Beatitudes of Revelation: Keep The Words

Behold, I am coming quickly!  Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book… Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” (Revelation 22:7, 12-13).

The book of Revelation contains seven beatitudes (Revelation 1:3; 14:12-13; 16:15; 19:6-9; 20:6; 22:7, 12; 22:14).  These seven passages tell us how to find true, lasting happiness with God.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last (Revelation 22:13 cf. 1:8; 1:10-11; 1:17; 21:5-6).  This is language of Deity (cf. Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12).  This is language of complete authority.  The speaker is Jesus (Revelation 22:7, 12-13 cf. 22:20; 1:17-18).  Foy Wallace Jr. comments that “Christ (is) the All in All of divine jurisprudence and justice” (Wallace, The Book of Revelation, p. 469).

Behold, I am coming quickly!  This is proclaimed three times in this chapter (Revelation 22:7; 22:12; 22:20 cf. 1:1; 1:3; 22:6).  What is meant by “quickly”?  (1) Some suggest that this refers to the suddenness of His coming.  James Coffman comments, “‘I come quickly’ need not mean ‘I come soon,’ though that meaning is possible.  The expression may also mean, ‘I come suddenly'” (Coffman, Commentary on Revelation, pp. 522-523).  John Kachelman Jr. comments, “The phrase does not mean Christ would come back briefly, but that his coming would be quickly… suddenly… as indicating an unexpected point in time” (Kachelman, Studies in the Book of Revelation, p. 121).  (2) Some suggest that this is teaching a mind-set of living as if His coming is always being near, because we do not know when He will come. We are to live in expectation of His coming (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; Titus 2:11-13).  F.F. Bruce comments, “In the Christian doctrine of Last things… the imminence of the end is moral rather than chronological, each successive Christian generation… may be the last generation.  In that sense the time is always near…” (Wayne Jackson, Revelation: Jesus Christ’s Final Message of Hope, p. 224 – quoting Bruce, The New Layman’s Bible Commentary, p. 1711).  (3) Others believe that this refers to His coming soon in a judgment, but not The Judgment.  Foy Wallace Jr. comments, “The words… were not in reference to the second coming of the Christ; but rather the promise to the churches in tribulation… These events were shortly to take place” (Wallace, The Book of Revelation, p. 475).  There are two major appearance of Jesus Christ in Scripture: (a) He appeared to man in the incarnation (John 1:1-3, 11, 14; Luke 19:10).  (b) He is coming again (John 14:1-3).  It will be visible (Matthew 24:26-27; Acts 1:11) and transforming (1 John 3:1-2 cf. Philippians 3:20-21).  However, there is another coming which we should consider.  (c) God and Jesus are sometimes pictured as coming in judgment on people, nations, and even churches (Isaiah 13:1-5; 19:1-4; Matthew 26:64 cf. Isaiah 19:1; Revelation 2:15-16).  Adam Clark comments, “I come to establish my cause, comfort and support my followers, and punish the wicked” (Clark, p. 1063).  I lean toward this view.

Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of the book.  This beatitude was set forth in the opening chapter of this book (Revelation 1:3).  It is now repeated for emphasis in the closing chapter of this book (Revelation 22:7).  Wayne Jackson remarks that this is “clear indication that this is to be studied, understood and personally applied” (Jackson, p. 224).  While it is true that these words specifically have reference to the book of Revelation, the entirety of God’s word should be studied and kept (heeded, followed).

My reward is with Me to give to every one according to his work.  Divine judgment would be just.  It also will be for us (Romans 2:6-11; 14:12; 1 Corinthians 3:8; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10).  Wayne Jackson remarks, “Circle the term ‘work’ and observe that, contrary to the baseless assertions of those who affirm ‘unconditional salvation,’ judgment will be based on man’s obedience” (Jackson, p. 225).

About Bryan Hodge

I am a minister and missionary to numerous countries around the world.
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