“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein….” The Revelation of Jesus Christ is a revealing…..a revealing of the then current state of affairs in the professing Christian Church as well as a revealing of the future state of the professing Christian Church. In fact, the prophecy takes us to the Second Coming of Christ in judgment and even on into eternity. To be sure, we are not to understand this prophetic book as one which the Lord has determined to keep hidden from the understanding of His people. To ‘reveal’ is to “make known; disclose; divulge; to lay open to view; display; exhibit.” On the other hand, to ‘hide’ is to “put or keep out of sight; conceal from the view or notice of others.” It is true the Gospel is hidden to the lost. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Only those elected in Christ before the foundation of the world will God sovereignly command the regenerating light of life to shine in their once darkened hearts and minds to the eternal saving of their souls. Those whom God has graciously enlightened are blessed. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. ……………………. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. In like manner, those who teach and preach the truths of the Revelation are blessed…..as are those believing who hear with understanding. To believe the Gospel is to have been blessed by God. To believe the Revelation is to have been blessed by God. Though the Revelation is prophecy which the Lord wills to make known to His people, there are three vastly different views as to its meaning. Now we have a problem. Since all views are contradictory, they cannot all be correct. Truth does not contradict itself. If the three views are all wrong then the Lord has failed to make the prophecy known to His people, an improssible scenario. If, however, one view is correct – which it must be -- then the other two are incorrect. Those who hold to the correct view are those who are blessed by God, according to his infallible Word. Let us now review the three major interpretations of the Revelation. The Preterist view holds to a past Antichrist, The Roman Emperor Nero, who troubled Christians of that era. Israel of old is Mystery Babylon. In holding that view, Preterists understand the Christian’s troubles have long been over. In their minds they are now living in a Heaven-like blissful state here on Earth. To quote the prophets Lennon and McCartney, the Preterist world ‘is getting better all the time.’ Futurists look to an unknown Antichrist who will, at any moment, rise to rule the world, establishing a New World Order. He will enter an alleged rebuilt Jewish Temple demanding, upon threat of death, all mankind’s worship. Fortunately, for true believers, they teach Antichrist will not pose a problem since they will, at any moment, be taken to Heaven out of harm’s way. Thus, in reality, Futurists, like the Preterists, have nothing much to worry about. Only those ‘left behind’ will find their lives a living hell. (It should be mentioned there is a small remnant of Futurists who believe they will go through the ‘Great Tribulation.’ This mindset is also evidenced in the secular world of ‘Doomsday Preppers.’) And finally, there are the Historicists who believe the Revelation is the history of the Lord’s Church foretold from the days of John until the Second One-Time Visible Coming of Christ in judgment. (Eternity is then also described). Incorporated into this lengthy prophetic narrative is the rise, reign and ruin of the dynasty of Papal Antichrists who rule the great harlot Church in the name of Christ, preaching a false Gospel while persecuting and murdering the saints of God for centuries. The ecumenical times in which we live is depicted in the Revelation by the kings of the earth (secular and religious) willingly drinking from the whore’s bloody cup of friendship and fellowship….a very significant sign of the times. So who is telling the truth? As Christians we should be interested only in truth, yet someone is lying. Two of the three are false prophets. (I purposely omitted the Idealist view of Revelation as I do not consider it nearly as prevalent an interpretation as the previous three mentioned.) The question arises: What persons or person in the Revelation does the Lord call ‘blessed’? If we correlate those who are called blessed in the Revelation with those who, in the introduction, are called blessed for understanding the prophecy then we should be able to determine which interpretation of the Revelation is of God and which are not. 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. The dead are the martyrs – true Christians -- who rejected the Beast and his idols. They refused to take the spiritual mark of damnation. They were killed because of their unswerving protestation and disobedience to Antichrist’s demands. The next question arises: Who among the three views of the Revelation died as martyrs? I find no Preterist martyrs in the pages of past and present Church history. I find no Futurist martyrs in the pages of past and present Church history. I do, however, find numerous, incredibly detailed accounts of martyrs throughout past centuries of Church history who held to the Historicist view: The reigning Pope is the Antichrist, His Roman Church Mystery Babylon. They looked for no other. The prophecy of the Antichrist Beast and his whore had been fulfilled in their lifetime. I also find centuries of great men of God who, while in recognized positions of leadership in the Christian Church, discerned the truth of the testimony of the martyred saints of God. They, too, believed the prophecy of the Antichrist Beast and his whore had been fulfilled. They all understood that until the Day of Christ Jesus the Papal Antichrist will continue in office where he will persist in sending innumerable souls to Hell while exhibiting feigned piety, ever engaging in influence peddling which, if possible, would deceive the very Elect. The Revelation reveals the mystery of Satan’s greatest deception: a false Christian Church whose headquarters are in Rome; who was responsible for the persecutions and murders of innumerable Christians; whose followers are so plentiful they are like vast oceans in size ; whose influence is worldwide; whose Antichrist dictator calls himself ‘Holy Father’ and ‘The Vicar of Christ’; and who are regarded by both professing believers and unbelievers to be a true Christian Church, their dictator a holy, humble, heroic Christian man of God. Unbelievers falling for Satan’s deception are one thing. But professing Christian believers? We now have a bigger problem. Matt. 24:24 declares it impossible for the Elect to be deceived.