… hate the sin but love the sinner. And that doesn’t mean hang out with them and do as they do… it means to know that if not for the grace of God and the Love of the Lord to give his life for all of us… we would be bound for hell ourselves for as the Lord said, there is no sin greater than another. And all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And as God loved us and gave his only begotten son for all, we must remember that and love all as God has loved all.
The parable of the laborers in the vineyard….
1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
There are 7 churches spoken of in Revelation… today I just focused on two. For the two sum up the focus and the message to all that love is the key to the Kingdom of God, and because so much has always been said about the Lukewarm church of Laodicea, and the different interpretations that many have said and written on Rev. chapters 2 and 3. I challenge us all to look at the messages in each one and know that after you read and ponder, you will see that these are all actions that are yet still within many churches today. Ponder also that the English word for church transcribed from Greek is my Ecclesia, which means my called out ones.
It struck me that where visions and prophecies and interpretations may fail us, love never does. God is love. He made us with free will to love. We are our best when we love. As I said in a previous blog… when the evil ones come at us we are easy prey because we weren’t made like that… we were made to love and have compassion and help one another. So we had to learn to discern and not be so gullible. We are all having to learn how to spot the wolves and turn to the Holy Spirit to guide and teach us how to shepherd ourselves in order to not be deceived. All the while loving our neighbor as ourselves, even the one who seeks to harm us, for they know not what they do.
KEEP ON PRESSING INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD! PRESS, PRESS, PRESS!