1:10,11 MESSAGES TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES
John heard the message before He saw the messenger. “I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last’ and ‘What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea” (Revelation 1:10,11).
The messages to "the seven churches" are important on three levels. First of all, they were specific messages to specific churches that existed at the time of John in Asia Minor. It is important to understand the messages, as much as possible, in terms of the understanding of the first-century Christians they were addressed to.
Secondly, the messages have an application to all Christians in every era who face similar problems and challenges. The problem of Christians losing their first love (Revelation 2:4) or being luke-warm in their devotion to God (Revelation 3:16) are not unique to the first century. The church has had to face persecution (Revelation 2:10) and internal heresy (Revelation 2:13,20) at many times in her history. Thus there is a universal application, and the messages are to all Christians everywhere.
Finally, many commentators have seen in the messages to the seven churches a prophesy of what would happen to the Christian church from the time of John until the end of time. There is valid scriptural support for this position, reflected in Jesus' instruction to John, "write the things which you have seen and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter" (Revelation 1:19). Keeping this in mind, a comparison of the messages to the Seven Churches (as presented in chapters 2 and 3) with the history of the Christian Church from the time of the Apostles to the present shows a remarkable correlation that is convincing eidence that God indeed knows "the end from the beginning" (Isaiah 46:10) When we realize that God knew and predicted the history of the world before it took place, we can also be sure that He knows about our present and future situation, and His promises to bless and save His followers are sure.
 The fact that there are seven churches implies a message to the fullness of God’s church, not only in all places but for all time. Series of seven consistently have a prophetic application in Revelation, speaking of events future to the time of John (for example, the seven seals, trumpets, thunders and plagues are all prophetic). Moreover, the seven churches that the messages were addressed to were not the only churches in Asia, or even the ones closest to where John was on the island of Patmos (Troas, Miletus and Colossae are three that are specifically mentioned in the New Testament). This implies that they were chosen for their symbolic representation of a larger theme (such as a historical period).
We would expect that the book of Revelation would follow the pattern in the book of Daniel, the Old Testament book most similar to Revelation, in which each vision begins with a survey of history followed by a focus on the end of time. According to this pattern, the messages to the seven churches would be a survey of history. For a more thorough analysis see chapter two where the messages are evaluated.
 Isaiah 46:9,10
 Daniel’s first historical survey, for example, was the metal image of chapter 2. He identifies the world empires that will arise through history, but the central message is that at these empires will come to an end and “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44).