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 Revelation Chapter 1 (Part 5) (verse 8)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 1 (Part 5) (verse 8)    Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:23 pm

Revelation Chapter 1 (Part 5) (verse eight)  (Had to spell that out to not get a Smiley)

Verse 8 reads: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”  In my bible, this verse is in red letters, which indicates that Jesus is the speaker.  This is an important verse.  Jehovah’s Witnesses would argue that Yahweh is the speaker, and that the red letters is up to the interpretation of the translator, and of course, is not in the original text (one of the few times they don’t mind talking about the original text).  This is an important verse.  The verse itself says that “the Lord God” is the speaker.  And whoever the speaker is, he calls himself the Alpha, the Omega, and the Almighty.  “Alpha” is the “A” of the Greek language, and “Omega” is the “Z” of the Greek language.  So the speaker is saying that he is the all-encompassing beginning and end of all things.  The description indicates that the speaker is eternal because it says, “he is, and who was, and who is to come”.  There is certainly a lot here to look at.  

The phrase “Lord God” where it says, “says the Lord God,” is really just one word in the Greek: the word “Kurios,” often translated as just, “Lord.”  That word is often used to apply to both Jesus and God in the New Testament.  This is even true for the Jehovah’s Witness bible (the New World Translation), but their translators take luxury in translating that word as “Jesus” in some places, and “Jehovah” in other places where they don’t want to attribute Deity to Jesus.  This is when they don’t like to look at the original text.  

The name “Yahweh” in the Hebrew means “I am”.  Moses asked God, “What shall I say your name is when they ask me what God sent you?” And God responded, “Tell them ‘I Am’ sent you.”  That’s an important name in the bible because it is the only name in the bible that God the Father names Himself.  Jesus made the statement, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!”  At that, the Jews he said that to picked up stones to stone him because they understood that he was calling himself God, and not only God, but he was calling himself God the Father, using the same name (though in Aramaic) that was even forbidden to utter.  

What I am trying to point out is that everything about Revelation 1:8 speaks of the attributes of God.  But the question we still need to answer is “who really is the speaker?”  Should this be a red-letter verse or not?  Whoever is speaking, is God, whether it is the Father or the Son.  To find out the speaker, let’s peruse the bible.  

Micah 5:2 says that Jesus is eternal.  So he would fulfill the “is, was, and is to come” clause.  Micah 5:2 reads, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose goings out are from of old, from days of eternity (or ancient days).” This verse is referring to Jesus. He was born in Bethlehem as the prophet Micah predicted.  He was here during eternity before history, which means, he was always here.  There was never a time that Jesus did not exist. Isaiah 43:13 says, “…Declares the LORD, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he.”  Concerning “Ephrathah,” Genesis 35:19 says, “So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem)”. It’s just another name for Bethlehem. But see also 1 Chronicles 4:4.

If we just had the Old Testament, we could conclude that the phrase “Alpha and Omega” applies only to God the Father.  The LORD Yahweh speaks in Isaiah 44:6, “I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.”  He repeats this in Isaiah 48:12.  Whenever you see “LORD” spelled in all caps in the Old Testament, the word translated is always “Yahweh”.  Look now at Revelation 21:6, “He said to me: “It is done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” If you were to ask a Jehovah’s Witness who is the speaker in this verse, they would quickly say, “Jehovah.”  But then have them turn to Revelation 22:12-13: “Behold, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”  Who is speaking in these verses?  Look at verse 16: “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.”  Ah, we see that Jesus is the Alpha, Omega, First and Last, Beginning and End.”  These are all attributes that are also attributed to the Father.

There are some interesting verses in Isaiah.  In 46:5, the Father says, “To whom will you compare me or count me equal?  To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?”  When God spoke this, did he know he would be so closely compared to Jesus?  Of course, because they are one.  Isaiah 42:8 says, “I am the LORD; that is my name!  I will not give my glory to another…”  Hmm…well, you gave it to Jesus one could retort.  Isaiah 43:11 says, “I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no Savior.”  Hmm…again, the rest of the bible tells me there is another who is called Savior.  Isaiah 44:8b says, “You are my witnesses.  Is there any God besides me?  No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”  Jesus is called the rock in the New Testament, and it was even predicted in Isaiah 8:14: “and he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”  I’ll give you a couple more: Isaiah 45:2 says, “They will say of me, ‘In the LORD alone are righteousness and strength.”  The New Testament says that Jesus is our righteousness and strength.  Isaiah 44:24 says, “I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.”  Colossians 1:16 says that He had some help because it says of Jesus that all things were created by him and for him.  

We said from verse Revelation 1:1 that the entire book is about a Revelation of Jesus Christ.  This book was written to reveal aspects of Jesus not yet revealed in other books.  One revelation that we get is that although the Father and Son have distinct functions and are distinct persons, it would not be blasphemy to say that Jesus is the Father.  There is a little known verse that calls Jesus the Holy Spirit.  2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit…” And the next verse, “…which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” What will be revealed in Revelation is not only that He is God, but also that He will not be taking on the personality of the humbled servant the next time he comes to Earth.  The next time He is coming in wrath and vengeance.  Back to Revelation 1:8, we now see that it should be a red-lettered verse.  Lastly, notice that in this verse, it calls Jesus “the Almighty.”  This is a name that is designated only to God in the Old Testament (but confer with Isaiah 9:6-7).  

The last thing I’d like to say is that the Trinity is not something we are to figure out and understand in finite human terms.  How 3 can be called one, and yet be distinct, personalities and have distinct functions is not for a created being to understand a Creator who is a spirit.  Think too hard about it and you might turn into a Jehovah’s Witness.
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Revelation Chapter 1 (Part 5) (verse 8)
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