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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:

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

2:1 Ephesus. Ephesus was an important seaport on the Aegean Sea, where the Apostle Paul had spent a long time (Acts 20:31). It was the location of the great temple of Artemis (or Diana—see Acts 19:27), considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and a very immoral city. As the first church addressed in the seven epistles, it is often considered typical of the apostolic-era church, with the later epistles representing successive later periods of church history. The supposed correlations, however, are arbitrary at best. Since each type of church is represented somewhere in the world in every period of church history, it is more realistic to understand the seven churches in general as depicting all churches in general, thereby surveying all the merits and defects of churches everywhere.

2:2 works. Compare I Thessalonians 1:3—“work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope.” However, their love was beginning to wane.

2:2 are not. These false apostles were also of great concern to Paul (II Corinthians 11:13-15). John had no doubt warned the Ephesians to “try the spirits whether they are of God,” for they might well be “false prophets” (I John 4:1). They had done just that, and Christ commended them for it.

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