1 Unto the angel (messenger) of the church (assembly of believers) of Ephesus (present-day Selçuk in İzmir Province, Turkey. “permitted” or “desirable”) write; These things saith he (Jesus/YHVH) that holdeth the seven stars (restrains the messengers) in his right hand, who walketh in the midst (can see their inner workings) of the seven golden candlesticks (of the churches) ;
During the Classical Greek era Ephesus was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. After 650 BC Smyrna, an originally Aeolic city, was invited to diminish Aeolis and increase Ionia by joining the league, which it did. The city was famed for the nearby Temple of Artemis (also known less precisely as the Temple of Diana), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The Ephesians considered her theirs, and resented any foreign claims to her protection. Persians removed some of the religious artifacts from Artemis’ Temple to Sardis and brought Persian priests into her Ephesian cult. Under Hellenic rule, and later, under Roman rule, the Ephesian Artemisia festival was increasingly promoted as a key element in the pan-Hellenic festival circuit.
Clothed head to toe in a gown accentuating many breasts or “eggs” — denoting her fertility while being serviced by a priestess who inherited her role, attended by a college of eunuch priests called “Megabyzoi” and also by young virgins.
Acts 19:35:”What man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the [image] which fell down from Jupiter?”
2 I know thy works (acts), and thy labour (pains, toils), and thy patience, (endurance) and how thou canst not bear (sustain, receive) them which are evil: and thou hast tried (test, scrutinize) them which say they are apostles (an ambassador of the Gospel), and are not, and hast found them liars:
This begs the question have we tested our apostles, our ministers behind the pulpit, to scrutinize their continuity to the word of YHWH?
Deuteronomy 13:1-4 “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.”
The Deuteronomy 13 test will prove the apostles worthiness to preach. Should that teacher tell you to do anything contrary to the commands of YHWH then they are a liar. Following after other gods would include Christmas, Easter and prayers to humans, living or dead, as well as idol worship whether in the form of statues, necklaces or beads.
3 And hast borne (sustained), and hast patience (endured), and for my name’s sake (authority) hast labored (worked hard), and hast not fainted. (became tired)
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat (G2596 κατά “this fully”) against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (the love of Jesus)
Deuteronomy 31:16 “And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.”
John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen (they have become busy bodies about the works of serving peoples wants and needs and not about teaching and making disciples thus they will fall to the belief in antichrist), and repent (to turn from one way to another), and do the first works (deeds, actions); or else I will come unto thee quickly (in a sudden manner), and will remove thy candlestick (church) out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest (hate, persecute) the deeds (work, actions) of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
Nicolaitans, a sect that adheres to subjugating (i.e. dominating and ruling over) a people while outwardly professing Christianity. possibly related or linked to the followers or practices of Balaam.
*(Nikos = conquered / Laos = people/ Ton =the)
*(The meaning is to have the leadership of the church gain a victory over the laity until they are compelled to submit to the dominion of men who have become that thing which God hates)
7 He that hath an ear (mental adherence), let him hear (come to understand) what the Spirit saith unto the churches (assembly of believers); To him that overcometh (subdues) will I give to eat of the tree of life (spiritual immortality), which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (The restored Eden or Heaven)