The Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount are well known wherever the gospel story is read. The beatitudes in the book of Revelation should be better known. They form a golden chain of glorious promises, which run through this wonderful book, and these could be a source of comfort and inspiration to all believers. Let us briefly sketch these Revelation beatitudes.
- "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear. . . , and keep [lay to heart] those things that are written" (Rev. 1:3). These words suggest a congregation or family in worship, with one reading aloud. All are blessed in reading and hearing the words of life. The book of Revelation is the only book of the sixty-six in the Bible that contains a declaration of a special blessing to the readers and hearers, thereby indicating the extraordinary importance of its contents.
- "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord . . . , that they may rest from their labours" (Rev. 14:13). They were blessed in holding fast to their faith and hope. They were blessed in the knowledge that they would share in the rest remaining for the people of God. They are now blessed in resting from their toils. This belief has brought great comfort to the Lord's true followers through the centuries. Being either alive or dead in Christ are but aspects of the principle of inner union with Him.
- "Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments" (Rev. 16:15). To keep persistently awake is the message here. In John's day the Roman guard met with disgrace if found asleep. The inspector would remove the sleeper's cloak, leaving the man exposed to the jests and scoffs of his fellow guards. There should be no lack of alertness, no desire for ease and softness of situation. We must be always vigilant lest we succumb to spiritual drowsiness. The blessing is for the watchful.
- "Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev. 19:9). What an honor and privilege! What unspeakable joy in having a part in that glorious event! The greatest chorus of praise this universe can provide will then be heard. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Cor. 2:9).
- "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power" (Rev. 20:6). They can pass unharmed through the elements that will destroy the wicked like chaff. It is the holiness of the Lord which possesses, energizes, and envelops these blessed ones, as it did the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace. This experience is offered to all who walk in His holiness here.
- "Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book" (Rev. 22:7). "That keepeth," or "lays to heart" to be treasured within. They are to shape our thinking, our planning, our living, our hoping. "The solemn messages that have been given . . . in the Revelation are to occupy the first place in the minds of God's people. Nothing else is to be allowed to engross our attention."—Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 302.
- "Blessed are they that do his commandments" (Rev. 22:14). Obedience is the great test. The blessing is upon the doers. It is significant that the final blessing of the Book is for the commandment keepers. They have the right to the tree of life.