And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write, These things saith he that has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your works that you have a name that you live, and are dead.
This is from the great Book of Revelation. The speaker, the one who has the seven spirits of God, and holds the seven stars in his right hand is nobody else but the risen Christ. The letter is the fifth of seven letters written to seven churches in Asia Minor, that place you and I call Turkey, late in the first century. They are a part of a vision given to the apostle John who was told to write down everything he saw and heard, and to send this writing, this letter, to these seven churches. They were real churches in real time. They were composed of real people with real problems. They had real lives, they had real names, they knew one another. So if the name of a person was mentioned in a letter, you could kind of look at that person and they would be there right in church with you on this day. But these seven churches were also symbolic of something else.