Jesus gives critical feedback to seven churches in the Roman province of Asia near the end of the first century AD. These are a sample representing the worldwide Church, especially then end-time Church.
The Book of Revelation is a bit like a mail-merge letter that Jesus has John write and send to the seven churches of Asia. Most of the letter is addressed to all its recipients, but chapters 2 to 3 are like variable fields that are specific to each recipient church.

Given that the seven churches of Asia existed over 1,900 years ago, and have since disappeared, how should we interpret these messages and understand their relevence to end-times? It is no coincidence that there are seven churches. Seven is a number that represents completeness in the bible, and is often associated with God himself (e.g. Revelation 1:4). So my understanding is that the seven churches of Asia represent a sample of God's worldwide Church as a whole. Some bible scholars attempt to associate each church with a specific period of church history, but in my view that is an imposition upon the text. As at any time in church history, the Church today is a heterogeneous mixture of different types of churches, each facing different issues. So by giving feedback to a snapshot of seven individual churches, Jesus is addressing a range of issues that have been relevant to the worldwide church throughout its history. Given our closeness to the end times, they are especially relevant to the worldwide church today.

However, I also suspect it is significant that all seven churches were located in the Roman province of Asia, which in Ezekiel's time was part of the kingdom of Lydia. Ezekiel 38 is a prophecy of Antichrist's end-time invasion of Israel, in which the Antichrist is named as Gog after a 7th century BC king of Lydia, named Gyges. Ezekiel tells us that the Antichrist is the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, which were also regions of ancient Turkey. So it may be that Jesus selects seven churches in Turkey to especially represent issues that the worldwide Church will face during the time that Antichrist is in power as a world leader.

To the first five churches, Jesus gives both praise and rebuke. Philadelphia (the sixth) receives only praise, and Laodicea (the seventh) receives only rebuke.
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1st century AD, Province of Asia

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6th century BC, Kingdom of Lydia

To the Church in Ephesus (2:1-7)
This church is generally a good example, demonstrating good works, steadfast endurance, rejection of evil, testing of its leaders, and rejection of heretical teachings and practices, without them growing weary of following Christ. However, they need to repent of losing Jesus as their first love, and to rediscover the passion they had as young believers.

Jesus warns that otherwise their lampstand will be removed. Presumably that means the church would fall away and disappear. In Romans 11:17-24, Paul describes how some of the Jewish branches were broken off and he warns that Gentile branches also risk being broken off if they should become arrogant and boastful? Although lampstands and branches are different metaphors, perhaps the meaning is similar. In any case, what we learn from this church is that we must maintain our passionate love for Jesus and not allow our hearts to become cold.

In verse 7, Jesus says that to the one who conquers (or overcomes), he will permit to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God. To conquer means to remain faithful to Jesus, whatever challenges you face. According to Revelation 22:2 & 14, a tree of life stands on each side of the river in the New Jerusalem and provides healing for the nations. Those who wash their robes (accept Christ's righteousness) are permitted to enter the gates of the city and to access it.

Jesus ends each message saying, "The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches". In the Gospels, Jesus ended many of his parables with a similar saying. Effectively, he is saying 'you have two ears and a brain between them, so use it to understand and apply what I have said'.

To the Church in Smyrna (2:8-11)
The members of this church were materially poor, and were facing severe persecution. But Jesus viewed them as spiritually rich. Satan was using members of a Jewish synagogue to persecute and slander them, and the situation was about to worsen for a brief time. Jesus told them to remain faithful, even to the point of imprisonment and death. This is an important word to the end-time church.

To those who remain faithful and overcome, Jesus promises a crown of life, and that we will not be harmed by the second death. The second death is the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). Speaking of Christian martyrs, Revelation 20:6 says, "The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years".

To the Church in Pergamum (2:12-17)
Jesus commends the members of this church for clinging on to their faith, even after one of them was martyred. However, he warns that some of them were following the teaching of the Nicolaitans (v15). From verse 14, it seems the Nicolaitans taught that it was permissible for Christians to engage in sexual immorality. Jesus likens their teaching to that of Balaam. During the Exodus, King Balak of Moab hired Balaam to curse the Israelites, but God commanded Balaam to bless them instead. Unable to directly curse them himself (Numbers 22-24), Balaam advised the Moabites to entice the Israelites into committing sexual immorality with their women. In this way, the Israelites brought God's curse upon themselves, and as a result 24,000 Israelites died in a plague (Numbers 25 and 31).

Jesus warns this church that if they do not repent of following such teaching and practices, he will make war against them with the sword of his mouth. In other words, at his second coming he will treat them as unbelievers and enemies.

Jesus also identified Pergamum as the place where Satan lived and had his throne (v13). In the Old Testament, Jerusalem was considered to be the place where God lived and had his throne. God was also seen to live and to be enthroned in heaven, but the Jerusalem temple was considered to be his earthly dwelling place (e.g. Psalm 26:8). The Ark of the Covenant in the temple's most holy place was considered to be the earthly dimension, or footstool, of his throne (1 Chronicles 28:2-3, Isaiah 66:1). Jesus identifies Pergamum as the place where Satan lived and had his throne because it was a centre of Zeus worship, and contained a temple known as the Pergamum altar of Zeus. There was also a Temple of Zeus in Athens, and another in Olympia. So whether Jesus considered Pergamum to be the dwelling place of Satan, or merely one of Satan's dwelling places is not clear. What is clear is that Jesus considered Zeus to be a guise of Satan, by which Satan masqueraded as God.

According to the practice of Interpretatio graeca, or Interpretatio romana, the Greeks and Romans attempted to match the gods of other nations with the gods of their own pantheon. For example, the Romans identified the Greek god Zeus as Jupiter, Aphrodite as Venus, Ares as Mars, Artemis as Diana, and so on. In today's western world which has been built very much upon Graeco-Roman culture, it is common for many westerners to assume that the gods of the various nations are all ultimately the same God of the universe. It is certainly very common for westerners to accept the Muslim claim that despite many differences between the Bible and the Quran, Allah is ultimately the same as the God of the Bible. However, this is a foreign concept to the Bible. As far as the Bible is concerned, Jehovah is the one true God, and every other god is a false god. To worship or sacrifice to a false god is ultimately to worship demons or Satan (Deuteronomy 32:15-18, 1 Corinthians 10:20).

Satan's throne is also mentioned in Revelation 13:2, "The dragon gave the beast his power, his throne, and great authority to rule". The dragon in this portrayal is Satan, and the beast represents the end-time Antichrist and his empire. Is it still the case that Satan lives and has his throne in Turkey?

In the late 19th century, the Pergamum Altar was excavated by the German engineer, Carl Humann. Its western side was moved and reassembled in Berlin, where the Germans built the Pergamon Museum to exhibit it. In the 1930's, Hitler's stage for the Nuremberg Rallies was modelled upon the Pergamum Altar. It was as though Satan gave Hitler his throne. Hitler was a prototype of the final Antichrist, just as the Apostle John wrote in 1 John 2:18, "Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared". According to Ezekiel 38:1, the Antichrist will be a ruler of Turkey, and it is possible that the Pergamum Altar will have some kind of further association with him, whether literally or figuratively. In any case, Antichrist will be empowered by Satan to perform all kinds of false miracles, signs and wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11), and to rule with great authority. Jonathan Cahn has published several videos on the subject of Satan's throne and the Pergamum Altar.

The abomination of desolation that Antiochus Epiphanes set up in the temple in 168 BC was also an altar of Zeus, and forms a basis for understanding the abomination of desolation that the Antichrist will set up in the temple in the end-times (Daniel 9:27, 12:11, and Matthew 24:15). Antiochus Epiphanes claimed to be the earthly embodiment of Zeus, or Zeus-incarnate. After sacking Jerusalem in 168 BC and killing some 20,000 Jews, he erected a statue of Zeus in the Jerusalem temple and forced the Jews to sacrifice pigs to it on the temple altar.

In today's world few people worship Zeus. Instead, I believe that today, Allah is Satan's primary guise by which he masquerades as God. In the end times, Antichrist will sack Jerusalem (Ezekiel 38-39, Zechariah 14:2, Luke 21:20), set up his abomination of desolation (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15), and present himself as God in the Jerusalem temple (2 Thessalonians 2:4). I believe he will present himself as the earthly embodiment not of Zeus, but of Allah. As such, when Revelation 13:2 says that the dragon (Satan) will give his throne to the beast (Antichrist), we must ask ourselves, "Where does Satan live and have his throne today?" Surely his temple is the Kaaba in Mecca, and his throne is the black stone. It suggests that Satan will give Antichrist the black stone, and he will be permitted to take it to Jerusalem and set it up in God's temple.

To those who conquer or overcome in Pergamum, Jesus promises they will receive hidden manna and a white (or bright) stone with a name written on it that no-one apart from its recipient will understand. The fact that this church existed 'where Satan lived' suggests that it represents churches that will be present within the borders of Antichrist's end-time empire. Hidden manna implies God's miraculous provision during the Great Tribulation when Christians in Antichrist's empire will be unable to buy or sell because they refuse the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:17). Figuratively speaking, the Great Tribulation is like an end-time Exodus for Jews and Christians. Manna was God's miraculous provision during the Exodus, but stopped when they crossed the Jordan into the promised land. No-one knows the significance of the white stone, and it is not clear whether it is something Christians will receive during the Great Tribulation period, or as a reward at the judgment of the righteous.

To the Church in Thyatira (2:18-28)
Jesus commends this church for love, faith, service, and steadfast endurance (v19), and that their deeds were getting better rather than worse.

However, some of them were being led astray by a false prophetess. Jesus calls her Jezebel, probably after Ahab's wicked Queen Jezebel (1 Kings 16-21). This 'Jezebel' was leading some of the church astray by teaching them to practice idolatry and sexual immorality (v20), and to follow so-called 'deep secrets of Satan' (v24). Jesus warned that God would strike her and her followers with deadly disease (v23).

Jesus promises that those who conquer and 'continue in my deeds until the end' will reign with him when he rules the nations with an iron rod and breaks them like clay jars (v26-27). Here he is quoting from Psalm 2 which depicts the start of his reign when he has to crush worldwide rage and rebellion in reaction to his second coming. Jesus says he 'will give him authority over the nations… just as I have received the right to rule from my Father - and I will give him the morning star'. This promise is similar to the one he gives in Revelation 3:21 to those who conquer from the Church in Laodicea, that they will sit with him on his throne.

But what does Jesus mean that he will give them the morning star (v28)? He calls himself the morning star in Revelation 22:16, "I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star!" So effectively, he is saying that he will give himself to them. And why does he call himself the morning star? The morning star is literally the planet Venus which is the brightest object in the night sky after the moon. From an ancient perspective, the planets were wandering stars. Being close to the sun, Venus rises before dawn, and is the last 'star' to remain visible as the sun rises. At the birth of John the Baptist, his father Zechariah prophesied about the second coming of Jesus, saying in Luke 1:78-79, "Because of our God’s tender mercy the dawn will break upon us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death". The breaking of 'dawn' (Greek: 'anatole') alludes to Isaiah 60:1-3, in which the coming of Messiah is like the bright light of the dawn, dispelling the deep darkness of night that figuratively covers the nations of the earth. In this picture, Jesus is more like the rising sun than just the morning star that fades away as the sun rises. Peter also alludes to Zechariah's prophecy in 1 Peter 1:19 when he urges us to pay attention to the biblical prophecies of Christ's coming, "as you would to a light shining in a murky place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts". Putting all these together, Jesus fits both aspects of the dawn. Figuratively he is both the morning star and the rising sun. But why both? I would suggest that when Jesus appears on the Mount of Olives at the fall of Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2), he appears like the morning star. This is at the start of the Great Tribulation. But according to Revelation 12:5, it seems that after creating an escape route for the Jewish refugees, he is then temporarily caught back up to heaven. Then at the end of the Great Tribulation, he returns in resplendent glory like the rising sun, for all to see.

To the Church in Sardis (3:1-6)
This church has a reputation for being alive. Despite this, Jesus rebukes most in this church for being spiritually dead. He warns them that they need to wake up before they lose what they still have. Otherwise he will come to them like a thief, implying that his coming will be a shock to them and they will suffer loss. Jesus can only commend a few individuals in Sardis who have not stained their clothes. Stained clothes depict Christians living in sin and compromise. Jesus promises that if they conquer they will walk with him dressed in white and their names will never be erased from the book of life. The book of life is God's record of all who are saved (Philippians 4:3, Revelation 13:8, 17:8, 20:15, 21:27). Being dressed in white represents being clothed in Christ's righteousness (Galatians 3:27, Revelation 19:8-14). Jesus says he will declare their names before his Father and the angels. By implication, this will be at the judgment (Matthew 25:31-46, Revelation 20:4-6).

To the Church in Philadelphia (3:7-13)
This is the only church for which Jesus has only praise and no rebuke. He introduces himself as 'the Holy One, the True One, who holds the key of David, who opens doors no one can shut, and shuts doors no one can open'. According to Isaiah 22:22, this key of David was originally promised to Eliakim son of Hilkiah who would become a protector of the residents of Jerusalem and of Judah. Jesus says he has put in front of the Philadelphian church an open door that no-one can shut. The implication is that the gate is open for them to enter the New Jerusalem, and nothing can get in their way. Jesus is pronouncing over them his assurance of their salvation. But the original context of the key of David suggests this church has a role to play as protector of the Jews. The end-time church must support Israel. And if they do, then in accordance with the Abrahamic covenant, God will bless those who bless Israel (Genesis 12:3).

Jesus says that although they have little strength, they have obeyed his word and not denied his name (v8). Like the church in Smyrna, the Philadelphian church was being slandered by a Jewish synagogue which Jesus calls a synagogue of Satan (v9). Jesus says that although they claim to be Jews, they are lying. As Paul says in Romans 9:6, "For not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel". Jesus promises to make these unsaved Jews come and bow down at the feet of the Philadelphian church and acknowledge that Jesus has loved them. God's plan is to manifest his salvation through the end-time church in such a way as to make the Jews jealous, so they want what the Church has (Romans 11:11).

Jesus says in verse 10, "Because you have kept my admonition to endure steadfastly, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth". This is an important verse that deserves careful thought. Christians who teach a pre-tribulation rapture often cite this verse as evidence that the Church will be raptured before the Great Tribulation and not have to pass through it. But why should the end-time Church identify itself only with the Philadelphian church and not with the six other churches? Although Jesus found reasons to rebuke the other six churches, it is clear that each church contained some true believers who would conquer or overcome. So it does not make sense to take this promise that was specific to the Philadelphian church and apply it to all believers in the end-time Church. So how else should we understand this promise? The key of David promise implies that the Philadelphians represent Christians who will protect the Jews. As they do so, God will bless and protect them in return, for God has promised to bless those who bless Israel. Just as God protected his people during the plagues of Egypt, so God is able to protect his people during the Great Tribulation.

Jesus says in verse 11, "I am coming soon". Two thousand years ago, Christ's coming was 'soon' according to God's timescale. But as 2 Peter 3:8 tells us, a day is like a thousand years to God, and a thousand years is like a day. Jesus tells the Philadelphians to hold on to what they have so that no one can take away their crown. Their crown is not a picture of salvation, but of rewards for service by those who have been saved by grace and faithfully served him. The Apostle Paul looked forward to receiving such as crown in 2 Timothy 4:8, "Finally the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day – and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing".

Jesus promises that the one who conquers will become a pillar in God's temple. He will never depart from it, and Jesus will write on him the name of God, the name of the New Jerusalem, and his own new name. Jesus does not tell us what new name he is going to receive. Perhaps this is a royal title that Jesus receives when he begins to rule the earth after being crowned upon the clouds. I understand the writing of these names upon the believer to imply belonging and citizenship of the New Jerusalem. And to be a pillar in God's temple is a metaphor for being a leader in Christ's kingdom, as in Galatians 2:9. In the eternal age there will be no temple other than God and Jesus (Revelation 21:22), whereas there will be a Millennial temple (Ezekiel 40-48). It is possible that Jesus is speaking of their role when they reign with him during the Millennium (Revelation 20:6).

To the Church in Laodicea (3:14-22)
This is the only church which receives no praise, but only rebuke. Jesus describes them as lukewarm, and says he is going to vomit them out of his mouth. They think they are rich and need nothing, but Jesus sees them as 'wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked' (v17). He counsels them to 'buy' true gold to make them rich in God's sight, white clothing that represents true righteousness, and eye salve to remove their spiritual blindness (v18). None of these are things they could buy literally. They are received as gifts of grace by repenting and trusting in Jesus. Jesus says that he rebukes and disciplines them because he loves them and he calls them to be earnest and repent (v19). He pictures himself standing on the outside of this church, knocking on the door. He promises that if anyone listens to his voice and opens the door, he will come into that person's home and share a meal with him. This is a metaphor for intimate relationship.

Even to this church, Jesus promises that the one who conquers will sit with him on his throne, just as Jesus conquered through his suffering and death and sat down with the Father on his throne.

Summary of key points
As Christians in the end times, Jesus requires us to:
-Maintain our passionate love for him, like we had as new believers
-continue in good works for him
-endure hardship, even if that means just clinging on to our faith with our last remaining grip
-repent whenever we fall short
-reject evil
-test our leaders according to the scriptures
-reject heresies
-remain faithful even if it means imprisonment or martyrdom
-reject sexual immorality and compromise
-keep our clothes clean (i.e. walk in Christ's righteousness)
-protect and bless the Jews
-not deny Jesus
-open ourselves to Jesus whenever we hear him 'knocking' at the doors to our lives

If we conquer (i.e. fulfil the above requirements), we will:
-eat from the tree of life in the New Jerusalem
-receive a crown of life
-not be harmed by the second death (lake of fire)
-receive God's miraculous provision during the Great Tribulation
-receive a white stone that will only be understood by those who receive it
-be clothed in Christ's righteousness
-never be erased from the book of life
-be affirmed by Jesus before his Father and the angels
-have the gates of heaven opened to us
-be protected by Jesus from the end-time plagues
-become pillars in God's temple (leaders in his millennial kingdom)
-be named as belonging to God, and as citizens of the New Jerusalem
-enjoy fellowship and intimacy with Jesus
-sit with Jesus on his throne and reign with him
Places: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, New Jerusalem
Symbols: Seven stars, Seven lampstands, Throne of Satan, Hidden manna, White stone, Morning star, Thief in the night, Stained clothes, White clothes, Book of life, Key of David, Pillar, Pure gold, Door
Tags: First love, Tree of life, Persecution, Slander, Martyrdom, Second death, Lake of fire, Throne of Satan, End-time heresies, Sexual immorality, Morning star, Dawn, Rising sun, Thief in the night, Book of life, Support for Israel, Judgments and rewards, End-time Church, Corrupt church, Repentance, Millennial temple
To the Church in Ephesus
2 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus, write the following:
“This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who has a firm grasp on the seven stars in his right hand – the one who walks among the seven golden lampstands:
2 ‘I know your works as well as your labor and steadfast endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have even put to the test those who refer to themselves as apostles (but are not), and have discovered that they are false.
3 I am also aware that you have persisted steadfastly, endured much for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary.
4 But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love!
5 Therefore, remember from what high state you have fallen and repent! Do the deeds you did at the first; if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place – that is, if you do not repent.
6 But you do have this going for you: You hate what the Nicolaitans practice – practices I also hate.
7 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will permit him to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God.’

To the Church in Smyrna
8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write the following:
“This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who is the first and the last, the one who was dead, but came to life:
9 ‘I know the distress you are suffering and your poverty (but you are rich). I also know the slander against you by those who call themselves Jews and really are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
10 Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. The devil is about to have some of you thrown into prison so you may be tested, and you will experience suffering for ten days. Remain faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown that is life itself.
11 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will in no way be harmed by the second death.’

To the Church in Pergamum
12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write the following:
“This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who has the sharp double-edged sword:
13 ‘I know where you live – where Satan’s throne is. Yet you continue to cling to my name and you have not denied your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was killed in your city where Satan lives.
14 But I have a few things against you: You have some people there who follow the teaching of Balaam, who instructed Balak to put a stumbling block before the people of Israel so they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality.
15 In the same way, there are also some among you who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
16 Therefore, repent! If not, I will come against you quickly and make war against those people with the sword of my mouth.
17 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give him some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on that stone will be written a new name that no one can understand except the one who receives it.’

To the Church in Thyatira
18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write the following:
“This is the solemn pronouncement of the Son of God, the one who has eyes like a fiery flame and whose feet are like polished bronze:
19 ‘I know your deeds: your love, faith, service, and steadfast endurance. In fact, your more recent deeds are greater than your earlier ones.
20 But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and by her teaching deceives my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.
21 I have given her time to repent, but she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality.
22 Look! I am throwing her onto a bed of violent illness, and those who commit adultery with her into terrible suffering, unless they repent of her deeds.
23 Furthermore, I will strike her followers with a deadly disease, and then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts. I will repay each one of you what your deeds deserve.
24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, all who do not hold to this teaching (who have not learned the so-called “deep secrets of Satan”), to you I say: I do not put any additional burden on you.
25 However, hold on to what you have until I come.
26 And to the one who conquers and who continues in my deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations –
27 he will rule them with an iron rod and like clay jars he will break them to pieces,
28 just as I have received the right to rule from my Father – and I will give him the morning star.
29 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
To the Church in Sardis
3 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write the following:
“This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a reputation that you are alive, but in reality you are dead.
2 Wake up then, and strengthen what remains that was about to die, because I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.
3 Therefore, remember what you received and heard, and obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come against you.
4 But you have a few individuals in Sardis who have not stained their clothes, and they will walk with me dressed in white, because they are worthy.
5 The one who conquers will be dressed like them in white clothing, and I will never erase his name from the book of life, but will declare his name before my Father and before his angels.
6 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write the following:
“This is the solemn pronouncement of the Holy One, the True One, who holds the key of David, who opens doors no one can shut, and shuts doors no one can open:
8 ‘I know your deeds. (Look! I have put in front of you an open door that no one can shut.) I know that you have little strength, but you have obeyed my word and have not denied my name.
9 Listen! I am going to make those people from the synagogue of Satan – who say they are Jews yet are not, but are lying – Look, I will make them come and bow down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.
10 Because you have kept my admonition to endure steadfastly, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth.
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one can take away your crown.
12 The one who conquers I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will never depart from it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God (the new Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from my God), and my new name as well.
13 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To the Church in Laodicea
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write the following:
“This is the solemn pronouncement of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation:
15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot!
16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth!
17 Because you say, “I am rich and have acquired great wealth, and need nothing,” but do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked,
18 take my advice and buy gold from me refined by fire so you can become rich! Buy from me white clothing so you can be clothed and your shameful nakedness will not be exposed, and buy eye salve to put on your eyes so you can see!
19 All those I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent!
20 Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home and share a meal with him, and he with me.
21 I will grant the one who conquers permission to sit with me on my throne, just as I too conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.
22 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”