John's immediate audience was the group of seven churches in the Roman province of Asia. Before being presented with symbolic visions he individually addresses each church by taking dictation from none other than Jesus Christ. The symbolism John uses is not his own creation but a new combination of ancient Hebrew symbols, most of which are traceable in the Old Testament. The vivid symbols of this circular letter meant little to the government authorities who were always prepared to pounce on believers with charges of sedition.

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