The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show to his servants things which must shortly come to pass…
There are seven benedictions in the Book of Revelation. Seven is said to be the number of completeness or perfection. The first of these benedictions occurs in the opening lines of John's Apocalypse: "Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep," etc. Just at the close of the Apocalypse is another similar passage: "Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." These two verses are like the golden clasps — one on either lid — that hold together a dear old family Bible. The next benediction is pronounced upon the gospel-guests: "Blessed are they who are called unto the marriage-supper of the Lamb." They who are drawn by the attraction of the Cross, and yield to that drawing, are renewed by the Holy Spirit. Theirs is a place at the celestial banquet. How careful should every disciple be to walk unspotted from the world, for every stain looks ugly upon a white ground. There is a hint as to the method of keeping thus clean, which is given in the third benediction: "Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame." No believer can preserve the purity of his character without prayerful vigilance. "Watch." And one reason for this watchfulness is that Christ's coming is to be as unannounced as the midnight visit of a burglar. Old Dr. Alexander used to say with solemn tenderness, "I won't answer for any Christian who dies while in an awful state of backsliding." Upon the gospel-doers rests the sweet approval of the fourth benediction. It is the blessing upon those "that do His commandments." The evidence and the joy of discipleship both lie in obedience to Christ. This is what the world has a right to demand from us — a religion of fruits. God will judge every one of us according to our works. The next blessing is that angelic voice that floats over the resting. place of the pious dead. "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord." To them the perils of the voyage are over. They have cast anchor in the haven. They are safe. About the last one of the benedictions in this sublime book there has been no little controversy: "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection." It is enough for me that, if I fall to sleep in Jesus I shall awake with Him. There is not an unmarked grave in all Christ's household of the slumberers. Them which sleep in Jesus will God bring together with Him.
(T. L. Cuyler, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: