I’ve often spoken about what Jesus told the Ephesus Church in Revelation chapter 2. He told them to remember their first love and to do their first works. Or else he would remove their lamp stand, unless they repent.
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; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 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.
This last couple weeks or so, I’ve really been asking God for wisdom and understand about Him, His Word and His Son Jesus. This idea of remembering your first love, and returning to Christ and the joy of the Lord, and faith over works, yet not absent of action, is what I’m hearing in my spirit and wrestling with right now.
This podcast and blog has never been about me teaching you. My goal has always been, let’s dive into the word of God and let’s grow, and make mistakes and be right and be wrong, and learn, but let’s do it as a journey together. I really hope that I have gotten that point and that idea across, and If I haven’t, then let me apologize and repent of that right now. I’m your brother in the faith, and I’m learning and growing and stumbling and struggling and persevering in the faith. Doing all I can do to stand, just like all of you. I’m in no way superior or have a superior understanding, or knowledge over any of you. My passion is the Word of God and my only desire is to share it with all of you and hopefully, we can grow in this walk together.
Remembering Your First Love
I Remember when I first met my wife. All I could think about was her, all I wanted to do was learn about her, study her and spend time with her. Maybe you too, can remember that new love, that first love feeling.
In the same way, that was my attitude about Christ when I first came to the faith. I had joy in the Lord, was excited about Him, my thoughts constantly on Him and what he had done for me. I had so much joy in the Lord. However, as of late I cant say that I’ve had the joy of the Lord. I’ve been more worried about being religious, following this tradition, and observing this feast and that sabbath. Failing to remembering that those things were a foreshadow of Christ who has come. Not remembering that in Messiah, I have rest.
Paul said in Colossians 2:16-17
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holiday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 11:28-30.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. take my yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
So what is my point? My point is this, while it’s great to do the scholarly work and the research and the studies that we do together on this podcast. It’s nothing but filthy rags before the Lord, if our everyday heart and focus is not on his son Jesus. Whom all authority and power has been given. Who has been given the name above all names. Who is the door. No one can even come to the Father, but by Him. He is everything, and without Him, apart from Him, there is nothing and we are nothing. It doesn’t matter how well you know Hebrew. It doesn’t matter how great of a job you do of observing feast days, and new moons and sabbaths. Which like Paul said, were a foreshadow of things to come.
My friends, all we can do is memorialize those things. You can not actually observe them. Those institutions required by Torah are not even in existence today and haven’t been since the the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple shortly after Messiah came. Let’s not fool ourselves. Remember, we are to bring the Jews to jealously, not the other way around. We have received the spirit of Christ by faith and God’s commandments are written on our hearts, we don’t need to become Jews and convert to a Christian flavored Judaism.
We are told by Jesus, in the book of John chapter 15
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17 These things I command you, that ye love one another. 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. 23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. 26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, an early Church father wrote the following and I found it to be profound. An attitude that I myself would like to embrace. wrote the following,
The last days are here. So let us abase ourselves and stand in awe of God’s patience, lest it turn
out to be our condemnation. Either let us fear the wrath to come or let us value the grace we have:
one or the other. Only let our lot be genuine life in Jesus Christ. Do not let anything catch your eye
besides him, for whom I carry around these chains — my spiritual pearls! Through them I want to
rise from the dead by your prayers. May I ever share in these, so that I may be numbered among
the Ephesian Christians who, by the might of Jesus Christ, have always been of one mind with the
In closing. May we remember our first love, and remember our first works. I’m fasting from some this week, and just really focusing on Jesus and my heart towards him. He is everything, and without him and an intimate relationship with Him, we have nothing.
Peace and Grace be with all of you,