and the Ever-living One [living in and beyond all time and space]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of [absolute control and victory over] death and of Hades (the realm of the dead).
When my eyes took in this sight I fell at his feet like a dead man. And then he placed his right hand upon me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, the living one. I am he who was dead, and now you see me alive for timeless ages! I hold in my hand the keys of death and the grave. Therefore, write down what you have seen, both the things which are now, and the things which are to be hereafter. The secret meaning of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and of the seven golden lampstands is this: the seven stars are the angels of the seven Churches and the lampstands are the Churches themselves.”
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead; but he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! Though I am the First and Last, the Living One who died, who is now alive forevermore, who has the keys of hell and death—don’t be afraid!
I, John, with you all the way in the trial and the Kingdom and the passion of patience in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of God’s Word, the witness of Jesus. It was Sunday and I was in the Spirit, praying. I heard a loud voice behind me, trumpet-clear and piercing: “Write what you see into a book. Send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea.” I turned and saw the voice. I saw a gold menorah with seven branches, And in the center, the Son of Man, in a robe and gold breastplate, hair a blizzard of white, Eyes pouring fire-blaze, both feet furnace-fired bronze, His voice a roar, right hand holding the Seven Stars, His mouth a sharp-biting sword, his face a blinding sun. I saw this and fainted dead at his feet. His right hand pulled me upright, his voice reassured me: “Don’t fear: I am First, I am Last, I’m Alive. I died, but I came to life, and my life is now forever. See these keys in my hand? They open and lock Death’s doors, they open and lock Hell’s gates. Now write down everything you see: things that are, things about to be. The Seven Stars you saw in my right hand and the seven-branched gold menorah—do you want to know what’s behind them? The Seven Stars are the Angels of the seven churches; the menorah’s seven branches are the seven churches.”
And HaChai (The Living One), and I became Niftar, I had my histalkus (passing), and, hinei, Chai Ani l’Olam va’ed (I am alive forevermore) and I have the maftekhot haMavet (keys of Death) and the maftekhot haShe’ol (keys of the abode of the Dead). [YESHAYAH 41:4; 44:2,6; 48:12; YECHEZKEL 1:28; DANIEL 4:34; 12:7; 8:17-18; DEVARIM 32:40; IYOV 38:17]
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