I am John, your brother. In Jesus we are partners in suffering and in the Kingdom and in patient endurance. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and speaking about Jesus.
It was the Lord's Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. a Suddenly, I heard a loud voice behind me, a voice that sounded like a trumpet blast.
It said, "Write down what you see, and send it to the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea."12
When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands.
And standing in the middle of the lampstands was the Son of Man. b He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest.
His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were bright like flames of fire.
His feet were as bright as bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves.
He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was as bright as the sun in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, "Don't be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18I am the living one who died. Look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. c19Write down what you have seen -- both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen later. 20This is the meaning of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of d the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)