“Write this to the messenger of the church in Ephesus. It comes from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:
“I know all the things you do. I’ve seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but aren’t – you’ve discovered they’re liars, and you have patiently suffered for me without giving up.
“But I have this complaint against you: you don’t love me as much as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do.
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give the right to eat the fruit of the tree of life which stands in the paradise of God.
“Write this to the messenger of the church in Smyrna. It comes from the one who is the First and the Last, who was dead but is now alive:
“I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those who oppose you. They say they are Jews, but they’re not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan. Don’t be afraid of what you’re about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days, but if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.
“Write this to the messenger of the church in Pergamum. It comes from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:
“I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there.
“But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. Let them repent of this sin, or I will come suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.
“Write this to the messenger of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze:
“I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.
“But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet, to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she will not turn away from her immorality.
“Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will also suffer unless they repent and turn away from following her ways. And her children will die. Then the churches will know that I search the hearts and minds of all people give to everyone what each of them deserves.
“But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them— but depths of Satan, in fact). I will ask nothing more of you than that you hold tight to what you have until I come.
“To all who are victorious, and follow me to the end, I will give authority over all the nations. They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots. They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”