The Seven Churches (Dyson Perrins Apocalypse)

Jesus told John to “write what you have seen, what is now, and what will take place later”. John began by penning seven letters to seven early Christian churches.

To the church at Ephesus, he wrote:

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands.

I see your hard work and perseverance and see that you cannot tolerate wicked people and have found those who claim to be apostles are false. You have endured hardship and have not grown weary. Yet this is what you are doing wrong: You have lost the love you had at first. Repent and revert back to the way you did things before. If you do not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

However, you do have this in your favor: You hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans which I also despise.

To everyone I say, to those who are victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life in the paradise of God.

To the church at Smyrna, he wrote:

Temple of Trajan, Pergamum, TurkeyThese are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty – yet you are rich! I know about the slander from those who say they are Jews but are not. They are a synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will put some of you in prison to test you and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

To everyone I say, the one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.

To the church at Pergamum, he wrote:

These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. You live where evil dwells, where Satan has his throne, yet you remained true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was put to death in your city.

Nevertheless, there are a few things you are doing wrong. There are some of you who continue to hold to the teaching of Balaam which taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin. Likewise, there are some who hold to the teachings of the Nicolaitans. Repent or I will soon come to you and will fight with the sword of my mouth.

Hear this: to the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden mana. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name on it, a name known only to the one who receives it.

Ruins in ThyatiraTo the church at Thyatira, he wrote:

These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your good deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are improving each day.

Nevertheless, here is where you can still improve. You tolerate that Jezebel of a woman who calls herself a prophet. Her teachings mislead you to sexual immorality and other sins. I have given her time to repent but she is unwilling. Therefore, I will cast her on a bed of suffering and will make those who commit adultery with her suffer too unless they repent of their ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds and will repay each according to their deeds. For the rest of Thyatira, those who do not hold to her teaching, I will not impose any other burden on you except to hold on to what you have until I come.

To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations – that one will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery – just as I have received authority from my father. I will also give that one the morning star.

To the church as Sardis, he wrote:

These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your good deeds.

You are known for being alive but really you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die because your deeds are unfinished. Remember what you have received, what you have heard, and repent. If you do not awaken, I will come to you like a thief in the night.

There are a few in Sardis who have not dirtied their clothes. They walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge them before my Father and his angels.

The Seven Churches of Asia in the East Window at York Minster. Medieval glass designed by John Thornton.To the church as Philadelphia, he wrote:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David, what he opens no one can shut and what he shuts, no one can open.

I know your good deeds. I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I will make those who are evil, claim to be Jews but are not, and are liars fall down at your feet. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so no one will take your crown.

The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of God and the name of the city of God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from God, and I will write on them my new name.

To the church at Laodicea, he said:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.

I know your deeds, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you would be one or the other! Because you are lukewarm, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, “I am rich, I have acquired wealth and am in need of nothing” yet you do not realize you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. I suggest you buy from me gold refined in the fire so you can be rich, with white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness, and salve to put on your eyes so you can see. To whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with that person. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.

What the story means to us today

The purpose of the seven letters

The seven letters to the seven churches were wonderfully complex, poetic treatises to the early church leaders. Each letter served several purposes. First, they acknowledged what each church was doing right in their Christian ministry. In this regard, Smyrna and Philadelphia received only praise.

However, as a parent would discipline a child that they care for, some of the early churches are admonished for behavior which Jesus considers wrong, apathetic, or detrimental to the Christianity movement. Sardis and Laodicea received near sole disapproval.

We must recognize that the criticisms applied to the churches are actually blessings – corrections each church should make to remain in God’s good grace. History shows us that some of the early churches made corrections and prospered while others chose to not heed Jesus’ warnings and fell into obscurity.

Finally, although some aspects of Jesus’ message may seem cryptic or foreign to present-day readers, understanding the historical context behind each church’s instructions clarifies the intent behind Jesus’ message and reveals that the message he delivered is still applicable to Christian churches today.

Additional thoughts and considerations

Overview

The letters to the seven churches provide lessons for all churches – old and new. Each letter contains a commendation for the church along with a rebuke of the church’ shortcomings. Most importantly, for each shortcoming submitted, the letter explains how to fix the problem.

The messages given to the seven churches provide a remarkably complete treatment of the problems experienced by modern day churches, primarily the fear of suffering, the danger of slipping into a watered-down religion, ignoring the moralities that are guided by the Christian faith, giving up on our religion, and allowing others to distort our religion’s message for their own benefit. The actions suggested to fix the church’s shortcomings apply equally as well to present-day churches.

Letter to Ephesus (the backsliding church)

The roof of the Library of Celsus in Ephesus has collapsed, but its large façade is still intactChristian persecution

Given their location and importance, the church in Ephesus was likely engaged in intense evangelism. Jesus mentions their perseverance which indicates they were likely encountering opposition to their efforts which may have resulted in prosecution of the church’s members. It was known that Johns’ message (he had preached the gospel in Ephesus about 43 years before the letter in Revelation was written) greatly stirred the people and resulted in a large number of conversions to Christianity. History tells us that silversmiths in the area rioted because their Artemis shrine-making businesses were beginning to suffer as a result of the conversions. Modern-day Christians may experience persecution too and must remain dedicated to their beliefs no matter how difficult the opposition.

“Your first love you have left”

John’s rebuke of Ephesus can be translated as “your first love you have left”. By the time of John’s letter, the Christians in Ephesus were second-generation Christians. Although Christianity still prospered in Ephesus and Ephesusians were heeding Christ’s lessons, John saw that something was still missing. Likely the Ephesusians had become lax, serving God but not entirely following Christian principles. Modern-day Christians must heed the same warning. It’s not enough to simply attend church or read your Bible. You must heed the principles of honesty, love, compassion, and forgiveness in your everyday life.

A lesson applicable to modern-day personal relationships

John’s message to the church at Ephesus is applicable to personal relationships too – husband and wife especially. Often, after a period of time, marital relationships become stale and mates begin taking each other for granted. This can be corrected just as Jesus instructed the Ephesusians to correct the “loss of their first love”. To begin, recognize that there is a problem (Jesus said, “consider how far you have fallen”). Then resolve to correct the problem (“repent”). Finally, repeat the “firstworks”, the original bond you had with your mate early in the relationship (“do the things you did at first”).

Did the Ephesusians heed John’s warning?

It is worthy to note that after John’s letter to the Ephesusians, the city became the location of a major church council. Many years later, a letter from Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch, praised them for their brave stand for truth. It appears as if the Christians at Ephesus did indeed John’s warning.

Letter to Smyrna (the church that suffered)

Ruins of a sugar mill in SmyrnaDespite poverty and discrimination, the church at Smyrna remains “rich”

Smyrna was home to a large number of advent imperial religious followers as well as large pagan and Jewish populations. As such, and as mentioned by Jesus in John’s letter, the Christians in Smyrna faced harsh treatment, including poverty and imprisonment, for their beliefs. For instance, in 23 AD the first temple honoring the Roman leader Tiberius was built. Each citizen was required to burn incense to the “god” Caesar and were given a certificate of compliance when the deed was complete. Christians refused to worship Caesar and thus, suffered tremendously. Yet despite poverty and discrimination (a human measurement of value), Jesus called them “rich” (in spiritual value) because despite harsh circumstances, they remained true to their Christian beliefs.

Why must good Christians suffer?

It may seem as if only the ungodly should suffer but alas, that is not the case. Suffering is a painful experience but often serves a purpose. Suffering can be used as punishment, as a learning experience, or as the foundation for a future testimony after the suffering has been overcome. Christians are not immune to suffering nor should they be expected to be given a life free of suffering – that’s not the objective of Christian beliefs.

Did the Smyrnaians continue to suffer as John said?

That the Smyrnaians continued to suffer as Jesus had predicted is without question. In fact, after John’s letter to Smyrna, Polycarp became the bishop of the church in Smyrna. Within a few years, historical sources tell us that he was martyred for his beliefs. Undoubtedly others were too.

Letter to Pergamum (the worldly church)

Greek theater at Pergamum (Pergamos)A city with all odds stacked against them

Pergamos (its proper name is Pergamum) was home to several pagan cults (Augustus, Zeus, Athena, Dionysus, Aslepius). In fact, Pergamum had an alter to Zeus at the top of its prominent acropolis. Thus, with many cults and a strong culture of imperial religion, Jesus described the city as “where Satan lives” and recognized that Christians in Pergamum had many odds stacked against them.

Despite sin all around us, Christians cannot compromise their beliefs

Unfortunately, the Christians of Pergamum were influenced by the sin all around them. Various forms of religion had infiltrated their homes and alternative teachings were followed by members of the Pergamum Christian church. Specifically mentioned as enticing to the church members was the eating of food sacrificed to idols and committing sexually immoral acts. The church as Pergamum had been compromised and Jesus called upon them to repent.

The same situation can infect Christians today. Christians cannot compromise their beliefs to fit the world around them. We cannot adjust our beliefs to meet current societal standards in order to avoid suffering or ridicule. To do so is the same as committing “spiritual adultery”

Who was Antipas?

Jesus mentions the death of “Antipas”, his “faithful witness”, who was put to death in Pergamum. Little is known of Antipas but tradition says he was tortured (burned to death in a “braze-bull-shaped alter) during the reign of Domitian, the Roman emperor during the time Revelation was written (around 92 AD). His “crime” was the casting out of demons that were commonly worshipped by the local population. A famous story says: When Antipas was advised: “Antipas, the whole world is against you!”, Antipas replied: “Then I am against the whole world!”

Byzantine church ruins in ThyatiraLetter to Thyatira (the unrepentant church)

The prophet Jezebel pushes Thyatira to a crisis point

In the letter to Thyatira, Jesus mentions a false prophetess named (or called) Jezebel. Similar to the situation at the church at Pergamum, things in Thyatira appear to have reached a crisis point. The church at Thyatira is called out for following Jezebel’s teachings advocating sexual immorality and eating food that had been sacrificed to their gods, all apparently acceptable acts in the local culture. Jesus tells the church members that Jezebel’s children (possibly referring to her followers and not her maternal children) will be struck dead in such a manner that all will know that Christ is the One.

Letter to Sardis (the dying church)

Being alive but dead

Temple of Artemis in SardisThe letter to Sardis particularly strikes home with modern-day churches. Jesus saw that Sardis was merely going through the motions, with no zeal for the word of God. They had built a legacy and were now living off it. Jesus says they had the appearance of “being alive” but were really dead. As Jesus says, if they do not wake up, he will come “like a thief in the night”.

Jesus instructed the church at Sardis in the most basic of Christian tenets – to remember what they had heard, obey what they were told, and repent for their wrongdoings. Is essence, he called for a revival, a renewal of the church’s spirit.

Note that even though the church of Sardis was condemned for their lackluster faith, Jesus specifically reminded them that those who were “victorious” would be dressed in white and would not have their names blotted from the book of life. The same principles hold today – man is not without sin. We are fragile and easily influenced. But recognition of our shortcomings, turning them around (by following the bible’s teachings), and specifically asking for forgiveness (which further acknowledges our understanding of the wrongdoing), is required from all Christians. Christ’s message today is unchanged: remember, repent, and obey.

Ruins of St John Church in Alasehir (Philadelphia), TurkeyLetter to Philadelphia (the faithful church)

It’s not size nor strength of a church that matters but fait and commitment to God’s commands

Jesus tells the Philadelphians, “I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut” implying that the church members may have been shut out of something. It is believed that the congregation in Philadelphia was small and of little import in the area which explains Jesus’ statement that they had little strength (yet kept his word and did not deny his name).

Some theorize that the Philadelphian Christians may have been excommunicated from a local synagogue for their beliefs. This theory is supported by further statements including the mention that the church members refused to deny Jesus’ name and a reference to the “synagogue of Satan” (imperial religion, or the worship of government leaders, was strong in Philadelphia).

Despite intense spiritual warfare against them, Philadelphia stood as examples of spiritual purity (like Smyrna, Jesus had no criticisms for the church at Philadelphia). Further proof comes from historical writings of Ignatius. He wrote that the church leader at Philadelphia was “attuned to the commandments as a harp to its strings”.

Modern churches may find themselves in a similar situation. Jesus’ statements show us that it is not the size nor strength of a church but its faith and commitment to God’s commands that matter.

Letter to Laodicea (the lukewarm church)

Laodicea on the LycusChristian beliefs must remain in the forefront of our minds

Laodicea must have been in especially bad shape as Jesus had nothing positive to say about its members. In fact, things were so bad that Jesus wanted to “spit them out of his mouth”. One of Jesus’ complaints about Laodicea is especially relevant to present-day churches. Jesus says their deeds were neither “cold nor hot” meaning they were neither detached nor zealous but rather, noncommittal in their beliefs. Modern day Christians my find themselves in a similar situation. It’s important that our Christian beliefs remain forefront in our minds and actions.

Are the seven letters prophetic messages to churches throughout time?

Some believe the letters to the seven churches double as prophetic symbols to churches throughout the ages. Given the many references to specific people and places, some of which are unknown to modern-day readers, that the letters represent seven epochs in world history is likely a stretch. It is clear that the letters were written to real congregations of the day.

Still, some believe each letter related to a period in Christianity. Here are the seven churches and the proposed prophetic symbol that relates to churches throughout history.

Ephesus – The Apostolic Age

Smyrna – The post-apostolic era of persecution

Pergamum – The Catholic era, during which priesthood developed

Thyatira – The Dark Ages

Sardis – The Reformation

Philadelphia – The “true church” of every age

Laodicea – The “lukewarm” church of the twentieth century

Was the order of the letters important?

The order that the seven letters were delivered seems unimportant. This first letter, to Ephesus was the closet to Patmos, where John recorded the letters. This was followed by letters on the west coast of Asia followed by letters to those in the interior of the area.

The science and history behind the story

Introduction to the seven churches

Some are surprised to find that the “Seven Churches of Revelation” were all located in present-day Turkey. Although Christianity in Turkey today represents only a small percentage of their population (partially due to the Ottoman’s, aka Turkish Empire’s, Armenian Genocide). In John’s day, Christianity grew quickly and spread through the area.

For instance, Antioch, which today is Antakya, Turkey was the place where followers of Jesus were first called “Christians”. Also, it is believed that the Apostle John took the Virgin Mary to Ephesus in western Turkey where she spent the last days of her life in a home known as the “House of the Virgin” (the home still survives today).

The science and history behind Ephesus

Archeological excavations at EphesusIn ancient times, Ephesus was the most important city in Asia Minor. It was situated on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea where the Cavster River meets the Aegean Sea. A major seaport, it was built on the 10th century BC site of the former Arzawan capital. It flourished around Jesus’ time and had a population estimated to be between 33,600 and 56,000 people.

Ephesus was home of the Library of Celsus, a 25,000-person outdoor theater. It was first used for drama but later used for gladiatorial contests (excavations in 2007 uncovered a gladiator graveyard on the site).  It was the location of the great temple of Artemis, a Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis, and home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the great temple of Diana (built around 550 BC and destroyed around 268 AD).

The city was high populated and had one of the most advanced aqueduct systems in the ancient world. Today the immediate area has been uninhabited since the 14th century.

The Agora in SmyrnaThe science and history behind Smyrna

Located on the protected harbor of the Aegean and next to a major road system, Smyrna was an important export city in Jesus’ day. Its name means “myrrh” (a perfume) and was known for its exceptional wealth and beauty. Smyrna was founded by the Greeks in 1000 BC and later rebuilt around 200 BC. Politically, it was a strong ally of Rome and was awarded the “honor” of building a temple for the worship of emperor Tiberius. Many years later, around 155 AD, Bishop Polycarp was martyred in their city for his refusal to say “Caesar is Lord”. Today Smyrna is the prosperous city if Izmir, Turkey with a population over 200,000.

The science and history behind Pergamum

A city known for culture, learning, and an “open” lifestyle, Pergamum was called “the greatest city in Asia Minor”. It was only 20 miles inland from Smyrna, a wealthy city, and famous seat of Roman government. Its main “god” was Caesar.

Pergamum was well-known for the manufacturer of a parchment paper called pergamene sheet. It was strongly Greek and popularly worshiped Asklepios, the god of healing (his temples were akin to modern-day hospitals) but also housed temples dedicated to Zeus. Famously, it had a library of between 200,000 and 1,000,000 volumes of literary works.

The science and history behind Thyatira

Located just 40 miles southeast of Pergamum, Thyatira was a much smaller city than the other six. It was a military city, known for its manufacturing and trade. Per inscriptions found at the site, it was especially notable for its popular purple dye and purple cloth (Lydia, the purple-cloth dealer mentioned in Acts whom Paul met in Philippi, came from Thyatira).

Thyatira was a border city with a large military presence (thus the many military references in Jesus’ letter to them). As a result, it likely saw much traffic and thus, was linked to a wide variety of religious practices. It was known to boast a template to Apollo, the Sun God.

Today Thyatira is the modern-day city of Akhisar in far west Turkey.

Ancient synagogue in SardisThe science and history behind Sardis

Sardis was an almost impregnable military stronghold and important commercial city located just 30 miles southeast of Thyatira and 50 miles east of Ephesus at the junction of five main roads. Standing 1,500 feet high, the city dominated the countryside. It was one of the wealthier cities in John’s day and an important trade route. Notable industries in Sardis included jewelry, dye, and textiles.

Sardis was also a center of pagan worship. In Sardis, archaeologists have uncovered a massive temple dedicated to the Greek Goddess Artemis (one of the twelve Olympians, a deity associated with nature, animals, and fertility).

Although the city remained prosperous for about 200 years after John’s letter was written, only a small village called Sart remains on the site of the city today.

The science and history behind Philadelphia

Philadelphia was known for its commercial and agriculture products (particularly grapes). It was located 28 miles southeast of Sardis. The city’s founder, Attalus II, named it after his favorite brother Eumenes (the name means “brotherly love”). It was originally founded for the purpose of spreading the Greek culture to the regions of Lydia and Phrygia. It was called “Little Athens” for its many temples.

The city was destroyed several times by earthquakes (including one in 17 BC that also destroyed Sardis and ten other cities) and rebuilt . Today the city is known as Alasehir. A small theater at the northern edge of Toptepe Hill is all that remains of biblical-era Philadelphia.

Mosaic in St Mark's Basilica of the seven angelsThe science and history behind Laodicea

Laodicea was located in Phrygia, about 40 miles southeast of Philadelphia, in the Lycus Valley on a trade route between Ephesus and Syria. It was founded by Antiochus of Syria and named after his wife Laodice. The city featured a prominent medical school and was known for its extravagant wealth.  An earthquake destroyed the city about 35 years before this letter was written and it was easily rebuilt using the region’s wealth.

Laodicea exported a powder (Phrygian powder) that was used as an eye salve (and mentioned by Jesus in John’s letter). Laodicea also manufactured a popular medicinal ear salve. Wool cloth was a major export and the city was famous for a black garment made from the black glossy wool. It was also known for its city center and banking system. It became the headquarters of imperial religion (the worship of emperors and other leaders as deities).

Laodicea was situation near the present-day city of Denizli in Turkey. Excavations in 2012 uncovered a stadium, temples, a gymnasium, theaters, and a Senate House.

The white stone

In Johns’ letter to the church a Pergamum, Jesus says “I will give persons who repent a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” Scholars differ on the meaning of “white stone”. It is known that in those days, a judge would place a white stone into a vessel in order to indicate his vote for innocence in a criminal trial. John was likely using this as a metaphor for God’s declaration of righteousness through Jesus. Regardless, most agree that the inscription on the stone is the true lesson. It indicates that each person is given a second chance if they recognize their wrongdoings and repent.

Who was Jezebel?

In the letter to Thyatira, Jesus mentions “the woman Jezebel”. Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab and one of the key villains of the Bible. It is unclear if John was referencing a specific person named Jezebel or referring to Queen Jezebel herself. Possibly the reference was not to a woman named “Jezebel” since the name may have been held in low esteem given Queen Jezebel’s controversial legacy. Regardless, Jezebel promoted the worship of Baal in Israel and was guilty of witchcraft, idolatry, murder, deceit, and likely more.

Balaam and the angel (1493)The religion of Balaam

In the letter to the church in Pergamum, Jesus chides some of the church members for following the teachings of Balaam “who taught Balak (the king of Moab) to entice the Israelites to sin.” Balaam was a prophet documented in both the Bible and other historical sources. Balaam mesmerized the people of Transjordan with his divination and magic skills. He appears commonly in the Old and New Testaments as an example of an “evil artist”. Numbers tells us that he almost succeeded in turning the Israelites against God. Numbers also reveals that he was later killed by the Israelites in their campaign against Midian.

The deeds of the Nicolaitans

Jesus mentions the Epesusians hatred of the Nicolaitans practices. They are also condemned in the letters to Pergamum. Little has been discovered about the Nicolaitans, whose name means “conquerors of the people”, or their deeds. It is believed they were a group who sought to work out a compromise whereby Christians could take part in pagan activities without embarrassment or shame. Several of the early church fathers, including Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Epiphanius, and Theodoret mentioned this group and stated that the deacon Nicolas was the leader of the sect.

Nicolas was a native of Antioch who converted to Judaism and later Christianity. He was chosen by the disciples to be one of the first seven deacons around 33 AD. Historical writings from early church leaders say Nicolas “gradually sank into the grossest impurity” and led some Christian followers astray under the banner of “Nicolaitans”.

Notes in biblical translation

Suffering for 10 more days

Jesus told the Smyrnians that they would suffer for “10 days”. This phrase is used elsewhere in the Bible and does not literally mean they would suffer for 10 days but rather, that they would suffer for a limited period of time. The saying was similar to a modern day figure of speech such as “I told you a dozen times already”.

Bible Text

NIV

2 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 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. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

7 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

To the Church in Smyrna

8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9 I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

11 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.

To the Church in Pergamum

12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:

These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.

14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. 15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

17 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

To the Church in Thyatira

18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, 25 except to hold on to what you have until I come.’

26 To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—27 that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’ z—just as I have received authority from my Father. 28 I will also give that one the morning star. 29 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

To the Church in Sardis

3 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits d of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 6 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

To the Church in Philadelphia

7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

To the Church in Laodicea

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

The New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.

The Message

1 2 Write this to Ephesus, to the Angel of the church. The One with Seven Stars in his right-fist grip, striding through the golden seven-lights’ circle, speaks:

2–3 “I see what you’ve done, your hard, hard work, your refusal to quit. I know you can’t stomach evil, that you weed out apostolic pretenders. I know your persistence, your courage in my cause, that you never wear out.

4–5 “But you walked away from your first love—why? What’s going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you’ve fallen? A Lucifer fall!

“Turn back! Recover your dear early love. No time to waste, for I’m well on my way to removing your light from the golden circle.

6 “You do have this to your credit: You hate the Nicolaitan business. I hate it, too.

7 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. I’m about to call each conqueror to dinner. I’m spreading a banquet of Tree-of-Life fruit, a supper plucked from God’s orchard.”

8 Write this to Smyrna, to the Angel of the church. The Beginning and Ending, the First and Final One, the Once Dead and Then Come Alive, speaks:

9 “I can see your pain and poverty—constant pain, dire poverty—but I also see your wealth. And I hear the lie in the claims of those who pretend to be good Jews, who in fact belong to Satan’s crowd.

10 “Fear nothing in the things you’re about to suffer—but stay on guard! Fear nothing! The Devil is about to throw you in jail for a time of testing—ten days. It won’t last forever.

“Don’t quit, even if it costs you your life. Stay there believing. I have a Life-Crown sized and ready for you.

11 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. Christ-conquerors are safe from Devil-death.”

12 Write this to Pergamum, to the Angel of the church. The One with the sharp-biting sword draws from the sheath of his mouth—out come the sword words:

13 “I see where you live, right under the shadow of Satan’s throne. But you continue boldly in my Name; you never once denied my Name, even when the pressure was worst, when they martyred Antipas, my witness who stayed faithful to me on Satan’s turf.

14–15 “But why do you indulge that Balaam crowd? Don’t you remember that Balaam was an enemy agent, seducing Balak and sabotaging Israel’s holy pilgrimage by throwing unholy parties? And why do you put up with the Nicolaitans, who do the same thing?

16 “Enough! Don’t give in to them; I’ll be with you soon. I’m fed up and about to cut them to pieces with my sword-sharp words.

17 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. I’ll give the sacred manna to every conqueror; I’ll also give a clear, smooth stone inscribed with your new name, your secret new name.”

18 Write this to Thyatira, to the Angel of the church. God’s Son, eyes pouring fire-blaze, standing on feet of furnace-fired bronze, says this:

19 “I see everything you’re doing for me. Impressive! The love and the faith, the service and persistence. Yes, very impressive! You get better at it every day.

20–23 “But why do you let that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet mislead my dear servants into Cross-denying, self-indulging religion? I gave her a chance to change her ways, but she has no intention of giving up a career in the god-business. I’m about to lay her low, along with her partners, as they play their sex-and-religion games. The bastard offspring of their idol-whoring I’ll kill. Then every church will know that appearances don’t impress me. I x-ray every motive and make sure you get what’s coming to you.

24–25 “The rest of you Thyatirans, who have nothing to do with this outrage, who scorn this playing around with the Devil that gets paraded as profundity, be assured I’ll not make life any harder for you than it already is. Hold on to the truth you have until I get there.

26–28 “Here’s the reward I have for every conqueror, everyone who keeps at it, refusing to give up: You’ll rule the nations, your Shepherd-King rule as firm as an iron staff, their resistance fragile as clay pots. This was the gift my Father gave me; I pass it along to you—and with it, the Morning Star!

29 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.”

1 3 Write this to Sardis, to the Angel of the church. The One holding the Seven Spirits of God in one hand, a firm grip on the Seven Stars with the other, speaks:

“I see right through your work. You have a reputation for vigor and zest, but you’re dead, stone-dead.

2–3 “Up on your feet! Take a deep breath! Maybe there’s life in you yet. But I wouldn’t know it by looking at your busywork; nothing of God’s work has been completed. Your condition is desperate. Think of the gift you once had in your hands, the Message you heard with your ears—grasp it again and turn back to God.

“If you pull the covers back over your head and sleep on, oblivious to God, I’ll return when you least expect it, break into your life like a thief in the night.

4 “You still have a few followers of Jesus in Sardis who haven’t ruined themselves wallowing in the muck of the world’s ways. They’ll walk with me on parade! They’ve proved their worth!

5 “Conquerors will march in the victory parade, their names indelible in the Book of Life. I’ll lead them up and present them by name to my Father and his Angels.

6 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.”

7 Write this to Philadelphia, to the Angel of the church. The Holy, the True—David’s key in his hand, opening doors no one can lock, locking doors no one can open—speaks:

8 “I see what you’ve done. Now see what I’ve done. I’ve opened a door before you that no one can slam shut. You don’t have much strength, I know that; you used what you had to keep my Word. You didn’t deny me when times were rough.

9 “And watch as I take those who call themselves true believers but are nothing of the kind, pretenders whose true membership is in the club of Satan—watch as I strip off their pretensions and they’re forced to acknowledge it’s you that I’ve loved.

10 “Because you kept my Word in passionate patience, I’ll keep you safe in the time of testing that will be here soon, and all over the earth, every man, woman, and child put to the test.

11 “I’m on my way; I’ll be there soon. Keep a tight grip on what you have so no one distracts you and steals your crown.

12 “I’ll make each conqueror a pillar in the sanctuary of my God, a permanent position of honor. Then I’ll write names on you, the pillars: the Name of my God, the Name of God’s City—the new Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven—and my new Name.

13 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.”

14 Write to Laodicea, to the Angel of the church. God’s Yes, the Faithful and Accurate Witness, the First of God’s creation, says:

15–17 “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.

18 “Here’s what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that’s been through the refiner’s fire. Then you’ll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You’ve gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.

19 “The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!

20–21 “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That’s my gift to the conquerors!

22 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.”

Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005. Print.

The NET Bible

2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus, write the following:

“This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who has a firm grasp on the seven stars in his right hand—the one who walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2:2 ‘I know your works as well as your labor and steadfast endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have even put to the test those who refer to themselves as apostles (but are not), and have discovered that they are false. 2:3 I am also aware that you have persisted steadfastly, endured much for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary. 2:4 But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love! 2:5 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. 2:6 But you do have this going for you: You hate what the Nicolaitans practice—practices I also hate. 2:7 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will permit him to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God.’

To the Church in Smyrna

2:8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write the following:

“This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who is the first and the last, the one who was dead, but came to life: 2:9 ‘I know the distress you are suffering and your poverty (but you are rich). I also know the slander against you by those who call themselves Jews and really are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 2:10 Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. The devil is about to have some of you thrown into prison so you may be tested, and you will experience suffering for ten days. Remain faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown that is life itself. 2:11 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will in no way be harmed by the second death.’

To the Church in Pergamum

2:12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write the following:

“This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who has the sharp double-edged sword: 2:13 ‘I know where you live—where Satan’s throne is. Yet you continue to cling to my name and you have not denied your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was killed in your city where Satan lives. 2:14 But I have a few things against you: You have some people there who follow the teaching of Balaam, who instructed Balak to put a stumbling block before the people of Israel so they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. 2:15 In the same way, there are also some among you who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 2:16 Therefore, repent! If not, I will come against you quickly and make war against those people with the sword of my mouth. 2:17 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give him some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on that stone will be written a new name that no one can understand except the one who receives it.’

To the Church in Thyatira

2:18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write the following:

“This is the solemn pronouncement of the Son of God, the one who has eyes like a fiery flame and whose feet are like polished bronze: 2:19 ‘I know your deeds: your love, faith, service, and steadfast endurance. In fact, your more recent deeds are greater than your earlier ones. 2:20 But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and by her teaching deceives my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 2:21 I have given her time to repent, but she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality. 2:22 Look! I am throwing her onto a bed of violent illness, and those who commit adultery with her into terrible suffering, unless they repent of her deeds. 2:23 Furthermore, I will strike her followers with a deadly disease, and then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts. I will repay each one of you what your deeds deserve. 2:24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, all who do not hold to this teaching (who have not learned the so-called “deep secrets of Satan”), to you I say: I do not put any additional burden on you. 2:25 However, hold on to what you have until I come. 2:26 And to the one who conquers and who continues in my deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations—

2:27 he will rule them with an iron rod

and like clay jars he will break them to pieces,

2:28 just as I have received the right to rule from my Father—and I will give him the morning star. 2:29 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To the Church in Sardis

3:1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write the following:

“This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a reputation that you are alive, but in reality you are dead. 3:2 Wake up then, and strengthen what remains that was about to die, because I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3:3 Therefore, remember what you received and heard, and obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come against you. 3:4 But you have a few individuals in Sardis who have not stained their clothes, and they will walk with me dressed in white, because they are worthy. 3:5 The one who conquers will be dressed like them in white clothing, and I will never erase his name from the book of life, but will declare his name before my Father and before his angels. 3:6 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To the Church in Philadelphia

3:7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write the following:

“This is the solemn pronouncement of the Holy One, the True One, who holds the key of David, who opens doors no one can shut, and shuts doors no one can open: 3:8 ‘I know your deeds. (Look! I have put in front of you an open door that no one can shut.) I know that you have little strength, but you have obeyed my word and have not denied my name. 3:9 Listen! I am going to make those people from the synagogue of Satan—who say they are Jews yet are not, but are lying—Look, I will make them come and bow down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 3:10 Because you have kept my admonition to endure steadfastly, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth. 3:11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one can take away your crown. 3:12 The one who conquers I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will never depart from it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God (the new Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from my God), and my new name as well. 3:13 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To the Church in Laodicea

3:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write the following:

“This is the solemn pronouncement of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation: 3:15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot! 3:16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth! 3:17 Because you say, “I am rich and have acquired great wealth, and need nothing,” but do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, 3:18 take my advice and buy gold from me refined by fire so you can become rich! Buy from me white clothing so you can be clothed and your shameful nakedness will not be exposed, and buy eye salve to put on your eyes so you can see! 3:19 All those I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent! 3:20 Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home and share a meal with him, and he with me. 3:21 I will grant the one who conquers permission to sit with me on my throne, just as I too conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 3:22 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ ”

Biblical Studies Press. The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press, 2006. Print.

King James Version

2 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: 3 And hast jborne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 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. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of ythem which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; 13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. 14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to ecommit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hhearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. 26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

3 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and gart dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11 Behold, I come quickly: shold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and uknock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

The Holy Bible: King James Version. Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009. Print.

Sources: NIV, The Message, The NET Bible, King James Version, NET Bible Notes, Faithlife Study Bible, The Apologetics Study Bible, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary, The Bible Reader’s Companion, Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Holman Concise Bible Commentary, The Bible Exposition Commentary, The Teacher’s Bible Commentary, The Teacher’s Commentary, The Bible Guide, Word Studies in the New Testament, Holman Bible Handbook, Calvin Commentaries, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines, The New Manner and Customs of the Bible, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Bible Dictionary, Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Harper’s Bible Dictionary, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, The Archaeological Encyclopedia, Biblical Archeology Review, The New Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Analytical Lexicon, Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database
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