“I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus. It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. It said, “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” Revelation 1:9-11
We are all part of the same body/family and under the same authority. “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26-28) It’s clear that John was not writing to the believers in the seven churches of Asia Minor as their superior or simply an uninvolved witness to the events that would impact them. Far from it; he was their fellow believer in Jesus and their fellow sufferer for the Lord’s sake. As the longest-surviving apostle, John was well known to these churches, and he felt a very close bond with them in their time of tribulation. And like them, he was also called to patiently endure hardship for Christ. John himself, of course, was also enduring a trial as a lonely exile on the island of Patmos.
John was carried beyond normal sense into a state where God could reveal supernaturally the contents of this book. The voice John heard was undoubtedly the voice of Christ, who had identified Himself in verse 8. John is given the command to write what he sees, a command given twelve times throughout the book. The message of the entire book is to be sent to each of the seven churches of Asia Minor along with the particular message to the individual church.