The Divine DesignAugust 31, 2011 Save Article
As Christians we frequently hear that we should be living not as if the coming of Christ is somewhere out in the future, but as if He is coming today. Adrian Rogers said, “We ought to live as though He died yesterday, rose this morning, and is coming back this afternoon.” His return comes more clearly into focus as world events grow increasingly grim. At any moment, Jesus Christ may return.
But what will He be like, this One who is coming?
Turn to Revelation chapter 1 and read verses 7-11.
7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. 8 “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.” 9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
1. Who is the human author of this book? ________________
2. What is the setting? Where is he writing? (v. 9) ___________________________
By the time of this writing, this elderly apostle known as “the beloved disciple” is in his 90’s and has been exiled to a barren chunk of rock out in the Mediterranean. This was the Alcatraz of that day, where they put dangerous felons. Most likely they have him working in the rock quarries with a whip over his back.
2. From whom is John getting his instructions? (vv. 10-11) The “____________ and _____________.”
3. Specifically, Who is “the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last”? (find your answer in vv. 12-13) _______________________________________
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.”
4. Look in verse 7 again. When Jesus Christ returns for the second time, who will see Him? ___________________________________
Most of us at one time have said how we wish we had been there when Jesus was here in the flesh, walking the green hills of Galilee, seeing Him call Lazarus out of that tomb, attend the wedding of Cana and turn sparkling water into pure wine. Jesus walking on the water, the spray on His face and His robes flowing, planting His footsteps on those waves, would have been something to see. But we’ve got something better than all of that. We will see Him when He comes again.
And we’ll see Him not as He was. We’re going to see Him as He is, the glorified Christ with the veil taken away. Even those who crucified Him are going to see Him again. All will see the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Contrast of His First and Second Coming
What a glorious difference, from His first coming to His second coming!
Came to die
Comes to reign
Today the Lord Jesus Christ is mocked and His name taken in vain. But His day is coming.
Notice how Jesus Christ is described in verse 8: the “Alpha and Omega.”
A CLOSER LOOK: ALPHA AND OMEGAThese are the two “book ends” of the Greek alphabet, Alpha being the first letter, Omega the last. Jesus Christ is God’s alphabet. If Jesus were speaking to us today, He would say, “I am the A and the Z.” He is the first, the last, and all the letters in between. Our books are put together with just twenty-six letters, arranged different ways. All of the wisdom, all of the thoughts in those books are contained in those twenty-six letters. Jesus is Alpha and Omega. He is God’s first word, God’s full word, and God’s final word. When you’ve said “Jesus” you’ve said it all.
HE IS THE OMNISCIENT ONE
Jesus is the accumulated wisdom of Almighty God. Don’t get the idea, “Well, I’m saved. Now I’ve got Jesus. Now I’m going on.” You don’t go on, you go deeper. You’ll never need anything more than Jesus. But you can have more of Jesus. You can go deeper into Him. You’ll never go beyond Him. Jesus is all you need. You should seek nothing more and settle for nothing less. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the omniscient one.
HE IS THE OMNIPRESENT ONE
“In the beginning was the Word.” He is the beginning and the ending, the book ends of all eternity. He was here before anything ever was, He brought everything into existence, and He’s the one who’s going to bring it to consummation. Sometimes people say, “I’m worried the world is coming to an end.” It will never come to an end until He says so. The One who spoke it into existence is the One who is going to speak it into consummation.
HE IS THE OMNIPOTENT ONE
8 “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 _________________.”
5. What is the significance of this to you, that Jesus is called “the Almighty”?
He’s not just the Galilean peasant, the great teacher, the philosopher. We don’t just tip our hat to Jesus; we bow the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is “very God of very God.” If you miss that, you miss all of Christianity.
Jesus, the One Who is Coming, Is God
Compare verse 4 and verse 8.
4 …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,
8 “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.”
6. What term applied to Jesus in verse 8 is the same term applied to God the Father in verse 4? “______________________________________________”
In verse 4 obvious implication is that grace and peace are coming from God the Father. And now in verse 8, the same description is given to the Lord Jesus Christ.
7. Turn to 1 Timothy 6:15 “Which in His times He shall show who is the blessed and only __________________, the _______ of __________, and the Lord of lords.”
If potentate means “ruler, sovereign, one holding great power or sway” (Webster’s),
what does this make Jesus? ____________________________________
Lamb or Lion? The Coming King
God gives John a glimpse into the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, not of the Jesus who was, but the Jesus who is and the Jesus who is to come, the coming Lord. In verses 12-18 of Revelation 1, John shows us ten things about the coming Savior. We will look at the first one now, and next time investigate the remaining nine things John saw.
What John Saw About The Lord Jesus Christ
John is going about his business, worshipping the Lord on the Lord’s day, and he hears a voice that sounds like a trumpet. It arrests his attention. He turns around.
#1: HE SAW THE RESURRECTED CHRIST WITH UNDIMINISHED HUMANITY.
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of _______,”
Notice John doesn’t say “The Son of God,” but the Son of _______. John was present when Jesus ascended into heaven. John has not seen Jesus in the flesh for 60 years. And here He is. The ascended Lord has maintained and retained His humanity.
When Jesus first came to live on earth, The Eternal Word was made flesh. Turn to John 1:14. The same John is writing. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he declares:
14 And the Word became _____________ and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Now look at 1 Timothy 3:16. Paul confirms:
16 God was manifested in the____________, Justified in the Spirit,Seen by angels,Preached among the Gentiles,Believed on in the world,Received up in glory.
Jesus did not temporarily become a man. Jesus is eternally now a man. No less God than ever, but when He decided He was going to save you and said, “I’m going to step out of Glory to be born as a baby in Bethlehem,” He took upon Himself humanity. And He has decided to share it for all eternity.
When we get to heaven, we’re going to see Jesus, a man with nail prints in His hand. He is God of very God, but He is the resurrected Christ with humanity that is ever His.
He is and forever will be like you and me. And when we see Him, we will be forever like Him. He is the prototype. In a different writing of John we are given one of the most precious promises in Scripture. Turn to 1 John 3:1-2
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, ___ ________ _____ _______ _______, for we shall see Him as He is.
8. What will we be like when we see Jesus? _________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________
Next time, we’ll look at nine other things John saw in this revelation of Jesus Christ. He is no longer the docile Lamb, but the Lion, the Mighty Warrior and King.
If you’re a Christian, this vision of Christ will cause you no fear, only reverence and anticipation. You’re going to want to fall at his feet, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
What a mighty God, what a glorious Savior we have. Hallelujah! Behold, He cometh! Are you ready?