The Church in Ephesus
(1) “To the angel of the church in Ephesus (in modern Selcuk, Turkey) write the following: These are the prophetic words of the one who holds the seven stars (angels) in his right hand and walks in the middle of the seven gold lampstands (churches) (see Revelation 1:14, 16)!
(2) “I know your works—your hard labor and obedience—and how you cannot tolerate evil people. You have examined (tested, put on trial) those who claim to be apostles but are not, and you have exposed them to be false. (3) You have endured and experienced hardships for my name, but your hearts have not grown weary.
(4) “But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first (your first love). (5) Therefore, wake up and realize from what heights you have fallen! Repent and do the works of love that you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
(6) “Yet you have this in your favor: you hate the practices of the Nicolaitans (see Revelation 2:15), which I also hate.
(7) “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches. To those who overcome and are victorious because of their faith, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life in the paradise (garden) of God.”
The Church in Smyrna
(8) “To the angel of the church of Smyrna (in modern Izmir, Turkey) write the following: These are the prophetic words of the one who is the First and the Last, who died but came back to life (see Revelation 1:18)!
(9) “I know your suffering and poverty—but you are rich! And I know about the slander of those who call themselves Jews and are not but instead are a synagogue of Satan. (10) Do not fear what you are about to suffer. For the devil is about to have some of you thrown into prison to test you, but your suffering will last only ten days. Be faithful even to the point of death (martyrdom), and I will give you the victor’s crown (wreath) of life.
(11) “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches. Those who overcome and are victorious because of their faith will never suffer the second death (hell, the lake of fire; see Revelation 20:14-15).”
The Church in Pergamum
(12) “To the angel of the church in Pergamum (in modern Bergama, Turkey) write the following: These are the prophetic words of the one who holds the sharp, double-edged sword (see Revelation 1:16)!
(13) “I know you live where Satan has his throne of power, but you still stand strong for my name. You did not deny your faith in me even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, when he was put to death (martyred) in Pergamum, where Satan lives.
(14) “But I have a few things against you: there are some in Pergamum who believe in the teaching of Balaam who taught Balak to tempt the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and practicing sexual perversion. (15) There are also some in Pergamum who believe in the teaching of the Nicolaitans (see Revelation 2:6). (16) Therefore, repent! If you do not, I will soon come to you soon and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
(17) “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches. To those who overcome and are victorious because of their faith, I will give some of the hidden manna, and a white stone with a new name written on it. It is a new name that is known only to those who receive it.”
The Church in Thyatira
(18) “To the angel of the church in Thyatira (in modern Akhisar, Turkey) write the following: These are the prophetic words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like a blazing flame of fire and whose feet are like polished bronze (see Revelation 1:13-15)!
(19) “I know your good works—your love and faith and service and patient endurance. You are even doing more good works now than when you first believed.
(20) “But I have this against you: you tolerate the woman ‘Jezebel’ who calls herself a prophetess. Her deceptive teaching deceives my servants to practice sexual perversion and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (21) I gave her time to repent of her immorality, but she refuses to change. (22) Let everyone be aware! I am ready to throw her on a bed of sickness (violent illness). If those who follow her adulterous teaching (commit adultery with her) do not turn away from following her ways, I will cause terrible suffering to come upon them. (23) I will strike her devoted followers (children) dead (with a deadly disease). Then all the churches will know that I am the one who examines hearts and minds. And I will reward each person according to how they have lived their lives (what their works deserve).
(24) “But I will not place any hardship on those in Thyatira who do not follow Jezebel’s teaching and have not learned the so-called deep secrets of Satan. (25) I call upon you to hold strong to the truth until I come again.
(26) “To those who overcome and are victorious by doing my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations. (27) As it is written in Psalm 2:9, ‘He will rule them with a rod of iron in the same way pieces of pottery are smashed.’ Just as I have received authority to rule from my Father, (28) I will give the victorious believers the morning star. (29) Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches.”