Giuli Alasania, Prof. Dr., Vice-Rector, International Black Sea University
IBSU International Refereed Multi-diciplinary Scientific Journal; Vol 1, No 1 (2006); 117-129.
The paper traces history of spreading Christianity in Georgia since the 1st century AD, showing its significance for making the Georgian nation. Based on historic sources the story includes the legends linked to the process. Taking into consideration scholarly literature the paper dates proclaiming Christianity in Georgia back to 326, considering the issue of autocephalous movement of the Georgian Church. History of the Georgian Church embraces contribution of the leaders in the different times.
Keywords: Christianity, Church, autocephaly, martyr, integrity, nation, state.
At the end of the first millennium B.C. the Savior, Son of God, Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary, a descendant of the Jewish King David, was sent to humankind. Christ was baptized by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. But the Jewish people failed to acknowledge him, they did not believe in his divine origin, and the clergymen sentenced him to death with the approval of the Roman governor Pilate. On the third day after the crucifixion and death Christ resurrected.
Georgia had also been awaiting a Savior-Messiah. The book of Nebrot which the first Georgian King Mirian had, reads: "On the very last day there will come the owner of heaven to see you suffering in grief and will save you" . According to the Georgian historical tradition, Holy Fathers from Georgia Elioz Mtskheteli and Longinoz Karsneli, being invited to Jerusalem, witnessed the Crucifixion of the Lord. The Crucifixion was rather difficult for Elioz's mother to bear. Elioz's sister died in Mtskheta while holding Christ's tunic and was buried with the relic . Today, the place remains in the foundation of the Svetitskhoveli (“life-giving pillar”) Church. Referring to historical sources, it is to be noted that the great relic of the Old Testament, Prophet Ilia's mantle was also kept in Mtskheta, and Khobi monastery kept the Virgin's robe, which is now protected and kept in the Museum of Zugdidi. According to the Christian ecclesiastical tradition, the Tsilkani Church had an icon of the Mother of God created by Luke the Evangelist. Today it is kept in Georgia in the National Museum of Art.
Christianity spread in Georgia in the 1st century A.D. After the Ascension the Apostles cast lots as to who would preach Christianity in the countries. Georgia was the Holy Virgin's lot, for which reason we call. Georgia "Khvtismshoblis tsilkhvedri", which means “destined to Theotokos”. But obeying her Son's will, the Holy Virgin sent Andrew the First-Called. To Georgia. The Holy Virgin gave him her divine icon. This icon is known as Atskuri Virgin's icon and is kept in the National Museum of Art. Simeon the Cananite and Matthias came to Georgia together with Andrew the First-Called. The first episcopacy in Georgia was established by Andrew the First-Called in Atskuri; he also assigned the first bishop, several priests and a deacon.
The church founded by the Apostles should have been autocephalous, which means “sovereign”. This notwithstanding, the autocephaly of the Georgian Church has always been a disputable issue causing many difficulties, and it had to be proved by different scholars throughout its history.
The Apostle Andrew visited Georgia three times. His third journey was particularly interesting as he was accompanied by Christ's disciples: the Apostles Simon the Cananite and Matthias. The Apostle Andrew came to “Trapzon, the country of Megrels”. When the apostles came to the town-fortress Apsaros (at present, Gonio), Matthias died and was buried there. At the place where the icon of the Mother of God was given some rest, a spring sparkled itself out of the ground. Later on, the Holy Virgin Church was built there and the first copy of the icon of the Mother of God was deposited there. Simon the Cananite died in Abkhazia. His grave is in "Nikopsia", Nova Mikhailovka, to the north-west of Tuapse. In the 14th-15th centuries the remains of Simon the Cananite were reburied in Anakopia, presently located in New Athon.
Notwithstanding the signs of the first Christian communities and shrines found in the areas, which testify to the existence of religion and christening in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, Christianity was not an official state religion in Georgia until the 4th century. Escavated ruins of a church in Nastagisi dated from the 3rd century shed light on the appearance of a new religion in the territory.
The last persecution of Christians started during the reign of Caesar Diocletian (284-305), when the Commander of the Roman Army George of Cappadocia was tortured and canonized. There are many churches built and sanctified in the name of St. George in Georgia.
In 298, under a treaty concluded by Rome and Sassanid Persia in Nissibin, the Kartli Kingdom appeared to be under the Roman political control enabling the authorities to acknowledge Christianity. King Mirian is the first Christian king, and a preacher of that time is Nino of Cappadocia, whose father was Zabilon, a well-known Roman commander, and whose mother was Susana, the sister of the bishop of Jerusalem. Nino is one of those who escaped from Diocletian to find a shelter in Armenia. The Armenian king Trdat sentenced to death those women who were devoted to Christ. Nino was among them, but she was saved by God's will and sent to Kartli, since God told her that “there was a lot to reap, but few workers” .
The Georgian historic literature confirms the fact that St. Nino came to Kartli in 303-311. Near Lake Paravani she had a vision in her dream: “a man gave her a sealed book and told her to give it to a pagan king of Mtskheta”. Later Nino settled in Mtskheta preaching Christianity and healing insane and suffering people. Among her first listeners and followers was the queen of Kartli Nana, who had been cured from an incurable disease by St. Nino.
In 313, the Edict of Milan ceased persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, and Christianity gained equal rights alongside pagan beliefs. In 324 Christianity became the state religion by the order of Constantine the Great (306-337).
There is certain evidence to prove that Georgians were involved in the creation of the Christian creed. Bishop Stratophilus of Bichvinta attended the first Ecumenical Council held in Nicea and the Bishop of Kartli Pantophilus attended the second Ecumenical Council. The Christian churches in Bichvinta, Nokalakevi built in the 4th century in western Georgia also attest to the spreading of Christian religion in southern and eastern Black Sea regions.
There are many oral versions and texts connected with declaring Christianity as an official state religion in Georgia. One of them tells of solar eclipse when King Mirian was hunting on Tkhoti Mountain and was only saved after mentioning Nino's God. This led to the establishing Christianity as the official state religion in Kartli, and later on in Egrisi (Lazica) in the same year. This decision for Georgia, situated at the crossroads between the West and the East, implied taking political orientation towards the West, while two strong superpowers, Rome and Sassanid Persia, were rivaling for world domination. The decision determined Georgia's further fate and strongly tied the Georgian people and the Georgian culture to western civilization. Kartli started building churches and initially masons from the Roman Empire were invited. Constantine the Great, the Roman Emperor, sent to Georgia not only priests, deacons and stone masters led by Bishop John, but he also sent to the Georgian king a fragment of the cross, a piece of footboard and nails on which Christ was crucified. Because of their special importance, many kings contributed significantly in keeping there holy relics or taking them to another place, maintaining or getting them back.
A wooden church constructed in the king's garden, which was later called “Svetitskhoveli” (“the life-giving pillar”), was meant to be a principall church in Georgia.
Kartli declared Christianity as the state religion in 326. However, the christening of Georgia was a fairly long process. The Georgian Church is inseparable from the world church, and all Christians are one whole, one spiritual body with Christ as the head, “one body and one spirit, one God, one faith, one baptism, one Lord and a Father of all”.
Bishop John baptized Kartli's noblemen at a special place on the bank of the Mtkvari river. Common people were christened down the river by priests and deacons. St. Nino, Bishop John and lords were baptizing people in different parts of Georgia showing them the “true way” with the “New Testament and the Holy Cross”. Finally, St. Nino settled in Bodbe, where she became fatally ill and died. Before her death she told everything about her life to Mirian's daughter-in-law, the wife of Revi, Salome Ujarmeli, and Perozhavr Sivnieli. Their accounts of the events together with the narrations of Abiatari and Sydonia became the basis for the “Life of St. Nino”, one of ancient texts about the conversion of Kartli. The “Life of St. Nino” written by her contemporaries was included in the book series the “Conversion of Kartli”, compiled in the 7th century, and in the “Life of Kartli”.
By the decision made at the Ecumenical Council in 451 in Chalcedon, five churches - Roman, Constantinepolian, Antiochean, Alexandrian and Jerusalem remained autocephalous. The Church of Kartli constituted a part of the Antiochean patriarchate. Before that in 381, Pantophilus from Iberia (ibid. Kartli) attending the Ecumenical Council is mentioned as a representative of the Amasian diocese. Proceeding from that, it is believed that the Church of Kartli was subordinated to the Diocese of Pontus with the help of the Amasian Metropolitan by the end of the 4th century .
In the second half of the 5th century the Church of Kartli rose and became stronger. This fact is connected with the name of the most powerful king, Vakhtang Gorgasali.
Since the majority of Kartli was under political control of Persia, “fire-worshiping was spread among common people”. King Vakhtang Gorgasali started his reign by carrying out reforms in church. He chose pro-western orientation and gained for the Church of Kartli the status of autocephaly.
There were two opposing strands in Christianity: Diophysitism (acknowledging dual nature of Christ - divine and human) and Monophisitism (acknowledging only divine nature of Christ). In 451, the Chalcedonian 4th Ecumenical Council accepted Diophysitical dogma and rejected Monophysitism.
After Mobidan who was secretly writing “wrong books”, Chalcedonite Michael sent from Byzantium was appointed the Archbishop of Kartli and he strived to eliminate the influence of Persian beliefs. Since King Vakhtang Gorgasali of Kartli visited Jerusalem together with his mother and sister, later on established the institution of Catholicos in Kartli, and decided to bring Peter as Catholicos and Samuel as Archbishop from Constantinople, the insulted and disobedient Michael was sent to Constantinople.
According to the “Life of Kartli”, King Vakhtang established many new bishoprics and assigned “one bishop in Klarjeti in the church of Akhizi, one in Artaani, in Erusheti, one in Javakheti, in Tsunda, one in Manglisi, one in Bolnisi, one in Rustavi, in Ninotsminda, Ujarmiskari, Cheremi - built by Gorgasali, one in Cheleti, one in Khornabuji, one in Agaraki (Khunani) and one in Nikozi, with an assigned bishop” .
In the earlier half of the 6th century, after Saba was appointed as Catholicos in Kartli, the cathedral of Catholicos was always served by priests of the Georgian origin. According to the “Conversion of Kartli”, “after that, two families, natives from Mtskheta succeeded to the throne of Catholicos”. Georgian chronicler Juansher also testifies: “Since then they did not bring a Catholicos from Greece, but Georgian nobles were assigned to it” .
Since the second decade of the 6th century, the Church of Kartli refuses to have any conciliatory position towards Monophysitism and steadily insists on having Diophysitism acknowledged. The latter occurred in the 591, after concluding a treaty between Byzantium and Iran. Under that treaty, the larger part of Kartli up to Tbilisi came under the control of Byzantium. Despite the fact that Persia and Byzantium formally divided Kartli into two parts, Stephanoz of Tbilisi being Guaram's son, considered they were entitled to ruling both parts of the country. Meanwhile, favorable conditions were created for the followers of Christianity. The Jvari (Cross) Monastery in Mtskheta built in the late 6th early 7th century furnishes a good example.
The 7th century started with a complete split of the Georgian and Armenian Churches. In the early 7th century, Abraham, the Catholicos of Armenia wrote to the Catholicos of Kartli “We hardly believe in devoted love to Byzantium from a slave of the king of kings as well as in his separating from Persia having the same faith” .
Ecclesiastical policy in Georgia was part of the Near East policy. The main political sides of those days were Byzantium and Persia. In 614, the Persian King Chosroes II sacked Jerusalem, and in 616 convened an ecclesiastical meeting where he obliged the Christian residents of the Empire to “adopt Armenian Christianity”. The Catholicos of Kartli Kirion was compelled to leave Kartli.
Shortly after, international situation changed in favor of Byzantium. However, Emperor Heraclius seeking to spare his empire from dividing, tried to spread a new course of “Monothelitism” that recognized Christ's dual nature Divine and Human, but one will of God. That was a step towards a compromise between Monophysitism and Dyophysitism. In the third decade of the 7th century, Heraclius joined western Kartli. In western Georgia, in the Greek Metropolis of Phasis and some other bishoprics subordinated to it, the Divine Service was conducted in the Greek language.
The new course appeared to be unacceptable for many people. Among the opposition there was Pope Martini and a monk from Byzantium, a well-known theologian Maxim the Confessor who, mute and crippled, was exiled together with his two disciples to western Georgia where he died. A letter, sent from western Georgia by his disciple, shows that Monotheitism was alien and unacceptable to
the native people and they sympathized greatly with the persecuted. The Georgian Church was the only one among Eastern Christian Churches that did not share the iconoclasm waged during the reign of Leon III the Isaurian in Byzantium. It was rejected and condemned by the 7th and the last Ecumenical Council in Nicea. All this proves that by that time the Georgian society already had profound and unique religious traditions. As a prominent Georgian scholar George the Athonite living in the 11th century writes about the firm determination of the Georgian Church to stick to the initial orientation taken by the church: “since we once believed were deviated neither to the right, nor to the left” .
In the mid -7th century Christianity faced a new threat. A new religion, Islam, was on the rise in the Arabian Peninsula. Since that period Kartli found itself under the political control of Arabs which grew more severe with time. One of such periods can be found in the seventh decade of the 8th century, when an Emir appeared in Tbilisi and the future of Georgia's rich and original national culture was put into question. A Georgian chronicler bewails with grief from remote centuries: “Many of those who betrayed Christ were tempted and misled from the Path of the Truth, some by force and lies, others by inexperience of adolescence and evil doing”. But culture, carried through centuries, turned out to be strong, endured hard trials and survived. The majority of Georgians “remain devoted to the only begotten Son of God with love and fear to Christ, responsibility to the motherland, with patience to grief and sorrows,” - declares Ioane Sabanisdze proudly .
In the fourth decade of the 8th century the Church of Kartli sent representatives to Antioch. Their main aim was to settle the matter of autocephaly of the Church of Kartli. Antiochean patriarch Theopilakte once again canonized the Georgian Bishop's right to sanctify the Catholicos of Kartli. Until the 9th century, Eastern Churches as well as Kartli got the chrism from Jerusalem. In the 9th century the Church of Kartli, owing to the endeavors by an apprentice of Grigol Khandzteli, Bishop of Atskveri Ephrem, was given the right by the Patriarch of Jerusalem to prepare chrism in Georgia. So, the Bishop of Kartli was equalized with the world's five Patriarchs those of Rome, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople. The deed of 1259 testified to that effect, and was signed as follows: “We, the 6th Patriarch of Svetitshkoveli and Catholicos of All Georgia by Christ Nicolos, affirm and sign” . Until the 11th century the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church was called “Kartli Catholicos” (“Mtskheta Catholicos”). Since the 11th century its synonyms “Patriarch of All Georgia” or “Great Patron” have been used, or “Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia”, the latter was first used to mention Melcisedek I (1010-1033).
By the end of the 8th century Leon II, the ruler of Abkhazia detached from political control of Byzantium and received the title of the King of Abkhazia. After the unification of Western Georgia the Kingdom of Abkhazia covered the territory from Nikopsia to the Likhi (Surami) range. Kutaisi becomes the capital of the new state, and Georgian acquired the status of the state language. In the battles for the unification of Georgia Abkhazian kings tried to annex Inner Kartli, Kakheti and Hereti. Javakheti was part of the Kingdom as well.
In 978 Bagrat III, the heir of the title “King of Kartvels (Georgians)” from his paternal line and a descendant of Abkhazian kings from his maternal line, was enthroned in Kutaisi. The Georgian State, united during his reign, maintained the name of the “Kingdom of Abkhazia” for a long time. It was gradually replaced by the term “Sakartvelo” (Georgia). Following the unification of Georgia, the titles of kings were changed: “King of Abkhazians, Kartvels (Georgians), Rans and Kakhs”. Tbilisi Emirate and Tashir-Dzorageti Georgian Kingdom with the Armenian dynasty were left beyond the country's borders.
Kings of Abkhazia united the Church of Western Georgia, the centers of which were the Metropolitan see of Nikopsia, Sebastopolis and Phasis, with the autocephalous Abkhazian Church and became independent of the Patriarch of Constantinople, but later on, it was subordinated to the Catholicos of Mtskheta. In the second decade of the 10th century George II spread the influence of the
Georgian Church over the Northern Caucasus (Kingdom of Alans). During the reign of Bagrat III Bedia and Kutaisi Cathedrals were built. The latter is known today as the Bagrati Cathedral. The Metropolitan see of Phasis that was dependent on Constantinople and Episcopacy thrones of Rodopolis were abolished. The Western Georgian Church that according to hierarchy was subdued to the Catholicos of Georgia replaced the Greek language with Georgian in divine service. Since the Cathedral of the Abkhazian Catholicos was in Bichvinta, he was called “Catholicos of Bichvinta” as well. Until the second half of the 15th century the Abkhazian Catholicos was in fact the Bishop of Abkhazia. In the 10th century, Giorgi Merchule once again confirms the rule adopted by the 4th Ecumenical Council, according to which ecclesiastical borders have to be the same as the state borders with only one difference: in this case the union of church preceded and speeded up the political unification of the country: “The very country in which liturgy (mass) and all prayers are delivered in Georgian is considered to be Kartli” .
Ecclesiastic tradition narrates about the divine origin of royal Bagrationi Dynasty, considering it to be the descendant of Prophet David. The related evidence is preserved in Byzantine chronicle by Constantine Porphirogenetes, while Grigol Khandtsteli addresses Ashot the Curopalates with the following words: “Me Lord, the son of Prophet David sanctified by God” .
The Georgians made their contribution to the world's cultural treasury. In the churches and monasteries founded by them, apart from religious services they performed national and cultural activities, created original works, translated theological literature written in different languages. Thanks to Georgian monks, many works in other languages whose originals have been lost are only known due to the Georgian translations. Georgian ecclesiastics loved the Holy lands, where they had closer relations with the world's church and ecclesiastical world. The first Georgian monasteries appeared in Egypt and Palestine in the 4th-5th centuries. About 100 large and small Georgian monasteries are mentioned in historic sources in different periods both in Georgia and beyond.
The legend has it that the first Christian King Mirian chose the location of the Cross Monastery while being a pilgrim in Jerusalem. In the course of centuries St. Sava Monastery built near Jerusalem became famous for its literary and logical-philosophical traditions. In this very monastery the Georgian translation of biblical books, so called Sabatsminduri was made, and the ancient Georgian Typikon was created in the 8th and 9th centuries. Also some other monasteries made a name for themselves such as: Palavra, Jerusalem Cross Monastery and cloisters founded near Antioch or in Asia Minor. Among the Georgian religious centers of the West Athos (10th century) and Petritsoni (11th century) monasteries gained special fame. Georgian monasteries abroad were centers bringing together the Georgians living outside their homeland, and monks staying there were ambassadors of their country. Their main purpose was to serve the Georgian culture and the Georgian language. On the one hand, cloisters founded by them strongholds of Christianity were part of a larger world; on the other hand, they were indivisible from Georgia, a sort of smaller Georgia, that always had tight bonds with the motherland. Everyday prayers delivered by the monks in Palestine in the 9th and 10th centuries clearly shows close links of the Georgian centers abroad to their motherland as well as their main destination: “Let's pray to God, for peace in Kartli, the keeping of borders, calming down the kings and rulers, repelling the enemies, releasing the captives, passing away of the plague, steadiness of Christianity...Oh, Christ, forgive all brothers, and all Christians, and most of all, the Georgians” .
First monasteries in Georgia appeared during the reign of King Vakhtang Gorgasali. He ordered to build the monastery of Opiza near Artanuji. In mid 5th century Tana (or Ateni) Monastery already existed. In Georgia as well as in other places there existed friaries and nunneries.
Monastery building in Eastern Georgia began when Syrian Fathers came to the country. According to the literature, “Assyrian Fathers” were Georgians and spoke Georgian. They initiated building of Davidgareji, Dodorka, John the Baptist, Zedazeni, Ulumba, Shiomghvime, Martkopi, Alaverdi, Stephantsminda, Breti, Khirsi, Samtavisi, Ikalto and other monasteries. In the 7th-8th centuries monastery building and restoring took place in Klarjeti, Tao and Kartli. “Klarjeti Archimandrity”, where the first Archimandrite was Grigol Khandzteli, was also founded during that period; other famous centers and monasteries: Zarzma, Khandzta, Shatberdi, Nedzvi, Kviriketsminda, Tskarostavi, Breta, Meresi, Old Opiza, Midznadzori were founded as well. Monasteries were built also by the kings or they took them into their possession. In the 12th century Shiomghvime, Davidgareji monasteries were taken into the royal possession. Gelati Monastery was built in the 12th century, as “another Jerusalem of the whole East”, or “another Athens”. It sent to the world a new message of the empowered Georgia - to replace the weakening Byzantium.
There are also a number of cave monasteries, like Davidgareji, Vardzia, and Vahani in Georgia.
The beginnings of the written tradition in the Georgian language are connected with Christianity. The rich hagiographic literature in the Georgian language already existed in the 4th-5th centuries. Other genres of Christian writing developed as well: Homiletic, Hymnography. Collections, lectionaries, chant appeared. Ecclesiastical architecture with its own traditions emerged. Originally, basilica-type buildings and especially three-nave basilica were widespread, but later, the so-called cross-domed-type edifices, the finest examples of which are: the Cross (Jvari) cathedral (6th-7th centuries); in the 7th-8th centuries similar cathedrals of Tsromi, Atenis Sioni, Old Shuamta in Kakheti, Chkondidi in Samegrelo and others emerge. Churches and monasteries were furnished with ornaments, frescos, wall painting. Ecclesiastic law developed, based on the “Short Version Nome canon” and “Great Nome canon”. The former was compiled by Ekvtime the Athonite. The latter was translated from Greek by Arsen of Ikalto in the second half of the 11th century.
Splitting up into Catholic and Orthodox churches was not immediately recognized by Georgians. About 1065, Giorgi Mtatsmindeli made the following comment concerning the ecclesiastic discord between Rome and Constantinople: “As heresy has occurred so many times among Greeks…. Holy councils among ecclesiastic leaders were summoned and this issue was thoroughly investigated…but Khroms (i.e. the western church), once they acknowledged God, they have never deviated from this faith and they have never practiced heresy…” . At that time, political and spiritual unification of the Caucasus was on the agenda in Georgia. In the 1th-13th centuries, during the reign of Bagrat IV, David the Builder and Tamar, the church councils were convened with the purpose of unification of the Georgian and Armenian churches. Christianity still remained the axis which unified even politically antagonistic sides. Liparit Baghvashi, Bagrat IV's rival, rendered financial assistance to Giorgi Mtatsmindeli who was working on a new version of the Gospel's translation in the Georgian monastery on Athos, and later assisted in dissemination of this translation in Georgian monasteries.
David the Builder, the unifier of the country, started his activities with the church reform. Ruisi-Urbnisi church council held under King David was an important step towards the country's centralization. The council purged the clerical hierarchy, expelled the “unworthy” holding high positions due to their noble origin. According to the Nome canon's principles, he cancelled titles and personal virtues came to the fore. Byzantine Queen Martha, David's aunt was present at the meeting and that stressed its international importance. Being faithful to traditions, Georgian kings took great care of Georgian churches and monasteries and “Prayers were ceaselessly delivered” in the Palace Church. In spite of obstacles and impediments, the Georgians not only retained their centers abroad, but they also enjoyed certain privileges. According to Jack de Vitry, Akra Latin Bishop (1216-1228), “the Georgians, visiting Sepulcher, enter the holy city with unfolded banners paying tribute to nobody”; in 1347 “the Georgians have the key to the Holy Sepulcher, and they won't let anybody have the smallest piece of the grave-stone even for much money.” According to the information dated 1483, “Many Georgians live in Jerusalem and own plenty of holy sites…They set off to Jerusalem with unfolded banners and returned to Georgia without paying any tribute” .
The Georgian Church survived 100-years domination of Mongols, devastating invasions of Timur-Lang, Kara-koyunlu and Ak-koyunlu. Each time of destroying was followed by building and restoration first of all of the churches and monasteries. The Georgians gave the King Alexandre reigned after Timur-Lang the name “the Great” for such activity.
In 1453, the fall of Constantinople and Byzantium, emergence of a neighboring Moslem Ottoman and later Safavid states and political disintegration of Georgia did great harm to the country's spiritual unity. Georgia became surrounded by the powerful Muslim countries. A new stage of struggle for the survival started. The Samtskhe leaders took steps to have the Meskheti church seceded from the mother church. The Antioch and Jerusalem patriarchs, on the other hand, tried to separate Western Georgian and Meskheti churches from the Georgian Church. Such an attempt failed. The Meskheti bishops were forced to take the oath: ”Neither to let in the foreign ecclesiastic nor to read their books, nor to listen to their commandment, nor to believe in their faith. Our clergy and deacons must be ordained only in Mtskheta and we must obey your orders” .
The 17th century was distinguished with the plentitude of Christian martyrs, only a few of whom were canonized: in 1616, 6000 martyrs were massacred in David Gareji desert, the Georgian King Luarsab II was executed in 1622, the Kakhetian Queen St. Ketevan was martyred 1624, the Kherkheulidze nine brothers together with their mother and sister and 9000 Georgians were killed on Marabda battlefield in 1625, St. Father Evdemoz the Patriarch, head of the Georgian Church, was martyred in 1624, Bidzina Cholokashvili, Elizbar and Shalva Ksani Eristavis (dukes) and many others were also martyred. Those martyrs personified the Georgian nation, exemplifying heroism and firmness. In those centuries as never before, fighting for being Christian meant fighting for
By the fourth decade of the 18th century, there were only a few functioning episcopates in Kartli-Kakheti, but none of them were in Meskheti. Starting from 1633 Iranian Shah's Viceroy-Muslim Vali ascended to the Georgian throne. However, according to the Georgian sources, he was called the King in an old manner. The fact of the assassination of King Giorgi XI by the Afghans, attests to the Georgians' loyalty towards Christian traditions. The Georgian King was wearing a cross on his chest. That very cross was sent to the Iranian Shah by the rebelled Afghan leader as accusatory evidence. Such a situation lasted until 1744, when Georgians regained the right to consecrate kings according to the Christian rule. During those hard times the Georgian Church continued to function and to unite the nation. Although in conditions of the country's decentralization, the united patriarchate disintegrated into two separate ones- Abkhazian and Kartlian, the perception of unity was not eradicated. In the fourth decade of the 18th century Vakhushti Bagrationi stresses: “If you ask any Georgian, that is Imeri, Meskhi and Her-Kakh, what their origin is, they will reply instantaneously: “Georgian” . This is the period when faith determines ethnicity and the words “Georgian” and “Orthodox” become synonymous. The care for culture and education was continuous. The new cathedrals were built: Ananuri, the so-called Magalaant Towers (in Kavturi Valley), the Mchadijvari church (1668), the Anchiskhati bell-tower in Tbilisi (1675). In Georgia and beyond its borders printing-houses were set up, where Georgian books were published, hagiography revived and the cultural-educational activities of the churches and monasteries were revitalized. Affinity to one religion was a determining factor in search for allies. A vain quest for an ally in the West throughout the 18th century by the orientation towards Orthodox Russia
came to an end.
In 1783 the treaty of Georgievsk, signed between Russia and Georgia, actually laid the foundation for the abolition of the Georgian Church's independence, which can be inferred from the following statements of the document: “… After the unification with Russia and the Russians, our coreligionists, His Excellency wishes that the Catholicos, i.e. the Archbishop occupies the eighth place on the hierarchal scale of Russian bishops after Tobolsk” .
In 1801, the Russian King annexed Georgia's centuries-old statehood on the basis of a manifesto. The Russian troops occupied the country. Conquest of Georgia by Russians started. In 1811, with the decision of the Emperor and Russia's Holy Synod the Georgian Apostolic Church's autocephaly was annulled. In 1814 this misfortune befell the Western Georgian Church. By that time out of thirteen eparchies functioning in Eastern Georgia, two were left, and in Western Georgia out of twelve eparchies three were left. Russia actively launched its Russification policy. In existing ecclesiastical schools the language of instruction was Russian. The authorities tried to use Orthodox Christianity as a means for assimilating the Georgians into the Russian nation.
The struggle for the restoration of the Georgian Church's autocephaly continued all through the 19th century and was crowned with success in the 20th century. A Georgian noble's letter addressed to the Russian Emperor dated 11 October 1905, reads: “During the centuries the Georgians moaned under the inexorable yoke of the rules of the Eastern countries. They endured cruelty.
Nevertheless, the Iveri Church was invincible and viable, its spirit was powerful and its strength unconquerable … Now the Georgian Orthodox Church should be given a free life and the legal authorities should take their positions again and the Catholicos elected by the people should be restored in his rights and responsibilities …” .
In spite of the obstacles, after the Russian Revolution in February 1917, the Georgian clergy managed to restore the Georgian Church's autocephaly on 12 March. Georgian was adopted as the language of the divine service. However, with the intervention of the Russian Provisional Government, it was settled to lend autocephaly to the Georgian Church according to the ethnicity, not territory. Non-Georgian churches remained under the Russian rule. And still it was a victory. Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Kirion Sadzaglishvili, addressed the Georgian nation with the following words: “It is our church's duty to remind humanity of the name of the Georgian nation. It should contribute to our consolidation and unification” .
During the years of the Democratic Republic (1918-21) the Georgian Social-Democratic government came to recognize the call of the time that implied the speeding up of the secularization. On 17 July, 1920 the ecclesiastical council considered the issues of the secession of the church from the state, the transference of the ecclesiastical schools to the ministry, the church budget, the conditions of life of the clergy and the unification of Mtsketa and Tbilisi Eparchies.
On 25 February 1921 the Bolshevik Red Army annexed Georgia. As a response, Ambrosi Khelaia, the Georgian Patriarch, sent a memorandum to the “Genoese Conference”. The leader of the Georgian Church brought to the world's attention that “the Georgian nation was deprived of the mother tongue and its ancestral national culture and religious belief were profaned” and demanded that “the Russian military occupation be withdrawn from Georgia immediately” . But his voice as well as numerous pleas addressed to the authorities went unheard and remained unanswered. The Orthodox Patriarchates did not recognize the Georgian Church's autocephaly and it was considered as an integral part of the Russian Church. This situation continued until 1943. By that time the number of the functioning churches was reduced to 15. In World War II, activities undertaken by the Georgian Church in support of the fighting nation had its effect. Those efforts were not left unnoticed and owing to the diplomatic talent and relentless work of the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Kalistrate Tsintsadze, in 1943 the Russian Church officially recognized the territorial autocephaly announced by the Georgian Orthodox Church on 12 March, 1917 . The struggle started for the restoration of the cancelled churches and monasteries and for recovering holy relics. But the persecution of the Georgian churches was not over and it continued after Stalin's death. Despite repressions, in 1917-78 the Georgian clergy held 12 ecclesiastical councils.
On 23 December, 1977, Ilia II (Shiolashvili-Ghudushauri), the Metropolitan of Tskum-Abkhazeti was elected as Catholicos-Patriarch in Tbilisi. Owing to his endeavors the Georgian Church's long autocephalous movement crowned with success. On 25 January, 1990, The World Patriarch in Constantinople issued the deed of the Georgian Church's autocephaly, and on 3 March published the document recognizing the title of the Georgian Church's Catholicos-Patriarch.
Today, there are 35 eparchies and about 700 active churches and monasteries in Georgia. The Georgian polyphonic chanting is restored in the Georgian Church. The Concordat between the state and the church is achieved.
On 9 April, 1991, Georgia regained political independence. The independent Georgian state started working towards establishing a respectable place in the world community. We have a long way to go. We hope that the obstacles along the way of developing our state will be overcome, in the first place, due to the Georgian Autocephalous Church. This is the very church that helped the Georgians to retain their national integrity. Even in times of hardship and misfortune the reputation of the nation was impeccable. “Clergy supported faith by motherland and nationality, motherland and nationality by faith, and thus empowered the nation led by the Holy Trinity,... saving the house and Georgian
self-consciousness to Georgia” (Ilia Chavchavadze).
 Kartlis Tskhovreba (History of Kartli), edited by I. Antelava and N. Shoshiashvili. Tbilisi, 1996, p. 107 (Georgian).
 Ibid, p.102-103.
 Ibid, p.93.
 Ibid, p.94.
 Mamulia Giorgi. The Kartlian Church in the 5th-6th centuries, Tbilisi, 1992, p. 94-95 (Georgian).
 KTs., p. 178.
 Conversion of Kartli, translated from Georgian by E. Takaishvili, edited by M. Chkhartishvili, Tbilisi, 1989, 29) (Russian); KTs., p. 184.
 Ukhtanesi. History of separation of Iberia from Armenia. Armenian text translated and edited by Z. Aleksidze, Tbilisi, 1975, p.5 (Georgian).
 Japaridze Anania. History of Apostolic Church of Georgia. Georgian ecclesiastic calendar, Tbilisi, 1998, p. 147. (Georgian).
 Ioanne Sabanisdze. Martyrdom of Abo Tbileli. Georgian prose, I, Tbilisi, 1982, p. 120 (Georgian).
 Georgian Historic Documents, Edited by T. Enukidze, V. Silogava, N. Shioshvili, Tbilisi, 1984, p. 155. (Georgian).
 Giorgi Merchule. Life of Grigol Khandtsteli. Georgian prose, I, Tbilisi, 1982, p. 279.
 Ibid, p. 235.
 Kekelidze K. Reflection of struggle for cultural independence in ancient Georgian literature. Tbilisi, 1949, p. 84.(Georgian).
 History of King of kings David. Text prepared by M. Shanidze, Tbilisi, 1992, p. 175 (Georgian).
 Giorgi the Junior. Life of Giorgi the Athonite. Georgian prose, p. 487.
 Grigol Peradze. Edited by G. Japaridze. Tbilisi, 1995., 30, 37, 46. (Georgian).
 Japaridze A. History of the Georgian Apostolic Church, p. 290.(Georgian)
 Bagrationi Vakhushti. Description of the Georgian kingdom. Edited by S. Kaukhchishvili, Tbilisi, 1973, -KTs, IV, p. 291 (Georgian).
 Georgievsk treaty. Edited by G. Paichadze, Tbilisi, 1983, p. 74 (Georgian, Russian).
 Japaridze A. Calendar of the Georgian Church, Tbilisi, 1998, p. 383. (Georgian).
 Ibid, p. 390.
 Ibid, p. 396.
 Vardosanidze S. Georgian Ortodox Apostolic Church in 1917-1952, Tbilisi, 2001, p. 211-212.
ST. JOHN THE DIVINE.
THE Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
4 JOHN to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
UNTO the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
28 And I will give him the morning star.
29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
AND unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
AFTER this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
AND I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
AND I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
AND after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.
7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.
8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
AND when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
AND the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.
10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.
20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
AND I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
AND there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
AND there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
AND I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
AND I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
AND I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.
7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
AND I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
AND there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
AND after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
AND after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
AND I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
AND I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
AND he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF
JUDE, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
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