Rev. 1:18-20 Y'shua is talking again telling John to write the things he has seen so far, the things which currently are and the things to come which Y'shua would show him. Most main stream prophecy teachers teach that the following chapters 2-3 are the things "which are" and this extends through the "church age" until the rapture and that the entire rest of Revelation is talking mostly to the Jews because the church will be gone. These verses don't actually say that and as we go I will explain why I believe this is the wrong understanding. Then in verse 20 Y'shua goes on to explain the mystery of the seven stars and seven golden candlesticks that John saw with Him. The stars are the angels (or messengers) of the seven churches and the seven candlesticks are the seven churches.
Rev. 2-3 These two chapters are what Y'shua tells John to write to the seven churches (called out assemblies) of Asia. These were literally seven assemblies of believers in John's time but if you will note Y'shua also says at the end of the instructions to each of these congregations or assemblies, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Meaning that the instruction to each of the churches should be heeded by all Christians. Each of these seven churches I believe exists throughout history. You will notice as you read, various churches today still have these same attributes and shortcomings that need to be overcome. Its also interesting to note that He promises the people in each church that are able to "overcome" these shortcomings that they will somehow be blessed or rewarded.
I'm not going to go into great detail on these instructions to the churches as Chuck Missler
has a great teaching on these that I believe is pretty accurate except he is also one that believes these chapters are referring to the entire church age and that the seals are speaking only to the Jews, which again I don't hold to. I simply chew the meat and spit out the bones.
Rev. 4 is where I begin to vear from traditional popular teaching. The mainstream teachers teach that when the seven seals begin to be opened the church is gone and the first seal is the anti-christ being revealed and coming in p