“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” (Rev. 1:3).
It is important to keep in mind that Biblical prophecy is not just about future events, but the message God has for His people. Biblical prophecy is telling forth spiritual truth. God has something to say to His people to help them in time of need.
It is also important that Revelation not be approached as a book that is a mystery, a puzzle, or something that cannot be understood. Daniel was told to seal up his vision, but John is told not to seal up the sayings of the prophesy of this book (Dan. 8:26; 12:4; Rev. 22:10).
Revelation is a book that has a blessing for those who hear, and keep those things which are written therein. This blessing provides the objective of the Revelation. It is to bless God’s people, provided they hear and do something specific.
What is to be heard?
The message that is to be heard, is that God is sovereign over sin and suffering. The Lord reigns in heaven, and He rules the earth with a rod of iron.
What are those things written in the Revelation to be kept?
The faith of the saints is to be kept. No matter what happens, Christians are to follow the Lamb where-ever He goes. They are to love the Lamb more than they love their own lives.
The unity of the Revelation must be kept at all times, lest the distractions of obscure symbolism lead to fanciful interpretations that eventually dishonor the Lord. The Lord is dishonored when His Revelation is taken to scare people. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
Christians are not to be afraid of life, or the future. Revelation reminds the Church that God is sovereign, and is always in control of both good and evil. The angel said to John, “Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand” (Rev. 22:10). In contrast, Daniel was told to seal up his vision, but then, the events he was given were four hundred years in the future. The message John was given was an immediate reality to his generation, by interpretation, and then, the prophesy timely to other generations, by way of application.
In 1 John 2:18, the author of the Revelation is even more emphatic. “Little children, it is the last time [hour]: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.”
When people ask, “Are we living in the last days?”, the Biblical answer is, “Yes!” There is no more prophesy that has to be fulfilled before Christ can come again the Second Time for all who believe (Heb. 9:28). We are living in the last hour, the last day, the last time. Because this is true, there is a blessing for those who hear the Word of God, and are faithful to follow the Lamb.
Seven times throughout the Revelation, John pauses to say “Blessed are” (Rev. 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14). If you want a blessing, do this.
Read the Revelation. “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” (Rev. 1:3).While,“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16), there is a special blessing associated with Revelation, because it teaches Christians about the place of suffering in the plan of God. There is the suffering of the righteous, and there is the suffering of the wicked. There are spiritual truths that can only be taught under pressure.
Die in the Lord. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, 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” (Rev. 14:13).
Watch for the coming of the Lord, and walk in Righteousness. “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Rev. 16:15).
Respond to the Call to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God” (Rev. 19:9).
Take part in the First Resurrection. “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” (Rev. 20:6).
Keep those things which are written in the Revelation. Take to heart the lessons of life God has conveyed to His people, and to the world, “for the time is at hand.” “Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book” (Rev. 22:7).
Keep the Commandments. “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” (Rev. 22:14).
Look for the blessings associated with the Revelation.