Summary: God was before the 'Beginning' and He will continue to be after the 'End'. He is omnipotent and omnipresent meaning He will be with us now and through Jesus Christ believers will be with Him for eternity; for ever and ever, and ever and ever. Amen.
The ‘Alpha and the Omega’
When we think of God
or someone asks us what we mean or understand
when we use the word ‘God’, we are obviously limited.
It is really impossible for a created being to be able to describe in human words, his or her Creator,
who by definition is far above what He created in status and power and value.
To use the example given in the Book of the prophet Jeremiah,
how could a pot describe the Potter who designed and made it.
At least we can think and speak and use some words, however inadequate,
which is more than a pot or a cup or a saucer can do.
Thankfully, God has revealed to us several names and descriptions
which help us mere mortals to understand His nature;
El Shaddai or Almighty God,
Jehovah Jireh, God the Provider,
I Am, the Eternal One;
the Lord of Hosts.
The scriptures give us several names and titles of Jesus:
the Son of God,
the Son of Man,
the Prince of Peace,
the King of kings and Lord of Lords,
the Anointed One.
And the scriptures give us several names and titles of the Holy Spirit,
such as the Paraclete, the One who comes alongside us, like a lifeboat,
our Advocate, or Defence Lawyer,
and our Comforter.
All of these deserve studying and meditating on,
and each one gives us strength and comfort,
but today’s text calls us to focus on ‘Alpha and Omega’.
The first message we get from the use of the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet equivalent to our A and Z, is a confirmation of God’s eternal nature;
He always was, is today, and always will be – Almighty God.
Both here and in chapter 21 verse 6 the term ‘Alpha and Omega’ is applied to God the Father, while in chapter 22 verse 13 it is applied to Jesus,
which demonstrates his eternal divinity
and equality with the Father in the Trinity.
Martin Luther wrote: ‘We are not the ones who can preserve the church,
nor were our forefathers able to do so,
nor will our successors be able to do so.
No, it was, is, and always will be He who says “I am with you always, to the end of the Age”, who is:
In the original Greek the text is: “ego toh Alpha kai toh Omega,
ho protos kai ho eschatos, heh arche kai toh telos”.
For some reason, the AV or KJV translates this as
‘I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last,’
whereas on the other hand the NASB translates the text as
‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last,
the beginning and the end,’
as does the NIV and the ESV.
This is an example of why, when possible,
we should read the original texts in the words that they were written in, because even though they were inspired and preserved by the Holy Spirit,
all translations of them are influenced in some way by the culture, beliefs,
and even subconscious biases of the translators.
Hence the importance of studying the original words,
because all translations are influenced in some way by the culture, beliefs, and even biases of the translators.
The claim to be the Alpha and the Omega,
means that God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
existed before anything and everything else.
No One or no Thing created God
because if Someone or Something did, then that would be greater than God.
The claim to be the First and the Last,
means that God is all history from start to finish;
and the claim to be the Beginning and the End,
means God is in control of everything that exists
from the inception of life to its consummation.
Here in Revelation the Lord reminds us that He is the beginning of everything
and the end of everything;
from everlasting to everlasting, He is God, as it says also in Psalm 90 v.2.
He was before all things, as in Colossians 1 v.17,
and everything that we know or understand,
we know and understand only because He has revealed it to us.
God did not create the universe or life without a purpose or plan,
and having created He would not leave that purpose unrevealed
to those whom He had created in His own image and likeness,
so He has revealed His will to us
in and through the written Word of God,
the holy scriptures,
human writings in human language, but divinely inspired.
The written Word of God, that we have in our hands;