Revelation 1:3 Index
"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."
Research Material

"Blessed is he that..." (Matthew 5:3; Luke 11:28)

  • How do we find Jesus in the book of Revelation? A threefold blessing is pronounced on those who read, hear, and keep what they learn in the book of Revelation.
    • 1) To "readeth" means to search, to look into the Word of God. The word "revelation" (Revelation 1:1) means revealing, and if we do not read, we cannot receive this blessing. Jesus said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39)
    • 2) To "hear" means to listen. It means knowledge -- to prayerfully open our minds and let the Holy Spirit give us understanding. If we shut our ears to the voice of the Holy Spirit then the blessing will not be ours. Paul states it this way, "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ." (Philippians 3:8)
    • 3) To "keep" means acceptance and obedience. It means walking in the light of what we have learned. If we refuse to keep what we learn, we cannot claim this blessing either.
  • Why is there such ignorance about the book of Revelation and even a reluctance to read it? It is an all-out effort on the part of the enemy of souls [Satan] to keep men from recognizing his deceptions and the last events of the final conflict! Because of this attack, Christ, the Revelator, gives a blessing to all who will read, hear, and keep the words revealed in Revelation. (KC 21-22)
  • Is there so direct and formal a blessing pronounced upon the reading and observance of any other part of the word of God? What encouragement we have for its study! Shall we say that it cannot be understood? Is a blessing offered for the study of a book which it can do us no good to study?... God has pronounced His blessing upon the reader of this prophecy, and has set the seal of His approbation to an earnest study of its marvelous pages. With such encouragement from a divine source, the child of God will be unmoved by a thousand feeble counterblasts from men. Every fulfillment of prophecy brings its duties. There are things in the Revelation to be observed, or performed. Practical duties are to be fulfilled as the result of an understanding and accomplishment of the prophecy. A notable instance of this kind may be seen in Revelation 14:12, where it is said, "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." (US 341)
    • "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy..." (Revelation 1:3)
    • "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord." (Revelation 14:13)
    • "Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments." (Revelation 16:15)
    • "Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper." (Revelation 19:9)
    • "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection." (Revelation 20:6)
    • "Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." (Revelation 22:7)
    • "Blessed are they that do His commandments." (Revelation 22:14) (RAA 6-7)

"...readeth..." (Acts 15:2; Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:27)

  • ...a reference... to the one appointed by the ancient church to read the sacred scrolls in public. John anticipates the public reading of the epistle he now addresses to "the seven churches which are in Asia" (Revelation 1:4), in the presence of the assembled members of each congregation (Colossians 4:16; I Thessalonians 5:27). This Christian practice reflects the ancient Jewish custom of reading "the law and the prophets" in the synagogue each Sabbath (Acts 13:15; Acts 13:27; Acts 15:21). The implied command that the Revelation be read in the churches of Asia suggests that its messages began to be applicable to the church right in John's day (Revelation 1:11). (7BC 730)
  • As we near the close of this world's history, the prophecies recorded by Daniel demand our special attention, as they relate to the very time in which we are living. With them should be linked the teachings of the last book of the New Testament Scriptures. Satan has led many to believe that the prophetic portions of the writings of Daniel and of John the revelator cannot be understood. But the promise is plain that special blessing will accompany the study of these prophecies. “The wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:10), was spoken of the visions of Daniel that were to be unsealed in the latter days; and of the revelation that Christ gave to His servant John for the guidance of God's people all through the centuries, the promise is, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” (Revelation 1:3). (PK 547-548)
  • Consider the circumstances of the Jewish nation when the prophecies of Daniel were given.... Let us give more time to the study of the Bible.... We do not understand the word as we should. The book of Revelation opens with an injunction to us to understand the instruction that it contains. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy,” God declares, “and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” When we as a people understand what this book means to us, there will be seen among us a great revival. We do not understand fully the lessons that it teaches, notwithstanding the injunction given us to search and study it. (TM 113)
  • When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart. The Lord will bless all who will seek humbly and meekly to understand that which is revealed in the Revelation. This book contains so much that is large with immortality and full of glory that all who read and search it earnestly receive the blessing to those “that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” One thing will certainly be understood from the study of Revelation—that the connection between God and His people is close and decided. (FLB 345)
  • As we near the close of this world's history, the prophecies relating to the last days especially demand our study. The last book of the New Testament scriptures is full of truth that we need to understand. Satan has blinded the minds of many, so that they have been glad of any excuse for not making the Revelation their study. But Christ through His servant John has here declared what shall be in the last days, and He says, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” (Revelation 1:3)... “This is life eternal,” Christ said, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” (John 17:3). Why is it that we do not realize the value of this knowledge? Why are not these glorious truths glowing in our hearts, trembling upon our lips, and pervading our whole being? (COL 133)
  • Says the prophet: “Blessed is he that readeth”—there are those who will not read; the blessing is not for them. “And they that hear”—there are some, also, who refuse to hear anything concerning the prophecies; the blessing is not for this class. “And keep those things which are written therein”—many refuse to heed the warnings and instructions contained in the Revelation; none of these can claim the blessing promised. All who ridicule the subjects of the prophecy and mock at the symbols here solemnly given, all who refuse to reform their lives and to prepare for the coming of the Son of man, will be unblessed... In view of the testimony of Inspiration, how dare men teach that the Revelation is a mystery beyond the reach of human understanding? It is a mystery revealed, a book opened. The study of the Revelation directs the mind to the prophecies of Daniel, and both present most important instruction, given of God to men, concerning events to take place at the close of this world's history. (GC 341)
  • It was Gabriel, the angel next in rank to the Son of God, who came with the divine message to Daniel. It was Gabriel, “His angel,” whom Christ sent to open the future to the beloved John; and a blessing is pronounced on those who read and hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things written therein. (Revelation 1:3) .... The Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants and prophets.” While “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God,” “those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” (Amos 3:7; Deuteronomy 29:29). God has given these things to us, and His blessing will attend the reverent, prayerful study of the prophetic scriptures. (DA 234)
  • The book of Revelation, in connection with the book of Daniel, especially demands study. Let every God-fearing teacher consider how most clearly to comprehend and to present the gospel that our Saviour came in person to make known to His servant John—“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.” (Revelation 1:1). None should become discouraged in the study of the Revelation because of its apparently mystical symbols. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.” (James 1:5).... “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).... When a real love for the Bible is awakened, and the student begins to realize how vast is the field and how precious its treasure, he will desire to seize upon every opportunity for acquainting himself with God's word. Its study will be restricted to no special time or place. And this continuous study is one of the best means of cultivating a love for the Scriptures. Let the student keep his Bible always with him. As you have opportunity, read a text and meditate upon it. While walking the streets, waiting at a railway station, waiting to meet an engagement, improve the opportunity to gain some precious thought from the treasure house of truth. (Ed 191)
  • To the apostle John, on the Isle of Patmos, were revealed the things that God desired him to give to the people. Study these revelations. Here are themes worthy of our contemplation, large and comprehensive lessons, which all the angelic hosts are now seeking to communicate. Behold the life and character of Christ, and study His mediatorial work. Here are infinite wisdom, infinite love, infinite justice, infinite mercy. Here are depths and heights, lengths and breadths, for our consideration. Numberless pens have been employed in presenting to the world the life, the character, and the mediatorial work of Christ; yet every mind through whom the Holy Spirit has worked has presented these themes in a light that is fresh and new, according to the mind and spirit of the human agent.... (Ev 120)
  • One thing will certainly be understood from the study of Revelation—that the connection between God and His people is close and decided. (TM 114)
  • To John the Lord opened the subjects that He saw would be needed by His people in the last days. The instruction that He gave is found in the book of Revelation. Those who would be co-workers with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will show a deep interest in the truths found in this book. With pen and voice they will strive to make plain the wonderful things that Christ came from heaven to reveal.... "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 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 1:1-3).... The solemn messages that have been given in their order 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.... Precious time is rapidly passing, and there is danger that many will be robbed of the time which should be given to the proclamation of the messages that God has sent to a fallen world. Satan is pleased to see the diversion of minds that should be engaged in a study of the truths which have to do with eternal realities.... The testimony of Christ, a testimony of the most solemn character, is to be borne to the world. All through the book of Revelation there are the most precious, elevating promises, and there are also warnings of the most fearfully solemn import. Will not those who profess to have a knowledge of the truth read the testimony given to John by Christ? Here is no guesswork, no scientific deception. Here are the truths that concern our present and future welfare. What is the chaff to the wheat? (8T 301-302)
  • In the Revelation are portrayed the deep things of God. The very name given to its inspired pages, “the Revelation,” contradicts the statement that this is a sealed book. A revelation is something revealed. The Lord Himself revealed to His servant the mysteries contained in this book, and He designs that they shall be open to the study of all. Its truths are addressed to those living in the last days of this earth's history, as well as to those living in the days of John. Some of the scenes depicted in this prophecy are in the past, some are now taking place; some bring to view the close of the great conflict between the powers of darkness and the Prince of heaven, and some reveal the triumphs and joys of the redeemed in the earth made new.... Let none think, because they cannot explain the meaning of every symbol in the Revelation, that it is useless for them to search this book in an effort to know the meaning of the truth it contains. The One who revealed these mysteries to John will give to the diligent searcher for truth a foretaste of heavenly things. Those whose hearts are open to the reception of truth will be enabled to understand its teachings, and will be granted the blessing promised to those who “hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” (Revelation 1:3) (AA 584-585)

"...and they that hear..." (Acts 13:15)

  • That is, the members of each church. Note that there is but one reader -- in each church -- while there are many who "hear" what is read. The blessing that attended the reading of the Revelation in the "seven churches" of the Roman province of Asia belongs to all Christians who read the book of Revelation desiring a more perfect understanding of the truths therein recorded. (7BC 730)

"...the words..."

  • This would refer to the message of the book as a whole rather than to the individual "words" in which the message was to find expression. (7BC 730)

"...of this prophecy..."

  • ...John here specifically claims equality for the Revelation with the prophetic books of the OT, which were read in the synagogue each Sabbath... (7BC 730)

"...and keep those things which are written therein..." (Matthew 7:21-24; Luke 11:28)

  • The form of the verb in Greek implies the habitual keeping or observance of the admonitions of this book as a norm of life (Matthew 7:21-24). (7BC 731)

"...written therein..." (Revelation 1:11; Galatians 6:11)

  • Literally, "have been written," in the sense of "stand written." (7BC 731)
  • By the end of the reign of Domitian, in A.D. 96, John, evidently the youngest of the apostles, must have been about ninety -- the only survivor of the personal associates of Jesus. For seventy years he had witnessed the triumphs and trials of Christianity, and now he lovingly rebuked or commended his fellow sufferers to prepare them for the trials ahead and to assure them of final victory. In writing the Apocalypse he did not aim so much at literary style as at vivid prophetic depiction. He did not use the more artificial form of Greek, as perpetuated from the past, but the common speech of the day, which was often emancipated from the classical grammatical rules, but was spirited and vigorous, a true living speech. (Froom 87)

"...the time..."

  • Greek "kairos," "time," in the sense of a particular moment of time, an auspicious season, a time designated in advance for some particular event (Mark 1:15). The "time" here referred to as being "at hand" is the time for the fulfillment of "those things which are written," the "things which must shortly come to pass" of Revelation 1:1. It is the imminence of these events that provides motivation for observing closely "the words of this prophecy." Accordingly, the Revelation is of particular moment for those who believe that "the time" of Christ's coming "is at hand." (Romans 13). (7BC 731)

"...at hand."

  • Since we are living in the last moments of time, the prophecies of the Revelation are of particular import to us. "Especially should Daniel and the Revelation have attention as never before in the history of our work." (TM 112). "The solemn messages that have been given in their order in the Revelation are to occupy the first place in the minds of God's people" (8T 302). "The book of Daniel is unsealed in the Revelation to John (TM 115). Whereas the book of Daniel speaks in broad outline of last-day events, the book of Revelation gives vivid details concerning these events which are now declared to be "at hand." (7BC 731)
  • (Secondary reason to) study (Revelation). It becomes more and more important, as we draw near the great consummation.... If proximity - then constituted a motive for heeding these contents, how much more now! Every revolving century, every closing year, adds to the urgency (and) enhances the reasonableness of this claim...! (US 342)