Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Alpha and Omega

We look around us today and believe that our hope lies in the governing bodies of the world to ensure peace, but it will NEVER be found within any government on earth, only in the salvation and glory of Jesus Christ. No U.N. flag will grant us what has been sought after since creation, freedom from war and a true peace until Jesus returns. Picking back up in our study in the Book of Revelation 1:7,

"Look, he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen."

We learned yesterday in our study that Jesus will return in the clouds at His Second Coming and that EVERY eye will see him. The Book of Revelation is not clear how that will happen but with the invention of the internet, smart phone technology and plain supernatural power, it will happen. But that event has not be fulfilled yet.

We pick back up with a look at "even those who pierced him;"

Lets look at some references to that in the Old and New Testament.

Zechariah 12:9-11 ~ "On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. And I will our out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jersusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On the day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo." (NIV). 

Let us remember that most of the Jewish people living in Israel refuse to accept Jesus Christ of Nazareth as their Lord and Savior. They want nothing to do with Yeshua Hama-shech, or Jesus the Christ. But salvation is coming to the nation of Israel again,"they who pierced Him," it was the "religious" leaders of Israel, those who prevented the nation of Israel from coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Religion can often be a dangerous thing.

Matthew 23:13 ~ "Woe to you, teachers of law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, not will you let those enter who are trying to."

Matthew 16:6 ~ "Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Saducees."

Remember this was written 1000 years before Jesus was pierced.

Psalm 22:16 ~ "Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, hey have pierced my hands and my feet."

We know that Jesus Christ is coming again and it will be a universal event and He is bringing judgment. Revelation 1:7b ~ "and all the people of the earth will mourn because of him." You should circle the word people or tribes, meaning all the ethic groups from every social level. EVERY SINGLE PERSON EVERYWHERE.

So why are they all going to be mourning because of Him? Because He is coming back in righteousness, He's coming back in power and in glory, and He is coming back in judgment. I believe the rapture of the church will clearly happen before the Second Coming. What you don't want to do is be one of those people who are left behind when that happens. That push off God's invitation of grace. He says here in Revelation 1:7b ~ "and all the people of the earth will mourn because of him;"

The word mourn used here is a sad word, it's not "Oh? Jesus is the one. Let's welcome Him back. Jesus is the one!" That is not what the word here implies. It's not the mourning where they realize "Oh we blew it, now we understand." The word here means they are mourning because they are against Him. They are trembling, they have been caught. It is the word you use when you have been 'busted' for a crime. The people of the earth will be 'busted.' The Jesus they mocked, will be the Jesus that comes in glory.

Isaiah 26:19-21 ~ "But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer." (NIV).

This clearly delineates the two events, the Second Coming and the rapture for one another.  The first half of these verses is clearly speaking of a resurrection. Dew evaporates in the morning never to be seen again. It speaks of God's people to "enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while" why do they have to hide? Because a day is coming when God will punish those remaining on the earth for their sins.

God said "his people" are hidden away from a time when all His wrath is poured out upon the earth, and that is exactly what the book of Revelation speaks about concerning God's judgment.

So who is He that is coming? We move on to verse 8 in Revelation 1 ~ "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

We know that He is the eternal one. The word Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the last. We would say "A to Z" in English, in Greek it is "Alpha and Omega."  But this is a reference that Jesus is the complete and total Revelation of the Word of God to all mankind, and doesn't the Bible say He is the Word of God?

But it's open ended at the end because the Word of God will not come to an end, it continues on. What He is saying is "My Word, which is My Son, you have come to know. But in all time and eternity, you will get to know Him forever more. Even when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we don't know all the ins and outs of who He is, but we know enough that we want Him into our life and we will spend an eternity learning all there is to know about Him. It will take that long to truly know and understand how wonderful and truly awesome He is.

Jesus Christ is also the Ruler of all the ages.

Revelation 1:8 ~ "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

He is the beginning and the end. It is a reference to the governor of time.

Isaiah 9:6 ~ "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (NIV).

We say Everlasting Father, but what it really means is the Father of All Time. He is the Ruler of Time, and what is more precious to us than money these days, Time!!! All the names or titles of Jesus Christ are titles strictly reserved for God alone. The Alpha and the Omega, The Beginning and The End, The First and The Last, God the Father, manifested His will for mankind to be saved through His Son, Jesus Christ, and it's through Him and the preaching of His Name and of His Salvation that men could come into that wonderful relationship with God. It's not a religion by the way, it's a relationship.

John 8:58 ~ "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"

He is also the ever present God back to Revelation 1:8, ~ ""I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." (NIV).

This is a title reserved for God alone, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." The word "Almighty" here is the one and only, all omnipotent and omnipresent. There is only one says the Bible. When it says "he is the one who is" means I am here right now. When it says, " who was" means I was there back then. When it says, "Who is to come" means I will be there when...

This is the God that you and I worship!!!

He was there, He is here now and He will be there in the future! Wherever we are, He is there!

Our final point today, is Jesus Christ is coming again because that is what the Bible says. in Revelation 1: 9-11 ~ " I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord's Day I was in Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches to Ephesus, Syrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea."(NIV).

So why was John in prison again? And on a dump of an island called Patmos. No one takes a tour to Patmos. You go to Turkey, head south on the Aegean Sea, and you can see the island of Patmos, nothing but a barren volcanic rock. Rome sent prisoners there to dig in the mines, and then when they were done, they would just throw them into the ocean. It's a horrible place, there is not one bush, shrub or ounce of greenery anywhere. And that is where Rome sent John. It's kind of funny how he got there. He was preaching, he was the pastor of a church in Ephesus, he was the longest living apostle, all the other guys are dead, and they can't get rid of John.

He was a tremendous witness, he was arrested because he loves the Bible and he tells people about Jesus. He was arrested for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. The arrested him, put him in a pot of boiling oil to make an example out of him, but according to church history, he came out just fine. They got so mad that nothing hurt him, they put him on a ship and sent him to Patmos to die as an old man. So what does God do, it's a desolate and lonely place, and in John's loneliness he sees the glory of God. The book of Revelation is revealed to him in his old age, more than 100 years old, and during this time the emperor of Rome, Domitian, dies. Minerva now comes into power with a little more compassion towards Christians, and has John sent back to Ephesus where he lives out the rest of his days. He spent every ounce of his life preaching in the church, even to the point he has to be carried in, because he could no longer walk.

But today we live in such a godless, lawless society. No life is valued, no one is safe. Before when people robbed you, they would hold a gun towards you and ask for all your money, now they simply shoot you and take what they want anyway. How far we have fallen in this world, where we will sell baby parts from aborted babies for profit. Jesus reminded us that when He comes back, people will have a heart against the law. They will be lawless.

Notice how John compares himself as both a "brother" and "companion" he didn't say I got a robe, stand back, kiss my ring, give me a reserved parking spot. He is a "brother" and "companion" in suffering, kingdom and patient endurance. The Bible clearly reminds us that in this life, we will have tribulation. Are you having a rough time? Are you having a rough life? The Bible says we will have rough lives, Christians, we have rough lives and tough times. But they have a purpose and a meaning. No matter what we are struggling with, in our lives, there is a meaning to our suffering. In fact when you have a meaning to suffering, it makes suffering actually helpful. But if you don't have a meaning to your suffering, your suffering is hopeless. We are like John, we are "brothers" and "companions" because we too suffer and have tribulation in this life. We can relate to John.

2 Timothy 3:12-13 ~ "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived."(NIV).

John was being arrested, tortured, beated, boiled and left to die simply for believing in the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus, what a wonderful thing to behold, you know you are doing the right thing when that happens.

Verse 10, reminds us that there is a time to listen, " On the Lord's Day, I was in the Spirit and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, "(NIV).

What we know for sure is that the voice was NOT a trumpet, based on the use of the word "like" it's a simile or symbolic. Its as of a trumpet, meaning a trumpet is NOT talking. He simply hears a loud voice that catches him off guard, not that he turns around and sees a trumpet talking to him. Whoever is speaking to him is speaking to him as clear and loud and bright, as like a trumpet. Like when a trumpet makes an announcement. Whenever Israel was called to battle, called to worship, called to congregate, how did they do it? A trumpet! Isn't it interesting that the church will be gathered together the same way? A trumpet!

I believe that is why God told Moses to make two silver trumpets, one represents Israel and the other, represents the church, but that is just an opinion and isn't really part of the study. Numbers 10:1-3.

So why should any of this matter? Because without a doubt, Jesus is coming back. And so many people believe they have all the time in the world to make the decision to accept Jesus into our life. We don't know when it will happen, and trust me death, can happen when you least expect it. Don't believe for one moment you might have enough time to make that decision at that moment. It might be too late. Trust me don't wait.  


Join me tomorrow for the continuation of the Jesus we see at the conclusion of Revelation Chapter 1!

No comments: