Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2021 Revelation 1:8a.

Revelation 1:8a.     ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord,

On and on we go friends, walking down the road of life with our marvellous Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! You know, every day seems the same, but they are all different when you partner with Jesus, because He makes every day special, unique, in its own way. Now who else can do that for us eh? Nobody! Not a single soul can give us the joy, the hope, the peace, the LOVE, the salvation and friendship that we find with Jesus! 

Wow! No wonder so many of have chosen, and are choosing to follow Him right down to the very end! And that decision is the wisest one we can ever make, for when we live for Jesus, our earthly lives may sometimes be rough, but our end will be great, greater than if we follow any other path. And why is that you ask? Well let’s hear some scriptures that ought to bring the true story to you and help you decide to live for Jesus. 

The Book of Revelation, Jesus’ account of what’s to happen, as He revealed to His disciple John on the isle of Patmos tells us in the early verses: ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.’ (Rev. 1:3) And believe me friends, the time is truly at hand. The world is in such an ungodly and unstable mess, that even if God doesn’t put forth His hand to destroy it, it will implode soon, because of the inordinate strife, anger, sickness and inhumanity that’s permeating it right now. 

Then, the terrible way in which we’re treating the earth, continually ravaging it for our greedy, selfish purposes, without any plans for replenishing it, there must come a time when there’s nothing left to be ravaged. And though Bruh Paul wasn’t referring to the physical earth when he proclaimed: ‘For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain (suffers birth pangs) together until now,’ (Rom. 8:22) we can certainly make a point for its continual physical deterioration through all the mining and deforestation and other bad treatment we inflict on it. 

Then look at the number of volcanoes that are currently erupting all over the globe, many of which have been dormant for long periods. I don’t know if we have ever had so many erupting simultaneously as we do today. And when we add the other natural disasters that seem to be occurring more often, with greater intensity, there’s little hope for us, unless we quickly and completely change our attitudes towards God, each other and the earth. 

Now, it doesn’t matter so much what happens to our physical bodies, but it’s of the utmost importance what happens to our spiritual selves when the physical body returns to the earth from whence it came. And I’m here to tell us that following Jesus is the best thing we can do for our spiritual lives, which shall live on for a long, long time after our physical bodies die. 

And John vividly details, some verses later in his revelation: ‘Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds (the tribes) of the earth shall wail (mourn) because of him. Even so, Amen.’ (Rev. 1:7) Those words refer to Christ’s return to earth to establish His kingdom, not to the Rapture. There, everyone will see Him, including all those who rejected Him, and wanted Him dead and participated in His death, will then repent and mourn. 

But hear what Jesus tells John. ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.’ (Rev. 1:8) The scholars tell us that ‘Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and refer to God’s eternality and sovereignty, and possibly to the fullness of God’s self-revelation.’ Now God revealing Himself to us should come as no surprise, for He’s done it right down through the ages through His prophets. 

And I like how from heaven, just like on earth, when Jesus appears to John, who falls down at His feet as though dead. He tells him: ‘Fear not; I am the first and the last. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.’ (Rev. 1:17-18) Yes friends, Christ is alive and well! 

The scholars explain: ‘As God in the Old Testament is called “the living God,” so Christ is he that liveth. He became dead when He humbled Himself to die on the cross (Phil. 2:6-8), but then rose to live for evermore. Three tenses of Christ’s existence are emphasized: (1) His ever-abiding life; (2) his death as God-man; and (3) His resurrection to everlasting and authoritative life. He has authority over death and judgement and therefore has the keys of hell (hades) and of death (cf. 20:14).’ 

Then we come to this most pertinent instruction of Jesus’ to John. ‘Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.’ (Rev. 1:19) According to the scholars ‘This is the key verse of the Book. Revelation has three major sections: (1) the things which thou hast seen – chapter 1, especially the vision of Christ (cf. vs. 11 -: “what thou seest”); (2) the things which are – chapters 2 and 3, the conditions in the churches; and (3) the things which shall be hereafter – chapters 4-22, beginning with the judgements of the Tribulation period (cf. 7:1) – “after these things”). 

Ah mih people, I know many of us don’t like or read, or understand the Book of Revelation, because it can be confusing and has some gory details that turn us off, but in truth, it’s the best Book of the Bible, because it tells us exactly what will happen at the very end to those who follow Jesus sincerely and those who don’t. It doesn’t mince words at all. However, I think we’ll stop here for today, since it will get much too long if I continue with it all at once. Tomorrow, God spare life, we will get into Revelation a little more, and hopefully, by the time we are finished, we’ll all have a better idea of what’s going to happen in the future. 

So, for those of us who are totally interested in walking with Jesus, let’s go home now declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Him. Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And to further boost our enthusiasm, let’s remember that if we endure to the end, the future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…one truth from the Bible…is worth…more than all the wisdom of man…                                                   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2016 Revelation 1:18.

Revelation 1:18.     I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.

Well friends, it’s Saturday; Caribana Saturday in the big T.O! Mama Yo! (smile)

Although it’s now officially known as something like Toronto Caribbean Carnival, brought on by all the litigation and controversy over the name in the last few years. But in most people’s minds it will always be Caribana. 

Anyway, just like a rose by any other name is still as sweet, likewise Caribana by any other name still is a big festival. And you can imagine the city is hopping with all the functions slated for this long holiday Civic weekend. 

Well to cut a long story short, I did my hopping last night at the Pan Alive Steelband Competition. Unfortunately, over the last couple of years that has been my sole Caribana venture, because the big parade on Saturdays is more than I can physically handle, I can’t party like I used to. Chuh! (smile) 

And in any case what passes for mas down there doesn’t thrill me any more. But I’m not complaining. I had a good time at the pan competition, as I usually do. But also, as any of you who has ever been to a pan competition will know, there’s always controversy over the judges decision. 

And there certainly was some of that last night as the judges’ declared Pan Fantasy the winners for the fifth consecutive time. Steups! Now they might have deserved the accolade over the last couple years, but definitely not last night in the minds of most people. 

They looked good and their playing wasn’t bad, but it lacked the little something that makes a winner. A couple of bands like Silhouettes and Afro Pan sounded better. I’m not a big Afro Pan fan, but last night they played well and should have beaten out Pan Fantasy, instead of taking second place. 

One good thing though, this year there were fewer bands than normal, ten, and the Competition was better organized and was more of a show, with one pan side on stage at a time, and the judges no longer moving around. It also began on time and finished before midnight as the city dictated. 

Our own Calypso Monarch, Macoumeh Fifi, as well as a one pan side (one pan in each category) called Pan Elite from Arima in T&T performed during the intermission and after the bands performed. So some kudos go out to the organizing committee. And that’s that for Caribana…

Oh, except to send out Granny’s advice: ‘Sonny boy, please, ah beg yuh, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ Yes friends, we definitely have to be on our p’s and q’s during these big festivals as the enemy excitedly comes out on the prowl, looking for spirits and souls to invade with his evil power. And we definitely can’t allow him to do that. So please be careful this Caribana long weekend. 

Now here are a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. The first one says: ‘It’s better to have a stiff neck from aiming too high than to have a stiff back from aiming too low.’ 

And that is quite true, especially for Christians, since our Leader, our Lord and Saviour expects excellence from all His followers. His is a not necessarily a high intellect organization, as you can see from some of the people He originally chose as His disciples, and the ole crooks and scamps the Lord used to do His bidding in the Old Testament. 

But you’ll certainly notice that all His choices were high performance and achievement oriented. They did great things through the Lord’s help, even though they came from lowly backgrounds. The Lord takes pleasure in using the world’s castoffs and nonentities to confound the powers that be. 

And the second quote declares: ‘No one can make you jealous, angry, vengeful, or greedy — unless you let them.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people! 

Technically speaking, no one has that sort of power over us, unless we allow them to. So when we say that so and so made us angry, or jealous, or whatever negative sentiment we choose to display, it’s technically incorrect. In truth, we are the ones allowing them to make us whatever. 

It’s the same thing when we declare that the devil made us do something. Of a fact, the devil has absolutely no power over us unless we allow him to. Remember our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ defeated hell, death and the grave, Lucifer’s dominions, when He died, and rose from the grave on the third day. So please, let’s stop allowing people to have such power over us, because it detracts substantially from our witness for Christ. 

And that brings us finally to our Bit. ‘I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.’ 

That says it all my fellow believers! Our Leader Jesus has conquered the forces of evil, which means there is nothing that we need be afraid of from the enemy, because in reality he is like a toothless dog, just barking his foolish head off, with no real power to bite or harm us. Whatever he does to us, is what we allow him to do. 

Yuh don’t see, even when Beelzebub wanted to harm Job, he had to first go to Almighty God for permission. (Job 1:6-12) The same applies to us today my brethren; whatever happens to us, the Lord allows for reasons He alone understands. But the evil one can’t just get up and hurt us because he feels like. 

And we’ll end with these awesome words of Jesus as He says to John after our Bit. ‘Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be (take place) hereafter;’ (Rev.1:19) 

And according to the scholars: 1:19. This is the key verse of the book. Revelation has three major sections: (1) the things which thou hast seen – chapter 1, especially the vision of Christ (c.f. v.11 – “what thou seest”); (2) the things which are – chapters 2 and 3, the conditions in the churches; and (3) the things which shall be hereafter – chapters 4-22, beginning with the judgements of the Tribulation period (cf. 7:1 –“after these things”).’ 

Yes friends, there’s a whole lot to come, and we’ll be wise to be on Jesus ‘s side, for He is indeed the Mighty Conqueror! Much LOVE!

…only fools will bypass the wonders of Jesus…to join the hapless band in Hades… 

P.S. I know it’s long and late, but you have to cut the ole fella some slack as this is Caribana weekend. (smile) Much LOVE!