Is “Paradise Earth” a Biblical Teaching?

The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that the earth will be restored to a paradise in the future.  On this “paradise earth,” most faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses will experience life as they believe Jehovah originally intended it; free from death, suffering, and sadness.  However, Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe that an “anointed class” of 144,000 will live forever in heaven as invisible spirit beings, ruling and reigning with Christ.  But is the “paradise earth,” as the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe it, a Scriptural teaching?

While “paradise earth” is a phrase nowhere mentioned in Scripture, the concept is.  When the promise was given to Abraham, Jehovah said,

 “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. “I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered.” (Genesis 13:14–16)

Clearly, the promise given to Abraham was for a land on the earth.  But would this be limited to a relatively small geographic location?  In its initial fulfillment, yes; but as Abraham’s descendants would be multiplied as the “dust of the earth,” this land would be further expanded.  The promise is restated in Genesis 22 to articulate this very point.

 “Indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:17–18)

The mention of the enemy gates and the nations of the earth clarify the expansion of the land promise.  But who are the proper recipients of this promise?  Is it limited to the physical descendants of Abraham?  The apostle Paul explains,

 “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED.” That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.” (Romans 9:6–8)

But who are the children of the promise?  Are those who inherit the land limited to those in the old covenant?  Paul once again explains,

 “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:29)

The apostle makes no qualifications beyond “belonging to Christ.”  This would include all true Christians as Abraham’s descendants.  What would these spiritual descendants of Abraham inherit as their possession?

 “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:13)

It must be emphasized first that the promise given to Abraham’s descendants is also to Abraham himself.  This is important because Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that Abraham’s spiritual descendants are limited to the 144,000 who will rule in heaven with Christ.  However, Romans 4:13 teaches the opposite.  The promise to be “heir of the world” is for both Abraham and his descendants.  Therefore, Romans 4:13 enunciates the fulfillment of the land promise provided by Jehovah in the Abrahamic Covenant.

Can it be established elsewhere that the earth will be the eternal dwelling place of Christians?

 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

Interestingly, the Lord Jesus equates “kingdom of heaven” (5:3) with the “earth” (5:5).  Matthew 5:19 offers further confirmation by the faithful being, “in the kingdom of heaven,” and 5:20 as these who will, “enter the kingdom of heaven.”

 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” (Revelation 21:1)

According to the Scriptures, it’s clear that the “earth” (Matthew 5:5) or “world” (Romans 4:13) which is to be inherited by those who “belong to Christ” (Galatians 3:29), is the “new earth” spoken of in Revelation 21:1.  Like the original land promises given to Abraham, the new earth’s inhabitants will include all true believers living before and after Christ.

Is the “paradise earth” doctrine Scriptural?  Yes, as long as we are careful to qualify in distinction to the Jehovah’s Witnesses teaching that 144,000 will rule and reign with Christ in heaven over the rest who will live on the earth.  This is quite a distinction from what the Scriptures teach, for all Christians will rule and reign with Christ on the new earth since all Christians are Abraham’s true spiritual seed (Galatians 3:29).


45 thoughts on “Is “Paradise Earth” a Biblical Teaching?

  1. Theologically, Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult
    of Christianity.
    The oppressive organization does not represent historical,
    Biblical Christianity in any way. Sociologically, it is a destructive cult whose
    false teachings frequently result in spiritual and psychological abuse, as well
    as needless deaths.

    Danny Haszard FMI dannyhaszard(dot)com

    1. Just read your reply. What is your definition of a cult exactly? The Bible clearly states that there are only 144,000 bought from the Earth to rule with Christ. It was NEVER part of God’s plan for people to die and go to heaven. Like Adam and Eve, we were supposed to live forever on a paradise Earth

    2. Danny Hazard? Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not want to be in any way associated with historical so called Christianity that started primarily in the 3rd century, with the Catholic church and the other denominations that spun off of it. They borrowed many of their beliefs from from the Babylonians, and pagan Romans. Where do you think December 25th came from? No one knows the exact day of Jesus Earthly birth, but it wasn’t December 25th. We would know that exact date if it were important. We DO know the exact day of his death according to the Jewish calendar, Christ told his apostles to keep the memorial of his death in mind and commemorate it every year.,and it changes from year to year, but always coincides with the Passover which BTW, Jesus did celebrate, with his apostles. The apostle Paul foretold a time when these false teachings would appear, and of course it was after the time of the apostles. Please do your homework, it is very well researched by Jews, and other Christian organizations where the Trinity, hellfire doctrine, infant Baptist, purgatory….just to name a few came from. Christmas was banned in the U.S. for a few years, because the Puritans found it to be a pagan custom, and they were trying to break away from the church of England which they felt was corrupt…..Look it up if you really care to learn the truth about Christ and Christianity.

      1. Hello Cher, thanks for stopping by. I’m doubtful Danny will respond given his post was from 2012. Feel free to browse my site and let me know if you have any comments about my articles and videos.

  2. hello Mike,

    If you would care to go into it, I believe I can demonstrate that the Biblbe solidly establishes Christian destiny as some in heaven and the rest on earth.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. Rotherham2 – I have time and would be happy to enagege in dialogue with you. I tend to agree with your position. However, I woiuld like to know if you believe that Abraham’s seed is limited to only 144K? After you answer that I would love to see your scriptures.

      Thanks

      1. Hello DB,

        I would be glad to discuss the issue of Abraham’s seed and its number with you. At the moment I will be engaged in a lenghty debate with Mike Felker at truetheology.net. Once that winds down a bit, I would be glad to take you up on your offer.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

    2. Funny. The Hebrew scriptures mention Gods name 1000’s of times in praise-worthy ways. The Greek scriptures mention “Gods name” and Jesus saying “My” and “The” “father.” The cults that invaded first century congregations became in the second and third centuries (and after), Catholics and other “christians.” The first century (early Christians) disciples and apostles must have used Gods name because it is supported in meaning, intent, and reason. Gods name was removed by your so-called-christians namely after the apostles had passed away. No other religion, even in sin (we all sin) is doing Gods will and fulfilling the scriptures as Witnesses do. Jehovah’s Sovereignty and His name are of most importance, not what humans tend to want and think to be important. God is always first in their lives and ministry. Cults? Every other religion envies Jehovah’s Witnesses because they all Know Witnesses are the ones who have been chosen by God to fulfill his Word. In this, there is still some time, maybe a little time, to seek out God All Mighty and His people, and repent and start doing His will.

    1. No..Jehovas witnesses do NOT teach that. They teach that ONLY the truly righteous, will be in heaven. The bible states 144,000…these will be people who make it through the tribulation. The tribulation will be a determination of those who stick to God, or those who shun God, fall away, or other. By “making through” the tribulation you are of very strong faith..it will be difficult for even those who love God even to hold onto such faith..especially if you and your family are on their knees in front of Islam or a government ruler, and are being told to denounce Gid or die! But those in the past and more in the future will have kept the faith and I know of ones that have! That must be TRULY righteous! But the number was written in the bible that those in white robes..the truly righteous were 144,00! It also states that the others..(the ones who inherit the earth) will be multitudes..more than anyone can count…more than the sands of the sea!!!” I’m a baptist..we also read this in Revelation.

      1. According to NWT Psa 37:29
        The righteous will possess the earth,+
        And they will live forever on it.+
        However in another article by Watchtower, the righteous will shine like stars in heaven.
        So the righteous are the 144,000 that goes to heaven or the great crowd that stay on earth as in Psa 37:29

      2. Being raised Lutheran, and studying the scriptures, and trying to prove Jehovah’s Witnesses wrong, I can tell you that no other religion adheres to the scriptures like they do. No manmade doctrines, no pagan holidays. It is all over the internet about where the trinity, hellfire, and infant baptism teachings came from. The third century.influenced by Greek philosophy and that Arius probably taught Biblical truth despite mainstream history.

        Some believe Constantine was the first Christian Roman Emperor, but he was actually a sun worshiper who was baptized on his deathbed. During his reign he had his eldest son and his wife murdered. His belief at best was a blend of paganism and Christianity for political purposes, and so he neither cared nor really understood this dispute, but was just eager to bring the controversy to a close and keep unity in his empire. When the bishops gathered at Nicea on May 20, 325 AD to resolve the crisis, very few shared Athanasius’s view of Christ as most held a position midway between Athanasius and Arius. The religious debates lasted two months before the Council rejected the minority view of Arius, but having no alternative, Constantine approved the view of Athanasius, which was also a minority view. And so the Church was left supporting a belief held by only a minority of those attending.

        The Encyclopedia Britannica states: “Constantine himself presided, actively guiding the discussions, and personally proposed … the crucial formula expressing the relation of Christ to God in the creed issued by the council … Overawed by the emperor, the bishops, with two exceptions only, signed the creed, many of them much against their inclination.” — (1971 edition, Vol. 6, “Constantine,” p. 386)

        Horrific religious persecution followed the decision made by Constantine who was essentially a pagan Emperor who imposed an invented creed never preached by Jesus. Constantine exiled those who refused to accept the creed as well as the bishops who signed the creed but refused to join in condemnation of Arius. But several years later Constantine became lenient toward those he condemned and exiled at the council and allowed them to return. In AD 335, they brought accusations against Athanasius and so now Constantine had Athanasius banished! This was not about Biblical truth.

        Many of the Bishops who formulated the doctrine of the Trinity were steeped in Greek and Platonic philosophy, which influenced their religious views. In fact the language they used in defining the Trinity is taken directly from Platonic and Greek philosophy. The Platonic term trias, meaning three, was Latinized as trinitas, which gave us the English word Trinity which is neither biblical nor Christian. As Bible scholars John McClintock and James Strong (wrote the famous Strong’s Concordance) explain, “Towards the end of the 1st century, and during the 2nd, many learned men came over both from Judaism and paganism to Christianity. These brought with them into the Christian schools of theology their Platonic ideas and phraseology.” — (Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, 1891, Vol. 10, “Trinity,” p. 553)

        So the Trinity was not derived from scripture, but was conceived in philosophy. Greek philosophers were greatly influenced by Plato (427-347 BC) who was considered the greatest of all Greek philosophers. Plato was ingrained with Trinitarian thought and knew that all the ancient religions had triad deities, and so he desired to come up with a better definition to define God above all the deities of Greek mythology.
        This is just one source I found, there are literally thousands of them. So called Christianity is a far cry from what Jesus stood for in every respect. Starting with T.V. ministers exploiting people and becoming rich. What the religious leaders have done to innocent children with their abuses. They are accountable for their centuries of abuse, and bloodshed. Other religions too. They may have dropped some of the blatant unscriptural beliefs, but they have their own with their rituals that are man made, and many of them still baptize infants, and do not discipline people for committing gross sins.

    2. Markus, that is so true, the Original King James version had God’s name Jehovah in there. The jews used to use it, but considered it too sacred to use. We all have personal names(not just titles) so why shouldn’t the most powerful force in the universe have a personal name?

    3. Along with what you said Markus, it makes so much sense when you read scriptures such as: Psalm 115:16, and this is quoted from an unkown Bible. the heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; but the earth hath He given to the … are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man. This Bible of course failed to use God’s name Jehovah, or JHWH. It is true, that the new testament was directed mainly toward the early Christians, most of whom probably had the Heavenly calling, it’s understandable, if you weren’t familiar with the old testament, and the true history of the Jews who had the Earthly hope, you could be confused. God, Jehovah, when he created the first man Adam, and then Eve, told them to ,multiply and fill the Earth and live forever upon it. If they wouldn’t have sinned, they would no doubt still be alive today, and still living in the paradise that God created for them.

      1. Hello Mike. Still working on my response. I have been buried in p2aperwork with my retirement and my Medicare provisions and numerous other things that of happened but I haven’t forgot about it just thought I’d let you know.

        Rotherham

  3. Some early Church Fathers supported the view of an earthly new Jerusalem in the same city, in which Christ will be with all faithful ones, those before Christ and those after him. Irenaeus and Justin Martyr supported that view, but not all churches of the second century thought it. However, Irenaues pointed out that the heavenly destiny would be reached after the 1000 years. A heavenly destiny is a promise in the Bible. Indeed, the apostles believed that their destiny will be a heavenly one. The Bible promises an earthly hope?. In the literal sense, the answer is yes. Will the heavenly hope only for 144000 persons?, there is no Bible text in support for that. On the other hand, the greek word “ge” does not necessarily mean “planet”, it may mean “land” or “country”.

      1. Psalm 115:16 King James Version (KJV)

        16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

    1. washburn2, the King James Version is the oldest recognized Bible that is still being used. It clearly states that that he Earth was made for man, The Bible also shows The Heavens are for spirit creatures. Adam and Eve were told to procreate, fill the Earth and live forever upon it.

    2. Who are those ruling in heaven along with Christ Jesus going to be ruling over, when it talks about them ruling over the Earth then. The scriptures clearly point to the great crowd that will live on Earth. Where would Adam and Eve be living if they wouldn’t have sinned? Does it say their hope was to eventually go to Heaven? If you can find scriptures that support this please show us. Thank you

  4. Literally ascending to heaven is a human tradition. Man is to the earth. The number 144,000 saints of Rev7 is symbolic.

    1. Why would the writer John, mention the same number twice if it is symbolic? It is a literal number, and it goes on to talk about a number no man was able to number living on Earth forever.

  5. lets pray for the jehovah witnesses for the holy spirit to guide them otherwise they are misleading God’s people.
    They are even preaching that jesus was created of which christ is eternal they quote prov8:22 which speaks of the wisdom.

    1. I pray for your eyes to be opened. Jesus was God’s first creation. If he was God, why would he give all the glory to his father, He prayed constantly to his father, if he were part of a man made doctrine known as the trinity, he would be praying to himself. We know where the trinity came from, it is well established in the 3rd century, along with the “hellfire” doctrine, and infant baptism. Many of these beliefs were borrowed from the ancient Babylonians, who believed in trinitarian God’s.

    2. The scriptures clearly speak of Jesus as being God’s first creation, and that he is the image of the true God. The trinity makes no sense, and this is NOT what the Jews and the Early Christians believed. Please I encourage you to do your research about the history of the trinity. Please pray before you do, to have the answers come from the Bible and for God’s holy spirit guide you, and give you an open heart and mind. Who was Jesus praying the in the garden of gethsemane, himself? when he prayed many times, was he praying to part of himself? When he said, “the father is greater than I am” was he talking about part of himself? I have a hard time believing any intelligent person could accept this belief, and I was raised Lutheran, but I did my research.

  6. The bible clearly states that the 144000 are Jews male virgins from each 12 tribes of israel.they av never be corrupted by a woman.where is the connection with those who will go to heaven? Does it mean no woman will go to heaven?

  7. In the beginning when God created the first humans, they were told to multiply and fill the Earth, and live forever on it. Are you disputing that? Are you disputing they were created perfect? Where in the Bible were they told at some point they were to die and go to heaven? That was never part of God’s plan. People were given the planet Earth in a perfect state to live forever on. To Jehovah the heavens belong, but the earth he has given to the sons of men.”—Psalm 115:16 It is because of the Adamic sin that we fall asleep in death. That is true, that because of the sin we inherited, a number 144,000 faithful followers of Christ through the ages, will be raised to the heavens and will rule over the Earth. When you come out of false religions and learn the Bible truths, it is really simple, and things begin to make sense. Unlike so called Christian false teachings such as: Oh God needed another angel, that’s why he took her little boy. Without knowing what is going on in the world, and knowing Satan is actually now the ruler of this system of things 1 John 5:19, We know that we are of God, and that the whole world is under the power of the evil one. It would be easy to be mad at God for allowing this wickedness to continue, but it will be destroyed very soon! By the way, it was never part of God’s plan for people to die!

    1. That it is a literal number is shown in Revelation chapter 7, where, after giving the definite number of 144,000, at Re 7 verse 9 it speaks of another group, a “great crowd” whom no man was able to number.
      … The number 144,000 could not be symbolic, for, if so, it would mean nothing.

      The great crowd is the Earthly crowd. We have been taught by so called Christian religions that you either go to Heaven if your good, or Hell if you are bad, and many feel tormented forever. A loving God would never torture his children, no matter how bad they’ve been. Research where the hellfire doctrine came from in the 3rd century, along with infant baptism, the trinity, and a few other less known doctrines. The very early Christians prior to this, never believed these things. Christianity became very corrupt in the 3rd century.

      Grafting from the Wild Olive Tree (‎11 occurrences)

      It consists first of Christ and then of 144,000 spiritual Israelites, who exercise the faith of Abraham.
      … The 144,000 followers of Christ who experience this adopting are spiritual Israelites, the true seed of Abraham.

      w58 3/1 pp. 151-157 – The Watchtower—1958

    1. Bernie-

      While I do think that understanding God’s plan for the earth is important, that’s not what 2 Cor. 4:3-4 is talking about. Rather, the text is speaking specifically about the “light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” Some Christians may have a poor understanding of God’s plan for the earth and/or heaven, but I don’t think that disqualifies them from being a Christian.

  8. No, we are all continuing as Christians to learn the deeper things of God’s word, and what he has in store for both the Earth, and the Heavens. None of us, no matter how much we study God’s word understand everything written, but the scriptures say the truth becomes brighter and brighter as time goes on. It is important to pray for God’s holy spirit in helping us understand the scriptures, and for us to help others come to know God (Jehovah) and what a loving father he is. He has given his only begotten son Jesus as our ransom sacrifice, and we are instructed to pray through him to reach God’s spirit.

  9. Hello Mike,

    my responses are between the%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% characters’

    you:
    The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that the earth will be restored to a paradise in the future. On this “paradise earth,” most faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses will experience life as they believe Jehovah originally intended it; free from death, suffering, and sadness. However, Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe that an “anointed class” of 144,000 will live forever in heaven as invisible spirit beings, ruling and reigning with Christ. But is the “paradise earth,” as the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe it, a Scriptural teaching?

    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Actually, it is the Apostle Paul who teaches it is the anointed ones who will live forever in heaven as spirit beings. in talking to the ecclesia in Corinth he says:2 Cor, 5:1-5:
    5 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, should be torn down,a we are to have a building from God, a house not made with hands,b everlasting in the heavens. 2 For in this house we do indeed groan, earnestly desiring to put on the one for us from heaven,c 3 so that when we do put it on, we will not be found naked. 4 In fact, we who are in this tent groan, being weighed down, because we do not want to put this one off, but we want to put the other on,d so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.e 5 Now the one who prepared us for this very thing is God,f who gave us the spirit as a token of what is to come.

    Here there is a “tent” and a “building.” What “we” are as individuals residing within these dwellings. But upon the resurrection we receive, not the tent we formerly lived in, but a new, and completely different “building.” Ond that is to last forever,everlasting in the heavens
    Paul continues showing the human body of flesh, bone, and blood is to be put off and a new residence taken up — not of human origin. THis is n complete contrast to your vkew that the holy ones live on eart forever.

    To Paul there are two bodies: one likened to a “tent” which can be taken down then folded up, and the other, compared to a “building” (oikodomen — a word related to the word Jesus is accused of using in Mark 14:58 – oikodomeso). One is to be “destroyed” and the other heavenly one to be ageless, everlasting “in the heavens.” One is human, the other divine. One is mortal, the other immortal.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    While “paradise earth” is a phrase nowhere mentioned in Scripture, the concept is. When the promise was given to Abraham, Jehovah said,

    “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. “I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered.” (Genesis 13:14–16)T
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    I comment below on the phrases “sands on the seashore, stars in the heavens and dust on the earth.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Clearly, the promise given to Abraham was for a land on the earth. But would this be limited to a relatively small geographic location? In its initial fulfillment, yes; but as Abraham’s descendants would be multiplied as the “dust of the earth,” this land would be further expanded. The promise is restated in Genesis 22 to articulate this very point.

    “Indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:17–18)
    The mention of the enemy gates and the nations of the earth clarify the expansion of the land promise.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Nothing is ever said to Abraham or his offspring that their inheritancs would be the entire earth. Jehovah was very specific as to what Abreham’s inheritancs was to be.

    Abraham’s heritage was limited in geographical terms to the land between Egypt and the Euphrates

    Gen. 15:18 On that day Jehovah made with Aʹbram a covenant,q saying: “To your offspring* I will give this land,r from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Eu·phraʹtes:s

    Gen 13:14 14 Jehovah said to Aʹbram, after Lot had separated from him: “Raise your eyes, please, and look from the place where you are, to the north and south, east and west, 15 because all the land that you see, I will give to you and your offspring* as a lasting possession.

    The phrases “sands of the sea” and “stars of the heavens” and dust of the earth” do not refer to numbers that are infinite, obviously.it refers to a number that can not be set because they are not only very large but also shifting or constantly changing in time. At any given time the sands of the seashore can’t be numbered, can NOT be set, not just because of how many there are but also combined with the fact that the number is constantly shifting,changing in time with every wave that hits the shore, carrying sand in to the shore and out to the sea. The same is true in reference to stars of the heaven. as one would try to count them, thousands of stars, every minute, disappear on one side of the ephemeris and thousands more would appear on the other. Each expression depicts a number that can’t be determined or set because it is large and constantly changing.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    But who are the proper recipients of this promise? Is it limited to the physical descendants of Abraham? The apostle Paul explains,

    “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED.” That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.” (Romans 9:6–8)
    But who are the children of the promise? Are those who inherit the land limited to those in the old covenant? Paul once again explains,

    “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:29)
    The apostle makes no qualifications beyond “belonging to Christ.” This would include all true Christians as Abraham’s descendants. What would these spiritual descendants of Abraham inherit as their possession?

    “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:13)
    It must be emphasized first that the promise given to Abraham’s descendants is also to Abraham himself. This is important because Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that Abraham’s spiritual descendants are limto the 144,000 who will rule in heaven with Christ. However, Romans 4:13 teaches the opposite. The promise to be “heir of the world” is for both Abraham and his descendants. Therefore, Romans 4:13 enunciates the fulfillment of the land promise provided by Jehovah in the Abrahamic Covenant.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Let’s go back through and unpack Romans 4:12 and Galations 3:29 again.

    Romans 4:12: First, most commentators see the phrase “heir of the world” as a reference to Abraham’s formost SEED, that being Jesus Christ, by means of his Messianic rulership as the King of Kings, not a reference to Abraham himself so not much more needs to be said about that.

    Plus, the word rendered as world, being Kosmos, its basic meaning is ARRANGEMENT. Thayer’s gives among it’s meanings; arrangement or order. It also says that it can mean any AGGREGATE or GENERAL COLLECTION of PARTICULARS OF ANY SORT, which could surely apply to he particulars of the NHERITANCE PROMISED TO Araham and his offspring.

    So there is no evidence that Abraham and his offspring inherit the entire earth, merely conjecture.

    What about Galations 3:29:
    29 Moreover, if you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham’s offspring, heirs with reference to a promise.

    We learned in Romans 4 that those who have true Christian faith are regarded as sons of Abraham, he beig the Father of all those having faith so its not hard to figure that all those having faith in Christ are Abraham’ offspring IN REFERENCE TO FAITH. However, ther is MORE to what Galations says: it also mentions HEIRS with reference to a PROMISE. WHAT PROMISE? Paul clarifies in Galations 4:28 and 29: 28 Now you, brothers, are children of the promise the same as Isaac was.x 29 But just as then the one born through natural descent began persecuting the one born through spirit,y so also now.

    So the promise is in regard to becoming an heir with reference to SPIRIT, something diferent than being a son by means of faith. Definitely related but different still the same. So a Christian could be an offsoring of Abraham in more than one sense, first, by means of faith and then by means of spirit, as was Isaac. You see, Isaac was conceived by means of a holy spirit promise from God. Without the intervention of God’s spirit, Isaac would not have been born. Likewise, being born by spirit, the holy ones become heirs with reference to a promise of holy spirit.

    So, yes, in one sense they are all sons of Abraham due to their having faith but Paul in speaking to the holy ones, the ecclesia, those called out, they are also heirs with refence to a promise, the holy spirit, by being born again as sons of God, the greater Abraham. These are the same holy ones that Paul tells us end up in heaven everlastingly. 2 Cor. 5:1
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Can it be established elsewhere that the earth will be the eternal dwelling place of Christians?

    “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
    Interestingly, the Lord Jesus equates “kingdom of heaven” (5:3) with the “earth” (5:5). Matthew 5:19 offers further confirmation by the faithful being, “in the kingdom of heaven,” and 5:20 as these who will, “enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” (Revelation 21:1)
    According to the Scriptures, it’s clear that the “earth” (Matthew 5:5) or “world” (Romans 4:13) which is to be inherited by those who “belong to Christ” (Galatians 3:29), is the “new earth” spoken of in Revelation 21:1. Like the original land promises given to Abraham, the new earth’s inhabitants will include all true believers living before and after Christ.

    Is the “paradise earth” doctrine Scriptural? Yes, as long as we are careful to qualify in distinction to the Jehovah’s Witnesses teaching that 144,000 will rule and reign with Christ in heaven over the rest who will live on the earth. This is quite a distinction from what the Scriptures teach, for all Christians will rule and reign with Christ on the new earth since all Christians are Abraham’s true spiritual seed (Galatians 3:29).

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    Although I am in agreement wit the teaching of a future paradise earth and that Abraham and his physical offspring will be given an earthly inheritance, (an aggrgate of lands) it is not at all for the reasons you have outlined. Not at all. And Abraham’s seed, the heirs in connection with “spirit” like Issac, numbering 144,000 will rule with Christ as kings and priests and will forever live in heaven as Paul taught us without question.

    Rotherham

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    1. Rotherham-

      Let’s just take this one point at a time, starting with your first argument. It looks like you see the best way of making your case is to appeal to texts which you interpret to mean that at least some Christians will spend eternity in heaven. When it comes to 2 Cor. 5, you are apparently drawing out several primary points to try and refute my view:

      1) This text cannot be applied to all Christians, but only to some (144K)
      2) These ones will spend eternity in heaven
      3) They will not have physical bodies

      I’m not going to get exhaustive in my exegesis here. I assume you don’t know how I would interpret this passage, so i’ll give some basic outlines and do some interactions with your points. We can get into lexical sources and all that if needed in the next round if you’d like.

      “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down…” – This is just referring to physical death. I think we’d agree on that. But I don’t think this physical body is never to be seen again (though it will be changed dramatically). More on that below.

      “…we have a building from God…” – notice this is in the present tense. This “building” (i.e. body) exists now and Paul believes he has some kind of ownership of it. You say that it’s “not the tent we formerly lived in.” In a sense, I agree. It would be nonsensical for Paul to talk about a body currently existing in heaven that is the same as the one he currently lives in. So of course Paul wouldn’t receive “from heaven” the tent he formerly lived in, because he’s already living in it. Something is being added to it. You also argue that this new body/tent is “completely different.” Ok, but completely different in what kind of way? In that it’s eternal? Sure, I agree!

      “…a house not made with hands…” – Heb. 9:11 actually gives us a meaning of this, “not of this creation.” You say that the human body is to be “put off.” Where does the text say that? I agree that it’s “not of human origin” in the sense that it’s not of “this creation” as Heb. 9:11 defines the phrase. But that doesn’t mean that when Paul is resurrected, he somehow becomes a non-physical spirit being. You are reading too much into the text and adding things that aren’t there.

      …”eternal in the heavens.” – This is an eternal body that is currently being held by God in heaven. But notice the next verse, because Paul describes the body as being received “from heaven, ” not “in heaven.” It looks like you want to say that the new building is “eternally in heaven.” But that’s not what the text says. It speaks of the nature of this tent (eternal) and its source/origin (heaven).

      “For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked.” – Why is Paul speaking of being “clothed” and “putting on” this new body? You don’t “put on” something if there’s nothing to put it on over (in your view, Paul ceased to exist when he died, right?). It makes far more sense to view this in terms of Paul’s present-tense, perishable and mortal body “putting on/clothed” a new tent that makes him immortal. And yes, this body comes “from heaven” as the text clearly states. Check out other uses of the phrase, “from heaven” in the Christian Scriptures. What do you find? Usually (or perhaps always), a locational transfer of something.

      “For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.” – Whatever it is that “clothes” us, it does something to what is currently there to make it immortal. In your view, there could be no “me” that gets “clothed” with anything. Why? Because the “me” (i.e. my body) goes away, never to return again. Then, a new creation would happen with this new spirit being is made that identifies as “me” again. But this is a little awkward because this tent already exists in heaven. In other words, you have a big problem in the transfer of identity. (i’m using “me” as a hypothetical since you probably don’t think i’m one of the anointed).

      So, you are missing some extremely important features that must be in the text for your view to work. Nowhere does Paul clarify or even hint at the fact that all Christians shouldn’t see this as applying to them. Seems odd that Paul wouldn’t clarify that, since most Christians wouldn’t be able to relate to the text (i.e. everyone living after 1935). Secondly, you have a locational problem since Paul doesn’t explicitly tell us that this new body would be eternally located in heaven. Third, Paul doesn’t even hint that he’s talking about anything other than a real, physical, bodily existence for all eternity, since Paul (i.e. in his physical body) “puts on/clothed” with this immortal tent. Granted, he doesn’t specify earth either. But that’s because he isn’t concerned with location here; rather, he’s more concerned with the nature of the resurrection body.

  10. Well,this is a little maddening, but I was nearly finished with my response when i lost the file I was working on. So, unfortunately I will have to start over. I can recall most of what I wrote so it shouldn’t take too long.

    Rotherham

  11. Let’s just take this one point at a time, starting with your first argument. It looks like you see the best way of making your case is to appeal to texts which you interpret to mean that at least some Christians will spend eternity in heaven. When it comes to 2 Cor. 5, you are apparently drawing out several primary points to try and refute my view:

    1) This text cannot be applied to all Christians, but only to some (144K)
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    I would be be glad to take this up with you in anothder thread when this one winds down.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    2) These ones will spend eternity in heaven.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    To be demonstrated.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    3) They will not have physical bodies.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    To be demonstrated.

    What you listed are not my primary points .Believe me, there are others
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    I’m not going to get exhaustive in my exegesis here. I assume you don’t know how I would interpret this passage, so i’ll give some basic outlines and do some interactions with your points. We can get into lexical sources and all that if needed in the next round if you’d like.

    “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down…” – This is just referring to physical death. I think we’d agree on that. But I don’t think this physical body is never to be seen again (though it will be changed dramatically). More on that below.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    I agree it will be changed dramatically. It’s the changes that make up our point of departure.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    “…we have a building from God…” – notice this is in the present tense.
    This “building” (i.e. body) exists now and Paul believes he has some kind of ownership of it.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    THe word rendered as “have or hold” is ἔχομεν and it is defined as to have, to hold and to ‘count as’ used of mental comception. (Vines) So the present tense doesn’t work against our position. Paul and others could easily conceive this buiding from God in the present tense. The conception then would be in the present tense, not the actual building.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    You say that it’s “not the tent we formerly lived in.” In a sense, I agree. It would be nonsensical for Paul to talk about a body currently existing in heaven that is the same as the one he currently lives in. So of course Paul wouldn’t receive “from heaven” the tent he formerly lived in, because he’s already living in it. Something is being added to it. You also argue that this new body/tent is “completely different.” Ok, but completely different in what kind of way? In that it’s eternal? Sure, I agree!
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    If he is already living in it,it can’t be said that it was dissolved, destroyed”.According to the Greek word rendered dissolve, it also means to destroy or demolish. If that old body is “dissolved,destroyed ,demolished” then there’s nothing left. You can;t add clothes to a body that doesn’t exist any longer. More below on what exactly receives the new covering.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    “…a house not made with hands…” – Heb. 9:11 actually gives us a meaning of this, “not of this creation.” You say that the human body is to be “put off.” Where does the text say that? I agree that it’s “not of human origin” in the sense that it’s not of “this creation” as Heb. 9:11 defines the phrase. But that doesn’t mean that when Paul is resurrected, he somehow becomes a non-physical spirit being. You are reading too much into the text and adding things that aren’t there.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    The phrase “not made with hands” works entirely against your position. THat phrase in the Bible does not refer to things that have physicality. Do a study on it and you will see. It is used of the heavenly, spiritual temple, and circumcision by spirit. Not physical things.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    …”eternal in the heavens.” – This is an eternal body that is currently being held by God in heaven.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    No, it was presently held in the mind of Paul and others. See above.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    But notice the next verse, because Paul describes the body as being received “from heaven, ” not “in heaven.” It looks like you want to say that the new building is “eternally in heaven.” But that’s not what the text says. It speaks of the nature of this tent (eternal) and its source/origin (heaven).
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Once received, this new body will be eternal IN the hevens. It could also be referred to as FROM the heavens since it is FROM God. The word eternal is serving as an adjective as it does elsewhere. Adjectives describe nouns as I am sure you know. This adjective is in the “accusative singular feminine” case which means it is modifying an accusative singular feminine noun. So, it is the BUILDING, the NOT MADE WITH HANDS that is being modified. So the new body is eternal as you agree but if Paul wanted to show “the heavens” as the source, he used the wrong preposition for “source”. The preposition that Paul uses for SOURCE IS “ek” as he uses in verse 1 for “from God” and in verse 2 for “from heaven” and elsewhere in his writings. So if Paul, in THIS sentence, verse 1, wanted to say “FROM” the heavens he would have used EK, not EN, but he used EN and EN is used predominantly as a LOCATIONAL device throughout the Greek scriptures. So your words here: “It speaks of the nature of this tent (eternal) and its source/origin (heaven).” is incorrect. It most naturally refers to its LOCATION, not its source, in that sentence constructed by Paul.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    “For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked.” – Why is Paul speaking of being “clothed” and “putting on” this new body? You don’t “put on” something if there’s nothing to put it on over (in your view, Paul ceased to exist when he died, right?).
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    His body certainly ceased to exist as it was DISSOLVED,DESTROYED but his SOUL (Our real self is our SOUL, which is defined in Thayer’s and elsewhere as “person”. It is primarily our mind, mentality, our personality, our SELF. IT is our soul that gets resurrected not our body as is clearly taught by Paul in 1 Cor. 15. IN 1 Cor. 15. The SOUL is referred to as the bare grain and it is that bare crain that God gives the the new body to. So the resurrected soul receives the body from God. More on 1 Cor. 15 in future posts, I’m sure.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    It makes far more sense to view this in terms of Paul’s present-tense, perishable and mortal body “putting on/clothed” a new tent that makes him immortal. And yes, this body comes “from heaven” as the text clearly states. Check out other uses of the phrase, “from heaven” in the Christian Scriptures. What do you find? Usually (or perhaps always), a locational transfer of something.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Well it comes FROM GOD who is IN the heavens.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    “For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.” – Whatever it is that “clothes” us, it does something to what is currently there to make it immortal.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Yes, the resurrected SOUL is clothed with IMMORTALITY, but there’s nothing physical about that immortal body received by the anointed brothers of Christ who will live eternally in the heavens.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    In your view, there could be no “me” that gets “clothed” with anything. Why? Because the “me” (i.e. my body) goes away, never to return again.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    The ME is not your body, the ME is YOU, your MIND, your SOUL.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Then, a new creation would happen with this new spirit being is made that identifies as “me” again. But this is a little awkward because this tent already exists in heaven. In other words, you have a big problem in the transfer of identity. (i’m using “me” as a hypothetical since you probably don’t think i’m one of the anointed).
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Again, the ME is your SOUL before death and after resurrection. IN between the soul is dead. It exists only in the mind of God, his memory, awaiting resurrection.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    So, you are missing some extremely important features that must be in the text for your view to work.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Au contraire. Actually, our view is fully supported by precedented meaning of phrases and the precedented usage of prepositions and other supporting contexts as will no doubt be presented here in this thread.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Nowhere does Paul clarify or even hint at the fact that all Christians shouldn’t see this as applying to them.

    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    It was written to the “ecclesia” in Corinth and the HOLY ONES in Achaia. The ecclesia refers to those called out for a purpose, which would smack of the future kings and judges ruling with Christ. As I said, we could discuss that further when this thread winds down.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Seems odd that Paul wouldn’t clarify that, since most Christians wouldn’t be able to relate to the text (i.e. everyone living after 1935). Secondly, you have a locational problem since Paul doesn’t explicitly tell us that this new body would be eternally located in heaven.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    But if you pay attention to the precedents pointed out above, he does tell us that. A discussion of 1 Cor. 15 will also establish this.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Third, Paul doesn’t even hint that he’s talking about anything other than a real, physical, bodily existence for all eternity, since Paul (i.e. in his physical body) “puts on/clothed” with this immortal tent.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Not so. Covered above and again, 1 Cor. 15 will clarify this.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Granted, he doesn’t specify earth either. But that’s because he isn’t concerned with location here; rather, he’s more concerned with the nature of the resurrection body.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    His usage of prepositions is against this vew. See above.
    Actually, keeping the prepositions in their natural, precedented manner and considering the precedented usage of the phrase “not made with hands”, here is the way ! Cor. 5:1 should be viewed;

    For we know that if our earthly house, this tent (our physical body) should be dissolved, (destroyed,demolished) we have (a mental conception of) a building from God, (a body made by God} a house (body)not made with hands
    (not physical) eternal (everlasting) in (locationally) the heavens.

    1 Cor. 15 is waiting in the wings.It will confirm all that I’ve said here.

    Rotherham

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