CHRIST (ALPHA AND OMEGA): The Spirit of God from the Beginning
If we are to understand what "image" means in Genesis 1:26-27, to begin, it is for us to know that the Bible's Creation is unique. Where all other creation narratives rely on allusion and allegory to establish their traditions, which is not unlike what Scripture employs. The difference in what we find with Scripture is that therein lies a religious system. A religious system which establishes its philosophical basis on the principle of a pillared image, i.e., "the Heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). As well as "light and darkness" which God establishes as the Divine Harmony in the form of the pillared image of "Day and Night" (Genesis 1:5).
And why is it necessary to draw attention to a "pillared image"? It serves as our means to answer, How is God the same in and from the beginning that He, in this very moment, is "Alpha and Omega", and that the phrase is not merely a platitude? How we attend to this answer is that we must have a means to take measure of all things, that we reckon the sameness of God at every moment in Scripture. And what serves as that measure is CHRIST (Genesis 1:3-5).
CHRIST is the Spirit of God we find established in the beginning (Genesis 1:3-5). How we reckon CHRIST with the Spirit of God, is in how God labors to establish the "light". Aware that a man's labor is a testament of the man, and of his existence. So too then is God's establishment of "the light" a testament of Him and His existence.
The Verbs by which we reckon God's Spirit:
As for the events of the First Day:
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:3-5 KJV)
Here, in parsing the events, we enter into what are the Divine verbs, "to subdue" (TS) and "to have dominion" (THD). Leading up to (TS), in His effort to resolve the darkness that was in the beginning (Genesis 1:2), God calls "light" into existence (Genesis 1:3). If He is TS the light, that it is "the light", He does so by dividing the light from the darkness, which entails that the light and darkness are of the same spiritual essence. If the light and darkness were "physical essences" then there'd be no need to divide one from the other, it'd only be necessary to declare one from the other as "day" and "night", since as natural light and darkness these are divisions unto themselves.
And so, where "God divided the light from the darkness" (Genesis 1:4), it is better to reckon it as God separating Truth from Deception. This is an effort by God to clarify the confusion that engulfed the earth (Genesis 1:2). In the process of dividing light from darkness, God subdues what He called into existence that He now reckons both in the direct articles "the light" and "the darkness". With them distinguished, now God establishes dominion over both, in that God called the light "Day" and the darkness He called "Night" (Genesis 1:5).
What we find here evincing the First Day of creation (Genesis 1:3-5) is the Spirit of God, which we reckon as CHRIST. By the word CHRIST, we capture the entirety of what takes place on the First Day of creation (Genesis 1:3-5), that we reckon the spirit thereof.
It is the Spirit that testifies to our only evidence of God, a reckoning on the basis of how He labored. How we reckon this Spirit, is in the explicit admonitions that lie within His labors.
In revealing to us His way and will, the first admonition is for man to know that whatever he calls into existence, whatever man names, it is man's obligation to subdue the same. Such is His way and substantiates the first admonition (Adm 1).
As for His will, here concerns the latter admonition. It is a concern that follows how God fashioned what is the Divine Harmony, reckoned as "Day and Night". As for this admonition, it is for man to know that God did not have to destroy what already existed, to make it possible for Him to establish what He called into existence. Such is God's will, and substantiates the second admonition (Adm 2).
How Adm 2 applies to man, is that it serves as our means to reckon whether we dwell with God. Whatever we call into existence, if it is of God, then it does not require us to destroy what preceded it, it does not envision a need for violence and war for us to establish it. However, wherever there is violence and war, it serves as a sign that it is not of God.
And so, as for these two admonitions. To resolve the darkness, God called light into existence (Genesis 1:3). To reckon them as "the light" and "the darkness" He subdues them (Adm 1). Yet, to establish the light, it did not require God to eradicate, or even harm the darkness, as he called the light Day and the darkness Night (Adm 2). It is by these two, pillared admonitions we reckon what is of God's Spirit, and that whether we dwell with and in that Spirit, which is CHRIST.
Applying the Measure of CHRIST:
How we know the same is of Jesus, is by the measure of him who is to come in Isaiah, of whom we reckon as Shiloh (Genesis 49:10). As for the Spirit by which we reckon Jesus as the embodiment of CHRIST (Genesis 1:3-5), Isaiah writes:
42 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. 4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. (Isaiah 42:1-4)
Now, what assures us that the Spirit borne in Genesis 1:3-5, along with what we find in Isaiah 42:1-4 alludes to Jesus? Our answer is in the evidences by which we reckon Jesus, these evidences being expanded in the Early Church, the church prior to the convening of the First Council of Nicaea (325 AD). As for Adm 1, it is by the power of the word Jesus establishes his church. In this Jesus calls forth the twelve pillars upon which he founds his church (Matthew 10:1-4), binding them with the command to:
5 ...Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 10:5-7)
In settling Adm 1, it is on the day Jesus brings this cobble of men together, that he reckons them as "his church". It is the day Peter declared Jesus as the Christ (Matthew 16:16) that Jesus founds his church. It is on this day Jesus divides his church from the Sadducee and Pharisee.
As for Adm 2, the spirit that serves as the model for the church, by which we reckon the church with Jesus, is where Jesus declares himself the good shepherd. And that as for the way of the good shepherd, he is the lay his life down for the sheep, so too is this the spirit by which we reckon the Early Church (John 10:7-18).
As for Isaiah 42:1-4, to establish his church neither Jesus, nor any of his disciples or congregant, took upon themselves to harm either a Sadducee or Pharisee, or played a role in the destruction of the Second Temple. That is, they did not take their life up, by taking up the sword to establish either the name Jesus, or the church. In laying down their lives, Jesus and his church gave all over to the LORD, leaving it to the LORD to decide whether the name Jesus is to prevail in the earth, the church being the bearer of such a name.
History tells us that the LORD sided with establishing the name Jesus and the church, that all men have the chance to reckon themselves with the Spirit that is from the Beginning--CHRIST.
The Need for a Pillared Image:
From the very beginning, until this hour, how we reckon God as Alpha and Omega, is by way of a pillared image. Though it is by Jesus and the church, are all men able to decidedly reckoned themselves to CHRIST. We must know that in the end, all men find themselves so reckoned whether they accept Jesus, given we find such a reckoning in the pillared image of "male and female" (Genesis 1:27).
That is, if he is a husband, but especially a father, what every man finds himself in contention with in his home, is with that Spirit of CHRIST. It is this Spirit God openly and decidedly established on the First Day of creation (Genesis 1:3-5).
If we search carefully, what we find on every day of creation, is an inherent pillared image that congeals the subject matter of that day. No more is this so than on the Second Day of creation, when God sought to separate the Eternal Waters. The inherent pillared image being the composite of those waters that are above the firmament serving as the ethereal pillar, while those waters beneath the firmament, serve as the ephemeral pillar.
And what establishes these water-pillars as a pillared image? It is the firmament itself. Though used by God to "separate" the waters (TS) Adm 1. What God effects on the Second Day, is that the firmament serves as the arch that binds the two pillars, the waters below with their complement in the waters above. Where, THD, God calls the firmament "Heaven" (Genesis 1:8) Adm 2, that He reckons the spirits therefore borne in and by the firmament. What we discover is that the "firmament" is an allusion to the principals of the Fifth Commandment (Exodus 20:12), these principals being the father and mother. And it is on this basis we reckon the ethereal and ephemeral pillared-waters.
The essence of a pillared image permeates every concern of Scripture. We find this universality embodied in the pillared image of Jachin and Boaz (1 Kings 7:21) wherein, he, the builder Hiram of Tyre:
21 ...set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz. (1 Kings 7:21)
It is on this basis, both religiously and spiritually, we have the means to reckon ourselves with a spiritual creation. It is on the basis of a pillared image we reckon all things. Jesus girds us with the basis as for why we must set our sights on the spiritual, where he impresses on his disciples:
28...fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
The Presence of a Pillared Image:
So that we have perspective as for who is the greater principal within Scripture, the king or priest. It is for us to ask, who is it that bears and wields the power "to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28)? It is the priest. This is significant because, when we consider those biblical figures and patriarchs in the beginning, these are not farmers or kings. These figures are priests. From Adam forward, not only are the principals priests, but they are High Priests. Meaning they are the figures who found beliefs and religions, and therefore, they bear the power and prowess to alter the course of the earth (humanity).
With this being so that, beginning with Adam, what we have even down to Hezekiah is the Bible's overwhelming concern with priests and priestly figures, even scribes and prophets. How do they serve to form the image of God, given the crux of this argument is that a pillared image underlies the foundation of the Bible, beginning with Creation? The answer is in the pillared relation that is between the priest and his religion.
But the more prevailing priest / religion concept takes place in the home, as father and mother. This is how we arrive at the first instance of what a pillared image is in Genesis 1:27, wherein:
27 ...God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27 KJV)
In Genesis 1:27, what God creates is the archetype that serves as a measure to weigh all other pillared images, even man himself. In forming His image in Genesis 1:27, as it was in the beginning, we later discover that in this same passage God "subdues" His image (Adm 1). And God subdues His image in that He named him "Adam" (Genesis 5:2).
So that we reckon "Adam" as an "archetype", earlier on the Sixth Day (Genesis 1:25), God made a representation of man, as the "earth" (127-119; Genesis 1:25). Where, just as when He subdued the light, in that He separated the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:4). Here, in Genesis 1:27, God subdues man as His image, in that He separates "Adam" (Genesis 5:2) from the "earth" (Genesis 1:25).
As for the latter verb (THD), this takes place in following verse where He commanded His image to subdue the earth that he has dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:28). The same attends as the measure of CHRIST, in that as we establish our dominion, it is a testament of whether we do so in a manner that reveals us as dwelling with God.
As for Adm 1, God leaves us with an example as for how we are to subdue the earth that we have dominion over the earth. So that He reckons one image of man from the other. In separating His image from the "earth" (Genesis 1:25) God separates His image in that He names him:
5 ...In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. (Genesis 5:1-2)
By subduing His image in this manner, God names the pillared image of "male and female" under the collective "Adam". It is by the name "Adam" that God creates the means to weigh the spirits, the beliefs and teachings, that emerge from every union of father and mother.
The same calls our attention to the two forms of this pillared image, by which we reckon as God's image and presence. We make the distinction between them based upon the latter image, "father and mother". This image, reckoned as God's presence, is of an especial case because, as "male and female", we participate in the image of God at its spiritual zenith.
As "father and mother" we stand at our spiritual zenith in that we've taken upon ourselves the obligation to train up the souls of our children. As "father and mother", do we quicken our image of God to life, as all is a matter of the spirits.
As for these spirits, the same alludes to the passion we find in the efficacy of the "firmament" (7554; Genesis 1:7). Masked in the allusion whereby there is a "pounding of the earth", the reason for such imagery is to bring to bear the intensity of the labor involved in training up a soul.
The Appearance of the Nether-Man (Genesis 1:25):
All centers on what substantiates the word "Adam" (120-119; Genesis 5:2).
In the archetype, what God creates in Genesis 1:26-27, what Scripture impresses on us is that all things have an ontological premise in the guise of a pillared image. Every belief and teaching, every event, every figure within Scripture finds itself bound the measures of a pillared image. And no more is this "measurement" taking place than in the first four passages of the Sixth Day of creation.
In contending with the meaning of "image" (Genesis 1:26-27), it is necessary that we consider what transpires on the morning of the Sixth Day of creation (Genesis 1:24-25). So that we are better to appreciate what God later calls "Adam" (Genesis 5:2), on the morning of the Sixth Day God makes a nether-man, in that:
24 ...God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:24-25)
The particular phrase of interest here, is where Scripture says that God created "every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind" (Genesis 1:25). By the author's use of the word "every", he impresses on us the conclusion that God made, not create, everything ever to tread upon the earth. And how God made them is that He separates (TS) them by the name He ascribes to them. That is, God gave names to what He saw as the spiritual effects of not only the insect and beast, but also man, both the man and the woman. It is the spiritual effect to which God ascribes the name to every thing that crept upon the earth, in that the LORD weighs the heart, not the outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7).
As for this nether-man, it is in the word "earth" we have our affirmation that God created man, both the male and female before this moment on the Sixth Day. In this context "earth" (127-119; Genesis 1:25) bears the meaning of "soil" in the sense "from its general redness". Where, within the ESV the interpreter translates "earth" as "ground". This word choice is fundamentally flawed in that this "ground" has life in and of itself.
In broadening the implications of earth (127-119; Genesis 1:25) it bears the connotations of "country", "ground", and "husband" which infer populations and demographics of mankind. It is only when we consider earth's root (119; Genesis 1:25), that all things become clear that this "ground" has life itself, and therefore is an allusion to mankind. In the Hebrew, earth's root (119; Genesis 1:25) is 'adam (aw-dam'). This "earth" (127-119; Genesis 1:25), is a direct allusion to mankind, in that the efficacy of its root is "to show blood (in the face), i.e. flush or turn rosy", that is to be "ruddy".
So, the question becomes, if God later creates Adam, then what of this creation of the nether-man (Genesis 1:25)? When we look at the etymologies of the words earth (127-119; Genesis 1:25) and Adam (120-119; Genesis 5:2), what we discover is that they share the same root (119). That is, what we discover is that they both bear the same efficacy, which is "to show blood (in the face), i.e. flush or turn rosy", that is "ruddy". It's at their base, it is at their manifestation, are we to reckon the vast differences between earth (127-119; Genesis 1:25) and Adam (120-119; Genesis 5:2).
It is on this basis we arrive at our precedence within Scripture when there is a measure to weigh all things as it pertains to man. Not only did the author of 1st chapter of Genesis seek to draw our attention to how, in the sight of God, there are two spiritual versions of man, one as "earth" (Genesis 1:25) and the other "Adam" (Genesis 1:27 and 5:2). In the author's efforts to broaden the distinction, "earth" (Genesis 1:25) is in a moment of the Sixth Day that is prior to the moment when God decidedly establishes His image in the earth (Genesis 1:26-27). Where, it is only later we discover how God blesses His image with the name "Adam" (Genesis 5:2).
Now it is for us to see how we weigh this nether-man, who God reckons as "earth" (127-119; Genesis 1:25) against Adam. Within the Midrash, the Jews ascribe to this form of man, the "earth" (Genesis 1:25), as "the man of the mountain". It is said that God created him on the Sixth Day (Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, Vol 1 pg. 31). Summarily, in accord with the Midrash, as the "earth" (Genesis 1:25), how we reckon this man is that he prevails in the earth spiritually indistinguishable from a beast.
This indistinction between the nether-man (Genesis 1:25) and the beast of the field, is a measure of his soul. It is a soul that, upon the moment when he returned from out of the earth, weighing him, God reckoned how:
2 ...the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. (Genesis 1:2)
That is, the nether-man ("earth" Genesis 1:25), is a soul-effect that appears unto God as being indistinguishable from every other soul-effect in the earth. In essence, the nether-man is a fallen man. And he's a "fallen" man, not as a consequence of his birth and physical appearance, but as a matter of the spirits that compel him.
It is to this image of a man that God alludes to when He made the "earth" (127-119; Genesis 1:25). The same serves as the predicate as for why God decidedly creates the archetype of Adam, that He imparts to man the means for man to weigh himself as for whether he's of the earth or of God.
The Image of God: Establishing Adam as the Man Archetype:
The need and basis for an archetype, is so that man has the means to call himself unto repentance. The same is why, many generations later, the LORD says that He'll establish a "plumbline" in the midst of Israel, that He no longer has to chasten Israel, but that she has the means to call herself unto righteous judgment.
As it pertains to why He called Amos from among the multitude, in seeking what best serves as the means to wrought divine judgment in Israel, Amos writes:
7 Thus he (the LORD) shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. 8 And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more. (Amos 7:7-8)
Adam, as the archetype, serves as the precedence for such measures we find as and in the likeness of the plumbline. As for what God does on the Sixth Day of creation, where and when it came to creating the archetype of man in Adam (Genesis 1:26-27). What the LORD accomplishes with Amos, is that, given Amos was an actual tender of sheep, as he numbered among the "herdman of Tekoa" (Amos 1:1). The implication being, Amos was not among the learned of Israel, or among the ranks of priestly figures. The question then becomes, why is it then that the LORD chooses Amos to call Israel unto repentance? The answer, as for why it is by Amos that the LORD determines what measure of chastening is suitable for Israel. Is because, if such a measure is understood by the lowliest, the inarticulate, the non-learned, then surely it is a knowledge well founded among the learned classes.
The same serves as the basis for the parallel that is between God's image and the plumbline. Not that God's image is the plumbline. Rather, God's image serves as the means for a universal measure by and with which to call every man and generation unto righteous judgment.
And so, as Amos establishes the basis on which the LORD calls Israel to repent. Serving as the vessel from which the LORD draws to determine the archetype measure by which to bind Israel to divine judgment. We find the same with God in the beginning.
On the Sixth Day of creation, We find the same with God, as He sought to call the "earth" (127-119; Genesis 1:25), the nether-man unto judgment. Reckoning how the nether-man is a deviation from His Glory. That He calls this deviation unto judgment, and impart unto man the means to call himself unto repentance. God impresses on His heavenly hosts that His image is to reflect the pillared nature of their relationship, as God says:
26 ...Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. (Genesis 1:26)
Here is the mystery of what God reckoned when He commanded His heavenly hosts to "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Genesis 1:26). What God recognizes is that, just as there is a distinction between Himself and His heavenly hosts. So too are there readily apparent distinctions between the man and woman. As for the man and woman, not only is there a biological difference between them. But there is also a constitutional or spiritual difference between the man and woman, all, of which, attest to their natures.
Why the nether-man? It is that, in making him, God sought to capture the essence of a fallen man. Given God sought to reckon the expectant harmony between the man and woman, as He fashioned His image. It is here with the nether-man that nothing but violence raged between himself and the woman.
Why then was it so important to settle the expectant harmony between the man and woman? What serves as our model for how we see to enter and call the world we envision into being, is what we see as having taken place in our home, amongst our own father and mother. It is by this example we see to establish our homes as fathers and mothers. So, if there's violence in the home, so too shall God's broader creation suffer violence.
It was God's object then to stem this violence by decidedly choosing to reckon the relationship between Himself and the angels, in the image of male and female, as there is nothing but peace that prevails between Him and His angels. Wherein, in recognition to this biological and spiritual diversity, God takes the seminal step to establish His image as "male and female". It is for this reason God says unto His heavenly hosts "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Genesis 1:26).
As for the spiritual diversity between the man and woman, Paul who allows us to come into the revelation. In reckoning the Jesus and the church, with the husband and wife, Paul implores the wives of Ephesus to:
22 ...submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. (Ephesians 5:22-24)
From what Paul provides us, we are better to reckon the spiritual diversity between the man and woman. Where, within the household, the man prevails as Lord the woman stands as the church. Yet, as husband and wife, Paul fails to appreciate that at this moment in God's image, it's not "quickened" to life. Since, merely by the existence of Christ and the church, is this allusion to God's image unrealized with life. In both cases, there is no worthy evidence of our union.
How we reckon no worthy evidence exists to testify of the relations between a husband and wife, though emblematic of God's image, is because there is no one in the earth to call upon our names. As husband and wife, God's image takes on a deftly silence. Unless there is a child, how are we to know of their existence, if there is no one to call them "father and mother".
With this as our measure, we are better to see how the same is with Christ and the church. This relation also suffers a deftly silence if there is no one to call the church "Mother" and Jesus "LORD".
Creating the archetype:
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:26-27)
Before delving into the minutia of Genesis 1:26 and 27, we must first understand the relationship between these two passages. It follows a general creation pattern, which is, Desire and Manifestation. It is God's Desire, while it's His angels who strive to bring all into being; the priority from the Third to the Sixth days is to assign a name to all that's already in existence.
When we look at the 26th verse, what we find is how, from the outset, God contemplates a composite image, and therefore an image that is a spiritual reflection. God seeks a spiritual composite, in that it reflects the relationship between Him and His angels. It is in this sense, to establish a spiritual composite that serves as an archetype of man, God says to His heavenly hosts:
26 ...Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)
In creating His image, God uses the collective pronouns "us" and "our". While, as a testament to the validation of the composite, God uses the plural pronoun "them", which alludes to the man and woman.
The challenge however is with the 27th verse. The 27th verse symbolizes what is problematic with many translations. No more is this so than in the ESV. Within the ESV, Genesis 1:27 reads:
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Within the ESV, Genesis 1:27 alters the Desire by separating the pronouns "he" from "him" and "he" from "them". It leaves the inference that God's image is either male or female.
In contrast, in KJV, Genesis 1:27 reads:
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Here, the author preserves the Desire of an image that reflects the relationship between God and His angels. The translator preserves God's image as a pillared relationship in the 27th verse, in that he juxtaposes the pronouns "he" and "him", the verse reading, "in the image of God created he him". The inference borne in juxtaposing the pronouns "he" and "him" is that, where it concerns him, which is man, it places intensity on character and structure of the image.
It is an intensity preserved in the next phrase, which reads: "male and female created he them". Again, the author juxtaposes the pronouns "he" and "them", "them" being an intimation to the composition and character of the image borne under the collective of male and female. Under these constraints, God grants us the means to declare Him as ALPHA AND OMEGA, as well as call all things unto a righteous judgment.