I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus.
It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast.
It said, “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands.
And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. 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 like flames of fire.
His feet were like polished 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 like the sun in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last.
I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.
“Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen.
This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.