Friday, June 9, 2023

I AM Alpha and Omega

Bobservations' Column

Titled - "I Am Alpha and Omega"
Written by: Pastor Bob Lawrenz

As John continues with his introduction into the Book of Revelation, we come to the “unveiling” of Jesus Christ in His glory. Every eye shall see Him. In Zechariah 12:10 it says “they will look upon me whom they have pierced,” speaking of the Jews. In Isaiah 61:1 we have Israel’s Redeemer with the Spirit of the Lord upon Him, preaching good tidings to the meek; binding up the broken hearted; proclaiming liberty to the captives; and the opening of the prison gates to them that are bound. The eyes of the Jews and everyone will be upon Jesus as He appears to fulfill this prophecy.

The Torah puts this last phrase differently: “…to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the eyes to them that are bound.”

The whole world is going to have their eyes opened to the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed of the Lord God Almighty! As we read of His Revelation to John, this moment will be repeated as Jesus comes to Earth in glory, in the clouds. As the Apostles watch Him go up in a cloud in Acts 1, the angels with them said Jesus would return the same way. And in our first verse of today’s study, Verse 7 of Revelation 1, “Behold, He cometh in clouds…” And the whole earth will see Him. If CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News still exist then, you can bet where their cameras will be aimed! Luke 21 tells us to “Look Up!” when we see all these things coming to pass. Jesus will be coming to save the day, restore the Earth, and bring an end to sin and injustice before mankind destroys itself and the Earth (Mark 13:20, Matthew 24:22).

John then proceeds to tell us of the vision and of its purpose: his mission in writing this book. The Book of Revelation is a prophetic work, but much more than that, it reveals and unveils the Person of Jesus, His thoughts, His attributes, His Power and Glory, and to finalize His plan for salvation.

This Revelation to John continues for 22 chapters, so we can expect an unveiling like no other before. And as the brightness of the Lord become full, mankind will see just how far short we come compared to our glorious Creator.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known" -- 1 Corinthians 13:12.

Sunday Morning's Audio Message:
Revelation 1:7-20 - "I AM Alpha and Omega"


In the first chapter of Revelation we read that Jesus appears to the apostle John, who was banished by Rome to the Island of Patmos because of his faith. Jesus tells John to write about what he saw, about the present, and about what will take place in the future. John describes his personal circumstance when Jesus appeared to him and commissioned him to write seven letters to seven churches. He also describes Jesus in His glorified form—these descriptions suggest power, wisdom, and majesty (Revelation 1:9–16). 

The churches are represented in this passage as individual lampstands, among which Jesus is standing (Revelation 1:17–20). 

The following passages will describe Jesus' message to each of these congregations.

Revelation begins and ends with a prediction of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Beginning in verse 7, "Behold, he cometh with clouds."   What’s the point of that? While it could mean it’s a heavenly origin. He’s coming from the heavens where the clouds are. But I think it’s more than that. In fact, I don’t even think the point here is so much some kind of earthly cloud. I think what this is clouds of glory.

If you go back in the Old Testament, all the way back to Genesis, you read about the Shekinah glory, which was light, light; blazing, shining light, God manifesting Himself in light that could be seen. When Christ returns, the glory won’t be veiled. It says, "every eye shall see him," when He comes, the eyes of His people as well as the eyes of His enemies will see Him.

In verse 8, Jesus speaks to John, "I Am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending," claiming the same honor and power that is ascribed to the Father.  John 1:1 tells us that Christ's existence was before all time. "He was with God and He was God."  John 1:3 proclaims that "all things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made." So here, Jesus is proclaiming who He is. He is the Almighty, the eternal and unchangeable God.

John is instructed to write in a book all that he has seen to the seven churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. These are the churches that John pastored before being banished and imprisoned by Rome on the isle of Patmos, for preaching the Word of God and sharing the testimony of Jesus.

As John turns to see the voice speaking to Him, he sees 7 candlesticks, which represent the seven churches. And Jesus in the midst of them.

John sees a representation of the Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of the golden candlesticks:
  1. His garment: A princely and priestly robe, denoting righteousness and honor.
  2. A golden girdle: The breast-plate of the high priest, on which the names of His people are engraven.
  3. Hair white like wool, white as snow: He was the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9); His hoary head was a crown of glory.
  4. His eyes a flame of fire: Piercing and penetrating into the hearts of men.
  5. His feet like fine brass: Strong and steadfast, supporting His own interest, subduing His enemies.
  6. His voice like many waters: As the sound of many rivers falling in together.
  7. He had in His right hand seven stars: These are the ministers of the seven churches under His direction.
  8. Out of His mouth came a two-edged sword: His word, which both wounds and heals.
  9. His countenance like the sun: Jesus is the Light of the world - bright, powerful. A light that cannot be subdued with darkness at all.
John is so overwhelmed by His appearance that He "fell at His feet as dead."  

Gazing at Jesus, His power, His majesty, His Purity and Righteousness...none can stand before Him....we are undone.  

The churches are compared to candlesticks because the hold forth the light of the gospel.  Jesus is the light of the world; His gospel is our lamp and the church holds it forth to others.  

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