Revelation 1.4-8 – The Alpha and the Omega

4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail[a] on account of him. Even so. Amen.

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

 

John starts this section by addressing his readers; seven churches in Asia. Modern day Turkey, but back then a Roman province. Then, in the rest of verse four and five, we see a seamless trinitarian teaching, did you catch it?

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come (God the Father), and from the seven spirits who are before his throne (The Holy Spirit, see Isaiah 11.2), and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.

Father, Son, Holy Spirit…

We then read about the main thing (the book begins by saying The Revelation of Jesus Christ…). He loves us (ongoing, not finished), freed us (done), made us a Kingdom, priests to God, and yes, He truly deserves glory and dominion forever and ever. These sound like things which are due to God, creator and upholder of heaven and earth, no? Glory and dominion…forever and ever? Well, that’s because they are…they are due to God, and they are due to Jesus, too. Why, how?

Because Jesus is God, One Divine Being, but three persons. Father, Son, Spirit. Three persons, One Divine Being.

 

Look at verse eight and we see one piece of this fall right into place;

8 I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

On the surface, nothing revelatory there, is there, just God declaring who He is…just…anyway, nothing new for lots of people…but, if we look at Revelation 22.13, Jesus speaking now,

13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Hebrews 13.8 describes Jesus as

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

The conclusion is inescapable, Jesus Christ is God. This is how He can authoritatively say things like this, great thoughts for us today;

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14.6),

 

Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM (John 8.58)

 

He who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14.9)

 

Revelation 1.1-3 – Coming soon?

Recently, there was an exciting day here in Bahrain, for some, because Ikea opens (so I’m told)! Its been ‘coming soon’ for the last five years, but, as you’ve no doubt noticed, the gargantuan blue and yellow structure just next to where the highways cross actually does imply the place will be opening soon, and, apparently, today’s the day!

‘Coming soon’ is an interesting phrase, isn’t it, everyone understands it, but yet it lacks an actual point in future time when this ‘thing’ is coming, or taking place. So, Ikea was coming soon in 2013, and, in the wider view of space and time, five years is soon. But, given we were told ‘coming soon’ meant early 2014, this has not been soon, you see?

We read of things coming soon, being near, being at hand, and other similar phrases many times in the Bible, so, does that mean Jesus is coming today, like Ikea, or in five years? Well, nobody knows, Jesus said nobody knows in Matthew 24.36, and in other places, too, you can read them here.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+24%3A36-44%2C1+Thessalonians+5%3A1-3%2C2+Peter+3%3A10%2CRevelation+3%3A3&version=ESV

Revelation 1.1-3 says this

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

When we read ‘the time is near’, this really means suddenly. The day Jesus comes back will come suddenly, soon on God’s eternal timeline (if that is even a possible thing), soon in God’s timing (that’s better). If you don’t know what His coming will be like, read ahead of me as we devotionally study Revelation!

So, unlike in the movies when the end of the world is coming and people have a nice long period to scramble the fighter jets, give long and loving speeches, set their pets free, then stand on the roof to await the coming rapture/armageddon (depending which side of the fence you’re on), the actual coming of Jesus will come suddenly, with no warning, at an hour we don’t expect, like a thief in the night.

This means we need to be ready, now…we need to be in right relationship with God, now…how do we do this? Through His Son, His image and imprint who walked the earth, Jesus.

The Philippian jailer said to Paul,

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16.30-31

So, He is coming suddenly. Be ready. Call on His name now, believe, be saved, then get ready!