Revelation 2:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

New Living Translation
Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don't repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.

English Standard Version
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

Berean Study Bible
Therefore, keep in mind how far you have fallen. Repent and perform the deeds you did at first. But if you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

Berean Literal Bible
Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works. But if not, I am coming to you, and I will remove your lampstand out of its place, unless you should repent.

New American Standard Bible
'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place-- unless you repent.

King James Bible
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent.

International Standard Version
Therefore, remember how far you have fallen. Repent and go back to what you were doing at first. If you don't, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place—unless you repent.

NET Bible
Therefore, remember from what high state you have fallen and repent! Do the deeds you did at the first; if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place--that is, if you do not repent.

New Heart English Bible
Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you, and will move your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Remember from where you have come out and do the former works; but if not, I will come against you and I will remove your menorah, unless you repent.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Remember how far you have fallen. Return to me and change the way you think and act, and do what you did at first. I will come to you and take your lamp stand from its place if you don't change.

New American Standard 1977
‘Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Remember, therefore, from where thou art fallen and repent and do the first works, or else I will come unto thee quickly and will remove thy lampstand out of its place, except thou repent.

King James 2000 Bible
Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your lampstand out of its place, except you repent.

American King James Version
Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his place, except you repent.

American Standard Version
Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Be mindful therefore from whence thou art fallen: and do penance, and do the first works. Or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou do penance.

Darby Bible Translation
Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works: but if not, I am coming to thee, and I will remove thy lamp out of its place, except thou shalt repent.

English Revised Version
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.

Webster's Bible Translation
Remember therefore from whence thou hast fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.

Weymouth New Testament
Be mindful, therefore, of the height from which you have fallen. Repent at once, and act as you did at first, or else I will surely come and remove your lampstand out of its place--unless you repent.

World English Bible
Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent.

Young's Literal Translation
remember, then, whence thou hast fallen, and reform, and the first works do; and if not, I come to thee quickly, and will remove thy lamp-stand from its place -- if thou mayest not reform;
Study Bible
To the Church in Ephesus
4But I have this against you: You have abandoned your first love. 5Therefore, keep in mind how far you have fallen. Repent and perform the deeds you did at first. But if you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6But you have this to your credit: You hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.…
Cross References
Matthew 5:14
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

Matthew 5:15
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

Philippians 2:15
so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world

Hebrews 10:32
Remember the early days that you were in the light, when you endured a great conflict in the face of suffering.

2 Peter 3:17
Therefore, beloved, since you already know these things, be on your guard not to be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure standing.

Revelation 1:20
This is the mystery of the seven stars you saw in My right hand and of the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Revelation 2:2
I know your deeds, your labor, and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate those who are evil, and you have tested and exposed as liars those who falsely claim to be apostles.

Revelation 2:16
Therefore repent! Otherwise I will come to you shortly and wage war against them with the sword of My mouth.

Revelation 2:22
Behold, I will cast her onto a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer great tribulation unless they repent of her deeds.

Revelation 3:3
Remember, then, what you have received and heard. Keep it and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know the hour when I will come upon you.
Treasury of Scripture

Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his place, except you repent.

Remember.

Revelation 3:3,19 Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, …

Ezekiel 16:61-63 Then you shall remember your ways, and be ashamed, when you shall …

Ezekiel 20:43 And there shall you remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein …

Ezekiel 36:31 Then shall you remember your own evil ways, and your doings that …

2 Peter 1:12,13 Why I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these …

thou art.

Isaiah 14:12 How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how …

Hosea 14:1 O Israel, return to the LORD your God; for you have fallen by your iniquity.

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect to you, whoever of you are justified …

Jude 1:24 Now to him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present …

and repent.

Revelation 2:16,21,22 Repent; or else I will come to you quickly, and will fight against …

Revelation 3:3,19 Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, …

Revelation 9:20,21 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet …

Revelation 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of …

Acts 17:30,31 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all …

and do.

Revelation 2:19 I know your works, and charity, and service, and faith, and your …

Revelation 3:2,3 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready …

Isaiah 1:26 And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counsellors …

Jeremiah 2:2,3 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus said the LORD; …

Hosea 9:10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers …

Malachi 3:4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant to the …

Malachi 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the …

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn …

else.

Revelation 2:16 Repent; or else I will come to you quickly, and will fight against …

Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, …

Matthew 21:41-43 They say to him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and …

Matthew 24:48-51 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays …

Mark 12:9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and …

Luke 12:45,46 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delays his coming; …

Luke 20:16 He shall come and destroy these farmers, and shall give the vineyard …

(5) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, . . . and do the first works.--It is argued that we have here evidence that the later, or Domitian, date of the Apocalypse is the true one, since it describes a fall in spiritual life which might have occurred in thirty years, but would hardly have taken place in the few years--ten at the utmost--which elapsed between the visit of St. Paul (Acts 20:29-30) and the reign of Nero. But greater changes than a decay of this kind have passed over communities in equally short periods. We have seen nations pass from imperialism to republicanism, from the fever-heat of radicalism to the lethargy of conservatism, in shorter space. Has not the past decade shown marvellously rapid movements in the Church of our own land! The change, moreover, in the Ephesian Church was not so great as the advocates of the later apocalyptic date would describe. There is at present little outward sign of decay; they have resisted evil and false teachers; they have shown toil and endurance; but the great Searcher of hearts detects the almost imperceptible symptoms of an incipient decay. He alone can tell the moment when love of truth is passing into a noisy, Pharisaic zealotism; when men are "settling down into a lower state of spiritual life than that which they once aimed at and once knew." Such a backsliding is "gentle, unmarked, unnoticed in its course." Further, it must not be forgotten that the Apostle did express his presentiments of coming danger, and specially warned the elders (Acts 20:28) to take heed unto themselves; and in his Epistle (Ephesians 6:24) he gives in his closing words the covert caution that their love to Christ should be j an incorruptible, unchanging love: "Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruption" ("sincerity," English version). The advice now given is, "Repent, and do the first works." The advice is three-fold: remember, repent, reform. Remember the love of the past peaceful hours. "How sweet their memory still!" "There are ever goads," says Archbishop Trench, "in the memory of a better and a nobler past, goading him who has taken up with meaner things and lower, and urging him to make what he has lost once more his own." (Comp. Luke 15:17, and Hebrews 10:32.) So Ulysses urges his crew to further exertions.

"Call to mind from whence ye sprung:

Ye were not formed to live as brutes,

But virtue to pursue and knowledge high."

--Inf. xxvi.

Remember, but also repent, and repent in true practical fashion; for Love will recognise no repentance but that which is confirmed in the doing of the first works. It must be a repentance whereby we forsake sin. "Christ does not say, 'Feel thy first feelings,' but, 'Do the first works.'" "An ounce of reality," says a modern novelist, "is worth a pound of romance."

Or else I will come . . .--Better, Or else I am coming unto (or, for thee, in a way which concerns) thee, and (omit "quickly," which is wanting in the oldest MSS.) will remove thy candlestick out of its place, unless thou shalt have repented--i.e., unless the change shall have come before the day of visitation. The "now they are hid from thine eyes," is not yet spoken for Ephesus.

Verse 5. - The exhortation and threat are clear as trumpet notes: "Remember, repent, and return, or I will return and remove thee." A modern heathen philosophy teaches us that in this world to be happy is to forget. That is not the teaching of Christ. The past is both an encouragement and a warning to us; therefore "remember." Some have to remember heights from which they have fallen; others, depths from which they have been raised; others again, both. Cicero ('Ad. Att.,' 4:16) would remember the one and forget the other. Non recorder unde ceciderim, sed unde resurrexerim. The present imperative here shows that the remembering is to continue; on the other hand, the repentance (aor. imp.) is a thing to be done immediately, once for all. "The first works" means "the fruits of thy first love." Christ will have works, not feelings. I come to thee. There is no "quickly" in the true text; and the verb is present, not future (comp. John 14:18). The coming, of course, refers to a special visitation, not to the second advent. The removing of the candlestick is not the deposition of the bishop, but the dethroning of the Church, cancelling its claim to the kingdom, severing its union with Christ. Compare "The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" (Matthew 22:43). The warning would seem to have been heeded at first, judging from the account of Ephesus in the Ignatian Epistles. But the Church has long since ceased to exist. Ephesus itself is a heap of ruins. Except thou repent. This repetition drives home the charge given above; repentance is the thing absolutely necessary, and at once. This shows that what Christ has against them cannot be a mere "somewhat" (Authorized Version in ver. 4). It is nothing less than this - that with all their discernment of evil, and zeal against it, they lacked reality. Their light still burned, but in a dull, lifeless way; their service had become mechanical. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,.... Believers cannot totally and finally fall away from the grace which they have received; but they may fall into sin, and from a degree of grace, and the exercise of it, as these first and pure churches did, from some degree of their love to God, and Christ, and one another; and therefore are called upon to remember, mind, and observe from what degree of it they were fallen; in order to bring them under a conviction and acknowledgment of their evil, and a sense of their present state, and to quicken their desires after a restoration to their former one:

and repent; of their coldness and lukewarmness, of the remissness of their love, and of those evils which brought it upon them:

and do the first works; of faith and love, with the like zeal and fervour, which will show the repentance to be sincere and genuine; so the Arabic version reads, "and exercise the former works, to wit, charity" or "love". The Jews have a saying (b),

"if a man repents, do not say to him, "remember" , "thy first works";

which they seem to understand of evil works; but former good works are to be remembered and done, to show the truth of repentance for evil ones,

Or else I will come unto thee quickly; not in a spiritual way, to pay a love visit, nor in a judicial way, to take vengeance or inflict punishment, but in a providential way, to rebuke and chastise:

and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent; or thee out of the candlestick, the pastor from the church, either by persecution or by death; or else the church, and church state itself, signified by a candlestick; See Gill on Revelation 1:12; and may design a shaking and an unsettling of it, which is sometimes done by violent persecutions, and by false teachers and their doctrines, and by the divisions and contentions of saints among themselves; and by the former particularly was there a change made in the state of this apostolic church, when it passed into the Smyrnean one, which was a period of great persecution and distress; for this cannot be understood of the total removing of the church state itself quickly, no, not of Ephesus itself; for though there is not now indeed, nor has there been for many hundred years, a church of Christ in that place, yet there was one till the times of Constantine, when there was none in any of the other seven cities, and a long time after; See Gill on Acts 20:17; which shows, that this was not a commination or threatening of divine vengence to that church literally, but to the state of the church, which that represented; nor does it intend the utter abolition of that church, for the apostolic church still continued, though it ceased to be in the circumstances it was before,

(b) Misn. Bava Metzia, c. 4. sect. 10. 5. whence—from what a height.

do the first works—the works which flowed from thy first love. Not merely "feel thy first feelings," but do works flowing from the same principle as formerly, "faith which worketh by love."

I will come—Greek, "I am coming" in special judgment on thee.

quickly—omitted in two oldest manuscripts, Vulgate and Coptic versions: supported by one oldest manuscript.

remove thy candlestick out of his place—I will take away the Church from Ephesus and remove it elsewhere. "It is removal of the candlestick, not extinction of the candle, which is threatened here; judgment for some, but that very judgment the occasion of mercy for others. So it has been. The seat of the Church has been changed, but the Church itself survives. What the East has lost, the West has gained. One who lately visited Ephesus found only three Christians there, and these so ignorant as scarcely to have heard the names of St. Paul or St. John" [Trench].2:1-7 These churches were in such different states as to purity of doctrine and the power of godliness, that the words of Christ to them will always suit the cases of other churches, and professors. Christ knows and observes their state; though in heaven, yet he walks in the midst of his churches on earth, observing what is wrong in them, and what they want. The church of Ephesus is commended for diligence in duty. Christ keeps an account of every hour's work his servants do for him, and their labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. But it is not enough that we are diligent; there must be bearing patience, and there must be waiting patience. And though we must show all meekness to all men, yet we must show just zeal against their sins. The sin Christ charged this church with, is, not the having left and forsaken the object of love, but having lost the fervent degree of it that at first appeared. Christ is displeased with his people, when he sees them grow remiss and cold toward him. Surely this mention in Scripture, of Christians forsaking their first love, reproves those who speak of it with carelessness, and thus try to excuse indifference and sloth in themselves and others; our Saviour considers this indifference as sinful. They must repent: they must be grieved and ashamed for their sinful declining, and humbly confess it in the sight of God. They must endeavour to recover their first zeal, tenderness, and seriousness, and must pray as earnestly, and watch as diligently, as when they first set out in the ways of God. If the presence of Christ's grace and Spirit is slighted, we may expect the presence of his displeasure. Encouraging mention is made of what was good among them. Indifference as to truth and error, good and evil, may be called charity and meekness, but it is not so; and it is displeasing to Christ. The Christian life is a warfare against sin, Satan, the world, and the flesh. We must never yield to our spiritual enemies, and then we shall have a glorious triumph and reward. All who persevere, shall derive from Christ, as the Tree of life, perfection and confirmation in holiness and happiness, not in the earthly paradise, but in the heavenly. This is a figurative expression, taken from the account of the garden of Eden, denoting the pure, satisfactory, and eternal joys of heaven; and the looking forward to them in this world, by faith, communion with Christ, and the consolations of the Holy Spirit. Believers, take your wrestling life here, and expect and look for a quiet life hereafter; but not till then: the word of God never promises quietness and complete freedom from conflict here.
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