Revelation 1:8, Alpha and Omega

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (NKJV)

“Red-letter editions” of the Bible have these words in red, indicating that they were spoken by the Lord Jesus.  While I do agree that the Lord spoke these words, John didn’t have two colors of pen when he was writing.  The idea of highlighting our Lord’s words in red was originally a marketing tool, developed by one company to distinguish its editions of the Bible from its competitors’ editions.

This verse is a very bold statement by our Lord, especially if He is nothing more than the religious figure many seem to believe Him to be.  He is no longer that One who walked along the dusty roads of Israel, for the most part ignored except for what He could provide in the way of food or healing for His audience, cf. John 6:26.

These are the words of deity, echoing what the LORD said in Isaiah 41:4, “I, the LORD, am the first; and with the last I am He.”  Or Isaiah 44:6, “I am the First and the Last….”  Many times, the New Testament takes OT verses which refer to the Father and refers them to the Son.  Our Lord Himself did this in Revelation 1:4.

Another example is found in Hebrews 1:10, where the writer quotes Psalm 102:25-27, “You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,” and, taking this reference to Jehovah, applies it to the Son, v. 8.  Some have taken verses like this and used them to teach that Jesus is the only God there is.  Others have seen the difficulty in this and try to teach that Jesus is only “a” god.  The problem with that is, well, then, how many “gods” are there?  Either view denies any idea of a “Trinity.”

Without wanting to get too deeply into the discussion, the only illustration I’ve ever found that does justice to the idea of a “Trinity” in the Godhead is found in a cube.  A cube consists of height, length and width, all the same measurement.  But the height isn’t the length or width, the length isn’t the height or width, and the width isn’t the height or length.  But the cube at one and the same time consists of height, length and width.  If you take away any one of these things, you no longer have a cube.

Likewise, the Godhead consists of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The Father isn’t the Son or the Spirit, the Son isn’t the Father of the Spirit, and the Spirit isn’t the Father or the Son.  If you take away any one of these, you no longer have “God.”

Our Lord also calls Himself, “the Almighty.”  There are those who will knock on your door and tell you that Jesus is only ever called “Mighty God.”  He’s never referred to as “Almighty.”  Leaving aside the problem of “how many gods are there?”, Jesus refers to Himself as “Almighty.”   

We live in troubling times.  But can’t we trust Him who is “First” and “Last” and “the Beginning and the End” to be everything in between?

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