The Seven Beatitudes of Revelation
Pastor S.O. Ross
In Matthew five, which is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we find recorded what is known as the Beatitudes. These are blessings that can be ours. In verses three through eleven of this chapter we find Jesus declaring: Blessed are the poor in spirit, they that mourn, the meek, and those who hunger after righteousness. Blessed are the merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers. Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness’ sake and those reviled and falsely accused.
If we are found in that list, we can rejoice. Verse 12 says, “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Certainly the blessings are great.
I want to share with you the beatitudes of the Book of Revelation. “Beatitudes” is defined by Webster as “blessing,” or “perfect blessedness or happiness.” We will look at seven such beatitudes.
Revelation 1:3: “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Sometimes we think the book is too difficult, and we often avoid it. We may not fully understand everything written in this book, but we are exhorted to read and study it.
The revelator unmasked many things that were revealed to him and which he was told to write. Revelation 1:10, 11a: “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia.” Here then we have the revelations to the churches. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy.” Much meat for all churches.
A second beatitude is found in Revelation 14:13: “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” We can all recollect many saints of old, perhaps ones whom we knew and loved, who had a great influence on us…perhaps a parent, Sunday School teacher, pastor, or friend who had been a rock of strength for us in one way or another. Their works do follow them. Their good deeds live after them. Certainly this is true of the patriarchs of Scripture and those founding fathers of our churches and conference and on and on. Their works do live after them.
It then is incumbent on us to live our lives so that we can be an influence for good on someone’s life, perhaps even years after we are dead. We most assuredly are influencing someone; let us make sure it is for good and not for evil. The results of the works and labors we do today will follow us.
Thirdly, another beatitude appears in Revelation 16:15: “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” The scripture reveals that there will be a falling away at the end time. The church needs to watch and be aware. It is the church members that will fall away. Someone has said, “Ya can’t fall away from someplace ya ain’t never been.” The church member needs to watch lest he be found naked. Paul said in the Thessalonian letter that we need to “Watch and be sober” (I Thes. 5:6.) We need to be attuned to the times in which we are living and watch.
“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him [watch] shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Heb. 9:28.) Also we need to watch that our garments are clean and unspotted before him. We are naked before him. We may fool our family, friends, co-workers…even our spouse sometimes…but we do stand naked before our Maker.
A fourth beatitude is found in Revelation 19:9: “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of theLamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” We can depend on that statement as it is of God. In contemporary terms we can say, “You can take that to the bank!”
You remember the account of the “Great Supper” in both Matthew and Luke. All that were invited had excuses: bought a piece of land, bought a yoke of oxen, or married a wife. All seemed to take priority over the supper. Most excuses for nonservice fall into one of these categories: the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. John tells us in I John 2:15, 16, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” So we need to get our priorities straight and put
the Lord first, not the world.
The story is told of the two fellows who decided to go golfing on Wednesday night, even though it was Bible study and prayer service night. As they were teeing up on about the fifth hole, one said, “I feel kind of bad, really; old Pastor Jones is up there leading the service. I feel kind of guilty not being there.” The second fellow replied, “Well, I couldn’t have gone to Bible study tonight anyhow. My wife is sick.” Priorities?
One of the disciples in the Luke account said, “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, he declared that he would no more eat bread or drink of the fruit of the vine until he would partake it anew with His followers in the kingdom of God. What a supper that will be! Blessed are they which are called to the great supper, the marriage of the Lamb and His bride, the church.
The fifth beatitude is found is Revelation 20:6: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” What a hope and what a blessing! The real desire of a Christian is to have part in the first resurrection and the assurance of reigning with Christ. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2 Tim. 2:12.) The blessing of God is to reign with Jesus 1,000 years in the kingdom and to live forever with God throughout eternity. What a hope one has when he accepts Christ as personal Savior and lives for Him. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits [first one to come from the grave to live eternally]; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” (I Cor. 15:22, 23.)
The sixth beatitude is in Revelation 22:7: “Behold I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” In chapter one (the first beatitude), we were admonished to read and hear the prophecies of this book, and now we need to keep these sayings to have the blessings. We need to hold fast these teachings. “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)” (Heb. 10:23.) Paul admonishes in I Timothy 4 to be an example of a believer, in word, in conversation (our very citizenship), in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. He further says that we need to take heed to ourselves and to the doctrine (teachings that we follow) and to continue in them, because by doing that we can save both ourselves and them that hear us. We can be truly blessed if we keep these sayings.
Finally, the seventh beatitude is in Revelation 22:14: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” This is further assurance of life eternal if we are obedient and do His command. One command of Jesus is, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
Oh! What a blessing is that seventh beatitude if we keep His commandments and walk in His ways. What a promise can be ours…access to the tree of life so we can live eternally.
Let us read, study, and live by these prophecies and look for and long for the day when God sends His Son back to this earth to reign and rule. “Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Heb. 9:28b.)
“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20)
Reprinted from RESTITUTION HERALD Feb./March 1992