Righteous World Re-created
A SPECTATOR sat viewing the motion picture “The Happiness of the New World Society” produced by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. The happy people and the colorful scenes of nature appearing on the screen stirred within him a longing to see the whole earth radiant with such beauty and with peaceful men enjoying it to the full. How could it ever come about?
As if sensing the unspoken question, the film narrator continued his cheerful remarks. “The perfect conditions that man lost at the time of the original rebellion will be renewed. The paradise conditions of the garden of Eden will be restored. All wickedness will have been destroyed. All the results of Satan’s rebellion will be gone.”
The Bible gives full support to the statements of the narrator. Paradise will be restored, not by the destruction of the earth, but by the renewal of the face of the earth. Not by puny man’s power will this be done but by the unlimited power of earth’s original Creator, Jehovah God. Of him it is written: “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.”—Ps. 104:30.
Renewing the face of the earth is accomplished by a regeneration or recreation of an orderly arrangement of intelligent creatures, all working together in unity for the accomplishment of God’s purpose toward the earth. Such an orderly arrangement or organization once existed. Its presiding officer was an invisible, spirit son of God. Its visible part was composed of the first two humans, named Adam and Eve. This association of invisible and visible children of God formed the first “world” (kosmos, Greek). It had a specific assignment from the Universal Sovereign to attend to interests on the earth. The members were not to interfere in interests pertaining to other parts of the vast creation of Jehovah. The earth was their field of activity and they were to remain in subjection to their Sovereign Lord, Jehovah.
God’s purpose concerning the earth was stated in very simple language to the first humans. He said: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is creeping upon the earth.” Humans were to bring forth their own kind by marriage and childbearing until there would be enough of them to take care of all interests on the earth comfortably. Under the supervision of the invisible “heavens” the visible human society or “earth” was to accomplish God’s purpose.—Gen. 1:28, NW.
One important quality was required of each member of that first world, the quality of obedience. Disobedience would not be tolerated. It would result in death. Only obedient creatures were to be used in the accomplishment of God’s purpose for the earth. A token of obedience was required immediately of the first human pair. They were strictly warned to avoid eating of “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.”—Gen. 2:17, NW.
The invisible presiding officer of that first world was the first to disqualify himself. Ambitiously he sought to interfere with interests not assigned to him, even daring to hope that he could take over the position of Almighty God. The evidence of his rebellion soon came to light. In quick succession this rebel induced Adam and Eve to side with him by telling her the first lie, that there is no death for disobedience to God, and subtly stirring up selfishness in their hearts. They ate the forbidden fruit, failed to render the proper token of obedience and thereby disqualified themselves from any further position of trust. Thus the entire first world became corrupt.—Gen. 3:4-6.
Jehovah God acted quickly. He pronounced the doom of those rebels and disfellowshiped them from his universal family. They could start and operate a wicked world of their own, but with the sure knowledge that it too was doomed from its very beginning. The “seed” or offspring of God’s “woman” or faithful universal organization in the heavens would in due time destroy all wickedness and restore the righteous world that God originally purposed for the good of the earth and the vindication of his Word and name.—Gen. 3:15.
INVISIBLE PART OF RIGHTEOUS WORLD
For centuries men who exercised faith in the true God looked for the appearance of the one who would crush the wicked rebel, destroy all his wicked works and reward obedient mankind with everlasting life through the merit of his sacrificed human life and their faith in it. All this would take place at the time of the re-creation of the righteous world. By means of these faithful servants Jehovah made and recorded prophetic pictures that would serve to identify the coming deliverer. This sacred record, along with the help of God’s holy spirit, was sufficient to enable the apostle Peter to identify Jesus Christ positively as the one whom God made “both Lord and Christ,” who would suffer death at the hands of the great rebel and then be received up into heaven “until the times of restoration of all things.”—Acts 2:36; 3:18-21, NW.
By reason of strict obedience under severe test Jesus Christ showed himself fully qualified for the position of trust he was destined to receive. Repeatedly the great rebel, Satan, tried to batter down his impregnable integrity and thereby render him disqualified for service as king over a new world of righteousness. All in vain! Jesus came off victorious in every encounter. It is written that “he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake. For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name.” Every one that will gain life in the new world with Jesus Christ must follow the same pattern of obedience under test in order to qualify for the privilege. Peter informed Christians that, “in fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely.”—Phil. 2:8, 9; 1 Pet. 2:21, NW.
Jesus was not to be alone in the invisible part of the re-created world of righteousness. He was to have associates who would rule with him in the heavens. To the first men whom he selected Jesus gave the promise: “Truly I say to you, In the re-creation, when the Son of man sits down upon his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also yourselves sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” To the same group of faithful men he said: “Have no fear, little flock, because your Father has approved of giving you the kingdom.” Later he revealed that the “little flock” would be composed of 144,000 persons who would display the same quality of obedience as their Master.—Matt. 19:28; Luke 12:32; Rev. 7:4; 14:1, NW.
VISIBLE PART OF RIGHTEOUS WORLD
The visible part of the re-created world of righteousness is to be composed of faithful humans who also exhibit the quality of obedience under test. Many of these lived before Jesus was born on earth, the names of several being given in the eleventh chapter of Paul’s letter to the Hebrews. They will receive a “resurrection of life.” Others have come into view in our day, publicly declaring that they owe salvation to Jehovah and Christ Jesus, not to the United Nations or to any one of the nations or its national emblem. Later there will be children of the survivors of Armageddon as well as those who come forth from the dead in a “resurrection of judgment.” All these must prove their obedience to the Sovereign Ruler, Jehovah, by passing the test of integrity at the end of the thousand-year rule of Christ under pressure from the released Satan and his demons.—John 5:29; Rev. 7:10; 20:7-9, NW.
All humans who undergo testing during and at the end of the thousand years of Christ’s reign are the ones spoken of as “the twelve tribes of Israel,” in Matthew 19:28. They will form a visible society, theocratically organized for service like the ancient tribes of Israel. Over this orderly New World society Christ Jesus and his 144,000 heavenly associates are to exercise authority as kings and judges.
WHEN THE RE-CREATION?
Jesus linked the time of the re-creation to the time when he would sit upon his glorious throne as King. Then those who had left all to follow him would receive the reward of everlasting life. The birth of the kingdom of heaven would start off the recreation of the righteous world.
The prophecies of the Bible clearly mark the year 1914 as the time when Christ Jesus began to rule in the midst of his enemies. In that year the re-creation of the righteous world began. War broke out in heaven. The victorious Christ and his angelic hosts hurled the Dragon and his demon hordes down to the vicinity of this earth to await further trouble at “the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” Three and a half years later, in 1918, Christ Jesus was presented or “laid” as the foundation of the righteous new world in a final sense on heavenly Mount Zion. Intense activity followed. The faithful “holy ones” who slept in death until the appearance of Adonay Jehovah and his Messenger of the covenant at his spiritual temple in 1918 were raised from the dead. As spirit creatures, clothed with immortality and glorious in the likeness of Christ Jesus, they sit with him on royal thrones.—Ps. 110:2, AS; Rev. 12:7; 16:14; 3:21, NW; Mal. 3:1, Da.
In the year 1919 the remnant of Christ’s spiritual brothers were released from captivity to modern spiritual Babylon, Satan’s world organization, and planted in their own “land” of pure worship, where they soon began to bring forth Kingdom fruits. They formed the nucleus of the new earthly society that will survive Armageddon and be first on the scene of action after that war. In 1919 the founding of the “new earth” or new earthly society took place. Since that year more and more have joined enthusiastically with the New World society in proclaiming the good news of the established Kingdom. Bound together by unbreakable bonds of love and filled with the powerful spirit of Jehovah, they have pushed the frontiers of their “land” to the ends of the earth. Indeed, the re-creation of the righteous world is well under way!—Jer. 32:37-42; Isa. 51:3 to 52:2, AS.
Soon the war of Armageddon will finish off the wicked old world. The surviving New World society will remove the debris of war and bury the bones of the wicked. With boundless joy the inhabitants of earth will hasten on with the work of renewing the face of the earth until this globe becomes a glorious paradise of pleasure. Children of the survivors will add happiness to the homes that will then be established. The procreation mandate to bring forth children in righteousness will be carried out in a token sense to the satisfaction and vindication of the One who blessed the seventh day of creation and made it sacred.—Ezek. 39:9-16; Gen. 2:3, NW.
Into this happy paradise will come “those in the memorial tombs” who “practiced vile things,” to whom is promised a “resurrection of judgment.” Raised from the dead by the power of God’s spirit through Christ Jesus, they must learn righteousness. A suitable program of education will be in operation under the sponsorship of the divine government. Judgment will be based on their progress in learning righteousness.—John 5:28, 29, NW.
At the end of the thousand years the final test of integrity will come. All unworthy ones will be separated and destroyed. Obedient mankind will be declared righteous, fully approved by Jehovah. World re-creation will be complete.—Rev. 20:7-10; 21:5, NW.