The Blessings of Revelation – Part 1
Following is the first of three posts which will discuss the Book of Revelation, specifically the Blessings within the book.
Revelation is the prophetic book of the New Testament. Twenty-seven percent of the Bible is prophecy. In other words, for every four verses, one of them is prophetic. This ratio implies its importance to God. If it is important to God, it should be important to us.
Unfortunately, most churches will not teach from Revelation, except to quote some favorite verses such as, “There will be no more tears”, “Jesus stands at the door and knocks”, and “God is the Alpha and the Omega, who was and is and is to come”. Why is this? Probably because the book is not considered fundamental to the faith and it can be confusing.
Many great scholars disagree on how this book should be read. Some read it literally, as if everything will happen in the future. Others read it with a mixture of literal and symbolism and believe most of the book has already occurred in the past. Then there are those who read it symbolically in almost every aspect and believe that the things we read in Revelation are occurring even now.
The typical Bible teacher has decided it is too difficult to determine which is correct and that Revelation is not important enough to study. We have grown up in a culture that insists on political correctness. When it comes to Revelation, it is more PC to say, “It doesn’t really matter,” than to say, “This is what Revelation is saying.” The first is acceptable; the last is presumption and assuming. Better to stay away.
This is a shame. God has given us this great book so that we can know it, even if we don’t understand it. It would be like saying we don’t need to teach about the Trinity since we cannot understand it and many people disagree with it. (Sadly, I think many in the church have actually done this.)
The Difficulty of Prophecy
Some prophecies are not as obvious as others are. These more vague prophesies are not given for us to try to determine exactly how it will take place or predict when it will happen. It is given us so that once it does happen, we can see the Hand of God in history, His Omniscience and His Power, His Sovereignty and His Holiness, and we can worship Him because we have seen what He has done.
We can certainly continue to worship Him even when we don’t know the book of Revelation, but our worship will never be as full. You cannot love a person you don’t really know. You cannot worship a God you don’t really know. God gives us prophecy so we can know Him. We should not ignore it.
The Blessings of Revelation
One of the ingredients that God sprinkles throughout the book of Revelation are His blessings. He gives us seven of them beginning in the first chapter and ending in the last. Seven times the Greek word “makarios” occurs in the book. This word is translated into English as “blessing”. Hence, God has given us seven blessings which we find only in this book.
Seven is a number of completeness. While “666” is the number of the Beast (Revelation 13:18), it falls short of “777”, which is perfect and complete. Therefore, we can understand the seven blessings to mean a complete blessing, the individual blessings adding up to a whole that is synergistically greater than the sum of its parts.
Come back tomorrow to find out more about these blessings.
Have you ever read or studied the book of Revelation in your church? Do you see it as an important book in the New Testament? Let me know in the comments below.