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The Revelation of Jesus Christ: Chapter 5 - The Fullness of the God-Man

By Horatius Bonar


      "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." --Revelation 1:8.

      Here the voice of the Son of God breaks in and interrupts the utterance of the apostle. John had been speaking of Jesus; and now Jesus speaks. He speaks of Himself, but in new figures, and in a new style of language. We are carried back to the first chapter of the Gospel of John, and the first chapter of the first Epistle of John; yet the language is not the same. It is a peculiar declaration of the eternity and infinity of the Christ of God--a declaration specially suited to the present book, as unfolding the ages yet to come, in which this glorious One is to be all in all. It is the ascription to Christ of one of the special and incommunicable names of Godhead. In verse 4 this name is given to the Father; now it is given to the Son, or rather to Jesus Christ--'the Christ of God,' the 'Word made flesh.'

      The name as given in full is, 'the Alpha and the Omega; the beginning and the ending; the first and the last; the Lord; who is, and who was, and who is to come; the Almighty.' This is the full name, when its various parts are put together. It is the unfolding of the one name, Jehovah; for as the sunbeam is composed of many parts and colors, so is this great name 'Jehovah' divisible into such parts as the above, which proclaim to us the manifold fullness of God, and reveal to us His divine character and nature as the infinite and eternal Lord.

      The following may be given as the meaning of the above symbols--Christ the fullness of all things, created and uncreated. We may thus set them in order--

      I. In Christ is the fullness of WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE. He is 'the Alpha and the Omega;' and as these letters form the beginning and ending of the Greek alphabet, we suppose they are meant to denote all that can be contained in the language of man. Wisdom beyond that of all Greek philosophy is in Him; 'in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.'

      II. In Christ is the fullness of all CREATION. He is 'the beginning and the ending.' The 'first-born of every creature' is His name (Colossians 1:15). 'He is the beginning' (Colossians 1:18), as well as 'in the beginning' (John 1:1); and as such, He is the Creator of all things in heaven and in earth (Colossians 1:16); the circumference as well as the center of the universe.

      III. In Christ is the fullness of all SPACE. He is 'the first and the last.' That which man calls space, from its one extremity (if we may use the word) to the other extremity is all in Him.

      IV. In Christ is the fullness of all TIME. He is 'from everlasting to everlasting, God.' Past, present, and future are His. 'Who was, and who is, and who is to come.' The fullness of the past eternity is His; the fullness of the future eternity is His; and the fullness of the vast present is also His. The infinity of time belongs to Him; He is Himself that infinity. The eternal past is His; and His is the eternal future. He is living eternity.

      V. In Christ is the fullness of all POWER. His name is 'the Almighty;' the Lord God Omnipotent, to whom all power is given in heaven and on earth. As the Creator of the vast universe; as the sustainer of all being; as the Redeemer of His Church; as 'the Lord strong in battle;' as 'able to save to the uttermost,' 'mighty to save;' as the binder of Satan; as the destroyer of Antichrist; as the renewer of the earth--He is Almighty. And when the great day of His wrath is come, who shall be able to stand?

      Thus, Jesus here reveals Himself in this book of the Revelation; for all these excellences come forth into special manifestation in this glorious book, which may well be called the fifth gospel--the record of Christ in heaven--the unveiling of His love and power. He is the same Jesus, with unchanged heart, and undiminished love, bending in grace and pity over this earth, 'His well-beloved world;' as it has been called. For here we have the 'long-suffering' and the 'salvation' of which Paul and James and Peter speak in their epistles--'The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy;' 'not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance;' 'who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.'

      All fullness is in Jesus--the fullness of the God-man; divine and human fullness; the fullness of love and power; the fullness of grace and glory. It is the very fullness which we need--and it is accessible to us; free to us; brought down to earth and placed at our side; pressed upon us, that we may take it and use it all. It is a fullness which eye has not seen nor ear heard. It contains 'unsearchable riches.' Being the fullness of Him who is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, it is altogether suitable, so that no one can say there is not in it provision to suit my need. It is of this fullness that He Himself speaks elsewhere, when he says, 'I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white clothing, that you may be clothed; and eye-salve with which to anoint your eyes, that you may see.'

      In this fullness there is something infinitely attractive. It is as gracious as it is glorious. It is fitted to win us. It is God's provision for the needy. How large and excellent!

      From this fullness no one is excluded. It is open on every side, that all may partake. 'Every one' and 'whoever' are the words in which the invitation is made. What can be wider or freer? How could eternal life be brought nearer, or made more accessible? Jesus stands beside you; He presents you with Himself. What more could He do? What more could you ask or need than this?

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See Also:
   Chapter 1 - The Book of the Last Days
   Chapter 2 - The Grace and Peace of the Three-One God
   Chapter 3 - The Chief Among Ten Thousand
   Chapter 4 - The Great Advent
   Chapter 5 - The Fullness of the God-Man
   Chapter 6 - The Voice from Patmos to the Churches
   Chapter 7 - The Seven Golden Lamps
   Chapter 8 - The Glory of the Son of Man
   Chapter 9 - Fear and its Remedy
   Chapter 10 - The Symbolic Sevens
   Chapter 11 - Watchman, What of the Night?
   Chapter 12 - Self-Denial Christianity
   Chapter 13 - First Love Left
   Chapter 14 - Paradise and the Tree of Life
   Chapter 15 - The Divine Food of Our Heavenly Life
   Chapter 16 - The Morning Star
   Chapter 17 - The Fullness of the Holy Spirit
   Chapter 18 - The Key of David
   Chapter 19 - The Church's Little Strength, and the Lord's Great Love
   Chapter 20 - The Philadelphian Conqueror
   Chapter 21 - The Charity of the Lord Jesus
   Chapter 22 - The Heavenly Merchant and His Goods
   Chapter 23 - The Love and the Discipline
   Chapter 24 - Christ's Loving Earnestness
   Chapter 25 - The Victory and the Crown
   Chapter 26 - Glory to the Glorious One
   Chapter 27 - The Weakness and the Power of Christ
   Chapter 28 - How Long?
   Chapter 29 - The Recompense of Martyrdom
   Chapter 30 - Pent-Up Judgment
   Chapter 31 - The Great Multitude
   Chapter 32 - The Earthly and the Heavenly
   Chapter 33 - The All-Fragrant Incense
   Chapter 34 - The Cross of the Lord Jesus
   Chapter 35 - Strangership and Pilgrimage
   Chapter 36 - The Heavenly Song of Victory
   Chapter 37 - The Blood of the Covenant
   Chapter 38 - The Church Dwelling Alone
   Chapter 39 - The Model of a Holy Life
   Chapter 40 - The Everlasting Gospel
   Chapter 41 - The Swift and Sudden Advent
   Chapter 42 - The One Witness and the One Testimony
   Chapter 43 - The Great Prophetic Theme
   Chapter 44 - Messiah's Many Crowns
   Chapter 45 - The First Resurrection
   Chapter 46 - The Great White Throne
   Chapter 47 - Death and the Grave
   Chapter 48 - The Vision of the Restitution of all Things
   Chapter 49 - God's Tabernacle on Earth
   Chapter 50 - The Coming of the Perfect, and the Departure of the Imperfect
   Chapter 51 - The New Things of God
   Chapter 52 - The Conqueror's Reward and the Coward's Doom
   Chapter 53 - The Glorious Bride
   Chapter 54 - The Holy City
   Chapter 55 - The Light of the New Jerusalem
   Chapter 56 - The Life River
   Chapter 57 - The Tree with its Twelve Harvests
   Chapter 58 - The Serving and the Reigning
   Chapter 59 - The Curse Cancelled, and the Kingdom Begun
   Chapter 60 - The Vision of God
   Chapter 61 - Entrance Into the City
   Chapter 62 - Come, O Savior! Come, O Sinner!
   Chapter 63 - The Divine Word, and the Doom of its Defacers
   Chapter 64 - The Free Love of Christ
   Chapter 65 - The Last Amen

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