John explained that things are not what they seem from the human perspective. The church of Sardis appeared to be strong, but in the spiritual realms, it is very weak (Rev 3:1).
Military empires may appear invincible to human eyes, but they have already been defeated in the spiritual realms.
A church that is being severely persecuted and is being decimated by political powers looks very different in the spiritual dimensions. To Christians involved in the struggle, the suffering feels intolerable and the gospel seems to be going backwards. In the spiritual realms, these Christians are a mighty army following Jesus to build his Kingdom.
The persecuted church may appear to be weak and helpless, but in the spiritual world, it is preparing to receive the Kingdom (Rev 2:26). When the church is struggling under persecution and the suffering seems intolerable, those who see into the spiritual dimensions will realise that they are close to victory over the forces of the world (Rev 19:14). John’s vision of the spiritual realms casts events on earth in a fresh light that gives Christians new hope.Times and Seasons, p.18.