Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.
And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.
In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings.
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals--these are the very things that destroy them.
Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.
These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead.
They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones
to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.
They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires."
These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Be merciful to those who doubt;
snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy--
to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
who testifies to everything he saw--that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,
and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father--to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.
8"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."
I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,
which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea."12
I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
and among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man," dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.
His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.
His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.
In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.18I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.19"Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.20The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
1"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:2I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.5Remember the height from which 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.6But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
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.9I know your afflictions and your poverty--yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.10Do 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 the crown of life.11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.
12"To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.13I know where you live--where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city--where Satan lives.14Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.15Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.16Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
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.19I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.20Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.21I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.22So 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.23I 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.24Now 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):25Only hold on to what you have until I come.26To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations--27'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery -- just as I have received authority from my Father.28I will also give him the morning star.29He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.