THE NEW TESTAMENT:
AN UNDERSTANDABLE VERSION
Table of Contents

REVELATION



CHAPTER ONE

1) [This is the record of] the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave [Him] to show to His servants. [It contains] the things which were soon to happen, and Christ sent His angel [i.e., messenger] to inform His servant, [the apostle] John, [about them]. 2) [So], John testified concerning everything he saw of God=s message and Jesus Christ=s testimony [of it].

3) The person who reads this [book] and those who listen to the words of this prophecy and who obey what is written in it are blessed, for the time [when some of it will occur] is near. [See verse 1].

4) [This book is from] John [and is being sent] to the seven churches that are in Asia [Note: This refers to the province of Asia Minor, a part of present-day Turkey]. May there be unearned favor and peace to you from God, the One who is [in the present] , who was [in the past] and who will come [in the future], and from the seven spirits that are in front of God=s throne [Note: Because the number Aseven@ was regarded as the number of perfection by the Jews, it is thought that this refers to the Holy Spirit]. 5) [It is also] from Jesus Christ, who is the Faithful Witness [to the truth], the Firstborn from the dead [i.e., the first One raised never to die again], the Ruler of the kings of the world.

5)-6) May there be honor and power forever and ever to Christ, who loved us and released us from our sins by His blood [Note: Some manuscripts say Awashed us@ since the two words are spelled almost alike]. 6) And He made us to be a kingdom [See 5:10] and priests [See I Pet. 2:5, 9] for [serving] His God and Father. May it be so. 7) Look, He [i.e., Jesus] is coming with [i.e., Aon@] the clouds! And [then] every eye will see Him, including those who pierced Him, and all the peoples of the earth will grieve because of Him [i.e., because of how they had treated Him]. So it will be. May it be so.

8) AI am the Alpha and the Omega@ [Note: These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and indicate Athe beginning and the end@ See 21:6], says the Lord God Almighty, who is [in the present], and who was [in the past] and who will come [in the future].

9) I [am] John, your brother who participates with you in the suffering and kingdom and endurance [which we experience] in [fellowship with] Jesus. I was on the island called Patmos for [preaching] God=s message and for testifying about Jesus. [Note: Patmos was located in the Aegean Sea between present-day Greece and Turkey]. 10) I was in [i.e., under the influence of] the Holy Spirit on the Lord=s day [i.e., Sunday], when I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet, 11) saying, AWrite down in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicia@ [Note: These seven congregations were all located in western Asia Minor].

12) And I turned to see [whose] voice was speaking to me. And when I turned, I saw seven golden lamp stands, 13) and in the middle of the lamp stands I saw someone [who looked] like a son of man [i.e., Jesus. See verses 17-18]. He was dressed in a robe that reached down to His feet and He had a golden sash around His chest. 14) And His head and hair [i.e., probably meaning the hairs of His head] were as white as wool, or as snow, and His eyes were like flaming fire. 15) And His feet were like shiny brass, [glowing] as when it is being refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of much rushing water. 16) And He had seven stars in His right hand [See verse 20], and a sharp, double-edged sword came out of His mouth. And His face [shone] as the sun, shining in [all] its brilliance. 17) And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as [though I were] dead. And He placed His right hand on me and said, ADo not be afraid; I am the First and the Last, 18) and the Living One. I was dead, and see, I am [now] alive forever and ever! And I possess the keys of death and of the unseen place of departed spirits.

19) ASo, write down the things that you have seen, and the things now going on, and the things that will happen later on. 20) The secret of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lamp stands [is this]: The seven stars are the angels [i.e., messengers] of the seven churches. And the seven lamp stands are the seven churches.@



CHAPTER TWO

1) AWrite [this] to the angel [i.e., the messenger] of the church at Ephesus [Note: These Amessengers,@ (verses 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14) are thought by some to be evangelists]: These things are the words of the One who holds the seven stars in His right hand and walks among the seven golden lamp stands: 2) I know about your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. [I know] that you cannot tolerate wicked men and that you have tested those who call themselves apostles, but really are not, and found them to be liars. 3) And you have persevered and endured [suffering] for my name=s sake [i.e., in my service] and [yet] have not grown weary.

4) ABut, this is what I have against you, that you have forsaken your first love [i.e., love for Christ and His church]. 5) So, remember where you have fallen from and repent [i.e., change your hearts and lives] and do the things you did at first [i.e., when you were first converted], or else I will come and remove your lamp stand from its place [i.e., I will not permit the congregation to survive], unless you repent. 6) But you have this [in your favor]: You hate the [evil] deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate [Note: These people were probably followers of someone named Nicolas and were known to be false teachers. See verse 15].

7) AThe person who has an ear should listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches. To the person who has victory [in the Christian life] I will give [the opportunity] to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.@ [Note: AParadise@ is equivalent to heaven. See II Cor. 12:4].

8) AAnd write [this] to the angel of the church at Smyrna: These things are the words of the First and the Last [i.e., Jesus], who was dead, but has come [back] to life: 9) I know [about] your suffering and your poverty (but you are [really] rich), and the slander of those who say they are Jews, though they [really] are not, but are a synagogue of Satan [i.e., they claimed to be an assembly of God=s people, but in reality were serving Satan]. 10) Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. [For] look, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, so that you may be tested, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. [But], you should be faithful [to God] even to the point of dying [for Him], and I will give you the crown of [never ending] life.

11) AThe person who has an ear should listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches. The person who has victory [in the Christian life] will not be harmed at all by the second death [i.e., the lake of fire. See 21:8].

12) AAnd write [this] to the angel of the church at Pergamum: These are the words of Him who has the sharp double-edged sword: 13) I know where you are living; [it is] where Satan=s throne is. And [I know] that you are holding on firmly to my name, and did not deny [your] faith in me, even in the days of my faithful witness Antipas [Note: The Greek word here for witness is Amartyr@], who was killed there where you are, where Satan lives.

14) ABut I have a few things against you because you have people there [in the church] who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to place a stumbling block in front of the Israelites, [causing them] to eat food sacrificed to idols and to be sexually immoral [See Num. 23-24]. 15) And in the same way, you also have some people [there] who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans [See verse 6]. 16) So, repent, or I will come to you quickly and will attack those people with the sword of my mouth.

17) AThe person who has an ear should listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches. To the person who has victory [in the Christian life] I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will [also] give him a white stone with a new name written on it, which no one understands, except the one who receives it.@

18) AAnd write [this] to the angel of the church at Thyatira: These are the words of the Son of God, who has eyes like flaming fire and feet like shiny brass: 19) I know about your deeds, your love, your faith, your service and your endurance, and that your most recent deeds are more numerous than when you first began [your Christian lives]. 20) But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman [named] Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. She teaches and deceives my servants into [practicing] sexual immorality and into eating things sacrificed to idols. 21) And I gave her time to repent, but she refused to repent of her sexual immorality. 22) Listen, I will throw her, and those who commit sexual unfaithfulness with her, into a bed where they will experience terrible suffering unless they repent of her [or, their] practices. 23) And I will strike her children dead [or, Akill her children by some terrible calamity@ See Ex. 5:3 LXX]. Then all the churches will know that I am the One who searches the inmost being of people. [Note: The Greek says, Asearches the kidneys and hearts.@ In that day these internal organs stood for the inner thoughts, emotions, etc.]. And I will repay each one of you people according to what you have done. 24) But I say to all the rest of you there in Thyatira who have not followed this [false] teaching [See verse 20], that is, those who have not known Athe deep things of Satan,@ as people call them --- I will not burden you with anything else [i.e., beyond this problem about Jezebel=s false teaching]. 25) Nevertheless, hold on firmly to what you [already] have [i.e., the qualities mentioned in verse 19] until I come [Note: This probably refers to coming with judgment on wrongdoing. See verse 16].

26) AAnd to the person who has victory [in the Christian life], and who continues to do what I want until the end [of his life], I will give him authority over the nations. [Note: This probably refers to a spiritual reign with Christ during the Christian age. See 20:4]. 27) And he will rule them [as a shepherd] with a staff of iron, [and smash them] as the clay jars of a potter are broken to pieces [See Psa. 2:9]. [Note: Some translations begin verse 28 at this point]. [His authority will be] like that which I have received from my Father. 28) And I will give him the morning star [Note: Jesus is called Athe Morning Star@ in 22:16]. 29) The person who has an ear should listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches.@



CHAPTER THREE

1) AAnd write [this] to the angel of the church at Sardis: These are the words of Him who has the seven Spirits of God [i.e., Jesus, who has the Holy Spirit] and the seven stars [i.e., the seven angels of the seven churches. See 1:20]: I know about your deeds, that you have a reputation for being [spiritually] alive, but you are [really] dead. 2) Wake up, and strengthen what remains [i.e., those few in the church who were trying to stay faithful], who are about to die. For I have not found [any] of your deeds to be complete before my God. 3) So, remember how you have received and heard the message [i.e., they had eagerly accepted the Gospel]; [now] obey it and repent. For if you do not become [spiritually] alert, I will come as a thief [i.e. unexpectedly] and you will not know the [exact] time that I will come upon you [in judgment. See 2:16, 25].

4) ABut you have a few people [there] in Sardis who have not [spiritually] polluted their clothing, and they will walk with me in [robes of] white [i.e., probably now on earth as well as in heaven], for they are worthy. 5) The person who has victory [in the Christian life] will be dressed like that, in white clothing, and I will not blot out his name from the book of life. And I will confess his name in front of my Father and His angels. 6) The person who has an ear should listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches.

7) AAnd write [this] to the angel of the church at Philadelphia: These are the words of Him who is holy and true, [and] who possesses the key [i.e., the power and authority] of King David, [and] who opens [a door] which no one will close, and who closes one that no one will open: 8) I know about your deeds. (See, I have placed before you an open door, which no one can close). [Note: This probably refers to their being assured of some unspecified opportunity]. [I know] that you have [only] a little bit of strength, but [in spite of that] you have obeyed my word and did not deny my name. 9) Look at those who belong to the synagogue of Satan [See 2:9]; they claim to be Jews, yet they are not, but are lying. Watch, I will make them come and bow down at your feet [in respect] and [they will] know that I have loved you. 10) Because you have obeyed my command to remain steadfast [in the face of difficult times], I will also keep you from [giving up when] the time of trial comes, which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those living on the earth. 11) I am coming soon [or, suddenly. See 2:16, 25; 3:3]. Hold on firmly to what you have [i.e., opportunity, obedience, steadfastness, etc.] so that no one takes away your crown [See 2:10]. 12) I will make the person who has victory [in the Christian life] a pillar in the Temple of my God [i.e., probably a reference to heaven], and he will never leave it. And I will write on him the name of my God, the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which is coming down from heaven from my God [See 21:2, 10] and my own new name. 13) The person who has an ear should listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches.

14) AWrite [this] to the angel of the church at Laodicia: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the source [or, ruler] of God=s creation [See John 1:3; Heb. 1:1-2]: 15) I know about your deeds, that you are neither [spiritually] cold nor hot. I wish you were [either] cold or hot. 16) But since you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am about to vomit you out of my mouth. 17) For you are saying, >I am wealthy; I have made plenty of money and do not need anything.= But you do not know that you are [spiritually] wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18) [Because of that], I advise you to buy from me gold, refined by fire, so that you will become rich; and white clothing to wear, so that you can cover yourself and not be seen as shamefully naked; and eye drops for your eyes, so that you can see. [Note: The foregoing all refer to taking measures for becoming more spiritual].

19) AI rebuke and discipline those I love, so be earnest and repent. 20) Look, I am standing at [your] door and knocking; if anyone hears my voice [i.e., the sound of my knocking], and opens the door, I will [surely] come in to him and eat with him and he [will eat] with me. 21) The person who has victory [in the Christian life], I will grant him [the privilege of] sitting down with me on my throne, as I also had victory and sat down with my Father on His throne. 22) The person who has an ear should listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches.@



CHAPTER FOUR

1) After [seeing all] these things, I looked, and there in heaven I saw [a vision of] an open door, and the voice I had first heard speaking to me like [the sound of] a trumpet [See 1:10], said, ACome up here [i.e., to heaven], and I will show you the things which must happen after these things [i.e., the things just revealed].@ 2) Immediately, I was in [i.e., under the influence of] the Holy Spirit [See 1:10], and there before me was situated a throne in heaven, with Someone sitting on it [Note: From the following description, this appears to have been God]. 3) And He who was seated [on it] appeared like jasper [i.e., possibly diamond. See 21:11] and carnelian [i.e., possibly a brilliant red stone], and there was a rainbow, resembling an emerald, surrounding the throne. 4) And around God=s throne there were twenty-four [other] thrones, with twenty-four elders sitting on them. [Note: These Aelders@ are generally considered to represent all the saved of both covenants. The number twenty-four is thought to be derived from the twelve patriarchs and the twelve apostles]. They were dressed in white clothing and had golden crowns on their heads. 5) And lightning flashes and [loud] sounds of rolling thunder came out of God=s throne. And there were seven lighted torches burning in front of the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God [i.e., the Holy Spirit. See 1:4]. 6) And there was an ocean, as crystal-clear as glass, in front of the throne. And at the center, surrounding the throne were four living beings, covered with eyes in the front and back of them. [Note: In view of Isa. 6:1-3 and especially Eze. 10:20ff, these Aliving beings@ appear to be some special order of heavenly beings who inhabit the presence of God]. 7) And the first being was like a lion, the second one was like a calf, the third one had the face of a man and the fourth one was like a flying eagle. 8) And each of the four living beings had six wings [and] were covered with eyes all around them and [even] within them. And day and night they never stop saying, [Note: Some translations have Asinging@ here and at other places below], AHoly, holy, holy [is] the Lord God Almighty, who was [in the past] and who is [in the present] and who will come [in the future].@ 9) And whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to God, who sits on His throne and who lives forever and ever, 10) [then] the twenty-four elders fall down in front of Him who sits on His throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever. And they will throw their crowns in front of the throne and say, 11) AOur Lord and our God, you deserve to receive the glory and the honor and the power for you created everything, and they exist because you wanted them to, so they were created.@



CHAPTER FIVE

1) Then I saw in the right hand of God, who sat on His throne, a book with writing on the inside and on the back, and sealed with seven seals. 2) And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, AWho deserves to break the seals on it and open the book?@ [Note: This Abook@ was probably a rolled up scroll written on both sides, with wax seals keeping it from unrolling and its contents from being exposed]. 3) And no one in heaven, or on earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look inside of it. [Note: AUnder the earth@ may refer to the spirit world]. 4) And I cried bitterly because no one was found who deserved to open the book or to look inside of it. 5) Then one of the [twenty-four] elders said to me, ADo not cry; look, the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of King David, has gained the victory, so He can break the seven seals on the book and open it.@

6) Then I saw a Lamb, looking like it had been killed. He was standing in the center of the throne, surrounded by the four living beings and the [twenty-four] elders. He has seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God [i.e., the Holy Spirit. See 1:4], sent throughout the entire earth. 7) And the Lamb came and took the book from the right hand of God, who sat on His throne. 8) And when He had taken the book, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down in front of the Lamb [i.e., to worship Him]. Each one of them held [in his hands] a harp and a golden bowl full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints [See Psa. 141:2; Rev. 8:3-4]. 9) And they sang a new song [which went like this]: AYou deserve to take the book and break the seals on it, for you were killed and, with your blood, you purchased people for God from every tribe and language and race and nation, 10) and you made them into a kingdom and a priesthood for [serving] our God, and they will rule on the earth.@

11) Then I looked, and heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living beings and elders. They numbered in the tens of thousands, and thousands and thousands [more]. [Note: The Greek says Amyriads of myriads@]. 12) They were saying in a loud voice [See Note at 4:8], AThe Lamb, who was killed, deserves to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and splendor and praise.@

13) And I heard every creature in heaven, on the earth, under the earth, on the ocean and everything in them, saying [See Note at 4:8], AMay there be praise and honor and splendor and power forever and ever, to God who sits on His throne and to the Lamb.@ 14) And the four living beings said, AMay it be so.@ And the elders fell down and worshiped.



CHAPTER SIX

1) And I watched while the Lamb broke open one of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living beings saying in a thunderous voice [to the one on the white horse?], ACome [out].@ 2) So, I looked, and before me [stood] a white horse, and the man riding on it had a bow. And he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror [going out] to conquer [someone].

3) And when the Lamb broke open the second seal, I heard the second living being saying [to the one on the red horse?], ACome [out].@ 4) Then another horse came out; it was a red one, and the man riding on it was given [the ability] to take peace from the earth so that people would kill one another. And he was given a large sword.

5) And when the Lamb broke open the third seal, I heard the third living being saying [to the one on the black horse?], ACome [out].@ So, I looked and before me [stood] a black horse, and the man riding on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6) And I heard what sounded like a voice coming from among the four living beings, saying, AA quart [measure] of wheat sells for a day=s pay [Note: This amount would be $60-$84 in 1994, based on one day of a farm laborer=s wages. See Matt. 20:2]; three quart measures of barley sell for a day=s pay; but do not damage the [olive] oil and wine [i.e., the orchards and vineyards].

7) And when the Lamb broke open the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living being saying [to the one on the pale green horse?], ACome [out].@ 8) So, I looked and before me [stood] a pale green horse, and the name of the man riding on it was ADeath,@ and the unseen place of departed spirits followed along behind him. And they were [both] given authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill people with swords, with famine, with terrible judgments and by wild animals of the earth.

9) And when the Lamb broke open the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed for [believing and preaching] God=s message, and for the testimony [about Jesus] which they had maintained. 10) And they called out with a loud voice, AHow long, holy and true Master, [will it be] before you judge the people living on earth and take revenge on them for [shedding] our blood?@ 11) And a white robe was given to each one of them, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the [full] number of their fellow servants and their brothers would be killed like they were.

12) Then I looked as the Lamb broke open the sixth seal, and there [I saw] a great earthquake; the sun turned as black as sackcloth made out of [goat] hair, and the entire moon turned [as red] as blood. 13) And the stars in the sky fell to earth, like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when shaken by a strong wind. 14) And the sky disappeared like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15) And the kings of the earth, the princes, the military commanders, the rich people, the influential people and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among mountain ledges. 16) And they called out to the mountains, AFall on us and hide us from the face of God, who sits on His throne, and from the anger of the Lamb. For the terrible day of their anger has come, and who will be able to survive it?@



CHAPTER SEVEN

1) After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth. They were holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind would blow on the earth, on the ocean or on any tree. 2) And I saw another angel coming up from the east; he held the seal of the living God. [Note: This Aseal@ was a mark of identification or ownership]. And he called out with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given [the power] to harm the land and the ocean, 3) saying, ADo not harm the land, or the ocean, or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God [with a mark] on their foreheads.@ 4) Then I heard the number of those who were sealed. [It was] one hundred forty-four thousand [in all] from every tribe of the Israelites [Note: This could refer to Christians of Jewish descent]. 5) There were twelve thousand sealed from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand from Reuben, twelve thousand from Gad, 6) twelve thousand from Asher, twelve thousand from Naphtali, twelve thousand from Manasseh, 7) twelve thousand from Simeon, twelve thousand from Levi, twelve thousand from Issachar, 8) twelve thousand from Zebulun, twelve thousand from Joseph and twelve thousand from Benjamin.

9) After seeing [all] these things, I looked and there [I saw] a huge crowd, which no one could count, from every nation, and tribe, and race, and language group standing in front of the throne [of God] and in front of the Lamb. They were dressed in white robes and had palm tree branches in their hands. 10) And they called out in a loud voice, saying, ASalvation comes from [or, Abelongs to@] our God, who sits on His throne, and from [or, Ato@] the Lamb.@ 11) And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the [twenty-four] elders and the four living beings. And they fell down on their faces in front of the throne and worshiped God, 12) saying [See Note at 4:8], AMay it be so; May there be praise and splendor and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength to our God forever and ever. May it be so.@

13) Then one of the [twenty-four] elders asked me, AWho are these ones dressed in white robes, and where did they come from?@ 14) And I answered him, ASir, [surely] you know.@ And he said to me, AThese are the people who have come through the terrible persecution, and they have washed their robes and made them white with the blood of the Lamb. 15) So, [now] they are in front of God=s throne and they are serving Him day and night in His Temple. And He who sits on His throne will spread His tent over them [i.e., He will protect them]. 16) They will not be hungry anymore, nor will they get thirsty anymore. The sun will not beat down on them, nor will they become scorched by the heat. 17) For the Lamb, who is at the center of the throne, will be their Shepherd and will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.@



CHAPTER EIGHT

1) Then when the Lamb broke open the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

2) And I saw the seven angels who were standing in front of God, and they were given seven trumpets.

3) Then another angel, who held a golden incense holder, came and stood at the Altar. He was given a quantity of incense to add to the prayers of all the saints [as an offering] on the golden Altar, which was in front of the throne. 4) And the smoke of the [burning] incense, [mingled] with the prayers of the saints, ascended from [the incense holder in] the angel=s hand up to the presence of God. 5) Then the angel took the incense holder and filled it with hot coals from the Altar and threw it to the earth. [Immediately] there was [heard] rolling thunder, and lightning flashes [were seen] and an earthquake [was felt].

6) And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

7) [When] the first trumpet sounded [I saw] hail and fire, mingled with blood, being hurled down onto the earth. And one third of it was burned up, and one third of the trees were burned up and all the green grass was [also] burned up.

8) [When] the second angel sounded its trumpet [I saw] what seemed like a huge mountain, ablaze with fire, being thrown into the ocean. And one third of the ocean turned to blood, 9) and one third of [all] living sea creatures died, and one third of [all] ships were destroyed.

10) [When] the third angel sounded its trumpet [I saw] a huge star, like a flaming torch, falling from heaven. It fell on one third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11) And the star was called AWormwood@ [Note: The Greek word here means Abitter,@ See Lam. 3:15 ASV], and one third of the waters became wormwood [i.e., bitter], and many people died from the waters because they had become bitter.

12) [When] the fourth angel sounded its trumpet [I saw] one third of the sun, one third of the moon, and one third of the stars being struck, so that one third [of their light] would become darkened. So, the daytime had [only] one third of its [normal] light, and the nighttime was the same way.

13) And as I looked, I heard an eagle flying in midair, saying in a loud voice, AIt is bad, very bad, awful bad for those people who live on earth, because of the sound of the trumpets of the remaining three angels!@ [i.e., because of the messages they will deliver].



CHAPTER NINE

1) [When] the fifth angel sounded its trumpet, I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. And the key to the shaft leading to the deep pit [Note: This is thought to be the place where the devil and his demons live] was given to him. 2) And the fallen star opened the shaft leading to the deep pit and smoke drifted up from the shaft like smoke from a huge furnace. And the sun and the sky were darkened by the smoke from the shaft. 3) And locusts swarmed down out of the smoke to earth and they were given power like scorpions on earth have. 4) And they were told not to harm the grass on earth, or any greenery, or any tree, but only those people who did not have God=s seal on their foreheads. 5) And the locusts were not given the power to kill these people, but [only] to torture them for five months. And the torment they would inflict was like a scorpion stinging a person. 6) And in those days people will be looking for death, but they will not find it; and they will want to die, but death will elude them.

7) And the locusts looked like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads [they wore] what appeared to be golden crowns, and their faces looked like the faces of human beings. 8) And they had hair like women and teeth like lions. 9) Their chests were covered with armor plate made of iron, and their wings sounded like the noise of many horse-drawn chariots rushing to battle. 10) And they had tails like scorpions with stingers, and in their tails they had the power to inflict harm upon people for five months. 11) They had a king over them who was the angel of the deep pit [See verses 1-2]. His name in Hebrew was AAbaddon,@ and in Greek it was AApollyon@ [Note: These words both mean ADestroyer@].

12) The first Calamity is over; look, two more calamities are yet to come.

13) And the sixth angel sounded its trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns [i.e., corners] of the golden Altar, which is in front of God. 14) It said to the sixth angel with the trumpet, ARelease the four angels who are tied up at the great Euphrates River.@ 15) And the four angels who had been ready for this hour and day and month and year were [now] released to kill one third of mankind. 16) And the armies of horsemen numbered two hundred million. I was told how many there were. 17) And this is how the horses and their riders looked in the vision: They had on their chests fire [-red], [smoke-] blue and sulphur [-yellow] armor plate and the horses' heads were like lions= heads. And fire, smoke and sulphur proceeded out of their mouths. 18) One third of mankind was killed by these three plagues --- the fire, the smoke and the sulphur, which preceded out of the horses= mouths. 19) For the power of the horses [to kill] is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like snakes that have heads with which to harm people.

20) And the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, [still] did not repent of what they had made with their hands [i.e., their idolatry]. They did not stop worshiping demons, and gold, silver, brass, stone and wooden idols, which can neither see, nor hear nor walk. 21) And they refused to repent of their murders, their sorceries, their sexual immorality and their thievery.



CHAPTER TEN

1) And I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was covered by a cloud and there was a rainbow above his head. His face was like the sun and his legs were like pillars of fire. 2) He held in his hand a little book [i.e., scroll] which was open. And he placed his right foot on the ocean and his left foot on the land, 3) and he called out in a loud voice, like a roaring lion. And when he shouted, the seven thunders responded to the voice [of the angel]. [Note: These Aseven thunders@ have not been previously mentioned]. 4) And when the seven thunders spoke [words], I started to write down [what the voices said], but I heard a voice from heaven saying, ASeal up what the seven thunders have [just] said, and do not write them down.@

5) And the angel I saw standing on the ocean and on the land lifted up his right hand to heaven 6) and took an oath to God, who lives forever and ever, and who created heaven and earth and [all] the things in them, and the ocean and [all] the things in it [saying], AThere will be no further delay [i.e., before God=s purposes are fulfilled]. 7) But in the days when the seventh angel is ready to sound his trumpet, then the secret plan of God will be accomplished, just as He [had] announced to His servants the prophets.@

8) Then the voice which I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, AGo [and] take the open book [being held] in the hand of the angel [See verse 2], who is standing on the ocean and on the land.@ 9) So, I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little book. And he said to me, ATake it and eat it; it will be sweet as honey to your taste, but will cause you to have a sour stomach.@ 10) So, I took the little book from the angel=s hand and ate it. And [sure enough], it was sweet as honey to my taste, but after eating it, it gave me a sour stomach. 11) And they said to me [Note: The plural Athey@ may mean simply Ait was told to me@], AYou must prophesy again about many races, and nations, and language groups and kings.@



CHAPTER ELEVEN

1) Then there was given to me a measuring stick that looked like a [tree] branch. I was told [Note: Neither the giver nor the speaker are identified], AGet up and measure the Temple of God, and the Altar and [count] those who worship there, 2) but do not include the court on the outside of the Temple in your measurements, because it has been given to the [unconverted] Gentiles. And they will trample underfoot the holy city [i.e., Jerusalem ? See 21:10] for forty-two months. 3) And I will give [authority] to my two witnesses and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, wearing sackcloth@ [i.e., a black, coarse cloth made of goat=s hair]. 4) These [two witnesses] are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands that stand in front of the Lord of the earth. 5) And if anyone wants to harm them, fire will come out of their mouths and consume their enemies. And if anyone tries to harm them, he must be killed in the same way. 6) These witnesses have the authority to shut the sky up so that it does not rain during the time they are prophesying. And they have the authority to turn the waters into blood, and to strike the earth with every kind of plague whenever they want to.

7) And when they have completed their testimony, the beast that comes up from the pit [See 13:1ff; 17:3,7] will wage war against them, and overpower and kill them. 8) And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city [Note: See the following passages on this Agreat city,@ 14:8; 16:19; 17:5,18; 18:2, 10, 16, 18, 19, and 21] where the Lord was crucified, which is spiritually called Sodom, or Egypt. 9) And people from among the races and tribes and language groups and nations will gaze at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and they will not permit their bodies to be buried. 10) And those people living on the earth will be glad over the death of them [i.e., the two witnesses. See verse 3], and they will celebrate by sending gifts to one another, because these two prophets had tormented those living on earth.

11) And after three and a half days, God breathed life into them and they stood up on their feet, and the people who saw them became terrified. 12) Then the two witnesses/prophets heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ACome up here.@ So, they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13) At that very hour a severe earthquake occurred and one tenth of the city [See verse 8] was destroyed; and seven thousand persons were killed by the earthquake; and everyone else was terrified and gave honor to the God of heaven.

14) The second Calamity is over; look, the third one is coming soon.

15) Then the seventh angel sounded its trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying, AThe kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord [i.e., God] and of His Christ, and He will rule forever and ever.@ 16) And the twenty-four elders, who sit in front of God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17) saying, AWe thank you, O Lord God Almighty, who exists [in the present] and who existed [in the past], because you have taken your great power and have begun to rule. 18) And the nations were enraged, but your wrath has come [anyway]. The time has come for the dead to be judged and for your servants the prophets to receive their reward, [along with] the saints and [both] the insignificant and important ones who revere your name. [It is also time] to destroy those who destroy the earth.@

19) Then God=s Temple in heaven was opened, and inside of it was seen the Chest containing God=s Agreement [i.e., between Him and Israel]. [Immediately] there came lightning flashes, [loud] sounds, rumbling thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.



CHAPTER TWELVE

1) Then a great [supernatural] sign appeared in heaven. [It was that of] a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet. On her head was a crown with twelve stars. 2) She was pregnant, and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3) And another [supernatural] sign was seen in heaven; it was a huge red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, and on each of his seven heads was a crown. 4) And his tail swept away one third of the stars of the sky and threw them to earth. And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he could eat her child as soon as it was born. 5) Then she gave birth to a baby boy, a son who will rule all the nations with an iron staff. And her child was snatched away to God and His throne. 6) Then the woman ran away to the desert, to a place prepared for her by God, where they could care for her for 1,260 days. [Note: The plural Athey@ here simply means Ashe would be cared for@ See 10:11].

7) Then there was a war in heaven. Michael [See Dan. 10:13; 12:1; Jude 9] and his angels waged war against the dragon [See verse 9]; and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8) But they did not win and so lost their place in heaven. 9) Then the great dragon was thrown out [of heaven]; he is the snake from ancient times who is [also] called Athe Devil,@ and ASatan,@ the deceiver of the entire world. He was thrown down to earth along with his angels.

10) And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, AThe salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ, have [all] now come. For the one who accuses our brothers in front of God day and night has been thrown out [of heaven]. 11) And they [i.e., the brothers. See 6:9-11] gained the victory over Satan by the blood of the Lamb, and by [remaining true to] the message of their testimony. And they did not love their lives [so much that they refused] to die [for their faith]. 12) So, rejoice, you heavens and you who live there. It is too bad for the earth and for the ocean, because the devil has gone down to you with great rage, knowing that he has [only] a short time left.@

13) And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to earth, he persecuted the woman who had given birth to a son. 14) And the woman was given the two wings of a large eagle so she could fly to her place in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, and times and half a time, from the presence of the snake [i.e., for three and one half years. See 11:2; 12:6]. 15) Then the snake spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth after the woman so that she would be swept away by the torrent. 16) But the earth helped the woman by opening up its mouth and swallowing the torrent of water which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17) Then the dragon became enraged at the woman and went away to wage war against the rest of the woman=s offspring, who obey God=s commandments and who remain true to their testimony about Jesus. 18) Then the dragon stood on the seashore. [Note: Some manuscripts say, AI stood@].



CHAPTER THIRTEEN

1) And I saw a beast coming up out of the ocean. It had ten horns and seven heads, and [it had] ten crowns on his horns and on each head there was a blasphemous name [i.e., a name that slandered God]. 2) And the beast I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like a bear=s, and his mouth like a lion=s. And the dragon gave him his power, his throne and his great authority. 3) And one of the beast=s heads looked like it had been fatally wounded, but the wound healed and the entire world was amazed and followed after him. 4) And they [all] worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, AWho is like the beast?@ and AWho is able to wage war against
him?@

5) And the beast was given [by the dragon ?] a mouth for making proud claims and [speaking] blasphemous words, and the authority to act for forty-two months [See 11:2; 12:6]. 6) And he opened his mouth to speak slanderous words against God and against His name and His Tabernacle, that is, those living in heaven. 7) And he was given [the power] to wage war against the saints [i.e., God=s holy people] and to conquer them; and he was given authority over every tribe, race, language group and nation. 8) And everyone who lives on earth will worship the beast, [even those] people whose names had not been recorded in the book of life belonging to the Lamb, who was killed [in prospect] from the creation of the world. [Note: This sentence could also read A...not been recorded from the creation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb who was killed@].

9) If anyone has an ear, he should listen [to this]. 10) If anyone goes [or Aleads others@] into captivity, he will go into captivity [himself]; if anyone is killed [or Akills others@] with the sword, he will be killed with the sword [himself]. Here is [where] God=s holy people [need] perseverance and faith.

11) Then I saw another [i.e., a second] beast coming up from the earth. He had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12) And he exercises all the authority of the first beast [See verse 1] in his presence [or, Aon his behalf@]. And he forced the earth and those who lived on it to worship the first beast, whose [apparently] fatal wound had healed. 13) And he [i.e., this second beast] performs great [miraculous] signs, including making fire come down from heaven to earth in [full] view of people. 14) [And] by being given [power] to perform these signs in the sight of the [first] beast, he deceived the people on earth. He told them to make a statue to [honor] the [first] beast, which had been wounded by a sword and yet lived [through it]. 15) Now the [second] beast was given [the power] to give breath to the statue of the [first] beast, so that it could both speak and cause all those who refused to worship the statue of the [first] beast to be killed. 16) And this second beast forced everyone to be branded with a mark on their right hand and on their forehead --- insignificant and important people, rich and poor people, and free people and slaves --- 17) so that no one would be able to buy or sell things without having the mark, either the name of the [first] beast or the number of his name.

18) This calls for wisdom; the person who has understanding should calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person. And his number is six hundred and sixty-six.



CHAPTER FOURTEEN

1) And I looked, and there in front of me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him were one hundred and forty-four thousand persons, with the Lamb=s name and His Father=s name written on their foreheads. 2) And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of much rushing water, and like the sound of loud thunder. And the sound I heard was like people playing their harps. 3) And they [i.e., the 144,000] were singing a new song in front of God=s throne, and in front of the four living beings and the [twenty-four] elders. No one could learn [to sing] this song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand [See 7:4,9] who had been purchased from the earth. 4) These people are the ones who did not practice sexual immorality with women, for they were virgins [Note: This probably has reference to people who avoided idolatry]. These are people who followed the Lamb wherever He went. They were purchased from among mankind to be the first fruits [devoted] to God and to the Lamb. 5) They were found not to be liars; [for] they were without just blame.

6) Then I saw another angel flying in mid heaven. He had eternal good news to proclaim to those who lived on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language group and race. 7) And he said [to them] in a loud voice, AFear God and honor Him, for the time has come for Him to judge people. Worship Him who made the heaven, the earth, the ocean and the springs of water.@

8) Then [I saw] a second angel following [him]. He said, AFallen! Great Babylon has fallen. She has forced all the nations to drink the wine of her passionate sexual immorality [Note: The word Apassionate@ here could also mean Aangry@].@

9) Then a third angel followed them. He said in a loud voice, AIf anyone worships the beast and his statue, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10) he will also [have to] drink the wine of God=s anger, as an undiluted mixture in the cup of His anger. And he will be tortured with burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11) And the smoke of their suffering will ascend forever and ever and there will not be any rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his statue and who receive the mark of his name.@ 12) Here is [where] God=s holy people, who obey His commandments and the faith of Jesus, [need] perseverance.

13) Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, AWrite [this]: Those who are [now] dead, who died in [fellowship with] the Lord, are blessed from now on. Yes, says the Holy Spirit, they will rest from their work, for [the record of] their deeds will follow them [i.e., into the next life].@

14) And I looked, and there in front of me I saw a white cloud, and on the cloud was seated someone who looked like the Son of man [See Dan. 7:13]. He had a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. 15) Then another angel [i.e., the fourth] came out of the Temple, calling out with a loud voice to Him who was sitting on the cloud, AUse your sharp sickle to reap [a harvest] because it is harvest time, and the crop of the earth is ripe.@ 16) And He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle onto the earth, and its crop was harvested.

17) Then another angel [i.e., the fifth] came out of the Temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. 18) Then another angel [i.e., the sixth] came out of the Altar. He had authority over [its] fire and he called out in a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle [i.e., the fifth angel] saying, AUse your sharp sickle to gather the clusters from the vines of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.@ 19) So, the angel swung his sickle to earth and gathered the [grapes from the] vines of the earth and threw them into the huge winepress of God=s anger. 20) Then the [grapes in the] winepress were trampled on outside of the city and blood flowed out of the winepress as deep as the horses= bridles for a distance of one hundred and eighty-four [square] miles.



CHAPTER FIFTEEN

1) Then I saw another great and marvelous [supernatural] sign in heaven. There were seven angels that had the seven last judgments which would complete the wrath of God.

2) And I saw what seemed to be an ocean of glass, mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast, his statue and the number of his name. They were standing beside [or, Aon@] the ocean of glass and held harps [given to them] by God. 3) And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb. [The words were], AYour deeds are great and marvelous, O Lord, God Almighty; your ways are just and true, O King of the nations [or, Aages@]. 4) O Lord, who will not fear [you] and honor your name, for only you are holy? [So], all the nations will come and worship in front of you, for your righteous deeds have been revealed.@

5) Then after these things I looked and [saw] in heaven the Temple [consisting] of the Tabernacle of the Testimony was opened up. [Note: This heavenly vision is described in language reminiscent of the Tabernacle of Moses= day]. 6) And out of the Temple there came the seven angels that had the seven plagues [i.e., judgments]. They were dressed in clean, bright linen [clothing] and they had golden sashes wrapped around their chests. 7) And one of the four living beings gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. 8) And the Temple was filled with smoke from the splendor and power of God, and no one could enter the Temple until the seven plagues [brought on] by the seven angels were completed.



CHAPTER SIXTEEN

1) Then I heard a loud voice from the Temple saying to the seven angels, AYou [angels], go and pour out the seven bowls of God=s wrath upon the earth.@

2) So, the first [angel] went and poured out his bowl onto the earth and a terrible and painful sore broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue.

3) Then the second [angel] poured out his bowl into the ocean, making it turn into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the ocean died.

4) And [then] the third [angel] poured out his bowl into the rivers and springs of water, and they turned into blood. 5) Then I heard the angel [in charge] of the waters saying, AYou are just, [you] who are [in the present] and who were [in the past], O Holy One, because you have judged [that these things should happen]. 6) For they [i.e., the followers of the beast. See verse 2] have shed the blood of God=s holy people and [their] prophets, and you have given them blood to drink because they deserved it [i.e., these persecutors deserved the punishment they received for shedding blood]. 7) And I heard [a voice from] the Altar saying, AYes, O Lord, God Almighty, your judgments are true and just.@

8) Then the fourth [angel] poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to burn people with [its] fire. 9) And people were seared by the intense heat, and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these judgments [i.e., the authority to inflict them], but they refused to repent and honor God. [See verse 2].

10) And the fifth [angel] poured out his bowl on the throne of the [first] beast [See 13:2], and darkness fell over his kingdom. And they [See verse 2] chewed their tongues in agony, 11) and they cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores. But they [still] refused to repent of their [evil] deeds.

12) And the sixth [angel] poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River and its water was dried up, so that the road would be prepared for the kings from the east [to travel on]. 13) And I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; [one was] coming out of the mouth of the dragon, [one] out of the mouth of the beast, and [one] out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14) For they are spirits of demons, which perform [supernatural] signs. These spirits go out to the kings of the whole world to assemble them for battle on the great day of Almighty God. 15) [Note: At this point the Lord=s voice breaks into John=s vision]. (ALook, I am coming like a thief. That person is happy who stays alert and is dressed [properly], so he does not appear naked and have to be shamefully exposed@). 16) So, the [demonic] spirits assembled the kings together at the place which is called AArmageddon@ in Hebrew. [Note: AArmageddon@ means Amountain of Megiddo@ and was a site in northwestern Palestine where several decisive battles had been fought centuries earlier. See Judges 4, 5, and 7].

17) Then the seventh [angel] poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the Temple from the throne [of God], saying, AIt is over!@ [i.e., the series of judgments have been completed]. 18) [At that moment] there were flashes of lightning, [loud] sounds of rolling thunder, and a severe earthquake, worse than any since mankind was on earth; it was a terrible earthquake. 19) And the great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations were destroyed. And God remembered the great Babylon and made her drink from the cup of wine of His fierce anger. 20) And every island disappeared and the mountains could not be found. 21) And huge hailstones, weighing about one hundred pounds each, fell on people from the sky, and they cursed God because of this plague of hailstones, for it was an extremely severe plague.



CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

1) Then one of the seven angels, who had the seven bowls, came and spoke to me, saying, ACome [here]; I will show you the punishment [to fall] on the great prostitute who is situated on many bodies of waters. 2) The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and those who live on the earth became drunk from [drinking] the wine of her sexual immorality.@

3) Then, under the power of the Holy Spirit, the angel transported me to a desert, and [there] I saw a woman sitting on a red beast. It was covered with names that cursed God and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4) And the woman was dressed in purple and red [clothing], and was adorned with gold [jewelry] and precious stones and pearls. In her hand she held a golden cup full of disgusting things and of the pollutions of her sexual immorality. 5) And on her forehead was written a mysterious [name], AThe great Babylon, the mother of the prostitutes and the disgusting things of the earth.@ 6) And I saw that the woman was drunk on the blood of God=s holy people and on the blood of those [who were killed] witnessing about Jesus.

And when I saw her I was greatly amazed. 7) Then the angel [See verse 1] said to me, AWhy are you so amazed? I will explain to you the secret [meaning] of the woman and the beast with seven heads and ten horns that she is riding on. 8) The beast you saw once existed, but now does not, and [yet] is about to come up out of the pit and go to [his] destruction. And those people living on the earth, whose names have not been recorded in the book of life from the creation of the world, will be amazed when they see the beast, because he had once existed, but now does not, and yet will come [again].

9) AThis calls for an understanding mind. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are [also] seven kings; 10) five have fallen, one continues [to rule], and the other one has not yet come. But when he comes, he must remain for [only] a short time. 11) And the beast that once existed, but now does not, is actually the eighth one [i.e., head/hill/king. See verse 9], and yet he belongs to the seven; and he will go to his destruction.

12) AAnd the ten horns you saw are ten kings, who have not received a kingdom yet, but for one hour they will receive authority as kings, along with the beast. 13) These kings have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. 14) These kings and the beast will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings. And those who are called and chosen [by God], and who are faithful [to Him will share the victory] with the Lamb.@

15) Then the angel [See verses 1,7] said to me, AThe waters you saw, on which the prostitute sits [See verse 1] are races, crowds, nations and language groups. 16) And the ten horns and the beast you saw will hate the prostitute and will take away everything from her, leaving her naked; they will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. 17) For God has placed on their hearts [the desire] to carry out His purpose, by agreeing to give their kingdom to the beast until God=s words are fulfilled. 18) And the woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.@



CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

1) After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2) And he called out with a loud voice, saying, AFallen! The great Babylon has fallen, and has become a place where demons live, and a haunt for every evil spirit and every filthy and obnoxious bird {{Some ancient manuscripts add Aand every filthy and obnoxious animal@}}. 3) For all the nations have drunk [or, Ahave been forced to drink@] the wine of her passionate sexual immorality [See 14:8], and the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her and the [retail] merchants of the earth became rich from her excessive luxury.@

4) Then I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ACome out of her, my people, so that you do not share in her sins, and so that you do not receive her plagues [i.e., judgments]. 5) For her sins have piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her evil deeds. 6) Give back to her the way [i.e., the kind of treatment] she has given back [to others], and repay her double for what she has done. Mix a double dose for her from her own cup. 7) Cause her as much torment and sorrow as she gave herself honor and luxurious living. For she is saying to herself, >I sit as a queen; I am not a widow and I will never suffer grief.= 8) So, all at once her plagues [i.e., judgments] will fall upon her. [They will be] death and grief and famine. And she will be burned up with fire, for the Lord God who judges her, is mighty. 9) And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality with her, and indulged in luxurious living with her, will cry and mourn over her when they see the smoke of her burning [i.e., the city of Babylon. See verse 2]. 10) They will stand far away, out of fear over her torment [Note: They will keep their distance for fear of becoming involved in the torment themselves], saying, >It is too bad for the great, strong city of Babylon! Your judgment has come in a single hour.=

11) AAnd the [wholesale] merchants of the earth cry and mourn over her, for no one buys their cargoes [of goods] anymore: 12) goods made of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, expensive linen, purple [cloth], silk and scarlet [cloth]. [No one buys their] scented wood products, their articles made from ivory and expensive woods [i.e., furniture], their articles of brass, iron and marble. 13) [No one buys their] cinnamon, spices, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, [olive] oil, flour and wheat. [No one buys their] cattle, sheep, horses, wagons, or the bodies and souls [i.e., the very lives] of people [i.e., slaves used for all purposes].

14) AThe [late summer] fruit that you [i.e., the people of Babylon] longed for is gone from you, and all of your luxurious and glamorous things have vanished from you, never to be found again. 15) The store owners who sold these things and were made wealthy from her [i.e., from the prosperous trade with Babylon] will stand far away, out of fear over her [See verse 10], crying and mourning, 16) saying, >It is too bad for the great city that was dressed in expensive linen and purple and scarlet [clothing], and that was adorned with gold, precious stones and pearl [jewelry]! 17) For in a single hour [all] such great wealth was wasted.= Then all the ships= captains [Note: This word is literally Apilots@], passengers, crewmen and others who work in the maritime shipping industry stood at a distance 18) and called out as they watched the smoke of the burning [city], >What city was ever as great as this one?= 19) And they threw dust on their heads, and lamented and cried out loud, saying, >It is too bad for the great city, from which all ocean shipping companies got rich on her wealth! For in a single hour she was wasted. 20) Be glad, heaven, and you saints, and you apostles, and you prophets, for God has brought judgment on her for you [i.e., for the way she treated you].=@

21) Then a mighty angel picked up a rock the size of a huge millstone and threw it into the ocean, saying, AThis is how the great city of Babylon will be violently thrown down and will never be found again. 22) And the sound of harp-players and musicians and flute-players and trumpet-players will never be heard in you again. And no workers of any trade will be found in you again, and the sound of a [flour] mill [grinding] will never be heard in you again. 23) And the light of a lamp will never shine in you again. And the voices of the groom and bride will never be heard in you again. For your [retail] merchants were the great men of the earth, and all the nations were deceived by your sorceries. 24) And the blood of the prophets and the saints and all [others] who were killed on earth was found in her.@



CHAPTER NINETEEN

1) After these things I heard what sounded like the loud voices of a huge crowd in heaven, shouting, AHallelujah [which means, APraise God@]! Salvation and splendor and power belong to our God. 2) For His judgments are true and just; He has judged [i.e., condemned] the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality, and He has punished her for [shedding] the blood of His servants.@ 3) And again they shouted, AHallelujah! The smoke from her [burning. See 18:18] ascends forever and ever.@

4) Then the twenty-four elders and the four living beings fell down and worshiped God, who sits on His throne. They said, AMay it be so, Hallelujah!@

5) Then a voice came from the throne, saying, AGive praise to our God, all of you [who are] His servants, you who are the least significant and [also] the most important ones, who revere Him.@ 6) Then I heard what sounded like the voices of a huge crowd, and the sound of much rushing water, and great rolling thunder. They shouted, AHallelujah! For the Lord, our God Almighty rules. 7) We should rejoice and be extremely glad, and we should give honor to Him. For the time has come for the Lamb=s marriage, and His bride has prepared herself [for the wedding]. 8) She was given expensive, bright, clean linen [clothing] to wear.@ (Now the expensive linen [clothing] represents the righteous deeds of the saints [i.e., God=s holy people]).

9) Then the angel said to me [See 17:1; 18:1-2], AWrite [this]: Those who are invited to the wedding reception of the Lamb are blessed.@ And he said to me, AThese are the true words of God.@ 10) Then I fell down in front of him to worship him. But he said to me, ADo not do that; I am [only] a fellow-servant with you and with your brothers who hold onto the testimony about Jesus. You should worship God. For the testimony about Jesus is the spirit [i.e., the purpose, or source] of prophecy.@

11) Then I saw heaven open, and there before me was a white horse whose rider was called AFaithful and True.@ And He [i.e., Christ] judges and wages war in a just way. 12) And His eyes are [like] blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns, and He has a name written [on Him] which is known only by Him. 13) And He is dressed in a robe that has been dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is AThe Word of God.@ 14) And the armies in heaven, dressed in expensive, white, clean linen, followed Him, [riding] on white horses. 15) And a sharp sword came out of His mouth, with which He would strike down the nations. And He will rule them with an iron staff and will trample on [the grapes of] God Almighty=s winepress of anger. 16) And on His robe and His thigh was written the name, AKing of kings, and Lord of lords.@

17) Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he called out in a loud voice to all the birds that fly in midair, ACome and be assembled together for the great supper of God, 18) so that you can eat the flesh of kings, and military commanders, and strong [i.e., influential ?] people, and horses with their riders, and [you can eat] the flesh of all people, the least significant [as well as] the most important ones.@

19) Then I saw the beast [See 13:1ff], and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled together to wage war against the One who was riding on the horse [i.e., Christ. See verse 11] and His army. 20) But the beast was captured, along with the false prophet [See 16:13], who performed [supernatural] signs in his presence. [He had performed these signs] to deceive those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his statue. [See 13:15-16]. The beast and the false prophet were both thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur. 21) Then the rest of them [i.e., the kings and their armies. Verse 19] were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the One riding the horse. And all the birds gorged on their flesh.



CHAPTER TWENTY

1) Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key to the pit and a huge chain in his hand. 2) And he took hold of the dragon, that old snake, which is the devil or Satan, and chained him up for a thousand years. 3) He threw him into the pit, and closed it and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that time, he must be released for a short while.

4) Then I saw thrones, with individuals sitting on them who had been given [authority] to judge. And I [also] saw the souls of those who had been decapitated because they had testified about Jesus and [had proclaimed] the message of God. [They are] the ones who had refused to worship the beast or his statue, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And these ones lived again and ruled with Christ for a thousand years. 5) (The rest of those who had died did not come [back] to life until the thousand years had ended). This is the first resurrection [from the dead]. 6) The person who shares in this first resurrection is blessed and holy [i.e., for being so dedicated to God]. The second death does not have power over these people, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will rule with Him for the thousand years.

7) And when the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison, 8) and he will [again] go out to deceive the nations which are [located] throughout the whole world --- Gog and Magog. [Note: Based on Eze. 35-40, it appears that these names are used here figuratively for all the forces of wickedness which are enemies of God]. Satan will assemble them together for battle and they will be as numberless as the sand on the seashore. 9) And these [enemies of God] crossed the earth and surrounded the camp of God=s people and the much-loved city [i.e., the church of God]. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them. 10) And the devil that [had] deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire, [burning] with sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet also are. [See 19:20]. And [there] these [enemies of God] will be tortured day and night forever and ever.

11) Then I saw a great, white throne and Him who was seated on it [i.e., probably Christ]. Earth and heaven fled from His presence and they were not found anywhere [again]. 12) And I saw dead people, the most important and the least significant ones, standing in front of the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life [Note: This refers to a record of those to whom God has granted never ending life]. And these dead people [i.e., who have now been resurrected] were judged according to their deeds, based on what was recorded in the books. 13) The ocean gave up the dead [bodies] that were in it; and death and the unseen place of departed spirits [also] gave up the dead [bodies and spirits] that were in them. And every person was judged according to his deeds. 14) Then death and the unseen place of departed spirits were thrown into the lake of fire [i.e., after their spirits were reunited with some kind of a body]. This lake of fire is the second death. 15) And if any person=s [name] was not found recorded in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.



CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

1) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, because the first heaven and the first earth [had] passed away, and there was no longer any ocean. 2) And I [also] saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3) And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ALook, the Tabernacle of God [i.e., God=s presence] is with people and He will live with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be among them {{Some ancient manuscripts add Aand will be their God@}}. 4) And He will wipe away all the tears from their eyes, and there will not be death anymore, or mourning, or crying, or pain anymore, for these old things have passed away.@

5) Then the One who is seated on the throne [i.e., Christ, or God] said, AListen, I am making everything new!@ Then He said, AWrite [this], because these words are trustworthy and true.@ 6) Then He said to me, AThese things have already happened. [Note: These words express the certainty of what has been predicted in this book, even though not all the events had actually taken place yet]. I am the Alpha and the Omega [See note at 1:8], the beginning and the end. I will give the person who is [spiritually] thirsty [a drink] from the spring of water of life without his having to pay for it. 7) The person who has victory [in the Christian life] will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my child. 8) But the place for cowards, and unbelievers, and disgusting people [i.e., because of their terrible sins], and murderers, and sexually immoral people, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, will be the lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This is the second death.@

9) Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues [i.e., judgments, See 15:1], came and spoke to me, saying, ACome here, [and] I will show you the bride, the Lamb=s wife.@ 10) So, he transported me away in [i.e., under the influence of] the Holy Spirit, to a very high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11) It had the splendor of God [shining from it], and was as brilliant as a very precious stone, as crystal-clear as jasper. 12) It had a very high wall [around it], with twelve angels [stationed] at its twelve gates. The names written on the gates were those of the twelve tribes of the Israelites. 13) There were three gates on the east side [of the wall]; three gates on the north side; three gates on the south side; and three gates on the west side. 14) And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb [were inscribed on them].

15) And the angel who spoke to me [See verse 9] had a golden measuring stick with which to measure the city, its gates and its wall. 16) Now the city is laid out as a perfect square; its length is the same as its width. So, he measured the city with the stick [and found it to be] fifteen hundred miles each way; its length and width and height all being the same. 17) And he measured its wall [and found it to be] two hundred and sixteen feet [high], according to human measurements which the angel was using. 18) The material for the city=s wall was jasper, and the city [itself] was made of pure gold, as clear as glass. 19) The foundation of the city=s wall was decorated with all kinds of precious stones [Note: Not all of the following stones listed can be accurately identified today]. The first foundation stone was jasper [i.e., a bluish-colored stone]; the second was sapphire; the third was chalcedony [i.e., a translucent quartz of pale blue or gray]; the fourth was emerald; 20) the fifth was sardonyx [i.e., an orange-colored stone similar to chalcedony]; the sixth was sardius [i.e., a reddish-colored stone also called carnelian]; the seventh was chrysolite [i.e., a yellowish- or greenish-colored stone]; the eighth was beryl [i.e., a stone of bluish-green color]; the ninth was topaz [i.e., a yellow or bluish-yellow stone]; the tenth was chrysoprase [i.e., a stone of greenish-gold color]; the eleventh was jacinth [i.e., a stone of purple or reddish-blue color]; the twelfth was amethyst [i.e., a purple- or violet-colored stone]. 21) And the twelve gates were made of twelve pearls, with each gate being made of a single pearl. And the street of the city was made of pure gold, as transparent as glass.

22) But I did not see a Temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the city=s Temple. 23) And the city does not need the sun or the moon to illuminate it, for the splendor of God provides the light for it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24) And [the saved people of] the nations will walk in the city=s light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25) And the gates of the city will never be closed during the daytime (for there will never be nighttime there). 26) And they [i.e., the kings of the earth, Verse 24] will bring the splendor and honor of [the saved people of] the nations into the city. [Note: This verse may involve a slightly different idea from verse 24]. 27) And there will never be anything [morally] unclean allowed to enter it, nor any person who practices disgusting behavior [i.e., probably such sins as sexual perversion], or [any person] who is a liar. But the only ones [allowed there] are those [whose names are] recorded in the Lamb=s book of life.



CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

1) Then the angel [See 21:9] showed me the river of the water of life. It was crystal-clear as it flowed out of the throne of God and the Lamb, 2) and down the middle of the city=s street. And on each side of the river stood the tree of life; it produced twelve crops of fruit, yielding a crop every month. And the leaves of the tree [served as medicine] for healing the nations. 3) And there will no longer be any curse [in the city], and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there. And God=s servants will serve Him, 4) and they will see His face, and His name will be [written] on their foreheads. 5) And it will never be nighttime there anymore; they will not need the light of a lamp or of the sun, for the Lord will give them light. And they [i.e., God=s servants] will rule [with Christ, See 20:4] forever and ever.

6) Then the angel [See 21:9] said to me, AThese words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His servants [i.e., through the apostle John] the things that must happen soon [See 1:1]. 7) And listen, I [i.e., Christ] am coming quickly! The person who obeys the words of the prophecy of this book is blessed.@

8) I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me. 9) But he said to me, ADo not do that; I am [only] a fellow-servant with you and with your brothers, the prophets, and with those who obey the words of this book. You should worship God.@

10) Then the angel said to me, ADo not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near [i.e., for the events of its prophecies to begin to happen]. 11) The person who is doing wrong should continue to do wrong [if he wants to]; and the person who is [morally] filthy should continue to be [morally] filthy [if he wants to]; and the person who does what is right should continue to do right [if he wants to]; and the person who is living a holy life should continue to live holy [if he wants to].@

12) AListen,@ [says Jesus], AI am coming quickly! And my reward is with me to pay [back] every person for what he has done. 13) I am the Alpha and the Omega [See note at 1:8], the first and the last, the beginning and the end.@

14) Those who wash their robes are blessed because [then] they will have the right to [eat from] the tree of life, and will [be able to] enter the city through the gates. 15) On the outside [of the city] are the dogs [Note: This probably refers to people who practiced sexual perversions. See Deut. 23:17] and the sorcerers, and the sexually immoral people, and the murderers, and the idolaters and every person who loves and practices falsehood.

16) AI, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you people about these things for [the benefit of] the churches [See 1:4]. I am the Root and the descendant of King David, the bright Morning Star.@

17) And the Holy Spirit and the bride [i.e., the church. See 21:9] say, ACome!@ And the person who hears [this] should say ACome.@ And the person who is [spiritually] thirsty should come; [and] whoever wants to should come and drink the water of life without having to pay for it.

18) I testify to every person who hears the words of the prophecy of this book [Note: This is probably Jesus speaking, but could possibly be John]. If anyone adds to these words, God will add to him the calamities described in this book. 19) And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

20) The One who testifies about these things [i.e., Jesus] says, AYes, I am coming soon.@ May this be so. Come [ahead] Lord Jesus!

21) May the unearned favor of the Lord Jesus be with all of you [Note: Some ancient manuscripts say Awith God=s holy people@]. May it be so.


Table of Contents


Copyright 1994 by William E. Paul.

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