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Can you please explain the meaning of the words, "the beginning of the creation of God", in Revelation 3.14?

It would be easy to interpret the title "the beginning" to mean that the Lord is the first of God's creation, but this view is unscriptural and therefore serious error. The title suggests that our Lord is the beginner of all that God created, or the author and the active agent of all God's creation. False cults which deny the deity of Christ often cite this verse to try to disprove the deity of the Lord Jesus, but, as John writes elsewhere, "All things were made (lit. came to be) by him" (Jn 1.3). It is interesting and helpful to note that the same description of Christ - "the beginning" - is used by Paul in Colossians 1.18, and there it is set in a context where he refers to Christ as the origin, order, and object of creation (vv.15-16). He is not only the source of creation, but from v.18 of this passage He is the source of the Church also. The apostle thus shows the greatness of Christ in both spheres.

If Christ was a created being, however exalted, how could John have written later in Revelation that every created thing ascribed to God and to Him the self-same honours (5.13)? The Lamb to whom all glory is given is none other than Christ Himself. That the Lord is the source and origin of creation becomes more evident when Revelation 19.10 and 22.8-9 are noticed. There the writer records how an angel refused to be worshiped, and that on the ground that only to God can worship rightly be given. Pondering these things there is only one inevitable conclusion - Christ is distinct from creation. He existed prior to creation. He is indispensable to creation. He is therefore God. A creature who is also a creator is an impossible conclusion.

John J Stubbs

What is the significance of David sitting to pray in 1 Chronicles 17.16?

It should be noted that the passage in 2 Samuel 7.1-29 is parallel to that in 1 Chronicles 17.1-27 in which the stated verse is found.

As a penitent, David is seen lying before God: "David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth" (2 Sam 12.16). As the Lord's servant, David stood before the people: "Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people" (1 Chr 28.2). In the verse referred to, as a worshipper David "sat before the Lord" (2 Sam 7.18; 1 Chr 17.16).

Here in 1 Chronicles 17, for a brief season, the Lord had granted His servant David rest, and we read that "David sat in his house" (v.1); he was in the company of Nathan the prophet. In this period of repose, David was considering in his mind the honour of God. Instead of being taken up with his achievements and self-satisfied with the position he now occupied, David was concerned about the lowly abode of the ark of God: "Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord remaineth under curtains" (v.1).

David's response to Nathan's message displayed no trace of resentment, but rather a sense of deep gratitude to the Lord for all that had been made known to him.

Then we see David enjoying what was the sole right of the high priest, and that but once a year, to appear before the ark of God, presumably now in its new location. "David…sat before the Lord", something no high priest was ever allowed to do. He was simply meditating in the presence of the Lord.

Whether he changed his posture when he began to speak to the Lord, we do not know, but the customary procedure when engaged in prayer was to kneel or to stand. The language David employs in his prayer makes it clear that, irrespective of whether he sat, or knelt, or stood, he did not adopt a casual attitude in the presence of God. In conclusion, it should be mentioned that some commentators have pointed out that the word translated "sat" is more likely to mean "abode" or "tarried".

David E West

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