Alpha And Omega

1.jpgRevelation 1:12-18 {KJV} And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Last week I emphasized the name of this Book is REVELATION, from verse 1:

Revelation 1:1 (KJV)  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

Though the book has a series of visions in it, the INTENT of the Book is to REVEAL CHRIST, to show His majesty and power to us. We are tempted in the Book to look away from our Lord to other things, but to do so is to lose the vision. For instance, last week I spoke of the future ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT revealed in the Book in Chapter 13. I angered at least one on line reader who declared that I was politicizing the Bible and promoting the Republican Party. That’s not true. I am an Independant voter, and have always been so. But truth is truth whether it hurts your feelings or not. The One World Government draws away from God’s established order, and the only time a One World Government will work is when JESUS is at the head of that government.

Jesus Makes Golden Candlesticks

John heard a Voice in the midst of his suffering. We read:

Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

John turned, and the FIRST thing he saw was                                                                                    Seven.

We’ll find out in a minute that these are seven Churches.

Some view these as local Churches.

Some believe these to be the seven types of Churches that are always on the earth.

Others believe these to be the seven Church Ages.

The text doesn’t tell us exactly which category these Churches fall into, but I myself believe these are the seven TYPES of Churches that are always on the earth. We’ll find out as we go through this Book that each of these Churches have a different focus.

The Church focused on CHRIST is praised of Christ.
The Church focused on ITSELF is rebuked of Christ.

Please notice that all of these Churches are GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS. There are SEVEN of them.

What is the significance of SEVEN? The number SEVEN is the number of REST. God created the world in SIX days and then RESTED on the SEVENTH. Israel was supposed to keep the seventh day as a day of rest:

Deuteronomy 5:12-14 (NKJV) ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work

Man was created on the SIXTH day and commanded to rest on the SEVENTH. Six is the number of man but seven the number of God. Seven shows completion.

  • When leprous Naaman wanted to be healed the Lord told him to dip himself in the Jordan seven times (2 Kings 5:10).

  • When Joshua was to destroy Jericho God told him to march around that fortified city seven days, and on the seventh to make seven circuits (Joshua 6:3-4).

  • There were seven pairs of clean animals on Noah’s ark (Genesis 7:2)

The number 7 is used in the Bible over 700 times, and more than 50 times in the Book of Revelation. The number represents REST, RESTORATION, and RECONCILIATION. The Church of Christ is commanded to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will hear.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NKJV) Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

The Church carries the message of the Gospel Rest. Only in the authentic Church of Christ isa salvation by faith in Christ preached. The false or pseudo-Church teaches a works based salvation. But the Church is where we REST, knowing that …

Titus 3:4-6 (NKJV) But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

What is the significance of GOLDEN? Gold is a precious metal, very rare, and is mentioned throughout the Bible starting at Genesis 2:10-11. Gold is mentioned 22 times in Revelation. Gold was a gift given to kings. The Baby Jesus was given gold, frankincense, and myrrh not long after His birth. Gold was used throughout the Temple. In Heaven gold is a common theme:

Revelation 21:18, 21 (NKJV) … and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. … 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

Gold is interesting because it is often found in rotted quartz. The quartz must be crushed and heat applied until the gold separates from the dross.

The Church of Christ is not perfect, but is filled with members that have various failings of the flesh. But the Church is gold to Christ because He purchased it with His own Blood, and He will refine it until it becomes what He wants it to be.

What is the significance of CANDLESTICKS? These are not CANDLES but CANDLESTICKS, things designed to hold candles. The candlestick in itself has no light of it’s own, but holds the candle which is lit. Jesus said to His Church:

Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV) “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

The Church does not possess light of its own, but our light comes from the Presence of Jesus. John sees these Seven Golden Candlesticks and quickly turns his attention back to who matters:

Revelation 1:12-13 …. I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man

Jesus is in the midst of His Church, whether it be perfect or imperfect. He is watching His people, just as He watched John on Patmos. He is never far from us. When John saw Jesus he was overwhelmed with love.

Jesus Must Be The First And The Last

Revelation 1:17 …. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.

John is surrendered to Jesus.
He knows in whom his power rests.
Our strength is in Jesus, not in ourselves.
The dying Church is the one focused on ITSELF.
The VIBRANT, LIVING Church is the Christ focused Church.
A Church is not a fishbowl nor the Pastor the aquarium keeper.
The Church is where JESUS IS EXALTED.

The Bible does not say “I can do all things through Me”, but rather

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens me.

The best place to be is at Jesus’ feet.
John fell down.
O dear God, make us fall down!

 I’m reminded of the story of the time that Jesus went to visit His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Martha was trying to be a good hostess, running about and trying to make a meal for Jesus and the disciples. Mary, on the other hand, “sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His Word” (Luke 10:39). After a while Martha got tired of this. She went to Jesus and interrupted the lesson. “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me!” Jesus said:

Luke 10:41-42 (NKJV) …. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

When John saw Jesus he completely surrendered to Him. When he did the Lord blessed him. We read:

Revelation 1:17-18 And he laid his RIGHT hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I AM THE FIRST AND THE LAST: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

He laid His right hand on John. That’s the hand of blessing. Dear friend, if you love the Lord and He loves you, though you may be tried there will come a day when you will see Him face to face. He will lay His right hand on you. He will say “Fear not! I am the first and the last”. Jesus has conquered death. He has the keys of hell and death.

Jesus told us:

John 3:16-18 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Jesus Christ IS The First And The Last

Revelation 1:11 (KJV)  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last …

The language of the people of John’s day was common Greek language. ALPHA was it’s first letter and OMEGA the last letter of that Greek alphabet. Jesus is the FIRST and the LAST. He was at the beginning of all things, and will be at the end of all things. It was through Christ that the Father created all things.

John 1:1-3 (KJV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  [2]  The same was in the beginning with God.  [3]  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Jesus is God Incarnate, God manifested to us in the flesh. In the Old Testament the Lord declared:

Isaiah 44:6 (NKJV) Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.

Isaiah 48:12 (NKJV) Listen to Me, O Jacob, And Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last.

Jesus Christ is God Revealed.
He is the First and the Last.
He will be first and last.
Jesus does not want your left overs, but YOU.

He was at creation making all things, and is the Creator Who will make all things new. It is through Jesus that the Law is fulfilled (Matthew 5:17) and Jesus alone is the One Who secures our salvation.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV) Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus Christ Is The First And The Last. We have a tendency to make ourselves first. In fact, that’s what gets us into trouble. When God made Adam He put him in a perfect environment, gave him a perfect job, a perfect wife, a perfect diet. Everything was perfect. But then Satan came and whispered:

Genesis 3:4-5 (NKJV) … “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Though perfect, Adam thought that he was missing out on something. And so he tried to be like God and failed terribly. Only Jesus Christ is the Beginning and the Ending. Only God is God.

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 18:10-14, KJV).

There is no blessing to the life that does not recognize Christ to be beginning and ending, first and last. Those who humble themselves and bathe in Grace will discover that God will lift them up. But those who make life about themselves will not ultimately be blessed, but cursed.

The way to blessing is to humble yourselves under the mighty Hand of God – and HE will exalt you in due season (1 Peter 5:6)

Jesus Is The First And Last Who Directs His Church

I love the Jesus that John saw. He said …

Revelation 1:13 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire ..

The white hair on His head shows Him to be abundantly wise. The wisest man who ever lived was Solomon … until Christ came down! His flaming eyes symbolize that He is discerning in judgment. What He has seen, He speaks of it in both love and truth.

Revelation 1:15-16 … and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

The Word of Christ is a double edged sword. It conquers. It strikes. If offends. The world loves the Jesus of its own imagination, but despises the Jesus of the Bible. His voice is calming, but His Word conquering. His gaze is life giving. Jesus loves His Church. Jesus spoke …

Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. (Revelation 1:11, KJV).

As Jesus spoke to John He told him: “What you see, write in a book”. The Lord was going to show him a Revelation – and John was to write it as presented. Once John wrote this material it was to be given to Angels or Stars, symbolic of the Pastors to the Churches.

The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. (Revelation 1:20, KJV).

Christ was in the midst of His Church, watching, seeing what she needed. The seven stars or angels were the messengers to the Churches – the Preachers Jesus chose – and they were all in His hand. Angels are messengers. The faithful angel carries the Word that God has given. The unfaithful angel is a demon, harming the Church of Christ.

1 Corinthians 4:2 (NKJV) Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

Where believers gather together to hear and do Christ’s Word the Lord is in their midst. Let us be faithful to Him as good stewards. Let us live for HIM, not for ourselves.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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