God gave these revelations to Jesus first and then he passed it onto John through a ministering angel through visions as God reveals those things that have to come to pass before the return of Jesus. The revelations are for the Church in John’s time plus every generation from that time on until Jesus returns in the air to gather up his Bride to the clouds as they receive their new glorified bodies and meet Jesus in the air, 1Corinthians 15:5-58; 1Thessalonians 4:13-18.
The seven churches represent all who are in Christ and He in them from generation to generation. Only through that of Jesus being the final sacrifice for the atonement of sin can we become a royal priesthood joined to him, 1 Peter 2:9. Jesus comes in the clouds and every eye will see him, even those who have rejected him and many will loudly mourn his coming as they have never repented of their sin and now the door of salvation will be closed forever. God is never changing and his word will never come back void, Isaiah 55:11.
John was the last Apostle alive of the original twelve Disciples at the time of his writing these letters to the Church. John was with John the Baptist until that time he was called to be part of the twelve Disciples of Jesus. He was called the beloved of Jesus as he left John the Baptist to follow after Jesus. John was the only Disciple that witnessed the crucifixion of Christ as all the other Disciples fled when Jesus was arrested as they were in fear they would be arrested also, Matthew 25:56, but after Jesus ascended to heaven they were all made Apostles of Christ filled with the Holy Spirit that guided them.
John was the Apostle to the Church in Ephesus where he lived and wrote four epistles, John, First, Second and Third John. He was exiled to the isle of Patmos by the Roman Emperor Domitian for preaching the word of God in the Roman province of Asia where the seven Churches were located. It is said that John was in his nineties when he was exiled and probably released around 97 AD after Domitian died. John was born around 6 AD and died around 100 AD.
John was in the Spirit (being in the Spirit means being in the presence of Gods Spirit that makes the flesh to weak to stand, John 18:6) on the Lords day that was a chosen day of God in his timing and purpose to reveal these revelations to John. He was not literally taken up to heaven, John 3:13, but only in the Spirit.
John first heard a great voice as a trumpet as the voice was very distinct to him like that of hearing a trumpet sound in all its great power and authority. John heard the voice 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.
Ephesus would be the nearest Church to this isle and as supply ships came in someone from the Church would come and take parts of these letters and hide them on their person and take them back to the Church of Ephesus as they were dispersed between all seven Churches.
John turns around and sees seven golden candlesticks or as they are called lamp stands in the Old Testament that stood before the altar of the throne. In the center of these candlesticks there is one like unto the Son of man. The voice that John heard at first declared I am Alpha and Omega. John now turns around to see that which was speaking to him was Jesus. He was clothed in a garment down to his feet. The garment represents Gods righteousness that is the robe of our salvation that is found in Jesus who sits at the right hand of the Father judging and making intercession for us before the Father, as Satan stands accusing the brethren before Him, Isaiah 61:10; Revelation 12:10. Jesus is as our Savior redeemer in whom we find our salvation through faith in Him.
The golden girdle around his breast indicates his importance as he wears it high up on his breast just as the Levtical priest wore their Ephod around their breast, Exodus 28:1-38. The golden girdle means we are joined with Jesus in judgment as our names are carved out through faith and Gods righteousness found in us as we are joined together with Jesus as heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus that we too will suffer with him that we may be also glorified together, Romans 8:17.
The golden girdle is bound to the breast as it also resembles Gods love for us that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus our Lord, Romans 8:37-39. Jesus has paid the ultimate price for our sin that we may be accepted before him through repentance and confession of faith in him.
Jesus hair was white as wool or snow. This shows his purity and freedom from sin as he lived on this earth a sinless man, Isaiah1:18. Daniel calls him the Ancient of Days sitting on his seat during his vision, Daniel 7:9. His eyes were as a flame of fire as even the darkness of sin can not hide itself from being seen of the Lord. Only God knows the intents of the heart and what drives the heart to evil.
The feet of Jesus are described as fine brass as if they were burned in the fire of a furnace and his voice as the sound of many waters. When you put the description of Jesus feet and his voice together this is the great power and authority of God that works through Jesus as he instructs his Church. Fine brass is a refining fire and the sound of many waters is the power of his word.
The seven stars are the seven spirits of God the angels carry to the seven Churches. The spirit of the Lord that rest upon the Church, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear (respect) of the Lord who is the Spirit of truth, Isaiah 11:2 The messages these seven angels carry to the seven Churches are given in a sense of a two edge sword warning as one side of Gods word brings blessings and the other side brings judgment of disobedience.
When John saw the full glory of the Lord he fell before His feet and became very still before Him like he was dead. Jesus reached out to touch John and told him not to fear as Jesus confirmed, I am the Alpha and Omega the living Christ. He told John he had the keys of hell and death which means those who sleep in the grave, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, that will be raised up in the first resurrection to meet Jesus in the clouds and have life eternal.
Those of the second resurrection who will be cast into the lake of fire with Satan, the beast and the false prophet on such the second death has no power of life eternal, Revelation 20:6, 11-15. The hidden truth of the seven stars and seven candlesticks are revealed to John as the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven candlesticks which he saw are the seven churches.