2 “Here is what I command you to write to the church in Ephesus.
Here are the words of the One who holds the seven stars in his right hand. He also walks among the seven golden lampstands. He says, 2‘I know what you are doing. You work long and hard. I know you can’t put up with those who are evil. You have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not. You have found out that they are liars. 3You have been faithful and have put up with a lot of trouble because of me. You have not given up.
4‘But here is something I hold against you. You don’t have as much love as you had at first. 5Remember how far you have fallen! Turn away from your sins. Do the things you did at first. If you don’t, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
8“Here is what I command you to write to the church in Smyrna.
Here are the words of the One who is the First and the Last. He is the One who died and came to life again. He says, 9‘I know that you suffer and are poor. But you are rich! Some people say they are Jews but are not. I know that their words are evil. Their worship is satanic.
10‘Don’t be afraid of what you are going to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you. You will be treated badly for ten days. Be faithful, even if it means you must die. Then I will give you a crown. The crown is life itself.
12“Here is what I command you to write to the church in Pergamum.
Here are the words of the One with the sharp sword that has two edges. He says, 13‘I know that you live where Satan has his throne. But you remain true to me. You did not give up your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness. He was put to death in your city, where Satan lives.
14‘But I have a few things against you. You have people there who follow the teaching of Balaam. He taught Balak to lead the people of Israel into sin. So they ate food that had been offered to statues of gods. And they committed sexual sins. 15You also have people who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
17‘Those who have ears should listen to what the Holy Spirit says to the churches. I will give hidden manna to those who overcome. I will also give each of them a white stone with a new name written on it. Only the one who receives that name will know what it is.’
18“Here is what I command you to write to the church in Thyatira.
Here are the words of the Son of God. He is the One whose eyes are like blazing fire. His feet are like polished bronze. He says, 19‘I know what you are doing. I know your love and your faith. I know how well you have served. I know you don’t give up easily. In fact, you are doing more now than you did at first.
20‘But here is what I have against you. You put up with that woman Jezebel. She calls herself a prophet. With her teaching, she has led my servants into sexual sin. She has tricked them into eating food offered to statues of gods.
21‘I’ve given her time to turn away from her sinful ways. But she doesn’t want to. 22She sinned on a bed. So I will make her suffer on a bed. And those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly. Their only way out is to turn away from what she taught them to do. 23I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the One who searches hearts and minds. I will pay each of you back for what you have done.
‘ “He will rule them with an iron rod.
He will break them to pieces like clay pots.” (Psalm 2:9)
About New International Reader’s Version (1998)
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
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