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Beginning and End
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
By: David Deschesne
Editor/Publisher, Fort Fairfield Journal June 20, 2007
The Lord God refers to himself four times in the Bible as the “Alpha and Omega”1 in order to illustrate the fact that He is permanently existing from the beginning of all things to the end.
The Greek alphabet uses its letters as its number system, as does the Hebrew alphabet and the Roman Numeral system of numbers.
In Greek, alpha (A) is not only the first letter of the alphabet, but also represents the number “1.” It’s symbolism is that of “first,” “beginning” and “origination.
“He [the Lord] wants us to remember and never forget that He is the beginning of all literature. There would be no such thing as education, or understanding, or learning, were it not that He gave man the ability to learn, and then unveiled to man’s mind the multitude of matters which we call education. All information about creation has come from Him. Those who shut Him out of their lives and thinking are in darkness, or return to darkness. He is the author of the solar system and of all chemicals. He is the designer of the earth and the heavens. He originated the plan of salvation. He is the author of every kind of life in the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom and the human kingdom. Christ Jesus is first, He is before all in every department of the universe. As Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, so Christ is the first cause of everything that exists.”2
The omega (Ω) is the last letter of the Greek alphabet. It’s number value in original, Biblical Greek is 800. The figurative sense of omega is “the end,” “finality,” “conclusion.
Our simple, materialistic minds labor to comprehend how the Lord could have been here forever and will be forever because, perceiving events in the material realm causes a perception of time. The Lord exists in the spiritual plane, disconnected from the material realm, thus in His perception of events, there is no time - everything happens at once.
Gravity and Time
All mass has an effect on the speed with which time passes. An effect called Gravitational Time Dilation has been observed where atomic clocks at sea level tick more slowly than do clocks at higher altitudes.3 The further one moves a clock away from a gravitational field, the faster it will tick in relation to the clock closest to the gravitational field.
Perception and Time
Using the mechanics of Gravitational Time Dilation it can be postulated that as one separates his cognizance from the material realm, time would appear to speed up. We all experience this effect when we fall into a deep sleep. When sleeping, the perceptive portion of our being - the soul, for lack of a better word - disconnects for a while from the material world. The deeper the sleep, the more it disconnects. That is why time seems to pass so slowly if you’re awake and staring at a clock for eight hours as opposed to it seeming to pass so quickly (sometimes seeming like minutes) for the same amount of time during a deep sleep.
I call this effect Perceptual Time Dilation - where perception of time is dependent on how connected the “perceiver” is to mass and thus gravity (gravity being merely space warped around a mass such as the earth or sun).
From time to time when riding in a car long distances, I find my mind wandering (not while driving!) - some call it ‘daydreaming.’ When this occurs, my eyes may be open and my mind “awake,” but my inner perceptive senses are focusing on some other subject than my surroundings. When this occurs, the trip always seems to take less time. I start out with one recognizable landmark, a house for instance, and forty-five minutes later realize I’m looking at another at the end of my trip even though it seems we just started out a few minutes previous.
Another of our senses that is “fooled” by time perception under the Perceptual Time Dilation is that of sight at a distance. For example, look at a car going 60 miles per hour while you are standing on the side of the road it’s traveling on. When it is far away, it appears to be moving slowly. When it passes you, you get the full realization of its speed, as it gets further away it appears to be going slower and slower in proportion to its distance. Looking at airplanes thousands of feet up also illustrates this since the plane appears to be moving only an inch or so per second when in reality it is traveling three to four hundred miles per hour!
The Lord God sees our existence in the same way. Since He is fully in the spiritual, non-material realm, His time “stands still.” It is very difficult to understand this seeming paradox to be moving forward in time, and not moving forward in time simultaneously, but liken it to Him watching a parade.
In the parade analogy, imagine yourself marching in a parade. You can only see the things around you and aren’t sure of what’s up ahead because you haven’t arrived there yet. You merely march forward one step at a time seeing the street as it’s revealed to you. That is our perception of time as we exist here in the material realm. The Lord, however, sees the same parade from high up above. Looking down on the parade, He can see the whole street, the beginning of it to the end of it and all points in between. In His infinite Divine Providence He is able to move, manipulate and orchestrate His master parade to his will, directing and conducting its path accordingly. For what seems a long period of time while marching is all happening at once to Him from His lofty, figurative vantage point.
All Points Considered
Like every parade route, all possible paths must be considered and mapped out, detours and alternate routes determined ahead of time and traffic/people flows managed appropriately.
There is a theory in physics, loosely named the “Many Universes” theory which suggests all atomic matter in existence has been plotted, as well. Rather than the Calvinistic theory of Predeterminism, where Calvin postulates everyone’s fate is predetermined by the Lord and they are merely playing out their lives like a wind-up toy, this theory postulates that every possible, conceivable route, or position in space an atom may ever conceivably take has already been programmed in an infinite number of possible paths. As forces act on mass, or living beings make conscious choices, one of the infinite number of paths that was predetermined is then taken and was programmed to do so. (Perhaps this could explain some of our dreams. When dreaming, we may be tapping into that other realm and perceiving some of those pre-programmed paths in life either not taken, or ever to be taken in the physical realm).
Spiritual Plane has no Time
To summarize, the further you get away from a gravitational field, the faster time appears to go by (Gravitational Time Dilation); likewise, the further your perceptive senses are removed from mass and gravity, the faster time goes by (Perceptual Time Dilation). The further one moves away from mass and toward the spiritual realm, the faster time appears to tick to the point when one is fully “over there” in the spiritual realm. At death the perception of time will end, since time has sped up infinitely and we will then all experience eternity as our Heavenly Father does, without the constraints of time, mass or gravity.
As the First Source and Center of all spiritual existence, the Lord God truly does transcend time. Our inability to comprehend that while experiencing our perception here in the physical realm notwithstanding.
1. Rev. 1:8; 1:11; 21:6; 22:13
2. A Dictionary of Bible Types, Walter L. Wilson, ©1999 Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., p. 9
3. A Brief History of Time, ©1988 Stephen Hawking, p. 32