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The Alpha and the Omega

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

If we believe it is true that everybody is "destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Heb. 9:27), we will be eager to learn what will happen next. We find a clue in the words of Jesus in Revelation 1:8: "I am the Alpha and the Omega ... who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. These words describe who God is. Jesus was saying that He is the beginning and the end, the Lord of creation, the giver and withholder of knowledge.

Did you know that all knowledge comes from God and that He gives or withholds knowledge as He wills? We enjoy the benefit of many scientific, technological, and medical developments, but we should remember we do so thanks to God's special grace and kindness to humanity. Yet science can only develop as far as God allows, and human knowledge will never be complete.

This is not so with spiritual knowledge, which we begin to grasp when we become Christians. In Colossians 2:3 Paul reveals that in Jesus "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." The knowledge of Jesus Christ is saving knowledge that comes through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, and it is He who enables us to grasp who Jesus is and what He did; this knowledge we call "faith." Imparting faith is the primary work of the Spirit.

It is the Spirit who imparts faith, but it is in obedience to the command of Jesus, for it is He who gives eternal life. In John 10:28 he said, "I give them eternal life" (emphasis added). Thus all knowledge, all revelation, stems from Jesus.

Excerpted from A Vision of Jesus (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1999).

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