Sister Emily Huang
Wednesday, 14th September 2022
Section One V1-7 Back to the First Love
Jesus was talking to His churches; He built His churches and would not leave them. The seven stars means the messengers from the churches. The church of Ephesians had done a lot for the Kingdom of God, and Jesus knew everything they had done. God knows every hard work we have done for Him, but He also knows when we have lost the Agape love for God. The people of Ephesians loved people and loved God at the beginning, but as time pass by, they seemed to have lost this love. When we serve at church, in the family, or at workplace, we would have the passion and love for what we do at the beginning, but can this love keep on?
V5 ‘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.’ God wants us to remember where we have fallen, like the little fox, who stops us pursuing the goodness of God. We must examine ourselves, seek inside our hearts, to see if we have any pride, bitterness, unforgiveness, jealousy… that make us fall and forget the love we had for God at the beginning. We must repent and return like a child, simply follow Him, and love Him.
Our church is the lampstand in this dark world, and the light is not from us, but from God and His destiny for us. If we cannot reflect the light of God, then we are unable to carry out our mission for God in this world.
V6 ‘But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.’ At the same time, God also reaffirmed the church of Ephesians for their hate for the evil and speaking truth in love.
V7 ‘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.’ We are blessed to be able to hear the Word of God, and He rewards us for hearing Him and obeying Him.
Section Two V8-11 Faithful Until the End
V8-9 ‘And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.’ They might not be a rich church in the eyes of people, but God saw them as rich. God sees us different to how the world sees us. We must seek God’s eyesight for us, do not be deceived by this world.
V10 ‘Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.’ God knows what is going to happen to His church and He is telling us not to be afraid. All trials and hardships have an end date, can we be faithful to the end and believe there is reward from God? Jesus Christ is already in our lives, we will be with Him in eternity, therefore we must not give up and always look upon Him.
Section Three V12-17 Be Alert and Repent
V12-13 ‘And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, these things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.’ The location of the church in Pergamos had many religious, people there worshipped false gods and rejected the way of God. They were facing many challenges and hardship in preaching in Gospel.
V14-15 ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.’ God also rebuked them for following the teaching of Balak, who could hear God’s voice but compromised with the world for money. God is reminding His beloved churches to repent and return right away, do not end up with those God hates, to be struck down by the sharp two-edged sword of God. We must repent and return from our evil ways, for those who are willing to listen and repent, the two-edged sword will help us get rid of all detestable things in our lives.
Section Four V18-29 Hold Fast and Wait Upon God
V20 ‘Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.’ The church of Thyatira had the love and passion for God, but their problem was to follow the false prophet. We must be alert with the things we hear, to always examine if they are really from God that is beneficial for us and for our church.
V21-22 ‘And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.’ God is always giving us the opportunity to repent, but if we see it lightly then we are being rebellious against God and will taste the fruits of our own wrongdoings.
V23 ‘I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.’ God sees inside our hearts, He knows everything we do and everything we say, even the things come across our mind. We must come quickly to God, to repent and to return, do not let our words or actions affect us from receiving the blessings God is going to give to us.
V24-25 ‘Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. But hold fast what you have till I come.’ God knows how much we can handle; He will not burden us with things we cannot carry. Can we really live under the Tree of Life, to be humble and obedience, to benefit others and to deny ourselves, then we can receive the abundance of God.
V26-27 ‘And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations— He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—as I also have received from My Father.’ Do not underestimate the power and authority we have been given from God, when we are willing to carry out the Word of God, to speak out the Truth from God, then our reward is great.
V28-29 ‘And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ The Morning Star also represents Jesus, it’s also a gift God has given for us, when we are willing to shine for God, then He will let all nations to come near us. God is talking to us today, He is talking to His church, and what is our respond?
启示录 2 – 跟随到底
启示录2章所讲的4个教会就是第1章11和20节所讲的七个教会的前面四个。两千年前神亲自对这七间教会说话，如今他也在对我们南奥克兰灵粮堂说话，我们要如本章经文里反复提到的一句话那样：“凡有耳的，就应当听！” 我们要听圣灵对我们的提醒。今天的经文讲到的四个教会中有三个似乎都被“责备”，就仿佛我们平时在被牧者“提升”时的情景，虽然听上去不舒服，不过，要记住主耶稣对约翰说的话“不要惧怕。我是首先的，我是末后的”（启1:17） – 他是为我们的信心创始成终的主，他既然开始了，就为他所爱的仆人”包底”，只要我们愿意谦卑跟随他。
V1 每一颗“星”代表每个教会的使者 – 就是传递神话语的天使。耶稣右手拿着七星，正如昨天的经文所说，我们的教会都在主的掌握中，他在我们教会中间行走、动工，直到如今。
V4“责备”的原文有“反对、敌对”的意思。“爱心”的原文就是agape，是神和人之间最美好的爱 – 罗马书 5:8说：“唯有基督在我们还做罪人的时候为我们死，神的爱就在此向我们显明了。” 在保罗写给以弗所教会的书信中，他说以弗所教会的人是“信从主耶稣，亲爱众圣徒”（弗1:15）。当初他们可能确实是出于对神对人的爱而很认真地服事，但时过境迁，最后离开了原本的爱心，being变成doing, 所以主耶稣反对他们这件事。我们当初蒙主拯救时，我们的心是否被神的爱感动，是否有发自内心的热情想要回应神的呼召后来我们是不是仍然重复同样的事，却不是出于爱神爱人的心? 不管是在家庭或者职场教会，去牧养关怀，我们是否只是做事却把起初的爱心离弃了呢？
V5 我们要回想起是什么事、是哪一只“小狐狸”将我们对我们良人的爱心偷窃，让我们从基督的磐石上摔下来。是不是因为我们自己的骄傲 – 在服事的过程中只看到别人一堆问题？或是因为挫败、苦毒 – 别人对我们所付出的不理解甚至抵挡、拒绝、逼迫我们？或是虚荣 – 想要成就这些事以得到别人的称赞、认同？圣灵在这里提醒我们要为此“悔改”，回转像孩子一样单纯来跟随耶稣。教会在这个黑暗的世界就是发光的“灯台”，我们不是靠着自己的力量去发光，而是要有从神而来的光，若不能按着神给我们的命定、在神放我们所在的位置为主发光，他就会将我们挪走。