To Ephesus, From “Who Walketh in the Midst of the Seven…”

“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;” (Revelations 2:1)

Ancient Ephesus

Ruins at Ephesus

Of all of the seven churches of Asia, Ephesus is addressed first, and Ephesus has the most mentioned about it in the rest of the Bible. Ephesus was a stronghold of paganism and the Apostle Paul evangelized them first for Christ and then worked later with Timothy to help establish them. Paul also wrote one of his epistles specifically to the church at Ephesus, and this epistle focuses especially on the presence of Jesus Christ in the church and the “heavenly places” that exist when Christ is there:

  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Ephesians 1:3)
  • “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:10-13)
  • “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7)

So here in Jesus’ address to Ephesus we see that he emphasis that he has full control of his true ministry and that he has always been in the midst of his people (the seven golden candlesticks.) In his final instructions to the disciples before Jesus was taken up into heaven he said with full authority over them:

All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt 28:18-20)

Jesus has all authority and control in his kingdom, and his true ministers are his servants in his right hand of control. True servants do the masters bidding, not their own, and Jesus, The King, dwells amongst his people.

Before each message to each church congregation of Asia Jesus emphasis some aspect of his character that has already been revealed in chapter one. Here he is emphasizing that his true ministry are under his control (“the seven stars in his right hand”), and that he is always amongst his true people (“who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks”). In another place Jesus said “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matt 18:2)

Jesus in the Midst of the Seven Candlesticks

Note: It is very important to remember the way Jesus emphasis how he is amongst his people! It is by walking in the midst of the “seven golden candlesticks.” The candlesticks represent the light of the true church in every age of time (see comments on Rev 1:11-13.) Therefore, Jesus is where people are gathered (could be only a few) together to worship and serve Jesus in truth (according to his word) and in agreement (without division or contention.)

“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matt 18: 19-20)

This presence of Jesus Christ amongst his people, and in control of his ministry, was especially the condition of the early church when the Apostles were still alive and establishing it for Christ. Consequently, the emphasis during this study will be on the similarities of the Ephesus church (or the Ephesus church age) to the early Christian church. But this is not to say that the spiritual needs described concerning the Ephesus church couldn’t be applied to the spiritual conditions of people in other times in history. (In fact, I have seen these same spiritual conditions described in Ephesus exist amongst some people in my own life time.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s