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Art, Theology, and Prophecy

[Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Colossians 1.15f

The image above is a simple combination of the stained glass Canon Wheel and the 13th century icon of Christ Pantocrator This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window (Ruler of All) found in the Church of Hagia Sophia This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window (Holy Wisdom). In principle, it could have been found in any church during the last fifteen hundred years since all the elements have been in place since then. Similar images abound in traditional Christian iconography. The image represents the ultimate union of Art, Theology, and Prophecy: it appears to be a prophetic revelation of the the geometric integration of God's Word with the doctrine of the Trinity through ancient Christian art. The blazing implications of this discovery are the subject of this page. A similar phenomenon amnifests in the integration of the Bible with the Menorah and the Shema with the Shield of the Blessed Trinity

Christian Art begins and ends in our infinitely creative Creator - the Lord Jesus Christ in whom "dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2.9). He is the perfection of Beauty, Knowledge and Wisdom. Scripture knows no limit to the wonders of His glorious Work. Psalm 145 is a good example:

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

The Glorification of God - which is intimately integrated with concepts like Beauty, Simplicity, and Grace - is the purpose of all creation. It coincides with the personal prayer of my life, given to me as word from the Lord many years ago. In Psalm 27 we read:

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

We discover the beauty of the Lord as we enquire in His Holy Word. This is the message conveyed in the image above which is the union of the ancient icon of Christ Pantocrator (Ruler of All) with the geometric representation of God's Word in the form of the Wheel. It symbolically answers the question "What do we see when all Scripture is united as one?" The answer is, of course, nothing if not "the face of our Lord Jesus Christ." Yet this is but the beginning of wonders.

Christ Pantocrator from ~1260 AD

The icon used as the basis of the image above is from the Church of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom). It was produced around 1260 AD. Its title "Christ Pantocrator" is from Revelation 1.8, where the word Pantocrator is translated as Almighty:

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 [Pantocrator].

True Christian Art is sanctified theological art. It represents spiritual rather than physical realities. Icons of Christ are understood as symbols of Christian Doctrine, not as mundane renderings of what Christ physically looked like. The intent is to provide a "window into heaven" - a symbol that teaches spiritual truths of the Christian Faith. This coheres with the nature of Christ who is Himself the "image of God" (Ikon Theou - cf. GR 1369) (Colossians 1.15), and with His ordinal position as the Second Person of the Godhead and the associated concepts relating to the Number 2 such as Duality, Image, and Reflection (cf. [Spoke 2] > The Dividing Line). It is through Christ that we come to know God (John 1.18).

Threefold Cruciform Halo and the Geometry of the Bible

The oldest existing icon of Christ Pantocrator dates from the Sixth Century. It is one of the earliest pieces of Christian Art in existence. It always contains three fundamental elements:

  • A Tri-radiant Halo: The halo always has three rays as a reference to the Trinity. It is never used for anyone but a member of the Trinity.
  • Right hand raised in Priestly Blessing: The position of the fingers typically spell the initials of Jesus Christ in Greek.
  • Left hand holding a book of Holy Scripture.

The tri-radiant halo has been used for at least fifteen centuries to represent Deity. It usually identifies Christ, but may also be used to represent any one of the members of the Holy Trinity. It is never used for anyone else. It appears behind the head of the descending dove when used to represent the Holy Spirit and with a "Hand of God" when representing God the Father (further details may be found on this Lutheran site This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window or this Wesleyan site This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window.

Symbols of God

The halo is almost always shown with three rays even when it is positioned so as to allow a fourth to be seen if it were there. The same form is used in the Cross Triumphant, also known as the "Cross and Orb", which represents the Victory of Christ over the World (John 16.33). This also is an ancient Christian symbol found in images from a thousand years ago.

This means that this tri-radiant structure, which has been used to denote Deity for at least fifteen hundred years, is isomorphic (iso = same, morph = form) to the intrinsic geometric structure of the Holy Bible. The implications are overwhelming: The geometric structure of the Bible is itself an Icon of the Faith, designed by the Ultimate Designer, God Himself! Note in particular that the tri-radiant form, which for the icons could be thought to be "invented" by humans because of their belief in the Trinity, has been discovered after nearly two millennia in the structure of the Bible and so has emerged independently of any human tampering. It must be understood as the Work of God, which, in light of the significance of the Trinity, bears extreme theological weight.

Yet there is more. The icon of Christ Pantocrator always shows him holding a book of Holy Scripture, so He Himself is the Word, He is holding an book representing the Word, and His halo now is recognized as revealing the geometric structure of His Word. This is the awesome wonder of the divine revelation mediated through sanctified Christian art.

Yet there is still more. Many icons of Christ Pantocrator contain the letters Omicron Omega Nu which spell Ho On (The Being, or I AM) which is used in the Septuagintal version of Exodus 3.14 (I AM THAT I AM) and also Revelation 1.8 translated as "which is" meaning "He who is":

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 [Pantocrator].

Here is a typical modern icon with all these elements:

Greek Icon of Christ from www.bridgebuyilding.com

The book is open, revealing the letters Alpha and Omega, which are now known to be numerically equivalent to the Greek phrase Ho Ktisas (The Creator - cf. GR 801). These letters correspond to the Hebrew Aleph and Tav which govern the overall structure of Scripture, which is now recognized as Christ's halo. The red words across the center spell Christos Pantocrator.

Transfiguration of Christ and the Geometry of the Bible

Below is the detail from the top of a 14th century icon of the transfiguration of Christ. It displays the two fundamental geometric structures of the Bible Wheel: 1) Christ stands in the center of the three concentric circles which coincide with the Three Cycles of the Bible Wheel, and 2) the cruciform halo represents the sevenfold symmetry of the Canon Wheel.

Transfiguration of Christ

The figures on the right and left are Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the Prophets. This corresponds to the first two books on Spoke 1 of the Wheel: Genesis (first book of the Law) and Isaiah (first book of the Prophets). Thus, we have three primary.phpects of the structure of Scripture represented in this icon:

  1. The threefold cruciform structure of the Canon Wheel
  2. The three concentric circles representing the three Cycles
  3. The two primary divisions of the Law and the Prophets

Prophetic Theological Art

Christian Tradition holds that true religious icons are the product of divine inspiration. It seems impossible to explain the correspondence between these ancient icons of Christ - whose name is called the Word of God - with the geometric form of the Holy Bible in any other way. And besides - what a glory it is to behold! The power of God's revelation is absolutely overwhelming, filling the soul with a witness unlike anything ever seen in the history of the world. This is the highest Art - the geometric representation of the Bible supernaturally integrates both with the divine Menorah representing God's Eternal Light and the Eternal Circle representing His unchanging perfection. Is there an end to such glory?

And as a final note, who could fail to recognize that the prophetic icon of Christ Pantocrator points to the end of the age when Christ will "put all enemies under his feet?" We read (1 Corinthians 15):

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

This is the prophetic implication of the Bible revealed in the form of a perfect Circle - we have come full circle to the end of the age. God has revealed the complete perfection of His Holy Word. Oh! What joy to know we shall soon see His Holy Face!






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