The Blessed Prophecy
The Testimony of Jesus, Chapter 7
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. Revelation 1:3, ESV
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, KJV
When last we left off, we considered that John bore witness to all that he personally saw (Rev 1:2). John esteemed the vision he received from Christ through the Spirit was on a heavenly par with both the Scriptures and Christ’s gospel. Moreover, his mention of bearing witness to “all that he saw” was applicable to his life, not only for the heavenly model it gave him to ensure all things he experienced lined up with both God’s Word and the gospel testimony of Jesus Christ (Chapter 6, “The Three-Fold Witness”), but it caused him to personally grow even closer in his relationship with God through Christ. In other words, John knew an intimacy with the Lord Jesus Messiah far greater than he had ever known before. This is another one of the reasons I believe John wrote the gospel attached to his name after he was released from his banishment at Patmos. He wrote at the end of his gospel account,
This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true. John 21:24
What John had written in the gospel of Christ’s earthly ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection was a firsthand account of what he personally witnessed. Borne along by the Holy Spirit, John provided special insights to us from this account that the other gospel accounts do not have. John’s witness and testimony is especially blessed as he wrote these things, careful to address himself and express the events so that Christ Jesus was exalted above all he wrote from his recollection. Keep in mind that John was one of the “Sons of Thunder,” prone to seeking exaltation and special privilege from the Lord, asking to be seated at Christ’s right or left hand along with his brother, James. Now aged and full of days, especially as one who had seen the risen and glorified Savior, having fallen down as a dead man at Christ’s feet, he testified of Christ most humbly, so that Christ alone was exalted for God’s great glory.
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living One. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” Revelation 1:17-18
Who could be the same after witnessing something like that? I believe this may also be the reason John’s gospel account was written in third person, referring to himself often as “the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved” (John 20:2, et al). The majesty of the Lord Jesus was so powerful in His life through this revelatory vision that self was humbled and crushed to the dust in the splendor of Christ’s glory.
How does this apply to us? Remember, the thought behind this verse amplifies what we had already examined in the second verse from the last lesson. Here’s that verse again:
who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Revelation 1:2
The revelation John conveys ministered to his life, transforming it even nearer to Christ in all that he saw because it was consistent with God’s Word and the gospel testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. All three were consistent with one another, with no deviation from each other whatsoever. Therefore, John lets you and I know as readers of this prophetic book, that we may have the same glorious, life-transforming intimacy with Christ by approaching the book of Revelation in the same way. Moreover, we will be blessed by reading, hearing, and keeping what John had written.
This word in Greek, μακαριος (mak-AR-ee-os), can also be translated “happy.” The things of God, however, are heavenly, spiritual, and eternal. We tend to understand happiness in a earthly, temporal, and often sensory or sensational way. Worldly and fleshly happiness is temporary. Therefore, this is a heavenly happiness we experience upon earth, and thus, we are truly blessed.
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