5B.   Greetings From Jesus Christ (1.8)

 

(1.8)    I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

 

This is a very interesting verse. It is a verse which the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not like, and try very hard to distort. You will see how they try to distort this verse as we proceed.

 

1.   First, we have the phrase “I am.”  

 

“egw eimi”  Who is speaking here? Who has shown us in the Gospels that He likes to use this phrase? In John 6.48, John 6.51, John 8.58, John 11.25, and John 14.6 the Lord Jesus Christ uses this phrase. We need to read each of these verses:

 

John 6.48: “I am that bread of life.”

John 6.51: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.”

John 8.58: “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

John 11.25-26: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”

John 14.6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

 

Obviously, then, it is our Lord Jesus Christ Who is speaking in Revelation 1.8. But why should you consider this short phrase important?  For two reasons:

 

a.   First, because this short phrase, egw eimi, is the Greek counterpart to the phrase found in the Hebrew Scriptures, Exodus 3.14, that is translated “I AM.”

 

b.   Second, look at John 8.59, to see how the Lord Jesus Christ’s enemies interpreted His use of this phrase: “Then took they up stones to cast at him.” Why did they take up stones to cast at Him? They correctly understood His words to be a claim of divinity. Albert Barnes wrote, “The fact that the Jews understood him in this sense is strong proof that his words naturally conveyed the idea that he was divine.”[1]

 

2.   “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending”

 

a.      Again, Albert Barnes: “Among the Jewish Rabbins, it was common to use the first and the last letters of the Hebrew alphabet to denote the whole of anything, from beginning to end. . . The language here is that which would properly denote eternity in the being to whom it is applied, and could be used in reference to no one but the true God. It means that he is the beginning and the end of all things; that he was at the commencement, and will be at the close; and it is thus equivalent to saying that he has always existed, and that he will always exist.”[2]

 

b.      Now, having established that the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking here, let us read Isaiah 48.12: “Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.”

 

c.      Pretty strong statement of His deity. Amen? Do you begin to understand why the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are predisposed to object to Christ’s claims of deity no matter what the Bible declares, object to the plain teaching of Scripture?

 

     3.    “saith the Lord, which is and which was and which is to come”

 

But who is this phrase referring to? Look back to verse 4. This is the Father. He is the One Who is, Who was, and Who is to come. But is it not Christ Who is speaking?  Is not He the one the word “Lord” refers to in verse 8?

 

                4.     The verse finishes with the phrase “the Almighty”  

 

Let me give you some verses to examine:

 

Second Corinthians 6.18: “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

 

Revelation 4.8: “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”

 

Revelation 11.17: “Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”

 

Revelation 15.3: “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.”

 

Revelation 16.7: “And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.”

 

Revelation 16.14: “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”

 

Revelation 19.15: “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”

 

a.   Friends, the word that is translated “the Almighty” in Revelation 1.8 and in these verses we have just read is the word “pantokrapwr.” It means having all power. But in each of the verses we have just read it is God the Father to Whom all power is ascribed with the very same word.

 

b.   So, in this verse we have all power ascribed to the Lord Jesus Christ, using the same word used to ascribe to God the Father all power.

 

5.  Folks this verse contains irrefutable evidence of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He that has the eyes to see can see. Those who deny the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ are simply the victims of satanic delusion. He is God!


[1] Albert Barnes, Albert Barnes’ NT Commentary, (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), [email protected]

[2] Ibid.

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