Paradise Restored Glorifies God
“I shall glorify the very place of my feet.”—ISAIAH 60:13.
1, 2. (a) Through his prophet Isaiah, what did God foretell regarding the earth? (b) Looking a thousand years into the future, what do we see?
JEHOVAH created the earth as a planet under his feet, as his figurative footstool. Through his prophet Isaiah, God foretold that he would ‘glorify the very place of his feet.’ (Isaiah 60:13) With the aid of the inspired Bible, we can look, as if by a powerful telescope, a thousand years into the human future. What a rapturous sight greets our eyes! The entire earth glows with impeccable beauty produced by the greatest Gardener in all the universe. Paradise will have been restored earth wide to mankind!
2 Yes, the divine Supreme Being who started off man’s existence in a garden paradise has man’s greatest happiness in mind. What a loving Creator indeed for mankind to have, of whom it is no extravagance of speech to say, “God is love”! (1 John 4:8, 16) In the restored Paradise, mature men and women in flawless human perfection dwell together as loving brothers and sisters. (Isaiah 9:6) Motivated by love, they are in perfect subjection to the glorious Creator of heaven and earth, Jehovah God.
3, 4. (a) In what way will heaven and earth correspond to each other? (b) How will the angels respond when Paradise is restored to the earth?
3 Thousands of years previously, in a divinely inspired description of his realm, God spoke these impressive words to his chosen people: “The heavens are my throne, and the earth is my footstool.” (Isaiah 66:1) The sheer glory of his “footstool,” the Paradise earth, should appropriately correspond to the glory of his throne in the invisible heights.
4 At the time of earth’s creation, those who were attendant upon God’s throne in the celestial realm considered the earthly scene below. How enraptured they must have felt as their eyes contemplated its glorious brilliance! How could they refrain from spontaneously bursting into song? (Compare Zephaniah 3:17, Revised Standard Version; Psalm 100:2, The Jerusalem Bible.) The pleased and happy Creator inspired his earthly scribe to portray an accurate description of the heavenly scene, saying: “The morning stars joyfully cried out together, and all the sons of God began shouting in applause.” (Job 38:7) How much more so will the angelic sons of God cry out in joy, to God’s glory, when Paradise is restored!
5. How should we feel about the attainment of God’s original objective regarding the earth?
5 It is indeed heartwarming for us to be reassured by the inspired Holy Scriptures that the grand attainment of a paradise earth was the objective at which Jehovah God aimed from the very beginning. This joy-inspiring, praise-evoking culmination of God’s purpose for this earth is just the right thing to be expected of a God who goes on from glory to glory with no failure in displaying his excellency. All praise to him!—Psalm 150:1, 2; Isaiah 45:18; Revelation 21:3-5.
Resurrected Ones Assist in Restoring Paradise
6. After Armageddon, how will the earth be populated?
6 Though the Armageddon survivors will be relatively few in number, it will not be entirely by childbearing on their part that the earth will be fully populated. Jehovah will also ‘glorify the place of his feet’ by restoring to life those who are in the memorial tombs and who come under the benefits of Christ’s ransom sacrifice. These, in turn, will have the privilege of sharing in the delightful work of transforming our earthly globe into a surpassingly beautiful paradise.—Acts 24:15.
7. What words of Jesus will the Armageddon survivors keep in mind?
7 The Armageddon survivors will ever keep in mind the soul-stirring words of the Lord Jesus Christ on the occasion when he was moved to say: “Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.” (John 5:28, 29) What an hour that will be when the human dead in their memorial tombs begin to hear the voice of the Son of God saying words similar to those addressed to Lazarus, whose corpse lay in the tomb at Bethany: “Lazarus, come on out!”—John 11:43.
8, 9. Who will likely be the first ones to be resurrected to renewed life on earth, bringing what delight to Armageddon survivors?
8 Who will likely be the first ones to be resurrected to renewed life on earth under the Thousand Year Reign of Jesus Christ and in response to his command? It would reasonably be the “other sheep” who died during the last days preceding the end of this system of things. They will experience an earlier resurrection. (John 10:16) They would probably have the least difficulty in adjusting themselves to the new world.—Compare Matthew 25:34; John 6:53, 54.
9 How delightful it will be for the Armageddon survivors when they see resurrected those of the “other sheep” who died during the generation before the “great tribulation”! (Matthew 24:21) With clear powers of identification, the Armageddon survivors recognize them, welcome them, and with them proceed to renew their united service to the Most High God!
10. By surviving Armageddon, what may you witness?
10 By being one of the Armageddon survivors, you may witness the resurrection of the first one of your own earthly relatives. How could the emotional effect of this upon you be otherwise than that upon the parents who saw the Lord Jesus restore their 12-year-old daughter alive to their yearning arms? “At once they were beside themselves with great ecstasy.” (Mark 5:42) Ah, indeed, unspeakable joy will be yours at the resurrection of the dead from Hades and the sea. (Revelation 20:13) Oh, what a glorious tomorrow that will be, a tomorrow that will soon be here!
“Princes in All the Earth”
11, 12. (a) What does Psalm 45:16 emphasize? (b) From among whom may the King, Jesus Christ, appoint “princes in all the earth”?
11 By the exercise of his power to resurrect the human dead for whom he laid down his perfect human life as a ransom sacrifice, Jesus will be able to bring about the fulfillment of Psalm 45:16. This psalm is prophetically addressed to Jesus Christ as the installed King: “In place of your [earthly] forefathers there will come to be your sons, whom you will appoint as princes in all the earth.” This psalm emphasizes that Jesus Christ will become a heavenly father to children down here on the earth and that he will install sons from among them as “princes in all the earth.” As the “son of David” and as the firstborn son of the Judean virgin Mary, Jesus had earthly human forefathers all the way back to the first father, Adam.—Luke 3:23-38.
12 Is Psalm 45:16 saying that those who were formerly Jesus’ natural forefathers will become his sons by his resurrecting of them from the dead? Yes. Is Psalm 45:16 also saying that out of regard for his descent from them, Jesus will show them special royal favor and appoint only them to be “princes in all the earth” in its Paradise state? No. Fulfillment of the prophecy in such a way would allow for only a limited number of “princes” in all the earth. Besides that fact, not all these forefathers of his were so outstanding as to merit special prominence on earth during his Millennial Reign. The King, Jesus Christ, will have countless more than his earthly forefathers to appoint as “princes”—qualified ones of the Armageddon survivors, of the resurrected “other sheep,” including the pre-Christian men of faith. From among all of these, he can appoint qualified deserving ones to hold princely office as his earthly representatives.
13, 14. What resurrected ones will the Armageddon survivors be privileged to see with their own eyes?
13 Think of such ones who are in line for resurrection under the Messianic Kingdom. Look! Can we believe our eyes? There is Abel, the first human martyr, and Enoch, who kept walking with the true God. There, too, is Noah, the ark builder. There are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, forefathers of the nation of Israel. There are Moses (of the priestly tribe of Levi) and David with whom the everlasting covenant for the Kingdom was made. And there, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and all the other Bible-writing Hebrew prophets down to the last of them, Malachi, and, of course, John the Baptizer and also Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus.
14 On one occasion Jesus said to the Jews that they would “see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but [they themselves would be] thrown outside.” (Luke 13:28) The “great crowd” of earthly survivors of “the war of the great day of God the Almighty” will be favored with the privilege of literally seeing the resurrected “Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets” back here on the Paradise earth and in royal service under the Kingdom of God by the “Eternal Father,” Jesus Christ.—Revelation 7:9, 14; 16:14; Isaiah 9:6.
15. What incomparable privilege awaits those who survive Armageddon?
15 How soul-stirring it will be for you who survive the end of this present evil world to compare notes with Noah and his immediate family, “eight souls,” who survived the end of the first world in the global Deluge in 2370 B.C.E.! No one else to all eternity will have had experiences like yours and thus be able to serve as a Witness of Jehovah God in this outstanding, unrepeatable regard.—1 Peter 3:20; Mark 13:19; 2 Peter 3:5-7.
A Sympathetic Evildoer Remembered
16, 17. (a) When Jesus remembers the sympathetic evildoer, what privilege will the Armageddon survivors and others then alive have? (b) What hope is entertained regarding the resurrected evildoer?
16 Doubtless, by then the restoring of Paradise to earth will be well under way. The malefactor who was impaled on Calvary alongside Jesus and who said in recognition of the sign above His head, “Jesus, remember me when you get into your kingdom,” will be resurrected to earthly life in the restored Paradise. (Luke 23:42) It will be the privilege of the survivors of Armageddon and the others then alive to welcome him back from the dead. They will teach him fully about the now reigning King, Jesus Christ, toward whom he showed deep sympathy on Nisan 14 of the year 33 C.E.
17 The Lord Jesus Christ will not fail to remember him sometime during His reign of a thousand years. No doubt that sympathetic, resurrected evildoer will demonstrate his appreciation for the reigning King, Jesus Christ, to whom he owes his resurrection, by proving his faithfulness to the Universal Sovereign, Jehovah God. Then he would be counted worthy to enjoy living in the Paradise new world to all eternity along with the rest of restored, obedient humankind.
Life in the Global, Restored Garden of Eden
18. What will life be like in the restored Paradise?
18 In the restored Paradise, everyone is a friend to everybody else. The bonds of the worldwide family relationship are felt to the depths of each one’s soul. All understand one another. They are speaking a common world language. It is likely mankind’s original language, which everybody on earth spoke for the first 1,800 years of human existence—from Adam’s creation in 4026 B.C.E. until Peleg’s day (2269 to 2030 B.C.E.), for “in his days the earth [that is, earth’s population] was divided.” (Genesis 10:25; 11:1) Everyone is enjoying the privilege of living, and each new day is greeted with thankfulness for the added day of life. Bodily infirmity is not increasing as time goes on. Physical forces are building up, and bodies are not wearing out.—Compare Job 33:25.
19. What will be observed about those who had previously been handicapped?
19 And look! The once lame are walking, yes, skipping about for joy. Lost arms and legs have been miraculously restored. The previously blind see, the deaf hear, the dumb speak and sing for sheer joy. (Compare Isaiah 35:5, 6.) Unsightliness about human form and figure disappears. Human masculinity is beautifully balanced by human femininity. (Genesis 2:18) Human perfection glorifies Jehovah God, the Creator of the perfect human body.
20. What will be observed about the forces of nature, food supplies, the animal creation, and how the earth will be used?
20 The whole earth is becoming one global beauty spot. From no part of the earth is there any report of drought or of rainfall in ruinous downpours or of destructive cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons, and tornadoes. (Compare Mark 4:37-41.) All the forces of nature are being brought into a perfect balance for making the whole earth an exquisite place in which to live. There is no lack of food anywhere, for the earth is yielding its produce to the full. (Psalm 72:16) Peace and security obtain worldwide for both man and animal, just as Jehovah states: “They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain.” (Isaiah 11:9; see also Isa 11 verses 6-8.) In this way the earth will be made a delightful place in which to live and carry on the worship and service of Jehovah God, the Creator and Owner of the earth. It being his property by right of creation, it deserves to be used in a way that pleases him and that glorifies him.—Compare Isaiah 35:1, 2, 6, 7.
21. How will redeemed mankind view everything on earth, and what music will be heard?
21 Refreshingly new—that is what everything on earth is for redeemed humans who were never inside the Paradise garden of Eden where human life started out in beautiful perfection! (Revelation 21:5) What delightful music, instrumental and vocal, will then be heard—all of it praising Jehovah!—1 Chronicles 23:4, 5; Psalm 150:3-6.
22. How will it feel to live in the Paradise new world?
22 How wonderful it will be to live in an earth in which human life abounds to the full and where all the stages of the dying process due to the original sin of Adam will have been effaced! (Compare John 10:10.) Yes, it will be an earth wherein every approved human creature radiates the image and likeness of Jehovah God with which the first man Adam was created! (Genesis 1:26, 27) The earth will then no longer be an eyesore to the seraphs, to the cherubs, and to the radiant angels of heaven. When they turn lovable faces toward the earth, peering down at it adorned with paradisaic beauty, they will have only praise and gratitude to express to the One whose countenance they have the privilege of beholding directly—Jehovah, the Universal Sovereign.—Matthew 18:10.
A Happy, Endless Future
23. What is possible regarding the anointed Christians, and with what result to the inhabitants of the earthly Paradise?
23 It is within the realm of possibility and of likelihood that, some day in the future, the names of all those anointed Christians who have made their “calling and choosing” to the heavenly Kingdom sure and who have been blessed by this supernal resurrection will be published in full for the information of the human family in their earthly Paradise. (2 Peter 1:10; Psalm 87:5, 6) Thus, the absence of the 144,000 spirit-begotten anointed disciples of Jesus Christ from the earthly Paradise will be fully understood to the satisfaction of everybody and with a wholehearted rejoicing over them and together with them.
24. (a) What will Jehovah have accomplished regarding his “footstool”? (b) How do we know the new world will never end, and what prophetic song will be fulfilled?
24 Happy will be the endless future for all who remain in unbreakable devotion to Jehovah, the ideal Sovereign of all the universe. The comfortably filled Paradise earth will be a suitable place, a creditable place, as a “footstool” upon which God’s feet may figuratively rest. Yes, for all eternity Jehovah will have glorified ‘the very place of his feet,’ and all mankind will be in unswerving subjection to him! (Matthew 5:34, 35; Acts 7:49) The new world will be a world without end because “to the abundance of the princely rule and to peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:7) Then, the prophetic song of the heavenly angels at the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem of Judea in 2 B.C.E. will be fulfilled: “Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of goodwill.”—Luke 2:13, 14.
25. (a) What do those who belong to the “great crowd” of “other sheep” now appreciate? (b) What should be our heartfelt desire?
25 Those who belong to the “great crowd” of the Fine Shepherd’s “other sheep” appreciate the soul-stirring words of promise of Paradise restored. It is their privilege to be associated with God’s organization now and to be zealously engaged in the work foretold by the Lord Jesus Christ, the preaching of the good news of the Kingdom in all the inhabited earth for the final witness. (Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10) Our sincere, heartfelt desire as Jehovah’s Witnesses is to maintain our integrity unsullied throughout all eternity, to the everlasting glory and vindication of the Universal Sovereign, Jehovah God, and under the royal rulership of his only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. “Hallelujah!”—Revelation 19:1, 3, 4, 6, RSV, New International Version; Proverbs 10:9.
How Would You Answer?
□ What promise has Jehovah made regarding his figurative footstool, the earth?
□ Who will assist in restoring Paradise?
□ From among whom will the King, Jesus Christ, appoint “princes in all the earth”?
□ What soul-stirring experience may be yours when the resurrection takes place?
□ What future awaits those who remain in unbreakable devotion to Jehovah?