Dear Friends and Fellow Christians:
My name is John, and I am writing this letter to you from the Island of Patmos. When my body was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, I heard a voice that sounded like a trumpet. The voice said to me, “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches.”
When I tried to see whose voice had been speaking to me, I saw someone who resembled a son of man standing in front of seven gold lampstands. He wore a radiant robe of fine material tied with a gold belt around his waist.
His hair was pure white and his eyes glowed like the flames of a furnace. His feet were like brass that had been refined and polished. He held seven stars in his right hand, and the sun could not outshine the brightness of his face. With a voice that sounded like rushing water he spoke to me.
“Do not be afraid. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys to death.”
An angel of God stood before me and showed me many visions, some mysterious, some marvelous. I saw beasts and dragons. I saw angels and demons. I saw the glory of God. I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The angel told me, “These words are trustworthy and true, and the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits, sent his angel to say, ‘Behold, I am coming soon.’”
I was so frightened and so in awe of the angel that I knelt down to worship him. But the angel immediately said to me, “Don’t! I am a fellow servant of you and the prophets and those who keep the message of this book. Worship God.”
Then the angel continued speaking the words the Lord had given him. “Behold I am coming soon. I bring with me the recompense I will give to each according to his deeds. I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are they who wash their robes so as to have the right to the tree of life and enter the city through its gates. Let the one who thirsts come forward, and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water.”
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
Revelation 1, 22
1. What did the trumpet voice tell John to do?
2. Why did John try to worship the angel?
The Book of Revelation, which comes at the end of the New Testament, may read like a work of science fiction because of its spectacular imagery, visions and prophecies. Yet the writer, who calls himself John, says he was given a revelation of Jesus Christ, and he promises a blessing to anyone who reads and listens to the message contained in this mysterious book.
Although many of the visions may be difficult to understand, one theme throughout the book is that Jesus was found worthy by God because he gave his life for us, and we will be able to worship him forever in heaven. The Lamb of God, who is Jesus, triumphs over evil, and he will live in a New Jerusalem with his people. Chapter 21 tells us, “God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them.”
Pachomius was born in 292 and was raised by non-Christian parents. He did not know about God until after he had become a soldier in Egypt. His army service resembled slave labor, but Christians who were in the area treated him and the other soldiers with kindness and compassion.
When he was discharged from the army, Pachomius decided to join a Christian church in his homeland. After his baptism, he prayed and fasted often with a hermit.
When he was praying in the desert, which was one of his favorite places to find solitude, he received a vision telling him to establish a monastery. He obeyed and attracted more than 100 monks eager to join in his work for the Lord. Before he died from illness, Pachomius had established nine mona steries. He died in 348, and we honor him on May 9.