Part 2 of 2

The Seven Beatitudes of Revelation

“The Marriage Supper”

Revelation 19:9 reads: “Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” This is the fourth present truth beatitude, and how rich it is in meaning—a meaning that is comprehensible only because the time is at hand, and the sealed up vision of truth has been opened. As a rule, two suppers were customary in connection with the Jewish marriage ceremony. One of these preceded the wedding, and the other, to which a much more general invitation was extended, followed the wedding.

Jesus promised when he returned he would “gird” himself, and serve his disciples with “meat in due season.” (Luke 12:37-44) In this time of the end we have experienced the fulfillment of this promise. Rich indeed, faith-strengthening and spiritually nourishing has been the food made available by the returned Christ, and dispensed to the household of faith by the “faithful and wise servant.” (Matt. 24:45-47) This delectable feast of truth is enjoyed by the saints this side the veil prior to the marriage of the Lamb. And oh, what rejoicing there has been on the part of those who have gathered around the table of the Lord to partake of these rich viands of present truth.—II Pet. 1:12

But there is to be another feast—the marriage supper of the Lamb. This will follow the time when the bride and Bridegroom are united—the bride having made herself ready for the glorious occasion. The bride will, of course, also partake of this feast, but she does not need to be especially invited. The bride of the Lamb will be at the marriage supper of the Lamb because she is the bride. It is her friends, her companions which follow her, who are invited to the marriage supper in order that they may have this wonderful share in the joys of the occasion.—Ps. 45:14

While this beatitude is expressive of a wonderful blessing which will come to the great company class following the marriage of the Lamb, its meaning is clearly understood now by the little flock, and in that meaning they rejoice. One great cause of the joy which has filled the hearts of the watchers as the result of truth’s vision being unsealed in this time of the end is the fact that thereby the wideness of God’s mercy and love has been revealed.

We know now—and in that knowledge we rejoice—that God’s plan provides blessings for others than ourselves. So we are made happy to know that a great multitude who, while not of the “more than conquerors” (Rom. 8:37) and thus qualified to be the bride of Christ, nevertheless are, after coming up out of “great tribulation,” to be invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. How glad we will be to see them all there, and to rejoice in their great blessing! And how happy they will be after coming up through the great tribulation and having their robes washed in the blood of the Lamb, to be servants before the throne!—Rev. 7:9-17

The Fifth “Beatitude”

The next special blessing, so inspiring and full of meaning to the watchers in this time of the end, is recorded in Revelation 20:6, and reads: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Here is represented an enhanced glory and an exaltation of nature beyond that referred to in the previous beatitude in which the superlative degree of blessing available to the great company is shown to be the spirit nature and the privilege of a seat at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

The blessings of the first resurrection are still quite beyond the ability of our finite minds to comprehend. But the knowledge that there is to be a first resurrection, and that those who participate in it are to be exalted to the divine nature to live and reign with Christ, in contradistinction to the resurrection of the world of mankind as human beings, is a great blessing which has meant so much to the Lord’s people in this time of the end.

These are to “live and reign with Christ a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4) Not until the end of the 1,335 days did the Lord’s people receive a clear understanding concerning the reign of Christ for a thousand years, and that this reign is for the purpose of blessing all the families of the earth. To most Christians previous to that time, the heavenly hope was merely that of escaping eternal torture, and playing a harp forever, instead of burning in hell.

But oh, the blessedness to learn the purpose of the first resurrection, and that there is to be an afterward of blessing for all mankind. How blessed, indeed, it is to know those who share in the first resurrection are to be both kings and priests, and as such to reign over and bless the human race for whom Christ died. (Rev. 5:9,10) Truly, the blessing of this knowledge has filled the hearts of the Lord’s people during the harvest time, and has encouraged them to be holy, completely set apart to the doing of God’s will, in order that they might be found worthy to live and reign with Christ.

“Behold I Come Quickly”

The sixth beatitude of Revelation reads, “Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” (Rev. 22:7) Here is emphasized the importance of obedience to present truth. It is essential for the consecrated to keep every feature of the truth. We are to be “doers of the Word, and not hearers only,” James reminds us; and this is just as true of dispensational truth as it is of the other doctrines. (James 1:23) None can hope to be truly blessed by God during this time of Christ’s second presence who, for whatever reason, is either in darkness concerning the significance of the times in which we are living; or who, knowing of the times, minimizes the importance of such knowledge as a guide to Christian living.

Behold, I come quickly! This was recorded at the beginning of the age, and in Revelation is portrayed the sequence of events which were to precede and lead up to Christ’s actual coming and the period of his second presence. To the last stage of the church, Jesus is shown as standing at the door and knocking, ready to come in and sup with those who open to him. It has been important, then, for the Lord’s people throughout the entire age to be faithful watchers, to keep the sayings of the Book of Revelation as they could be understood.

And now he who was to come quickly has come, and the knowledge of this, more than anything else, is responsible for the blessedness which has come to the Lord’s people since the end of the 1,335 days. But if we are to be truly blessed it is necessary to be loyal to present truth, to keep with true and faithful hearts all the commands of the Lord which belong to this time. We cannot expect to be among those who are blessed by the knowledge of the times in which we live if we merely hear and read, and do nothing more about it.

John, the Revelator, was so entranced by the vision of truth that he fell down at the feet of the angel who had been used by the Lord to show the vision to him. But the angel said, “See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.” (Rev. 22:8,9) God uses human instruments on occasions as his angels, and this has been true with respect to the vision of present truth. That faithful and wise servant was an angel indeed, used by the Lord to make plain the glorious truths pertaining to the Lord’s presence, the work of the harvest, and the many other glorious doctrines by which the consecrated are so richly blessed today.

And how glad we are this fellowservant was faithful to the sayings of this book, particularly the one immediately following the admonition to worship God rather than his servant. It reads, “Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.” (Rev. 22:10) No true servant of God will keep hope-inspiring knowledge to himself unless directly commanded by the Lord to do so. It was because that servant, and his fellowservants throughout the harvest period, sacrificed their lives to tell out the glad message by which we are blessed today, that these dispensational beatitudes mean so much to us.

Contrast this command to seal not, for the time is at hand, with what the angel said to Daniel. We quote: “Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” (Dan. 12:9) This leaves no doubt that the due time for the unsealing of the vision was to be in the time of the end. Now that time is at hand! Daniel was told while many in the time of the end would be purified and made white, the wicked would do wickedly, and none of the wicked would understand. (Dan. 12:10) This harmonizes with what the Revelator records concerning the time when the vision would be unsealed: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still.”—Rev. 22:11

This indicates that while the Lord wants us to uncover the message, to tell it out for the benefit of the consecrated, we are not to expect that a proclamation of the truth at this time will change the course of the world, nor convert those who love unrighteousness. The truth appeals only to those who are either already holy, or those who at heart love righteousness but have lacked the opportunity to learn the truth of God’s plan. Concerning these and commenting on this text, Brother Russell wrote:

“There are some who are not saints because they have never properly grasped the conditions of the divine call of the present time, but who are, nevertheless, righteous persons, persons who desire to live uprightly, honorably, honestly, who are sincere and truthful in their own hearts, and in their dealings with others so far as their knowledge permits. To these lovers of righteousness, of truth, as well as to the holy, the revelations of the divine plan now unfolding commend themselves, and intensify their love for righteousness and appreciation of full consecration to the Lord.”—R. 3572

“Through the Gates”

The final beatitude recorded by the Revelator reads, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” This blessing seems to apply primarily to the restitution class, those who enter into the city. The little flock, the bride of Christ, are a part of the city—the city which will be God’s haven of security and salvation for the redeemed world of mankind during the thousand-year kingdom period.

But to know that this blessing is coming to the world constitutes a great source of joy to the Lord’s people even now. Indeed, it was the restoration of the glorious restitution doctrine which helped so materially in illuminating every other phase of the truth. It was this great truth which gave lustre to the entire plan of God, for it gave assurance of the Creator’s interest in all mankind and that he had made provision for their blessing.

And so it is, that if the truth of the divine plan has been received into unselfish hearts we will rejoice as much in the blessings coming to the world—those who will enter through the gates into the city—as we do in God’s wondrous provisions for ourselves. It is appropriate that in setting forth these beatitudes which cheer our hearts so much in this time of blessedness, the world in general is not overlooked. This is a good guide for us. Let us never become so engrossed in our own spiritual feasting and rejoicing that we lose sight of any of the people whose blessing is provided for in God’s plan.

Brother Russell was guided by this principle. In the later years of his ministry he seldom served at a convention or visited an ecclesia without arrangements being made for a public meeting in addition to his service on behalf of the friends. The whole Bible, and the entire plan of God breathes the divine Spirit of interest in and love for all men, all nations. It is therefore fitting, especially as a reminder to help prevent us from becoming selfish, that in this final chapter of Revelation and of the Bible, a blessing should be pronounced upon those who enter into the city. The promise of old was that all the families of the earth are to be blessed, and here we have this final reminder that the promised blessing will be realized when they enter into the city.

Truly, then “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” That blessing is now our daily portion.

We are blessed by reading and hearing the message.

We are blessed in our labor of love in proclaiming the message and in the happy realization that when the labor is ended, we will continue the same work on the other side of the veil

We are blessed as watchers on Zion’s hill, having discerned the presence of our king, and the first gray streaks of approaching dawn.

We rejoice in realizing the marriage of the Lamb is near, and if we are faithful in making ourselves ready we will soon be united with him in glory. And we are glad that our companions, the great company, are to be blessed with the privilege of sitting down at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

We are blessed by the glorious hope of a share in the first resurrection; and this joy that is set before us is enhanced by the knowledge that we are to have the privilege of reigning with our Lord for the purpose of blessing all the families of the earth.

And the richness of our blessing in all these things depends upon our measure of faithfulness in obeying the truth that has been revealed in this time of the end.

Surely we want to be faithful; and the more so when we know we are serving the true God of love, the one who loves the whole world as well as the church, and is the divine Architect and Master Workman in building that glorious and holy city into which all may enter if they will, and be blessed!

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |