The Message

Revelation 2

To Ephesus

1Write this to Ephesus, to the Angel of the church. The One with Seven Stars in his right-fist grip, striding through the golden seven-lights’ circle, speaks:

2-3 “I see what you’ve done, your hard, hard work, your refusal to quit. I know you can’t stomach evil, that you weed out apostolic pretenders. I know your persistence, your courage in my cause, that you never wear out.

4-5 “But you walked away from your first love—why? What’s going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you’ve fallen? A Lucifer fall!

“Turn back! Recover your dear early love. No time to waste, for I’m well on my way to removing your light from the golden circle.

“You do have this to your credit: You hate the Nicolaitan business. I hate it, too.

“Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. I’m about to call each conqueror to dinner. I’m spreading a banquet of Tree-of-Life fruit, a supper plucked from God’s orchard.”

To Smyrna

Write this to Smyrna, to the Angel of the church. The Beginning and Ending, the First and Final One, the Once Dead and Then Come Alive, speaks:

“I can see your pain and poverty—constant pain, dire poverty—but I also see your wealth. And I hear the lie in the claims of those who pretend to be good Jews, who in fact belong to Satan’s crowd.

10 “Fear nothing in the things you’re about to suffer—but stay on guard! Fear nothing! The Devil is about to throw you in jail for a time of testing—ten days. It won’t last forever.

“Don’t quit, even if it costs you your life. Stay there believing. I have a Life-Crown sized and ready for you.

11 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. Christ-conquerors are safe from Devil-death.”

To Pergamum

12 Write this to Pergamum, to the Angel of the church. The One with the sharp-biting sword draws from the sheath of his mouth—out come the sword words:

13 “I see where you live, right under the shadow of Satan’s throne. But you continue boldly in my Name; you never once denied my Name, even when the pressure was worst, when they martyred Antipas, my witness who stayed faithful to me on Satan’s turf.

14-15 “But why do you indulge that Balaam crowd? Don’t you remember that Balaam was an enemy agent, seducing Balak and sabotaging Israel’s holy pilgrimage by throwing unholy parties? And why do you put up with the Nicolaitans, who do the same thing?

16 “Enough! Don’t give in to them; I’ll be with you soon. I’m fed up and about to cut them to pieces with my sword-sharp words.

17 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. I’ll give the sacred manna to every conqueror; I’ll also give a clear, smooth stone inscribed with your new name, your secret new name.”

To Thyatira

18 Write this to Thyatira, to the Angel of the church. God’s Son, eyes pouring fire-blaze, standing on feet of furnace-fired bronze, says this:

19 “I see everything you’re doing for me. Impressive! The love and the faith, the service and persistence. Yes, very impressive! You get better at it every day.

20-23 “But why do you let that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet mislead my dear servants into Cross-denying, self-indulging religion? I gave her a chance to change her ways, but she has no intention of giving up a career in the god-business. I’m about to lay her low, along with her partners, as they play their sex-and-religion games. The bastard offspring of their idol-whoring I’ll kill. Then every church will know that appearances don’t impress me. I x-ray every motive and make sure you get what’s coming to you.

24-25 “The rest of you Thyatirans, who have nothing to do with this outrage, who scorn this playing around with the Devil that gets paraded as profundity, be assured I’ll not make life any harder for you than it already is. Hold on to the truth you have until I get there.

26-28 “Here’s the reward I have for every conqueror, everyone who keeps at it, refusing to give up: You’ll rule the nations, your Shepherd-King rule as firm as an iron staff, their resistance fragile as clay pots. This was the gift my Father gave me; I pass it along to you—and with it, the Morning Star!

29 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.”

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

启示录 2

给以弗所教会的信

1“你要写信告诉以弗所教会的天使,那位右手拿着七颗星、往来于七个金灯台中间的主说,

‘我知道你的行为、劳碌和坚忍,也知道你疾恶如仇,曾查验出那些假冒的使徒,揭穿他们的虚假。 你曾坚定不移地为我的名受苦,没有气馁。 但有一件事我要责备你,就是你把起初的爱心丢弃了。 因此,要回想你在哪里跌倒了,并且悔改,照起初所行的去行。否则,我就要到你那里,将你的灯台从原处拿走。 然而你还有一点可取之处,就是你跟我一样痛恨尼哥拉党人的行径。

‘圣灵对各教会所说的话,凡有耳朵的都应当听。我必将上帝乐园中生命树上的果子赐给得胜者吃。’

给士每拿教会的信

“你要写信告诉士每拿教会的天使,那位首先的、末后的、死而复活的主说,

‘我知道你遭受的苦难和贫穷,其实你是富足的。我也知道那些人对你的毁谤,他们自称为犹太人,其实不是,而是撒旦的同伙[a] 10 你不要害怕将要遭受的苦难。魔鬼要将你们当中的一些人下在监里,试炼你们,你们必遭受十天的迫害。但你要至死忠心,我必赐给你生命的冠冕。

11 ‘圣灵对各教会所说的话,凡有耳朵的都应当听。得胜者必不被第二次死亡所害。’

给别迦摩教会的信

12 “你要写信告诉别迦摩教会的天使,那位有两刃利剑的主说,

13 ‘我知道你住在撒旦称王的地方。当我忠心的见证人安提帕在你们这撒旦盘踞之处殉道的时候,你仍然坚守我的名,仍然信靠我。 14 不过有几件事我要责备你,你那里有人随从巴兰的教导。这巴兰从前教巴勒在以色列人面前布下网罗,使他们吃祭过偶像的食物、犯淫乱的罪。 15 同样,你们当中也有人附从尼哥拉党的教导。 16 所以你要悔改,否则我必迅速到你那里,用我口中的剑攻击他们。

17 ‘圣灵对各教会所说的话,凡有耳朵的都应当听。我必将隐藏的吗哪赐给得胜者。我也要赐给他一块白石,石上刻着一个新名字,除了那领受的人以外,没有人认识。’

给推雅推喇教会的信

18 “你要写信告诉推雅推喇教会的天使,那位双目如火焰、双脚像闪亮精铜的上帝的儿子说,

19 ‘我知道你的行为、爱心、信心、事奉、坚忍,也知道你末后所做的善事比起初更多。 20 可是有一件事我要责备你,就是你容许那自称是先知的妇人耶洗别教导我的众奴仆,引诱他们淫乱、吃祭过偶像的食物。 21 我曾给她悔改的机会,她却不肯悔改、离弃自己的淫乱行为, 22 所以我必叫她卧病在床。那些与她有染的人若不悔改,也必遭受极大的苦难。 23 我要击杀她的爪牙[b],使众教会都知道我洞察人的心思意念,我要照你们各人的行为对待你们。

24 ‘至于你们其余在推雅推喇的人,就是不听那邪说,没有学习所谓的撒旦玄学的人,我告诉你们,我不会将别的重担放在你们身上。 25 但你们要好好持守自己已经得到的,一直到我来。 26 至于那得胜又遵守我命令到底的人,我必赐给他统治列国的权柄, 27 正如我从我父得到的权柄。他必用铁杖管辖列国,将他们如同陶器一般打得粉碎。 28 我也要把晨星赐给他。

29 ‘圣灵对各教会所说的话,凡有耳朵的都应当听。’

Footnotes

  1. 2:9 撒旦的同伙”希腊文是“撒旦的会众”,用以表达与“耶和华的会众”对立。
  2. 2:23 爪牙”希腊文是“儿女”。