Extending and Peopling our Spiritual Paradise
SOME twenty-five hundred years ago Nebuchadnezzar built a paradise along the Euphrates in the heart of the city of Babylon for the pleasure of his wife. It consisted of five terraces, each raised fifty feet higher than the previous one for a total of 250 feet. ‘The terraces were exquisite gardens with the rarest and most beautiful plants. There were flowering fountains and tame animals disported at ease.’ It was known as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Jehovah God himself is the greatest of all constructors of paradises, spiritual and literal past, present and future, for those whom he loves. His paradises are far more beautiful, are far larger and far more enduring. All of his gardens are distinguished by their beauty, peace, happiness, pure worship and life-giving fruits.a—Gen. 2:8, 9.
The first, of course, was the one planted eastward in Eden for the benefit of Adam and his offspring. They were to extend it until it eventually filled the whole earth. However, because of Adam’s rebellion that Paradise was destroyed at the Deluge.
Another Paradise mentioned in the Scriptures is that one to which Jesus referred in his dying promise to the friendly evildoer that was staked alongside him. That will be a literal Paradise and will cover the whole earth, in keeping with God’s original purpose regarding the earth.
The early Christian congregation from the time of Pentecost on enjoyed a paradise-like condition of spiritual prosperity. It was a foretaste of the heavenly Paradise that the conquerors will receive by means of the first resurrection.—Rev. 2:7.
Because of apostasy after the death of the apostles that spiritual paradise on earth ceased to exist until 1919. After the kingdom of God had been established in the heavens and Satan and his demons cast out, Jehovah delivered the faithful remnant of anointed Christians from their captivity to modern Babylon, in 1919. Their spiritual prosperity has kept on in creasing, a striking demonstration of it being the Divine Will International Assembly.
Today we see the New World society fulfilling Ezekiel 36:10 in that it is being peopled by increasing numbers, its cities are being inhabited and its waste places are being built. Let all of us who are enjoying these blessings share in further extending and peopling our spiritual paradise by aiding others to an appreciation of these marvelous expressions of Jehovah’s love for his creatures.
a For details see The Watchtower, February 1, 1959.