In the opening lines of revelation we receive a one very important interpretive key. “What must soon take place”- this is big, for John is telling his readers this will not happen in the distant future, but “soon” which, in Greek, means hastily, without delay. He then goes on to say that the reader and listener are blessed if they do what is in the book, for the time is near. So, in other words, “this is written for you!!! Listen to it!!”. Who was he writing to though? We see in the very next line, the seven churches in Asia. He then bids grace and peace upon them, giving a little bit of a foretaste of what He will be talking about. He then tells us about his call to become a prophet. It’s not all too different than some of the other prophets. Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Elijah all had very large encounters with God before they started their ministries. The main difference here is that he comes face to face with Jesus, in his glorified state. He goes on to try and explain the beauty of what he seen with a succession of likes (His hair like.. His feet like.. His legs like..). The most understandable of all tho comes at the end, “I fell down as a dead man”, so not only is Jesus beautiful he is TERRIFYING! We, in our feeble state, cannot bear to see Him. Nevertheless, Jesus, with grace and compassion tells him to “not be afraid” He then reminds him of His own redemptive work “i am the one who was dead and is alive” and commissions him as a prophet. He then explains part of the vision John had already seen, “the seven stars are the angles and the seven lamp stands the churches”. There were many more than seven churches, but seven is the number of completeness. Seven will be used that way all through this book. That is to say to represent, an inexplicable, yet numbered group. Now he gets into the seven letters, which would represent every church for all time. We all fall into one or more of these categories. I will get into what he says to each church over the next few posts, then continue to the successive visions.