Alpha and Omega

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and was and is to come—the Almighty.
Revelation 1: 8 Berean Study Bible

Some translations leave out the definite article before ‘Alpha and Omega.’

What is the Alpha and Omega?

Alpha and Omega, Greek letters

: Alpha (Α) and omega (Ω) are the first and last letters, respectively, of the classical (Ionic) Greek alphabet. Thus, twice when the phrase “I am the alpha and the omega” appears it is further clarified with the additional phrase, “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 21:6, 22:13). The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet were used because the book of Revelation is in the New Testament, which was originally written in Greek.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_and_Omega

What does Christ mean, the Alpha and Omega?

Sometimes when a person hears something over the course of time, it is merely words that have always been known. Alpha and Omega – the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, but why did Christ say He was?

Is it possible He meant He was at the beginning of the Book and the end of the Book – the beginning of time and the end of time?

Let’s check.

Sometimes when a person hears something many times over the course of time, it is merely words that have always been known. Alpha and Omega – the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, but why did Christ say that?

Is it possible He meant He was at the beginning of the Book and the end of the Book – the beginning of time and the end of time?

Genesis
Revelation, the end

The gospel of John might have a clue there…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1: 1 – 3

I was surprised to find there is some debate about what this means. Years ago when I was in Bible College it was taught that Jesus Christ was the Word of God,

I saw a short YouTube video (not linked) where two Biblical scholars were discussing this ‘controversial’ section. The concluded it was a choice of the translators to use a capital for Word.

That view does not make sense of John 1: 1
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Let’s look at Genesis – the Alpha

“In the beginning God, created the heavens and the earth”
Genesis 1:1

 

The word used for God in Genesis 1:1 is “Elohim,” which is a form of the word “El.” In the context of Genesis 1:1, there can certainly be no doubt as to who is doing the creating. In the Hebrew language the “im” ending imputes plurality. Therefore, “Elohim” is the plural from of the word “El.”
Chuck Missler: from his book ‘The Creator Beyond Time and Space.

The plural aspect continues…

“And God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'”
Genesis 1:26, (Jewish Publication Society version, 1917)

The Alpha – the One who became Jesus Christ

Remember John 1: 1 -3 ?

That nails it for me. The Word of God, before he was born as a human being, was with God.

In fact, when researching for Hold the Faith I spent a great deal of time studying these first verses of the gospel of John.

Does God change His mind?

How could we trust Him if He did? We would never know where we stood.

God is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?
Numbers 23: 19

And another

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13: 8

Conclusion

When Christ, at the end of the Book, says He is the Alpha – He was/is at the beginning of the Book.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ…
Revelation 1: 1…

The Omega

Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
Revelation 22: 12

At the end of the Book, Christ repeats…

I am the Alpha and Omega

In fact, he is all the way through the Bible.

Found on YouTube…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW1elxCB69A

A praise song.

Sharing,

Susan

P.S. – Don’t forget ‘No Evil Shall Befall You is only .99c US during the pre-release period, Which ends on the 1st of August. 

Read about it here https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/no-evil-shall-befall-you

Or buy it on pre-release here  https://www.amazon.com/No-Evil-Shall-Befall-You-ebook/dp/B07FVL99FJ

Also, on the first of August, the first novella, After the Thirty Days will be free for one day. 

These novellas are ‘the Jewish side.’ Another, the final in the series of novellas is coming later this year.

Nephilim – Angels or Men

Nephilim were as giants

There is a current ‘fascination’ on the subject of the Nephilim. I base this statement on the number of popular books on the subject to be found on Amazon… a couple even with the ‘bestseller’ tag. But does it mean they are telling the truth? I guess it depends on what you see as the truth. In this week’s blog I want to explore the subject of Nephilim from the Bible point of view.

Bible references on Nephilim

Pre-flood
Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.
Genesis 6: 1, 2 NKJV

Post-flood
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. There also we saw the Nephilim (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
Numbers 13: 30 – 33 NKJV

Grasshopper in the sight of the Nephilim

The identity of the Nephilim and the sons of God is debated in Christian circles. Many say the Nephilim are fallen angels, some say that they are men. Others suggest that the Nephilim were aliens.

(The latter has quite a large following also.)

 

Nephilim, fallen angel?

 

Currently, the most popular thoughts  seem to be that they are fallen angels who chose ‘daughters of men’ and had children with them.

Interesting, but fantasy, surely.

Why… read on.

On the Nephilim

In the beginning God created everything after its own kind.

God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1: 25

There are twelve other verses about ‘after its own kind’ here …

https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/According-To-Its-Kind

On Angels

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”
(Job 38:4-7).

(Morning stars – generally interpreted as angels.)
Since according to that verse angels already existed and God created them before Genesis 1, it is reasonable to assume that they too were created ‘after their kind.’

With the benefit of modern science and technology mankind can crossbreed species. However, in creation I have not read of one species interbreeding with another. Not even mermaids. They are not real; there is no conclusive scientific evidence that proves their existence in real life. Mermaids are mythical creatures that have been a part of folklore and legends for thousands of years. (According to Reference.com)

Is it possible the Nephilim, being fallen, could breed with women?

Human beings were created ‘after their kind’ – angels ‘after their kind’ – which was spirtual. Even ‘fallen’ angels are still spiritual.

Answers in the New Testament

What higher authority is there but Christ? When answering a question on a different subject, He said this…

For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.
Matthew 22: 30 NKJV

On Sons of God

The Apostle John recorded…

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
1 John 3: 1, 2

The phrase “sons of God” is found eleven times in the King James Version: twice in Genesis, three times in Job, and six times in the New Testament. Other than its usage in Job, (where it possibly refers to angels) the term ‘sons of God’ refers to those who follow after God and keep His Word.

Bible. One book, many stories

Although we use our imaginations, and sometimes have ‘fun’ doing it, there are many things we cannot know. For some things we must wait for the truth in the ‘hereafter.’

Thinking again,

Susan

Identifying Signs

Egyptian signs on column

Humankind (to be politically correct) has used signs since they were able to scratch out a sign in the earth. Language developed from the signs and the featured image shows the Egyptian hieroglyphics. A lot more complex than my memory of childhood games in Scotland.

One such game was rather  elaborate game where someone would go off well ahead of the group and leave a chalk sign – usually an arrow, to indicate a change of direction. The rest of the group followed later, using the chalk signs to find the first person.

I remember an elaborate game where someone would go off well ahead of the group and leave a chalk sign – usually an arrow, to indicate a change of direction. The rest of the group followed later, using the chalk signs to find the first person.

chalk signs

This only works if the one the others is following gives accurate directions, and does not turn the opposite direction. In this such a case the sign would be misleading.

Signs can be ignored

 

Possibly the most common signs to be ignored would be speed limit signs or even a stop sign at a road junction.

(Sometimes with catastrophic consequences.)

Signs of Christian Faith

Many Christians identify themselves using a piece of jewelry – a cross, either as a necklace, earrings, or even a pin/badge.

Yet the Greek word translated as ‘cross’ is stauros which means stake.

According to The Companion Bible, crosses were used as symbols of the Babylonian Sun-god.

(Image of Shamash, sun-god, found on Pinterest.)

Last week I wrote about Constantine’s conversion.

It turns out that he is credited with bringing the ‘cross’ we recognize today into Christianity.

The most accepted reason for the “cross” being brought into Messianic worship is Constantine’s famous vision of “the cross superimposed on the sun” in A.D. 312. What he saw is nowhere to be found in Scripture. Even after his so-called “conversion,” his coins showed an even-armed cross as a symbol for the Sun-god.”

http://tyndalearchive.com/scriptures/www.innvista.com/scriptures/compare/heathenb.htm

(This information is available at several sites.)

History of Christian 'signs.'

Many of the ‘symbols’ we associate with Christianity were originally associated with Chaldean/Babylonian worship.

(I may share some of these fascinating details in a future post, but to do it here would take the post off-topic and be far too long.)

If you are interested do an Internet search on Tammuz (said to be the origin of the Tau cross.)

Early Christians' views on the 'Cross'

When writing the Apostle John Series, I spent years researching and endeavoring to walk in the shoes of those early Christians. One think I am clear on… to those early Christians the ‘cross’ or ‘stauros’ was an instrument of torture and death.

https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Roman-Crucifixion-Method-of-Execution

Because crucifixion was an excruciating way to die, Rome did not impose this type of punishment on its own citizens.

(It is interesting that the image accompanying the article show crucifixion on a ‘stauros’, not a ‘cross.’)

So, to followers of the ‘Way’ the ‘cross’ would have been something to be loathed, as well as feared, not venerated

Still fascinated by research

Susan

Constantine, a true convert or merely adding a new ‘god’?

'sundog's' image, Constantine's vision?

Saint Constantine the Great, Emperor, Confessor and Equal to the Apostles

That is according to Wikipedia – but who made him equal to the Apostles?
Never, mind – that’s a rhetorical question.

So, who was Constantine?

Statue of Constantine


Most of us – or maybe these days, only some of us… have heard the story of how Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity.

‘Legend’ has it that before a great battle, he saw the sign of the cross in the sky and was told “with this sign, you shall win” – there are some variations in the story.

Constantine's conversion

The same article that proclaimed him equal to the Apostles says…

Although he lived most of his life as a pagan, he joined the Christian faith on his deathbed, being baptized by Eusebius of Nicomedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_the_Great

Clearly, his ‘baptism’ was ‘sprinkling.’ He could not have had full immersion baptism such as John the Baptist performed, and the Apostles did, because Constantine was on his deathbed. Because of this ‘deathbed conversion’ some modern scholars, however, debate his beliefs and even his comprehension of the Christian faith itself.

So, what about the vision of the cross? Did he see it or not? If he did, why was his conversion recorded as a ‘deathbed conversion?’

A discussion thread in a forum predominantly cited the fact that ‘baptism is one time only’. For this reason, and because Constantine knew he would continue to sin, left his baptism until his deathbed so he would be ‘clean’ when he died. 

Sounds rather duplicitous to me. (And if I can recognise it, you can be sure, God would.)

Did Constantine have a vision of the cross or not?

First, see the ‘featured’ image at the start of this post. That is claimed to be a modern version of the cross on the sun.

Be that or be it not… according to chroniclers such as Eusebius of Caesarea and Lactantius, the battle of the Milvian Bridge marked the beginning of Constantine’s conversion to Christianity. Eusebius of Caesarea recounts that Constantine and his soldiers had a vision sent by the Christian God. This was interpreted as a promise of victory if the sign of the Chi-Rho, the first two letters of Christ’s name in Greek, was painted on the soldiers’ shields.

I guess I am cynical, but that sounds like ‘superstition’ to me. (I grew up bound by superstition, we Scots are good at it, but I gave them up.)

superstition

Doing a quick search, I could not find any example of God (or Jesus) requiring a symbol for the clothing or shields of people ‘fighting in His Name.’

Conversely there are a lot of scriptures promising that He will fight for them.

The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:14)

“Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” (2 Chronicles 32:7)

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. Deuteronomy 20: 1

After reading, and researching on the subject of Constantine, I find it tempting to believe that, for his own purpose, Emperor Constantine added his branch of ‘Christianity’ to the arsenal of gods he already worshipped. 

See these pictures of the Roman temples in Constantine’s time. Consider if he was trying to balance the beliefs of the population, then the report I read might be true that he did offer pagan sacrifices up until he was too ill to go to the temples anymore.

Credit:
Photos taken from Rome in 312 – Emperor Constantine the Great.
Panorama in the Gasometer in Pforzheim/Germany, by Yadegar Asisi and posted in the Roman History group by Karen Gronbach Grüneberg

Perhaps most ‘telling’ is Constantine’s Arch.

According to the YouTube video linked below – there is not one Christian symbol on the Arch – but there are pagan dieties.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY9ae6SE1oo

Starting at 11.34 the Arch of Constantine is explored. (The whole video is approx. 44 minutes long.)

This information is part of the many, often contradictory, sources I sifted through while writing the Apostle John Series.

What you believe is your choice, I am simply sharing some interesting information I came across.

Susan