Jesus's Words

The Candlestick of Ephesus

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Of all the churches that Paul wrote a recorded letter to, only the Church of Ephesus is a candlestick that our Lord Jesus Christ spoke about. In pertaining to false apostles, Jesus had this to say regarding the church of Ephesus, 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.Revelation 2:2

So the church of Ephesus tested everyone who claimed they were an apostle, and Jesus commended them for it. In fact, the church of Ephesus found false apostles. Could one of them be Paul? Is there anywhere that says the Church of Ephesus stopped believing in Paul?

In the beginning of Acts 19, Paul is in Ephesus.(Acts 19:1.) Luke records of Paul, And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.Acts 19:8, 9

Initially, Paul was rejected in Ephesus. But this rejection was not just limited to Ephesus alone.

Later, after much effort, Paul establishes a church in Ephesus. It is here that Paul leaves to go to Jerusalem. Paul was worried that the Ephesians, who were already skeptical of him, might fall away. So Paul speaks to the Ephesus elders,(Acts 20:17.) saying he told them the whole truth.(Acts 20:20, 21.) He then references Jesus and says, For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.Acts 20:29

Paul's attempt to get Ephesus to stay loyal to him did not work. Paul later writes to Timothy that This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me, of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.2nd Timothy 1:15

While history did not record who exactly Phygellus and Hermogenes are, history attests that Ephesus is in Asia. And since Paul said that all who are in Asia left him, we can make a reasonable assumption that the church in Ephesus found Paul to be false as well.

Value of this Evidence

This is fantastic evidence for Paul being a false apostle. In Roman times, people did not believe Paul was an apostle. Even if Paul was an apostle, the church at Ephesus was commended by Jesus without following Paul. Thus, Paul is not important enough to follow in Jesus's eyes. That is the best case interpretation for Paul in this situation, and this is a huge negative mark for him. If Paul was a real apostle, then Jesus would have admonished the church at Ephesus for falling away from him.

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