Who is and who was and who is to come
Revelation 1 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
9 I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, 11 saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; 13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. 19 Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
Today’s text, Revelation 1, is titled “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” In John 1: 1-5,14 it says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. In today’s text it says: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” And: “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” Jesus Christ was with God in the beginning, at creation. He is also revealed to John and so to us in the vision of Revelation. He says: “I am the first and the last.” The word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, is the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is the revelation of God’s will and His plan for man.
In the beginning God created man saying: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27) Man was created in the image and likeness of God to rule over the earth and creation with God. After Adam and Eve sinned, rebelling against God, God revealed His plan. He said: “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Son of Man, would come to redeem those who sinned, to reconcile them back to relationship with God and to restore them to all that God intended, to be in the image and likeness of God and Jesus, to have dominion with them.
At this time of year we focus on the celebration of the birth of Christ, His coming to this world in the human form of a baby. Much of the rest of our faith centers on the life, the death and the resurrection of Christ. We build our doctrines around the three years that Jesus lived and ministered as a man. We try to model the man Jesus, to do as He said we would and should: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-12) We fail though if we only see and know Jesus, the man who lived, ministered, taught and walked on earth for 33 years. Jesus is so much more than can be revealed in just that brief 33 year period of time. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He doesn’t say, I was the Alpha and I will be the Omega. The Jesus of the past is inseparable from the Jesus of the future. He is the Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever. To know the man Jesus is to know only a partial and incomplete revelation of who He is. When we in our flesh and with our finite minds try to limit Jesus to who and what He was in this realm, we miss the revelation of all that He is.
We should not seek Jesus, the baby in a manger. That was a brief finite moment in time, a twinkling in the eternity of God and Christ. We should not limit our understanding and comprehension of Christ to the three years He walked as a man. Jesus is more than a man. If we limit our understanding and our comprehension of Him to that brief window of time, we know only a small part of Him. Even the cross and the resurrection are, as they are seen and known here in this realm, just brief moments of time in the scheme of eternity. Jesus says: "I am the Alpha and the Omega," who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." To know Jesus, we must have the full revelation of who He is. We must know Jesus who was, who is and who is to come.
The Jesus who was created all things. The Jesus who was came as a baby and lived among us. The Jesus who was died on the cross for our sins, was placed in a grave and rose from that grave. Jesus was and is all those things. The Jesus that will be will not be meek and mild in a manger. He will not walk quietly among men. The Jesus that will be, the Jesus we as believers have yet to see with our eyes will be a conquering king. In today’s text, John, who knew Jesus the man as well as anyone, John, who laid his head on the chest of Jesus at the last Passover meal, this same John, the disciple who Jesus loved, when He saw the Jesus that will be, He says: When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. We cannot with our finite human minds comprehend the full revelation of Christ. Only through the Holy Spirit can we fully know Him now. In 1 John 3:2, John says: Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit thank You for the revelation of Christ, through the word, through His life, His death and His resurrection and through the Spirit. May I continue each day to know You more fully, to know Jesus who was, who is and who is to come, my Lord, my Savior and Redeemer, the conquering king. May I, through the revelation of all that You are be restored to the image and likeness You intended. Amen