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REVELATION, THE LAST BOOK IN THE BIBLE

ITS BEATITUDES!

FIVE BIBLE STUDY LESSONS

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

LESSON 1:

A Preacher I heard years ago referred to them first, best I can remember. He called them the "Beatitudes" of the Book of Revelation!

Of course we've all heard of the Beatitudes of Jesus, Matthew 5:3-11. Those famous "blessed" statements our Lord gave. "And He opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." There are more to come, Matthew 5:3-8

But John the Apostle, from the Island of Patmos, gave us a few more!

Blessings!

Today I would like us to study one from John's pen. From the last Book in the New Testament.

"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." Revelation 1:3

And this "blessing" is duplicated later as well. "Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." Revelation 22:7

A special promise, a good gift from God, for simply reading the words of the Revelation! That verb "readeth" is "anaginosko" in Greek and means "to know something thoroughly" because one has studied it diligently. Because one has "read" it that carefully!

And if a person for some reason cannot read, still a blessing can apply! If he or she simply "hears" the words read, of the Book of Revelation, God will rain down blessings yet again!

Then both verses emphasize this fact. If an individual seeks to obey the words of Revelation, "keeping" them wholeheartedly, God will bless him or her too! That verb "keepeth" translates "tereo" and means "to carefully regard, to observe, to preserve, to hold fast." In other words, don't ignore the Book!

I am aware of no other Book of the Bible that carries this exact promise. I guess the claim could be made for the whole of Scripture, read it and God will bless you. But this twenty-two chapter block called Revelation openly claims such blessings for its students!

Unashamedly!

Again: "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." Revelation 1:3

Then, let's get busy!

                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2:

We are briefly studying the beatitudes, the "blessed" statements, in the Book of Revelation. One that is particularly striking is found in chapter 14, verse 13. "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."

The unusual thing about this benediction is that its recipients are no longer alive! "Blessed are the dead ...."

But only once class of dead people can claim this promise, those who have died "in the Lord," those who were saved by the Grace of God.

Two benefits are associated with these blessed saints of God. They are said to "rest" from their labors. "Anapauo" means "to cease" from strenuous activity. "To be refreshed" also. Then "to be at ease." Pretty good descriptions of Heaven!

Furthermore, those Christians who are already with the Lord still are having influence on earth. What they did down here might yet be bearing fruit for Jesus' sake. Sermons they preached, souls they brought to Christ, lessons they taught, money they gave, and other things too.

The results of those labors will bring rewards in Heaven, probably given at the future Judgment Seat of Christ I think. In that sense "their works do follow them."

The only kind of God Who can promise such wonderful living conditions after physical death must be awesome! He must be eternal! He must be all powerful! He must be faithful! He must be merciful and kind and good! He must be One Who has overcome death!

To which we answer, He is all that! And a whole lot more! The "half" about Him has never been told!

"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."

A beatitude for dead people, departed Christians who loved the Lord and lived for him while on earth!

This is amazing.

Makes me want to ask, along with Paul: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" First Corinthians 15:55

Thank You, Lord.

                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

Revelation 16:15 reads: "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."

As does much of that last Book of Scripture, our verse today looks toward the future.

Jesus describes His Second Coming as one of a "thief!" Spelled "kleptes," the noun gives us our compound term "kleptomaniac." Jesus as a thief? That's how He characterized it.

But not in its worst sense. Like a thief, who comes for valuables, Jesus is coming to get His Own children! Like a thief, who comes when most unexpected, Jesus will return when the world is not looking for Him. And like a thief, Jesus will come get us in a hurry! No lingering at the Rapture!

Like a "thief," in ways like that.

Then our Lord adds His "blessing" to those who are expecting Him! "Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."

The metaphor here suggests a military background. Roman soldiers who were on guard duty were required, of course, to stay alert, to stay awake. If they were caught napping, caught by their superior officers, their uniform was set on fire! They could be seriously burned. Even to the point of nakedness. And they would be ashamed that they had so flagrantly neglected their duty!

Jesus might be using that very analogy here.

"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 point is clear.

Be looking for Jesus to come back, any moment.

That verb "watcheth" translates "gregoreuo," simply meaning "to arouse from sleep!" To stay awake! "To be alert" in that manner.

Do not get lazy spiritually.

Do not doze!

Be ready when our Lord arrives.

He will "bless" you if you are!

                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

A marriage!

And Jesus is involved.

John writes about it, and those invited to attend, in Revelation 19:9. "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."

This is another one of those "blessed" statements in the last Book of the Bible. There are several of them, often called "beatitudes."

Let's notice this particular one today.

The adjective "blessed" translates the Greek word "makarios." It means "happy," but in a spiritual sense. Not a "lucky" kind of happiness. This is a trait, a state of being, that the ancients once only applied to the gods! The Bible might be teaching us here that God can endow upon His children a condition that heretofore only the Trinity enjoyed. Perfect bliss, delight, peace!

Then these folks are really blessed!

Who is?

"Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb."

The verb "are called" is spelled "kaleo." It means "to summon, to invite, to urge," and is kin to the verb that means "to command, to order."

Those who are saved, washed in the Blood of Jesus, will some day be raptured away from this earth into the Presence of our Lord, "in the air." After that event, we will all get to eat with Jesus that great Marriage Supper! As His guests! He is the Bridegroom and we are collectively the Bride!

The noun supper, "deipnon," suggests a lavish costly meal as well. Not snack foods or budget fare!

Sinners will not be present that day.

Only the redeemed.

Eating with Jesus, part of the menu no doubt being unleavened bread and the fruit of the grape vine, the elements that make up our current Communion Services, the Lord's Supper!

"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."

There's no doubt about this either. Look at that last sentence in our verse. This is "true," in Greek "alethinos," etymologically meaning "something that cannot be hidden or forgotten!"

Jesus is coming again!

As a Groom!

Gathering His Bride!

And we will be invited to that meal, as His companion!

I say that is a blessing!

Are you ready to go?

Are you saved?

                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

We expect prophecy from the Biblical Book of Revelation. And today we are not disappointed at all. Revelation 20:6 is our Text, one of the "beatitudes" of the New Testament.

"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."

The "first resurrection" is what we now call the Rapture of the Church. When Jesus returns and "catches away" or "calls up" those on earth who have believed in Him, including the bodies of the dead who were saved before their decease.

Those departed saints, who bodies remained in the ground, in the grave, but whose spirits were with Jesus from the very instant they died ... they will be part of that great rapture event, part of the "first resurrection."

Our Verse is clearly announcing a blessing on that crowd!

These who have died once, but only once.

The "second death," an eternity in Hell really, will never be a part of their experience.

They have been saved by god's Grace.

And these Believers in Jesus, each of us alive today included, those of us who know Jesus, will eventually enter into the Kingdom, the Millennium, with Jesus!

"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."

Then and there, we shall serve as His loyal followers, "priests" we are called here, along with the privilege of "reigning" with Jesus too!

Then may I say, kings and priests?

How long will we reign and serve with our Lord?

A thousand years!

Literally, I believe.

That's what millennium means, "a thousand years."

And Revelation 20 uses this very expression, "thousand years," six different times!

What blessings will be ours then!

Because of Jesus.

"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."

Long term promises!

Let's believe them!

                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

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