Revelation 1-3 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
1 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. 2 And John told everything that he had seen about God’s message and about what Jesus Christ had said and done.
3 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.
4 From John to the seven churches in Asia.[b]
I pray that you
Jesus was the first
8 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
9 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.
The Letter to Ephesus
2 This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Ephesus:
I am the one who holds the seven stars in my right hand, and I walk among the seven gold lampstands. Listen to what I say.
2 I know everything you have done, including your hard work and how you have endured. I know you won’t put up with anyone who is evil. When some people pretended to be apostles, you tested them and found out that they were liars. 3 You have endured and gone through hard times because of me, and you have not given up.
4 But I do have something against you! And it is this: You don’t have as much love as you used to. 5 Think about where you have fallen from, and then turn back and do as you did at first. If you don’t turn back, I will come and take away your lampstand. 6 But there is one thing you are doing right. You hate what the Nicolaitans[i] are doing, and so do I.
7 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. I will let everyone who wins the victory eat from the life-giving tree in God’s wonderful garden.
The Letter to Smyrna
8 This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Smyrna:
I am the first and the last. I died, but now I am alive! Listen to what I say.
9 I know how much you suffer and how poor you are, but you are rich. I also know the cruel things being said about you by people who claim to be Jews. But they are not really Jews. They are a group that belongs to Satan.
10 Don’t worry about what you will suffer. The devil will throw some of you into jail, and you will be tested and made to suffer for ten days. But if you are faithful until you die, I will reward you with a glorious life.[j]
11 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. Whoever wins the victory will not be hurt by the second death.[k]
The Letter to Pergamum
12 This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Pergamum:
I am the one who has the sharp double-edged sword! Listen to what I say.
13 I know that you live where Satan has his throne.[l] But you have kept true to my name. Right there where Satan lives, my faithful witness Antipas[m] was taken from you and put to death. Even then you did not give up your faith in me.
14 I do have a few things against you. Some of you are following the teaching of Balaam.[n] Long ago he told Balak to teach the people of Israel to eat food that had been offered to idols and to be immoral. 15 Now some of you are following the teaching of the Nicolaitans.[o] 16 Turn back! If you don’t, I will come quickly and fight against these people. And my words will cut like a sword.
17 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. To everyone who wins the victory, I will give some of the hidden food.[p] I will also give each one a white stone[q] with a new name[r] written on it. No one will know that name except the one who is given the stone.
The Letter to Thyatira
18 This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Thyatira:
I am the Son of God! My eyes are like flames of fire, and my feet are like bronze. Listen to what I say.
19 I know everything about you, including your love, your faith, your service, and how you have endured. I know that you are doing more now than you have ever done before. 20 But I still have something against you because of that woman Jezebel.[s] She calls herself a prophet, and you let her teach and mislead my servants to do immoral things and to eat food offered to idols. 21 I gave her a chance to turn from her sins, but she did not want to stop doing these immoral things.
22 I am going to strike down Jezebel. Everyone who does these immoral things with her will also be punished, if they don’t stop. 23 I will even kill her followers.[t] Then all the churches will see that I know everyone’s thoughts and feelings. I will treat each of you as you deserve.
24 Some of you in Thyatira don’t follow Jezebel’s teaching. You don’t know anything about what her followers call the “deep secrets of Satan.” So I won’t burden you down with any other commands. 25 But until I come, you must hold firmly to the teaching you have.
26 I will give power over the nations to everyone who wins the victory and keeps on obeying me until the end. 27-28 I will give each of them the same power that my Father has given me. They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash those nations to pieces like clay pots. I will also give them the morning star.[u]
29 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.
The Letter to Sardis
3 This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Sardis:
I have the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. Listen to what I say.
I know what you are doing. Everyone may think you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! You have only a little strength left, and it is almost gone. So try to become stronger. I have found that you are not completely obeying God. 3 Remember the teaching that you were given and that you heard. Hold firmly to it and turn from your sins. If you don’t wake up, I will come when you least expect it, just as a thief does.
4 A few of you in Sardis have not dirtied your clothes with sin. You will walk with me in white clothes, because you are worthy. 5 Everyone who wins the victory will wear white clothes. Their names will not be erased from the book of life,[v] and I will tell my Father and his angels that they are my followers.
6 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.
The Letter to Philadelphia
7 This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Philadelphia:
I am the one who is holy and true, and I have the keys that belonged to David.[w] When I open a door, no one can close it. And when I close a door, no one can open it. Listen to what I say.
8 I know everything you have done. And I have placed before you an open door that no one can close. You were not very strong, but you obeyed my message and did not deny that you are my followers.[x] 9 Now you will see what I will do with those people who belong to Satan’s group. They claim to be Jews, but they are liars. I will make them come and kneel down at your feet. Then they will know that I love you.
10 You obeyed my message and endured. So I will protect you from the time of testing that everyone in all the world must go through. 11 I am coming soon. So hold firmly to what you have, and no one will take away the crown that you will be given as your reward.
12 Everyone who wins the victory will be made into a pillar in the temple of my God, and they will stay there forever. I will write on each of them the name of my God and the name of his city. It is the new Jerusalem that my God will send down from heaven. I will also write on them my own new name.
13 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.
The Letter to Laodicea
14 This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Laodicea:
15 I know everything you have done, and you are not cold or hot. I wish you were either one or the other. 16 But since you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 You claim to be rich and successful and to have everything you need. But you don’t know how bad off you are. You are pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.
18 Buy your gold from me. It has been refined in a fire, and it will make you rich. Buy white clothes from me. Wear them and you can cover up your shameful nakedness. Buy medicine for your eyes, so that you will be able to see.
19 I correct and punish everyone I love. So make up your minds to turn away from your sins. 20 Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together. 21 Everyone who wins the victory will sit with me on my throne, just as I won the victory and sat with my Father on his throne.
22 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.
Click the button below to continue.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.