by Wayne Blank
"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:1-12 KJV)
What Else Did The Christ Say About Those Who Are "Blessed"?
The first reference to the "blessed" are to those who read and adhere to the knowledge that is given therein (see also What Does "Apocalypse" Really Mean?). The "blessed" people described as such are not only the people of long ago, but people of now, many of whom will survive to witness The Return Of Jesus Christ:
"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 KJV)
The Biblical definition of "saint" is simply someone who truly understands and obeys the Word of God (see What Is A Saint? and The Elect). The saints alive today are blessed, despite the terrible religious persecution that is soon to be inflicted upon them for their "labours," their obedience to God (see "Works" Means Obedience):
"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the Commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, 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." (Revelation 14:12-13 KJV)
Those who await the return of Jesus Christ are blessed because they understand why Christ is returning. For most of the world, the return of Christ will be a great and unwelcome surprise, "like a thief in the night," while to His people, they await His return with joy and understanding:
"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments" (Revelation 16:15 KJV)
The return of Jesus Christ will involve a symbolic marriage of Christ and His Church, a "bride" who is referred to in prophecy as the Daughter of Zion:
"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Revelation 19:7-9 KJV)
The Return of Jesus Christ will be the time of the first resurrection of the dead, and the transformation to spirit of His people who are alive that day (see Resurrections and When Will You Be Judged?). They will reign with Christ for the next 1,000 years (see also Scenes From The Millennium):
"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." (Revelation 20:6 KJV)
Again, "blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book":
"And He said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy Prophets sent His angel to show unto His servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." (Revelation 22:6-7 KJV)
And who are the blessed of the Book of Revelation, of now? "Blessed are they that do His Commandments"
"Blessed are they that do His Commandments [see The First Commandment, The Second Commandment, The Third Commandment, The Fourth Commandment, The Fifth Commandment, The Sixth Commandment, The Seventh Commandment, The Eighth Commandment, The Ninth Commandment and The Tenth Commandment], that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the City. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (Revelation 22:14-15 KJV)
Fact Finder: What "City" is referred to in the verses above?