The End is the Beginning

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.
Revelation 22:12-14

I’ve come to the end of the book of Revelation. I began this recent trip through the Bible 2/28/11, finishing today, 12/26/11. I begin Genesis again tomorrow.

Revelation is an amazing book. I started reading the Bible through from beginning to end, back in April, 1976, and still, getting to the end of Revelation is always an exciting part of the story. The descriptions concerning the wrapping up of all things of this world, bringing to an end all pain and suffering and evil and death, and the ushering in of eternity in the fullness of God’s grace is captivating, and thrilling stuff on which to dwell. It’s exciting to know this so-called life will all be over and we can get on with a new creation, the way God fully intended, where He rules in fullness and we oblige with love without constraint.

I’ve read a number of books on Revelation, and used to think I knew something about the mysteries detailed within. There are so many interpretations, writers feel so certain they know how to decipher all the hidden meanings. But I’m convinced that we really have little idea the meanings of the characters in Revelation, the Seals, the 144,000, the two witnesses, the seven trumpets, the beast, the seven bowls of wrath, Babylon the Great. All these, I am now convinced, will not really be understood until the actual end times.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t derive anything of profit from the book. Far from it. Just as John is told in chapter 22:9, “Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.” I’ve always been incredibly blessed to read of the awesome glory of God and of His Lamb, and how He will bring all evil to and end, and usher in the glory of eternity. How can one not read this book and be fabulously encouraged? We will dwell with God, see Him face to face,

“There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.” (Rev. 22:3-5)

It is not really necessary to know the meaning of 666, who the harlot is, when Armageddon will occur, or the other details steeped in the mysteries of apocalyptic prophecy. The things God intended for His children to derive from the reading of Revelation are quite simple enough. And that is the certainty that He will overcome and conquer. All this evil will finally be terminated, and He will reign forever, and we along with Him. This is the hope given to us from the Resurrection of two thousand years ago, and the hope we dwell on daily, having the confidence that He who began a good work in us will complete it. (Phil. 1:6)

So bear this in mind,

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him. Rev. 22:2-3

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,
and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
“He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. Rev. 21:1-7

How great He is! Who can read these things and not exclaim as the final verses do, Maranatha! “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]

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