We bring to you the following short Bible study, written in the late 1800s by the popular Bible expositor, James H. Brookes. Please see our note at the bottom.regarding the Seventh blessing. .
1) The first blessing is connected with the word of God, and especially with the last book of the Bible, that is so much neglected. "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy." Not a thing is said about understanding, but only about reading; and many a man has found in his own happy experience the fulfillment of the promised blessing. The attentive and prayerful reading of the book has been to him the beginning of a new life, putting into his hand the key to unlock the treasure of the sacred Scriptures. It is a blessing that lies with the easy reach of the humble and lowly, who are willing to read or to hear.
2) The Second blessing is connected with the departure of this world of believers. "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them." While the words refer primarily to those who die at a particular time, they apply equally to all who die in the Lord. Death does not sever the bond that unites to Him, but unshackles the redeemed and liberated soul to mount to a higher and nobler life. The robber dying on the cross, Stephen dying under the blows of an infuriated mob, were in an instant made partakers of the blessedness of the dead which die in the Lord; but it is also true of all who trust in His blood, that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and that to depart and be with Christ is far better than any earthly lot. There is no unconscious slumber, nor intermediate state for the soul, but immediate and everlasting blessedness with Himself.
3) The THIRD is intended to arouse as to watchfulness. "Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." On the other hand He says, "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." It is not for us to question or to reason, but simply to obey the injunction of our Lord, who commanded His disciples during His ministry down here, and commands us after His ascension to watch for His return from Heaven. If He had meant death when He told us to watch, He would said death; but He meant what He said, and said what He meant, when He so solemnly and repeatedly directed us to watch for Himself. It is needless to say that the direction loses all power and significance for those who expect the world to be converted before He comes.
4) The FOURTH leads us on from watching to His return and glory, and to the rapture and glory of the church. "Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God." When the life He imparts is before the mind of the Holy Ghost, the church is called His body; when His love is the subject, she is called His bride. Again and again both in the Old and New Testaments He is represented as holding this precious relationship of Bridegroom to His people; and His betrothal, whether Israel or the Church is in view, is set forth in the tender and searching language: "Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee." (Hosea 3:3) Our English version has "for another man" but another is in italics, and does not belong there. "Thou shalt not be for man: so will I also be for thee." Alas who can look upon the professing Christian body now, and fail to see that it is for man, and that having ceased to abide for Him, she is playing the harlot with the world that murdered Him?
5) FIFTH, but to the faithful there comes a sweet beatitude that may well keep us true to Him for the little while that remains until He comes. "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." It was this first resurrection which the apostle so eagerly desired, when he wrote, "If by any means I might attain unto the out-resurrection, that one from among the dead." (Phil. 3: 11) He knew of course that there is to be a resurrection both of the just and the unjust, but he longed for that special, elect resurrection from among the dead, which would make him a priest of God, reigning with Christ a thousand years. "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished."
6) Hence the SIXTH beatitude: "Behold, I come quickly: Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." It is ours, not only to read and to hear, but to keep these sayings, remembering the word of our Lord, "If a man love Me, he will keep my words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him and make our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings" (John 14:23-24) But how can we keep them unless we know them, and how can we know them unless we read them and hear them? Nine out of ten among preachers and people alike know nothing, and still sadder to say, care nothing for the sayings of the prophecy of this book, but ridicule the few who try to learn the lessons it teaches. They look upon the Apocalypse as too mysterious and obscure to deserve a serious perusal. It is certain that the beatitude is not for them.
7) The SEVENTH brings us back to redemption, and thus beautifully closes the book. "Blessed are they that have *washed their robes, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." At an earlier period in the book the apostle saw a great multitude, which no man can number, standing before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands, and it was said to him, "These are they which came out of the great tribulation (under antichrist), and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Yes, the only thing in the universe that can make a soiled and stained sinner white is the blood of the Lamb, and if men refuse and reject that one remedy, it is certain, for the mouth of God hath spoken it, that they shall never eat the tree of life, nor enter through the gates into the city. It is true now, and true for all, and true forever that "without the shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22)
*The KJV Version says in Revelation 22:14 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.
Although this is an excellent short study from the 1800s, Dr. Brookes sadly used a â€œmodernâ€� translation of Revelation 22:14. Some manuscripts have "washed their robes" for verse 14 but the KJV translators used the manuscripts that say, "do his commandments." The Greek words are almost identical, which explains the confusion:
poiountes tas entolas - do His commandments plunontes tas stolas - washed their robes
We agree with the Authorized KJV translation, that has "do his commandments". Let me briefly explain.
Only the Redeemed-- the children of God-- will live with Christ forever.
1John 5: 2,3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
But if we back up into 1John 3:23 we see what His commandments are: "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment."
Nowhere is there a "works" gospel presented in Revelation 22:14 by saying, "do his commandments". The Bible is VERY clear that the commandments are to FIRST believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and then to love one another.
A person is saved by grace through faith and he became born again by obeying the commandment in believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Only the Redeemed, those washed in the Blood of the Lamb, shall have right to the Tree of Life-- sin originally separated man from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden; But those who have received Christ, have received a new nature and will receive a new incorruptible body someday and they, IN CHRIST, will have right to the Tree of Life because of the FINISHED work of Christ Jesus-- His sacrificial death, burial and triumphant resurrection.
How does one become born again? By believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. The commandment is to believe on Him:
Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
1John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
Only the Redeemed can love God and keep his commandments. We obeyed God's commandment to believe on His Son, Christ Jesus, and only then can we keep His commandment for He alone empowers us to do so. When we reign with Christ on this earth, we will be under His leadership and we will reign with Him and will be blessed to do so. The angels obey His command- ments. The Saints obey His commandments. God is God and Only the Redeemed will have a joy in being under His authority. John 15:14: Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Matt 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
And In John, we clearly see what the will of the Father is:
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
The devil and all the rebellious people with him, would have no joy being in the Kingdom, where Christ is King. They would corrupt the Kingdom in one day and would try to run things their own way; But we are joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus and we will rule and reign with Him forever... and ONLY the Redeemed will have right to the Tree of Life.
1John 5:11-13 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
The unsaved will have no part with the Lord Jesus but will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Revelation 21:8 "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." These are they who died in their sins and had pleasure in unrighteousness. Notice that the people who are judged and thrown into the Lake of Fire are completely identified with their sin... a murderer, a liar, an idolater, etc. The people are in their sins and did not receive the Savior and thus are condemned. But the REDEEMED are in Christ Jesus and obeyed the commandment to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. The KJV translation is correct; But neither translation of Revelation 22: 14 takes away from the true meaning-- both translations indicate a people of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ but the KJV version gives a translation more consistent with the WHOLE of the Scriptures.
Acts 16:30-31 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.