Dear Heavenly Father, please be our guide through this study of the Seven Churches in Revelation. Show us Your meaning not one skewed with our thoughts and experience, but only Your thoughts. In Jesus Name Amen.
Sitting in a jail cell gives one extra time to think, ponder life and pray. John was in Patmos serving time for unlawfully sharing the message of Jesus Christ in Ephesus. The Jewish elite, because of Roman persecution, had thrown Christians under the bus to Domitian, a Roman Emperor. The elite said because the Christians taught the reality of who Jesus was that He came to earth to save us all, and was raised after three days from the dead. It would cause dire consequences to the Roman Empire. At this time if this message was shared it could be, if permitted, jail time and even death. In a time of meditation and prayer, in the “Spirit”, John heard a loud voice behind him. Picture that you are in a room all by yourself all is silent and all of a sudden “WRITE WHAT YOU SEE”, super loud. Do you think he jumped? Maybe a scream? I know what I would have done, my head would hit the ceiling, it would have been a good thing it was Jesus Christ because I would of probably needed a head wound healed.
Now after taking a moment to regain a little composure, if at all, he turns around to someone standing there surrounded by lampstands. Looking like royalty, white hair, flames in His eyes, and when He spoke it was deafening. He was holding seven stars in His hand, when He would speak out of His would came a double edge sword, and the light coming off of Him was bright enough John could not stand to look at Him for too long. You know someone you would expect to see in a prison cell. John says “I feel at His feet as though I was dead”, immediately a hand of comfort reaches out and says” Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore”. He lets John know I am Jesus, I am here, and everything is all right. My children need to hear some things and I need you to write them down and deliver it to them.
In this journey through the vision of the seven churches of Revelation we will see the love that our God has for us. You will see that with fulfilling the prophesy of coming to earth, being crucified, and raised from the dead three days later; did not mean that He then ascended to Heaven put His feet up sat back on His throne and said “I am good now take care of it”. No; He came down once more and said hey, I love you and you did not hear what I said, you need to take care of this our we will not be able to see each other. The message that He left to the Seven Churches still resonates today, in some aspects more now then back when the Revelation was given to John. We will see how some would twist the word for personal gain; others would get to comfortable and think they could do it better then God. Groups that would try to justify their sin through the teaching of Christ, and a few that use deceitfulness to try and destroy what Jesus had done for them. With the warnings and acknowledgments that are given in these seven letters we can see that if we apply them to our lives it will make our walk with Christ even closer then you could have ever imagined.
Vision of the Son of Man
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Write therefore the things that you have seen those that are and those that are to take place after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Revelation 1:9-20 (ESV)