Chapter 2 – Letter to Ephesus

Jesus Addresses Ephesus -3

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

It should be noted that each of the letters to the Church concludes the same way:

  1. An admonition to “hear what the Spirit says to the churches”
  2. A promised blessing to “him who overcomes”

Before His departure, Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “He will guide you into all truth” and “He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13). We must “hear” (not just listen, but also hear with the heart to be in agreement with God) when the Spirit speaks. For the Holy Spirit speaks truthfully to us about both, admonition and promise. We take the phrase “him who overcomes” to signify the ones, who by faith, overcome the world and find victory in the saving grace of Jesus Christ (1 John 5:5).

“To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” This speaks of the immortality of heaven that awaits every believer. For it’s inside New Jerusalem (the eternal city of the saints) that the tree of life will yield its fruit throughout eternity (Rev.22:2).

Historically: The church at Ephesus began about 50 AD by what is believed to have been the efforts of Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:18). In about 52 AD Paul established a ministry there that lasted nearly 3 years, followed by Timothy, and eventually (at least according to some traditions) John himself, following his exile on Patmos. Ephesus was the largest city in the province of Asia, having had perhaps a population of 300,000 people. It was also significant for its religion, including the Temple of Diana (ranked as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Sometime before the first millennium, however, the city lost importance, decreased in population, and saw many of her sculptured stones (falling to ruins) carted off to Italy. In 1308 the Turks took possession of what little remained of the city and either deported or murdered its remaining inhabitants. Today, as a result perpetual river flooding, the ruins of the city lie in a swamp, and only the small nearby Turkish town of Ayasaluk represents her.

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