Chapter 9:

Making Earth a Paradise

Imagine the gentle dawn, the day after. The violent storm of the night has passed. Around you lies devastation: the weapons of the wicked lie scattered. Their clean-picked bones are everywhere. Roads are buckled, buildings collapsed, wires down. But you don’t mind. The air is fresh and sweet. Lilting, cheerful birdsongs delight your ears. You feel an incredible sense of peace, a heavy load lifted off your heart. The old world is gone! You are alive!

You look around for your family, your friends. There they are, picking their way over the rubble toward you. What a happy reunion! Together you all turn your eyes to the heavens and shout a joyful song of praise to the great God who has brought this wonderful deliverance!

Can you see yourself as a survivor of the end of this world? What will the new world be like? How will it become paradise? Let us look into the Bible for the answer. You may be surprised at how much it has to say about it.

Jesus said: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." (Matt 5:5, AV) He was quoting Psalms 37:9-11, which adds, "evil men will be done away with, but those hoping in Jehovah will possess the earth... they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace." Then verse 29 says "they will live forever on it." This is a promise. God keeps his promises. At Proverbs 2:21 he says: "Only the upright will reside in the earth, and the ones who keep integrity will remain in it."

According to Ezekiel’s account of the final war, God’s people will help clean up afterward. They will "build fires with the armor and shields, bows and arrows and handpikes and lances; they will light fires with them for seven years. They will not gather firewood out of the forests, for they will use the armor to light fires. And they will plunder those who had plundered them... there will be men assigned to pass through the land, burying, to cleanse it. For seven months they will keep searching. If one sees the bone of a man he will put a marker by it, until those who do the burying come and bury it. So they will cleanse the land." This is in addition to the work of the birds and other animals in quickly consuming the flesh. —see Ezek 39:9, 10, 14, 15, 17-19.

Many centuries ago, the land of Canaan was "unclean" because of its wicked inhabitants. Jehovah did not destroy the land because of that. No, he had the ungodly people removed and gave the land to his people, the Israelites. They moved into houses they had not built and drank from wells they had not dug. Likewise, at Armageddon, Jehovah does not destroy the earth; he will remove the wicked people and give the earth to the "meek", those who respect and obey him. Whatever buildings and stores and other physical things that are left over should be useful to the survivors for a little while. —Leviticus 18:24-28, Deut 6:10-12.

Unspoiled beauty

Before long, of course, we will begin to reshape the land, to beautify and repair it, to build homes according to our own design. The old system that raped the earth will be gone. The survivors will be godly people who appreciate creation and its Creator. They will not serve the god named "jobs", which justified clearcutting vast areas of forest and polluting the land and water with foul chemicals. Although humans are naturally gregarious and will no doubt choose to live in villages and communities, no more will there be sprawling cities with urban decay and poverty, rush-hour traffic, and great skyscrapers isolating people in stacked offices. The Bible does not spell out the new system in detail, but we can be sure it will not revolve around money like this one does. Rather, it will be centered on serving God and loving life according to His high moral standards. Adam was given the assignment to "cultivate the garden of Eden and to take care of it." We will be able to focus on finally fulfilling that assignment earth wide.

Perfect Law from a Perfect Government

In this old system of things, it is said that we have "government by law." Lawyer’s bookshelves groan from the weight of thousands of thick law books written in impenetrable legaleze. There are so many laws— and many are so incomprehensible— that people often break them without even knowing it. (also see Isaiah 10:1, 2.) Yet for every problem, it seems the cry is "There ought to be a law!" But more law is not the answer. Paul said, "law is made, not for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, ungodly and sinners." (1 Tim 1:8-11) In other words, if people are good, having godly law written in their hearts, they need very few laws to regulate their dealings with one another. And that is how it will be in the paradise earth after Armageddon. Jeremiah 31:33, 34 says: "I will put my law within them, and in their heart I will write it. And I will become their God, and they will become my people. They will no longer teach each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘know Jehovah!’ for they will all know me, from the least to the greatest of them." The laws will be so few and so simple that everyone will know them. There will be no need for lawyers!

At Romans 13:8-10 we read: "Do not owe anything to anyone except to love one another; for whoever loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law. For the law code, “You must not commit adultery, you must not murder, you must not steal, you must not covet,” and whatever other commandment there is, is summed up in this saying: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does not work evil to one's neighbor; therefore, love is the law's fulfillment." This is the "perfect law that belongs to freedom", the "kingly law", the "law of the Christ". (James 1:25, 2:8, Gal 6:2) What a relief it will be to be freed from the confusing laws, legislatures, and litigation of this world!

Ezekiel 34:23-28 says, "I will raise up one shepherd over them, my servant David, and he will feed them. He himself will feed them and become their shepherd. And I, Jehovah, will become their God, and my servant David a chieftain among them. I myself, Jehovah, have spoken." This loving shepherd is Jesus Christ, reigning as King (see John 10:11, Luke 1:32, 33). Ezekiel continues: "I will make a covenant of peace with them, and I will rid the land of vicious wild beasts, so that they may dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the forests. I will make them and the area around my hill a blessing, and I will cause the rain to fall at the proper time. Blessings will pour down like the rains. The trees of the field will yield their fruit, and the soil will give its produce, and they will dwell securely on the land. And they will have to know that I am Jehovah when I break their yoke bars and rescue them from those who enslaved them. They will no longer become something for the nations to prey upon, and the wild beasts of the earth will not devour them, and they will dwell in security, with no one to make them afraid." Stop and think about that for a while. Let it sink in. Are you eager to be there?

See how beautifully Isaiah describes the new earth: "‘Here I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, nor will they come up into the heart. Exult, you people, and be joyful forever in what I am creating. . . They will build houses and live in them, and they will plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. They will not build and someone else take it from them; they will not plant and others do the eating. For the days of my people will be like the days of a tree, and the work of their hands my chosen ones will enjoy to the full. They will not work for nothing, nor will they bear children for distress; because they are the offspring made up of those blessed by Jehovah, and their descendants with them. Even before they call out, I shall answer; while they are yet speaking, I shall hear. The wolf and the little lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw just like the bull; and the serpent's food will be dust. They will do no harm nor cause any ruin in all my holy mountain,’ says Jehovah." —Isa 65:17-25; see also 11:6-9.

No longer will the one building a house have to worry about keeping up the mortgage payments! No longer any need for concern about burglars and arsonists! Forget security alarms, chainlink fences, even locks! Can you imagine a world like that?

Lions eating straw? Now that will be a miracle only God could accomplish. Lions do not have the digestive system to survive on grass like ruminants such as cows and deer. At present they are clearly designed for eating high-protein food, and they are superbly equipped for catching it on the run. For the prophecy to be fulfilled literally, some design changes will have to occur. The primary lesson of the prophecy is that there will be nothing to fear in the new earth. People and animals that are vulnerable and helpless, like little lambs, will live peacefully and safely beside creatures who were once instant death, but now are friendly. It is not so hard to believe. Even now some animals which are very dangerous in the wild have been tamed, and they prove to have an affectionate, loyal side to them.

Concerning the taming of people, Micah was inspired to write: “Many nations will go and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah and to the house of the God of Jacob. He will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ For law will go out of Zion, and the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem. He will render judgment among many peoples, and set matters straight respecting mighty nations far away. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor will they learn war anymore. They will sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one will make them afraid.” This learning process has already begun among God’s people. It will reach its complete prosperity in the new earth. Anyone who "likes a good fight" will be gone. If any cause for taking offense ever occurs, we will know how to handle it without bloodshed. Other causes of war, such as greed, racial pride, and envy, are even now being rooted out of our hearts. —Micah 4:2-4, Col 3:12-14.

The result will be, not only peace, but prosperity. The amount of resources wasted in this world on defense readiness and war staggers the imagination: in dollars, trillions; in lives neglected, sickened, injured, or lost, billions; in sorrow, beyond recounting. Micah described the prosperity of the new earth as ‘each one sitting happily and securely under his own vine and fig tree.’ What a change that will be!

Perfect Health in the New Earth

In this old world we have health problems. It is like being trapped in a web from which no amount of struggling will free us. Eventually the sting of death finds us. God knows our pain, and in the new world he will set us completely free. Notice how Isaiah 25:7,8 says it: “In this mountain [his Kingdom] he will do away with the shroud that is enveloping all the peoples and the covering that is woven over all the nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces. The reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for Jehovah himself has spoken it.” God keeps his promises. This promise is repeated near the end of the Bible, at Revelation 21:4: "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away."

Notice that Isaiah 25.8 did not say, ‘his people he will take away from all the earth.’ No, it is the reproach of his people that will be taken away. The context shows this "reproach" to be the sting of death, the grief caused by dying. This proves that the new earth will be this earth, where death is now, made new.

Jesus demonstrated how easy it is for God to cure our sicknesses. He simply told a paralyzed man to get up and walk, and he did! Jesus was merely touched from behind by a woman who was hemorrhaging, and the account says that "power went out of him" and she was cured. He even raised at least three people up from death! One of these had even been dead long enough to begin to decompose. —Luke 5:24, 25, 7:11-16, 8:43-56, John 11:38-44.

With power like that, the prophecy of Isaiah 35:1-6 becomes easy to believe: “The wilderness and the parched land will exult, and the desert plain will be joyful and blossom as the saffron. Without fail it will blossom; it will rejoice and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon [then a scenic forest] will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel [a beautiful mountain] and of Sharon [a plain south of Carmel known for its fertility]. They will see the glory of Jehovah, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the knees that are shaking. Say to those who are anxious at heart: ‘Be strong. Do not be afraid. Look! Your own God will come with vengeance, God will come with retribution. He will come and save you.’ At that time the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. At that time the lame will leap like the deer, and the tongue of the speechless will shout for joy. For waters will burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert plain.” —see also Isa 33:24.

Jesus also could control the weather. On one occasion he simply commanded a storm to abate, and it did. (Luke 8:22-25) This assures us that there will be no violently destructive weather to fear in the new world. And areas of the earth now uninhabitable due to extreme climate should then become habitable. Isaiah 35 above mentions deserts blossoming; we can also imagine arctic regions becoming livable as well. On the other hand, Genesis 8:22 says that "summer and winter shall never cease," so we need not expect the weather to be bland and uninteresting.

The Millennium

The Revelation adds detail to this beautiful picture. After describing the war of Armageddon, it shows Satan being caught and bound and put into an "abyss" for a thousand years. The purpose is "so that he could not mislead the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended." So, for a while we are to be protected from his influence. This peaceful and prosperous period is also called the "Millennium", which simply means "thousand years." —Rev 20:1-3.

It also describes a "first resurrection." Those "executed for the witness they gave about Jesus and for speaking about God," staying faithful under supreme test, are raised up and "authority to do judging was given them." They rule with Christ as kings for the thousand years. They also become "priests of God and of the Christ." This is that "royal priesthood" Peter spoke about. It is that chosen nation, that true Israel through whom all other nations will be blessed. (See Chapter 6, Let Your Kingdom Come, for details.) Real priests teach the truth about God and help people become pleasing to him. And these faithful ones will be true and incorruptible Christian kings, not like the pretenders this world has known. —Rev 20:4-6.

At Rev 7:9, 10, 13-17 John sees a "great crowd out of all nations" praising God. He asks, "who are these?" and gets the answer, "these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation." These are the Armageddon survivors, you and I and millions more. We are not shown as rulers or as judges, but as sheep and as servants. Under the heavenly Kingdom, we will be led to "fountains of waters of life." Our "robes" (our appearance before God) are already white (pure, clean, holy) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus), so why do we need any "water of life"? Because God has used the "blood of the Lamb" only to declare us righteous, to forgive our sins. But we are still imperfect, we continue to sin, despite trying very hard not to. During that Millenium, that will change. We will be cured of all our imperfections. We will have perfect health and clear minds. We will then stand before God like Adam at his creation: perfect, able to serve without sin. —Rev 22:1, 2, 1 Cor 6:11, 1 John 1:7-10.

God's word is sometimes likened to water, refreshing, life-sustaining, and cleansing, so the fountains of water of this new world represents the education we will receive then from God, far beyond what we have today. Accepting this instruction and molding to it will have a healing effect, not just on our bodies, but on our minds, our soul, which has been so damaged by life in Satan's world.

But then, at the end of the Millennium, Satan will be set loose again! Why would God do such a thing? Would this not destroy all the advances made during that time?

Certainly that will be what the Devil will have in mind. The account reads: “Now as soon as the 1,000 years have ended, Satan will be released from his prison, and he will go out to mislead those nations in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog*, to gather them together for the war. The number of these is as the sand of the sea. And they advanced over the whole earth and encircled the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city.” The original attack of "Gog" was cut short at Armageddon (Rev 19:19). Yet as soon as he is released, Satan goes out to assemble another army of people willing to attack just like before! —Rev 20:7-9.

Satan’s release will be a test on everyone. After a thousand years of peace and healing and godly education, will we be prepared and not listen to his deceptions? Will we do any better than Adam did? This is the purpose for setting Satan loose. (Compare Deut 13:1-4.) His release date should be known in advance, almost to the day. Yet a sizable number apparently will not have the love of God and of righteousness rooted very deeply in their hearts. This stands as a warning to us: we must not merely go through the motions of serving God, being good while it is convenient and popular, yet not really "getting the sense of it" with our hearts. Those who do that will quickly succumb when the going gets tough. —compare Matt 13:19-21.

Those who follow Satan will launch an organized attack on those who are faithful to God. Jehovah does not delay a moment longer: fire comes down out of heaven and devours them. "And the Devil who was misleading them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulphur, where both the wild beast and the false prophet already were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." —Rev 20:9, 10.

After that, all creation will be united in perfect harmony. There will be no rebels or opposers alive anywhere. Will you be there to see it?

Revelation 20 goes on to describe another resurrection, different from the one for those raised up to reign as kings with Christ. When does this occur? Who are involved? We will consider this in our next chapter, "All Those in the Graves Shall Hear His Voice".

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Ezekiel 39:9-10
And the inhabitants of the cities of Israel will certainly go forth and burn and build fires with the armor and bucklers and large shields, with the bows and with the arrows and with the handstaves and with the lances; with them they will have to light fires seven years. They will not carry sticks of wood from the field, nor will they gather firewood out of the forests, for with the armor they will light fires. "They will certainly make spoil of those who had been making spoil of them, and plunder those who had been plundering them," says the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.
14-15: "'And there will be men employed for continual work, passing along through the land, burying, with those left remaining on the surface of the earth, in order to cleanse it. To the end of seven months they will keep making search. 15 And of those passing through who sees the bone of a man, he must also build beside it a marker, until those who do the burying will have buried it in the Valley of Gog's Crowd.
17-19: As for you, O son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, 'Say to the birds of every sort of wing and to all the wild beasts of the field: "Collect yourselves together and come. Gather yourselves together all around to my sacrifice, which I am sacrificing for you, a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. And you will certainly eat flesh and drink blood. 18 The flesh of mighty ones you will eat, and the blood of the chieftains of the earth you will drink, rams, young male sheep, and he-goats, young bulls, the fatlings of Bashan all of them."'

Leviticus 18.24-28
Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, [cruel and immoral things listed in previous verses] because by all these things the nations whom I am driving out from before you have made themselves unclean. This has made the land unclean, and I shall bring punishment for its error upon it, and the land will vomit its inhabitants out. And you yourselves must keep my statutes and my decisions, and you must not do any of these detestable things, whether a native or a foreigner who might live among you. All these detestable things the men of the land who were before you have done, so that the land is unclean. Then the land will not vomit you out for your defiling it the same way as it will certainly vomit the nations out who were before you. [Note that the land is not destroyed for "its" sin; rather, it "vomits out" its wicked inhabitants.]

Deut 6.10-12
It must occur that Jehovah your God will bring you into the land that he swore to your forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to give you, with great and good-looking cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns hewn out that you did not hew out, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant. When you then have eaten and become satisfied, watch out for yourself that you may not forget Jehovah, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slaves.

Isaiah 10.1,2
Woe to those who are enacting harmful regulations and those who, constantly writing, have written out sheer trouble, in order to push away the lowly ones from a legal case and to wrest away justice from the afflicted ones of my people, for the widows to become their spoil, and that they may plunder even the fatherless boys!

1 Tim 1.8-11
Now we know that the Law is fine, provided one handles it lawfully, in the knowledge of this fact, that law is made, not for a righteous man, but for persons lawless and unruly, ungodly and sinners, lacking loving-kindness, and profane, murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, manslayers, fornicators, men who lie with males, kidnappers, liars, false swearers, and whatever other thing is in opposition to the healthful teaching according to the glorious good news of the happy God, with which I was entrusted.

James 1.25
But he who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and who persists in it, this one, because he has become not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, will be happy in his doing it.

James 2:8
If, now, you practice carrying out the kingly law according to the scripture: "You must love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing quite well.

Gal 6.2
Go on carrying the burdens of one another, and thus fulfill the law of the Christ.

John 10:11
I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his soul in behalf of the sheep.

Luke 1:32-33
This one will be great and will be called Son of the Most High; and Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule as king over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end of his kingdom.

Isaiah 11:6-9
The wolf will live alongside the lamb, and beside the young goat the leopard will lie down, the calf beside the strong young lion, with the plump, meaty animal right with them; yet a mere little boy will be leader over them. The cow and the bear will feed together, and their young ones will lie down together. And the lion will even eat straw just like the bull. The suckling child will play upon the hole of the cobra; upon the den of a poisonous snake will a young child put his own hand. Yet they will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain, because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah just as the waters are filling the sea.

Col 3.12-14
Accordingly, as God's chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion, kindness, lowliness of mind, mildness, and long-suffering. Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Even as Jehovah freely forgave you, so do you also. But, besides all these things, clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.

Luke 5.24, 25
"For you to know that the Son of man has authority on the earth to forgive sins—" he said to the paralyzed man: "I say to you, Get up and pick up your little bed and be on your way home." And instantly he rose up before them, picked up what he used to lie on and went off to his home, glorifying God.

Luke 7:11-16
Then he traveled to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd were traveling with him. As he got near the gate of the city, look! there was a dead man being carried out, the only-begotten son of his mother. Besides, she was a widow. A considerable crowd from the city was also with her. And when the Lord caught sight of her, he was moved with pity for her, and he said to her: "Stop weeping." With that he approached and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still, and he said: "Young man, I say to you, Get up!" And the dead man sat up and started to speak, and he gave him to his mother. Now fear seized them all, and they began to glorify God, saying: "A great prophet has been raised up among us," and, "God has turned his attention to his people."

Luke 8:43-56
A man named Jairus, a presiding officer of the synagogue, came and fell at the feet of Jesus and began to beseech him to come to his house, because he had an only-begotten daughter about twelve years old and she was dying. So he started to go there, with a sizeable crowd close around him. Among them a woman, subject to a flow of blood for twelve years, who had not been able to get a cure from anyone, approached from behind and touched the fringe of his outer garment, and instantly her flow of blood stopped. So Jesus said: "Who was it that touched me?" When they were all denying it, Peter said: "Instructor, the crowds are hemming you in and closely pressing you." Yet Jesus said: "Someone touched me, for I perceived that power went out of me." Seeing that she had not escaped notice, the woman came trembling and fell down before him and disclosed before all the people the cause for which she touched him and how she was healed instantly. But he said to her: "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go your way in peace." While he was yet speaking, a certain representative of the presiding officer of the synagogue came, saying: "Your daughter has died; do not bother the teacher any longer." On hearing this, Jesus answered him: "Have no fear, only put forth faith, and she will be saved." When he reached the house he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter and John and James and the girl's father and mother. [Outside,] people were all weeping and beating themselves in grief for her. So he said to them: "Stop weeping, for she did not die, but is sleeping." At this they began to laugh at him scornfully, because they knew she had died. But [going inside,] he took her by the hand and called, saying: "Girl, get up!" And her spirit returned, and she rose instantly, and he ordered something to be given her to eat. Well, her parents were beside themselves; but he instructed them to tell no one [outside] what had happened.

John 11:38-44
Hence Jesus, after groaning again within himself, came to the memorial tomb. It was, in fact, a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said: "Take the stone away." Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to him: "Lord, by now he must smell, for it has been four days." Jesus said to her: "Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?" Therefore they took the stone away. Now Jesus raised his eyes heavenward and said: "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. True, I knew that you always hear me; but on account of the crowd standing around I spoke, in order that they might believe that you sent me forth." And when he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice: "Lazarus, come on out!" Then the man that had been dead came out with his feet and hands bound with wrappings, and his face was covered with a cloth. Jesus said to them: "Unwrap him and let him go."

Isaiah 33:24
No resident [of the land] will say: "I am sick." The people who dwell there will be those pardoned for their error.

Luke 8.22-25
One day he and his disciples got into a boat, and he said to them: "Let us cross to the other side of the lake." So they set sail. As they were sailing he fell asleep. Now a violent windstorm descended upon the lake, and the boat began to take on water and to be in danger. Finally they went to him and roused him, saying: "Instructor, Instructor, we are about to perish!" Standing up, he rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and they subsided, and a calm set in. Then he said to them: "Where is your faith?" But struck with fear, they marveled, saying to one another: "Who really is this, for he orders even the winds and the water, and they obey him?"

Rev 20.1-3
Then I saw an angel coming down out of heaven with the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he seized the dragon, the original serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. And he hurled him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him, that he might not mislead the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After these things he must be let loose for a little while.

Rev 20:4-6
And I saw thrones, and those who sat down on them, and power of judging was given them. Yes, I saw the souls of those who had been executed with the ax for the witness they bore to Jesus and for speaking about God, and those who had worshiped neither the wild beast nor its image and who had not received its mark upon their forehead and upon their hand. And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and will rule as kings with him for the thousand years.

Rev 7.9, 10, 13-17
After these things I saw a very great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands. And they keep on crying with a loud voice, saying: "Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb." . . . 13 And in response one of the elders said to me: "These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?" Right away I said to him: "My lord, you are the one that knows." And he said to me: "These are the ones that come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. That is why they are before the throne of God; and they are rendering him sacred service day and night in his temple; and the One seated on the throne will spread his tent over them. They will hunger no more nor thirst anymore, neither will the sun beat down upon them nor any scorching heat, because the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, will shepherd them, and will guide them to fountains of waters of life. And God will wipe out every tear from their eyes."

Rev 22:1,2
Then he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its broad way. And on this side of the river and on that side there were trees of life, producing twelve crops of fruit, producing their fruits each month. And the leaves of the trees were for the curing of the nations.

1 Cor 6:11
You have been washed clean, you have been sanctified, you have been declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.

1 John 1:7-10
However, if we are walking in the light as he himself is in the light, we do have a sharing with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say "We have no sin," we are misleading ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous so as to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say "We have not sinned," we are making him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Rev 19.19
I saw the wild beast [Satan's organization among men] and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage the war with the one seated on the horse [the Word of God, the King of kings] and with his army.

Deut 13:1-4
In case a prophet or a dreamer of a dream arises in your midst and gives you a sign or a portent, and the sign or the portent comes true of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us walk after other gods, whom you have not known, and let us serve them,' you must not listen to the words of that prophet or to the dreamer of that dream, because Jehovah your God is testing* you to know whether you are loving Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul. After Jehovah your God you should walk, and him you should fear, and his commandments you should keep, and to his voice you should listen, and him you should serve, and to him you should cling.

*Some scriptures appear to ascribe evil action directly to God, even though other scripture expressly denies that He ever does such a thing. This is due to a vagary of the Hebrew language, where an emphatic action is stated directly even though indirect action is actually meant. God deliberately ALLOWS us to face temptation, letting us show him our loyalty, or lack thereof. Only in that sense could He be said to "cause" the test. He would certainly never INSPIRE a prophet to mislead His people! How could a deceitful god ever be loved?

Matt 13.19-21
Where anyone hears the word of the kingdom but does not get the sense of it, the wicked one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart; this is the one sown alongside the road. As for the one sown upon the rocky places, this is the one hearing the word and at once accepting it with joy. Yet he has no root in himself but continues for a time, and after tribulation or persecution has arisen on account of the word he is at once stumbled.

Review for Chapter 9

Describe the New Earth, using scripture texts.

Describe the New Earth, using your imagination.

How will the new world be governed?

What period of time is set aside for the restoration of paradise?

How is paradise put to the test, and why?

What happens after that?

Restore Scripture View

Magog was a people far to the north of ancient Israel, possibly the Scythians, who had a reputation as fierce, barbaric warriors. Gog was not a nation. In Ezekiel's prophecy he appears as the commander of Magog and other forces attacking God's prospering people just before Armageddon (see chapter 8 of this book). Actual nations with that reputation will not exist as the peaceful millennium ends, but apparently Satan (trying to be Gog again) will succeed in re-establishing a following after he is set loose, in corners of the earth "far away" (in a spiritual sense) from faithful ones. These fools are here likened to those ancient enemies.