A Happy Human Family Under a New Fatherhood
1. Why is the subject of a new fatherhood such good news to the human family?
AFTER Armageddon, a second fatherhood awaits all mankind. That is indeed good news! The new fatherhood makes possible eternal life in human perfection in an earth-wide paradise, for the new Father of the human family is himself deathless. He has the power to confer perfect life upon all those whom he adopts as his children on earth.
2. Why is a new fatherhood needed?
2 A new fatherhood is needed because mankind lost its original fatherhood, the fatherhood of man’s Creator. The lineage that runs from Jesus back to the first man, Adam, ends up by giving us this list: “Cainan, son of Enosh, son of Seth, son of Adam, son of God.”—Luke 3:37, 38.
3. How tragic was the loss of the fatherhood of Jehovah God to all humanity?
3 Loss of the fatherhood of Jehovah God proved tragic for all humankind. The descendants of Adam inherited the condemnation of death. The matter is plainly stated in Romans 5:12: “Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.” That “one man” was Adam, and for his willful sin, he lost the fatherhood of his Creator, Jehovah.
4. Under whose fatherhood did Adam and mankind come?
4 Under whose fatherhood did Adam then come? Into whose fatherhood did he bring the world of mankind? It would be the fatherhood of the one who prevailed upon him to step out of the family of all obedient sons of God in heaven and on earth. It was the fatherhood of the one who told the first lie, Satan the Devil. How did that opposer of Jehovah bring this about?
5. (a) What agency did Satan the Devil use to deceive Adam’s wife into disobedience to God? (b) Why and how did Adam come under full responsibility for his course of action?
5 At 2 Corinthians 11:3 the apostle Paul exposes the matter, writing: “The serpent seduced Eve by its cunning.” Cunningly, Satan used a serpent in Eden to convey the first lie to unsuspecting Eve, falsely charging Jehovah God with lying. (Genesis 3:1-7; John 8:44) Adam did not correct his wife. He did not refuse to eat with her and did not save the situation. His deliberate misdeed played into the Serpent’s hands. Placing the blame where it belonged, 1 Timothy 2:14 states: “Adam was not deceived, but the woman was thoroughly deceived and came to be in transgression.”
The One Worthy of Fatherhood
6, 7. With what fatherhood did Jesus show that he could be entrusted, and how did Bible prophecy specify this?
6 In refusing to worship “the god of this system,” Jesus proved that he was the One to be entrusted with the second fatherhood of the human family. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13) From his human birth in 2 B.C.E., he was the One to whom the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6 applied:
7 “There has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” So the “Prince of Peace” has another vital role to play for mankind—that of being its “Eternal Father.”
8. Why was Jesus enabled to take action to become the “Eternal Father” to mankind, and how was this confirmed by the apostle Paul?
8 The Son of God is to become the “Eternal Father” to this human family, for which he laid down his perfect human life in sacrifice. It is just as the apostle Paul writes: “For if by one man’s trespass many died, the undeserved kindness of God and his free gift with the undeserved kindness by the one man Jesus Christ abounded much more to many. So, then, as through one trespass the result to men of all sorts was condemnation, likewise also through one act of justification the result to men of all sorts is a declaring of them righteous for life.”—Romans 5:15, 18.
9. How did Jesus become a second Adam to mankind, but from what realm does he act as mankind’s Father?
9 Thus, there is a perfect balancing of these vital matters. The one committing the “one trespass” was the first man on earth, Adam. The “one act of justification” was performed by the only other perfect man, Jesus. This allowed for him to become the “Eternal Father” of the descendants of the trespassing Adam. In this way he becomes a second Adam toward the human family. The sacrifice of his perfect human life and the presenting of that human life-right to the Great Judge in heaven make it impossible for him to serve here on earth as an eternal father of mankind. When he was resurrected from the dead, he was returned to the spirit realm and was exalted to his Resurrector’s right hand. Thus it is stated: “It is even so written: ‘The first man Adam became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (1 Corinthians 15:45) Mankind’s new, adoptive Father will give it the best start in life possible.
The First Human Creatures to Be Fathered
10. Who are the first human creatures to be fathered by this adoptive Father?
10 The “Eternal Father,” Jesus Christ the King, will demonstrate who are the first ones to be fathered by him. How? By preserving through “the great tribulation” the dedicated lives of millions now living. They are the “great crowd” of “other sheep.”—Revelation 7:9, 14.
11. What earthly opportunity lies before the sheeplike survivors of “the great tribulation”?
11 Unparalleled is the earthly opportunity that is set before the “great crowd” after “the great tribulation.” Described as part of “the sign” of this “conclusion of the system of things,” the figurative goats of Jesus’ parable will be cut off from life on this earth, which will mean everlasting destruction for them. But not so the “great crowd” of sheeplike ones who lovingly and loyally did good to the remnant of Christ’s spiritual “brothers” yet on earth. (Matthew 25:31-46) The preservation of such “sheep” clear to the other side of “the great tribulation” and into the Millennial Reign of the foretold “Prince of Peace” will make it possible for these survivors to enter into the blessings of the Kingdom realm. They will be the earthly subjects of the “Prince of Peace.”
12. What words of Jesus about the resurrection indicate that endless life is set before those who enter the Kingdom’s earthly realm?
12 At that time the words that Jesus spoke before he raised Lazarus from the dead will be fulfilled toward those who enter the Kingdom’s earthly realm. He said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life; and everyone that is living and exercises faith in me will never die at all.” (John 11:25, 26) For their obedience to him, they will attain to perfect human life in the King’s earthly realm. Even the sympathetic evildoer who died alongside Jesus at Calvary will be favored with the opportunity of entering the Paradise. (Luke 23:43) Jesus will live up to all that his name “Eternal Father” implies.
The Happy Prospect for the Dead
13. The resurrection of the human dead will make it possible for what noted persons of ancient times to be seen in the earthly realm of the Kingdom?
13 Jesus, the most outstanding descendant of Abraham, said that this forefather, his son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob would be seen in the earthly realm of God’s Kingdom. (Matthew 22:31, 32) This would be made possible by the resurrection. As Jesus said, all the human dead in the memorial tombs will hear the voice of the Son of God and come forth. Their future thereafter will depend upon the course of action that they take.—John 5:28, 29; Revelation 20:12-15.
14. What will have to be done in advance in behalf of those in line for the earthly resurrection, and who will be the ones to share first in these preparations?
14 Tremendous preparations will have to be made for the ones of mankind who will be brought up from the grave to life on earth under the Kingdom of the “Eternal Father.” These preparations will first be undertaken by the survivors of “the war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Armageddon. (Revelation 16:14, 16) How many in number the “great crowd” of the “other sheep” of the “Prince of Peace” will have become by that time we do not now know, but there will be enough for the task.
15. Many will serve in what special capacity under the adoptive Father of mankind?
15 Psalm 45 is addressed to this “Prince of Peace” as King, and since he is to be to mankind the “Eternal Father,” this psalm says to him: “In place of your forefathers there will come to be your sons, whom you will appoint as princes in all the earth.” (Psalm 45:16) But even before the resurrection of those faithful “forefathers,” male members of the “great crowd” of Armageddon survivors will have been appointed to such princely office. Thousands of these prospective survivors of Armageddon are already serving as elders in the more than 49,000 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, superintending the spiritual interests of their respective congregations.
16. (a) Under princely supervision, the Armageddon survivors will serve in what activity? (b) What questions arise as to the order in which the dead will return?
16 Under princely supervision, the Armageddon survivors will serve with zealous cooperation. Just what instructions the “princes in all the earth” will receive from the heavenly “Prince of Peace” remains to be seen, furnishing a thrilling experience for all their fellow survivors of Armageddon. Think of all the garments that will have to be prepared to clothe the returning dead in suitable attire! Think of all the food supplies that will have to be provided or laid up in store! Places of shelter will also need to be made ready. What an exciting time that will be for all those engaged in this preparatory work! Who will come back first? Will they come back in the reverse order from that in which they went down into the memorial tombs? Will the martyr Abel and Enoch, who was taken away by God, as well as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the faithful prophets, be specially rewarded by being resurrected first?
17. Who will determine the order in which the dead will return to life on earth, and what title foretold concerning him indicates his ability to handle his responsibilities?
17 The “Prince of Peace” knows and will determine this. And he will be fully competent for his responsibilities as the new Father of redeemed mankind. Another of his foretold titles was “Mighty God.” That signifies that he is to be a mighty, powerful One. The demonstration of his godship will be mighty in that he will resurrect all the ransomed dead, remembering their individual names and their personalities. (John 5:28, 29; Acts 10:42) He is perfectly able to undo all the damage that Satan the Devil has done during the past 6,000 years of human existence.
18. (a) How was the need for Adam to become the forefather of Jesus Christ obviated? (b) How was Jesus enabled to become a second father to Adam’s offspring?
18 The first Adam bequeathed a condemnation to death to all his offspring. Did Adam become the forefather of the man Jesus Christ? No, Jesus did not have a human father but was born from a virgin made pregnant with his life-force that God transferred from the spirit realm. So the sinner Adam did not become a forefather of that earthly Son of God. The second Adam, however, has become a life-giving spirit. In this capacity he can fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy and become the “Eternal Father” to the first Adam’s offspring, whom he repurchases and adopts for the purpose of bestowing perfect human life on a paradise earth.
19. Into what new relationship toward the human race will Jehovah God come, and what scheme of Satan the Devil will he thus foil?
19 In such a way the heavenly Father of Jesus Christ will become the heavenly Grandfather of the restored human family. For this reason the human family will enter into a new relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth. Never was there the least possibility that Jehovah would fail in his original purpose. Thus Jehovah will have foiled the vicious, ungodly scheme of Satan the Devil. All the repurchased human family will be brought to the knowledge of this fact. What a wonderful day it will be when Jesus Christ takes over the fatherhood of the human family in order to rear mankind in Paradise restored to earth!
[Pictures on page 164, 165]
Christ, in kingly power, becomes the “Eternal Father” to all those whom he adopts