2016 ITEROF Message Two


Returning to the Orthodoxy of the Church

Message Two

The Church in Ephesus

Opening Word of the Prophesying Meeting

Reading the verses in each day.

Reading the main points in the outlines.

Pray-reading the verses:

But I have one thing against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore where you have fallen from and repent and do the first work…—Rev. 2:4-5.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God—v. 7.

Word of Appetizer

With regard to the seven churches, which are represented by the seven lampstands, what are the three things that we should understand?

First, these seven churches were real churches existing at that time.Second, these seven churches represent the sevenfold history of the church.Third, the conditions of the churches exist simultaneously in the church’s sevenfold history.

Spiritual Burden

Revelation 2 and 3 show us what we need to do to return to the orthodoxy of the church—what it is that actually pleases the Lord, what it is that the Lord condemns, and what the Lord’s actual way is for the church.

There are four main points in the Lord’s epistle to the church in Ephesus—love, life, light, and the lampstand; today we need to take Christ as the first in everything, we will have love, we will enjoy Him as life, we will shine forth with Him as light, and we will become the shining lampstand as the testimony of Jesus.

Concluding Word of the Prophesying Meeting

The Revelation of the Truth

With regard to the seven churches, which are represented by the seven lampstands, we should understand three things.

Revelation 2 and 3 show us what we need to do to return to the orthodoxy of the church—what it is that actually pleases the Lord, what it is that the Lord condemns, and what the Lord’s actual way is for the church.

There are four main points in the Lord’s epistle to the church in Ephesus—love, life, light, and the lampstand.

The Experience of Life

If we give the preeminence to Christ in everything and enjoy Him as the tree of life every day, we will be marvelous, overcoming Christians, and the church life will become a paradise to us.

Practice and Application

We must not leave the Lord as our first love, and we must do the first work; the first love must be to have God, Christ, the Lord, our Master, as the first One in everything—in great things as well as in small things; we need to ask the Lord to forgive us for all the things in which we do not give Him the preeminence.

We need to hate the works of the Nicolaitans and to maintain the eating of Christ as the tree of life.

Using Key Verses to Have a Bird’s-Eye View over the Whole Outline

Key Verses (1)

John tothe seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is coming, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne—Rev. 1:4.

What you see write in a scroll and send it to the seven churches—v. 11.

The seven churches, which are represented by the seven lampstands;

Returning to the orthodoxy of the church

I. With regard to the seven churches, which are represented by the seven lampstands, we should understand three things: These seven churches were real churches existing at that time. These seven churches represent the sevenfold history of the church. The conditions of the churches exist simultaneously in the church’s sevenfold history.

II. Revelation 2 and 3 show us what we need to do to return to the orthodoxy of the church—what it is that actually pleases the Lord, what it is that the Lord condemns, and what the Lord’s actual way is for the church: those who are not abnormal during the time of abnormality are the overcomers.

Key Verses (2)

But I have one thing against you, that you have left your first love.Remember therefore where you have fallen from and repent and do the first works; but if not, I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate—Rev. 2:4-6.

III. There are four main points in the Lord’s epistle to the church in Ephesus—love, life, light, and the lampstand (1)

We must not leave the Lord as our first love, and we must do the first works; to recover the first love is to consider the Lord Jesus as the first in everything.

•If we have the first love toward the Lord, we will hate the works of theNicolaitans,which the Lord also hates; in the proper church life there should be neither clergy nor laity; all the believers should be priests of God

Key Verses (3)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God—Rev. 2:7.

I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent—v. 5.

III. There are four main points in the Lord’s epistle to the church in Ephesus—love, life, light, and the lampstand (2)

• In such a good, orderly, and formal church life like the church in Ephesus, we need to maintain the eating of Christ as the tree of life; eating the tree of life, that is, enjoying Christ as our life supply, should be the primary matter in the church life.

• Love is related to life, and life is related to light; love, life, and light are a trinity.

• If today we take Christ as the first in everything, we will have love, we will enjoy Him as life, we will shine forth with Him as light, and we will become the shining lampstand as the testimony of Jesus.

Prophesying Topics—Twelve Topics per Week

D1

T1   The seven churches are represented by the seven lampstands (Rev. 1:11-12)

(With regard to the seven churches, which are represented by the seven lampstands, which three things should we understand?)

T2   The seven epistles to the seven churches end with a call to the overcomers (Rev. 2:7b)

(Please explain what the meaning of the overcomers in the Bible is.)

D2

T1   The first love is the best love (Rev. 2:4)

(Please explain that the leaving of the first love is the source of and main reason for the failure of the church throughout the ages.)

T2   To recover the first love is to consider the Lord Jesus as the first in everything (Col. 1:18)

(Please use your experience to explain how we can give Christ the preeminence in everything.)

D3

T1   To hold on to the first love means that we should consider His love to be forever fresh (Rev. 2:4)

(Please explain that leaving of the first love, we could still have so many activities, so much zeal, diligence, and forbearance for sufferings.)

T2   The “first works” are works that issue from the “first love.” (Rev. 2:4-5)

(Please explain that the relationship between “the first love” and “the first works” according to the book of Ephesians.)

D4

T1   The removal of the lampstand means the church has lost the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 2:5)

(Please explain that for the Lord to remove the church’s lampstand does not mean that from now on it has no more outward activities or moves; it merely means that it can no longer be God’s faithful testimony.)

T2   Nicolaitans refers to a group of people who esteem themselves higher than the common believers (Rev. 2:6)

(Why does the Lord hate the works of the Nicolaitans?)

D5

T1   God’s original intention was that man should eat of the tree of life (Gen. 2:9, 16)

(In such a good, orderly church like the church in Ephesus, what are the two things that we need?)

T2   “To him who overcomes, to him I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7b)

(Please explain that what the Lord wants the overcomers to do is what the whole church should do.)

D6

T1   The content of the church life depends upon the enjoyment of Christ (Gen. 2:9)

(Please explain that eating the tree of life, that is, enjoying Christ as our life supply, should be the primary matter in the church life.)

T2   There are four main points in the Lord’s epistle to the church in Ephesus—love, life, light, and the lampstand (Rev. 2:1-7)

(Please explain the relationship among these four main points.) (Refer to Outlines III. D-F)

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