Revelation 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 true. 3 If anyone reads aloud the words of this prophecy, God will bless that person. God will also bless the people who listen to these words, if they continue to obey them. The things that are written here will soon happen.

John writes to the seven churches

4 I am John. I am writing to the seven churches that are in the region of 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 seven 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 seven 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 had died. But Jesus never died again. This shows us that, after death, believers will also become alive again for ever. In this way, believers 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.

So we praise Jesus Christ! He will always be very great! He has power for all time. Amen. 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.

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.

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

Yes, it is true! Amen!

8 The Lord God says, ‘I caused all things to begin and I will cause the end of all things. 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. 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. The Romans had sent John to Patmos because they did not want 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 seven churches in these cities:

1:10‘The 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,
  • Laodicea.’
  • 12 I turned round to see who was speaking to me. When I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands with their lights. 13 In the middle of the lights, I saw someone like a son of man. He was wearing long clothes that reached down to his feet. He wore a gold belt around 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 metal that shines brightly in a very hot fire. When he spoke, his voice was very loud. It was like the sound of water that pours along a river very quickly. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand. A sword with two sharp edges came out of his mouth. His face was like the sun when it shines very brightly.

    1:13‘a son of man’ or ‘a human’. 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 for 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.

    1:18This verse means that Jesus has authority. He will say when a person must die. He will also decide where the dead person's spirit will go. The Bible shows us that Hades is the place for dead people.

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

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