*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Revelation 1:8 meaning

God declares that He is the Eternal and the Almighty, establishing His sovereignty over all that will be revealed in the Revelation.

Now the voice changes from John to the Lord God, and God speaks directly. It is as though God interrupts to add His own emphasis to John’s emphatic assertions in the prior verses. It seems to be a ratification by the Lord God of all John has said to this point. Lord God is a translation of a single Greek word that is usually translated “lord.”

The Lord God states “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” The translators could have rendered this into English as “I am the A and the Z.” Instead they chose to keep the Greek letters Alpha and Omega as in the original text. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega the last letter. So this is a figurative way to say “beginning and end.” God is the beginning of all things. He was in the beginning, and created all that is (Genesis 1:1).

God is also the end of all things. To the extent anything has a purpose, that purpose is derived from God. Revelation will look forward to the end of the age of the current earth. Our current earth is introduced in Genesis as a “formless and desolate emptiness” in Genesis 1:2. And God remade it. Then God destroyed that earth with water, and remade it again. Revelation will tell us of a third destruction, when the current universe is destroyed by fire, and replaced with a new heaven and earth (Revelation 21:1; 2 Peter 3:7).

God repeats John’s description, saying that He is the One who is and who was and who is to come. God is existence. He created all things (Genesis 1). In Him all things exist (Colossians 1:17). And He is the reason for our hope.

God adds to John’s description that He is the Almighty. The word translated Almighty occurs ten times in the New Testament, and nine of the occurrences are in Revelation. It can also be translated “omnipotent” as it is in Revelation 19:6. This is an important description of God that is appropriate for the context of Revelation. Many events will be prophesied that might cause someone to ask “Is anyone up there?” The resounding answer Revelation will provide is, “Yes.” God is on His throne no matter how dysfunctional the world seems. All things are inevitably heading toward a glorious ending where God creates a new heaven and new earth, and nothing will stop it. Because God is the Almighty.

Biblical Text

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

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