Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."
There are so many truths in this text, so many power words, so much of the Spirit of God that I am humbled, barely knowing where to begin. This powerful text comes at the end of the most incredible vision that any man, outside of the Apostle Paul, has ever been witness to. John, in the midst of his suffering, was lifted out of this suffering while on the isle of Patmos so he could see the things that were coming, see a great Revelation. If suffering brings such blessing, then rather than beg God that the suffering end we should all be begging God for greater suffering. To know the Truth, to see the future - what a great blessing.
Yet our Lord does not just give Grace, but He gives greater Grace. He did not just save us when we called on His name, but He saved us with a salvation that is stable through all of life's trials. He did not just save us from eternal damnation, but our Lord Jesus went beyond this to guarantee us an inheritance in the Heavens. To be free of Hell, this is great, but to be given an eternal inheritance - how much greater that Grace? And yet, Jesus did not stop here, but He sent us the precious indwelling Spirit, and sent us the precious Holy Word of God. He works daily in the lives of Christians everywhere, and is as concerned with our earthly blessing as He is our Heavenly inheritance. This is the greater Grace of Jesus Christ my Lord, and so great it is. "Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee, How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art".
Knowing that Jesus Christ our Messiah has blessed us with such riches, and that we are greed incarnate if we ask for more, we should not be surprised that He would bless John beyond what he has already received. John had seen the future, seen the terror that was coming, seen the coming redemption of the Lord, and his cup was more than full. Yet now, after so much undeserved blessing, Who should show up but our Lord Jesus Himself? Who should be manifested but Love in the Flesh, our Savior. Now John could die a happy man, no matter what might come! Jesus, in coming to John, said:
Revelation 22:13 "I am ..."
Jesus is the great "I Am", the eternal God in the flesh. The Lord told the self righteous Jews who asked "Who do you think you are?", He responded "Before Abraham was, I Am" (John 8.58), and on hearing this the Jews picked up stones to kill Him for making Himself out to be God. When Judas, deluded and lost, came to betray Jesus to His Cross the soldiers said "We seek Jesus" and our Lord responded "I am He (John 18.6). Such was the power of His revealed eternity that the soldiers fell to the ground and had to get up and collect themselves. They were dazed, and had to ask again, "Are you Jesus?". Our Jesus was not making Himself up to be God when He was not. No, our Jesus was and is eternal God, the great "I Am" of the burning bush. Jesus is the "I Am", eternal Jehovah, but again though this should be enough the Grace of God demands more, gives more. Jesus said of Himself a number of times:
"I Am the Bread of life" [4 Times in Scripture] (John 6.35): Those who have come to Jesus are fed, and continue to be fed. As He is eternal, He gives us eternal satisfaction. There is no need to go hungry if you know Jesus, for He satisfies, and continues to satisfy in His eternity.
"I Am the Light of the world" [3 Times in Scripture] (John 8.12): Are you blinded by the things of this life? Does it seem like you're in a pit, a deep well, in the blackness of despair? Jesus is the Light that keeps on shining, the Light that dispels the gloom of depression and heartache. Have you lost a loved one? If that loved one was in Christ, here's a glimmer of Light! You may not be able to see that loved one in this life, but you will one day be brought to your beloved by the Beloved.
"I am the Door" [3 Times in Scripture] (John 10.7): Here is the Door to Heaven. Not some wild eyed cultist, nor some technique or power. Not New Age religion, nor handkerchiefs that are blessed, nor perfect obedience to the Law (as if you could!). No, the Door is Jesus, faith in Him, and once you walk through that Door He will take you to a place of greater Grace.
"I am the good Shepherd" [2 Times in Scripture] (John 10.11): When we are lost, and our resources at an end. When we no longer know which way to turn, then stop - stop and look for the Shepherd Jesus. He is a good Shepherd, The Good Shepherd, and has not left you unattended while He tends to other things. No, you are not in the field alone, wondering if the wolves will get you, for there He is on yonder Rock, lifted up on yonder Throne. Nothing shall overcome the believer in Christ for He guards His own.
"I am the Resurrection" [1 Time in Scripture] (John 11.25): Again, that which is positive can only be found in Jesus! Death has always been the great enemy, the end of all things, the place of tears and sadness. Many times as an unbeliever I have stood at the graveside of the departed and felt only loss. Where have they gone, now my friends lying in dust? Yet now, as one who has trusted Him, the grave is not an ending but a great new beginning. Jesus is the Resurrection, the beloved Christian has moved at the point of departure from this life and into glory. Tears, but not bitterness, are the mark of the Christian. We know the body, though planted, is not planted to destruction but it is a seed that the great Farmer will one day harvest. No despair, sadness yes, but no despair.
"I am the Way" [1 Time in Scripture] (John 14.6): No Way, no Path but Jesus. His path leads to glory, all others lead to eternal damnation.
"I am the True Vine, ye are the Branches" [2 Times in Scripture] (John 15.5): If you are in Jesus then your life will reflect it. The great I Am is the source of all Life, Light, and Love. Those who are attached to Him are reflections of that Life, Light, and Love. If I took the time to develop each of these "I Am" statements of Jesus in Scripture we would be here this time tomorrow, though I doubt you would stay. So I hurry, I hurry. In our Revelation text the Great I Am, Jesus Christ, makes three more claims about His eternity. Look now, when things are stated in threes in Scripture, here then is something as pure as the Trinity, as important as the eternal counsel of God. Heed these words, for who but God can describe God? Jesus said:
Revelation 22:13 "I am Alpha and Omega ..."
There is a world of understanding in these five short words. Jesus is the "Alpha and Omega". Our Lord first introduced Himself to John in Revelation 1.8 as "Alpha and Omega". This is significant, because Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the language of Jesus' day. Listen to what I'm saying for a minute, and you'll understand Jesus' use of Alpha and Omega for Himself.
In our world today, just as in Jesus' day, everyone has a philosophy, a way of life. Everyone has an opinion on how they should live their lives, or how we should behave toward one another. We all think we know how we should live. We have an opinion on how marriage should be. We have an opinion on how we should raise our children. We have an opinion on who we should associate with, who should have our love, how we should dispense our love. Each person in the world has an opinion, and our opinions often conflict with one another. Our opinions have caused marriages to fail. Our opinions have caused our children to fall, often into prison. Our opinions have led us to believe that prejudice is fine, that Heaven will be as white or as black as our Churches are. Our opinions have caused nations to war with one another, have caused the death of 6 million Jews in concentration camps, have caused us to inter honorable Japanese Americans like criminals in American Concentration Camps.
In the midst of our arrogant opinions Jesus says, "I Am the Alpha and Omega". He alone is the beginning of language and reason. He alone is the end of language and reason. When we shout out, "I have an opinion", the Creator of all says "Why don't you try my opinion for a change - yours stinks!" Just as Lazarus in the tomb, our opinions stinketh! To our opinion that there are many ways to God the Creator says, "I Am the Alpha and Omega, I am the only Way, the Door, the Life". The our opinion that we should carry grudges against our enemies the Creator says, "I Am the Alpha and Omega, and I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Only then are you the children of your Father which is in Heaven (Matthew 5:44-45)". To our opinion that we must segregate into races our Churches, an abominable and Satanic untruth for Heaven will not be segregated, the Messiah says "I Am the Alpha and Omega". As the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end of all truth, Jesus alone has the right and power to establish policy, proper behavior, proper thought and doctrine, and He has done that through His Word.
When will we ever learn this? When will the Church get serious about following Jesus?
Revelation 22:13 "I am ... the beginning and the end"
Our Lord Jesus is the "arche", the first in order, the first in power, of all things. Not as Satan was, who stood up in the throne room of God and declared "I will be like God". No imitation of God, our Lord Jesus, it was He who, prior to His incarnation, spanned the Heavens with His hands. He formed man of the dust of the ground, breathed into us the breath of lives, formed us in the image of the eternal Godhead. John 1.1 tells us that "In the beginning ... the Word (Jesus) was God". It was Jesus Who separated the light from the darkness, Who made the sun and stars.
The same One Who made light to drive away the darkness is the same One who is the Author of all Truth. Truth is hard. Satan, the Darkness, hates the Truth, hates the Light. His means are divisiveness, evil, condemnation, confusion, hatred. Yet the Creator Jesus gives us a new Light, a new Truth:
John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
This is the beginning. Not hatred, evil, separatism, but Love, God empowered Jesus empowered Love. If we follow the Creator, the Arche, the Pre-Eminent Jesus and allow His light of love to shine through our lives then we are made better because of it. Our lives are ordered, beautiful, and we become a blessing to others rather than a cursing.
Yet Jesus is also the "end", the "telos", the final end of all things. There will come a day when we will all stand before Him in judgment. On that day, in some distant future, where time means nothing, we shall each stand before Him stripped of all our achievements. He will look at us, and that which will determine our eternal destiny will be how we committed to Him in this life. Did we ignore Him. Did we act presumptuously, ignore His Word, refuse to apply it in our lives, and expect an automatic entrance into that Holy of Holies? Jesus said that on that day of judgment many shall come before Him and say, "Didn't we do good things in your name? Didn't we heal? Didn't we ..." only to be told, "Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity - I never knew you" (Matthew 7.21). Finally,
Revelation 22:13 "I am ... the first and the last"
Jesus was the first One on the Created planet. On a day, long ago, He walked the earth, reached down, and formed Adam because of His great Love. Adam betrayed Him, followed the Serpent, and had Jesus not loved us so much He would have destroyed Creation and started again. Instead, Jesus Who should have been first in worship, first in power, lowered Himself and became last and least for us. He hung on the tree, bore Adam's sinful presumption, and paid the penalty that we should have suffered.
John 15:12-14 "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."
Jesus was a friend. He laid down His life for us, so that we might be saved. If you want to be saved, you must lay down your life, your will, your prejudices, and call on the name of the Lord.
Matthew 13:36-43 " ... His disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."
Hear the Word while you can hear it. Get up, come, accept all that Jesus suffered for you while there is yet time. The great I Am calls you to pure salvation, not just good works. Do not presume on God that walking the aisle and joining the church is enough. No, salvation is more than that. It is a surrender of your life to Him who is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last - the Great I Am. Remember, unless we have submitted to Him:
Revelation 22:14 "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."
Then we will have no right to enter that Heavenly city. This is the place only the Children go. Are you His?