Arche of the Creation of God as Alpha and Omega (No. 229)
(Edition 1.0 19971217-19971217)
The arguments of modern Christianity regarding Christ have much of their origins in Greek philosophy and ancient religious practices running contrary to the Bible. Some of the biblical texts in English have been mistranslated to conceal the intent and structure of the application of the terms because they run counter to Trinitarian theology. The application of the terms Arche, Alpha and Omega, first and last, beginning and end, are explained taking into account the various texts.
Christian Churches of God
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(Copyright ã 1997 Wade Cox)
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Arche of the Creation of God as Alpha and Omega
In the various papers on God and the Messiah, we have dealt with the first two aspects of the concepts embodied in the Godhead, namely those of God the Father, and Jesus Christ as the Son of God. The summary obtained from the first section of our Statement of Beliefs is that God the Father is properly the one true God and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that this understanding is the prerequisite to eternal life (Jn. 17:3).
God the Father
The Supreme Deity of the universe is God. He is the Almighty, the Creator and Sustainer of the Heavens, the earth and all things therein (Gen. 1.1; Neh. 9:6; Ps. 124:8; Isa. 40:26,28; 44:24; Acts 14:15; 17:24,25; Rev. 14:7). He alone is immortal (1Tim. 6:16). He is our God and Father and the God and Father of Jesus Christ (Jn. 20:17). He is the Most High God (Gen. 14:18; Num. 24:16; Deut. 32:8; Mk. 5:7) and the One True God (Jn. 17:3; 1Jn. 5:20).
Jesus the Son of God
Jesus is the first begotten (prototokos) of the creation (Col. 1:15) hence the beginning (arche) of the creation of God (Rev. 3:14). He is the onlyborn (monogene) Son of God (Mat. 3:17; Jn. 1:18; 1Jn. 4:9), conceived of the Holy Spirit and born to the virgin, Mariam incorrectly called Mary in English (Lk. 1:26-35). He is the Christ or Messiah (Mat. 16:16; Jn. 1:41), sent from God to be our Saviour and Redeemer (Mat. 14:33; Jn. 8:42; Eph. 1:7; Tit. 2:14).
The comment at Revelation 3:14 that Christ is the arche of the creation of God has a great significance. We do not generally understand today why Jesus Christ said to John in relation to the Laodicean church, in effect, "tell the angel of the Laodicean church that I am the arche of the creation of God". Now the reason that was done was because, in the Laodicean church, the argument was to arise both in the church and in the era that Christ was not the arche of the creation of God. This argument centres around the eternality of matter and the immanence of God within all matter.
The word arche means beginning. The term used in Revelation 3:14 appears to relate to a philosophical discussion that was extant in the Middle East from Philo through the Middle Platonists to the neo-Platonists. The argument centred around the theory of the origin of the world. You need to understand this argument because the significance of it goes into the New Age Movement. Then you will understand the blasphemy of the New Age Movement. You will also understand that it is the prophecy of Jesus Christ that this argument would arise in the church in the last days and the Laodicean church would be prostituted by it and forfeit its right to the first resurrection. The theologian Clement of Alexandria took up the argument as a form of Gnosticism (Gnosis means knowledge hence Gnosticism was the process by which the initiated attained enlightenment). There were two levels involved; the laity and the Gnostic elements. The priesthood in fact became the Gnostic element. They allegedly had the secret knowledge and the laity were given a lesser level of understanding. This functionally became the doctrine of the Nicolaitans where the educated priesthood were held to obtain a knowledge which the laity did not attain to, or could not attain to because of the mysteries involved. Christ said that he hates the doctrine of the Nicolaitans and the doctrine of Balaam of teaching for hire. The doctrine of Balaam goes hand in hand with the doctrine of the Nicolaitans and it, in fact, is directly anti-Christ. It confines or limits the capacity of the Holy Spirit to grow in the individual. We must understand the relationship and its application to the Holy Spirit. The doctrines are covered in the papers The Nicolaitans (No. 202) and also The Doctrine of Balaam and Balaamís Prophecy (No. 204).
Clement followed the Jewish author Philo in interpreting the beginning of Genesis by resorting to the Platonic distinction between the sensible and the intelligible world. The material and immaterial worlds were basically developed along Platonic lines. Thus he was also in agreement with the school-Platonism which had also regarded the sensible world as a copy of the intelligible. Salvatore Lilla (Clement of Alexandria, Ch. III, Oxford University Press, 1971, p. 192) notes this and on page 230 says:
In the doctrine of matter Clement, like Philo and Middle Platonism, seems to believe in its pre-existence and considers it as devoid of any form and quality (cf. Ch. III, p. 226).
The agreement was only partial as Clement rejects the view of school-Platonism according to which matter is one of the archai Ė the plurality of the beginning of the origins of the world. Clement said that could not be; but they said it was, and that matter was original. Clement maintains that God is the only true arche and that all other arche followed from God. Now Christ was saying that he was the arche of the creation of God because he created by delegation from God. That is the biblical position, and why Jesus Christ said it. Clement held later, that God is the only true arche, which is true from Revelation 4, where all things are created by the will of God. But the Platonists were saying that matter itself was an arche. Clement believed in the existence of matter prior to the origin of the world. In other words, matter had an intrinsic existence prior to the actual formation of the world. This is similar to the big bang theory where matter existed in the beginning. It was initiated and then condensed, formed into planets. So the world was created out of the big bang matter. So the big bang theory is not new. This is a Platonic doctrine. Clement defended the charge that the Stoics, Plato, and Aristotle had regarded matter as one of the first principles. He maintained that matter had been described by these philosophers as originally devoid of any quality and defined by Plato as me on coming into existence in a receptacle (upodoche) (see Timaeus 49e-50a, 50b-c), and being devoid of form (Tim. esp. 50d-e), difficult to know (51b1), apprehensible by means of illegitimate (bastard: Lilla) reasoning, and hardly believable (52b2). Clement appears to agree with them completely (Lilla, p. 193). So there you have the churches starting to formulate these concepts, moving away from the biblical into the Platonic. This is the precursor to Trinitarian reasoning and it is Platonism, pure and simple. Philo (the Jewish philosopher writing in the period before Christ) and Plutarch on the contrary consider matter as still an ousia (Lilla, p. 230). Lilla says that Plutarch together with the other Middle Platonists such as Albinus, Apuleis and the authors of the third book of Diogenes Laertius and of Hippolytus regarded matter as eternal and as devoid of any quality and form (ibid., Ch. III, pp. 193,195-6). So they were effectively saying itís up there but thereís no quality, itís hanging in the ether. You have this format (eternality) which possesses the qualities of God. It has eternality in its own right. From that thought process came the Babylonian Animist system. This reasoning was derived from the Babylonian and it is rather the formulation of those thought processes. In regarding matter as me on Clement agrees with neo-Pythagoreanism, with Plotinus, and perhaps also with Ammonius Saccas (Lilla, Ch. III, pp. 195-196 and fn. 1, p. 226).
Thus, matter is in debate as to whether it is formless eternal or formless created. That is the essence of the argument. The formless eternality of matter makes it an ousia or hypostasis of God, hence God is immanent because matter is a hypostasis of God and therefore God is in matter. From this quasi-Gnostic reasoning the Trinity was developed where the three hypostases of God were the primary hypostases. Now we are going beyond that in the churches.
The question then arose: Was the world generated or ungenerated? In other words, did it have life of itself or was it created. This pre-empts the argument today of evolution and creation. Christ was saying that it was not; that he was the arche. He was the instrument of Godís creation and that matter (the world) itself was not an arche and God is not immanent in matter, is not in rocks, in stone, and glass. To say that God is immanent in matter, in means of destruction and killing and that God himself is intrinsically evil, is blasphemy. You then get to the point where Satan was held to be evil from the moment of his creation and is in fact just a hypostasis of the evil of God.
Similarly, the angels are merely hypostases of God, as aspects of His message. One can now see the enormity of the blasphemy that is emerging. People are blinded to this problem. Chiefly because they are following doctrines of government which have nothing to do with the biblical system. That is why God and Christ hate the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. It blinds people to the truth. They are subverted by Platonist doctrines. The elect are to be made aware of this doctrinal error.
The message to the Laodiceans is made somewhat clearer from this discussion. The philosophical debate centred around the contention that matter itself was an ousia or hypostasis of the one and thus God was immanent in all matter. God was thus in wood and stone. This is the fundamental supposition behind Animism including that found in Babylon, Shamanism, and all of Liberation Theology extending to Buddhism and into Japanese Shintoism. Now Sir Wallace Budgeís book on Babylon (he excavated it) has been around for a long time. We have known for more than a hundred years what the Babylonian religion is. The Babylonian religion was animistic and that is exactly the religion being pushed through many of the Churches today.
Clement, like Philo and the Middle Eastern Platonists Ė Plutarch and Atticus Ė openly favoured generation. Clement, following Philo, maintains that creation did not take place in time, since time itself is directly dependent upon the sensible world (Lilla, p. 230). This is fundamentally wrong (for the reasons outlined previously and in other papers) and was taken up by Augustine in City of God. To repeat the section on Time and Immortality from the paper Eternal Life (No. 133):
The concept of time only occurs when there is a relationship between objects. For example a day occurs as the movement of the earth on its axis in relation to the sun. A solar year is understood as the singular revolution of the earth around the Sun. There are various years involved in the rotation of the galaxy, i.e. Solar/Sidereal/Galactic. The universe has an expansion factor which relates the movement away from a primary point.
The primary point was determined by Penrose as being ten to the tenth to the 123rd [power]. Thus from the sheer magnitude of this number there must be a point of origin, and no other, for the universe. All of this movement is expressed in concepts of time which are related to the earth system.
Regardless of the method of measurement it can only be that time originates with the relationship of two or more objects to each other. Thus time could only begin with the existence of two or more objects. God existed before time. The generation of the elohim was in fact the beginning of time: The beginning of the creation of God (Rev. 3:14). Colossians 1:15 says that Christ was the first begotten of the Creation.
The Lord God is thus the Alpha, as both cause and existent, and being the end objective of that action He is also the Omega:
Revelation 1:8 'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come.
when he becomes all in all (Eph. 1:23).
So the concept of time began with the formulation of Jesus Christ. For when Jesus Christ was generated (and the elohim were generated) time began because there was a relationship between two beings. God alone existed in immortality. Regardless of the matter of measurement, these two objects originate time. Christ then becomes the creation of God from his generation. All creation originates from him and through him. So God is of the Alpha as both cause and existence and the end objective of the action. Thus, He is also the Omega from Revelation 1:8. Thus, Christ warned the Laodicean church and we are to take notice of the warnings to the Laodiceans.
Alpha and Omega as extended to Jesus Christ
The titles Alpha and Omega and the other terms used particularly in the book of Revelation answer Greek philosophical concerns as well as state the obvious facts of the delegation of the position of elohim to the elect through Jesus Christ.
Revelation 1:11 in the KJV has a reference to Alpha and Omega as applied to Jesus Christ. This title is absent in the RSV and the ancient texts (cf. Companion Bible note to the text). It appears only in the Receptus and hence the KJV.
The importance of this addition is in its use to conceal the sequence of what is happening in the application of the titles from God to Christ in the sequence of the prophecy of Revelation.
Hence the original text which reads more or less as the RSV:
Revelation 1:1111 saying, "Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Per'gamum and to Thyati'ra and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to La-odice'a." (RSV)
This text becomes in the KJV:
Revelation 1:1111 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. (KJV)
This insertion in the text is done specifically to support Trinitarianism and negate the intent of the rest of Revelation in this matter.
Revelation 1:8 explains this reference as applying to God who Revelation 1:6 says is the God and Father of Christ.
Revelation 1:88 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. (RSV)
We see again the KJV using the Receptus deletes the words ho theos or The God and uses only kurios or Lord. The text then carries the entirely different and fraudulent intent of both texts referring to Christ when Alpha and Omega are distinctly vested in the Lord God and Father of Christ and not applied to Christ at all from the beginning. This has much to do with the theology as it was developed from the Greek philosophical and Trinitarian concerns we see here. It was a deliberate attempt at concealing the true nature of the position of Christ in relation to his God and elevating him in the false structure of the Trinity.
Revelation 1:88 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. (KJV)
Revelation 1:17 and 2:8 do not contain the words Alpha and Omega. They use protos and eschatos which imply another concept in distinction to the Alpha and Omega.
Revelation 1:1717 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, (RSV)
Revelation 2:88 "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: `The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. (RSV)
The terms protos and eschatos carry the concepts contained in Revelation 3:14 where Christ is the arche or beginning of the creation of God as prototokos or first begotten as a spiritual son. He later became the only born God of John 1:18 (as theos or elohim or monogene theos).
This function is increased. At the return of Messiah and in the end process with the advent of the City of God, we see Messiah as Alpha and Omega. These titles were not applied to him initially, which is the motivation behind the false translations and additions.
In Revelation 22:13-16 we see the two titles become merged in Messiah as he comes as the bright and morning star.
Revelation 22:13-1613 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood. 16 "I Jesus have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star." (RSV)
He is given these titles as delegated power from God. As the protos of the creation he becomes one with the Alpha. As the eschatos of the creation he becomes one with the Omega as God becomes all in all (Eph. 4:6).
Revelation 21:6 shows the point when this event happens. Christ becomes the Alpha and the Omega and the arche and the telos. He is stated as arche or the beginning of the creation of God from Revelation 3:14. Here we have arche as beginning and telos as end. The word occurred is the collective neuter plural gegonan (cf. Rev. 16 and 17 and Marshall's Interlinear RSV). It is translated as it is done. However it means, and Marshall renders it as, it has occurred.
Revelation 21:66 And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment. (RSV)
It has occurred is translated as it is done to conceal the concept that this process of God becoming all in all commences with Christ who was not that way in the beginning.
We are thus dealing with a progressive concept of the activities of Messiah and the elect. "Behold I make all things new".
God is becoming all in all. Thus God is the Omega or end result of His own creation. The Trinitarian translators of the KJV deliberately hide this fact and concept from its readers.
Christ as Arche within Trinitarianism
The arguments referred to above are held to be a feature of the message to the Laodicean church. Thus the argument must be a central source of error in that church Ė or era by extension. The prophecies say what the error is. It is the central error of the Laodicean church and the reason that God spews the Laodicean church out of His mouth.
Christ is saying that he was the arche of the creation of God. Clement had to have God as the only true arche to prevent the concept of Christ being the beginning of an activity of God. That is what it is all about. The Trinitarians do not want Christ in that position because Christ then becomes an activity of God rather than God Himself as a Binitarian structure.
Unless you have the Binitarian structure you canít build the Trinity Ė and the seeds of the Trinity are inherent in the Binitarian structure. Hence, Binitarianism contains the seeds of its own destruction. Hand in hand with this error is the Soul doctrine. Clement was, however, a theologian who was, to all intents and purposes, a Gnostic. He believed in the Soul doctrine and that the souls ascended through seven levels and are free from material passions and possess gnosis (Lilla, p. 182). Thus the elect were held to go through this process of enlightenment. Any church, on becoming Trinitarian, will be committed to embracing the Soul doctrine. Ultimately there has to be a world soul system developed and then individuals become part of that world soul. The ascent of the seven levels that Clement is talking about is pure Shamanism. It emanated from the Babylonian system and went out into the Steppes of Russia with the dispersion after the flood. It formed the Shamanic systems where the adherent goes from one level to the next through seven levels generally. There can be as many as nine and thirteen. There is a spirit or demon controlling (or God as they call them) each of the seven levels until you ascend to the highest level.
Thatís what Clement was proposing and thatís what the Platonic mystical ascents are all about. That was what the Cappadocian theologians were proposing. They were advocating mystical ascent of the seven levels. The deity they got to was not God. They were demonists. The same system applies in Buddhism today. At a Buddhist preordination ceremony there is a cone with levels in it, with an egg on one level; all of it symbolic of evoking the spirits down through the levels to go into the adherent. Anyone in Buddhism is necessarily in the Shamanic system. They invoke the spirits to go into them and take them over. The whole structure of ascent of the soul is geared around demonism and an invocation of spirits. It is a different spirit to the Holy Spirit. That is why it is important to understand that before we study the Holy Spirit.
The material difference between Christian, Platonist and Gnostic creation theory involving arches is that the Gnostics believed that the archontes were generally evil powers under the jurisdiction of Jaldabaoth the inferior demiurge of the material world (see Apochryphon of John 41:12-14 and codex II Krause-Labib, II. 4-5, p. 139; Lilla, p. 183 and fn. 5). The functional difference is in the first two centuries. The identification as the Logos was done as the second hypostasis of God. Clement identifies the logos as the second hypostasis of God, not the first with the divine wisdom, the first of the beings created by God and His adviser (Lilla, p. 208). The adviser to God was wisdom from Proverbs 8:22. That comes from a misapprehension of the role of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was the first power of God extant with God in the creation. The Holy Spirit did not come after Christ. It logically emanated from God, as His power. It is the means by which Christ and all of the Host are tied to God. This argument is so important, so study it to understand the arguments of these people.
The debate thus centred around a philosophy which sought to wrest Scripture or misapply that Scripture so that all elements of the creation were in fact hypostases or ousia of God. Hypostases and ousia were not the same disciplinary terms. Hypostases is a Stoic term; ousia is a Platonic term. Both mean essentially the same thing. The Trinitarians use hypostases as aspects of the one ousia. So they use the two terms to mean God as containing the three hypostases. It is important to understand what these people are saying when they use the terms (see the paper The Use of the Term Hypostasis (No. 230) for a fuller explanation of these terms). The angels are thus held to be hypostases of God as the demons are also. Thus Satan could be evil from the moment of his creation as has been advanced recently by some academics in the Churches of God. We have seen already how this is not true. The Bible is quite clear that Satan was perfect from the moment of his creation (Ezek. 28:15).
The concept is that: As God is immanent and all entities are merely hypostases of God, Satan is thus an hypostases who has no reality other than as an expression of the mind of God. Similarly, the angels also merely reflect God and have no real existence other than as hypostases. This deception extends to material immanence through the neo-Platonist philosophical developments. It extends beyond fundamental Trinitarianism into Process Theology developed from neo-Platonism. It is the basis of the system of worship of the last days.
This system of Process Theology developed by neo-Platonists from Trinitarianism will be the system, which will take over Buddhism and all these other religions and combine it into the system of the last days. It is applicable to Shintoism and Hindu Liberation Theology. It is a generalised system and it is a means of destruction of the Catholic Church, not of its preservation. It is the means by which the Beast turns on the Whore and destroys it. We are, in fact, watching the religion of the last days being instituted. It also has its beginning in the Churches of God. It is from this system that the Man of Sin will ascend. This system would deceive even the very elect if that were possible.
This concept is the absolute deception and has entered the Church of God in the last days as Christ indicates. Christ made the comments to show that he was the beginning or arche of the creation of God. Clement was correct in that God was the true arche in that He created from His will and from His will all things were created (Rev. 4:11). God is thus the creator but Christ was the instrument of the creation and was its beginning (see above).
The idea that the divine wisdom is the adviser of God and the first of the beings created by God is, according to Lilla, characteristic of the Jewish-Alexandrine philosophy prior to Philo. So the Jews at Alexandria understood that wisdom was the first of the elements created by God. So it proceeded from God, with the Word of God then coming into existence and being tied together to God, by wisdom as the Holy Spirit. It is the Sophia of Ecclesiasticus 1:4 and the first created entity of Proverbs 8:22. The Wisdom of Solomon 9:9 shows it assists God in the creation. Genesis refers to the Spirit of God at Genesis 1:2. The writers just before Christ incorrectly explained this aspect of the power of God as a being and this error has persisted to this day as the concept that the Holy Spirit is a person. That is the origin of the error.
The Spirit was logically the first emanation of God, because the generation of Christ and the other elohim made it logically necessary for there to be in place a mechanism for their integration with God in order that there be absolute Monotheism as a unified whole. God is the centre of all beings. All beings in the Host are tied to Him by the Holy Spirit. It is through the Spirit that the nature of God is transmitted to all beings, both Christ and the rest of the elect, and ultimately all humans. Thatís the mechanism and unless you understand that process you canít really understand what is happening with the Holy Spirit. It occurs because the law of God emanates from the abiding goodness of the nature of God. So, it canít be Binitarian because there is an ultimate centrality to goodness, and that goodness is God. Christ said that only God is good; why call me good, only God is good because of the logic of the centrality of ultimate goodness. You canít have a ditheist system. Reasoning, logic, tells us that we cannot. The law of God proceeds from the nature of God that stands forever, as God Himself is unchangeable, being essentially good as the centre of ultimate goodness.
Christian Churches of God
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E-mail: CCG Secretary
Copyright: The papers on this site may be freely copied and distributed provided they are copied in total with no alterations or deletions. The publisher's name and address and the copyright notice must be included. No charge may be levied on recipients of distributed copies. Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles and reviews without breaching copyright.
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