Lord God Almighty
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8
This verse, tucked between a description of the second coming of Christ “with clouds, and every eye shall see him” and John's report of being “in the isle that is called Patmos” has confused countless readers for many centuries. The one coming in the clouds who has been pierced (verse 7) is the one speaking in verse 8. It is the first revelation of Jesus Christ, spoken by himself, “which God gave unto him” verse 1.
Verse 8 contains both a “record of the word of God and of the testimony of Jesus Christ” verse 2. God, we are told in verse 6, is his Father. And it is his Father who declares that His Son is “the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending.”
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,” so says my Father, the Lord God Almighty, which is, and which was, and which is to be.” It is the Father who has no beginning and He has no ending. “I will declare the decree: the LORD has said unto me, Thou art my Son. This day have I begotten thee.” Psalm 2:7. I am the beginning of His ways. Proverbs 8:22. I am the beginning of the creation of God. Revelation 3:14. Before me there was no God formed [I am the first], neither shall there be after me [I am the last]. Isaiah 43:10.
God the Father, the one true God (John 17:3), has declared that His Son, Jesus Christ whom He has sent, is “the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” Revelation 22:13. Again, it is the Son who is speaking. So also in Revelation 1:17,18. “I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; [the Father cannot die]; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.”
The book of Revelation begins with these words, “Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come...AND from Jesus Christ.” The revelation is about two: the Father and His Son, the One who sits upon the throne, and the Lamb who stands before it (Revelation 5:1,6,13; 6:16; 7:10; 14:4; 22:3), our God and His Christ (Rev 12:10), the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb (Rev 21:22).
Revelation 4:8 identifies the one who sits upon the throne as “Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 11:17 gives thanks to the “Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come” who appears in verse 15 as possessing the kingdoms of this world which become “the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ.“ Psalm 2 begins with this same pair, where the heathen rage against “the LORD and His anointed,” His Chirst, His Messiah, His Son (verse 7).
While it is tempting to read Revelation 1:8 as entirely the words of Christ, or all the words of the Father, this confusion leads to a reading of Scripture that contradicts itself. Jesus said, “The testimony of two men is true: I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me bears witness of me.” John 8:17,18.
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending.” This is my witness of myself. It is also the witness of my Father, the Lord God Almighty, which is, and was, and will ever be.
Grace and peace be unto you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of the Father in truth and love. 2 John 3