After Armageddon, a Paradise Earth
1. (a) What is a common view of Armageddon? (b) What does the Bible say about it?
“ARMAGEDDON” is a frightening word to many. Often world leaders use it to refer to a possible World War III. However, the Bible speaks of Armageddon as the place of a righteous war fought by God. (Revelation 16:14, 16, King James Version) This war of God will prepare the way for a righteous new world.
2. (a) Who will be destroyed at Armageddon? (b) So what practices should we wisely avoid?
2 Unlike the wars of men, which kill both the good and the bad, Armageddon will destroy only the bad. (Psalm 92:7) Jehovah God will be the Judge, and he will remove any who willfully refuse to obey his righteous laws. Today many persons see nothing wrong with such things as fornication, getting drunk, lying or cheating. But, according to God, these things are wrong. So at Armageddon he will not save those who continue to do them. (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Revelation 21:8) Knowing God’s laws on these matters, it is important for persons who may be practicing such bad things to change their ways.
3. (a) To what did Jesus compare the end of the present world? (b) What will happen to Satan and his demons? (c) According to scriptures on following pages, what kind of conditions will be enjoyed on the paradise earth?
3 After Armageddon no part of this wicked world will remain. Only persons who serve God will continue to live. (1 John 2:17) Jesus Christ compared the situation to that of Noah’s day. (Matthew 24:37-39; 2 Peter 3:5-7, 13; 2:5) After Armageddon, God’s kingdom will be the only government ruling over the earth. Satan and his demons will be gone. (Revelation 20:1-3) Consider, on the following pages, some of the blessings that the Bible indicates obedient people will enjoy.
ALL HUMANKIND AT PEACE
“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 . . . Prince of Peace. To the abundance of the princely rule and to peace there will be no end.”—Isaiah 9:6, 7.
“In his days the righteous one will sprout, and the abundance of peace until the moon is no more. And he will have subjects from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.”—Psalm 72:7, 8.
NO MORE WAR
“Come, you people, behold the activities of Jehovah, how he has set astonishing events on the earth. He is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth.”—Psalm 46:8, 9.
FINE HOMES AND ENJOYABLE WORK FOR EVERYONE
“They will certainly build houses and have occupancy . . . They will not build and someone else have occupancy; they will not plant and someone else do the eating . . . the work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full. They will not toil for nothing, nor will they bring to birth for disturbance; because they are the offspring made up of the chosen ones of Jehovah, and their descendants with them.”—Isaiah 65:21-23.
CRIME, VIOLENCE AND WICKEDNESS GONE
“For evildoers themselves will be cut off . . . And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; and you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be.”—Psalm 37:9, 10.
“As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.”—Proverbs 2:22.
ALL THE EARTH A PARADISE
Jesus said: “You will be with me in Paradise.”—Luke 23:43.
“The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.”—Psalm 37:29.
PLENTY OF GOOD THINGS FOR ALL TO EAT
“Jehovah of armies will certainly make for all the peoples . . . a banquet of well-oiled dishes, a banquet of wine kept on the dregs, of well-oiled dishes filled with marrow.”—Isaiah 25:6.
“There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow.” “The earth itself will certainly give its produce; God, our God, will bless us.”—Psalm 72:16; 67:6.
4, 5. (a) What conditions will no longer exist on the paradise earth? (b) What will people be able to do that, in many places, they cannot do today?
4 Surely you want to live on the paradise earth like the garden in which the first man Adam was created. (Genesis 2:8; Luke 23:43) Think of it—no more war, crime or violence. You will be able to walk anywhere at any time of the day or night without fear of being harmed. The wicked simply will no longer be.—Psalm 37:35-38.
5 This means that there will be no dishonest politicians and greedy business leaders to oppress the people. Nor will people be burdened with high taxes to pay for military weapons. Never again will anyone be without good food and comfortable housing because he cannot afford them. Unemployment, inflation and high prices will be no more. The troubles that cause suffering to families today will no longer exist. All will have pleasant work to do, and they will be able to see and enjoy the results of their labors.
6. (a) What work will Armageddon survivors do? (b) How will God bless the work that is done?
6 First of all, those who survive Armageddon will have the work of cleaning up the earth and clearing away the ruins of this old system. And then they will have the privilege, under the direction of the Kingdom rule, of cultivating the earth and making it a beautiful place in which to live. What a happy work that will be! God will bless everything that is done. He will provide the right kind of climate to grow crops and raise livestock, and he will see to it that these are protected from disease and harm.
7. (a) What promise of God will be fulfilled? (b) What do Christians await according to God’s promise?
7 This promise of the loving Creator, as given through the Bible psalmist, will be fulfilled: “You are opening your hand and satisfying the desire of every living thing.” (Psalm 145:16) Yes, all the proper desires of God-fearing persons will be completely satisfied. We cannot even imagine how wonderful life will be in paradise on earth. Telling about God’s arrangement for blessing his people, the apostle Peter wrote: “There are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to [God’s] promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.”—2 Peter 3:13; Isaiah 65:17; 66:22.
8. (a) Why do we not need new physical heavens? (b) What are the “new heavens”?
8 What are these “new heavens”? They are not new physical heavens. God made our physical heavens perfect, and they bring him glory. (Psalm 8:3; 19:1, 2) The “new heavens” refer to a new rulership over the earth. The “heavens” now are made up of man-made governments. At Armageddon these will pass away. (2 Peter 3:7) The “new heavens” that will replace them will be God’s heavenly government. Its king will be Jesus Christ. But ruling with him as part of the “new heavens” will be 144,000 of his faithful followers.—Revelation 5:9, 10; 14:1, 3.
9. (a) What is the “new earth”? (b) What is the earth that will be destroyed?
9 What, then, is the “new earth”? It is not a new planet. God made this planet Earth just right for humans to live on, and it is his will that it remain forever. (Psalm 104:5) The “new earth” refers to a new group or society of people. The Bible often uses the word “earth” in such a way. For example, it says: “All the earth [meaning, the people] continued to be of one language.” (Genesis 11:1) The “earth” that will be destroyed are the people that make themselves part of this wicked system of things. (2 Peter 3:7) The “new earth” that replaces them will be made up of true servants of God who have separated themselves from this world of wicked people.—John 17:14; 1 John 2:17.
10. (a) Who are now being gathered, and into what? (b) According to the scriptures on the following pages, what will be done on the paradise earth that human governments cannot do?
10 Right now people of all races and nationalities who will make up part of the “new earth” are being gathered into the Christian congregation. The unity and peace that exist among them is only a small preview of what will make living on the paradise earth after Armageddon such a pleasure. Truly, God’s kingdom will bring to pass what no human government could even hope to do. Just consider a few of such blessings on the following pages.
A LOVING BROTHERHOOD OF ALL HUMANKIND
“God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.”—Acts 10:34, 35.
PEACE BETWEEN PEOPLE AND ANIMALS
“The wolf will actually reside for a while with the male lamb, and with the kid the leopard itself will lie down, and the calf and the maned young lion and the well-fed animal all together; and a mere little boy will be leader over them.”—Isaiah 11:6; Isaiah 65:25.
NO MORE SICKNESS, OLD AGE OR DEATH
“At that time the eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped. At that time the lame one will climb up just as a stag does, and the tongue of the speechless one will cry out in gladness.”—Isaiah 35:5, 6.
“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.
THE DEAD ARE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE
“The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.”—John 5:28, 29.
“The sea gave up those dead in it, and death and Hades gave up those dead in them.”—Revelation 20:13.
11. What often ruins the kind of paradise that people now make?
11 How much better the paradise under God’s kingdom will be than anything this old system can bring! True, some people today have made the place where they live into what looks like a paradise. But the people who live together in these places may be mean and selfish, and may even hate one another. And, in time, they get sick, grow old and die. After Armageddon, however, the paradise on earth will include much more than simply beautiful homes, gardens and parks.
12, 13. (a) What conditions of peace will exist after Armageddon? (b) What is needed to bring about these conditions?
12 Think of it. People of all races and nationalities will learn to live together as one family of brothers and sisters. They will truly love one another. None will be selfish or unkind. No one will hate another person just because of his race, color, or the place that he comes from. Prejudice will cease to exist. Everyone on earth will become a true friend and neighbor of everyone else. Truly, it will be a paradise in a spiritual way. Would you like to live in this paradise under the “new heavens”?
13 Today people talk a lot about living together in peace, and have even set up a “United Nations” organization. Yet people and nations are divided as never before. What is needed? The hearts of people need to change. But it is simply impossible for the governments of this world to perform such a miracle. The Bible’s message about God’s love, however, is doing it.
14. What is happening now to prove that these paradise conditions will be realized?
14 Upon learning about the righteous new system, the hearts of many people are being moved to love God. And so they begin to act also in a loving way toward others, just as God does. (1 John 4:9-11, 20) This means a big change in their lives. Many who were mean and hateful, like vicious animals, thus have become meek and peaceable. Like obedient sheep, they are gathered into the Christian flock.
15. (a) What two groups of Christians are there? (b) Who will be the first ones to make up the “new earth”?
15 For over 1,900 years there was a gathering together of the “little flock” of 144,000 Christians who will rule with Christ. Only a few of these are left on earth; most are already ruling with Christ in heaven. (Luke 12:32; Revelation 20:6) But speaking of other Christians, Jesus said: “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold [of the “little flock”]; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.” (John 10:16) A “great crowd” of these “other sheep” are now being gathered. They will make up the first ones of the “new earth.” Jehovah will protect them through “the great tribulation” at the end of this wicked system to live on into the earthly paradise.—Revelation 7:9, 10, 13-15.
16. What miracle will make living with the animals a pleasure?
16 After Armageddon another miracle will add to the paradise conditions. Animals such as lions, tigers, leopards and bears, which now can be dangerous, will be at peace. How fine then to take a walk in the woods and to be joined for a while by a lion at your side, and perhaps later by a big bear! Never again will anybody need to fear another living thing.
17, 18. (a) What cause for sadness will no longer exist in the paradise earth? (b) Why can we be sure that perfect health will be enjoyed by all?
17 Yet no matter how beautiful the homes and gardens, how kind and loving the people, or how friendly the animals, if we got sick, grew old and died there would still be sadness. But who can bring perfect health to all? Human governments have failed to wipe out cancer, heart troubles and other diseases. Yet even if they were to do so, doctors admit that this would not stop people from aging. We would still grow old. In time our eyes would grow dim, our muscles would weaken, our skin would wrinkle and the organs inside our bodies would break down. Death would follow. How sad!
18 After Armageddon, in the paradise earth, a grand miracle by God will change all of that, for the Bible promise is: “No resident will say: ‘I am sick.’” (Isaiah 33:24) When Jesus Christ was on earth he proved his power to heal all kinds of sickness and disease, which result because of the sin we inherited from Adam. (Mark 2:1-12; Matthew 15:30, 31) Aging will also be stopped under Kingdom rule. The old will even grow young again. Yes, ‘a man’s flesh will become fresher than in his youth.’ (Job 33:25) What a thrill it will be then to wake up each morning and realize that you are in better health than you were the day before!
19. What last enemy will be brought to nothing, and how?
19 Surely no one living in youthful, perfect health in the paradise earth will ever want to die. And nobody will need to die! Their receiving the benefits of the ransom sacrifice will mean at last enjoying God’s grand gift of “everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) As the Bible says, Christ “must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. As the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing.”—1 Corinthians 15:25, 26; Isaiah 25:8.
20. Who, besides persons now living, will enjoy the paradise earth, and how will that be possible?
20 Even persons now dead will enjoy the paradise earth. They will return to life! So, at that time, instead of announcements of deaths, there will be joyful reports about those who have been resurrected. How wonderful to welcome back from the grave dead fathers, mothers, children and other loved ones! No funeral parlors, graveyards or tombstones will remain to spoil the beauty of the paradise earth.
21. (a) Who will help to see that the laws and instructions of the “new heavens” are carried out? (b) How can we show that we really want the “new heavens” and the “new earth”?
21 Who will govern or direct activities on the paradise earth? All laws and instructions will come from the “new heavens” above. But on earth there will be faithful men appointed to see that these laws and instructions are carried out. Because these men represent the heavenly kingdom in a special way, the Bible calls them “princes.” (Isaiah 32:1, 2; Psalm 45:16) Even in the Christian congregation today men are appointed by God’s holy spirit to care for and direct its activities. (Acts 20:28) After Armageddon we can be confident that Christ will see to it that the right men are appointed to represent the Kingdom government, for then he will be taking a direct hand in earth’s affairs. How can you show that you are eagerly awaiting God’s “new heavens” and “new earth”? By doing everything you can to meet the requirements for living in that righteous new system.—2 Peter 3:14.