Hope of Israel Ministries (Church of YEHOVAH):
Just Who Is -- "The Alpha and the Omega"?
The old pagan doctrine of a "pre-existent savior," kept alive and well by religious impostors through the mediums of radio, television and publishing, is much more dangerous than most people realize -- because it was actually invented for the purpose of taking away the HEADSHIP and position of YEHOVAH God our Creator, and exalting the Messiah to a position that is not rightfully his! This article uncovers one such attempt to pervert the Scriptures and foist upon the unsuspecting reader the false doctrine of the pre-existence of Yeshua the Messiah.
by John D. Keyser
In a letter we recently received from a man on our mailing list, the following comments were made:
"The following four verses claim that both YHVH and Jesus are both the Alpha and the Omega, which would suggest that Jesus is the Lord of the Old Testament and thus pre-existed according to William Dankenbring's understanding. John records in Revelation the words of God, saying, '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' (Revelation 1:8). 'I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it' (Isaiah 44:6). 'I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!' (Rev. 1:17-18). Jesus says, 'And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END, the first and the last....I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star' (Rev. 22:12-16)."
Things are not always what they seem -- Dankenbring not withstanding! This article will explain the TRUE meaning of the above verses and show how error crept into the 1611 King James Version of the Bible!
The phrase "the Alpha and the Omega" can be found FOUR TIMES in the King James Version of the Bible. However, this phrase should only have been included TWO TIMES! Why? Because it was added to these scriptures in order to infer that it was also Yeshua who was "the Alpha and the Omega" -- and not just YEHOVAH the Father!
The phrase "the Alpha and the Omega" is first found written in Revelation 1:8 in the King James Version. In this verse it refers to YEHOVAH -- notice:
I am the ALPHA and the OMEGA, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
This verse couldn't be any more clearer -- this is YEHOVAH God speaking about Himself.
The fact that the title "the Alpha and the Omega" in this verse refers to only YEHOVAH God is found confirmed in the reference, Insight on the Scriptures --
While many commentators apply this title [the Alpha and the Omega] both to God and to Christ, a more careful examination of its use restricts its application to Jehovah God. The first verse of Revelation shows that the revelation was given originally by God and through Jesus Christ, hence the one speaking (though an angelic representation) at times is God himself, and at other times it is Christ Jesus. (Re. 22:8) Thus Revelation 1:8 (RS) says: "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God ["Jehovah God," NW], who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." Although the preceding verse speaks of Christ Jesus, it is clear that in verse 8 the application of the title is to "the Almighty" God. In this regard Barnes' Notes on the New Testament (1974) observes: "It cannot be absolutely certain that the writer meant to refer to the Lord Jesus specifically here...There is no real incongruity in supposing, also, that the writer here meant to refer to God as such." -- Volume 1, page 81.
Then, in Revelation 1:11 (KJV), the phrase "the Alpha and the Omega" is again found --
...saying, "I am the ALPHA and the OMEGA, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea" (New King James Version).
After the apostle John heard this being spoken, he turned around to see WHO said it (verse 12) -- but saw Yeshua the Messiah (verses 13-17). However, Yeshua here reassures John that he was NOT the Alpha and the Omega! We can see this for ourselves in Revelation 1:17-18, which states --
And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I AM THE FIRST AND THE LAST. I am he who lives and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."
In other words, Yeshua told John NOT to be afraid, for HE WAS NOT THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA! Yeshua simply did NOT identify himself by that title! This is born out in other versions of the New Testament where the phrase "the Alpha and the Omega" in Revelation 1:11 is not even included -- notice!
...saying, "Write down what you see on a scroll, and send it to the seven Messianic communities -- Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea!" (Revelation 1:11, Jewish New Testament).
Absolutely no sign of the phrase "the Alpha and the Omega" here! In the New International Version -- and even the Authorized Catholic Edition -- not a trace of the phrase can be found in verse 11.
Similarly, The New Testament of the Jerusalem Bible also omits this phrase -- notice!
"Write down all that you see in a book, and send it to the seven churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea" (Revelation 1:11).
Mention of this is also found in the Bible dictionary Insight on the Scriptures -- Volume 1, Page 80. Notice --
The additional occurrence of this phrase in the King James rendering of Revelation 1:11, however, does not receive support from some of the oldest Greek manuscripts, including the Alexandrine, Sinaitic, and Codex Ephraemi rescriptus. It is, therefore, omitted in many modern translations.
Moving forward to Revelation 21:6-7 the phrase "the Alpha and the Omega" can once again be found (in the KJV):
And he said to me, "It is done! I am the ALPHA and the OMEGA, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son."
Here it is YEHOVAH God the Father speaking and prophesying. All of this chapter is about the New Jerusalem descending from heaven with YEHOVAH God on the throne.
"The title [the Alpha and the Omega] occurs again," states Insight on the Scriptures, "at Revelation 21:6, and the following verse identifies the speaker by saying: 'Anyone conquering will inherit these things, and I shall be his God and he will be my son.' Inasmuch as Jesus referred to those who are joint heirs with him in his Kingdom as 'brothers,' not 'sons,' the speaker must be Jesus' heavenly Father, Jehovah God. -- Mt. 25:40; compare Heb. 2:10-12" (Volume 1, page 81).
Now we come to another scripture in which the phrase "the Alpha and the Omega" was ADDED -- in order to foist upon the unwary reader the theory that Yeshua was also "the Alpha and the Omega"! This scripture is Revelation 22:13. And Revelation 22:16 undeniably states that these are Yeshua's words --
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last (New King James Version)
In The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982, published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Nashville, TN, there is a footnote to Revelation 22:13 which says --
117. NU-Text and M-Text read the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
This footnote (#117) shows that the Alexandrian (NU) and the Vatican (M) texts leave out the phrase "the Alpha and the Omega."
While not mentioning that this verse is not to be found in the Alexandrian and Vatican texts, Insight on the Scriptures agrees that this verse refers to YEHOVAH God the Father. Notice!
The final occurrence of the title [the Alpha and the Omega] is at Revelation 22:13, which states: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." It is evident that a number of persons are represented as speaking in this chapter of Revelation; verses 8 and 9 show that the angel spoke to John, verse 16 obviously applies to Jesus, the first part of verse 17 is credited to "the spirit and the bride," and the one speaking in the latter part of verse 20 is manifestly John himself. "The Alpha and the Omega" of verses 12-15, therefore, may properly be identified as the same one who bears the title in the other two occurrences: Jehovah God. The expression, "Look! I am coming quickly," in verse 12, does not require that these aforementioned verses apply to Jesus, inasmuch as God also speaks of himself as "coming" to execute judgment. (Compare Isaiah 26:21.) Malachi 3:1-6 speaks of a joint coming for judgment on the part of Jehovah and his "messenger of the covenant." -- Volume 1, page 81.
Now, you might ask, what DIFFERENCE does it make that this phrase was added to this scripture (Revelation 22:13) -- and also to Revelation 1:11? It makes a HUGE difference because it leads people to erroneously believe that Yeshua the Messiah pre-existed in the Godhead before his human birth; because NEVER BEFORE has there been a true understanding of what YEHOVAH God actually said when He identified Himself as "the ALPHA AND THE OMEGA"!
Aleph and Tau
Since we know that YEHOVAH God said He was "THE ALPHA AND OMEGA" in Revelation 1:8 and Revelation 21:6, let's thoroughly study these verses to learn the truth about each of them.
In Revelation 1:8, the Being Who is speaking identifies Himself as "THE ALMIGHTY" -- Whom we all know is YEHOVAH. Almost all English versions of the Bible render this verse in the same way as the King James Version --
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.
By merely leaving this text as it is written, a tremendous understanding of WHO YEHOVAH is has been lost. All one would read into this translation is that YEHOVAH is "the Alpha and Omega" -- or the Beginning and the End. However, if these two Greek letters are researched in detail, we can readily see that YEHOVAH God is revealing much more about Himself than just the "Beginning and the End."
In the Greek alphabet the letter "ALPHA" is the first letter, while "OMEGA" is the last. But in the HEBREW language -- in which the New Testament scriptures are now known to have been originally written -- the letter "ALEPH" is the first letter, and the letter "TAU" is the last.
It is admitted by Bible scholars that Revelation 1:8 should say (in Hebrew):
I am the ALEPH and the TAU
I am the ALPHA and the OMEGA
This we find in a number of translations, including the Disciples' New Testament. Notice:
I am the ALAP and TAU, says the Lord God, the One who Is, and the One who Becomes and the One who Comes, the One and Only for all.
In a footnote to this verse, the Disciples' New Testament states: "To use 'Omega' here, that is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, is wrong, since the original utterance is in Aramaic and the title the Lord gives Himself must not be changed according to the alphabet of the language in which His title is translated; therefore, 'Tau' should be retained in all other languages. Incidentally, in Hebrew it is 'Tau' also (page 470).
The Anchor Bible, Revelation Volume 38, p. 379, gives us another explanation of this phrase, saying --
8. the Alpha and the Omega. The Hebrew would be aleph and taw, probably standing respectively for Urim and Thummin, the sacred lots of the high priest used to determine the will of God and also meaning "all encompassing."
Adam Clarke, in his Commentary, Volume 6, p. 971, confirms that "ALPHA AND OMEGA" is indeed "ALEPH AND TAU" in Hebrew. Notice what he says --
[The beginning and the ending] That is, as aleph or alpha is the beginning of the alphabet, so am I the author and cause of all things; as tau or omega is the end or last letter of the alphabet, so am I the end of all things, the destroyer as well as the establisher of all things.
However, we would not be any better off if Revelation 1:8 is properly rendered, "I am the ALEPH and the TAU..." One still would not know what YEHOVAH means when He merely identifies Himself by the FIRST and the LAST letters of the Hebrew alphabet. We need to dig further into this subject. The letters ALEPH and TAU must be researched in depth to ascertain if they have a meaning, or message, to convey.
Unity and Perfection
What the translators of the Bible did not realize -- or simply rejected -- is that each individual Hebrew letter can be a word or phrase unto itself -- with a specific meaning. This is clearly pointed out by Fabre d'Olivet in his intriguing book, The Hebraic Tongue Restored. Dr. d'Olivet shows clear, precise explanations for the meanings of each individual Hebrew letter -- and to what they point out or declare. On page 98 of his book, Dr. d'Olivet explains that knowing that each Hebrew letter has a meaning of its own is the KEY to understanding the Bible --
Twenty-two signs: such are the simple bases upon which reposes the Hebraic tongue, upon which are raised the primitive or derivative tongue which are attached to the same origin. From the perfect understanding of these bases, depends the understanding of their genius: their possession is a key which unlocks the roots.
In discussing the letters ALEPH and TAU, Dr. d'Olivet presents clear proof that these two letters make statements in their own right. The FIRST letter in the Hebrew alphabet (ALEPH), according to Dr. d'Olivet, stands for UNITY. Notice:
A. -- This first character of the alphabet, in nearly all known idioms, is the sign of power and of stability. The ideas that it expresses are those of unity and of the principle by which it is determined (The Hebraic Tongue Restored, p. 95).
Now, going to page 287, he states --
A. First character of the alphabet in nearly all known idioms. As a symbolic image it represents universal man, mankind, the ruling being of the earth. In its hieroglyphic acceptation, it characterizes unity, the central point, the abstract principle of a thing. As a sign, it expresses power, stability, continuity.
On both page 98 and page 465 of this book, Dr. d'Olivet succinctly points out that the letter "TAU," -- the LAST letter of the Hebrew alphabet -- means and stands for PERFECTION:
TH. -- Sign of reciprocity: image of that which is mutual and reciprocal. Sign of signs. Joining to the abundance of the character [...], to the force of the resistance and protection of the character [...], the idea of perfection and necessity of which it is the emblem.
Incredible as it may seem, both single letters: Aleph and Tau, are in themselves Hebrew words that have specific meanings. As we have just seen, Dr. d'Olivet clearly shows in his book that "Aleph" is a word or sign meaning UNITY, and that "TAU" is a word or sign indicating PERFECTION.
As Adam Clarke and the writers of The Anchor Bible, Revelation have shown, "the Alpha and the Omega" should have been written "The Aleph and the Tau."
Now, with the true meanings of these Hebrew letters uncovered, we can see what YEHOVAH is actually saying in the scriptures we are studying. Let's look at Revelation 1:8:
I am the UNITY and PERFECTION, the beginning and the end, says YEHOVAH, Who is, Who was, and Who is coming, the Almighty.
Other scriptures verify that YEHOVAH is Unity and Perfection -- in Deuteronomy 6:4 YEHOVAH says that He is ONE (UNITY). Notice --
Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.
Yeshua the Messiah -- the only begotten Son of YEHOVAH -- who was the savior selected and anointed by YEHOVAH -- clearly taught that YEHOVAH is Perfection, saying in Matthew 19:17:
Why are you asking me about good [perfection]? There is One who is good [perfect]! But if you want to obtain eternal life, observe the mitzvot [commandments].
Then, in Matthew 5:48 --
Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
YEHOVAH God is revealing Himself to be Unity and Perfection. These scriptures that reveal "the Alpha and the Omega" and "the Aleph and the Tau" to be YEHOVAH Almighty (Revelation 1:8 and 21:6) DO NOT point to Yeshua -- nor can Revelation 1:11 and 22:13 where this phrase was ADDED in some versions of the Bible to "claim" that Yeshua the Messiah pre-existed!
Yeshua the Messiah: First and Last, Beginning and End
Having proven that the words "Alpha and Omega" were added to Revelation 1:11 and 22:13, the latter verse should correctly read:
I am the FIRST and the LAST, the BEGINNING and the END.
We know that Yeshua said this; we know that it is no contradiction for him to call himself the "last" because he will live forever. We know it is no contradiction for him to call himself the "end" because he is the END RESULT of having kept his Father's laws perfectly. In Romans 10:4 we read --
Christ is the end [result] of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Naturally, the translators tried to distort and misinterpret this verse to try and make you believe that Yeshua ended or "did away" with the law! If you research the meaning of the word translated "end" in this scripture you will find that it means ultimate, prophetic purpose or product -- and not "end" as is universally understood in the English context. Religious deceivers also use Romans 10:4 to argue that the apostle Paul taught against YEHOVAH's laws! Nothing could be further from the truth! The apostle Paul NEVER once taught against the laws of YEHOVAH.
Now, in Revelation 22:13, Yeshua calls himself the "LAST" because he has been resurrected to eternal life and will never die again. He called himself the "END" because he is the END PRODUCT -- the ultimate result of the law of YEHOVAH.
But what did he mean when he called himself the "FIRST" in Revelation 22:13? Did he mean that he was the first being to ever exist? Many would have you think so. Did he mean that he was "the Father of all the living"? There are many who would have you think so. Was Yeshua saying that he pre-existed? If you let scripture interpret scripture the meaning will be very clear. Notice, please, Revelation 1:5:
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth...
So therefore, when Yeshua called himself the "FIRST" in Revelation 22:13 -- he was not referring to "pre-existence" at all! Yeshua simply meant that he was the first begotten of the dead, which means that he was THE FIRST TO BE RAISED FROM THE DEAD! Because Yeshua is now raised from the dead, he is now immortal -- he is the FIRST to be fully created in the whole image of YEHOVAH! This is what Yeshua meant when he said that he was the "FIRST" in Revelation 22:13.
What, then, did he mean when he called himself the "BEGINNING" in the same verse? Does this imply that he was in the beginning with YEHOVAH -- as many would have you believe? The answer to these questions is found in Revelation 3:14, which says --
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God [YEHOVAH]:
In this scripture Yeshua calls himself the "beginning of the creation of God [YEHOVAH]." Yes, of course! Man -- in his present physical state -- is only a HALF-CREATED being, because we, mankind, are still corruptible flesh, as Paul says in I Corinthians 15:53:
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
The fact is, we are still dying in this world. If you do not believe me, just check the obituary section of your local newspaper. Man is only in the LIKENESS of YEHOVAH at this time -- man was created to resemble YEHOVAH. Man has a form just like YEHOVAH's: a head, chest, arms, legs, feet, etc. -- just as the Bible describes YEHOVAH as having.
However, Yeshua the Messiah -- because he is the FIRST to be raised from the dead to eternal life -- is NOW in the FULL IMAGE of YEHOVAH; he is PERFECTED. He has become the First, or the Beginning -- AMONG MEN -- to reach the state of PERFECT, completed, whole creation, as YEHOVAH's plan for mankind is.
Therefore, he was NOT referring to pre-existence in calling himself the "Beginning" in Revelation 22:13. Yeshua the Messiah simply means that HE was the "Beginning" -- the FIRST PERFECTED of YEHOVAH's whole creation plan for mankind.
There is no evidence whatsoever that the phrase "the Alpha and the Omega" refers to the Messiah -- in fact, the exact opposite is apparent when we carefully examine the occurrences of this phrase in the Book of Revelation.
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