The Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Alpha and Omega is Jesus Christ.  He is the first and the last. This saying was well-known to the people in the biblelands. Its meaning is that when a foreign nation was about to attack a certain region they commissioned a messenger to run throughout the different villages and say I am the alpha and the omega, your first and your last warning that the enemy is coming, then he would run to the next village.

This is similar to Paul Revere’s ride; the messenger was the only one who would come; there would be no other messengers to follow. Then the people could either prepare for the imminent danger that was coming or reject their only chance for survival. This is the reference to Jesus Christ who brought the one and only salvation for all men and women, he is the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, our messenger who in prophecy travels through the Scriptures from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.

We can track God’s messenger, Jesus Christ through the Word of God, for he is the golden thread that runs through the millennia of time in Scripture revealing himself as man’s complete Savior.

Acts 4:12 – Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name {Jesus Christ} under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

When Jesus had told John in the Book of Revelation that he was the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:11,17; 2:8; 21:6; 22:13), Jesus was saying that he was the only hope of the ages, the only entrance into the everlasting graces of the Creator. Jesus Christ is the one great subject in the Word of God, for he is the promised prophesied seed of the woman. He is the Master’s master key to unlock the divine revelation of the Word of God. The entire Bible is about him directly or indirectly.

Everything in the Scriptures is subject to him and centers in and around him, and without him we cannot fully understand or appreciate the Scriptures in their fullness.

With the Alpha and Omega revealed in the Word of God, we can see that through Christ the beginning of man with his Genesis (his beginning) is fully completed in man’s end, as is revealed in the Book of Revelation.

Revelation is the complement and completion to the Book of Genesis; without the Book of Genesis the Book of Revelation would be incomplete and vice versa.

In Genesis we have man’s banishment from Paradise and the tree of life; in Revelation we have man welcomed back into Paradise and the tree of life.

In Genesis we have the curse of the ground pronounced, while in Revelation we have no more curse at all.

In Genesis we have the entrance of man’s sorrows, suffering, and death, while in Revelation we have no more death, sorrow, nor crying.

In Genesis we have night; in Revelation we have no more night.

In Genesis we have the sea; in Revelation we have no more seas.

In Genesis we have the sun and moon, while in Revelation we do not need the sun and moon because we will be living in the light of God.

In Genesis we have Satan’s rebellion; in Revelation we have Satan’s final rebellion and destruction.

In Genesis we have a river for the earth’s blessings; in Revelation we have a river for the new earth’s blessings.

In Genesis we have the entrance of sin and man’s fall from grace; in Revelation we have the end of sin and man’s complete restoration into God’s grace.

In Genesis we have man driven from Eden; in Revelation we have man restored.

In Genesis we have man’s dominion completely diminished, and Satan’s dominion begins; in Revelation we have Satan’s dominion ended, and man’s dominion completely restored.

In Genesis we have the doom of the Serpent pronounced; in Revelation we have the doom of the Serpent executed.

Thus we have the beginning and the end, with all that was introduced in Genesis completely fulfilled in an endless life revealed to us by the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

So really, the Book of Revelation for the believer in grace is not a doomsday book but rather reveals an incredible amount of good news.  We have the book of the beginning, and we have the book of the end; both complement and augment each other to reveal Christ as our Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last.

What a terrific messenger of salvation we have, and what a honorable privilege we have to know him intimately as our personal Lord and Savior, and oh, how thankful we can be to have been given such wonderful understanding from the Word of God that reveals to our hearts truth, love, and light.

Revelation 22:20-21:
-20: He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
-21: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

The Habitation of God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Ephesians 2:18 – For through him {Jesus Christ} we both {believers from Israel and the Gentiles} have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

The word Spirit is in reference to the gift that God has given each believer and the spirit gives us personal access to the Father. Many people think that they have no real access to our heavenly Father; however, we most certainly do.

Ephesians 2:19 – Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

We are not estranged to God, nor are we foreign to Him, for He knows us intimately.  God has already made us one with spiritual unity before Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which gives us genuine citizenship from above – from heaven – from Him Who gave. God has also made us fellow-citizens with every other saint (every believer without exception), and we are also fellow-citizens of the actual household of the Creator.

Ephesians 2:20 – And {we, the fellow-citizens} are built upon the foundation of the {laid by the} apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone:

The Apostles and Prophets are those whom God in His grace has commissioned to lay the foundation by their teaching the truth within the Church Epistles. The Epistles teach us about the true spiritual foundation of Christ, and that the entire Church of God is built upon this.

Ephesians 2:21 – In whom {in Christ} all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

It is we, the believers, who spiritually grow within the temple, and we are “framed together” to make up the true spiritual temple that is growing in the Lord. You may wonder: How in the world can people make up a temple, and how is it that we are framed together? The next verse continues:

Ephesians 2:22 – In whom {the Lord} ye also are builded {up} together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

We are not only spiritually “framed together” in the temple of God, but we are also being spiritually “builded (up) together” to be the habitation of God. We know where we physically dwell, the place that we call our home, while spiritually speaking we are the place where God spiritually dwells, the place He calls His home, for we are indeed intimate members of His household. Not only do we have continued access to God, not only are we conducting our lives on the foundation of Christ, not only are we growing spiritually within the true temple of God, but we are also the place where the Creator of life has His habitation. We have access to God by the spirit that He gave us, and Ephesians 2:22 shows that God Himself inhabits the believers through or by means of the Spirit, and Spirit is the very essence of God.

The Service of Love

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistles of Romans, I and II Corinthians, and Galatians complete a cycle of understanding and are the spiritual foundation to continue on into the Epistle of Ephesians in complete righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. The Epistle of Galatians shows that we are saved by grace, and that we can be inspired in service of love to enjoy the completed work of Christ on our behalf. We have been made completely free from our sins and raised back up to the graces of God wherein we may walk before our heavenly Father in the completeness of the service of love that He through Christ gives to us and made available.

Galatians 5:13-14:
-13:  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh {to be lazy or stingy with God’s love}, but by love serve one another.
-14:  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

For all of the Law (Old Testament Law) is completely fulfilled in one word, and that one word is love! God’s divinely given love has completely fulfilled all of the requirements that the Law had ever commanded.  Let us consider the last phrase of verse 14, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” We are loved completely by our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ without any strings attached because they are love in its fullness, and now we are also loved in their fullness. The true spiritual essence to the phrase, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” is “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself is loved by God in Christ in you.” How God loves us is how we can love one another, and we learn about the tremendous love God has for us in the Scriptures. Is not this an incredible insight into the love of God and His service of love that He has commissioned and freely given to us?

The love of God is the true spiritual backbone of the Christian family, the spiritual foundation for true believing unity, and the true spiritual uplifting for the believer’s lifeline back up to the tremendous blessings contained in God’s loving Word. If we were to love others contingent solely upon how much love that we have for ourselves, then I assure you that someone would be getting the shorter end of the stick because some people love themselves more, and some much less than others. However, God has given us a constant standard, for He has made it available for each of us to love equally proportionately to the same love with which He loves us, and thank God for giving us this wonderful reality and understanding about the genuine spiritual service of love.

Romans 5:5 – And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost {holy spirit} which is given unto us.

The hope is the return of Christ and our anticipation of that glorious day. As we come to an understanding of the hope, we will know with inner believing conviction that there is no shame to ever be given us, but rather glory immersed in the favorable graces of our God. The thing that can make the hope so alive in our hearts is that we have the love of God. When we live within the framework of love (and the magnificent seven Church Epistles detailing how the love of God functions), then we can equally share God’s love with one another.

It’s Too Much to Take but OK, I’ll Take It, Indeed, I’ll Take It All! (Thank you, God)

“We are citizens of heaven itself (Colossians 1:13, I Thessalonians 1:12), and we are ambassadors here on earth for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20), and we are commissioned to share the Gospel with others. God has given to us diplomatic immunity from the course and evils of this world (Ephesians 2:2–6), from the old man nature (Romans 6:6-12), from sin that can so easily beset and entangle us (Hebrews 12:1), so we may be free to serve Him and enjoy our lives immersed in the graces of God.” ~LMJ~

Our Ministry and Word of Reconciliation

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

After our salvation, do we still fall prey to temptations and are we swayed by the sin nature? Yes, all Christians will be tempted and stumble even after salvation, and it is at this point that all too many believers feel that they have lost their salvation, that their relationship with God has been totally severed, and condemnation thus begins reigning in the conscious mind. So what do we do at this point to regain our good standing with God? From the time of our salvation, onward, until Christ returns, we simply confess our mistakes or shortcomings to God in prayer to receive forgiveness. This is a major component of our God-given ministry and word of reconciliation.

I John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he {God} is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We can say, it just cannot be that easy, but the Bible says it is because God is faithful! The word, confess means to agree in our minds that yes, we indeed have made a mistake. God allows us to honestly admit to Him personally that we have made an error. This is the way God designed our continued forgiveness. God knows that we will blow it from time to time, so He has given to us an easy way back into fellowship with Him. When we become honest within our hearts and simply say something like this: “Yes, I blew it. I am truly sorry. I will try my best to walk with You today. I am honestly thankful that You have cleansed me from any and all unrighteousness, and I thank you for this in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ.” Then our heavenly Father instantly and faithfully forgives and cleanses us from our shortcomings and again shows us that we have His righteousness to walk with Him in His divine love. The reason that our God can completely forgive us is because of what the Savior from sin has accomplished for us.

Through your continued forgiveness, you may honestly believe that you are never alone, you are not an island unto yourself, you have God in Christ in you, you are a fellow worker with God, your Savior, and with fellow believers. You will never be separated from the love of God or from the love of your Savior (Romans 8:35–39). You are a member in particular of a unified body (I Corinthians 12:27), a “whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16). You are in Christ, and thus YOU are GOD’S BEST!

II Corinthians 5:17–18:
-17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature {creation}: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
-18: And all things {that have become new to us in Christ} are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

Jesus Christ has reconciled us to God by what he accomplished for us back in the times of the Gospel period. Now in this time of God’s divine grace that we live in and enjoy, the Epistles make known to us that God has given to us the actual ministry of reconciliation. Indeed, we may help inspire others into their own salvation, and thus show others the ministry of reconciliation they themselves can enjoy in Christ. However, this ministry is primarily given to the individual believer so we may continuously have our own reconciliation that is confirmed before our heavenly Father. When Jesus was physically here he reconciled people back to God, but today in grace we live in the completed work of Christ, enjoying our own reconciliation. This is a God-given right, and we can always walk within our reconciliation before our God.

II Corinthians 5:19:  To wit {to know}, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them {not charging their sins back to them}; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

With the word of reconciliation does not come the permission to impute sins to others; we do not condemn anyone as per instructions from God’s Word ― rather we bless and love one another with the word of reconciliation. All too often in Christian circles, we become proficient at fault-finding and being critical of the sins of others, but God in Christ did not do this ― they did not impute or condemn us, rather they forgave and loved. The Bible says in Romans 2:1, he who “judgest doeth the same thing.” We have been given the word of reconciliation to love, to encourage, to bless, and to instruct people into the ways of God’s love and forgiveness. We should be so thankful that God accepted us and that we have received the grace of God and His forgiveness, and reciprocate these blessings. This is the fountainhead of Christianity, of love, of life enjoyed with our heavenly Father. In the Old Testament we read, “O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth” (Psalms 94:1), and the New Testament also says, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Vengeance is never given to man to dispense ― ever, in the Bible. We repay “the kindness and love of God” to one another (see Titus 3:1–7), and Romans 13:8 says, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” We owe God’s love to one another; this is what we may repay to our fellow man and in doing so we will have fulfilled the law.

I Corinthians 3:9 informs us that “we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry {garden}, ye are God’s building.” What an awesome privilege! God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden, and today He considers us His very own garden, and we are His building. We walk with God in a very unique way and with incredible privileges because we are labourers together with God. “We then, as workers together with him {God}, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain” (II Corinthians 6:1). To receive the grace of God in vain is to never acknowledge Him and all that we are to Him in grace as His beloved children.

Every time we confess our sin to God, every time God cleanses us from unrighteousness, we are using the ministry of reconciliation, and by being in fellowship with Him, we may help others into this wonderful, cleansing ministry. God has, “quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5–6). This is God’s elevated view of you and me because we are His garden and His abode; we are members of “the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:21–22). Can you imagine that we are the actual habitation of God? Well, the Bible says so, so this must be true!

The word committed in II Corinthians 5:19 above, means to put into ― us, and what God puts into us is His Word, the Word that gives us the God-given right and permission to continually be reconciled to God. The Word of reconciliation would almost be totally worthless if it came without the ministry that allows us to use it. The word ministry means to have a service for benefit that can be fully applied. It also comes with the God-given permission to walk within our calling of God in this ministry.

Within the ministry of reconciliation that each of us has, we also have been given the Word, placed within our hearts, and this is what gives us the ability to be reconciled. You see, we have Christ in us (Colossians 1:27), and he is the Word (John 1:14), and thus we have the Word in us. Spiritually speaking, we are inseparable from God by being in Christ and by being heirs of heaven itself (Romans 8:16–17). The more we learn about the Christ within, the more of the Word of reconciliation we can aspire to for daily use as we become ever more gentler, Christ-like people, and certainly more happy in our daily travels.

II Corinthians 5:20: Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you {call you} by us {the Apostles}: we pray you in Christ’s stead {place}, be ye reconciled to God.

With the ministry and Word of reconciliation, we have been given an appointment, a God-given ambassadorship to live here on earth in Christ’s stead, enjoying the true reconciliation that Christ made available for us. We being ambassadors for Christ today represent his completed work not only for ourselves, but also for the people we know and talk with, and we may witness to them with all the authority God has commissioned and given us as Christ’s own ambassadors who “shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life” (Philippians 2:15–16).

We are citizens of heaven itself (Colossians 1:13, I Thessalonians 1:12), and we are ambassadors here on earth for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20), and we are commissioned to share the Gospel with others. God has given to us diplomatic immunity from the course and evils of this world (Ephesians 2:2–6), from the old man nature (Romans 6:6–12), from sin that can so easily beset and entangle us (Hebrews 12:1), so we may be free to serve Him and enjoy our lives immersed in the graces of God.

II Corinthians 5:21: For he {God} hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus took our sins, becoming sin for us, so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ, who is now in us, with the Word and ministry of reconciliation. This is what allows each believer to maintain their fellowship with God; we have the ability to continually be renewed in the spirit of our minds by the Word that we have received, and that Word becomes manifested as we believe that we have been given the ministry and Word of reconciliation. Thus, we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

II Corinthians 5:17–21 (The Amplified Bible)**:
17: Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
18: But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].
19: It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).
20: So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.
21: For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.