1 Write this to the angel of the Church in Sardis, “Thus says he who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars:
1 I know your worth: you think you live but you are dead. 2 Wake up and strengthen that which is not already dead. For I have found your works to be imperfect in the sight of my God. 3 Remember what you were taught; keep it and change your ways. If you do not repent I will come upon you like a thief at an hour you least expect.
4 Yet, there are some left in Sardis who have not soiled their robes; these will come with me, dressed in white, since they deserve it. 5 The victor will be dressed in white and I will never erase his name from the book of life; instead, I will acknowledge it before my Father and his angels.
6 Let anyone who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the Churches.”
7 Write this to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia, “Thus says he who is holy and true, who holds the key of David; if he opens, no body shuts and if he shuts nobody opens.
8 I know your worth; I have opened a door before you, which nobody can close, because you have kept my Word and not re nounced me, in spite of your lack of power. 9 I am giv ing you some of the synagogue of Satan who call themselves Jews but they are only liars. I will make them fall at your feet and recognize that I have loved you.
10 Because you have kept my words with patient endurance, I, for my part, will keep you safe in the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world, to test the people of the earth. 11 I am coming soon; hold fast to what you have, lest anyone take your crown.
12 I will make the victor into a column in the sanctuary of my God where he will stay for ever. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God in heaven, and my own new name. 13 Let anyone who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the Churches.”
14 Write this to the angel of the Church in Laodicea, “Thus says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation:
15 I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16 You are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold so I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 You think you are rich and have piled up so much that you need nothing, but you do not realize that you are wretched and to be pitied, poor, blind and naked.
18 I advise you to buy from me gold that has been tested by fire, so that you may be rich, and white clothes to wear so that your nakedness may not shame you, and ointment for your eyes that you may see. 19 I rep rimand and correct all those I love. Be earnest and change your ways.
20 Look, I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my call and open the door, I will come in to you and have sup per with you, and you with me. 21 I will let the victor sit with me on my throne just as I was victorious and took my place with my Father on his throne. 22 Let any one who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the Churches.”
A look at the past: Christ and Israel