It’s Time to Take Dominion Part V

Kay K. Peebles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My parents taught me well.  I grew up going to church every Sunday so I learned faithfulness, servanthood and commitment.  My mother taught me how to cook, clean the house, do the laundry, iron and sew.  Both my parents taught me the gift of hospitality and friendship as well as treating others with integrity and honesty.  I learned to respect and honor all authority figures.  My dad taught me how to work hard and do the best job I could do.  I was prepared to put into practice everything I learned and take responsibility for my actions.

I left home when I married at the age of 20.  I was excited to have my own home whether it was an apartment or a residence and make it ours.  I wanted to stand up and make my own decisions (with my husband) and be a responsible adult.  It was time to put into practice everything I had learned from my parents.  In a sense, it was “time to take dominion”.

This is the fifth and final part of a message I preached in Kenya in September of this year.  The series began with listing the three directions that vie for our attention here on earth.  They are:  Looking back (at our past) which we cannot change, Looking helplessly around (at our circumstances) which will eventually change, and Looking down (at ourselves) which won’t change unless God is allowed to intervene.  In the natural realm, our lives are a total contradiction to what the Lord says about us.  We must therefore set our gaze upward upon Him “Looking Up” to see our resurrected Lord as He rules and reigns in heaven.  .  “Rising Up” to reach the high call of Jesus Christ and “Taking Dominion” over the earthly and demonic realms through His authority, power.

TAKE DOMINION!

Psalm 8:4-9 “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him?  Yet You have made him a little lower than God (Elohim, angels), and You have   crowned him with glory and honor.  You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen—Even the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.  O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!”  (Emphasis mine).

God created man to have dominion over the works of His hands.  He made man in His image and placed him in the Garden of Eden.  He then gave that dominion to Adam and Eve.  “And God blessed them [granting them certain authority] and said to them “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subjugate it [putting it under your power] and rule over (dominate) the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves on the earth.”

When sin came into the world through Adam and Eve, we lost dominion, and the earth became the domain of Satan.  Jesus came to restore all things which will be completely fulfilled at the end of the age when He returns to rule and reign.  His ministry on earth was a demonstration of the power, plan and purpose of God for the earth and its inhabitants.  He knew He would be the sacrifice to reconcile mankind to God but He had to train His disciples (believers) to continue His work on earth until He returned. When Jesus was raised up into heaven, He gave believers (His disciples), authority here on earth to be His witnesses to the world.  He also gave us the authority to bring His Kingdom here on earth by our being one with Christ.

Authority over demons:  Luke 10:19-21 – “Listen carefully, I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you…” See also:  Mark 16:17, James 4:7, Mark 6:13, Matthew 10:1

Authority to bind and loose on earth:  Matthew 16:19 – “I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth will have [already been] bound in heaven and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth will have [already] been loosed in heaven.”

Authority to destroy strongholds, arguments, opinions:  2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – “For though we walk in the flesh [as mortal men], we are not carrying on our [spiritual] warfare according to the flesh and using the weapons of man.  The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ.”

Authority to do the works of Jesus:  John 14:12-15 – “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, anyone who believes in Me [as Savior] will also do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these [in extent and outreach], because I am going to the Father…”

Authority to proclaim and declare His Word:  Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”  See also Luke 4:18, Proverbs 18:21.

Authority to speak in His Name:  John 14:12-15 – “…And I will do whatever you ask in My name [as My representative], I will do it.  If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments.”  See also:  Mark 11:23, Luke 10:17-19

Authority to heal the sick:  Mark 16:17-18 – These signs will accompany those who have believed:  in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents and if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will get well.”  Matthew 10:8 – “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.  Freely you have received, freely give.”

Jesus gave believers authority!  It is time we walk in the maturity of the faith by faithfully serving Him and doing the works that He did.  It is His power and it is for His glory, but we have been given the authority to call upon His power and His name to do His will.

Ephesians 2:6 “And He raised us up together with Him [when we believed], and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, [because we are] in Christ Jesus.”  Those heavenly realms are “the realms of celestial creatures and spiritual conflict”.  (Key Word Study Bible).  It is the heavenly Jerusalem of Hebrews 12:22.

Ephesians 3:10-12 “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.”

Ephesians 6:10-18  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”

When we are one in Christ as He is one in God, we will walk in the authority to bind and loose, pray, declare and proclaim the Word of God.  We will use the authority He has given us to cast out demons and pull down strongholds in His name.  We will heal the sick and raise the dead in His power and His name.  All believers have the power of life and death in their tongues, therefore we can either build the Kingdom of God or the kingdom of darkness.  It is time to “Look Up”, “Rise Up”, and “Take Dominion” as the sons of God in the earth.  His Kingdom will manifest when we do and His return will be swift!  We are not waiting on Him, He is waiting on us.  Be encouraged, He is calling us all:  “It’s Time to Take Dominion”!

 

I AM, Part 4 by Larry W Peebles

I AM, Part 4   by   Larry W. Peebles   October 20, 2017   17.40

When Jesus described Himself to the world, He used unconventional words and phrases.  Terms that related to earthly things were not relevant or adequate to describe Him.  Though He appeared in the flesh, He was God, an eternal spirit.  He then demonstrated that He was/is God with miracles that defied the natural world.  In this series of articles, I have used Jesus’ own statements to pull out the super-natural qualities He wanted the world to examine and remember.  These self-descriptions are in the form of “I AM” statements recorded in Scripture, spoken from His mouth.

  1. I AM the bread of life. John 6:35.
  2. I AM the light of the world. John 8:12.
  3. I AM the gate/door. John 10:9.
  4. I AM the good shepherd. John 10:11.
  5. I AM the resurrection and the life. John 11:25-26.
  6. I AM the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6.
  7. I AM the true vine. John 15:1.
  8. I AM the Alpha (Beginning) and the Omega (End). In the Book of Revelation this was spoken four times (Revelation 1:8 and 1:17-18, Revelation 21:6, and 22:13).

All of these have been discussed in the previous parts to this series.  In addition to these eight, The Book of Revelation contains more of these “I AM” statements.  This article will explore Revelation 22:16, where Jesus spoke to John in a vision and said- “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.  I AM the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

I AM the Root and Offspring of David-

Addressing the first part of this I AM statement begs this question– how can someone be both the root (ancestor) and the offspring of the same person?  The answer is that Jesus is both God and man.  In His deity, He is David’s Creator and God.  In His humanity, He is the offspring of Jesse, David’s father, and the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 11:1- “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.”  (See also Romans 1:3, 4).  Luke takes an interesting approach in tracing Jesus’ genealogy.  He begins with Jesus, and goes backward through David, Jesse, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, and Noah, all the way back to Adam (Luke 3:23-37).  Adam is described there as the (first) son of God.  Since Jesus is the Creator, He is Adam’s father, and therefore is the Beginning and End of His own human genealogy.  This answers the questions raised by the Jews in John 8:48-59 where Jesus said “before Abraham was, I AM”.  It also speaks to Matthew 22:41-46, where Jesus points out to the Pharisees that David said (Psalm 110:1) the Lord (Jesus) was his Lord.  That is, the Lord who would come after him was also above and before him as Lord.  David, the shepherd/king was a fore-shadow of Jesus.  Jesus is truly son of David and son of man (Adam), yet Creator of both.

 

I AM the bright Morning Star

Luke called Jesus the Dayspring (Luke 1:78), the only time in the Bible this term is used.  The Hebrew word is “anatole”, which means the place of rising, the dawn.  Like Venus, the first planet/star to appear at dusk and the last star to be seen at dawn, Jesus is the guiding light to show us the way.  He is the point of reference for all life’s journeys and decisions.  Scientists say that if we could look down on our solar system, we would see Venus is the only planet to rotate clockwise.  This makes Venus unique, as is Jesus, the one and only Lord and King–son of God and Savior of the world.

Jesus fulfills Balaam’s prophesy in Numbers 24:17- “A star will come out of Jacob.”  It was a star that guided the wise men to His place of birth in Matthew 2:2-9. As the Word (John 1:1), Jesus is the lamp to our feet and light to our path (Psalm 119:105).  As previously studied in this series, He is the light of the world (John 8:12).

It is interesting that Isaiah says Satan is the “morning star” in Isaiah 14:12, an angel “fallen from heaven”.  He has lost his light, and is now associated with lies, darkness and death.  In sharp contrast, Jesus is the bright Morning Star, sitting in heaven at the right hand of the Father.  He is superior to the angels, the source of all truth, light and life (John 11: 25-26, and John 14:6).

2 Corinthians 4:6 says- “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of the darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the glory of God in the face of Christ.”  That light of the bright Morning Star is the glory of God shining in the face of Jesus.  Revelation says that light will never go out when it says in 21:23- “The city (of God) does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”

When Moses was in the presence of the Lord, his face shined with such radiance he wore a veil (Exodus 34: 29-35).  Jesus called the believers “the light of the world.”  Our relationship with Him should be such that the radiance of His glory should shine on our faces when we have been in His presence.  Consider this from Hebrews 1:3- “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.”

Jesus is the bright Morning Star we can depend on, and the light of the world.  We must be so filled with Jesus that we too are a light into a dark world.  Jesus must shine on our faces. The beacon of our lives should reliably point others toward Him.  This is the only I AM statement we have studied where Jesus asks us to be a participant.  He says in Matthew 5:16- “So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

As the morning star closes each day and opens the next, Jesus is our hope for a new day, new life, and a fresh beginning.  Lamentations 3: 22-23 says- “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  Jesus as the bright Morning Star stands as the guaranty of this verse.

Our challenge is to be a conduit of the light of the Morning Star.  2 Peter 1: 17-18 tells us this is possible- “For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’  We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.  And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”

The fate of the peoples of the world lies in the balance.  I close with Isaiah 60: 1-3- “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you.  Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”

It’s Time to Take Dominion Part III Kay Keith Peebles

 

 

 

 

 

There is an old saying, “The early bird gets the worm.”  That phrase holds a lot of wisdom.  Another way of saying the same thing could be, “Those who make an extra effort get the prize.”

I have always been a morning person and I love to get up early enough to see the sunrise!  I not only enjoy the sunrise at home, but I have seen it in many countries and other places I have visited.  There is something peaceful and promising about the sun rising every morning that ministers to me.  Scripture says “It is the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23.

There are times when I must make a special effort to get up in time to watch the sunrise but it is never a disappointment because the Lord meets me there.

In Part I of this series, I explained three directions which are distractions that keep us from gaining the “prize of the upward calling of Christ”.  They are:  Looking back – at our past, Looking around – at our circumstances, and Looking down – at our insecurities and inadequacies.  Looking in these three directions keep us in the natural realm, stifling our faith in God and thwarting our ability to walk in the Spirit of God.

Part II began to redirect our gaze by teaching us we must “Look Up”!  We need to see the Resurrected Jesus on His throne, ruling and reigning over the Kingdom of Heaven.  His desire is for us to bring the atmosphere of heaven to earth to overrule the kingdom of darkness.  (See the Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13).  Those who are really “born again” will no longer move by the dictates of satan’s kingdom (the world).  When the impossibilities are removed through genuine worship of Him and true faith in Him, we will be able to “Rise Up”.

RISE UP!

The Bible says the whole earth is groaning for the revealing of the sons of God.  (See Romans 8:19).  Many in the church today do not look or act any differently than unbelievers.  They believe Jesus exists but they do not live for Him, by Him or in Him.  These are what the Bible calls carnal Christians.  Instead of representing the Kingdom of God they are still living in the world’s system.  They lack the authority God gave His church to bring the atmosphere of heaven into the earthly realm.  Jesus did not commission His disciples to make converts into a social club.  He did not commission His disciples to reproduce Pharisees and Sadducees who teach the Word of God but lack intimacy with Him.  They denied Jesus was their Messiah because they knew about Him but did not KNOW HIM like Moses did!  They had ears but did not hear, they had eyes which could not see.  They failed to recognize Him when they had their visitation.  That is still happening in many Christian Churches today.

Isaiah prophesied about the Lord being born and coming to earth in Isaiah 7:14.  “…Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us].  (See also Matthew 1:22-23).  Isaiah 9:6 declares, “For unto us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace.

Christ, the Messiah, is God with us – Immanuel.  Revelation 17 and 19 declare He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  Jesus, the Messiah, God with us, has a kingdom that is separate from the kingdom of this world.  When we become born again, we repent of our sins committed while living in the kingdom of darkness.  We then ask Jesus, our Savior, to be Lord and King.  In essence, we agree to walk in a completely different set of rules for our lives, the rules (or laws) of His Kingdom.  We recognize that we are unable to do that in our flesh, but we acknowledge that He is able to do that in us by His Spirit.  We must therefore consecrate everything we are and everything we have to Him, and receive His Holy Spirit (God in us) so that transformation can happen.

He broke the power of sin’s control over us, but our victory will only come when we make Him King over our thoughts, emotions, will and bodies.  When we have become partakers of Christ, we are to live in the Spiritual realm of His Kingdom, walking in His ways of righteousness and sanctification. When we see His grace and power which He freely gives to us, we will no longer say “I can’t!”

Jesus did not commission His disciples to create a “bless me” club.  The Gospel of the Kingdom is not focused on blessing us personally, it is focused upon bringing the Kingdom of God to the lost and broken.  As we seek FIRST His Kingdom and His Righteousness, then all these other things will be given to us.  (See Matthew 6:33).  The blessing and favor of God comes with obedience to the Word and will of God.  It comes through intimacy with the Lord, not living for ourselves.  Our own comfort and pleasure is not what God seeks for us, it is our transformation into His image, the purifying of our hearts and the consecrating of our lives to His will and purpose.  This all happens through intimacy with the Ever-Living God.

Psalm 24:3-6 “Who shall go up into the mountain of the Lord?  Or who shall stand in His Holy Place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.  This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face.”

We may think of idols as statues of false gods and therefore often miss the scripture’s instructions.  An idol is anything that has preeminence over the Lord and His will.  Materialism is an idol, our family can be an idol and comfort can be an idol as well as many other things.  If we allow our insecurities and inabilities to negate the power and plan of God to use us to bring others to the Lord, that is an idol.  Fear is an idol.  You may ask how?  When we believe more in the power of the enemy to hurt us than we do in the power of God to keep us, then we remain in the grips of fear!  Deliverance from fear comes when we trust God for everything!  (See I Am Your Keeper 5/27/17).

Christianity is a life-long walk of faith and endurance.  We are being perfected, step by step.  We are being changed from glory to glory but that comes with death to self.  Daily consecration to His will and a willingness to submit to His sanctification process leads to holiness.  It happens over time but in the process, freedom from bondage, victory over one sin after another, and a greater love and devotion to Him builds step by step.

Matthew 5:8,9,10 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven!” These are the result of consecration and sanctification which enable us to “Rise Up”!

Isaiah 60:1-5 “Arise, shine; For your light has come!  And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you, the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”

The Lord has called us to be His disciples (followers of Jesus).  A disciple was expected to “learn, study, and pass along the sayings and teachings of their master”.  (Hollman Illustrated Bible Dictionary.  Matthew 28 reveals that Jesus instructed His disciples to make more disciples, and to preach the Gospel of His Kingdom throughout the whole earth.  The four Gospels and the book of Acts calls every believer a disciple.  There is no commission to simply make believers.  The Great Commission is to make disciples, followers of Jesus who learn, study and pass on His teachings to others.  He has anointed us for a purpose:  to get the world out of us and to get the people out of the world.  Our perspective must change.  We must have a paradigm shift in our thinking.  By personally reading and studying the Bible, and praying for His Kingdom to come to us, He will move heaven and earth on our behalf.  If we are His disciples, He must be our Lord and King.  If He is our Lord and King, we will live our lives by His direction and plans, not by our own.  We must examine our hearts and our lives.  Are we doing the works of Jesus and that of His disciples or are we doing our own thing?  Are we residents in His Kingdom under His rule or do we rule our own kingdom?  Are we truly walking in the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s presence or are we still acting and thinking like the world around us?  If we are not, there is good news, He will help us.  Paul interceded for the Ephesian churches and that prayer is just as powerful today as it was almost 2,000 years ago.

Ephesians 1:17-22 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe according to the working of His mighty power which He worketh in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.  And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Ephesians 2:4-6 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead, in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

We have been called to “Rise Up”, to come up higher!  God has enabled us to see from His perspective and through Christ Jesus, to participate in heavenly activities.  The Lord is not troubled by our lack because He never runs out of provision.  He is not disturbed about our inadequacies because He is more than enough.  He is not mistaken by choosing us because He uses the weak things to confound the wise.  He is not challenged by our weaknesses because He is full of power and might!  It is time that we, His disciples, trust Him completely, love Him more than anything else, and follow Him wherever He leads us.  To truly serve Him, we must “Rise Up”!

I AM, Part 3 by Larry W Peebles

I AM, Part 3   by   Larry W Peebles   October 6, 2017   17.38

Before I retired, and while I was still in the workforce, I kept a current resume on myself.  If my address, phone number, or place of employment changed, I updated the resume.  If I received a promotion or change of title, it was noted in the resume.  Any significant life event that should be included in a resume was documented in case I had need to quickly present information on myself to any interested party.  I updated the resume more than I needed to, but I was always ready to describe myself and my business credentials.

Jesus did not use a resume to tell the world who he was.  His attributes were beyond description in conventional words and terms.  Information that might appear on a resume today, such as address, phone number, education, work experience, etc. was just not adequate to describe Jesus.  As we discussed in Parts 1 and 2 of this series (see archives July 28-17.28, and August 11-17.30), when Jesus began to tell the world who He is/was, he used a number of powerful statements that began with the phrase “I AM”.  Seven of these statements are contained in the Book of John, and were covered previously:

  1. I AM the bread of life. John 6:35.
  2. I AM the light of the world. John 8:12.
  3. I AM the gate/door. John 10:9.
  4. I AM the good shepherd. John 10:11.
  5. I AM the resurrection and the life. John 11:25-26.
  6. I AM the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6.
  7. I AM the true vine. John 15:1.

John, the disciple and apostle, was very clear (John 20:31) that his purpose in writing the Book of John was “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”  John used Jesus’ own “I AM” statements to tell us who Jesus is/was.  It comes as no surprise that other writings of John also contain the “I AM” statement.  The Book of Revelation was written by John while he was in exile on the island of Patmos. At that time, Rome was becoming more of an emperor worship cult, and was growing increasingly less tolerant of the Christian worship of Jesus as Lord.  John was imprisoned on Patmos for his Christian missionary work.  While on the island, he received a series of visions and prophetic words (revelations) from Jesus, which he recorded.

Four times in the Book of Revelation, John quoted Jesus as saying “I AM the Alpha and the Omega”.  These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.

  1. Revelation 1:8- “I AM the Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the almighty.”  This speaks to the eternal deity and power of Jesus.  He always was, is and will be.  He was not just present at creation, He is the Creator.  It was His Word and His power that created everything we see and understand as creation.  Colossians 1:16 says- “Everything was created through Him and for Him.”  It all began with Him, it all points to Him, and it will all end with Him.  He has the final say, and He already knows the ending.
  2. Revelation 1: 17-18- “Do not be afraid. I AM the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!  And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”  Jesus died for our sins, and rose from the dead.  All life emanates from Him.  He is the source of all life.  He is not only the author of all life, He has the authority over death.  He raised Lazarus from the dead in John 11, and then announced “I AM the resurrection and the life.”  When He was raised from the dead, He took the keys to hell away from the devil.  We do not ever need to be afraid of death.  If we believe in Jesus, death is merely a graduation from this natural existence into our eternal existence with Him.
  3. Revelation 21:6- “I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.”  This is a promise of the free gift of His Holy Spirit, the One who teaches and comforts us, and gives us power to overcome this world.  Jesus made this clear in John 7:39, which says “by this (living water or water of life) he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive.”  When He says He will never leave nor forsake us, He guarantees that with the indwelling of His Spirit.
  4. Revelation 22:13- “I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” This is similar to the three described above.  To use a contemporary phrase, the “circle of life” is Jesus.  He is life, who like a circle, is without beginning or end.  Each person born has always existed in the mind and plan of God, and once born is already on a path of eternal existence, even as a spirit being after their life on earth is done.  The only question that remains is where they will spend that eternal existence—in heaven or in hell.

The prophet Isaiah adds meaning to this discussion with these scriptures written approximately 800 years before the Book of Revelation:

  1. Isaiah 44:6- “This is what the Lord says-Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I AM the first and I AM the last; apart from me there is no God.”
  2. Isaiah 48:12-13- “Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I AM He; I AM the first and I AM the last.  My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.”

Consider a contemporary term– the “it” factor.  One either has the desired persona “it factor” or they do not.  “It” may be hard to describe, but one “in the know” will recognize “it” when they see “it”.  “It” is cool, very desirable, and having “it” makes everyone else envious.  Some would say “it” is wit, charm, intellect or suave.  I can say without reservation Jesus is “it”.  He is or should be the ultimate object of our desire, the highest we can achieve.  He is the factor we cannot do without.  His value does not diminish or become worn.  He is the one we want to be like—not someone from Hollywood, politics or sports.

Everything true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8) is embodied in Jesus.  Believing in Jesus, following Jesus, and striving to become like Jesus is a serious matter.  It has eternal consequences, but it also has eternal rewards.  He is the beginning, and He is the end.  He is the finishing touch, and an eternity spent with Him should be the medal and ribbon for successfully crossing the finish line of this life.