Says the Lord God (Revelation 1:8)
The voice of God is extremely powerful. God spoke the entire universe into existence (Genesis 1). The Lord’s voice at Mt. Sinai was as thunder (Exodus 19:19). “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit” (Hebrews 4:12).
God the Father speaks at Revelation 1:8 for the only time in Revelation. God describes who he is as God. Let’s notice God’s description of himself.
The Alpha God
God refers to himself as the Alpha and the Omega. In magic text in the first century, the phrase “Alpha and Omega” was used to denote a deity’s eternal nature or a deity’s name. This is likely a figure of speech known as merism, in which two extremes represent the whole.
God as the Alpha and Omega likely means several things:
- He is eternal, a point made repeatedly in this chapter.
- He is the Creator, Sustainer, and Destroyer of the universe.
- He established the Roman Empire and would bring down the Roman Empire. “The Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will” (Daniel 4:17). “There is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1).
The Ageless God
In an earlier lesson, we discussed God as “him who is and who was and who is to come” (Revelation 1:4).
The repetition of God’s agelessness emphasizes this truth to the Christians in Asia Minor. They needed to remember that God is ageless: And, the emperor is not; And, their suffering is not. Therefore, he could bring judgment upon Rome. Therefore, he could judge their enemies even after those adversaries died.
The Almighty God
The Roman emperors claimed to be powerful, but God reminds his people that he is almighty.
God’s omnipotence is often mentioned in Revelation. “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8). “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!” (Revelation 15:3). “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns” (Revelation 19:6).
What a blessing for Revelation’s first readers to know God is Almighty! Their bodies might be torn apart by beasts or their heads might be severed, but the Almighty God could raise them up at the Last Day. Rome might be the world’s lone superpower, but God had far more power. The church might look weak and defenseless, but her God was almighty.
God’s word has great power. Are you obeying that word?