1This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon, which he sent and made known by his angel to his servant, John, 2who testified to God’s word and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, about everything that he saw.

3Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written in it, for the time is near.

4John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne; 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood— 6and he made us to be a Kingdom, priests to his God and Father—to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

7Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.

8“I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

9I John, your brother and partner with you in the oppression, Kingdom, and perseverance in Christ Jesus, was on the isle that is called Patmos because of God’s Word and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet 11saying, “What you see, write in a book and send to the seven assemblies: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

12I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. Having turned, I saw seven golden lamp stands. 13And among the lamp stands was one like a son of man, clothed with a robe reaching down to his feet, and with a golden sash around his chest. 14His head and his hair were white as white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15His feet were like burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace. His voice was like the voice of many waters. 16He had seven stars in his right hand. Out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining at its brightest. 17When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man.

He laid his right hand on me, saying, “Don’t be afraid. I am the first and the last, 18and the Living one. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forever and ever. Amen. I have the keys of Death and of Hades.

19Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will happen hereafter. 20The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven assemblies. The seven lamp stands are seven assemblies.


Word study | Rev 1:4, 11, 20 | Steve Stanley • Hershel Wayne House

Church (Gk. ἐκκλησία, ekklesia). (9; Matt 16:18; 18:17; Acts 8:1, Eph 1:22, Rev 1:4, 11, 20; 2:1) Strong’s 1577

The word church [1] is used one hundred fourteen times in the NT. It is formed from the preposition ἐκ (ek), “out of,” and the verb καλέω (kaleo), to “call.” It literally means “those who are called out.” It is used widely in Greek literature to refer to a regularly summoned legislative body, a casual gathering, or a congregation with shared beliefs. The word is used in the Greek Old Testament for the Hebrew word קהל (qahal), the congregation of Israel. It is used in one passage in the NT for a gathering other than church, Acts 19:30, 33. The typical use in the NT is to refer to a local church, that is, a particular body of believers (Rom 16:1; 2 Cor 1:1Gal 1:22; 1 Thess 1:1). This word is also used to refer to the universal church, that is, all true Christians (believers in Jesus Christ) from the Day of Pentecost until the rapture (Acts 12:1; Col 1:18). It is important to note that from the perspective of the NT, the word “church” [1] only ever refers to the people of God and their assembly. Even though modern Christians use it to refer to the “church” building, it is never used this way in the NT. To think and speak biblically about “church” is to think and speak about saved people universally, or a congregation of believers committed to one another and who assemble regularly. In NT thought, the assembly of God’s people is a powerful and unique expression of the presence of God (Eph 2:21). The church is never mentioned in the OT, with its first mention in the Bible in Matt 16:18.

[1] The origin of the English word "church" is from the Middle English word chirche, from Old English cirice, (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/church) and is related to the German word Kirche, and from the Greek word kuriakon κυριακός, η, ον, "those belonging to the Lord." BAG, p. 459.