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Chapter 1

1A revelation made by Jesus Christ which God gave him to disclose to his slaves of what must very soon happen. He sent and communicated it by his angel to his slave John, 2who testifies to what he saw—to the message of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3Blessed be the man who reads this prophecy and those who hear it read and heed what is written in it, for the time is near.

4John to the seven churches in Asia, blessing and peace to you from him who is and was and is coming, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ the trustworthy witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the sovereign of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has released us from our sins by his blood 6he has made us a kingdom of priests for his God and Father—to him be glory and power forever. Amen. 7See! He is coming on the clouds, and every eye will see him, even the men who pierced him, and all the tribes of the earth will lament over him. So it is to be, Amen.

8“I am the Alpha and the Omega.” says the Lord God, who is and was and is coming, the Almighty.

9I, John, your brother and companion in the distress, the kingdom, and the endurance that Jesus brings, found myself on the island called Patmos, for uttering God’s message and testifying to Jesus. 10On the Lord’s day I fell into a trance, and I heard a loud voice like a trumpet behind me 11say,

“Write what you see in a roll and send it to the seven churches—to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

12I turned to see whose voice it was that was speaking to me, and when I turned I saw seven gold lampstands, 13and among the lampstands a being like a man, wearing a long robe, with a gold belt around his breast. 14His head and hair were as white as white wool, as white as snow; his eyes blazed like fire; 15his feet were like bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the noise of mighty waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars; from his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword, and his face shone like the sun at noonday. 17When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. But he laid his right hand upon me, and said,

“Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, 18the living one. I was dead, yet here I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys of death and the underworld. 19So write what you have seen, what is now and what is to happen hereafter. 20The secret meaning of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and of the seven gold lampstands is this: The seven stars are the guardian angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

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