Message to the church: ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’ (Revelation 2:1-7)
Spiritual type: People who primarily regard doctrinal truths and not goods of life (Apocalypse Revealed §73)
Description: The people of the church in Ephesus have “tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars.” They are opposed to the heretical Nicolaitans (whose heresy, according to Apocalypse Revealed, was that a person could earn salvation by doing enough good deeds). These are people who have their doctrine right, and care about other people getting it right. That’s not a bad thing. But when you make doctrine the most important thing, it’s easy to “forget your first love” – to remember that the purpose of all true doctrine is to facilitate love.
Call to action: If you resonate with the description of Ephesus (and I confess that of all the churches this is the one that I usually feel closest to), the call is to repent and to go back to the basics – love to God, love to the neighbor. Doctrine is good, but if it is divorced from love, it leads to pride and coldness.
Promise: There is hope for the people of Ephesus – if you remember to focus on charity, your head knowledge will come alive as heart knowledge. In other words, you will be given fruit from the tree of life.