3 “To the leader of the church in Sardis write this letter:
“This message is sent to you by the one who has the sevenfold Spirit[a] of God and the seven stars.
“I know your reputation as a live and active church, but you are dead. 2 Now wake up! Strengthen what little remains—for even what is left is at the point of death. Your deeds are far from right in the sight of God. 3 Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly and turn to me again. Unless you do, I will come suddenly upon you, unexpected as a thief, and punish you.
4 “Yet even there in Sardis some haven’t soiled their garments with the world’s filth; they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 Everyone who conquers will be clothed in white, and I will not erase his name from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that he is mine.
6 “Let all who can hear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
7 “Write this letter to the leader of the church in Philadelphia.
“This message is sent to you by the one who is holy and true and has the key of David to open what no one can shut and to shut what no one can open.
8 “I know you well; you aren’t strong, but you have tried to obey[b] and have not denied my Name. Therefore I have opened a door to you that no one can shut.
9 “Note this: I will force those supporting the causes of Satan while claiming to be mine[c] (but they aren’t—they are lying) to fall at your feet and acknowledge that you are the ones I love.
10 “Because you have patiently obeyed me despite the persecution, therefore I will protect you from the time of Great Tribulation and temptation,[d] which will come upon the world to test everyone alive. 11 Look, I am coming soon![e] Hold tightly to the little strength you have—so that no one will take away your crown.
12 “As for the one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; he will be secure and will go out no more; and I will write my God’s Name on him, and he will be a citizen in the city of my God—the New Jerusalem, coming down from heaven from my God; and he will have my new Name inscribed upon him.
13 “Let all who can hear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
14 “Write this letter to the leader of the church in Laodicea:
“This message is from the one who stands firm,[f] the faithful and true Witness of all that is or was or evermore shall be,* the primeval source of God’s creation:
15 “I know you well—you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! 16 But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth!
17 “You say, ‘I am rich, with everything I want; I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that spiritually you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
18 “My advice to you is to buy pure gold from me, gold purified by fire—only then will you truly be rich. And to purchase from me white garments, clean and pure, so you won’t be naked and ashamed; and to get medicine from me to heal your eyes and give you back your sight. 19 I continually discipline and punish everyone I love; so I must punish you unless you turn from your indifference and become enthusiastic about the things of God.
20 “Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me. 21 I will let everyone who conquers sit beside me on my throne, just as I took my place with my Father on his throne when I had conquered. 22 Let those who can hear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”
- Revelation 3:1 the sevenfold Spirit, see note on 1:4.
- Revelation 3:8 you have tried to obey, literally, “you have kept my word.”
- Revelation 3:9 those supporting the causes of Satan while claiming to be mine, literally, “those who say they are Jews but are not.”
- Revelation 3:10 I will protect you from the time of Great Tribulation and temptation, or “I will keep you from failing in the hour of testing.” The inference is not clear in the Greek as to whether this means “kept from” or “kept through” the coming horror.
- Revelation 3:11 soon, or “suddenly,” “unexpectedly.”
- Revelation 3:14 from the one who stands firm, literally, “from the Amen.” of all that is or was or evermore shall be, implied.
New International Version
To the Church in Sardis
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits[b](B) of God and the seven stars.(C) I know your deeds;(D) you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.(E) 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent.(F) But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief,(G) and you will not know at what time(H) I will come to you.
4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes.(I) They will walk with me, dressed in white,(J) for they are worthy. 5 The one who is victorious(K) will, like them, be dressed in white.(L) I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life,(M) but will acknowledge that name before my Father(N) and his angels. 6 Whoever has ears, let them hear(O) what the Spirit says to the churches.
To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia(P) write:
These are the words of him who is holy(Q) and true,(R) who holds the key of David.(S) What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds.(T) See, I have placed before you an open door(U) that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.(V) 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan,(W) who claim to be Jews though they are not,(X) but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet(Y) and acknowledge that I have loved you.(Z) 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you(AA) from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world(AB) to test(AC) the inhabitants of the earth.(AD)
11 I am coming soon.(AE) Hold on to what you have,(AF) so that no one will take your crown.(AG) 12 The one who is victorious(AH) I will make a pillar(AI) in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God(AJ) and the name of the city of my God,(AK) the new Jerusalem,(AL) which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear(AM) what the Spirit says to the churches.
To the Church in Laodicea
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea(AN) write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness,(AO) the ruler of God’s creation.(AP) 15 I know your deeds,(AQ) that you are neither cold nor hot.(AR) I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’(AS) But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.(AT) 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire,(AU) so you can become rich; and white clothes(AV) to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness;(AW) and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.(AX) So be earnest and repent.(AY) 20 Here I am! I stand at the door(AZ) and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,(BA) I will come in(BB) and eat with that person, and they with me.
21 To the one who is victorious,(BC) I will give the right to sit with me on my throne,(BD) just as I was victorious(BE) and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear(BF) what the Spirit says to the churches.”