The Unveiling, Part 4
The First Love
So the disciple has given himself permission to enter upon the path. The inner voice, the voice of God says to him, “I know your works and your labor and your patience, how you cannot bear them, which are evil and you have tried them that say they are apostles and you have found them liars.” Who are the apostles? The apostle means “one who is sent” or, in other words, someone that claims to be sent from God to teach you is an apostle in this context.
So who are the apostles that he is supposed to test? These would be any ministers, prophets or teachers. The inner voice is telling the seeker that he has done two things right. He has fulfilled the meaning of Ephesus, giving himself permission and he has done something else that the Spirit really likes. He has tested those that claim to be apostles representing the voice of God and have found them to be liars. They have lied and the disciple realizes this.
This is the first step he has taken on the road to becoming like the Master and he has done this part right and have tested them and found out that they are not telling the truth. Congratulations are in order and he gets a little pat on the back there from the voice of God within. “And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.”
After he found out these things, he has given him self permission. He is exploring, He has found out certain truths that have conflicted with everything he has been told and he has found out that everything everybody has been telling him has not been true and he is finding out new truths and he is congratulated or praised for not fainting and continuing even though he has probably gotten a lot of flack. He has had patience and he has prodded forward.
Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee because thou have left thy first love.” This is interesting, you “remember therefore, from whence thou art fallen” so the praise ends there and he says the disciple has done a couple things that are really good but is really screwing up in this one area, and this is what happens: The disciple begins along the path and he does some things right and some things he really messes up. That is going to continue to happen to all of us as we go into new territory. He says this is where you really screwed up. You left your first love. Remember from whence you have fallen or else I will come in quickly and remove thy candlestick from out of its place.
His candlestick and its place signifies he is at the first step. He has taken the first and given himself permission. The Spirit says if he doesn’t take this advice then this first step that he is on is going to be like he never took it and he is going to go back and be under some one else’s permission again. So if the seeker is going to continue on the path then he needs to listen to what the Voice is saying. The disciple must remember his first love.
The regular interpretation of first love is that it must mean the church of Ephesus itself. Their first love was the gospel and they kind of deviated from the gospel and so they needed to go back to the first love and start living the teachings of Christ again. That is the normal interpretation that almost everyone gives of this. But his first love, what was his first love as far as attempting to tread the path before he actually found the path.
In his first love, he was under the authority of the system that had teachers in it and they told him what to do. He listened to them and diligently obeyed and did everything he could to live the righteous life. He did not deviate but he focused and he lived to he highest he knew.
Some of us were in the churches before we entered the path. We were good members. Some of you were good and did what you were told and you obeyed the Sabbath and you did not steal, murder, beat your spouse etc. You did the basic stuff. This was his first love, and you entered the Path.
His first love was when he was in an organization that falsely led him to believe he was on the path and he did everything very diligently that he was supposed to do. But he left his first love.
What happens to the disciple when he gives himself permission? He enters the path and goes from one extremely constricted situation where he can’t do anything and then he enters the path and he says I can give myself permission to other stuff as well and I am going to eat drink and be merry and really have a good time. And so he goes overboard and gives him self permission to party it up and go to sex orgies and all kinds of weird stuff.
They give themselves permission to do whatever they feel like and they go to the other extreme and give up all that discipline they have learned. So here the voice of the Spirit comes to the seeker. He is like the prodigal son and goes and parties and squanders all that good press that had with the inner voice and sooner or later with a moment of silence he listens again and the voice says, “return to your first love,” go back to the discipline. Sure you have permission to do this and that but it has to be balanced and the discipline you learned before you entered the path must be brought back into balance. Not everything you learned before you entered the path is bad. The discipline that you had, you will need to take this with you and apply it with common sense in your life. Return to your first love. He says you mean I just can’t do everything I want to and I still have to control myself? Yes you still have to control yourself. The disciple needs to stay disciplined and balanced even more so than before he entered the path.
Copyright by J J Dewey
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