by Dr. J. Vernon McGee

The Church at Its Best
Dr. J. Vernon McGee

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 lampstands. I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them who are evil; and thou hast tried them who say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars; and hast borne, 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 where thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy lampstand out of its place, except thou repent. (Revelation 2:1-5)

In the New Testament there are two epistles to the Ephe¬sians. Paul wrote one of them. (In the better manuscripts the inscription en Epheso, that is, "in Ephesus" is not there. It was penciled in, apparently, because it was a circular epistle, intended to make the rounds of the churches there in the province of Asia.) The second epistle to the Ephesians is definitely directed to the church at Ephesus. It is the first of seven letters to seven churches which our Lord sent through John. They are love letters from Him. These churches were in the prov¬ince of Asia, a proconsular province - not the continent of Asia or Asia Minor, but a section that took in at least one third of Asia Minor.
The interpretation of these seven letters in the Book of Revelation has been rather controversial. The "contem¬porary" interpretation is that these letters are merely his¬torical documents. They were addressed to the seven church¬es and had meaning and application for them alone, with no message for us today. The "composite" interpretation is that in these seven letters are messages to all churches of all ages. The "chronological" interpretation is that we have in these seven letters the com ...

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