The deity of Jesus - the First and the Last

September 2, 2010

Take a second and remember what it was like when you finally were able to call yourself a teenager. Remember how awesome it felt to be able to include yourself in the “cool” class of people? Go back even further and ponder what it was like for your parents to see your birth. What excitement and joy filled their hearts? Now go back even further to the moment your grandparents were born. Keep going back. Further. Further. Go all the way back to Jesus. Isaiah. Jeremiah. Solomon. David. Abraham. Adam. Every one of those men had a beginning.

Now, go back even further before the first man and ponder what it was like before creation. The Eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are still there, enjoying one another in perfect love. As we peer into the everlasting ages past, we come to realize that there never was nothing. Our God had no beginning! He simply was.. As von Balthazzar puts it, let your mind and reel in the ecstasy of non-comprehension.

In the book of Revelation, John hears God the Father speaking, saying:

““I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.””
(Revelation 1:8 NKJV)

This is Almighty God, the Father speaking. He calls Himself “Alpha and Omega”, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Just as there is no letter before “alpha” and no letter after “omega”, so it is with God. No matter how far back we go and no matter how far into the future we go, He is there.

The prophets declared God's eternality as well. Isaiah hears the LORD, Yahweh, proclaim:

““Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. “Listen to Me, O Jacob, And Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last.
(Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 48:12 NKJV)

Yahweh, the LORD Himself, declares that the singular glory of always having been is uniquely His. He will not be outlived by anyone or anything. This is what it means to be God.

Is there a way we can grasp this limitless, boundless glory of eternal existence? How can we know this One who was there first and always?

The Bible tells us that we can behold the Eternal One in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

At the end of the book of Revelation, John hears Jesus Himself speaking these words:

““And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.””
(Revelation 22:12-13, 16 NKJV)

Unlike Revelation 1:8, this is Jesus speaking, not the Father. In order for God to be God, only He alone can have the uniqueness of having no beginning or end. No two can be the “Alpha and Omega” or “the first and the last” unless they are one. Therefore, if we are to believe the testimony of the scriptures, Jesus must be God!

Before life as we know it came forth, Jesus was there. The scriptures declare that Jesus created everything (Colossians 1:16). He is the Alpha and Omega. The great mystery (2 Timothy 3:16) is that a Man born of a virgin over 2000 years ago in a dirty feeding trough, Jesus Christ, never had a beginning. He alone has the unique honor of being there first and always.

I believe the issue of the deity of Jesus will be the most important, controversial, and demonically attacked truth as we approach the end of the age. Deception around His identity will abound and cause many to fall away from the faith. May you be strengthened by His Word to believe in His deity, but most of all may He give you revelation of this truth by the Holy Spirit. Jesus alone is worthy of our singular devotion, loyalty, worship, and adoration because He alone is God.

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About the author

Joshua Hawkins is a pastor, Bible teacher, and content creator for disciples of Jesus from College Station, Texas. He co-hosts The Apocalyptic Gospel Podcast, a weekly audio show exploring how a first century Jew would have understood the Gospel. He's also an all-around tech nerd and enjoys road cycling.

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