9 I am John, your brother, and as a follower of Jesus I am your partner in patiently enduring the suffering that comes to those who belong to his Kingdom. I was put on the island of Patmos because I had proclaimed God's word and the truth that Jesus revealed.
10 On the Lord's day the Spirit took control of me, and I heard a loud voice, that sounded like a trumpet, speaking behind me.
11 It said, "Write down what you see, and send the book to the churches in these seven cities: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea."
12 I turned around to see who was talking to me, and I saw seven gold lampstands,
13 and among them there was what looked like a human being, wearing a robe that reached to his feet, and a gold band around his chest. 1
14 His hair was white as wool, or as snow, and his eyes blazed like fire; 2
15 his feet shone like brass that has been refined and polished, and his voice sounded like a roaring waterfall. 3
16 He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth. His face was as bright as the midday sun.
17 When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead man. He placed his right hand on me and said, "Don't be afraid! I am the first and the last. 4
18 I am the living one! I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I have authority over death and the world of the dead.
19 Write, then, the things you see, both the things that are now and the things that will happen afterward.
20 Here is the secret meaning of the seven stars that you see in my right hand, and of the seven gold lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.