January 12 2022
Today, Wednesday January 12
The Promise of a Blessing Revelation 1:3-4 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,”
Revelation begins with the promise of a blessing! The Book of Revelation was originally sent to seven actual local churches in Asia Minor, but John makes it clear that any believer may read and profit from it (Rev. 1:3). In fact, God promised a special blessing to the one who would read the book and obey its message.
John did not send this book of prophecy to the assemblies in order to satisfy their curiosity about the future. God's people were going through intense persecution and they needed encouragement. As they heard this book, its message would give them strength and hope. But even more, its message would help them examine their own lives (and each local assembly) to determine those areas needing correction. They were not only to hear the Word, but they were also to keep it—that is, guard it as a treasure and practice what it said. The blessing would come, not just by hearing, but even more so by doing (see James 1:22-25).
I think it is interesting to note that the New Testament begins with Jesus, in His first recorded message in Matthew 5, giving seven “beatitudes”. "Blessed are they…." (The Latin word for blessed is beatus, and from this comes the word beatitude.) This was a powerful word to those who heard Jesus that day. To them it meant "divine joy and perfect happiness." The word was not used for humans; it described the kind of joy experienced only by the gods or the dead. "Blessed" implied an inner satisfaction and sufficiency that did not depend on outward circumstances for happiness. This is what the Lord offers those who trust Him!
Now the New Testament ends with seven "beatitudes" in Revelation. The number seven is important in this book because it signifies fullness and completeness. In Revelation, God tells us how He is going to complete His great work and usher in His eternal kingdom. The seven “beatitudes” in Revelation are:
Revelation 1:3 “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
Revelation 14:13 “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."
Revelation 16:15 "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame."
Revelation 19:9 “Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' " And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."
Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
Revelation 22:7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."
Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.”
The Bible begins with the story of Adam disobeying God’s commandment and he is kicked out of paradise and denied the privilege of eating of the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24). Then between Genesis 3 and Revelation 22, we read the tragic story of the result of sin in the history of humanity! Now the Bible ends with the invitation for us to be obedient to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by receiving His free gift of salvation by grace through faith, and we will be blessed to enter through the gate (Jesus) and be able to eat freely of the tree of life!!!!!