Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” — World English Bible Version.
Should we assume that the “the Lord God” “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” in Revelation 1:8 is Jesus?
The most simple and straightforward scriptural conclusion is that in Revelation 1:8, “the Lord God” “who is and was and who is to come” is not Jesus, but rather the unipersonal “God” of Revelation 1:1,4.
However, many trinitarians and some others do not accept the simple and straightforward conclusion, but would imagine and assume that in Revelation 1:8 Jesus himself claimed to be the Almighty.
The phrase “is to come” is often taken out of context of what is said in verse 8 and associated with the word “coming” in Revelation 7, thus giving the inference that both are speaking of the same “coming”.
It is often further claimed that since in verse 7 it is Jesus who is being referred to as “coming”, that it is Jesus who is being quoted in verse 8 who states that he “is to come”..
Yes, the words in Revelation 1:7 are indeed the words of Jesus.
Nevertheless, in Revelation 1:8, John begins to quote the God and Father of Jesus (Ephesians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 3:5,12): “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” — World English.
All through the Revelation given to John, Jesus is distinguished from “God”.
All through the Revelation, Jesus is distinguished from ‘he who is, was and is to come’.
This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon, which he sent and made known by his angel to his servant, John. — World English Bible version.
We find that, in Revelation 1:1, “God” is clearly distinguished from “Jesus Christ”, as it should be.
It is “God” who gives the revelation to “Jesus Christ”. “Jesus Christ”, in turn gives the revelation to his servants by means of John. — Revelation 1:1.
Revelation 1:1 speaks of Jesus with the title “Christ”, that is: “Jesus Christ”. “Christ” means “Anointed”.
Who anointed Jesus?
Isaiah 61: 1 – The Spirit of the Lord Yahweh is on me; because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good news to the humble; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening [of the prison] to those who are bound. — World English.
The Messiah is prophetically quoted as saying: “Yahweh has anointed me.” — Isaiah 61:1, World English.
Thus, the Anointed One — the Christ — recognizes “Yahweh” (Jehovah) as the one who anointed him.
In the words recorded as Luke 4:14-23, Jesus identified himself as the one whom Yahweh anointed as spoken of in Isaiah 61:1.
This means that “God” in Psalm 45:7; Acts 2:36; 10:38; and Hebrews 1:9 is “Yahweh”.
It also means that the unipersonal “God” of Revelation 1:1,2,4,6,8,9 is not Jesus, but the “Lord Yahweh” of Isaiah 61:1 who anointed Jesus, thus making him “Jesus Christ” of Revelation 1:1.
Also in Isaiah 61:1, note that the Messiah refers to his God as “the Lord Yahweh”.
Since we have identified “God’ who anointed Jesus as as Christ (Revelation 1:1) as being “the Lord Yahweh”, this further means that in Revelation 1:8, it is this same one — “the Lord Yahweh” of Isaiah 61:1, who is referred to in the World English and many other translations as the “the Lord God”.
Thus, “the Lord God” of Revelation 1:8 in the World English Bible version is the Lord Yahweh of Isaiah 61:1, and is not Jesus, but rather the one who anointed Jesus, making him “Jesus Christ” as shown in Revelation 1:1.
John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne;
and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood;
and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father; to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. — World English Bible version.
Revelation 1:4,5 clearly distinguishes Jesus from he ‘who is, was and is to come’. It is the unipersonal “God” of Revelation 1:1 who is identified in Revelation 1:4 as being “who is and who was and who is to come.”
Thus, in Revelation 1:8, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” is not Jesus, but rather the God of Jesus, “God” who has given the revelation to Jesus. — Revelation 1:1.
Nor does “is to come” in Revelation 1:8 refer to the same thing as the “coming” in Revelation 1:7.
As far as we know, no one claims that when the Almighty says “who was”, that this means that He was coming from somewhere or that he was going to somewhere in the past.
Likewise, we know of no one who claims that when He says “who is”, that this means He is presently going somewhere or coming from somewhere.
In other words, the Almighty was not saying that he was coming from or to somewhere in the past, or that he is coming from or to somewhere in the present, and thus, He was likewise not saying that he will be coming from or coming to somewhere in the future.
Consequently, most Greek Bible scholars conclude that Revelation 1:8 speaks of God’s being, his eternal existence, past, present and future, even if they believe that this verse is in reference to Jesus.
Nevertheless, the context (Revelation 1:1,4) tells us that, in Revelation 1:8, it is the Almighty Yahweh, the God and Father of Jesus who is speaking as the one who was, is and is to come.
Accordingly, the conclusion is that Jesus is not the one who was, is, and is to come in Revelation 1:8.
The peculiar phrase in Revelation 1:8 only belongs to Yahweh, not to Jesus.
Yahweh has existed from all eternity past, he exists now, and he exists for all time to come. This is basically what Yahweh is saying in Revelation 1:8.
“Is to come” simply extends the thought of God’s existence into the infinite future, just as “who was” is speaking of God’s past, and “is” is speaking his being in the present. Thus, it is all inclusive of past, present and future.
The summation is that the most direct scriptural conclusion is that “the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty’” in Revelation 1:8 is “God” of Revelation 1:1,4, not Jesus, as has been demonstrated.
For further study, see:
Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last
Revelation 1:4 – Who Is, Was, To Come – Jesus?
The video of the above is online at:
Copyright 2012 Jesus and His God