“Anyone who seeks a blessing for himself in the earth will be blessed by the God of truth.”—ISA. 65:16.
SONG 3 Our Strength, Our Hope, Our Confidence
1. What was the prophet Isaiah’s message to his fellow Israelites?
THE prophet Isaiah described Jehovah as “the God of truth.” The word translated “truth” literally means “amen.” (Isa. 65:16, ftn.) “Amen” means “so be it,” or “surely.” When the word “amen” is used in the Bible with regard to Jehovah or Jesus, it is a guarantee that something is true. Thus, Isaiah’s message to his fellow Israelites was clear: What Jehovah foretells is always trustworthy. Jehovah has proved that fact by fulfilling every one of his promises.
2. Why can we trust in Jehovah’s promises regarding our future, and what questions will we consider?
2 Can we put the same trust in Jehovah’s promises regarding our future? Nearly 800 years after Isaiah’s time, the apostle Paul explained why God’s promises are always trustworthy. Paul stated: “It is impossible for God to lie.” (Heb. 6:18) Just as a spring cannot produce both fresh water and salt water, so Jehovah, the Source of truth, cannot speak lies. Thus, we can have complete trust in everything that Jehovah says, including all his promises for our future. In this article, we will consider these questions: What has Jehovah promised to give us in the future? And what guarantee has Jehovah provided that his promise will come true?
WHAT HAS JEHOVAH PROMISED?
3. (a) What promise is well-loved by God’s servants? (Revelation 21:3, 4) (b) How do some respond when we share that promise with them?
3 The promise that we will consider is well-loved by God’s servants worldwide. (Read Revelation 21:3, 4.) Jehovah promises a time when “death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.” Many of us use this heartwarming Bible passage about life in Paradise when preaching to others. How do some people respond when we share this promise with them? They may say, “This sounds too good to be true.”
4. (a) What did Jehovah know and foresee? (b) Besides making a promise, what else did Jehovah do?
4 Of course, when He inspired the apostle John to record this promise of life in Paradise, Jehovah knew that we today would share this hope with others when preaching the Kingdom message. Jehovah also foresaw that many would find this promise of “new things” hard to believe. (Isa. 42:9; 60:2; 2 Cor. 4:3, 4) So how can we assure others—and ourselves—that the blessings described at Revelation 21:3, 4 will come true? Jehovah not only made this heartwarming promise but also provided convincing reasons why we can put our trust in it. What reasons did he provide?
JEHOVAH GUARANTEES HIS PROMISE
5. What reasons do we have for trusting in God’s promise of Paradise, and where do we find them?
5 We find reasons to trust in Jehovah’s promise of Paradise in the verses that follow. There we read: “The One seated on the throne said: ‘Look! I am making all things new.’ Also he says: ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ And he said to me: ‘They have come to pass! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.’”—Rev. 21:5, 6a.
6. Why do the assurances recorded at Revelation 21:5, 6 strengthen our trust in God’s promise?
6 Why does this Bible passage strengthen our trust in God’s promise? The Revelation Climax book states the following about these verses: “It is as though Jehovah himself were signing for faithful mankind a guarantee, or title deed, to these future blessings.”b God’s promise is recorded at Revelation 21:3, 4. But then, in verses 5 and 6, we find Jehovah’s signature, so to speak, that guarantees the truthfulness of his promise. Let us take a closer look at the wording Jehovah uses in his guarantee.
7. What is special about the introduction of God’s guarantee, and why is that fact significant?
7 God’s guarantee begins with the introduction: “The One seated on the throne said.” (Rev. 21:5a) These words introduce one of only three instances in the book of Revelation when Jehovah speaks in the visions. So this guarantee is provided, not by a powerful angel, not even by the resurrected Jesus, but by Jehovah himself! This fact highlights the trustworthiness of the words that follow. Why is that so? Because Jehovah “cannot lie.” (Titus 1:2) That statement makes the words that we read at Revelation 21:5, 6 completely reliable.
“LOOK! I AM MAKING ALL THINGS NEW”
8. How does Jehovah emphasize the certainty of his promise? (Isaiah 46:10)
8 Next, let us consider the word “Look!” (Rev. 21:5) The Greek term translated “look!” is used repeatedly in the book of Revelation. A reference work states that the exclamation is used as “a way of calling the attention of the reader to what follows.” What follows the exclamation? God’s statement: “I am making all things new.” True, Jehovah is speaking about future changes, but for him this promise is so certain to come true that he speaks of these changes as if they were already taking place.—Read Isaiah 46:10.
9. (a) The phrase “making all things new” refers to what two activities of Jehovah? (b) What will happen to the existing “heaven” and “earth”?
9 Let us examine the next phrase found at Revelation 21:5: “Making all things new.” In this Bible chapter, that phrase refers to two activities of Jehovah—replacing and restoring. First, what would Jehovah replace? At Revelation 21:1, we read: “The former heaven and the former earth had passed away.” “The former heaven” refers to political governments influenced by Satan and his demons. (Matt. 4:8, 9; 1 John 5:19) As used in the Bible, “earth” can refer to the earth’s inhabitants. (Gen. 11:1; Ps. 96:1) Thus, “the former earth” refers to today’s wicked human society. Jehovah will not merely remodel, or fix up, the existing “heaven” and “earth”; rather, he will make a clean sweep by replacing them. He will replace the present heaven and the present earth with “a new heaven and a new earth”—that is, a new government and a new human society.
10. What will Jehovah make new?
10 At Revelation 21:5, we next read what Jehovah says about the things he will make new. Note that Jehovah did not state: “I am making all new things.” Instead, he stated: “I am making all things new.” Jehovah will make the earth and humans like new by bringing them to a state of perfection. As Isaiah foretold, the entire earth will be made into a gardenlike park—a global Eden. We will also be made new, or experience restoration, on a personal level. The lame, the blind, and the deaf will be healed, and even the dead will be restored to life.—Isa. 25:8; 35:1-7.
“THESE WORDS ARE FAITHFUL AND TRUE. . . . THEY HAVE COME TO PASS!”
11. What command and what reason did Jehovah give to John?
11 What else is part of God’s guarantee? Jehovah told John: “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (Rev. 21:5) Jehovah gave more than just the command to “write.” He also gave a reason. He said: “For these words are faithful and true”—that is, God’s words are reliable and accurate. We are grateful that John obeyed the command to “write.” As a result, we can read about God’s promise of Paradise and meditate on the wonderful blessings that await us.
12. Why could Jehovah rightly say: “They have come to pass!”
12 What does God say next? “They have come to pass!” (Rev. 21:6) Now Jehovah speaks as if all things mentioned about the promised Paradise have already taken place. And he can rightly speak that way because nothing can stop him from fulfilling his purpose. Jehovah gives us another powerful assurance about his promise in the next part of his guarantee. What is it?
“I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA”
13. Why did Jehovah make the statement: “I am the Alpha and the Omega”?
13 As mentioned earlier, Jehovah himself spoke three times in the visions to John. (Rev. 1:8; 21:5, 6; 22:13) On each of these occasions, Jehovah made the same statement: “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” The letter alpha begins the Greek alphabet, and the letter omega concludes it. By using the description “the Alpha and the Omega,” Jehovah indicates that when he starts something, he brings it to its successful conclusion.
14. (a) Give an example of when Jehovah, in effect, said “Alpha” and when he will, in a sense, say “Omega.” (b) What guarantee is found at Genesis 2:1-3?
14 After Jehovah created Adam and Eve, He expressed his original purpose for mankind and for the earth. The Bible record states: “God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and become many, fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Gen. 1:28) At that moment, Jehovah, in effect, said “Alpha.” He clearly stated his purpose: The time would come when perfect, obedient descendants of Adam and Eve would fill the earth and transform it into a paradise. At that future time, Jehovah will, in a sense, say “Omega.” After completing the creation of “the heavens and the earth and everything in them,” Jehovah gave a guarantee. It is found at Genesis 2:1-3. (Read.) Jehovah set aside the seventh day as sacred to him. What does that mean? Jehovah guaranteed that he would without fail carry out his purpose for mankind and for the earth. It would be fully accomplished at the end of that seventh day.
15. Why might it have seemed that Satan had thwarted God’s purpose for mankind?
15 After Adam and Eve rebelled, they became sinners and passed on sin and death to their offspring. (Rom. 5:12) As a result, it may have seemed that Satan had thwarted God’s purpose to fill the earth with perfect, obedient people. It appeared as if Satan had made it impossible for Jehovah ever to say “Omega.” Satan might have thought that Jehovah had very few options left. One option was to put Adam and Eve to death and create another perfect couple to fulfill His purpose for mankind. But if God had done that, the Devil would have accused Him of being a liar. Why? Because, as recorded at Genesis 1:28, Jehovah had told Adam and Eve that their offspring would fill the earth.
16. Why might Satan have thought that he could accuse Jehovah of being a failure?
16 What other option might Satan have thought that God could have chosen? Perhaps Satan thought that Jehovah would allow Adam and Eve to produce imperfect offspring who would never be able to reach perfection. (Eccl. 7:20; Rom. 3:23) In that case, the Devil would no doubt have accused Jehovah of being a failure. Why? Because this option would not accomplish God’s purpose, that is, to fill the Paradise earth with perfect, obedient descendants of Adam and Eve.
17. How did Jehovah resolve the rebellion of Satan and the first humans, and what will be the end result? (See also picture.)
17 Jehovah resolved the rebellion of Satan and the first humans in a way that must have dumbfounded Satan. (Ps. 92:5) Instead of proving to be a liar, Jehovah proved to be truthful by allowing Adam and Eve to have children. And instead of proving to be a failure, Jehovah proved to be victorious. He kept his purpose moving forward by providing an “offspring” who would save obedient descendants of Adam and Eve. (Gen. 3:15; 22:18) Satan must have been stunned by Jehovah’s ransom arrangement! Why? Because it is an arrangement based on unselfish love. (Matt. 20:28; John 3:16) That quality is not present in Satan’s selfish character. So, what will take place because of the ransom arrangement? By the end of the Millennium, perfect, obedient descendants of Adam and Eve will inhabit a paradise earth—just as Jehovah originally purposed. At that time, Jehovah will say, as it were, “Omega.”
HOW WE DEEPEN OUR TRUST IN JEHOVAH’S PROMISE OF PARADISE
18. What three assurances does God give us? (See also the box “Three Reasons to Trust in Jehovah’s Promise.”)
18 In view of what we have considered, what assurances can we share with those who doubt that God’s promise of Paradise will come true? First, Jehovah himself makes the promise. The book of Revelation states: “The One seated on the throne said: ‘Look! I am making all things new.’” He has the wisdom, the power, and the desire to make his promise come true. Second, the fulfillment of his promise is so certain that from Jehovah’s viewpoint, it has already happened. He rightly says: “These words are faithful and true. . . . They have come to pass!” Third, when Jehovah starts something, he brings it to its successful conclusion, as confirmed by the expression: “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” Jehovah will prove that Satan is a liar and a failure.
19. When people doubt God’s promise of Paradise, what could you do?
19 Remember, each time you share God’s guarantee with those you meet in the ministry, you deepen your own trust in Jehovah’s promises. So the next time you read the heartwarming promise about the coming Paradise as described at Revelation 21:4 and someone says, “This sounds too good to be true,” what could you do? Why not read and explain verses 5 and 6? Show how Jehovah has guaranteed his promise by signing it, as it were, with his own signature.—Isa. 65:16.
SONG 145 God’s Promise of Paradise
a This article will consider the guarantee that Jehovah has provided to assure us that his promise of Paradise will come true. Each time we share this guarantee with others, we deepen our own trust in Jehovah’s promises.