The Revelation (Part 1 Letters to the Churches)
Part 1 - Letters to the Churches
The Revelation is the last book of the Bible, and has prophecies relating to the future of the world. The time is coming soon for the conclusion of this world. What will happen during those final years? It is then that our destiny will be revealed.
John, who was a disciple of Jesus Christ, wrote the Revelation while exiled to the island of Patmos. He wrote in the Revelation about prophetic visions that he had concerning the end of the world. But before that, he had a vision of Jesus who instructed him to write letters to seven churches. These were different types of churches that existed about 1900 years ago.
In the first three chapters of the Revelation, John wrote about the origin of the Revelation, and his vision of Jesus. John was instructed by Jesus in the vision to write letters to the seven churches. These letters would give an evaluation of those churches. Although the letters were written long ago, the churches of today could benefit from them.
The following is from the Bible, from the first three chapters of the Revelation, and written in modern-day English:
Revelation, Chapter 1:
God gave The Revelation to Jesus Christ to show His servants certain events that must soon take place. Jesus sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John. John kept a record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed are those who read the words of this prophesy, and those who hear it, and remember the things that are written therein, because the time is coming soon.
From John to the seven churches in Asia:
Grace be unto you, and peace from Him who is, and was, and is to come, and from the seven Spirits that are in the presence of His throne. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the firstborn of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and made us kings and priests unto God, His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever. Amen.
Behold, He will come with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, including those who had pierced Him; the people in the world will cry out because of Him. But even so, amen. Jesus said, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, who is, and who was, and who is to come, and the Almighty."
I, John, who am also your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island called Patmos. I was there for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet that said, "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches in Asia as follows: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea."
I turned to see whose voice had spoken to me, and saw seven golden candlesticks. Among the seven candlesticks was one like the Son of man, dressed in a robe that went down to His feet, with a golden sash tied around the middle. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like fine brass, glowing as if they burned in a furnace. His voice was like the sound of many rushing waters.
In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its radiance.
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though I had died. Then He placed His right hand on me and said, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last. I am He who lives, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, amen, and I have the keys of hell and death."
Jesus said, "Write what you have seen, and what is now, and what will happen later. And this is the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and of the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks are the seven churches."
Revelation, Chapter 2:
Jesus said, "To the angel of the church in Ephesus, write the following: These words said He who holds the seven stars in His right hand; and who walks among the seven golden candlesticks: I know your deeds, your hard work, and your patience; and how you cannot tolerate those who are evil. You have tested those who say they are apostles but are not; and you have found them to be liars."
"You have endured, and have patience, and you have worked hard for my name's sake, and have not given up. Nevertheless, because you have left your first love, I hold that against you. Remember, therefore, from where you are fallen. Repent, and do the work you did at first; if you do not repent, I will come to you quickly and remove your candlestick from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes that I also hate."
"He 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 of the tree of life, which is in the middle of the paradise of God."
Jesus said, "To the angel of the church in Smyrna, write the following: These words said the first and the last, who was dead, and is alive: I know your deeds, your tribulation, and your poverty, but you are actually rich. I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews, and are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan."
"Do not be afraid of what you will suffer. The devil will have some of you put into prison to be tested; and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until you die, and I will give you a crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death."
Jesus said, "To the angel of the church in Pergamos, write the following: These words said He who has the sharp two-edged sword: I know your deeds, and where you live, which is where Satan's throne is. But you remained true to my name, and kept your faith in me, even during the time when Antipas was my faithful martyr, and was killed in your city, where Satan lives."
"But I have a few things against you; you have those there who hold to the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to place a stumbling block in front of the children of Israel. And to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication. You also have those who hold to the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which I hate. Repent, or I will quickly come to you and fight against them with the sword of my mouth."
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give a white stone to him, and on the stone will be written a new name that no one knows except he who receives it."
Jesus said, "To the angel of the church in Thyatira, write the following: These words said the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire, and whose feet are like fine brass: I know your deeds, your charity and service, your faith and patience, and that you are doing more than you did at first.
Nevertheless, I hold a few things against you; you allow that woman Jezebel, who claims to be a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent of her fornication, and she did not repent."
"I will throw her into a bed, and cause those who commit adultery with her to suffer great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will cause her children to die; and all the churches will know that I am He who searches minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you according to your deeds. But to the rest in Thyatira I say: To those who do not have this doctrine, and who have not known the ways of Satan, I will put no other burden. But hold tightly to what you have until I come."
"To him who overcomes, and carries on my work to the end, I will give power over the nations just as I received from my Father. He will rule them with an iron rod, and they will be broken into small pieces like the dishes of a potter. I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
Revelation, Chapter 3:
Jesus said, "To the angel of the church in Sardis, write the following: These words said He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars. I know your deeds, and that you have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead.
Be watchful, and strengthen what remains that is ready to die, for I have not found your deeds to be worthy in the sight of God. Therefore, remember what you have received and heard; hold on to it and repent. If you are not watchful, I will come upon you like a thief, and you will not know when I will come upon you."
"You have a few people in Sardes who have not corrupted themselves. They will walk with me, dressed in white, because they are worthy. He who overcomes will also be dressed in white; I will not remove his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father and His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
Jesus said, "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia, write the following: These words said He who is holy and true, and has the key of David. He who opens, and no one can shut; and shuts, and no one can open: I know your deeds; I have set in front of you an open door that no one can shut, because you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name."
"I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satin, who claim to be Jews and are not, but are liars; I will make them come and worship at your feet, and to know that I have loved you. And because you have followed my command to be patient, I will also protect you from the time of temptation that will come upon all the world, to test those who live on the earth. Be watchful; I will come soon. Hold tightly to what you have so that no one can take your crown."
"For him who overcomes, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will never leave it again. I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which will come down out of heaven from my God. I will also write upon him my new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
Jesus said, "To the angel of the church in Laodicea, write the following: These words said the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God: I know your deeds, and that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot, but because you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.
You say you are rich, and have increased your wealth, and do not need anything, but you don't realize that you are unhappy and miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore, I advise you to buy gold from me that has been tested in the fire so that you may become rich. And to buy white clothing from me so that you may be dressed and not be ashamed by your nakedness. And to buy salve from me to purify your eyes so that you may see."
"To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and am sitting with my Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
These aforementioned letters of evaluation to the seven churches serve as advice and warning to the churches of today. Today's churches need to correct many of their policies according to the letters. They need to be patient and diligent because the time of the end is near. Jesus is coming soon and they should be prepared.
From the Bible:
After that I looked and saw an open door that was in Heaven. Then the first voice I had heard before that was like a trumpet spoke to me again. It said, "Come up here and I will show you what must happen in the future."
(Revelation, Chapter 4, Verse 1)
Next in this series:
The Revelation (Prophecies of the Revelation Part 2) Opening of the Seven Seals
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