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This is what God showed to Jesus Christ, so that he could tell his servants what must happen soon. Christ then sent his angel with the message to his servant John. And John told everything that he had seen about God’s message and about what Jesus Christ had said and done.

God will bless everyone who reads this prophecy to others,[a] and he will bless everyone who hears and obeys it. The time is almost here.

From John to the seven churches in Asia.[b]

I pray that you
    will be blessed
with kindness and peace
from God, who is and was
    and is coming.
May you receive
    kindness and peace
from the seven spirits
    before the throne of God.
May kindness and peace
    be yours
from Jesus Christ,
    the faithful witness.

Jesus was the first
    to conquer death,
and he is the ruler
    of all earthly kings.
Christ loves us,
    and by his blood
he set us free
    from our sins.
He lets us rule as kings
and serve God his Father
    as priests.
To him be glory and power
    forever and ever! Amen.
Look! He is coming
    with the clouds.
Everyone will see him,
even the ones who stuck
    a sword through him.
All people on earth
will weep because of him.
    Yes, it will happen! Amen.

The Lord God says, “I am Alpha and Omega,[c] the one who is and was and is coming. I am God All-Powerful!”

A Vision of the Risen Lord

I am John, a follower together with all of you. We suffer because Jesus is our king, but he gives us the strength to endure. I was sent to Patmos Island,[d] because I had preached God’s message and had told about Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s day the Spirit took control of me, and behind me I heard a loud voice that sounded like a trumpet. 11 The voice said, “Write in a book what you see. Then send it to the seven churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”[e]

12 When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. 13 There with the lampstands was someone who seemed to be the Son of Man.[f] He was wearing a robe that reached down to his feet, and a gold cloth was wrapped around his chest. 14 His head and his hair were white as wool or snow, and his eyes looked like flames of fire. 15 His feet were glowing like bronze being heated in a furnace, and his voice sounded like the roar of a waterfall. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp double-edged sword was coming from his mouth. His face was shining as bright as the sun at noon.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead person. But he put his right hand on me and said:

Don’t be afraid! I am the first, the last, 18 and the living one. I died, but now I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys to death and the world of the dead.[g] 19 Write what you have seen and what is and what will happen after these things. 20 I will explain the mystery of the seven stars that you saw at my right side and the seven gold lampstands. The seven stars are the angels[h] of the seven churches, and the lampstands are the seven churches.

Footnotes

  1. 1.3 who reads this prophecy to others: A public reading, in a worship service.
  2. 1.4 Asia: The section 1.4—3.22 is in the form of a letter. Asia was in the eastern part of the Roman Empire and is present day Turkey.
  3. 1.8 Alpha and Omega: The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, which sometimes mean “first” and “last.”
  4. 1.9 Patmos Island: A small island where prisoners were sometimes kept by the Romans.
  5. 1.11 Ephesus. . . Laodicea: Ephesus was in the center with the six other cities forming a half-circle around it.
  6. 1.13 Son of Man: That is, Jesus.
  7. 1.18 keys to death and the world of the dead: That is, power over death and the world of the dead.
  8. 1.20 angels: Perhaps guardian angels that represent the churches, or they may be church leaders or messengers sent to the churches.

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