The church of “Ephesus” which means “first” are the first to trust in Christ when they hear His words….hearing and trusting in the Word of Truth….the good news of our salvation. Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV (10) That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. He has brought to Light to us NOW that He has “abolished” death…rendering it idle…. and has brought life and immortality (undecaying of the mortal body) through the good news (gospel). We shall not “perish” but have life into the coming Age in the here and now. We are to hear and NOT be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. Instead, we are to rejoice for it is good news for us NOW! We are to be saved wholly…soul, spirit and mortal body…in the here and now. The inward soul is saved and so the mortal body will be also. We are to live in the mortal body in the here and now into the coming Age…to the fullness of times when all of things of the heaven and the earth are gathered together in Him in which we shall participate with Him. The power of God shall keep us standing in these earthen vessels so that we may display His glory to this dark and dying world. We are not to be ashamed of His testimony. 2 Timothy 1:8-10 KJV (8) 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; (9) Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: We are not to be ashamed of His words….the true sayings of God….which are the “holy angels”…when He comes. Not everyone will hear and believe in His testimony that He has truly rendered death idle in the here and now and has brought life and undecaying of the mortal body to light….in the here and now. But scoffers....an adulterous and sinful generation.... will say "where is the promise of His coming?". He came so that we may have "eternal life"...life into the coming Age. Our salvation is NOW. TODAY is the day of our salvation. Mark 8:38 KJV (38) Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. Where is the promise of His coming? We have been deceived by the flattering words of men who hide their covetousness in their hearts. We have kept a covenant with them….a covenant of death and an agreement with the grave. But what agreement do we have with unbelievers? NOW is our salvation…not after we “die and go to heaven”. We have been misled to believe it is NOT NOW by those who seek to change the times and the law. The law is this: LOVE your neighbor. The TIME IS THIS: NOW IS OUR SALVATION. They day is at hand NOW. The law is: Romans 13:10-12 KJV (10) Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. We have been led to believe that the time is later but the time is really NOW. (11) And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (12) The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. False prophets who speak great swelling words of vanity seek to change the times as they say we have to die and go to heaven first….but salvation is NOW….it is TODAY…not tomorrow. They seek to change the law (not plural “laws” here in Daniel 7:25 but “law” in the singular)…but there is no changing it. We have to have love for one another or we perish from off the face of this earth. They shall “wear” ….that is, DECAY….the saints. They defile our mortal flesh by what they preach as we are led astray from having love for one another by deception to our destruction. When we keep a covenant...sitting there in their company... with them, it is one of death. But the judgment shall sit and their dominion to consume and destroy shall be taken away. Daniel 7:25-27 KJV (25) And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (26) But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. (27) And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. Behold, NOW is the accepted time. Behold, NOW is the day of our salvation. Let us not listen to false prophets. 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 KJV (1) We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (2) (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) When we believe in the Word of Truth…the good news of our salvation…we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise within until we receive His life appearing in the mortal flesh. We are His purchased possession. The evidence which is “open” is that of the Life of Jesus with our hearts appearing outwardly in the mortal flesh to the praise of His glory. We have this treasure in “earthen vessels” so that we may CONTINUE MANY DAYS in the here and now…. “eternal life”….an age-lasting life….life into the coming Age. Jeremiah 32:13-17 KJV (13) And I charged Baruch before them, saying, (14) Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days. We shall live into the coming Age.... "continuing many days"... as we shall inherit the earth. (15) For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land. (16) Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying, There is NOTHING TOO HARD for God. He is the God of all flesh. It is His power that shall keep us STANDING in the here and now…as His salvation is NOW. (17) Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: We have this treasure deposited in earthen vessels so that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:5-11 KJV (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We shall not be DESTROYED…as His life is made MANIFEST in our mortal bodies….the earthen vessels….the evidence that is “open” for all to see so that the power and glory of God is made manifest as we shall continue "many days" to the praise of His glory. (8) We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; (9) Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; (10) Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. (11) For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. The church of Ephesus shall be the first to hear and trust in His testimony as He walks among the churches. Their works shall be good works toward the hearing of the Word of Truth….the testimony of Jesus. They will not be ashamed of His testimony. They shall also try those who say they are apostles and are not. Revelation 2:1-2 KJV (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; (2) 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: False apostles….deceitful workers….transform themselves into the apostles of Christ. They say that they are sent by Him…calling themselves the Anointed (Christ). They seek to be found even as the true apostles of Christ as they preach but there is a difference that will be made manifest between those who are true and those that are false. 2 Corinthians 11:12-14 KJV (12) But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. (13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. MANY bear with them as MANY hear them and are led astray unto their own destruction of the mortal flesh...perishing. MANY put up with those who bring them into bondage and devour them and take from them and exalt themselves over them….and they do these things GLADLY. They defile our flesh...smiting us on the face. 2 Corinthians 11:19-20 KJV (19) For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. (20) For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. False apostles always preach for money….not following the example of the true apostles who NEVER did. Paul preached the gospel of God FREELY as he manifested unto his listeners ALL THINGS. He never received money from those he preached to …this is what makes the difference between a true and false apostle. 2 Corinthians 11:4-7 KJV (4) For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (5) For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. (6) But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things. (7) Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? Paul never held back any of the gospel to his hearers…and neither did he covet after another’s silver, gold or apparel as he worked with his own hands to support himself. As a true apostle, he WORKED WITH HIS HANDS in order to minister unto his own necessities. He has showed us all things by his words and his example…to work with our own hands while freely preaching the Word of Truth to others. Paul worked as a tentmaker in order to support himself. By following his example of working with our own hands, we are laboring to support the “weak” who might speak against the Word of Truth because of an apostle taking money for preaching. There will be no occasion then for others to slander an apostle and the Word of Truth by the “weak” if that apostle does not make money from preaching. Acts 20:33-35 KJV (33) I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. (34) Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. (35) I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. We... who hear His Word of Truth.... are COMMANDED in the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ to withdraw ourselves from EVERY brother that will walk “disorderly” and not after the tradition which is received of the true apostles. The true apostles are THE example: they DID NOT preach for money so that they were not chargeable to any….that is, there was NO occasion for others to slander what they preached by them receiving money from their hearers. They did not eat any man’s “bread” for nothing but instead worked with their own hands to support themselves so that the gospel of God would be free of any slanderous accusations against those who would preach it. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18 KJV (6) Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. The true apostles are the example we are to follow as they labored with their own hands..... (7) For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; (8) Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: A true apostle will follow after the true apostles example…work his own business to support his own necessities and not make a living off the hearers of the gospel of God. (9) Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. (10) For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. (11) For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. (12) Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. (13) But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. False apostles will not obey the word by this letter. They will seek to defend their receiving of money for their preaching as the "super apostles" did with Paul. We are to have NO COMPANY with them so that they may be ashamed. Yet, we are not to count them as an enemy but we are to admonish them as a brother. (14) And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. (15) Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (16) Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. Paul worked with his own hand to support himself. (17) The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. (18) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. The second epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens. The Word of the Lord is to have “free course” and be glorified…not slandered against because of men receiving money for preaching. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 KJV (1) Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: (2) And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. We are to work with our own hands and support ourselves so that the Word of the Lord may have free course. But “false apostles” will not follow after the tradition of the true apostles…because they will not have faith in what they hear. Instead, they will walk “disorderly” against the tradition of the true apostles set forth for us to follow and will be revealing themselves as "false apostles".