Sunday, February 5, 2017

Russell on "He Who Was, Is, and Is to Come"

Many Bible Students believe that "him who is and who was and who is to come" in Revelation 1:4 is Jesus Christ, evidently mostly based on Brother Russell's statements concerning Revelation 1:8, which Brother Russell applied to Jesus.

Please be assured that what I am stating is in the spirit of love, and not to be contentious, but in a sincere desire to compare spiritual revealing with spiritual revealing in order to reach a conclusion in harmony with what God actually has revealed.

One has claimed that my presentations make no sense; I believe that the presentations I have given on my website make perfect sense if one actually considers the evidence, but it may take some time to complete such a study. I did not arrive at the conclusions presented overnight -- it took me several weeks of diligent and prayerful study to see that those brothers who have taken the position that Jesus is not the Alpha and Omega are correct.
Since it is vague to me as to how what I presented makes no sense, I will address why it makes sense to me, and why to think that Jesus is he who is, was and is to come, does not make sense. At present, I will address Revelation 1:4 and its context, to show why it does not make sense to claim that Jesus is he who is, was and is to come.

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is , and which was , and which is to come ; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, -- King James Version.

The World English adds the word "God" into verse 4:
Revelation 1:4 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;
Revelation 1:5 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;

I know that some, like Brother Anton Frey, contend that "and from Jesus Christ" in Revelation 1:5 is added only for emphasis, so as to have it that "him which is" in verse 4 to be applied to Jesus. This overlooks that between "him which is" and "and from Jesus Christ" is "and from the seven spirits". Brother Frey, however, separates this phrase and states the seven spirits is "a symbolism, no doubt, of the one holy Spirit of God." This would make the verses mean the following:

Revelation 1:4 John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Jesus, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the [Holy Spirit] before his throne;
Revelation 1:5 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.

Therefore, if one views the word "and" as "even" in verse 5, as Brother Frey suggests, this would mean that Jesus is the Holy Spirit, not that he is the one "who is and who was and who is to come." In other words, the meaning would be "and from the [Holy Spirit] before his throne, even from Jesus Christ". I do not find such a contradictory mixture of application to be very likely. It should be obvious that "and from" in both cases, adds to the the original one who is described as "who is and who was and who is to come", and is not "even from" in either case.

At any rate, after making a thorough examine of the scriptures, it is the claim that Jesus is the one "who is and who was and who is to come", the Alpha and Omega, the Lord God and the Almighty, that, to me, makes no sense.

In addition to my studies on this, if you have the Bible Students DVD Library, you can see that some have reached the same or similar conclusions. For instance, see the studies presented by the Southern Wisconsin Bible Students, in their book, "Revelation Notes"; study the scriptural presentations especially related to he who is, was and is to come, and that study in the Appendix, entitled "The Alpha and Omega".

If you do not have this book or the DVD, I have placed it online temporarily at:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B08gXMP6W4r6LVR5OEloMDlnODA/view?usp=sharing
See also Brother Richard Evans:
http://www.heraldmag.org/1998/98nd_7.htm
(I do not necessarily agree with all conclusions given by others.)

In the first part, I gave some reasons why “and from” – “kai apo” – related to the seven spirits and “Jesus Christ” cannot mean that Jesus Christ is He who is, was and is to come, not unless one would also believe that Jesus Christ is also the “seven spirits”. Nevertheless, even the latter could not be true, since the Greek does not just use the word “kai” (“and”), but it uses the expression “kai apo” (“and from”).

Nor could one apply the Hebraism of beginning a sentence or statement with “kai” to Revelation 1:4,5, since “kai apo” in either instance in Revelation 1:4,5 does NOT begin a new sentence, nor a new statement, but in both instances “and from” is relating back to the greetings, and adds more to who it is that the greetings are “from”.
The greetings, stated as “Grace to you and peace”, are distributive as being from three different sources; therefore,

(1) apo – from – “him who is and who was and who is to come”,...
(2) and (kai) the same greetings are from – apo – the seven spirits in the sight of the throne of “him who is and who was and who is coming” (who is depicted throughout Revelation as sitting on the throne); therefore the “seven spirits of God” (Revelation 1:6) are not him “who is and who was and who is to come” who sits on the throne.
(3) and (kai) the greetings are also from – apo – Jesus Christ, who also is not Him who is sitting on the throne, since Jesus is also depicted as the Lamb who was slain in Revelation 5:1,5-7 who takes the scroll from the right hand of him who sits on the throne.
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“HIS THRONE”

Now, to look at the expression “his throne” in Revelation 1:4.
Revelation 1:4
iwanees tais hepta ekkleesiais tais en tee asia
JOHN TO THE SEVEN ECCLESIAS THE IN THE ASIA;
2491_2 3588 2033 1577 3588 1722 3588 0773
charis humin kai eireenee apo ho wn
UNDESERVED KINDNESS TO YOU AND PEACE FROM THE (ONE) BEING
5485 4771_6 2532 1515 0575 3588 1511_1
1511_2
kai ho een kai ho erchomenos kai apo twn
AND THE (ONE) WAS AND THE (ONE) COMING, AND FROM THE
2532 3588 1511_3 2532 3588 2064 2532 0575 3588
hepta pneumatwn ha enwpion tou thronou autou
SEVEN SPIRITS WHICH IN SIGHT OF THE THRONE OF HIM,
2033 4151 3739 1799 3588 2362 0846_3
Westcott & Hort Interlinear, as obtained from the Bible Students Library DVD

Who is “HIM” in the phrase “the throne of him”? Is it not referring back to the one who is, was and is coming? Notice the the “seven spirits” are in the sight of the One who is on the throne.

Now notice Revelation 5:1:

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the back, close sealed with seven seals. – American Standard Version.

Now notice verse six:

Revelation 1:6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures ) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. – New American Standard.

Again, the seven spirits of God are mentioned. Who does Brother Russell identify as the One who sits on the throne in Revelation 5:1?
But, as the Master declared, these things the Father had kept in His own power--in His own hand. He divulged them not to the angels, nor even to His dearly beloved "Only Begotten Son." We have seen how this Divine secret, Divine purpose, was symbolically represented in the scroll in the hands of Jehovah, as pictured in Revelation 5:1.
Nevertheless the scroll of Divine purpose was still sealed and in the hand of Jehovah, up to the time that the Lamb had been slain.
In this picture He beheld Jehovah sitting upon a Throne and holding in His right hand a Scroll written within and without and sealed with seven seals.
Brother Russell, therefore, recognizes that He who sits on the throne in Revelation 5:1 is indeed Jehovah, to which I agree, and to which, I believe, most Bible Students would also agree. However, since the scriptures reveal that he who sits on the throne is also he who is, was and is coming, this would not be in harmony with his conclusion that he who is, was and is coming (of Revelation 1:8) is Jesus. Revelation 5:6 shows that the “seven spirits of God” are in the sight of the throne of Jehovah, and by this we can see that He who is, was, and is coming, in Revelation 1:4, is also Jehovah, and thus he who is, was and is coming is not Jesus.

Further, we should note that Revelation 5:1,5-7 distinguishes Jesus from He who sits on the throne (who is, was and is to come) as well as from being “the seven spirits of God” that that are in the sight of the throne, since the Lamb (Jesus) takes from the scroll from the right hand of the One who sits on the throne. Some of our trinitarian neighbors have claimed that Jesus is both the lamb and that he is also he who sits on the throne, and thereby claim that Jesus is Jehovah. Actually, to claim that Jesus is He who is, was and is coming, and at the same time claim that He who sits on the throne is not Jesus, but Jehovah, does not harmonize the scriptures, but makes the scriptures appear to be self-contradictory. Additionally, it would mean, if followed to its logical conclusion, that Jesus himself would be two persons.

Consequently, since Jesus -- as the lamb that was slain -- takes the scroll from he who sits on the throne, Jesus is not He who sits on the throne, nor is Jesus “the seven spirits of God” that are in the sight of the throne of him who is, was and is to come, and therefore Jesus is not “him” to whom the throne belongs in Revelation 1:4.

I will next consider the matter of calling Jesus "the Almighty" -- ho pantokratwr - in verse eight.
egw eimi to alpha kai to w legei kurios ho
I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA, IS SAYING LORD, THE
1473 1510 3588 0255_5 2532 3588 5598 3004 2962 3588
theos ho wn kai ho een kai ho erchomenos
GOD, THE (ONE) BEING AND THE (ONE) WAS AND THE (ONE) COMING,
2316 3588 1511_1 2532 3588 1511_3 2532 3588 2064
1511_2
ho pantokratwr
THE ALMIGHTY.
3588 3841
Westcott & Hort Interlinear, as obtained from the Bible Students Library DVD.
Brother Russell stated:
Now we are prepared to understand the words of Jesus to John on Patmos. (Rev. 1:8,11,18.) "I am alpha and omega, the beginning and the ending, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty"-- Almighty since Jehovah had given to him all power in heaven and in earth.
Although Brother Russell quoted the scripture as "the Almighty", his explanation drops the definite article to make it simply "Almighty". The Greek, however, is not simply "Almighty", but rather it has the definite article: "ho pantokratwr".

Brother Russell elsewhere did present Jesus as being “the Almighty”.
THE ALMIGHTY
But although our Redeemer had always occupied the place of honor in the heavenly courts, it was not until his faithful obedience to the Father had been tested to the extent of his changing nature to that of man, and then giving himself as fallen man's ransom, that he received his present unexcellable glory and honor. It is since his resurrection that the message has gone forth – "All power in heaven and in earth is given unto me." (Matt. 28:18.) Consequently it is only since then that he could be called the Almighty (as in Rev. 1:8). The Heavenly Father has always been almighty, and this all-power or all-might was never given to him, but was his eternal possession. But now that he has given the same power to his Only-begotten and well-pleasing Son, our Saviour, both we and angels delight to know it, and delight to honor him whom the Father has so highly honored, and whom he has instructed us to honor, saying: "That all should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father."-- John 5:23.
Brother Russell also cited Matthew 28:18 in this regard:

Matthew 28:18
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying , All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Does this make Jesus "the Almighty"? Obviously not, since the the Most High is excepted in the "all power" that the only Most High gives to Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:27) While one could say that the "all power" that the Most High gave to Jesus makes Jesus one who is "almighty" in that power that was given to Jesus, this does not make Jesus "the Almighty" "Lord God".
Jesus is no where in the Bible said to be "the Almighty", which, in effect, actually describes He Who is the source of all might (1 Corinthians 8:6), nor is Jesus ever said to be "the Most High". Jesus is indeed "mighty", in that his God and Father has given to him might that is above all might except that of the Most High. It is highly unlikely that Jesus would be called "the Almighty" and the "Lord God" in the book of Revelation.
http://www.biblestudytools.com/search/?q=almighty&c=&t=web&ps=100&s=Bibles
http://www.biblestudytools.com/search/?q=%22most+high%22&c=&t=web&ps=100&s=Bibles

Brother Russell also wrote concerning the expression “Alpha and Omega”:
In no other way can we understand Jesus to be the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, as he claims in his revelation to John (Rev. 1:8; 3:14; 21:6; 22:13), than as the Scriptures harmoniously teach, that as Jehovah's agent he is the beginner and finisher of the wondrous plan, though not its author. In a word, he was the only direct creation of Jehovah – born "from the womb of the morning," as the Psalmist expresses it (110:3), – all other creations being through him, as Jehovah's agent, or representative; as we read: "To us there is one God – the Father – of whom are all things and we in him; and one Lord – Jesus Christ – by whom are all things, and we by him." (1 Cor. 8:6.) He is the first born of every creature [born before all creation]; for by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or principalities or powers; all things were created by him and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is [also] the head of the church, who is the beginning, the first born from the dead--that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. – Col. 1:15-18. 
Our Lord's pre-human condition, we have thus seen, was one of mighty power, as the chief of all Jehovah's creation, and his agent in all subsequent creations. He was the first and the last direct creation of Jehovah. Hence with the proper conception of the meaning of the word God, as used in the Scriptures, namely, a mighty, a powerful being (See, Nov. '87 TOWER), we see the propriety of applying the name God (which in Scripture is applied to angels and to some great men) to this great being, who was and is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, of Jehovah's creation. -- Watch Tower, August 1888, page 7.

No doubt, Brother Russell, at that time, did not see any other way to harmonize the scriptures, as he evidently never thought that the words uttered in Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13, could have not been Jesus’ words, but rather the words of Jehovah himself. Indeed, the trinitarian influence promoted that idea in order to make it appear that Jesus is Jehovah. Nevertheless, although Brother Russell sought to harmonize the scriptures, a close examination shows that the effect would be to bring disharmonization of the scriptures, since, if it should be thought that in Revelation 1:4 that “his throne” is the throne of Jesus, then to be consistent, one would have to say that Jesus is both the one on the throne in Revelation 5:1, and that he is also the lamb who takes the scroll from the hand of the One who is on the throne in Revelation 5:6,7. However, the “Expanded Comments” shows that Russell believed that the One who sits on the throne in Revelation 5: 1 is:
Of him -- The Heavenly Father, the Ancient of Days, Jehovah. E36; R2208:5, 2156:1; SM488:2; OV7:1
And, regarding the one on the throne at Revelation 4:2,
And one sat -- This is the Father, the "Ancient of days." (Dan. 7:9)
This means that he who is, was and is coming in Revelation 4:8 is not Jesus, but rather Jehovah.
This cannot be harmonized with the claim that it is Jesus’ throne spoken of in Revelation 1:4, since it is obvious that both scriptures are speaking of the same one.

It is claimed that Brother Russell quoted many translations. Yes, Brother Russell did indeed frequently quote many different Bible translations. I haven't found anything in Brother Russell's writings, however, where he addresses the Greek related to Revelation 1:8, the expression "Lord God" of Revelation 1:8, nor of the application of he who was, is, and is coming, and his throne, of Revelation 1:4.

I do agree with Brother Russell that Jesus was the first and last only direct Son of God that Jehovah brought into existence.

http://www.mostholyfaith.com/beta/bible/reprints/Z1888FEB.asp#R1005:8

In context,in Revelation 1:17,18 and Revelation 2:8, however, "the first and the last" appears to be more related to Jesus' having been dead, and the only firstborn from the dead. -- Revelation 1:5.

See my studies:

THE LORD GOD

I will now consider the expression “the Lord God” in Revelation 1:8.

My reasoning is that “The Lord” replaces "Jehovah" as in "Jehovah God" in the Old Testament.


Revelation 1:8
egw eimi to alpha kai to w legei kurios ho
I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA, IS SAYING LORD, THE
1473 1510 3588 0255_5 2532 3588 5598 3004 2962 3588
theos ho wn kai ho een kai ho erchomenos
GOD, THE (ONE) BEING AND THE (ONE) WAS AND THE (ONE) COMING,
2316 3588 1511_1 2532 3588 1511_3 2532 3588 2064
1511_2
ho pantokratwr
THE ALMIGHTY.
3588 3841

Revelation 1:8, Westcott & Hort Interlinear, as found on the Bible Students DVD.
(Please note that the punctuation given is added: such does not actually appear in the ancient Koine Greek)

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." -- New American Standard.

"The Lord" in the expression "Lord God" is an evident replacement for the Holy Name. In the Old Testament, the expression "Lord God" can only be found once, that is, at Daniel 9:3.


The expression used in Daniel 9:3, as transliterated from the Masoretic text, is often given as 'Adonay 'Elohiym. Christian David Ginsburg, however, provides evidence that the Jewish Sopherim changed the Holy Name in this verse to a form of ADONI, 'my lord'. Thus, it should be apparent that the Holy Name was replaced by a form of ADON in Daniel 9:3, and consequently that it was originally what is often rendered into English as "Jehovah God" or "Yahweh God". The Masoretes, added the vowel point to make the form ADONAI.

See my study on:


Nevertheless, there is no scripture in the extant NT manuscripts, nor in the extant Septuagint, where a form of this expression "Kurios Ho Theos" – The Lord God – is ever once applied to Jesus. It should be evident that, in Revelation 1:8, someone has replaced the expression "Jehovah God" (or perhaps "Lord Jehovah") as found in the Old Testament with "Kurios Ho Theos" "the Lord God". Further evidence that this is so is found in the Septuagint which uses "kurios ho theos" when it replaces the Hebrew for "Jehovah God"; thus, the most logical conclusion is that the expression in Revelation 1:8 applies to the God and Father of Jesus, not to Jesus.

"Jehovah God"

We should also notice that Brother Russell applies forms of the same expression, THE LORD GOD [KURIOS HO THEOS], as it appears in Revelation 4:8, 11:17; 15:3; 21:22, not to Jesus, but to Jehovah, the Heavenly Father.

I could not find any definite statement by Russell concerning “the Lord God” as it appears in Revelation 16:7; 18:8. Nevertheless, it is Jehovah God Himself who comes to judge the world by means of the one whom he has ordained. –  Psalm 96:13; 98:9; Luke 1:32,35; John 5:22,23; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Romans 2:16; 1 Corinthians 4:5.


I will now look at John 1:1. Does “God” as applied to the Logos in John 1:1, provide a basis for calling Jesus “the Lord God” in Revelation 1:8?

No, John 1:1 does not use the expression used in Revelation 1:8, nor does it say that Jesus is "the Almighty". Likewise, in the expressions in which Jesus is referred as "lord", not once do we find him being spoken of with the expression used in Revelation 1:8. It was “Jehovah God”  -- the Lord Jehovah (Isaiah 61:1) -- who made Jesus both Lord and Christ (Anointed One), as shown by the expression “Jesus Christ” in Revelation 1:5. 

The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me; because Jehovah hath anointed me. -- Isaiah 61:1, American Standard Version.

Acts 2:36 ASV
Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.






5 comments:

  1. Rev. being highly symbolical, the following is preferably suggested:
    Rev.1:1 The Revelation is BY Jesus Christ; Throne = Plan's authority.
    Rev. 1:4 is correct. Rev. 1:18 and 5:6 reveal that Jesus is all 3.
    He who was dead, who is alive, and who is to return, plus the 7 *spirits, plus Rev 1:5 "And (Even) from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." For Mighty, see Mt 28:18.
    The Crucified Lamb and the Ransom are high-lighted repeatedly in Rev. and Jesus is the first and the last Ransom, the Alpha and the Omega of God's entire plan of salvation.
    *the spirits (messages) go forth to all the earth, and at the end of each message to each church we are told it is from THE spirit, Jesus.
    When the foundation is properly seen, the rest will fall into place.
    PS: God has been from forever - never was a time when he was not. Psa. 41:13; 90:2; 106:48. In Rev. "Was not" is clearly implied, and Rev. 1:18 identifies it as "was dead," showing it applies to Jesus.
    Please do not erase.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tobewan,
      --Rev. being highly symbolical, the following is preferably suggested: Rev.1:1 The Revelation is BY Jesus Christ;

      "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him...." --

      The Revelation is not from Jesus originally, but it is from the God and Father of Jesus. God is thus its actual author, and as usual, God does things through Jesus. (1 Corinthians 8:6) Thus, Jesus does the actual revealing through the angel to John.

      -- Throne = Plan's authority. Rev. 1:4 is correct. --

      John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from him who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits that are before his throne; 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. -- Revelation 1:4,5.

      The throne here is definitely symbolic. "Him who is and who was and who is to come", who sits on the throne is definitely referring to Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus. (Isaiah 61:1; John 17:1,3; Ephesians 1:3) And this one who is, was and is to come is the one who is depicted as sitting on the throne. Wherever it is found, the appellative clause “who is [in the present], . . . who was [in the past], . . . who is to come [will ever be in the future]” exclusively designates the Supreme Being, the "one God" who is the source of all. (1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 1:8; 4:8,10; 5:1,7,13; 6:16; 7:10,15; 19:4; 21:5) The God and Father of Jesus is the Eternal One, who always was and ever will be, “that inhabiteth eternity,” “from everlasting to everlasting,” never having brought forth by anyone. (Psalm 90:2; 106:48; Isaiah 57:15).

      "Throne" in the Bible usually signifies rulership of a kingdom. Jehovah's throne is "established of old" (Psalm 93:2). Before there was any creation to rule over, there was no need for a throne, but with beginning of creation, Jehovah's overall kingdom and his throne was established. -- Psalm 103:19.

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    2. -- Rev. 1:18 and 5:6 reveal that Jesus is all 3. --

      Are you saying that Jesus is the one on the throne and that Jesus (the seven spirits) are before the throne of Jesus, and that Jesus takes the scroll from Jesus? I have no scriptural reason to believe such self-contradictions.-- Revelation 5:6,7.

      Revelation 1:18 and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

      Revelation 5:6,7 I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the
      midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. Then he came, and he took it out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne.

      Nothing here indicates that Jesus is he who is, was, and is to come of Revelation 1:4,8, etc. Jesus is the Living One because his God saved him from the dead (Hebrews 5:7) by raising him from death (Acts 2:32; 3:15; 4:10; 13:30,37; Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 6:14), and now "he lives through the power of God" (2 Corinthians 13:4) so that he will never again cease to live. Rather than depicting Jesus as one sitting on the throne, Jesus is depicted as the Lamb that takes the scroll from him who is on the throne. The scriptures does not say the Lamb IS the seven spirits, nor does it says that Lamb IS he who is the throne. The seven spirits, being "of God", are given to Jesus, and Jesus is said to be one "who has the seven spirits of God (Revelation 3:1, and these seven spirits are figuratively pictured as "seven eyes" of the figurative Lamb. Revelation 4:5 pictures these "seven spirits" as figurative blazing torches being in front of the throne, and thus before the One who is sitting on the throne, as spoken of in Revelation 1:4.

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    3. -- He who was dead, who is alive, and who is to return, --

      Evidently the above is being imagined to be what is meant by He who was, is and is to come? Let us plug that into Revelation 5:7, where He who sat on the throne is He "who was and who is and who is to come" of Revelation 4:8.

      Then he [the Lamb was dead, slain] came, and he [the Lamb] took it out of the right hand of him who was dead, who is alive, and who is to return.

      Obviously two different persons, two different individuals, are being referred to, and Jesus is not both of those persons/individuals.

      He who was dead is definitely not the Eternal One of Revelation 1:4,8, for the Eternal is never dead. Jesus does indeed return, although none of the scriptures given above are speaking of his return.

      -- plus the 7 *spirits, plus Rev 1:5 "And (Even) from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." For Mighty, see Mt 28:18. --

      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; 6 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

      Those who belong to Jesus in this age are made a kingdom of priests to the God and Father of Jesus. There is nothing in this that gives us reason to think that Jesus is "all three" spoken of in Revelation 1:4,5 from whom the messages to churches are given.

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    4. -- The Crucified Lamb and the Ransom are high-lighted repeatedly in Rev. and Jesus is the first and the last Ransom, the Alpha and the Omega of God's entire plan of salvation.>>

      While we could indeed correctly apply "the first and the last" to Jesus' sacrifice, I highly doubt that this is specifically what Jesus had in mind when he said that he was the first and the last, "who was dead, and has come to life." Nevertheless, Jesus' death as a man for sin was done only once. Everyone before Jesus was condemned in the sin of Adam, and from conception had nothing to offer to God for sin, as all of Adam's descendants are made sinners due to Adam's sin. (Romans 5:19) All of Adam's descendants are dying in Adam. (1 Corinthians 15:21,22) Indeed, if Jesus had been a sinner before his baptism, his acceptance as being the Lamb of God who dies for the sin of the world would not have been possible. (John 1:29) Jesus, however, while he was born of the lineage of David by means of his mother and his foster father, was not actually tainted with the sinful bloodline of Adam. His God and Father especially prepared his body (Hebrews 10:5) in the womb of Mary (Matthew 1:20) separate from the world condemned through Adam's sin. Thus Jesus could offer his human body of flesh for sin. (Hebrews 10:10) Such a sacrificial offering to God (Ephesisans 5:2; Hebrews 9:14) is only done once, thus we read that this Jesus "did once for all, when he offered up himself." (Hebrews 7:27) Christ "suffered for sins once", being put to death in flesh, but not raised in the flesh (for he sacrificed his body of flesh with its blood for sin), but in the spirit. (2 Peter 3:18) Because Jesus, then, died once for all time for sin, "there remains no more sacrifice for sins" (Hebrews 10:26) for one who willfully sins after having been begotten again of the spirit so as to taste of the power of the age to come (Hebrews 6:4-6), for such "has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace." -- Hebrews 10:29.

      But since there is no more sacrifice for sin, yes, Jesus is the first and the last to offer such a sacrifice.

      -- *the spirits (messages) go forth to all the earth, and at the end of each message to each church we are told it is from THE spirit, Jesus. --

      Jesus, no longer being in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), is thus no long a being of flesh and blood, a little lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:9), and, being raised in the spirit rather than in the flesh (1 Peter 3:18), he is now spirit in his being, having a celestial, spiritual bodily glory rather than the glory of a sinless man of flesh. (1 Corinthians 15:39-41) But this certainly does not mean that the seven spirits of God IS Jesus; if it does then Jesus is 'before the throne' of He who was, is and is to come (Revelation 1:4; 4:5), which would make him be before himself, one of him being on the throne, and another of him being before the throne. Revelation 3:1 shows that Jesus "has" the seven spirits of his God. Without being dogmatic, I believe that the expression "seven spirits" is being used to express seven aspects of God's spirit that denotes a completeness or perfection. At the same time, I acknowledge that it is possible that the seven spirits are being used to represent something else: seven spirit beings, or even the seven spirits of Isaiah 11:2. These seven spirits are upon the one whom Jehovah anointed with His Spirit. (Isaiah 61:1; Acts 10:38) Regardless, these seven spirits are from the "one God" who is the source. -- 1 Corinthians 8:6.

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