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Chapter 1

John's message

1 This book describes the things that God showed to Jesus Christ. He wanted Jesus to show these things to his own servants. They are events that must happen soon. Jesus sent his angel to show them to me, his servant John.

2 I, John, have written about everything that God showed me. These things are a true message from God. They are the things that Jesus Christ says are really true. 3 If anyone reads aloud the words of this prophecy, God will bless that person. God will also bless those people who listen to these words. If they obey God's message, all these people will be really happy. These things are very important and they will happen soon.

John writes to the 7 churches

4 I am John. I am writing to the 7 churches that are in the region called Asia. I pray that God will be very kind to you. I pray that he will give you peace in your minds. God is alive now. He has always been alive. He will continue to be alive for ever.

God will help you, and the 7 spirits that are in front of his throne will help you.

1:4We find the number 7 many times in the Book of Revelation. In the Bible, the number 7 usually means that something is complete or perfect. So the 7 spirits may mean God's Holy Spirit.

5 Jesus Christ will also help you. He always speaks a true message. He is the first person who became alive again after death. He rules the kings of the earth.

1:5Other people had become alive again after they died, but Jesus never died again. He became alive again to show us that we also will become alive again after death, if we believe in him. So, he was the first and believers will follow him.

Jesus loves us and he died for us. That is how he made us free. Because of Jesus, God will not punish us for the bad things that we have done. 6 Jesus has brought us into his family, so that we belong to God's kingdom. He has made us priests, so that we serve his God and Father. Because of this, we praise Jesus Christ. He will always be very great! He has power for all time. This is true!

7 Look, he will come on the clouds!

At that time, everyone will see him!

Even the people who pushed a spear into his body will see him.

People from all the countries on earth will be sad when they see him.

Yes, this will really happen. It is true.

1:7The soldiers who killed Jesus put nails through his body to fix him to the cross. Also, a soldier put a spear into Jesus when he was dying on the cross. See John 19:34-37. But we think that this does not include only the soldiers. The leaders of Israel's people and of the Roman government in Israel decided to kill Jesus. Perhaps this verse also includes everyone else who does not want Jesus as their Lord. If they had been alive then, they would have wanted to kill him. All these people will see Jesus when he comes to the earth again. Then they will know that he is the Lord. They will know that they should have obeyed him. So they will be sad. See Zechariah 12:10

8 The Lord God says, ‘I caused all things to begin and I will cause all things to end. I have all power and authority. I am alive. I have always been alive. I will continue to be alive for ever.’

Jesus appears to John

9 I am John. I am a believer, as you are. So I am like your brother and your friend. Because we belong to Jesus' kingdom, we are having trouble and pain. So, we all need to be strong and patient, as Jesus helps us. The Roman leaders punished me because I taught God's message. I told people the true message about Jesus. That is why they sent me to Patmos island.

1:9Patmos island was near to the region called Asia and the 7 churches there. The Romans had sent John to Patmos because they did not like him to teach about Jesus. Patmos was a prison. The Romans would not let John leave Patmos.

10 On the Lord's day, God's Spirit caused me to see and to hear things. I heard a voice speak behind me. The sound was as loud as a trumpet. 11 The voice said: ‘When you see these things, write them in a book. Then you must send the book to the 7 churches in these cities:

1:10The Lord's day may mean Sunday, the first day of the week. This was the day when Christians met together to worship God.
  • Ephesus,
  • Smyrna,
  • Pergamum,
  • Thyatira,
  • Sardis,
  • Philadelphia and
  • Laodicea.’
  • 12 I turned round to see who was speaking to me. When I turned, I saw 7 gold lampstands with their lights. 13 In the middle of the lights, I saw someone like a human person. He was wearing long clothes that reached down to his feet. He wore a gold belt round the top part of his body. 14 His head and his hair were white like sheep's hair. They were very white, like snow. His eyes were like fires that were burning brightly. 15 His feet shone like a yellow metal that shines brightly in a very hot fire. When he spoke, his voice was very loud. It was like the sound of many rivers that are moving very fast. 16 He held 7 stars in his right hand. A sharp sword with two edges came out of his mouth. His face was like the sun when it shines very brightly.

    1:13a human person or a son of man. See Daniel 7:13.

    17 When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead person. Then he put his right hand on me, and he said to me, ‘Do not be afraid! I am the one who is the first and also the last. 18 I am the one who always lives. I died once. But look! Now I am alive and I will be alive for ever. I have authority over death and over Hades, the place of dead people. 19 So write down the things that you have seen. Write about what you see that is happening now. Also write about the things that will happen later.

    1:18Someone who has a key can open a door. Or they can lock a door. They have authority. So, this verse means that Jesus has authority. He can say when a person must die. He can also say where the dead person's spirit will go. The Bible shows us that Hades is the place for dead people.

    20 You saw 7 stars that I held in my right hand. You saw 7 lights in their gold lampstands. Now I will tell you what they mean. The 7 stars show what the angels of the 7 churches are like. The 7 lights in their lampstands show what the 7 churches themselves are like.’

    1:20angels or perhaps it may mean messengers or leaders.