Alpha and Omega
Adult 1 Sunday School Class Revelation 22:12-21 November 27, 2016
Theme: People recognize that all things have a beginning and an end. What is the source and final purpose of human life? The book of Revelation affirms that God, who is the Alpha and Omega, controls all things.
Please interpret the meaning of the following verses.
The interpretation of the verses is in bold print which follows the original verse in regular print.
Revelation 22:12” And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” A simple verse, but with so much intrinsic meaning. “…Come quickly…” refers to Christ’s return at the end times. This part of the verse means that no one knows the time or the day, but we must be ready. The author uses a metaphor of Christ as the bridegroom and we, the church, are the bride waiting for our groom to return. “… my reward is with me…” meaning that all believers will be rewarded for their works done in His name, but recognizing that is by faith and not works that we will live eternally with Our Savior. It is by God’s grace and our faith that God grants us salvation to eternal life, and not by the works that we do. “…to grant every man according as his work shall be.” This means that once you are SAVED, Christ will reward you according to your works, but recognizing that those works did not get you into the eternal Kingdom.
v.13. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” The author quotes Christ who uses the first and last letters of the 24 letter Greek alphabet, demonstrating that nothing came before Him nor will anything come after Him, and all things between them are His. He holds the reigns on our existence. The Bible uses the phrases, “everlasting to everlasting”; “yesterday, today, and tomorrow”; “and life without end” to illustrate His dirty.
v.14 and 15. “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. 15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” When Christ returns, He will separate the saved from the unsaved. The saved will have many rights, such as to eat from the tree of life in the city of the New Jerusalem, while the unsaved represented in verse 15 as dogs, sorcerers, and etc. They will be on the outside of the city. Adam and Eve were not allowed to each from the “tree of life”; but those who obeyed Jesus’ Commandments, it would be available to them.
v.16. “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches, I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Here the author quotes Jesus as saying that He sent His message to the 7 churches of Asia minor (now Turkey). Jesus makes the astounding statement that He is the root and offspring of King David. Jesus shows His deity that He created David, and His humanity as the son of David. Here Jesus uses the metaphor of the bright and morning star symbolizes its appearance to bring light (knowledge/wisdom) to the night of a dark (ignorant/disobedient) world.
v.17. “And the Spirit and the bride says, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” While waiting for Christ, the bridegroom to return, the Holy Spirit and the bride, invite the unsaved to partake in the water of life, and accept Christ. Those who do, will thirst no more and find salvation through Jesus Christ.
v.18 and 19. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Here the Lord gives a warning to anyone who would change the words or use this book for his own purposes will meet His wrath. Those who would add to the Book, God will add unto him the plagues written in the Book; while those who subtract from it, God shall take away his part out of the book of life.
v.20. “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly, Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Christ’s parting words following His resurrection was that he would return, but until then He would send the Comforter who is the Holy Spirit He is to give us faith and hope until He returns. When He does return, it will be the end to all of those who reject Him. The Spirit is our Comforter, Teacher (of truth), and will be with us until He returns.
v.21. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” The Revelation of Jesus Christ ends as it began as to who Christ was, and what it would be like upon His return. The book of Revelation is apocalyptic literature filled with symbols, prophecy, unseen future events or unseen realms of heaven and hell. This literature contains mysterious language and imagery which could have various meanings. When Christ left earth, He went to prepare a place for us and that one day He would return. He left us His grace, the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.