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).