Nature of God

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Jesus is not created:

What Revelation 3:14 really says

by Bill Wong

 

 

 

Not first created, but creator

 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses interpret Revelation 3:14 to mean that the Lord Jesus Christ is the first thing that God created. This is how their New World Translation reads:

 

Revelation 3:

14 “And to the angel of the congregation in La·o·di·ce´a write: These are the things that the Amen says,

     the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God, (NWT)

 

 

This is how all other Bibles read:

 

Revelation 3:

14   And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things said the Amen, the faithful and true witness,

     the beginning of the creation of God;  (AKJV)

 

 

Notice that the New World Translation says Jesus is “the beginning of the creation by God”, meaning that Jesus is the first of God’s creations. All other Bibles say that Jesus is the “beginning of the creation of God”, meaning that Jesus is the originator/source of God’s creation.

 

God’s word, the Bible, expressly says that all things were created through Christ – Jesus is the creator, and never says the Lord Jesus was Himself created:

 

John 1:

10   He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.   (AKJV)

 

Hebrews 1:

2   in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 

   (NASB)

 

Colossians 1:

16   For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible,

     whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him.   (NASB)

 

 

The absence of any Biblical references to the Lord Jesus being created “required” the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation to add the word “other” five times in Colossians 1:15-20 to make it appear that the Lord Jesus was created and merely created all “other” things.

 

The context of the word “beginning” in Revelation 3:14 does not refer to sequence of creation (Him being “first”), but refers to His complete authority over creation. He is greater than the creation, because He is the origin of it. Jesus is its source and creator, and not the first to be created. 

 

The ‘beginning’ in Colossians 1:18 is the same one used in Revelation 3:14 and means the same thing: the Lord Jesus’ preeminence over all creation. Please also see article ‘The Preeminent One: What Colossians 1 Really Says.

 

 

 

Arche

 

 

This word ‘beginning’ (Greek ‘arche’) is also used in Revelation 22:13 when Jesus says He is “the beginning and the end”:

 

Revelation 22:

12   And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me,

     to give every man according as his work shall be.

13  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 

     (AKJV)

 

 

This is Jesus speaking and not the angel who had been talking to the apostle John. We know this because the entire meaning of the Book of Revelation is about Jesus returning (also do not forget all judgment is given to him – John 5:22, 25-30) and verse 12 clearly states “I come quickly” – this refers to Jesus and not to an angel or His father.

 

To be the “beginning and the end” means to be the be-all and end-all of something. Jesus is saying He is this be-all and end-all.

 

The Biblical context shows that ‘arche’ means source, origin, pre-eminence, first in position or rank.

 

 

We see evidence of this at the very beginning of Revelation, in Revelation 1:5.

Jesus is called the “ruler”:

 

Revelation 1:

5   and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

    To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood--   (NASB)

 

 

The word ‘ruler’ is ‘archon’ which is related to ‘arche’ and shows that preeminence is in view – He is the preeminent one in power, the ruler.

 

 

The preeminence of the Lord Jesus is seen also in Colossians 2:

 

Colossians 2:

9        For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

10      and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

       (NASB)

 

 

The word ‘rule’ used here is also a derivative of the word ‘arche’, and as Jesus is the head over all rule, then this again means that He is the preeminent one. This supports the preeminence of Jesus in Colossians 1, which the New World Translation attempts to hide by adding the word ‘other’ five times.

 

 

What the Bible tells us ‘beginning’ (‘arche’) means in Revelation 3:14 is the same meaning it has when Jesus is described as the ‘beginning and the end’.

 

In the same way, it can be seen that the Bible is not saying that the Lord Jesus is the first to be created, but He is the be-all and end-all that holds authority over all things as its originator, and hence He is also Lord over any and all things pertaining to His creation, which includes life, death and eternal life after death.

 

The word “beginning” is used in the context of “beginning and end” as the originator who has complete authority over what He has brought into existence.  It is used the same way as the well-known idiom:

 

“I brought you into the world and I could take you out!” 

 

The parent who says this is proclaiming his authority over his child as the child’s be-all and end-all, beginning and end.  The parent is saying he is the absolute authority over his child – the one who gave him life, and hence the one who has the right to rule over all aspects of the life of his creation – even his destiny and death.

 

In the same way, the Lord Jesus is Lord over all; He is the be-all and end-all of His creation.

 

He is not the first-created, but Jesus is the source of life for the creation, and died and was raised for it. Ultimately, He will also judge, redeem and restore it – He is the Beginning and the End of it.