Write this to the angel of the Ephesus church: This is what the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand says, the one who walks among the seven golden candlesticks: I know what you've accomplished, your hard work and perseverance. I know you can't tolerate evil people, and how you investigated those who claimed to be apostles but are not, and discovered they were frauds. I know about your patience, and what you endured for my sakeand that you didn't give up!
But I have something against you: you have neglected your first love. So remember how far you've fallenrepent and go back to what you were doing at first. Otherwise I'll come to you and I will remove your candlestick from where it isunless you repent. However, you do have this to your credit: you hate the actions of the Nicolaitans,* just as I do. If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit is telling the churches. I will give to those who are victorious the privilege of eating from the tree of life, which stands in the Paradise of God.
Write this to the angel of the Smyrna church: This is what the first and last says, the one who was dead and came back to life: I know the troubles you are going through, and how poor you are (but you are rich), and the abuse from those who say they are Jews but are not, but belong to Satan's synagogue. 10 Don't be afraid about what you are going to suffer. Yes, the devil will throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Just remain faithful, even if it means death, and I will give you the crown of life! 11 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit is telling the churches. The second death will not harm those who are victorious.
12 Write this to the angel of the Pergamum church: This is what the one holding the sharp two-edged sword says: 13 I know you're living where Satan has his throne, and that you have stayed true to me. You have not denied your trust in me, even when my faithful witness Antipas was killed right among you there where Satan lives!
14 But I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak how to entrap the children of Israel by means of eating food sacrificed to idols and committing sexual sins. 15 Similarly you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 So repent, or soon I will come to you and fight against them using the sword of my mouth. 17 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit is telling the churches. I will give the hidden manna to those who are victorious. I will give them a white stone with a new name written on it that nobody knows except those who receive it.
18 Write this to the angel of the Thyatira church: This is what the Son of God says, the one who has eyes like flaming fire and feet like polished brass. 19 I know what you have accomplished, your love and faithfulness and service and perseverance, and that you are doing more now than when you first believed.
20 But I have something against you: you are allowing the woman called Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess to teach my followers, leading them astray into sexual sins, and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent of her sexual sins, but she's not willing to repent. 22 So I'm throwing her into a bed together with her adulterous partners and they will suffer terribly unless they repent of what they have done with her. 23 I will put her children to death. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who examines thoughts and motives.§ I will repay each of you according to what you've done.
24 For the rest of you there in Thyatira who don't follow this teaching, who have not learned Satan's ‘deep depravities’ as they are called, I don't place on you any other burden. I say to you, 25 Just hold on to what you have until I come.’ 26 I will give authority over the nations to those who are victorious and who do what I say until the end. 27 He will rule the nations with an iron rod, breaking them into pieces like clay pots.* In the same way that I received authority from my Father, 28 I will give them the morning star. 29 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit is telling the churches.”
* 2:6 Nicolaitans: little is known about this group. It is suggested that they taught the physical had no impact on the spiritual, so the kind of life you led was not important. 2:7 In other words, if you are able to hear what is said, then listen and pay attention. 2:14 Referring to the story in Numbers 22 and following. § 2:23 “Thoughts and motives”—Literally, “kidneys and hearts.” * 2:27 See Psalms 2:8-9. 2:28 “Morning star”—an ancient reference to the planet Venus, associated with victory. It is also a title given to Christ.