IDENTIFYING THE FAKES IN THE CHURCH,
then & now
To the church of Ephesus, Jesus said:
‘I know thy works, and thy labor, 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." (REVELATION 2:2)
There are times, that the church is joined, in presence anyhow, with those who are ‘evil’ and not truly the ‘sent ones’ from God that they claim to be.
In such times, we are to ‘not bear them’.
The word ‘bear’ is from the Greek word, bastazo’ meaning ‘removal’.
There are some things that are to be carried off, walked away from. There are doctrines, people who speak false or damaging things, threads on message boards, etc. that we should not ‘bear’.
The word ‘bastazo’ refers to supporting a burden, and is used sometimes to refer to picking up stones, to make the path clearer. It is also used metaphorically in the Bible to refer to a root bearing the branches (Romans 11:18). So, if we are not to ‘bear’ those with false doctrines, or evil in their words and beliefs, we are not to consider ourselves connected to the same Vine.
The verse (Rev. 2:2) also refers to ‘them that are evil’.
The word ‘evil’ is ‘kakos’, and it is an adjective. It is used to describe the useless, incapable, and bad ways of some. They are evil in character, in ethics, and in manner. It is not so much speaking of causing ‘evil’ or pain, or trouble, but that their person is evil inside.
The passage (Rev. 2:2) refers to the fact that the Ephesian church had ‘tried them.’
The word ‘tried’ is from the Greek ‘peirazo’. This means to test, to assay, to pierce in order to determine the quality.
It does not refer to a physical trial. Few prophets would stop for all to put them on trial, to make answer question after question. No, it refers to the trying of a person, and of their doctrines, by observing, listening, to their words, actions. Scrutinizing what flows out of their mouths, will be a good test of their validity.
Why did not God just give the Ephesians a ‘word of knowledge’ or ‘discernment of spirits’?
God sometimes wants us to learn to test and try a person by the Word, by prayer, by observation of their manner and message. Some never do such ‘trying’ and demand that God give discernment. God sometimes refuses to do the job for us, when it is unnecessary to do so. If simply testing and trying a persons manner and message will reveal their validity in the faith, or their falseness and evil, then God wants us to do it via such tests.
The passage (Rev. 2:2) mentions that in the Ephesian congregation there had come some who would ‘say they are apostles, and are not...’
The word ‘apostle’ means ‘sent one’.
Some claim to be sent of God with a mission, then and now, and yet are not truly on a mission for God. The corrupt ones who seek fame, fortune, and position, and yet are not called of God to such mission, are to be detected and rejected.
Revelation 2:2 says that the Ephesian church ‘found them to be liars’.
The word ‘liar’ is ‘pseudes’, and is not a noun, but an adjective. The word refers to some who were speaking lies. The word ‘pseudes’ is usually used with a noun, like ‘apostle’, ‘prophet’, ‘teacher’, etc. Yet, here it has no specific noun. It refers to persons who are speaking lies.
We find many lies in the congregations of the day. Some claim to be told by God things that God would not have told them. The message is different from what the Bible teaches, and God does not contradict Himself. Some speak that God hates one group or another, and God loves even the sinners. Some try to interpret dreams using their own head knowledge and yet, claim to be ‘led of the Lord’ on it, and 20 interpretations from 20 people all hear a different interpretation from the Lord. At least 19 of them are lying, intentionally or unintentionally. We need to find the lies, rebuke the liars, avoid the evil ones and refuse to ‘bear’ them.