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Biblical Church History . Following the Hand of God and the Hand of Satan . THE CHURCH PERIODS . THE 7 PERIODS OF CHURCH HISTORY . E p h e s u s . Revelation 2:1-7 c. 90-200 A.D. “fully purposed”. E p h e s u s . I. The Commission Rev. 2: 1a .

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biblical church history
Biblical Church History

Following the Hand of God and the Hand of Satan

e p h e s u s

Revelation 2:1-7

c. 90-200 A.D.

“fully purposed”

e p h e s u s1

I. The Commission

Rev. 2: 1a


(Rev 2:1) 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;




  • Person being addressed in the Scripture “ Angel” The word “Angel” (gk. Angelos) means messenger or implied pastor, but is never translated pastor, always angel or messenger
  • All most all commentaries will tell you that the angel or messenger that is being addressed would the Pastor of the Church



  • The name of each of the seven churches is actually God’s capsulation (brief description) of what is taking place in that time period of history from his vantage point.
  • “Ephesus” fully purposed
  • This church period was one that knew what was the purpose of God, and was fully positioned to accomplish that propose


C. Why was this church so fully purposed?

  • This Church would have been influenced directly or indirectly by the Apostle of the Lord


C. Why was this church so fully purposed?

  • They had been directly or indirectly influenced by the teachingof the Apostle
  • Initially by the verbal teaching
  • After time by their Written teaching
    • Many of these Church leaders would have been discipled by the Apostles or discipled by some who was discipled by the Apostles


C. Why was this church so fully purposed?

  • They had been directly or indirectly influenced by the teachingof the Apostle
  • They had been directly or indirectly influenced by the example of the Apostle


C. Why was this church so fully purposed?

  • They had been directly or indirectly influenced by the teachingof the Apostle
  • They had been directly or indirectly influenced by the example of the Apostle
  • They had been directly or indirectly influenced by the suffering of the Apostle

(Mat 20:20-23) Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.


(Joh 21:17-19) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.


(2Pe 1:12-15) Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.


JAMES the Son of Zebedee

  • James, surnamed the Greater, was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and a fisherman by occupation; but, Christ having called him to be His disciple, he abandoned fishing, and followed Christ. Matt. 4:21; Mark 1:19.
  • After Christ's ascension he also remained at Jerusalem; and when he, together with the other apostles, had there received the Holy Ghost, he preached the Gospel in Judea and Samaria. Became the 1st real pastor of Jerusalem Church
  • This apostle lived only until the fourth year of the Emperor Claudius. At that time Claudius charged Herod Agrippa to suppress the church of Christ. Then Herod laid his bloody hands on this apostle and, on the feast of the passover, put him in prison. Shortly afterwards he was sentenced to death, and executed with the sword, in Jerusalem. This occurred in the year forty-five after the birth of Christ. Acts 12:2.

JAMES the Son of Zebedee

Clemens Alexandrinus, ought not to be overlooked; that, as James was led to the place of martyrdom, his accuser was brought to repent of his conduct by the apostle's extraordinary courage and undauntedness, and fell down at his feet to request his pardon, professing himself a Christian, and resolving that James should not receive the crown of martyrdom alone. Hence they were both beheaded at the same time.


Philip the Apostle

  • He was found of Christ, and called as His disciple to follow Him; which he did so faithfully, that when he found Nathanael, he brought him to Christ, declaring to him, that he had found Him of whom Moses and the prophets had written, namely, Jesus of Nazareth, the true Messiah. John 1:45.
  • He labored diligently in Upper Asia, then later at Heliopolis, in Phrygia. There the Ebionites, who not only denied the divinity of Christ, but also worshiped idols, continued persistently in their blasphemous doctrines and idolatry, and did not listen to this pious apostle of Christ, but apprehended him, and, having made his head fast to a pillar, stoned him; He was scourged, thrown into prison, and afterwards crucified, A.D. 54.

James the less

  • The unbelieving Jews could not endure his doctrine; so that Ananias, an audacious and cruel young man among them, being the high priest, summoned him before the judges, that they should compel him to deny that Jesus is the Christ, and force him to renounce the Son of God and the power of His resurrection
  • To this end, the chief priest, scribes, and Pharisees placed him upon the pinnacle of the temple, at the time of the passover, that he should deny his faith before all the people. But as he thus stood before the people, he confessed with much more boldness that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah, the Son of God, our Saviour, and that he is sitting at the right hand of God, and shall come again in the clouds of heaven, to judge the quick and the dead.

James the less

  • They accordingly cast him down, and stoned him. But as he was not killed by the fall and the stoning, having only broken his legs, he, lying on his knees, prayed to God for those who stoned him, saying, Lord, forgive them; for they know not what they do. On account of this, one of the priests begged for his life, saying, What do ye? the Just is praying for us. Leave off stoning I But another of those present, who held a fuller's stick in his hand, struck him over the head with it, so that he died,


  • The scene of his labors was Parthia, and Ethiopia, in which latter country he suffered martyrdom, being slain with a halberd in the city of Nadabah, as some write, nailed to the ground, and beheaded, where he is also buried, A.D. 60.


  • Three time Jesus told him to “feed my sheep” This occurred, as is stated, after Peter had preached the Gospel for thirty-seven years
  • Finally there was fulfilled, according to the testimony of history, the prediction of Christ, that he should glorify God by his death; for while he was at Rome, he was sentenced by -the Emperor Nero to be crucified. But, esteeming himself unworthy to be crucified with his head upward, like his Saviour, he requested to be crucified with his head downward; which he easily obtained, for the tyrants were forthwith willing and ready to increase his pain. 69A.D


  • While in prison at Rome, he wrote to his spiritual son Timothy, that he was now ready to be offered, and that the time of his departure was at hand; but that he took comfort in the thought, that he had fought a good fight, finished his course, and kept the faith, and that there was laid up for him a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, should give him at that day. II Tim. 4:6-8.
  • According to ancient records he was then beheaded at the command of Nero, outside of Rome, on the road that leads to Ostia 69 A.D.


  • After the separation of the apostles he exercised his ministry first in Lycaonia, then in Syria and the upper parts of Asia., and afterwards in India,
  • Finally he spread the Gospel in Great Armenia, and there, converted King Astyages' brother, together with his wife, two sons, and a daughter, to the faith. He moreover, as is stated by others, delivered from idolatry, and enlightened with the knowledge of Jesus Christ, twelve cities in that country. in which the devil was worshiped through the idol Ashtaroth. But the priests of Ashtaroth, being very much vexed on account of this, complained to King Astyages, who caused Bartholomew, to be apprehended and brought before him. 70 A.D.


  • When Bartholomew stood before the king, the latter upbraided him, that he had perverted his brother, and unsettled the worship of the gods in his country. He therefore threatened him with death, unless he would desist preaching Christ, and sacrifice to his gods. When Bartholomew had replied to this accusation, saying, that he had not perverted, but converted, his brother, that he had preached the true worship of God in his country, and that he would rather seal his testimony with blood, than suffer the least shipwreck of his faith
  • Being still alive on a cross and after having been flayed on it, exhorted the people, his head was struck off with an ax.


  • He preached in India, putting a stop to the abominable idolatry of the heathen, who worshiped there an image of the sun; so that through the power of God he compelled the Evil One to destroy the image. Thereupon the idolatrous priest accused him before their king, who sentenced him, first to be tormented with red-hot plates, and then to be cast into a glowing furnace, and burned. But when the idolatrous priests, who stood before the furnace, saw that the fire did not hurt him, they pierced his side, as he lay in the furnace, with spears and javelins

Simon the Canaanite

  • He traveled in Egypt, Cyrene, Africa, Mauritania, throughout Lybia, and in the islands of Great Britain, where he preached the Gospel
  • Finally, it is stated by others, he went to Persia, where it is stated that he was crucified in a very painful way by a certain governor in Syria
  • 70 A.D.


  • He preached of the Gospel, in Mesopotamia, Syria, Arabia, and as far as Edessa
  • Finally, having gone to Persia, he there reproved and opposed the pagan idolatry; on which account he was beaten to death by the idolatrous priests, who were losing their gain 74 A.D

John the Beloved

  • He founded many churches in Greece
  • From Ephesus he was ordered to be sent to Rome, where it is affirmed he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. He escaped by miracle, without injury
  • He was exiled to the Isle of Patmos
  • (Rev 1:9) I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.


  • He preached all over Asia
  • In Greece, the Governor threatened him with crucifixion if he didn’t stop preaching Christ, and against the idols that he worshiped
  • He was sentenced to be crucified on a cross with 2 pieces of wood the same length, and the both ends in the ground make the shape of an X
  • So the death would be slower they tied him with cords instead of nailing him to the cross


  • The apostle said to the governor, "Had I feared the death of the cross, I should not have preached the majesty and gloriousness of the cross of Christ.”
  • One of the witnesses of the crucifixion wrote:
  • “When Andrew saw the cross prepared, he neither changed countenance nor color, as the weakness of mortal man is wont to do; neither did his blood shrink; neither did he fail in his speech; his body fainted not; neither was his mind molested; his understanding did not fail him; but out of the abundance of his heart his mouth did speak, and fervent charity did appear in his words. He said, “O cross, most welcome and oft-looked for; with a willing mind, joyfully and desirously, I come to thee, being the disciple of Him who did hang on thee; because I have been always thy lover, and have longed to embrace thee!”


  • He hung on the cross for 3 days… But did not stop telling those who gathered beneath him of the love of Jesus
  • An appeal was made that he be taken down from the cross. When word came around to Andrew, he cried out to God "O Lord Jesus Christ! suffer not that Thy servant, who hangs here on the tree for Thy name's sake, be released, to dwell again among men; but receive me. O my Lord, my God! whom I have known, whom I have loved, to whom I cling, whom I desire to see, and in whom I am what I am." Having spoken these words, the apostle committed his spirit into the hands of his heavenly Father


  • Mark was sent by Peter to Egypt, with the doctrine of the holy Gospel. Finally he remained several years at Alexandria, where he made his abode.
  • Concerning the end of his life, in the eighth year of Nero, when he, at the feast of the passover, preached the blessed remembrance of the suffering and death of Christ, to the church at Alexandria, the heathen priests and the whole populace seized him, and with hooks and ropes which they fastened around his body, dragged him out of the congregation, through the streets and out of the city; so that his flesh everywhere adhered to the stones, and his blood was poured out upon the earth,
  • Another ancient writer relates: That he was dragged very inhumanly through the streets, his whole body torn open, so that there was not a single spot on it, which did not bleed; and that they then again thrust him, still alive, into prison, whence he, having been strengthened and comforted by the Lord in the night, was taken out again, and dragged 64 A.D.


  • He was the pastor of the church of Ephesus
  • Evidently at one time, Timothy feared persecution (Paul wrote)
  • (2Ti 1:7-8) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
  • In 98 A. D. he was stoned to death by idolaters that he was preaching to in the city of Ephesus
e p h e s u s2

II. The Characteristics Rev. 2: 2-3, 6