Life in Security under Messiah’s Reign
1. Who already “dwell in security” under divine protection, but after what event will security be enjoyed much more fully in all respects?
LIFE in security on earth under a righteous government! Such a desirable thing will be more certain for mankind than ever previously after the attack by Gog and his greedy hordes has been smashed and the “land of Magog” has been wiped out. The people who became the target of Gog’s unprovoked attack were already “dwelling in security” under divine protection in their God-given estate on earth before Gog’s attack was launched. O how much more fully they will dwell in security in all respects after Jehovah vindicates his universal sovereignty and restores his full control over earth by gloriously triumphing over Gog of Magog! (Ezekiel 38:11, 14) This will signify that there will be complete freedom everywhere on earth to worship the victorious God who makes all nations to know that he is Jehovah!
2. It is Jehovah’s purpose for what to be carried on by the survivors of Gog’s attack, and in what vision is this portrayed?
2 It is expressly God’s purpose and arrangement for the pure and undefiled worship of him to be carried on by the survivors of Gog’s attack. Jehovah graphically portrayed this in the vision that he gave to his prophet Ezekiel some years after the prophecy concerning Gog’s unjustified effort to eradicate the worship of Jehovah from the earth. It was an extensive vision that took the last nine chapters of Ezekiel’s prophecy to describe. Historical data in its introduction authenticate it:
3. How did Ezekiel authenticate this vision at the start, and in it where did Jehovah’s spirit set him down?
3 “In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, in the start of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city had been struck down, on this very same day the hand of Jehovah proved to be upon me, so that he brought me to that place. In the visions of God he brought me to the land of Israel and gradually set me down upon a very high mountain, on which there was something like the structure of a city to the south.
4. What was the appearance of the one whom Ezekiel there saw, what did he have, where was he standing, and what did he say to Ezekiel?
4 “And he proceeded to bring me there, and, look! there was a man. His appearance was like the appearance of copper, and there was a flax cord in his hand, and a measuring reed, and he was standing in the gate. And the man began to speak to me: ‘Son of man, see with your eyes, and with your ears hear, and set your heart upon all that I am showing you, because for the purpose of my showing you, you have been brought here. Tell everything that you are seeing to the house of Israel.’”—Ezekiel 40:1-4.
5. What is the B.C.E. date for that twenty-fifth year of Ezekiel’s exile in Babylon, and on what day of what lunar month did he have the vision?
5 The twenty-fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s and Ezekiel’s exile in Babylon being the fourteenth year after the city of Jerusalem was broken down by the Babylonians in 607 B.C.E., the date of Ezekiel’s temple vision would be Nisan 10, 593 B.C.E., if the “start of the year” is taken to designate the month Nisan, the first month of the sacred year. But if the secular year were meant, then the date would be Tishri 10, which was the day of atonement, on which in a Jubilee Year the trumpet was blown to proclaim liberty throughout all the land.—Leviticus 25:8-13.
6. In what condition was the land of Judah then lying, and yet what does Ezekiel see on Mount Moriah, and its being called a “very high mountain” locates matters as in what era?
6 In that year of 593 B.C.E., the land of Judah still had fifty-six years to lie desolate (till 537 B.C.E.). But when in his vision Ezekiel is transported back to that land he sees already built a new temple for Jehovah’s worship on Mount Moriah, this temple being of such proportions as to be “something like the structure of a city to the south.” The mountain’s being described as being a “very high mountain” locates its fulfillment in the era when “the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will certainly be lifted up above the hills.”—Isaiah 2:2.
7. Whom did the glorious man whom Ezekiel saw represent, and what service was he to render to Ezekiel?
7 The man in the vision who served as Ezekiel’s guide evidently shone like burnished copper and had in his hand means of making measurements about the temple. He pictured Jehovah’s angel who was to take Ezekiel on a tour through the temple and make explanations. Evidently Ezekiel first saw him standing in the east gate, from which the inspection tour began.—Ezekiel 40:3, 6.
8. Who was the Designer of that temple, and what did this visionary temple really represent?
8 Ezekiel did not construct this temple in his imagination, but in the vision Jehovah as the heavenly Designer presented it as already put up, ready for inspection and measurement. It pictures the “true tent,” which Jehovah put up, and not man.” So this visionary temple had the “typical representations of the things in the heavens.” In the spring of 33 C.E. the resurrected Jesus Christ entered into the Most Holy of that “true temple,” namely, “into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God for us.” (Hebrews 8:2; 9:23, 24) There he presented the merit of his perfect human sacrifice that he had offered on earth upon Jehovah’s altar arrangement. (Hebrews 13:10-12, 20) Such a temple Ezekiel saw pictured.
9. By what act is that temple inaugurated, and how does Ezekiel describe the vision of it?
9 In the course of this detailed inspection the prophet Ezekiel sees, as it were, the inauguration or sanctification of this sacred structure when Jehovah takes up residence in the sanctuary of it. In Ezekiel 43:1-7 he describes it. Referring first to his angelic guide, Ezekiel goes on to tell us:
“Then he made me go to the gate, the gate that is facing toward the east. And, look! the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the direction of the east, and his voice was like the voice of vast waters; and the earth itself shone because of his glory. And it was like the appearance of the vision that I had seen, like the vision that I saw when I came to bring the city to ruin [in a prophetic way]; and there were appearances like the appearance that I saw by the river Chebar, and I went falling upon my face.
“And the glory of Jehovah itself came into the House by way of the gate the front of which was toward the east. And a spirit proceeded to raise me up and bring me into the inner courtyard, and, look! the House had become full of the glory of Jehovah. And I began to hear someone speaking to me out of the House, and the man himself had come to be standing beside me. And He went on to say to me:
“‘Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I shall reside in the midst of the sons of Israel to time indefinite; and no more will they, the house of Israel, defile my holy name.’”
10. Of what was that visionary temple a guarantee, both in the case of natural Israel and in the case of spiritual Israel?
10 This temple vision, given to Ezekiel fifty-six years before the exiled Jews were permitted to quit Babylon and return to Jerusalem and rebuild there the altar of sacrifice to Jehovah, was a divine guarantee that His worship would be renewed in the desolated land. (Ezra 1:1 to 3:6) It is also a prophetic guarantee to the restored remnant of spiritual Israel. Of what? That Jehovah’s pure worship will be carried forward without further disturbance after Jehovah defeats the threatening attack by Satan the Devil alias Gog of Magog and his ungodly hordes.
11. Then the spiritual paradise of Jehovah’s worshipers will have its counterpart in what way, and to whom and where was this foreshadowed?
11 Then the provisions for everlasting life in security on earth will be made available to the worshipers of Jehovah with real physical and environmental benefits to them as never before. The spiritual paradise from which Gog of Magog tries to oust them and their sheeplike fellow worshipers will then have its physical counterpart. In what way? In a worldwide Paradise-like “garden of Eden.” This was forevisioned in what Ezekiel further saw after the inspection of the temple was finished. He writes:
12. What did Ezekiel see proceeding forth from the House, and in what direction?
12 “And gradually he brought me back to the entrance of the House, and, look! there was water going forth from under the threshold of the House eastward, for the front of the House was east. And the water was going down from under, from the right-hand side of the House, south of the altar.”—Ezekiel 47:1.
THE DEEPENING STREAM OF LIFE-GIVING WATER
13. What kind of “water” is that, what is its source, and what does its flowing past the altar of sacrifice indicate as being taken under recognition?
13 This water from the temple of Jehovah’s restored worship proves to be life-giving water, “water of life.” It issues from the original Life-Giver, Jehovah, who has taken up his permanent residence in his heavenly temple, where he thrones above the cherubs and where he receives the blood value of the sacrifice of atonement in behalf of condemned, dying mankind. We notice that the life-giving water flows past the altar of sacrifice in the inner courtyard, instead of westward through the rear of the House right next to the Most Holy. This fact emphasizes that the Life-Giver, Jehovah, sends forth this “water of life” with full recognition of the ransom sacrifice of his Son and High Priest, Jesus Christ. That is why the Christian apostle John wrote:
“If we are walking in the light as he himself is in the light, we do have a sharing with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
“And this is the witness given, that God gave us everlasting life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has this life; he that does not have the Son of God does not have this life.”—1 John 1:7; 5:11, 12.
14. That stream of water of life agrees with what similar river mentioned in the last chapter of the Bible, and how does the writer John describe it and its source?
14 This agrees with what is said to be the source of a similar river of water of life, described in the last chapter of the Bible. Telling of the attractive features of the heavenly New Jerusalem that descends from God out of heaven, John writes:
“And I did not see a temple in it, for Jehovah God the Almighty is its temple, also the Lamb [Jesus Christ] is.”
“And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its broad way.”—Revelation 21:1, 2, 22; 22:1, 2.
Thus the symbolic river of God’s provisions for the everlasting life of mankind flows out from Jehovah the King of the universe and through his reigning King Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”—John 1:29, 36; 3:35, 36.
15. To where was the stream of water of life directed, and why was Ezekiel taken in a roundabout way for an outside view of the stream?
15 In Ezekiel’s vision this water that issues forth from the temple in which Jehovah has taken up residence is directed to where life is needed. Telling how Jehovah’s angel guides him further on his observation tour, Ezekiel writes: “And he gradually brought me forth by the way of the north gate and took me around by the way outside to the outer gate that is facing toward the east, and, look! water was trickling from the right-hand side.” (Ezekiel 47:2) Ezekiel had to be led in this roundabout way because the outer eastern gate had been sanctified by the passing of Jehovah’s glory through it into the temple and was therefore shut. (Ezekiel 44:1-3; compare Eze 10:19; 11:22, 23.) So Ezekiel was brought to the northern side of the water that was trickling forth from the temple south of its eastern outer gate.
16. What measurement did the copper-colored man now make, and what did he have Ezekiel do?
16 Now Jehovah’s angel, appearing as the coppery-colored man, uses his measuring line made of flax. Says Ezekiel: “When the man went forth eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he also proceeded to measure a thousand in cubits and to make me pass through the water, water up to the ankles.”—Ezekiel 47:3.
17. For what would this greater depth of water allow?
17 A thousand cubits eastward from the temple the trickle of water had become a stream ankle deep. This would allow for more worshipers coming to the temple to drink of this life-giving water.
18. As pictured in Ezekiel’s vision, how great a quantity of symbolic “water of life” will the survivors of Gog’s attack need, and what will they then give to human society under the heavenly kingdom of God’s Messiah?
18 In behalf of gaining eternal life those on earth who survive the dastardly attack by Gog of Magog will drink of this water of life, accepting all the provisions for life that Jehovah affords through his once-sacrificed Messiah, Jesus the Lamb of God. These survivors of the “great tribulation” with which the present system of things ends will be comparatively few as against the great mass of mankind who are destroyed in that calamitous end of this system of things. Life-giving water in quantity of an ankle-deep stream of water would be sufficient for them. Like Noah and his family who survived the global deluge, these survivors will give a righteous start to human society. They will furnish the foundation of the “new earth,” that is, to human society as organized under the heavenly kingdom of Jehovah’s Messiah, Jesus Christ.—2 Peter 2:5; 3:5-13.
19. What scriptures are there to show whether the benefits of Christ’s ransom sacrifice will be limited to the survivors of the end of this system of things or not?
19 However, the life-giving benefits of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ and of his Messianic kingdom will not be limited to those relatively few survivors of the fiery destruction of the “heavens and the earth that are now.” Not alone for them did the Messiah Jesus die. He is “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29, 36) “We behold Jesus, who has been made a little lower than angels, crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death, that he by God’s undeserved kindness might taste death for every man.” (Hebrews 2:9) “He is a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins, yet not for ours only but also for the whole world’s.” (1 John 2:2) “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all.”—1 Timothy 2:5, 6.
20. On the basis of that ransom sacrifice, what did Jesus say, and also the apostle Paul, regarding the dead?
20 On the basis of this, Jesus Christ said: “The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.” (John 5:28, 29) Ah, yes, as the apostle Paul said: “There is going to be a resurrection [of the dead] of both the righteous and the unrighteous.”—Acts 24:15.
21. By the next measurement of God’s angel, how deep did the stream of water of life become, and what does this suggest regarding the resurrection of the dead?
21 There will be enough “water of life” made available for all those resurrected out of death for whom the Messiah Jesus died. Accordingly the stream of water that Ezekiel saw God’s angel measure did not stop at ankle depth. “And he continued measuring a thousand [cubits] and then made me pass through the water, water up to the knees.” (Ezekiel 47:4) Reasonably, all the ransomed dead humans will not be restored to life on earth at one time, which would create an earthly population explosion too great for the survivors of Gog’s attack to take care of with the necessary provisions. The dead will be resurrected in controlled numbers to life on earth under Messiah’s reign so that, for the time being, the symbolic stream of “water of life” knee deep will be ample for them.
22. By the third measurement of God’s angel, how deep did the stream of water of life become, and what further does this suggest regarding the resurrection to life on earth?
22 In course of time during the thousand-year reign of the Messiah Jesus more of the ransomed dead humans will be resurrected. (Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15) Ample supplies of the “water of life” that flows out from the presence of Jehovah in his heavenly temple will be provided for these additional resurrected ones. The symbolic stream continues on and gets deeper with more volume of water, for Ezekiel 47:4 goes on to say: “And he continued measuring a thousand [cubits] and now made me pass through—water up to the hips.” How well the angel’s measuring in lengths of a thousand cubits reminds us of the number of the years of the Messiah’s reign—a thousand years! In the course of those years, as more subjects of Messiah’s kingdom come to be on earth they will be able to take care of more persons resurrected in larger numbers at one time.
23. By the final measurement of God’s angel, how deep did the stream of water of life become, and what does this suggest regarding application of the ransom benefits to the dead?
23 Before the thousand years of Messiah’s reign are ended the common earthly grave of mankind (Haʹdes) and the sea of watery graves for many humans must be emptied of those held in them in death. (Revelation 20:13, 14) The symbolic “water of life” must be extended to the very last one of the ransomed dead of mankind. Symbolic water only hip deep will not suffice for this. So an ample volume of water must be provided for the full and complete number of the ransomed dead resurrected to life on earth. This is what Ezekiel saw pictured in his vision, concerning which he further writes: “And he continued measuring a thousand [cubits]. It was a torrent that I was not able to pass through, for the water had got high, water permitting swimming, a torrent that could not be passed through.”—Ezekiel 47:5.
PERFECT HEALTH IN AN EARTHLY PARADISE!
24. Of what will all the ransomed dead be thus able to take advantage, and for the enjoyment of what will the earth then be a fine place?
24 How comforting it is to have envisioned to us that all the ransomed dead of mankind will have the precious opportunity to take advantage of the Messiah’s millennial reign and of God’s provision for everlasting life through it! And what a grand place our earth will then be in which to gain life unending in a Paradise with perfect human health and happiness! (Luke 23:42, 43) This is now pictured in the further unfolding vision as Ezekiel tells us:
25. As suggestive of the foregoing, what is Ezekiel now shown and what is he told?
25 “At that he said to me: ‘Have you seen this, O son of man?’ Then he had me walk and had me return to the bank of the torrent. When I returned, why, look! on the bank of the torrent there were very many trees, on this side and on that side. And he went on to say to me: ‘This water is going forth to the eastern region and must go down through the Arabah. And it must come to the sea. It being brought forth into the sea itself, its water is also actually healed. And it must occur that every living soul that swarms, in every place to which the double-size torrent comes, will get life. And it must occur that there will be very many fish, because there is where this water will certainly come, and the seawater will be healed, and everything will be alive where the torrent comes.’”—Ezekiel 47:6-9.
26. Thus how have the banks of that torrent become beautiful, and to what body of water does that torrent flow and how, and with what effect there?
26 The banks of this torrent of the “water of life” become beautiful as life manifests itself in very many trees that line both banks. The water torrent does not stop four thousand measured cubits from the eastern wall front of Jehovah’s temple but continues on eastward to the Arabah. That is to say, to the trench or rift valley through which the Jordan River descends southward to the Dead Sea, the lowest surface body of water on earth. Its water are so salty that no aquatic life can exist in it. It is indeed a salty sea that is dead. But now suddenly “very many fish” appear in it. What has happened?
27. So what has happened to the waters of the Dead Sea?
27 The torrent of water from Jehovah’s temple, now double-size, has reached the Arabah and run down it (not joining the Jordan River) and entered the Dead Sea. A miracle has occurred! The Dead Sea waters have been healed—sweetened. It begins to swarm with fish. Water of life, indeed, has issued from the temple of Jehovah’s worship.
28. What live evidence is now pointed out to show that at last there are fish in that Salt Sea?
28 Live evidence appears that at last there are fish in the once dead Salt Sea. The prophet Ezekiel reports the evidence, saying: “And it must occur that fishers will actually stand alongside it from En-gedi even up to En-eglaim. There will come to be a drying yard for dragnets. In their kinds their fish will prove to be, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many.”—Ezekiel 47:10.
29. Where are En-gedi and En-eglaim located, and whom do the fishers between those two places not picture?
29 Today En-gedi (“Spring of the Kid”) is about midway down the west shore of the Dead Sea. En-eglaim (“Spring of Two Calves”) is today understood to be at Ain Feshka, where there is a freshwater spring that empties into the Dead Sea, about eighteen miles north of En-gedi. This would mean that for eighteen miles there would be fishers casting in their dragnets and hauling in fish of all kinds from the Dead Sea. The variety of fish caught would correspond with the variety found in the Great Sea or Mediterranean Sea. These fishers do not picture the disciples to whom Jesus Christ when on earth said: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19; Luke 5:10) During the thousand-year reign of the Messiah Jesus there will be no catching of men like fish to become disciples of Jesus.
30. So those fishers are used as a pictorial device to prove what?
30 So the appearance of those fishers along the Dead Sea from En-gedi up to En-eglaim is merely a pictorial device to prove that there are actually live fish in those waters once brackish but now healed, sweetened. Messiah’s kingdom accomplishes a miracle!
31. What do the salty waters of the Dead Sea picture?
31 In the vision the salty Dead Sea pictures the element or surrounding conditions in which mankind has had to exist for the past six thousand years. It has been death-dealing, because all mankind has inherited imperfection and sin from our rebellious first parents, Adam and Eve, and consequently death, the penalty for sin. (Romans 5:12) Imperfect mankind has also been ruining the natural environment in which it exists. (Revelation 11:18) Thus that condemnation to death, due to inherited sinfulness and imperfection, has judicially hung over mankind since the birth of Cain, Adam and Eve’s first child, down till now.—Genesis 4:1-8.
32. Added to that natural handicap, what bad rulership has mankind come under?
32 Added to that bad handicap is the terrible fact that the invisible rulership of the vast majority of mankind has been exercised by Satan the Devil. “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) Since the ouster of that wicked one from heaven during the time of World War I, he has taken on the role of Gog of Magog.—Job 1:6, 7; John 12:31; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:3, 4, 7-13; Ezekiel 38:1 to 39:15.
33. What invisible environment needs to be removed from around mankind, and will it be?
33 In view of this, how will the life-giving “water” of God’s provisions heal or sweeten the element or surrounding conditions in which mankind has long existed? The invisible environment surrounding all mankind contains Satan the Devil and his demons. Ever since they were defeated in the recent war in heaven and were hurled down to our earth, the invisible vicinity of this earth has been the location of their restrained state. It has become a symbolic “land of Magog” for a newly arrived Gog, the debased Satan the Devil. This woe-causing, death-dealing environment must be removed from around mankind. It will be, for Jehovah says: “I will send fire upon Magog.”—Ezekiel 39:6.
34. By whom and how will this invisible environment be removed from mankind, and how will mankind’s natural death-dealing condition be taken away?
34 By means of his mighty angel, Jesus Christ, Jehovah will destroy Magog in that Satan the Devil and his demons who have been detained in this area of restraint at the earth will be removed therefrom. The reigning Messiah, Jesus, will bind Satan and his demons as with chains and will hurl them into the “abyss” far from the vicinity of the earth. There these polluters of mankind’s environment will be confined for the thousand years of Messiah’s reign, that they might no longer mislead mankind in the ways of death. Then over all mankind there will reign the “new heavens,” composed of the Messiah Jesus and his congregation of glorified spiritual Israelites. Also, by applying to redeemed mankind the lifesaving benefits of his ransom sacrifice, he will lift off them the condemnation to death due to inherited sin and imperfection.—Revelation 20:1-6; 21:1-5.
35. For what on their part will redeemed mankind be rewarded, and like what in the Dead Sea will they become?
35 Thus relief will come by the “water” of life-giving provisions that issues forth from Jehovah’s presence at his heavenly temple. Redeemed mankind will be rewarded for obedience to the Messianic kingdom and will come alive in the healed element or set of circumstances. They will be like those fish that miraculously began swarming in the waters of the Dead Sea, not unclean sea creatures, but clean fish that can be netted by fishers and eaten according to Jehovah’s law. The “sea” in which they swarm will no more deserve to be called the Dead Sea. It is a sea of life!
36. What resulted to adjacent places not reached by the water that streamed from Jehovah’s temple, and what is pictured by that?
36 Anything not reached by that “water of life” from Jehovah through the Messiah Jesus will not be healed and will not have life within it. This is called attention to in the vision by these words of Jehovah’s angel: “There are its swampy places and its marshy places, and they will not be healed. To salt they will certainly be given.” (Ezekiel 47:11) Such unhealed places would be sources of salt for use in seasoning food. Of course, too, in a figurative way, if anyone on earth willfully refuses Jehovah’s healing “water” of life’s provisions through the reigning Messiah Jesus, he will not gain everlasting life. Just as it is written concerning resurrected humans under Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom: “This means the second death, the lake of fire. Furthermore, whoever was not found written in the book of life was hurled into the lake of fire.”—Revelation 20:14, 15.
37. What earthly estate is included in Jehovah’s life-giving provisions through Messiah, and how is our attention called to this by what was shown to Ezekiel in vision?
37 Jehovah’s healing, life-giving provisions through the Messiah Jesus will include an Edenic paradise, extended earth wide, with all the means for sustaining human life in perfection. This our enraptured eyes see as Jehovah’s angel turns our attention from the sea to the “double-size torrent” of water, saying: “And alongside the torrent there will come up, along its bank on this side and on that side, all sorts of trees for food. Their leafage will not wither, nor will their fruitage be consumed. In their months they will bear new fruit, because the water for them—it is coming forth from the very sanctuary. And their fruitage must prove to be for food and their leafage for healing.”—Ezekiel 47:12.
38. In correspondency with this, what features of John’s vision concerning God’s governmental arrangement for mankind are there, and when also are these fulfilled?
38 How beautifully corresponding with this is the vision given over six hundred years later to the Christian apostle John concerning the heavenly New Jerusalem! Among the excellent features of this divine governmental arrangement for mankind John records these: “And the broad way of the city was pure gold, as transparent glass. And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its broad way. And on this side of the river and on that side there were trees of life producing twelve crops of fruit, yielding their fruits each month. And the leaves of the trees were for the curing of the nations.” (Revelation 21:21; 22:1, 2) This vision, too, is fulfilled during the thousand-year reign of the Messiah Jesus with his Bride, his congregation of faithful spiritual Israelites.—Revelation 21:2.
39. In John’s vision, what is pictured in that the river of water of life proceeds out of the throne of God and of his Lamb, and how is an unfailing supply of food for redeemed mankind pictured?
39 In this latter vision the “river of water of life” is seen proceeding from the “throne of God and of the Lamb,” this picturing that Jehovah and his Messiah Jesus are reigning with everlasting benefit to redeemed mankind. In the vision to Ezekiel the torrent of water for the trees ‘comes forth from the sanctuary’ into which the “glory of Jehovah” has entered. As this torrent of healing, life-giving water flows down to mankind throughout the thousand-year reign of Messiah, it will be accompanied by a growth of plants for beauty and food, like the paradisaic Garden of Eden with its vegetation and trees for beauty and for food. (Genesis 1:29, 30; 2:7-16) Neither blight nor drought will afflict that restored Paradise of Pleasure for obedient mankind, so as to cause its leafage to wither or its fruitage to be consumed by pests. As if by means of fruit trees producing a fresh crop every month, there will be no shortage of food all year round.
40. How is the guarantee for continuous perfect health of mankind pictured?
40 Obedient mankind will enjoy continuous perfect health, for the “leafage” of those fruitful trees will never wither but always serve for healing. What a joy life on earth will be then!
41, 42. How is it pictured that all these life provisions await those who render the right form of worship, and what comforting proclamation will the approved worshipers hear as to things then past?
41 All these bounties in profusion in the near future await those rendering the pure and undefiled form of worship to Jehovah, for, let us not overlook, the healing, life-giving “water” of divine provisions “is coming forth from the very sanctuary,” the holy place of Jehovah’s worship. (Ezekiel 47:12) For all his undeserved kindness to redeemed mankind, man’s inborn inclination to render worship will gratefully express itself in adoring the only One worthy of being worshiped, Jehovah, at His sanctuary. (Matthew 4:10; Psalm 95:6, 7) With boundless joy the approved worshipers of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will hear the comforting proclamation:
42 “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”—Revelation 21:3, 4.
[Picture on page 385]
Ezekiel’s Vision of the
SANCTUARY OF JEHOVAH