And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, 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 KJV
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Today’s devotional is the second part of the earlier devotional with the same title that focused on the need for the Christian to have a good knowledge of who the Almighty God and His lamb are by ensuring that he/she is properly introduced to both of them as that remains the surest way to have a rewarding and fruitful relationship with them. That part of the devotional also emphasised the need for the Christian to have better and relevant credentials to present beyond the mere dropping of name or religious affiliation. It will simply not be sufficient to keep informing everyone that you are a Christian as it is by fruits and not by merely being introduced as a Christian that you must be identified – Matt. 7:16-20. It is very possible that the non-introduction of self by Angel Gabriel to Zechariah was what affected his faith and got him into the trouble of unbelief. Maybe if he had introduced himself properly before delivering the message and not after the expressed doubt of Zechariah, there would have been no reason for him to doubt the message – Lk. 1:11-20. May be!
Most Christians today seem to be having difficulties in their Christian life because they were not properly introduced to the Trinity when they commenced their Christian life. They therefore either do not get them involved in their situation or they invite them into their situation in an ineffective manner. Some even get them involved in situations that they will never be associated with or how else can one rate a situation where a supposed Christian spends valuable time raining curses on supposed enemies and ends up with the phrase, “in Jesus name I pray”. If such was aware that Jesus came to rescue sinners and that he/she is not excluded from that list of sinners (1Tim. 1:15), if such was expecting forgiveness and mercy from the Almighty God through this same Christ for sins committed (1Jn. 2:1) and if such was aware that the first candidate in paradise, the thief on the right hand of Jesus Christ on the cross, was one that the world had condemned, then he/she will realise that such prayers will not be answered by Christ – Lk. 23:43. Should there be any evidence that such prayer was answered, then there will be doubt with regards to the genuineness of the claims of such to being a true worshipper of the Most High because the Almighty God will not contradict himself – 2Tim. 2:13.
One of the perspectives in which Jesus Christ wants to be seen is the way in which he introduced himself to the disciple John in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s devotional. The scripture indicates that;
1. He wants to be seen as the Beginning and the End of all things. Most Christians do not acknowledge this about him else they will not start any action without getting him involved. Being involved here means that he was aware of the intention to implement such action and gave his approval and there is constant communication with him throughout the entire action until it was successfully completed. He cannot be said to be the Alpha and Omega just because he was informed at the beginning when approval was not obtained or his involvement ceased as soon as the process commenced or worse still, he was not involved at all from the beginning until challenges showed up somewhere along the path of implementation. His being Alpha and Omega applies not just to individual projects but the entire life of a Christian. The Almighty God and His Lamb will only be held accountable for the period that they are considered and related with as Alpha and Omega. A life that expects their intervention in times of trials and temptations must relate with them from this perspective else such can never claim to know them as the Alpha and Omega.
2. He wants all to be aware that he was once alive, then he died and came alive again to die no more. One of the basic requirements of the one that claims to be a Christian is the acknowledgement of such that Jesus Christ came in flesh, he died, was buried, he rose and he lives for ever. The Bible says that anyone who denies these basic facts is not just a non-Christian but has the spirit of the anti-christ – 1Jn. 4:3. To believe that Jesus came in flesh is to accept and implement all that he commanded his adherents to do whilst he was on earth. Believing is not in words but in action. If you believe he came and that he died and rose, then you will live that life because then you will be conscious of the fact that he would return to judge all according to those instructions that he gave. It is one thing to believe that he came, but you also have to believe that he died by believing the purpose of that death and also believe that he rose from death to live eternally. He came and conquered death by his ressurection – 1Cor. 15:55-56.
3. He wants all to know that he it is that has the keys of death and hell. The one who is properly introduced to him will know that he it is that will decide who goes through the gates of death into hell. This he does by using his blood to wipe away the sins of the sinner thus presenting such as sinless before the throne of judgement. Whoever he declares free is free indeed but whoever does not enjoy this grace is destined for the second death and eternity in hell – Jn. 8:36; Rev. 21:8. That is how much of authority that he wields in terms of what happens to man after this existence and the one who desires a good life in the life after life will relate with him with this awareness.
The Christian or anyone for that matter who is properly introduced and is able to relate with him in these manner is the one that will enjoy a fruitful and rewarding relationship with him as any other form of introduction outside this is false and of no relevance. Relate with him based on this information he supplied about himself and you will be fulfilled in your relationship with him. May God help us to know Him and His lamb better so that we can have a more rewarding and fruitful relationship with him in Jesus name. Amen.