When the Knowledge of God Fills the Earth
1, 2. How did Jehovah’s creation come to be damaged?
SUPPOSE a great artist has just completed a splendid painting. He rightfully considers it to be very good—a masterpiece! But overnight a jealous rival defaces it. Understandably, this causes the artist great pain. How eager he is to see the vandal locked up! And you can imagine how the artist yearns to have his creation restored to its former beauty.
2 Like that artist, Jehovah created a masterpiece in preparing the earth and putting mankind upon it. After creating man and woman, he pronounced all his earthly work “very good.” (Genesis 1:31) Adam and Eve were God’s own children, and he loved them. He envisioned a happy, glorious future for them. True, Satan led them into rebellion, but God’s wonderful creation was not damaged beyond repair.—Genesis 3:23, 24; 6:11, 12.
3. What is “the real life”?
3 God has determined to set things straight. He dearly wants to see us live the way he originally purposed. Our short and troubled existence is not “the real life,” for it is far inferior to what Jehovah has in mind. “The real life” that God wants for us is “everlasting life” under perfect conditions.—1 Timothy 6:12, 19.
4, 5. (a) How will the Paradise hope be realized? (b) Why should we think about our hope for the future?
4 The knowledge of God brings responsibility before Jehovah. (James 4:17) But think of the blessings you will enjoy if you apply that knowledge and reach out for everlasting life. In his Word, the Bible, Jehovah God has painted a beautiful picture of what that life will be like in the Paradise earth so near at hand. Of course, as Jehovah’s people we do not serve God solely out of a desire for a reward. We serve God because we love him. (Mark 12:29, 30) Moreover, we do not earn life by serving Jehovah. Everlasting life is a gift of God. (Romans 6:23) It will do us good to meditate on such a life because the Paradise hope reminds us of the kind of God Jehovah is—the loving “rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.” (Hebrews 11:6) A hope that burns brightly in our minds and hearts will enable us to endure hardships in Satan’s world.—Jeremiah 23:20.
5 Let us now focus our attention on the Bible-based hope of everlasting life in the future earthly Paradise. What will life be like when the knowledge of God fills the earth?
AFTER ARMAGEDDON—A PARADISE EARTH
6. What is Armageddon, and what will it mean for mankind?
6 As shown earlier, Jehovah God will soon destroy the present wicked system of things. The world is rapidly approaching what the Bible calls Har–Magedon, or Armageddon. That word may make some people think of a nuclear holocaust brought about by warring nations, but Armageddon is nothing of the kind. As Revelation 16:14-16 shows, Armageddon is “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” It is a war involving “the kings of the entire inhabited earth,” or the nations. Jehovah God’s Son, the appointed King, will soon ride forth into battle. The outcome is absolutely sure. All who oppose God’s Kingdom and who are a part of Satan’s wicked system will be eliminated. Only those loyal to Jehovah will survive.—Revelation 7:9, 14; 19:11-21.
7. Where will Satan and his demons be during the Thousand Year Reign of Christ, and how will this benefit mankind?
7 Imagine that you have survived that cataclysm. What would life be like on earth in God’s promised new world? (2 Peter 3:13) We need not speculate, for the Bible tells us, and what it says is thrilling. We learn that Satan and his demons will be put out of commission, locked away in an abyss of inactivity during the Thousand Year Reign of Jesus Christ. No longer will those wicked, malicious creatures be lurking behind the scenes, fomenting trouble and trying to goad us into acts of unfaithfulness against God. What a relief!—Revelation 20:1-3.
8, 9. In the new world, what will happen to afflictions, illness, and aging?
8 In time, all forms of sickness will vanish. (Isaiah 33:24) The lame will then stand, walk, run, and dance on sound, strong legs. After years of life in their world of silence, the deaf will hear the joyous sounds around them. The blind will gasp in awe as a rich world of color and form takes shape before their eyes. (Isaiah 35:5, 6) At last, they will see the faces of their loved ones! Perhaps then their vision will blur just momentarily with tears of joy.
9 Just think! No more eyeglasses, no more crutches and canes, no more medicines, no more dental clinics or hospitals! Never again will emotional illness and depression rob people of happiness. No childhood will be blighted by disease. The ravages of aging will be reversed. (Job 33:25) We will become healthier, stronger. Each morning we will wake from a refreshing night’s sleep with renewed energy, filled with vigor and eager for a new day of vibrant life and satisfying work.
10. What work assignment will Armageddon survivors undertake?
10 There will be plenty of enjoyable work to be done by Armageddon survivors. They will transform the earth into a paradise. Any vestiges of the polluted old system will be cleared away. Parks and gardens will emerge in place of slums and ruined land. All will enjoy comfortable, pleasant housing. (Isaiah 65:21) As time passes, those paradisaic parts of the earth will grow and merge until the entire globe meets the standard of beauty set by the Creator back in the garden of Eden. How satisfying it will be to share in that work of restoration!
11. What will be mankind’s future relationship with the earth’s environment and animal life?
11 All of this will be done under divine guidance so that the environment will not be harmed. Humans will be at peace with the animals. Instead of wantonly slaughtering them, man will resume responsible stewardship over the earth, taking good care of them. Visualize wolves and lambs, lions and calves, feeding together—and the domestic animals are totally safe. Even a little child will have nothing to fear from wild beasts, nor will the tranquillity of the new world be disrupted by cruel, ferocious people. (Isaiah 11:6-8) What a peaceful new world that will be!
12. How is Isaiah 11:9 undergoing fulfillment today, and how will it be fulfilled in Paradise?
12 Isaiah 11:9 tells us why no harm will be done in all the earth. It says: “The earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.” This pertains to people because animals cannot take in “the knowledge of Jehovah” and make changes, since they are governed by instinct. But the knowledge of our Creator does change people. No doubt you have already made some changes yourself as a result of applying the knowledge of God in your life. Millions have done so. Therefore, this prophecy has already begun to be fulfilled in those serving Jehovah. Yet, it also points to a time when people the world over will shed any animalistic or violent traits and become peaceable forever.
13. What educational program will take place on the earth?
13 How grand it will be when the knowledge of God fills the earth! There will be an extensive educational program under the direction of the King Jesus Christ and his 144,000 corulers. New “scrolls” will then come into use. Evidently these are God’s written instructions that will serve as a basis for educating earth’s inhabitants. (Revelation 20:12) Mankind will learn, not war, but peace. All destructive weapons will be gone forever. (Psalm 46:9) Inhabitants of the new world will be taught to treat their fellow humans with love, respect, and dignity.
14. How will the world be different when mankind is one united family?
14 Mankind will become one united family. There will be no barriers to unity and brotherhood. (Psalm 133:1-3) No one’s home will have to be locked to keep thieves out. Peace will reign in every heart, in every house, in every part of the earth.—Micah 4:4.
THE JOYOUS RESURRECTION
15. What two groups will be resurrected on earth?
15 During that Millennium, the resurrection will take place. Those who willfully sinned against God’s holy spirit, or active force, by unrepentantly acting contrary to its manifestation or leadings will not be resurrected. (Matthew 23:15, 33; Hebrews 6:4-6) Of course, God will decide who sinned in that way. But two distinct groups will be resurrected—“the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) Since there will be proper order, it is reasonable to conclude that the first to be welcomed back to life on earth will be the righteous, those who served Jehovah loyally.—Hebrews 11:35-39.
16. (a) Who will be among “the righteous” resurrected on earth? (b) Which faithful ones of ancient times do you particularly want to meet, and why?
16 Instead of hearing news about wars, disasters, and death, Jehovah’s servants will receive wonderful reports of the resurrection. It will be exciting to learn about the return of such faithful men and women as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Job, Moses, Rahab, Ruth, David, Elijah, Esther. What stirring historical facts they will present as they give background details of many Bible accounts! No doubt they and righteous ones who have died in more recent times will be just as eager to learn about the end of Satan’s system and how Jehovah sanctified his holy name and vindicated his sovereignty.
17. What assistance will faithful ones give to others who are resurrected?
17 How helpful these faithful ones will be during the next phase of the resurrection, when billions of “the unrighteous” are released from the bonds of death! Most of mankind never had a chance to know Jehovah. Satan was ‘blinding their minds.’ (2 Corinthians 4:4) But the Devil’s work will be undone. The unrighteous will come back to a beautiful and peaceful earth. They will be welcomed by a people well organized to teach them about Jehovah and his reigning Son, Jesus Christ. As billions of resurrected ones come to know and love their Creator, the knowledge of Jehovah will fill the earth in an unprecedented way.
18. How do you think that you will feel when welcoming resurrected loved ones?
18 What joy the resurrection will bring to our hearts! Who has not suffered because of our enemy death? Indeed, who has not felt utterly shattered when some bond of love or friendship was torn apart as sickness, old age, accident, or violence claimed the life of a loved one? Imagine, then, the joy of reunions in Paradise. Mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends and relatives, will run into one another’s arms, laughing and crying for joy.
PERFECTION AT LAST!
19. What miracle will take place during the Millennium?
19 Throughout the Millennium, a wonderful miracle will be taking place. For mankind, it will be perhaps the most thrilling aspect of Christ’s Thousand Year Reign. Jehovah will direct his Son to apply the benefits of the ransom sacrifice to each and every faithful and obedient man and woman. By that means, all sin will be removed and mankind will be raised to perfection.—1 John 2:2; Revelation 21:1-4.
20. (a) What will it mean to be perfect? (b) When will Armageddon survivors and resurrected ones start to live in the fullest sense?
20 Perfection! What will it mean? It will mean a return to life the way Adam and Eve enjoyed it before they sinned against Jehovah God. Physically, mentally, emotionally, morally, spiritually—in every way imaginable—perfect humans will fully meet God’s standards. But will all people then be identical? Far from it! Jehovah’s creations—trees, flowers, animals—all teach us that he loves variety. Perfect humans will have different personalities and talents. Each one will enjoy life as God meant it to be. Revelation 20:5 says: “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.” Like the great crowd of Armageddon survivors, the resurrected ones will become fully alive when they reach sinless perfection.
21. (a) What will occur at the end of Christ’s Thousand Year Reign? (b) What will finally happen to Satan and all who side with him?
21 Perfect humans will face one final test. At the end of the Millennium, Satan and his demons will be released from the abyss for a short time and will be permitted to make a final effort to turn people away from Jehovah. Some will put wrong desires above love of God, but this rebellion will be cut short. Jehovah will execute these selfish ones along with Satan and all his demons. All wrongdoers will then be gone forever.—Revelation 20:7-10.
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
22. What do you look forward to doing in Paradise?
22 Eternity will stretch out before those who love Jehovah God and dwell in the Paradise earth. We can hardly imagine their joy, and you too can share in this. Music, art, crafts—why, perfect mankind’s achievements will surpass the finest works of the greatest masters in the old world! After all, humans will be perfect and will have limitless time before them. Imagine what you will be able to do as a perfect human. Think, too, of what you and fellow humans will learn about Jehovah’s creation—from the billions of galaxies across the universe to the tiniest subatomic particles. Everything that mankind achieves will further delight the heart of our loving heavenly Father, Jehovah.—Psalm 150:1-6.
23. Why will life in Paradise never become boring?
23 Life then will not be boring. It will get more and more interesting as time goes on. You see, there is no end to the knowledge of God. (Romans 11:33) Throughout eternity, there will always be more to learn and new horizons to explore. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) And as you continue to learn about Jehovah God, you will keep on living—not just a few years but forever!—Psalm 22:26.
24, 25. Why should you now live in harmony with the knowledge of God?
24 Is not a delightful future on a paradise earth worth any effort or sacrifice you make? Of course it is! Well, Jehovah has extended to you the key to that splendid future. That key is the knowledge of God. Will you use it?
25 If you love Jehovah, you will find delight in doing his will. (1 John 5:3) As you pursue that course, what blessings you will experience! If you apply the knowledge of God, it can bring you a happier life even in this troubled world. And the future rewards are immense, for this is the knowledge that leads to everlasting life! Now is the favorable time for you to act. Be determined to live in harmony with the knowledge of God. Demonstrate your love for Jehovah. Honor his holy name and prove Satan a liar. In turn, Jehovah God, the Source of true wisdom and knowledge, will rejoice over you in his great and loving heart. (Jeremiah 31:3; Zephaniah 3:17) And he will love you forever!
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
What is “the real life”?
After Armageddon, what will take place on earth?
Who will be resurrected on earth?
How will mankind become perfect and finally be tested?
What is your hope regarding Paradise?
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Do you hope to live in Paradise, when the knowledge of God fills the earth?