The Entire Book of Revelation was Sent to Each of the Churches
While it is true that seven letters addressed to these churches in respective order are recorded in chapters two and three, it should not be thought that these letters alone were sent to them. As a matter of fact, these letters concern them individually. But verses 4 and 11 and 22:16 make it clear that the entire book was to be sent to them. Things which must shortly come to pass 1:1; the general designation in verse 4; "What thou seest" in verse 11; "These things" of 22:16. All of the above indicate that this entire book was to be sent to the churches.
The invocation in the salutation. 4b "Grace to you and peace." Here are the Siamese twins of the Bible and they are in their proper order.
First grace: favor unmerited, bestowed without regard to merit, favor bestowed without thought of pay in return. He launches into this grace in verse 5.
Second peace: peace with God, the peace of God, the peace from God, the peace with men throughout all eternity.
The source of these blessings. 4c-5a "from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;" "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,"From the Father: Originating source (cf. 4:8-11). "Which is, and which was, and which is to come." The absolute eternity of the Father is affirmed. It is comparable with "I am that I am" of Ex. 3:14. It pictures the self-existent, eternally existent, and self-communicating God. This may not exclude Christ, for in the midst of the Throne he appears (cf. 5:6).
From the Spirit: Operating source. "The seven spirits which are before his throne." Sevenfold plentitude and power is here displayed. It is the Spirit that keeps the lamps burning (Zech. 4:1-6). This is true of the churches for they are the lamps. It is the spirit that gives ability to Christ for government (Isa. 11:2).
From the Christ: Mediating source.
As Prophet: "the faithful witness." As such Christ delivered all that he had seen and heard and was faithful in it (cf. John 3:32. cf. also 1-2).
As Priest: "the first begotten of the dead." That is, he was made higher in position than anyone else and placed in his position as a priest.
As King: "Prince of the kings of the earth," or ruler. As such he will be called the Lord of Lords and king of kings (cf. 11:14; 12:5; 19:16).
The adoration expressed by the apostle John. 5b-6 "and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
Adoration of his grace. 5b "and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,"
The adoration of the love of the Lord Jesus. Present tense of verb - "loveth" R.V.
The adoration for the results of Calvary. "loosed" - not washed.
The adoration for the death of Christ. "His own blood" meant death.
Adoration of His government. 6a "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father."
The Present Manifestation of Government"and he made us to be a kingdom" R.V. not kings as A.V.
By the new birth we enter into the kingdom (John 3:5). "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."By the new birth we experience the kingdom (John 3:3). "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."We have thus been translated into the kingdom of his dear son (Col. 3:3). "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
The Present Mediation of His Government"to be priests unto his God and Father" R.V. We are a royal priesthood standing in the same relationship to the Father as does Christ (1 Peter 2:9). We show forth the excellencies of Christ to the world. "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."
Adoration of His glory. 6b "to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
Declaration of what he is for eternity. "Unto him be glory." This means a recognition and a declaration of what God is, what the Son is, what the Spirit is. This is being realized in small part today, but its great realization is for the future.
Dominion of himself for all eternity. This is being realized today in the church, but even there only in part, but this is the token and pledge that he will realize dominion in full in the future.