Part 38—“Your Will Be Done on Earth”
Wonderful will be the earthly blessings bestowed upon mankind when the will of the heavenly Father, Jehovah God, is done on earth. Since A.D. 1914 mankind has been living in the “time of the end” of this wicked world system of things. In order to give warning of the approaching end in a time of trouble such as mankind has never experienced since the day of creation, Jehovah God mercifully raised up the remnant of his spiritual children on earth, who are his sanctuary class because he dwells in them by means of his holy spirit as it they were a sanctuary or temple. He has made this remnant preachers of righteousness, like Noah, who over four thousand years ago warned of the destruction due to come upon that wicked antediluvian world by means of a global flood. Noah and his wife and their three sons and three daughters-in-law survived the flood in an ark built at God’s instruction.
10, 11. (a) Who expect to survive Armageddon along with the great crowd of “other sheep”? (b) In favor of this expectation, what consoling words of Peter do they have in mind?
10 Like Noah’s wife, who survived with her sons and daughters-in-law, the remnant of the sanctuary class expect to survive the delugelike destruction at Armageddon along with the great crowd of sheeplike worshipers of Jehovah God, who fully dedicate themselves to Him through the Greater Noah, Jesus Christ. They have in mind the apostle Peter’s consoling words. Peter described the ending of the ancient world and then likened the firelike consuming of the Devil’s organization to the burning up of heaven and earth. He said: “By those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water. But by the same word the heavens and the earth that are now are stored up for fire and are being reserved to the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly men.” To show that the sanctuary class will survive by not turning ungodly but by keeping clean and holy as a sanctuary, Peter added:
11 “The heavens being on fire will be dissolved and the elements being intensely hot will melt! But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell. Hence, beloved ones, since you are awaiting these things, do your utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace. Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation.”—2 Pet. 3:6, 7, 12-15.
12. With such fellow survivors, what will the great crowd be able to do like what Noah and his family did right after the flood?
12 With this remnant of the sanctuary class as fellow survivors, the great crowd of “other sheep” will be in excellent position to renew Jehovah’s worship on the purged globe, just as Noah’s sons and their wives joined in with their father and mother in offering thanks and sacrifice to Jehovah God right after the flood.
13. (a) That his will may be done on earth as well as in heaven, what does Jehovah create and establish? (b) Although they will survive Armageddon, how do they expect to become part of the “twenty-four elders” around God’s throne?
13 That the heavenly Father’s will may come to pass and be done on earth as well as in heaven, he creates and establishes the promised new heavens and new earth. The heavenly kingdom for which Jesus taught his followers to pray is the promised new heavens, composed of Jesus Christ and the 144,000 other members of the sanctuary class. True, the remnant of the “spiritual house” expect to survive Armageddon and to dedicate the “new earth” to Jehovah’s worship after the old world’s destruction. However, they also look forward to finishing their earthly course in the new world and dying as a sacrifice of praise and vindication to God. They do not expect to sleep in death but expect to experience instantaneously a spiritual resurrection to life immortal in the heavens with their chief Joint Heir, Jesus Christ. There they will be among the “twenty-four elders” clothed in white, crowned and enthroned around Jehovah’s throne. (Rev. 2:10, 11; 20:6; 4:4; 1 Cor. 15:42-54) They will leave the “new earth” where God’s will is being done.
14, 15. Are the great crowd of the Armageddon survivors the only “other sheep” there are to be on earth, and what arrangement by the Right Shepherd shows whether?
14 The new earth will be composed of the dedicated “other sheep” for whom the Right Shepherd sacrificially died. (John 10:14-16) Those other sheep who survive the end of the old world and its bad heavens and earth will be members of this post-Armageddon new earth. By continued, unswerving obedience to the royal new heavens they will gain the right to endless life on earth and will never die.
15 These Armageddon survivors are not all the “other sheep” yet to be. There are many of these other sheep who will have died before Armageddon and will be resting in the memorial tombs. Such other sheep include the just ones like Daniel and other pre-Christian witnesses of Jehovah, from John the Baptist all the way back to the first martyr Abel. For all of these also the Right Shepherd surrendered his soul or laid down his life. In due time under the Kingdom they will be restored to earthly life when there comes the “resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) These righteous ones like Daniel, David and Abel will quickly become a dedicated part of the new earth of God’s new world.
16, 17. (a) Under what symbols did the apostle John see the new world coming into being? (b) What are we to understand by his words, “and the sea is no more”?
16 Under entrancing symbols the apostle John saw in vision the coming into being of the new world and its capital city under Christ the spiritual Bridegroom. John says: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:1, 2) That the will of the Father in heaven may be done on earth, the “sea is no more.”
17 We must not misunderstand by this that the great bodies of water so vital to creature life and that mark our globe as different from the other planets of the solar system will be no more with all the exciting variety of plant and animal life that grow in the seven seas! No; but that wicked element of mankind will be no more, out of which the four wild beasts of Daniel’s vision arose to prey upon mankind or out of which the seven-headed, ten-horned wild beast arose to act as the entire visible ruling organization empowered by Satan the Devil. (Dan. 7:2, 3, RS; Rev. 13:1, 2) No more a peaceless body of peoples that is commercialized by the Devil’s organization Babylon and that tosses up messy stuff like seaweed and mire!—Isa. 57:20, 21; Rev. 17:1, 2, 15.
18. Why will the new earth be peaceable?
18 The symbolic “new earth” will be peaceful because it has God’s approval. There will be “upon earth peace among men whom he approves.” (Luke 2:14, margin) The Prince of Peace, together with his 144,000 happy peaceable ones, will be reigning in the new heavens and preserving the peace on earth. At the climax of Armageddon he will have bruised the original Serpent, Satan the Devil. He will have cast him and his demons into the abyss for a thousand years, to keep him out of ruinous, peace-disturbing mischief.
19. (a) What was God’s original purpose for this earth? (b) Under whom and how will this begin to be carried out after Armageddon?
19 What, though, was God’s original purpose for this earth? It was that his earthly children, Adam and Eve at that time, should fill the earth with their perfect human kind and should subdue the earth and have all the lower animal creation in subjection. (Gen. 1:26, 28) After the coming of His kingdom this unchanged part of God’s will must be done on earth. By means of the great crowd of “other sheep” who have survived the battle of Armageddon, God will begin to fill the earth with a righteous race. Married survivors of Armageddon and the single survivors that will marry will bring forth children conceived in righteousness, not to die but to take advantage of the opportunities of everlasting life on earth that the Kingdom offers. Such bringing forth of righteously disposed children in the “new earth” will be carried on under the “Father for eternity.” He is the “last Adam,” the glorified Son of man. The “inhabited earth to come” will be subjected to him. (Isa. 9:6; 1 Cor. 15:45; Heb. 2:5; Ps. 8:4-8) He is the Greater Noah, in whose symbolic ark the great crowd of “other sheep” from the three great branches of the human family have survived the end of this wicked world.—1 Pet. 3:20, 21.
20, 21. (a) How will the Armageddon-surviving great crowd proceed to subdue the earth? (b) As for whom of ancient times will Jehovah do for them, that his will may be done on earth?
20 In all parts of the globe will the “other sheep” and their righteously trained offspring be found. They will set themselves to the carrying out of God’s will, to subdue the earth as well as to have the lower animal creatures in subjection. At man’s beginning Adam and Eve were to start with their Paradise, their garden of Eden, and subdue all the earth outside to a Paradise development and beauty. After Armageddon all “those ruining the earth” will have been brought to ruin. Only those eager to upbuild the earth and to “cultivate it and to take care of it” will remain. (Rev. 11:18; Gen. 2:15) Under the “last Adam” in heaven and in collaboration with their “princes in all the earth,” the other sheep and their sheeplike children will proceed to subduing the earth.
21 In progress of time, under the blessing and guidance of the kingdom of God, all the earth will be “like Eden,” even “like the garden of Jehovah.” (Ps. 45:16; Isa. 51:3) God will do for these dedicated sheep as he agreed to do for ancient Israel if they obeyed him as King of Israel: “Jehovah will also make you overflow indeed with prosperity in the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your domestic animals and the fruitage of your ground, on the ground that Jehovah swore to your forefathers to give you. Jehovah will open up to you his good storehouse, the heavens, to give you the rain on your land in its season and to bless every deed of your hand.” (Deut. 28:11, 12) As including a global paradise, Jehovah’s will is certain to be done on earth.
22. In the light of what experience of the Israelites down in Egypt for 215 years, why may the “other sheep” surviving Armageddon expect to increase to millions in no great length of time?
22 Long ago down in Egypt faithful Jacob and his family, seventy souls, took up residence to stay there for a while. In the course of 215 years down there and in spite of the tyranny of later Pharaohs, the children of Israel came to number millions, with “six hundred thousand able-bodied men on foot, besides little ones.” (Gen. 46:26, 27; Ex. 1:1-5, 12; 12:37) After Armageddon there will be, not seventy, but likely hundreds of thousands of surviving “other sheep” on hand with which to begin filling the earth with righteous offspring. With no devilish Pharaonic tyranny to defy, but under the blessing of God’s kingdom, these far more than seventy “other sheep” survivors should reproduce and become millions in no great length of time. No obedient ones will be dying.
23. (a) How and why will the “last Adam” not let the surviving “other sheep” then overpopulate or fully populate the earth? (b) When may the past doers of good come forth, and to what will the unrighteous come forth?
23 At the proper time the glorified Son of man, the “last Adam,” will cause childbearing to cease. He will not let those survivors of Armageddon overpopulate the earth, or even fully populate it. Why not? Because he will fulfill what he said: “The dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who have given heed will live. . . . the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:25, 28, 29) Past doers of good things, like Daniel, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Moses and King David, and sheeplike ones dying now before Armageddon, will come out of the memorial tombs, doubtless early during the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ with his 144,000 joint heirs. (Luke 20:35-38; Heb. 11:2, 39, 40) In agreement with this, the apostle Paul said: “There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) The unrighteous, the former practicers of vile things, who come forth to a resurrection with judgment in view, will come forth to opportunities for everlasting life on earth under the kingdom. Providently enough room must be allowed on earth for these to dwell, bringing the earth to a fullness of population, to a comfortable density and spread of population.
24. What kind of day is the thousand-year reign of Christ, and yet why do Psalms 96 and 98 tell us to rejoice because it will be such a day?
24 The thousand-year reign of Christ is a judgment day. (2 Pet. 3:7, 8; Acts 17:30, 31) Nevertheless, Psalms 96:12, 13 and Ps 98:8, 9 call upon the earth to exult and cry out joyfully because Jehovah comes to judge the peoples with righteousness and faithfulness. In ancient times when Jehovah was King over Israel he raised up judges according to the need. Those judges were used to deliver the Israelites from their enemies and to restore them from false worship to the true worship of their God and King. (Judg. 2:18) So Jesus Christ the King he makes the Judge, to deliver all earth’s inhabitants from their inherited weaknesses and imperfections. He will apply to the obedient believers the benefits of his perfect human sacrifice toward perfecting them physically, mentally and spiritually. He will not let the billions of resurrected practicers of vile things form a “sea” for the development of wicked organizations on earth. He will judge toward their improvement even to human perfection, that they may show themselves worthy to dwell in complete happiness in the earthly Paradise forever.—Isa. 11:1-9.
25. What will be done to those resisting the uplifting judgments, and so by the end of the thousand years what will be the condition of all those living on earth?
25 During the thousand-year “day of judgment” any unrighteous ones that resist the uplifting judgments and stubbornly refuse to reform and do God’s will, the Judge Jesus Christ will execute as deserving no further opportunity. They will not be permitted to defile the holy Paradise, the Edenic sanctuary, as opposers and stumbling blocks to the righteously disposed “other sheep.” They will be punished with the “second death” of complete, everlasting destruction. Thus by the end of the thousand years all who then live in the earth-wide Paradise will be humans as perfect as Adam and Eve were when created and put in the garden of Eden. By then the prophecy of Revelation 21:3, 4 will have been realized: “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 any more. The former things have passed away.”
26. At that time, what will be done with the kingdom, and at the same time who appear on the scene?
26 That is the time when Christ’s millennial reign ends and “he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, . . . For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. As the last enemy, death is to be destroyed.” This handing over of the kingdom to God will be that “God may be all things to everyone.” (1 Cor. 15:24-28) However, at this time of human perfection and Paradise perfection Satan the Devil and his demons appear on the scene. It is God’s will that “he must be let loose for a little while” at the end of the thousand years spent in the abyss. (Rev. 20:1-3, 7) So release of these wicked spirit forces must come to pass at that time. Why? it may be asked in surprise.
27. At man’s beginning in Eden, what was permitted and now what must be determined respecting perfected mankind in Paradise restored?
27 At man’s beginning Adam and Eve were permitted to be put to a test by that original Serpent, Satan the Devil. Not otherwise, all perfected humankind in the future earthly Paradise sanctuary must be put to a final decisive test. To make sure that all who are favored with the gift of everlasting life in Paradise will forever do God’s will on earth as it is done by loyal angels in heaven above, the King of eternity must put these perfected humans to the determining test. They are now directly in his hand.
28. What question will Satan then put in dispute, and what decision will each one have to make for himself?
28 That is why “Satan will be let loose out of his prison, and he will go out to mislead those nations in the four quarters of the earth.” He will war against the kingdom of Jehovah God over the earth. The question that he puts in dispute will be Jehovah’s universal sovereignty, as to whether it takes in the Paradise earth. How he and his demons will proceed to try to mislead perfected humanity is not revealed. However he tries it, each person will have to decide for himself whether he will be for all time fully committed to Jehovah’s universal sovereignty. Will he be true to his dedication to God through Christ for time without end?
29. How many will let themselves be misled, and what will happen to them and also Satan and his demons?
29 The number of those who selfishly let themselves be misled is left as indefinite as the sand particles of the seashore. All such will be destroyed so completely that it will be as if they were plunged into a lake of fire and sulphur, as if fire came down from heaven as it once did upon Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them irrecoverably. They will suffer the “second death,” a death that Jesus Christ will not destroy. (Rev. 20:7-9, 14, 15) Then, too, Satan the Devil and his demons, having served the purpose of their being let loose for only a “little while,” will themselves be forever consumed in that same lake of fire and sulphur, “the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.” (Rev. 20:10; Matt. 25:41) Hallelujah! The Serpent and his seed visible and invisible are thus at last bruised in the head to their eternal destruction. Heaven and earth are free of them forever!
30. Who will pass this final test, and how will the Supreme Judge express his approval, with what result to the approved?
30 Those who keep their hearts perfect will pass this soul-searching test. Fully assured now of the incorruptible loyalty and exclusive devotion of these, the Supreme Judge Jehovah will express his joyful approval of these ever-faithful ones. He will justify them or pronounce them perfectly righteous. They have followed the example, not of the “first man Adam,” but of the “last Adam,” their beloved “Father for eternity,” Jesus Christ. Together with the judicial declaration of their being righteous, Jehovah God will confer upon them the gift of eternal life, with the right to it. Forever they will enjoy their Paradise in Jehovah’s new world, doing his will on earth as it is done up in heaven.—Rom. 8:33; 6:23.
31. What prayer taught by God’s Son will thus be fully answered?
31 According to Jehovah’s unchangeable purpose from the beginning, his holy, perfect and loving will will thus have “come to pass, as in heaven, also upon earth.” The prayer that his dear Son taught us to pray will have been fully answered.
(To be continued)