Faithful and True

“Jesus lived God’s healing Word as an example for us to follow; he was (and still is) called Faithful and True- Revelation 19:11. Jesus continues showing us the way by blazing a trail that leads to the actual right hand of God. Jesus brought man back to the Creator of life and light through his life, his death, and his resurrection and ascension, for he was the forerunner to the right hand of God. Without Jesus Christ, we could not fully understand how righteous God really is, we could not believe how faithful God really is, and we could not fully believe to receive the promises promised to us in God’s very faithful Word.” ~LMJ~

The LORD Is My Helper

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of II Kings, there is the story of Ben-hadad, the King of Syria, who wanted to get rid of the Prophet and man of God, Elisha, because he spoke against the king. Elisha even went so far as pointing out what the king spoke in the privacy of his bedchamber (II Kings 6:8-12).

The king sent spies throughout the land to locate the man of God so Ben-hadad could have him executed. When the spies returned, Ben-hadad found out that Elisha was residing in Dothan, which is approximately forty-five miles north of Jerusalem, near the Mount of Gilban. Ben-hadad sent his army out to go and fetch Elisha in the middle of the night, prefiguring Jesus’ arrest also at night (John 18:3 ff).

Let us follow the story along and see how the LORD, Jehovah helped Elisha out of this current danger:

II Kings 6:14-18:
-14: Therefore sent he {Ben-hadad} thither horses, and chariots, and a great host {a very large army}: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
-15: And when the servant of the man of God {Elisha’s servant or understudy} was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
-16: And he {Elisha} answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
-17: And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD {Jehovah}, I pray thee {kill all my   enemies! No he did not; perhaps there is a lesson here; See Romans 12:14-21}, open his eyes {Elisha’s servant}, that he may see. And the LORD {Jehovah} opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
-18: And when they {the great host of the enemy} came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD {Jehovah}, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

Wow, this is quite a wonderful story! Yet it is only one of hundreds, which are written to inspire our hearts to also look unto our heavenly Father and His strength, for He is always with us. So, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5-6). It should be noted that the blindness and disorientation of the enemy army was short-lived, and they even received a free meal out of the deal (II Kings 6:21-23).

The story continues:

II Kings 6:19-20:
-19: And Elisha said unto them {the enemy army that came to get him}, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria {right into their enemy’s camp}.
-20: And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD {Jehovah}, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD {Jehovah} opened their eyes, and they saw; and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.

Imagine the puzzled looks on the faces of the Syrian army as they found themselves in the predicament of being in Samaria, and seeing that they were surrounded not by horses and chariots of fire, but by their sworn enemies.

As this story is in the Bible, we must also look for him who is the subject of Scripture, Jesus Christ. Elisha was a Prophet and foreshadowed Christ, just as each and every Prophet in the Old Testament had done. At every point in the Scriptures we can find revealed features of Christ, and as well, every event in the Bible reflects Jesus’ ministry.

Elisha became the Prophet of the LORD, after the Prophet Elijah. (Elijah in the New Testament is spelled Elias ― Elias is the Greek form of the Hebrew word for Elijah.) Similar to the relationship between Elijah and Elisha, Jesus superseded John the Baptist, as we in grace have been baptized into Christ, and in the holy spirit (Acts 1:5).

I always remember which of the two Prophets came first by the spelling of their names. The first prophet’s name starts with the letters Elij, while the second name begins with the letters Elis, and “j” in Elijah comes before the “s” in Elisha. This may help you keep them separated when reading for understanding and enjoyment.

Elisha was anointed with a double portion of the same spirit of God that Elijah had upon him (II Kings 2:9), in the Old Testament the prophets received certain measures (or amounts) of the spirit, and Elisha with a double measure performed double the miracles of Elijah being twice as powerful (See below). Elisha was a precursor to Jesus who received the spirit without measure (John 3:34) at the time of his baptism (Matthew 3:16-17). Correspondingly, in the Gospels, John the Baptist said, “He {Jesus} must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30), and he did, and Jesus did, as Elisha doubly increased after Elijah. Whether we are studying Elijah, Elisha, John the Baptist, or any of the other prophets in the Bible, they always add something uniquely special that focuses on the life of Jesus, giving us more insight about his life.

The LORD Jehovah answered Elisha’s prayers, as witnessed in the story above, and when Jesus prayed to Jehovah, he said, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always” (John 11:41-42).

As Elijah and Elisha were prophets of God and foreshadowed Jesus, John the Baptist was also a prophet (Mark 11:32), and foreshadowed Jesus the Prophet (Matthew 21:11). Elijah was a living forerunner to Elisha; John was a living forerunner to Jesus, and (ta-da!) Jesus is a living “forerunner” (to God) for us ― us who become the endeared children of God. “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil {to God’s heavenly home}; Whither {where} the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever” (Hebrews 6:19-20).

Matthew 17:12-13:
-12: But I say unto you, That Elias {Elijah} is come already {See Malachi 3:4, 4:5-6}, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed {pleased}. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
-13: Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

Jesus uses Elias (Elijah) as an example to explain John the Baptist as his forerunner, in the same manner as we have shown you the relationship of Elijah to Elisha or John to Jesus. John was an Old Testament Prophet (not a New Testament Prophet), as Jesus said, “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until {or to include} John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias {Elijah}, which was for to come” (Matthew 11:13-14), for John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, and witnessed to Israel about the Messiah, and this he did. “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him {the Son of God} might believe” (John 1:6-7). As John fulfilled his ministry, we receive “it” i.e., we received the understanding that John foreshadowed Jesus’ ministry as Elijah had done.

Today in Christ, we were, “Buried with him {Jesus} in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12, also See Romans 6:4, I Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 4:5).

The eight miracles of Elijah and the sixteen miracles of Elisha are briefly noted below. The student of the Word is welcomed to look at them in much more detail at leisure, all prefiguring the miraculous life Jesus would display for humanity in the Gospel age.

Elijah’s miracles:

  1. The closing off of Heaven’s rain – I kings 17:1
  2. Food and oil multiplied – I kings 17:14
  3. The widow’s son raised – I kings 17:22-23
  4. Fire from Heaven – I Kings 18:38
  5. Rain from Heaven – I Kings 18:45
  6. The fire of Heaven on fifty-one – II Kings 1:10
  7. The fire of Heaven on fifty-one (more) – II Kings 1:12
  8. Parted the Jordan river – II Kings 1:12

Elisha’s miracles:

  1.  Parted the Jordan river – II Kings 2:14
  2.  The healing of the water – II Kings 2:21
  3.  Bears out of wood – II Kings 2:24
  4.  Provided water for kings – II Kings 3:20
  5.  Provided oil for the widow – II Kings 4:1-6
  6.  The gift of a son – II Kings 4:16-17
  7.  Raised a child from the dead – II Kings 4:35
  8.  Healing of pottage – II Kings 4:39-41
  9.  Multiplying of bread – II Kings 4:43-44
  10. King Naaman’s leprosy healed – II Kings 5:10-14
  11. The betrayer Gehazi smitten – II Kings 5:27
  12. Caused an iron ax-head to float on the water – II Kings 6:6
  13. From spiritual blindness to spiritual sight – II Kings 6:17
  14. Causing blindness – II Kings 6:18
  15. Restoring sight – II Kings 6:20
  16. Elisha raises the dead after Elisha himself died – II Kings 13:21

Number 16 reminds me of Samson, “So the dead which he {Samson} slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life,”― Judges 16:30, and those in Christ, all shall live.

Elisha gave physical life to one person after his death (See number 16 above). Jesus died to give life to the entire world and so that we could have eternal life because “by the grace of God {Jesus} should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9).

Both Elijah and Elisha had parted the Jordan River for they had the LORD God, Who was their helper, and the purpose for parting the river is actually quite a simple one, they did this to get the other side ― end of story. Jesus had done some similar things in his life, such as stilling a hurricane upon the sea, and walking on water, and passing through the heavens (Ephesians 4:10, Hebrews 4:14), as he parted the spiritual way for all believers to follow. He also left us examples to follow his believing so we could live in miraculous ways.

The Alpha and Omega – The Beginning and the End, the First and the Last (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Revelation 22:13:
I {Jesus Christ} am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

The phrases Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last were well known to the people in the biblelands. Besides the obvious usage of alpha and omega as the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, they also have a dynamic representation in the Scriptures.

The following Alpha and Omega story was told by Bishop K. C. Pillai, DD (c. 1900–1970), who converted to the Christian faith from Hinduism in India. He had a wealth of practical understanding in so many customs of the biblelands. Dr Pillai opened up a new and fascinating field of study from the customs, cultures, and manners of the people in the biblical lands, having lived and learned them from his childhood. Dr Pillai taught and inspired many in the United States until his passing. (Three of his published works are cited at the end of this study.)

Bishop Pillai told the story of what the Alpha and Omega meant to the people of the first century as follows. “When a foreign nation was about to attack a certain region, they who were about to be assaulted would commission a messenger who would then run throughout the different towns and villages and herald the warning of the danger. This messenger would yell out: I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, your first and your last warning that the enemy is coming, then he would run on to other villages and towns in the enemy’s path and repeat this warning.”

This was perhaps similar to Paul Revere’s ride when yelling out: The British are coming! The British are coming! The messenger was the only one who would come; there would be no other messengers to follow, and thus he was the first and the last. Then the people could either prepare for the imminent danger of attack on its way or reject their only chance to defend themselves.

In the Bible, the Alpha and Omega is in reference to Jesus Christ who brought the one and only salvation for all men and women. Jesus is the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, our messenger traveling in prophecy throughout the Scriptures from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, and thus he is the Beginning and the End. We can track God’s messenger, the “forerunner,” Jesus Christ, through the entire Word of God, for he is the Golden Thread. Jesus is spun into every fiber of prophecy in the tapestry of life, as he runs through and spans the ages of time in Scripture revealing him as man’s complete Savior.

Acts 4:12:
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name {than Jesus Christ} under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

When Jesus had told the Apostle John that he was the Alpha and Omega in Revelation, Jesus was saying that he was the only hope of the ages, the only entrance into the everlasting graces of the Creator.

In the Gospels, Jesus preached about the end of the world, and the termination of life as it currently exists (Matthew 24:3ff). The Alpha and Omega heralds out that through him there is a harbor of refuge and a heavenly entrance, giving those who will believe on him a safe passage (Matthew 13:25-30, 36-43, and John 3:16-21), for he is humanity’s preservation and salvation.

Jesus Christ is the one great subject in the Word of God, for he is the prophesied Promised Seed of the woman. He is the Master’s master key who unlocks the divine revelation in the Word of God. The entire Bible is about him either directly or indirectly. Everything written in the Scriptures is subject to him and centers in and around him. Whether the references are explicit or implicit, the topic of all the content of the Bible is Jesus Christ, and without him, man cannot fully understand or appreciate the Scriptures in their fullness or detail, for Jesus is the mediator between God and man.

With the Alpha and Omega revealed in the Word of God, we can further learn that through Christ, man has his own Genesis, his beginning commencing in divine purpose and fully completed as is revealed in the Book of Revelation with culmination into an eternity of divine grace. The Book of Revelation is the complement and completion to the Book of Genesis; without the Book of Genesis the Book of Revelation would be incomplete and left wanting, and vice versa.

What completes all that was written in the beginning (in the Book of Genesis) is Jesus Christ (in prophecy). What fulfills all that is written for the end (in the Book of Revelation) is Christ Jesus (in fulfillment of prophecy).

To illustrate, in the Book of Genesis, we learn of man’s banishment from Paradise and expulsion from the tree of life (3:24) while in the Book of Revelation, we see man welcomed back again into Paradise with free access to the tree of life (22:14).

In Genesis, the curse of the ground and man’s curse is pronounced (3:14, 17) while in Revelation we find no more curse at all (22:3).

In Genesis, we encounter man sentenced to sorrows, sufferings, and death (3:17, 19) while in Revelation we witness man’s acquittal and freedom to live life without sorrows, sufferings, and death (21:4).

In Genesis, there is night (1:5) while in Revelation there is no more night (21:23).

In Genesis, we observe the sun and moon for physical light (1:16) while in Revelation we see that we do not need the sun and moon because we will be living in the light of God (21:23).

In Genesis, we come across the seas (1:10) while in Revelation there are no more seas (21:1).

In Genesis, we have a river for the Earth’s blessings (2:10-4) while in Revelation we have a river for the new Earth’s blessings (22:1-2).

In Genesis, we have the entrance of sin and man’s fall from grace (3:14, 17) while in Revelation we have the end of sin and man’s complete restoration into God’s grace (21:3, 22:3).

In Genesis, we have the rainbow as a visible token of God’s covenant with the Earth (9:13) while in Revelation we have the rainbow in recognition of God’s covenant (4:3, 10:1).

In Genesis, we have the marriage of the first man ― Adam (2:18-23) while in Revelation we have the marriage of the last Adam ― Jesus Christ (19:1-9, also see I Corinthians 15:45).

In Genesis, we have man driven from Eden (3:24) while in Revelation we have man restored to a new paradise (22:1ff).

In Genesis, we discover Satan’s rebellion (between verses 1:1 and 1:2, also see Revelation 12:7-9, Ezekiel 28:15-18, and Isaiah 14:12, while in Revelation we are shown Satan’s final rebellion and destruction and a new Earth (20:7-10, 21:1). Please note in Genesis 1:1 the Earth was complete and perfect, created “not in vain” (Isaiah 45:18), but then in Genesis 1:2 the Earth became “without form and void” (Jeremiah 4:23). Then beginning from Genesis 1:3 through Genesis 2:3, God began putting the Earth back together for man. (See also II Peter 3:5-7, and See also the study titled: Geneses, written by the same author.)

In Genesis, we have the Earth created (1:1) while in Revelation we read that the Earth passed away (22:1).

In Genesis, we have the sun, moon, stars associated with Earth’s government (1:14-16), while in Revelation we have the sun, moon, and the stars associated for earth’s judgment (6:12, 8:12, and 16:8).

In Genesis, we have man created in God’s image (1:26) in charge over the earth, while in Revelation we have another man in charge over the earth in Satan’s image (13:11-16).

In Genesis, we have the future prophecy of “the woman” (Mary) and of her Son (Jesus) foretold as a future tense promise and their conflict with (the Dragon) the Serpent (3:15), while in Revelation we again have “the woman” (Mary) and her Son (Jesus) as a past tense reality of the promise fulfilled and their conflict with (the Serpent) the Dragon (12:1-6).

In Genesis, we have man’s dominion completely diminished and the beginning of Satan’s dominion (3:24) while in Revelation, we have Satan’s dominion ended and man’s dominion completely restored (22:1ff).

In Genesis, we have the doom of the Serpent pronounced (3:15), while in Revelation, we have the destruction of the Serpent executed (20:10).

Thus, we have the beginning and the end with all that was introduced (formed, made, and created) in the Book of Genesis 1:1-2:2 completely fulfilled in an endless life because of Jesus Christ, culminating in the Book of Revelation 21:1ff complete with a new Heaven and Earth.

Without Jesus Christ, both Books are just books – (and every book between, flawed!) – and man hasn’t a prayer, a hope, or a Savior. With Jesus Christ, man has a harbinger of true opportunity, a lively hope, and a risen partnership with and in Christ Jesus for all eternity. Both Books were produced generations apart and no amount of human genius or intervention could have schemed out this awesome bond with intellect only, for both Books are perfectly entwined way beyond what you or I could ever dream up.

The Book of Revelation for the Christian believer is not a disparaging book of doomsday (as we will learn through our series on The Golden Thread), but rather it reveals an incredible amount of good news, relinquishing fears and bestowing on humanity a magnanimous amount of spiritual insight regarding the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

We have Genesis, the Book of the beginning, and we have Revelation, the Book of the end; both complement and augment each other to reveal Christ as our Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. Jesus Christ fills to the full all the Scriptures and assures men and women of their salvation through his accomplished redeeming work.

The Bible, I believe, is His-story (God’s) in the making and that Jesus Christ is the true essence of His-story, man is the ultimate purpose and reach of His-story, and the Scriptures contain the true history of creation and man. It evidences the record from the dawn of time to eternal bliss, from the alpha of Lucifer to the omega of his total demise in the lake of fire, from the beginning of man and his struggle with sin and death to his ultimate victory in an endless life. The content within the Scriptures give an overview of all time showing the individual ages in the scope of the larger picture of eternity and man’s individual part he has in all God’s creation with the Savior.

Isaiah 43:10:
Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant {Jesus} whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Before me and after me are representations of God ― the Supreme Alpha and Omega.

Between the Alpha and the Omega is the servant of God ― Jesus Christ, chosen: that ye may know and believe in God. Jesus is the “Servant” chosen to reveal God. Jesus makes known the heavenly Father to those who want to know, and they who discover Christ become genuine witnesses of God’s brilliant creative power.

It is interesting to note that the Book of Isaiah is within the core (or center) of the Bible, and from this center God said in Isaiah 48:12, “I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.” God is the Creator, and thus He is the Alpha and Omega of creation, while the Son of God is the Alpha and Omega to knowing Him personally Who has the power of creativity.

To truly know God intimately is to first know the Son, for in him we are lovingly shown the Father, “And such trust we have through Christ to God-ward” (II Corinthians 3:4).

II Peter 1:2-3:
-2: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
-3: According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

What a honorable privilege we have to know Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, and oh, how thankful we can become to have been given such wonderful understanding from the Word of God that reveals to our hearts the truth, the love, and the light of God Himself through the great revealer ― Jesus Christ.

*******

Pillai, K.C. Orientalisms of the Bible, Volume 1. Fairborn: OH:
Mor-Mac Publishing Co., 1969.

Pillai, K.C. Light through an eastern window. 14th Printing.
New York: Robert Speller & Son, 1976.

Pillai, K.C. Orientalisms of the Bible, Volume 2. Fairborn: OH:
Mor-Mac Publishing Co., 1974.

He Is Called Faithful and True (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In Revelation 19:11 Jesus Christ is called Faithful and True,” because he was always true to the healing Word of God, and he was always faithful to his heavenly Father. In Revelation 19:20 he is “called The Word of God,” because he is the epitome of everything that God’s healing Word represents. As Jesus Christ is faithful and true representing the Word of God, he always made God known to anyone who would listen to him.

John 17:25-26:
-25:  O righteous Father {Jesus is praying}, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these {his disciples and Apostles} have known that thou hast sent me {for God sent the Word (Psalms 107:20)}.
-26:  And I have declared unto them thy name, and will {continue even to this very day to} declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

God sent Jesus Christ who is “called Faithful and True” to make known the true characteristics of God Himself. Jesus Christ continues even today declaring in our hearts and souls everything that the name of God means personally to us; Paul called this “the revelation of Jesus Christ” in Galatians 1:10.  The revelation of Jesus Christ can and will declare in our own hearts the love that God in Christ has for us.

Psalms 119:138 – Thy {God’s} testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.

The testimonies of God are righteous – so is Jesus Christ as righteous as God, and as the testimonies of God are “very faithful” – so is Jesus Christ as faithful as God. This is why Jesus Christ cannot be separated from the Scriptures. He is the subject of the Word, and he was God’s plan of redemption on the level of humanity. God is Spirit, Love, and Light, but Jesus Christ was flesh and bone, blood and soul, sweat and tears, and was truly able to feel the full gamut of the living emotional experience that men and women live every day of their lives.

Jesus lived God’s healing Word as an example for us to follow, he was (and still is) “called Faithful and True,” Jesus continues showing us the way by blazing a trail that leads to the actual right hand of God. Jesus brought man back to the Creator of life and light through his life, his death, and his resurrection and ascension, for he was the forerunner to the right hand of God.

Without Jesus Christ we could not fully understand how righteous God really is, we could not believe how faithful God really is, and we could not fully believe to receive the promises promised to us in God’s very faithful Word.

Titus 2:13-14:
-13:  Looking for that blessed hope {Christ’s return for us}, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
-14:  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

“A peculiar people” does not mean that Christians are strange people like some think, rather peculiar means that we are a people united together by our heavenly calling. We are those who do enjoy the good life and the promises that God has prepared for us. When we look to Jesus who is “called Faithful and True,” he will reveal to our hearts God’s “exceeding great and precious promises: {so} that by these {promises} ye might be partakers of the divine nature” (II Peter 1:4). Partaking of “the divine nature” is having and knowing that God in Christ lives within your life.