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   3Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
    Blessed is the one who READS the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who HEAR it and TAKE TO HEART what is written in it,
John clearly understood the way this, his prophesy ( = future events and present spiritual exhortations and warnings), was to be presented in the church. That is, one reads (and receives this special blessing) and the rest listen and understand what is being read, and receive a blessing from hearing it. Jesus, talking about himself, said in Matthew 13:16-17 , that the hearers were privileged to listen to Him even as many prophets of old and future generations of righteous would not. The reading of the Revelation, thus, makes Jesus Christ come alive to the hearer just as though He Himself were speaking the words.

Comparing the first three verses of this chapter with the conclusion in Revelation 22:6-21 , one gets the feeling that this Revelation should be read to the congregation in its entirety in one sitting. Perhaps this is the only way that the full blessing promised in this verse can be realized.

This verse contains the first of seven "Beatitudes" in Revelation:

     
  1. Revelation 1:3 - for the present day.
  2. Revelation 14:13 - related to the Great Tribulation period.
  3. Revelation 16:15 - related to the Great Tribulation period.
  4. Revelation 19:9 - deals with Armegeddon.
  5. Revelation 20:6 - points to the Millennium.
  6. Revelation 22:7 - Celestial City
  7. Revelation 22:14 - Celestial City
    because the TIME IS NEAR.
Christ's return and the fulfillment of the Judgment as told in Revelation 11:15-18 always has been imminent. We always are to be looking for His return - John 21:20-23 and Acts 1:9-11 .

If the TIME is near, why don't we see it arriving now. Because Christ is patient with the world and its inhabitants, 2 Peter 3:8-9 , and the believers are still being transformed into their glorified forms - 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 .

Compared to eternity or forever, any time period is NEAR, whether it is one second or 2000 years. Thus all the apostles except for Peter (John 21:20-23 and 2 Peter 1:12-15 ) had the hope of seeing the "TIME" even as we do today. Now that we are almost 2000 years closer, we definitely must get on with the "reading" (our effort in putting this into computerized form), the "hearing" (your effort to study this exposition), and the "heeding" (your actions which show that you paid attention) to the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
"Scripture taken from the The Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright ) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

References to the Revelation of Jesus Christ are in bold italics. All other references are in bold only. Return from cross-references by using the BACK button.