Looking at 2Timothy 1:15 could it be possible that Jesus was speaking of Paul in Revelation 2:2 as John wrote to the seven churches in Asia? Knowing the trouble Paul had in Ephesus, if this is true.What if anything does it do to Pauls apostleship?
Church of Ephesus -- Revelation 2:1-7
To the angel of the church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) write: These are words of Him (Jesus Christ) who holds the seven stars in His right hand and walks among the seven golden lamp stands:
V2 I know your deeds, you work hard, and always persevere, but I have important words I think you need to hear…
V4 Your problem is you’ve lost your first love, and so you must repent.
Praise: I know that you do good deeds, and work hard. You are patient and cannot stand evil. You condemn those who do wrong and hold false teachings to the fire.
Condemnation: You have left your first love - the core of the gospel.
Challenge to believers: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Advice to leaders: Remember where it is that you have fallen from, repent and go back to the original teachings.
1. Reflect: Think back and remember the original vision and goals.
2. Repent: Decide to change. List what you must discard and prioritize.
3. Restore: Begin to restore one top priority at a time, each week.
4. Recognize: Remember that God holds us accountable. He rewards fruit, not activity.
Application: Men intent on abandoning the word of God (their first love) for their own doctrinal interpretations.
What was the 'First Love' Lost in Church of Ephesus? What is a Christian’s first love? It is Jesus Christ, the Savior, the living Word God. How is it then that they leave Him? By becoming involved in ‘church’ and following the teachings of the church, the traditions of men, that make void the Word of God, which is Christ. They are wasting their time. Christ said, so Himself. Mark 7:7 “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”.
Solution to the problem: Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Revelation of the Solution: They better leave “Churchianity”, i.e. quit playing church, and start studying and following the will of God, else HE will come quickly and remove their candlestick, by declaring it a non-Christian church, a Beth-Aven, which is Hebrew for “House of Vanity”.
Some people have a real hard time understanding how there will be Christians that do all these wonderful works and yet do not make it into the Kingdom of HEAVEN. Jesus addressed this issue. Matthew 7:21-23 Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven.
The inference here is the addition of doctrines into the church, placing more importance on them than on the Word of God. This refers to legalistic churches that institute man-imposed salvation requirements, such as specific baptism rituals, or organization membership, and teach that there is no salvation unless these requirements are met. They focus more on dos and don'ts and on who does and doesn't do, than on the core message of scripture and thus they deny salvation by grace through faith. The easiest way to spot a church of Ephesus is their claim of being the only true remnant church of Christ and their insistence that there is no salvation outside of their organization and without their rituals.
Ephesus, the first church, portrays the Apostolic period, from the birth of the church, at the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), until approximately AD 100
The cause of Christ was planted in Ephesus when Paul came to that city during the course of his third missionary journey. There, he encountered twelve men who had known only the baptism of John the Baptist (having received that ordinance after its expiration). Accordingly, Paul instructed them more precisely in the gospel, and immersed them “into the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:5), which was the equivalent of being baptized “for the remission of sins” (cf. Acts 2:38).
Interestingly, later, when the apostle penned a letter to the Ephesian church, he reminded these Christians that they had been saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). A comparison of these complementary passages reveals that salvation by grace through faith does not exclude baptism; rather, it includes it. Thus, beside Ephesians 2:8, in your margin, note: See Acts 19:5—baptism included.
Some forty years after the commencement of the Ephesian congregation, Jesus issued a letter to these people (Rev. 2:1-7). He commended them for many remarkable qualities. They were obedient, energetic, enduring, sound in doctrine, and untiring. But they had a problem—these disciples had left their “first love” (v. 4).
One is reminded of an admonition given to Jerusalem by the prophet Jeremiah. He encouraged those ancient saints to reflect upon the “love of your betrothal” (2:2). Unfortunately, love sometimes pales—and such was the situation at Ephesus.
Underline “first love” in 2:4, and marginally note: See Jeremiah 2:2. The Lord then encouraged these brethren to repent, and “remember from where you have fallen” (v. 5). The word “fallen” is interesting. It can denote a flower that has withered (Jas. 1:11; 1 Pet. 1:24), or a ship out of control (Acts 27:17,26).
Regardless of other admirable qualities, without love one is withered and void of controlled direction. Circle “fallen” and enter these references in your margin.
Im with you Dr. Gadsden, Im only looking at this from a standpoint of Pauls Apostleship, I take nothing away from his contribution to the church, he sufferd, he carried the message, he indured till the end. You speak of gospels of men, well in Acts 21 Paul submitted to a ceremony in accordance with the law, He changed his conversion story before Agrippa, He also told a different outcome than what was agreed upon at his meeting at Jeruselum. (concerning the gentiles) I only asked what one might think if Christ was indeed referring to Paul in Rev 2:2 and if he was and we hold to the original teachings of the early church where the apostles were those who saw Christ and walked with Christ in his flesh (Physically being with him) is Paul truly an apostle. Paul was constantly defending his apostleship and he is the only person that even acknowledges that he is indeed an apostle except for his conpanion Luke who only does it twice. If im an apostle I dont haft to continually tell you it will be evident, thus for I dont haft to tell you constantly. also the use of all the pronouns I, My, etc... Who is Paul trying to convince his reader or himself. Im not trying to destroy Pauls apostleship I just want to know what other scholars think on this issue. God bless you.
William, I miss understood your forum but I believe I got it now. Below is my response!
The writing of the epistle Paul calls himself an apostle by the will of God, merely by the good pleasure of God, and by his grace, which he professes himself unworthy of. According to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, or according to the gospel. The gospel is the promise of life in Christ Jesus; life is the end, and Christ the way, Jn. 14:6. The life is put into the promise, and both are sure in Christ Jesus the faithful witness; for all the promises of God in Christ Jesus are yea, and all amen, 2 Co. 1:20. He calls Timothy his beloved son. Paul felt the warmest affection for him both because he had been an instrument of his conversion and because as a son with his father he had served with him in the gospel.
(v. 15 to the end) He speaks of Phygellus and Hermogenes, with others, and closes with Onesiphorus.
1. Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God; as he did not receive the gospel of man, nor was taught it, but had it by the revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:12), so his commission to be an apostle was not by the will of man, but of God: in the former epistle he says it was by the commandment of God our Saviour, and here by the will of God. God called him to be an apostle.
2. We have the promise of life, blessed be God for it: In hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began, Tit. 1:2. It is a promise to discover the freeness and certainty of it.
3. This, as well as all other promises, is in and through Jesus Christ; they all take their rise from the mercy of God in Christ, and they are sure, so that we may safely depend on them.
4. The grace, mercy, and peace, which even Paul’s dearly beloved son Timothy wanted, comes from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord; and therefore the one as well as the other is the giver of these blessings, and ought to be applied to for them.
5. The best want these blessings, and they are the best we can ask for our dearly-beloved friends, that they may have grace to help them in the time of need, and mercy to pardon what is amiss, and so may have peace with God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul mentions the apostasy of many from the doctrine of Christ, v. 15. It seems, in the best and purest ages of the church, there were those that had embraced the Christian faith, and yet afterwards revolted from it, nay, there were many such. He does not say that they had turned away from the doctrine of Christ (though it should seem they had) but they had turned away from him, they had turned their backs upon him, and disowned him in the time of his distress. And should we wonder at it, when many turned their backs on a much better than Paul? I mean the Lord Jesus Christ, Jn. 6:66.
Paul mentions the constancy of one that adhered to him, namely, Onesiphorus: For he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain, v. 16. Observe, 1. What kindness Onesiphorus had shown to Paul: he refreshed him, he often refreshed him with his letters, and counsels, and comforts, and he was not ashamed of his chains. He was not ashamed of him, not withstanding the disgrace he was now under. He was kind to him not once or twice, but often; not only when he was at Ephesus among his own friends, but when Onesiphorus was at Rome; he took care to seek Paul out very diligently, and found him, v. 17. Observe, A good man will seek opportunities of doing good, and will not shun any that offer. At Ephesus he had ministered to him, and been very kind to him: Timothy knew it. 2. How Paul returns his kindness, v. 16–18. He that receives a prophet shall have a prophet’s reward. He repays him with his prayers: The Lord give mercy to Onesiphorus. It is probable that Onesiphorus was now absent from home, and in company with Paul; Paul therefore prays that his house might be kept during his absence. Though the papists will have it that he was now dead; and, from P
Nah, he wasnt referring to Paul. By the time Revelation was written, Paul was long dead. Jesus is simply talking to the church in Ephesus.
We cannot forget that the book of revelation is a book about the roman empire, christian persecution, and the end of the empire. It is NOT about end time prophecies, as some prophecy teachers say it is.