of the Spirit
1 John 4:3
- Revelation 3:14
- ". . . These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God."
- This passage is usually quoted with Colossians 1 by J.W.'s to prove that Christ was the first of God's creation, and that all subsequent creation (e.g., trees and animals of Genesis 1) is the work of Christ. Therefore, it is argued, Christ existed before his birth in the days of Herod the King.
- Christ is the "Alpha and Omega" (Rev. 1:11) of God's creation. This creation is not the creation of trees and animals as recorded in Genesis 1, but rather the "creation" of new men and women. "Create" and "creation" are frequently used in this regenerative sense in the New Testament. See, for example, the following: Eph. 2:10, 15 cf. 4:23, 24; Col. 3:9, 10 R.S.V.; Gal. 6:15; James 1:18; 2 Cor. 5:17.
- Revelation 3:14 refers to this new creation and not to the creation of Genesis 1. This is indicated by the context:
The "making", "writing" and "granting" refer to the "new" Jerusalem and the new name - the ultimate regeneration of believers, and not to the creative acts on the earth of Genesis 1.
- ". . . hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (Rev. 3:11).
- "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God . . . and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem . . . and I will write upon him my new name." (vs. 12).
- "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne . . ." (vs. 21).
- Jesus is the "beginning" of this new creation - the first to live, die and to receive life for evermore. (Rev. 1:18). As Paul puts it: "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." (Col. 1:18). Christ is the "first and the last", the "Alpha and Omega" (Rev. 1:11)1 of this new creation.
- A further proof, (but more lengthy to develop) that "the beginning of the creation of God" refers to Christ as "the firstborn from the dead" and not as the creator of the universe, can be deduced by noting that Rev. 1:18 "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen" is a commentary on Rev. 3:14. If this can be shown then clearly Rev. 3:14 refers to the creation which commenced with Christ's death and resurrection. The proof rests in a comparison of the introductory statements about Jesus which begin each of the letters to the seven ecclesias with the description of Jesus in the first chapter. Consider the following:
- To Ephesus - "These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks." (Rev. 2:1). Cf. Rev. 1:20.
- To Smyrna - "These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive." (Rev. 2:8). Cf. Rev. 1:11, 18.
- To Pergamos - "These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges." (Rev. 2:12). Cf. Rev. 1:16.
- To Thyatira - "These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass." (Rev. 2:18). Cf. Rev. 1:14, 15.
- To Sardis - "These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars . . ." (Rev. 3:1). Cf. Rev. 1:4.
- To Philadelphia - "These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth." (Rev. 3:7). Cf. Rev. 1:18.
- To Laodicea - "These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God." (Rev. 3:14) Cf. "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. 1:18). Clearly, "the beginning of the creation of God" = "I am he that liveth and was dead." (i.e., "the firstborn from the dead".) (Col. 1:18).
- The Alpha and Omega of Rev. 1:8 is the Father - the Almighty. Cf. Rev. 1:4, 5 where the distinction is made between "God" and "Jesus". Note, too, the similarity between the language of vs. 4 and vs. 8. Return