I, John, with you all the way in the trial and the Kingdom and the passion of patience in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of God's Word, the witness of Jesus.
It was Sunday and I was in the Spirit, praying. I heard a loud voice behind me, trumpet-clear and piercing:
"Write what you see into a book. Send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea."
I turned and saw the voice. I saw a gold menorah with seven branches,
And in the center, the Son of Man, in a robe and gold breastplate,
hair a blizzard of white, Eyes pouring fire-blaze,
both feet furnace-fired bronze, His voice a cataract,
right hand holding the Seven Stars, His mouth a sharp-biting sword, his face a perigee sun.
I saw this and fainted dead at his feet. His right hand pulled me upright, his voice reassured me:
I'm Alive. I died, but I came to life, and my life is now forever. See these keys in my hand? They open and lock Death's doors, they open and lock Hell's gates.
Now write down everything you see: things that are, things about to be.
The Seven Stars you saw in my right hand and the seven-branched gold menorah - do you want to know what's behind them? The Seven Stars are the Angels of the seven churches; the menorah's seven branches are the seven churches."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)