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10 I was in the spirit realm[a] on the Lord’s day,[b] and I heard behind[c] me a loud voice sounding like a trumpet,[d] 11 saying to me:

Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches:[e] to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamum, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.

12 When I turned[f] to see the voice that was speaking to me, I saw seven golden lampstands.[g]

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Footnotes

  1. Revelation 1:10 Or “I came to be in [with] spirit” or “I became in union with the Spirit.” This was John’s “rapture,” most likely a trance. The realm of the Spirit was John’s vantage point. The same Spirit that inspired this book must interpret it, for it is what the Spirit is saying to the churches. See Job 32:8.
  2. Revelation 1:10 This was not Sunday, nor a twenty-four-hour day, but “the Lord’s day.” Nowhere in Scripture is Sunday called “the Lord’s day.” The Aramaic can be translated “on the lordly [majestic] day.”
  3. Revelation 1:10 A voice “behind” us can be that which speaks about our past—about all that God has already done for us.
  4. Revelation 1:10 Or “shofar.” The trumpet sound always carries a message (1 Cor. 14:8). The voice sounding like a trumpet blast would point us to a fresh proclamation heralding a new message to us today.
  5. Revelation 1:11 The number seven is the number of God and his perfection. The seven churches make up one perfect and complete church in his eyes. These seven churches speak of completeness or fullness; just like the seven Spirits are full and complete so the church is full and complete in Christ. We are the “seven in one” bride, just as the Holy Spirit is “seven in one.”
  6. Revelation 1:12 John was in the spirit. This was more than a physical turning, but an inward turning to withdraw from the natural and see into the spiritual. The same Greek word is used for “converted” in Acts 3:19.
  7. Revelation 1:12 These seven golden lampstands represent seven churches (Rev. 1:20). The “lampstand” (or menorah) becomes a symbol of the burning presence of Christ. They are golden, for Christ has purified and made holy his church.

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