Prophecy and Proclamation Part 2 of 2 Revelation Series
by John Lowe
“All peoples on earth will mourn because of him”—both Jews and Gentiles—will weep because of Him. They “will mourn8” because they know they will be facing God and His judgment and will be destroyed. This is another quote from the Old Testament (Zechariah 12:10) which contains the following words: “When they looked on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him as one weeps over a first-born.” The story behind Zechariah’s saying is this. God gave His people a Good Shepherd; but the people in their disobedient folly killed Him and took to themselves evil and self-seeking shepherds. But the day will come when in the grace of God they will bitterly repent, and in that day they will look on the Good Shepherd whom they “pierced” and will sorrowfully “mourn” for Him and for what they have done. John takes that picture and applies it to Jesus. The reality of Christ humanity and His death is proved by His having been “pierced.” Men crucified Him but the day will come when they will look on Him again; and this time, He will not be a broken figure on a cross but a regal figure to whom universal dominion has been given.
The first thought when hearing these words is of the Jews and the Romans who actually crucified Jesus. But in every age, all who sin crucify Him again. The day will come when those who disregarded and those who opposed Jesus Christ will find Him the Lord of the universe and the Judge of their souls.
Jesus second coming will be victorious. One of the most thrilling events of World War II is the allied landing on the beaches of Normandy, France on “D Day,” 1944. It is still celebrated as one of the greatest victories by America’s armed forces. It was planned and executed under one of America’s greatest generals, Dwight D. Eisenhower. One day, a greater leader than Eisenhower will come and He will lay claim to a greater realm than Normandy. Those who have abused the earth in His absence, seized His domains, and mismanaged His world, will all be swept aside. “Every eye will see Him,” including “those who pierced him.” The victory of Christ is assured. His people will rejoice in their final deliverance, but those who have rejected Him “will mourn” His coming, for it will mean judgment for them.
Think about what men will be doing when He comes. They will be engaged in the final follies of Armageddon, goaded on by the beast and his demon guides. Suddenly the armies will be dazzled; they will look up; they “will see Him” They will fling down their weapons and weep. And poor Israel too, poor blinded Israel having run out of time, will look up, “see Him” and be saved. What a day of rejoicing that will be!
The passage closes with the two exclamations—“So shall it be! Amen. That is a double “Amen,” and certainly carries a lot of weight spiritually. Amen means “so shall it be!” The spirit is saying here, “but this is true. It will happen exactly as stated.”
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
There is a change of speaker. The Lord Jesus introduces Himself as the Alpha and the Omega. “Alpha and Omega” are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. The Lord God is the beginning and the end. God the Father is the eternal Lord and ruler of the past, present, and future (see also 4:8; Isaiah 44:69; 48:12-15). God is sovereign over history and is in control of everything. God is the great “I am.” The Son of God is also called “Alpha and omega” in Revelation 22:13: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” This is a strong argument for the deity of Christ. Likewise, the title “the first and the last” goes back to Isaiah (Isaiah 41:4; 44:69; 48: 12-13) and is another proof that JESUS IS GOD. He is the source and goal of creation, and it is He who began and will end the divine program in the world.
The one “who is, and who was, and who is to come” is also described in 1:4, as “the Lord God,” who controls present, past, and future. That means He is eternal. He was before time began, the One who created all things (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16); he is now, the One who controls all things (Hebrews 13); and he will be when time ends, the One who will consummate all things (Ephesians 1:10). Everything finds its commencement, course, and consummation in Him. He alone among men and angels could say: “I am . . . the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty (the all-powerful One).” He has been the God of all who have trusted in Him; He is the God in whom at this present moment we can put our trust; and there can be no event and no time in the future which can separate us from Him.
The 26 letters in the English alphabet, arranged in almost endless combinations, hold and convey all knowledge. Christ is the supreme, sovereign alphabet; there is nothing outside His knowledge, so there will be no unknown factors that can sabotage His Second Coming (Colossians 2:310). “Almighty God” occurs eight times in Revelation, underscoring that God’s power is supreme over all the cataclysmic events it records (see also 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:15; 21:22). He exercises sovereign control over every person, object, and event; and not one molecule in the universe is outside that dominion.
The phrase “the Almighty” comes out of the Old Testament and conveys military imagery, referring to God as a mighty Warrior. The military imagery helped the people in the churches to whom this book was written understand that they had the ultimate Warrior fighting on their side. God rules over all. He is King of all men, everywhere, and He has dominion over all things.
The King who “is coming with the clouds (1:7),” is none other than “the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God” (1 Titus 1:17). His triumph will be complete and everlasting. Hitler vowed that his infamous third Right would last for 1000 years. It was born on January 30: 1933, and lasting for the grand total of 148 months! Jesus’ coming kingdom will last for 1000 years, and then when that golden Millennium has run its course, the kingdom will be dissolved, not by decline or due to the force of superior arms, but because He wills it so and because the time has come to set up an everlasting kingdom which will never pass away.
This everlasting triumph of Jesus is based on the three great attributes of deity:
First, He is omniscient. He says: “I am Alpha and Omega.” His commands will be decisive, inexhaustible, and wise, based on infallible knowledge of all the facts, all the forces, and all the factors directly or indirectly involved.
Second, He is omnipresent. He says: “I am . . . the beginning and the ending.” To be present everywhere, what an attribute for a King! No wonder His triumph will be everlasting.
Third, He is omnipotent. He says: “I am . . . the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” The first part of this expression has already been used to describe the Father (1:4); it is now used to describe the Son. He is God in every sense of the word. He is the “Almighty!”
The Trinity has always been. Jehovah God is an eternal Spirit. He “was,” He “is,” He “is to come” . . . “He is the Almighty!” In Him all things consist. Without Him nothing could continue, either in secular life or in heavenly life. Without Him the solar systems would cease to operate and the earth would fly from its orbit to dash through space into oblivion. God is the “Alpha and the Omega.” He is the “Lord” . . . which “is,” which “was,” which “is to come!” He is “the Almighty!”
1 (Revelation 19:11; NIV) “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.”
2 (Daniel 7:13, NIV) “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.
3 (Isaiah 60:2, NIV) “See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
4 (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18, NIV) For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
5 (Revelation 3:10-11, NIV) “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.”
6 Every eye—His coming shall therefore be a personal, visible appearing.
7 (Mark 13:26, NIV) “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.”
8 They will mourn—all the unconverted at the general judgment; and especially at His pre-millennial advent.
9 (Isaiah 44:6, NIV) “This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.
10 (Colossians 2:3, NIV) “In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”