Copyright © 1996 BEACON All rights reserved.

Paradise On Earth--When?

And as it is appointed for men to die once for all time, but after this a judgment--Hebrews 9:27 NWT

Introduction
In spite of Jehovah's Witnesses' aggressive door-to-door preaching and distribution of Watchtower literature, most people know surprisingly little about their beliefs. If asked, people generally recall the controversial stance Jehovah's Witnesses take on such issues as not saluting the flag, banning holiday celebrations and birthdays, not going to war, or their prohibition of blood transfusions. Yet the most incredible of their beliefs--the nucleus around which all other of these peripheral tenets revolve--is their "last-generation" doctrine which includes an unwavering conviction that most faithful Jehovah's Witnesses presently alive will never die. This has been a significant feature of their message to the world for well over a century. In the Watch Tower Society's book, You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth (1989) we read:

The fact is that not all who receive everlasting life will need to be resurrected. Many servants of God now living in these "last days" of this system of things will live through Armageddon. And then, as part of the righteous "new earth," they will never need to die. What Jesus said to Martha can in a literal way be true of them: "And everyone that is living and exercises faith in me will never die at all."--John 11:26; 2 Timothy 3:1.
(Live Forever book, page 172, par.17)
Jehovah's Witnesses are taught, and fervently believe, that the biblical end of the world is "very near" and that they alone will be preserved into a "new world" system. Then throughout a thousand years (the "Millennium") the worthy ones who have died ever since Adam and Eve will be resurrected and, under divine direction of Christ and 144,000 saints, they will cultivate the earth back to the paradise conditions of the garden of Eden and live forever in eternal human bliss--all to the glory of Jehovah. That is the message they preach.

A new earth soon?
The Bible unquestionably speaks of a "new heavens and a new earth." However, contrary to the Watchtower's teaching, the prophecy in Revelation is clear that the new earth is post-millennial, after the resurrection and final judgment. All these events, which the Watchtower Society places from the beginning and during the "Millennium," were plainly prophesied to occur "after the thousand years have ended" in Revelation 20:5 through 21:5. Examination of that core Watchtower precept will be the focus of this article. Although Watchtower writers frequently apply Bible texts about the "new earth" to their particular doctrine, the verses invariably have no relevance to the thousand-year time prophecy of Revelation.

Every effort will be made to represent the present belief of Jehovah's Witnesses accurately and not out of context. In that regard, if any misrepresentations are found, readers are invited to point them out so they may be amended. With respect for their belief that this Watchtower teaching is firmly rooted in the Holy Scriptures, which they hold to be the unerring Word of Jehovah God, as interpreted by the Watchtower Society, the information considered here will be from the Society's publications in light of their own New World Translation of the Bible (NWT).

NOTE: If you are already intimately familiar with the Watchtower's teaching, you may prefer to skip over to the Summary or Conclusion.

The "good news of the kingdom"

And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.--Matthew 24:14 (NWT)
Central to the unique doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses has been their teaching that the return (Gr.parousia) of Jesus Christ occurred in the fall of A.D. 1914. He and his angels cast the Devil and demons out of heaven down to the earth, as evidenced by World War I (Matt. 24:7). At that time the Christ was at long last crowned King and enthroned in heaven. Thereupon the long-awaited Kingdom of God was established, marking the beginning of the last generation of the world before the "battle of Armageddon" must occur (Revelation 16:16). Only Jehovah's Witnesses will be spared through the global carnage and ushered into a "new world" where death will cease, and paradise and human perfection will be restored for everlasting life. The rest of us will be pitilessly massacred by the Lord Jesus and his legions of angels when they rise up to destroy the Devil and all that is evil. This, we are told, is the "good news of God's Kingdom" which Jesus taught us to pray for in the Lord's Prayer--the gospel which was prophecied that Jehovah's Witnesses would preach to the whole world in this, the on-going "last generation," before the end of the "present wicked system of things." (Matt. 6:10; 24:14)

The Society's little book titled KNOWLEDGE That Leads to Everlasting Life (1995) on page 161, paragraph 4, says:

Jesus said that at the time of his presence in Kingdom power, "the faithful and discreet slave" would be found providing "food at the proper time: for His followers. (Matthew 24:45-47) When Jesus was installed as heavenly King in 1914, who did this "slave" prove to be? Certainly not the clergy of Christendom. For the most part, they were feeding their flocks propaganda that backed up their own national governments in World War I. But proper and timely spiritual food was being dispensed by the group of true Christians who were anointed by God's holy spirit and were a part of what Jesus called the "little flock." (Luke 12:32) These anointed Christians preached God's Kingdom rather than man's governments. As a result, over the years millions of righteously disposed "other sheep" have joined the anointed "slave" in practicing true religion. (John 10:16) Using the 'faithful slave' and its present-day Governing Body, God directs his organized people to make spiritual food, clothing, and shelter available to all who wish to have these provisions.
Continuing on page 182, paragraph 5:
Let us now focus our attention on the Bible-based hope of everlasting life in the future earthly paradise. What will life be like when the knowledge of God fills the earth?

AFTER ARMAGEDDON--A PARADISE EARTH
As shown earlier, Jehovah God will soon destroy the present wicked system of things. The world is rapidly approaching what the Bible calls Har-Magedon, or Armageddon. That word may make some people think of a nuclear holocaust brought about by warring nations, but Armageddon is nothing of the kind. As Revelation 16:14-16 shows, Armageddon is "the war of the great day of God the Almighty." It is a war involving "the kings of the entire inhabited earth," or the nations. Jehovah God's Son, the appointed King, will soon ride forth into battle. The outcome is absolutely sure. All who oppose God's Kingdom and who are a part of Satan's wicked system will be eliminated. Only those loyal to Jehovah will survive.--Revelation 7:9, 14; 19:11-21.

Life everlasting in Paradise
This winsome depiction of a human couple in the paradise "new earth" found on page 11 of the book, You Can Live Forever In Paradise on Earth, is typical of many illustrations in Watch Tower literature. Referring to this picture, paragraph 11 on the preceding page, under the heading "The Kind of Life You Desire," enticingly invites the reader to:

Look at the following page. What kind of life are these people enjoying? Would you like to be one of them? Why, yes, you say! Look how healthy and youthful they appear! If you were told that these people had already lived thousands of years, would you believe it? The Bible tells us that the old will become young again, the sick will be made well and the lame, blind, deaf and speechless will have all their ailments healed. When he was on earth Jesus Christ performed many miracles by healing sick people. By doing this he was showing how, in this glorious time not far off, all who are living will be restored to perfect health.--Job 33:25; Isaiah 33:24; 35:5,6; Matthew 15:30, 31.
See what a lovely garden home this is! As Christ promised, it is truly a paradise, similar to the one lost by the disobedient first man and woman. . . .
[Referenced illustration]
On page 15, paragraph 19 further says:
If you love life and want to live forever on earth under God's rule, then you must hurry to take in accurate knowledge of God, his purposes and his requirements. Jesus Christ said in prayer to God: "This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ." (John 17:3) What a joy it is to know that we can live forever--that it is not just a dream!

[illustration on pages 12-13]
Illustration on pages 12 and 13 of Live Forever book


[Referenced illustration] It is interesting that people in the illustrations of paradise are invariably dressed in twentieth-century style clothing and women appearing with makeup. One might reasonably ask, if the earth and people are to return to the perfection of Eden, why would people be wearing clothes since Adam and Eve were clothed only after they sinned and were ashamed of their nakedness (Gen. 3:7). Perfect humans would have no lust or need to cover their "parts of shame" (Habakkuk 2:15). What need would there be for clothing to launder and iron in a perfect climate? Further, the billions of people brought back in the resurrection (the vast majority of the new earth's population) will be celebate according to Watchtower teaching based on Luke 20:34,35. (That is perhaps what is aptly depicted by the artist in this illustration of three human pairs not of the opposite sex on page 86 of the new KNOWLEDGE book.) Their teaching is that (aside from the animals) only those Jehovah's Witnesses spared through Armageddon (none of the billions of resurrected) will be sexual, marry and have offspring.

Often the pictures show a domestic dwelling in a lush, park-like setting, far from neighboring houses, much like those now seen in affluent rural suburbs. Yet there is not seen a polluting factory where building materials, textiles, or clothing might be manufactured. How is it supposed that people will get all these industry-produced goods? The scenes do not portray cities or anything related to high-technology, trade or commerce. No indication of electricity or even a power lawn mower for those impeccably-manicured lawns. People from various cultures are shown, yet never a vehicle for transportation (cars, roads, airplanes; not even a bicycle) which might transport people from various places.


What does the Bible really say about a new earth?
As previously mentioned, the Bible does indeed prophecy a "new heavens and a new earth":
"For here I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart."--Isa.65:17

"For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making are standing before me," is the utterance of Jehovah, "so the offspring of you people and the name of you people will keep standing."--Isa.66:22

But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.--2 Pet.3:13

So it is not a question of whether the Bible speaks of a "new heavens and a new earth . . . according to his promise" (2 Pet. 3:13); but rather, when.

For this study, it is well to read Revelation chapter 20 and 21:1-5 straight through for the sequence of prophetic events:


20And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven with the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2And he seized the dragon, the original serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3And 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.
4And I saw thrones, and there were those who sat down on them, and power of judging was given them. Yes, I saw the souls of those 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 the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand. And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6Happy 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.
7Now as soon as the thousand years have been ended, Satan will be let loose out of his prison, 8and he will go out to mislead those nations in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Ma'gog, to gather them together for the war. The number of these is as the sand of the sea. 9And they advanced over the breadth of the earth and encircled the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city. But fire came down out of heaven and devoured them.
.
10And 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. 11And I saw a great white throne and the one seated on it. From before him the earth and the heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, the great and the small standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds. 13And the sea gave up those dead in it and death and Ha'des gave up those dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds. 14And death and Ha'des were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death, the lake of fire. 15Furthermore, whoever was not found written in the book of life was hurled into the lake of fire.
21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: "Look! The tent of God is with mankind and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. 4And he will wipe 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."
5And the One seated on the throne said: "Look! I am making all things new."

Note that there was no reference whatsoever to conditions on earth during the thousand years. Nevertheless, the Watchtower Society claims divine understanding from 'holy spirit' of the "good news of the kingdom," that the "new heavens" were established in 1914 and the "new earth" will arrive "very soon" in our time, after Armageddon, at the onset of the thousand years. They draw this conclusion despite the fact that Revelation clearly sets the events--resurrection of the dead, opening the scrolls, judgment, and last, "a new heavens and new earth" with all its blessings--all after the end of the thousand years. Note also the following: The Watchtower's misapplication of these texts and sequence of events quite naturally necessitates further scripturally-unfounded elaborations. Consider the following:
First of all, those who survive Armageddon will have the work of cleaning up the earth and clearing away the ruins of this old system. And they will have the privilege, under the direction of the Kingdom rule, of cultivating the earth and making it a beautiful place in which to live. What a happy work that will be!
--Live Forever book, page 159, paragraph 6
Needless to say, this"happy work" of "cleaning up the earth and clearing away the ruins of this old system" must necessarily include disposing of the billions of skeletal remains of we (men, women and children) who were executed in the bloody slaughter, after the birds have eaten their fill of our flesh (Rev. 19:21). Reading further:

After Armageddon, in the paradise earth, . . . Aging will also be stopped under Kingdom rule. The old will even grow young again. Yes, 'a man's flesh will become fresher than in his youth.' (Job 33:25) What a thrill it will be then to wake up each morning and realize that you are in better health than you were the day before!
--Live Forever, pg. 164, par.18.
And the scrolls will be opened--not after the thousand years, not after resurrection, but early in the Millenium--not for the purpose of judging the dead, but for education. They are claimed to be inspired writings in addition to the Bible. Reading in the Live Forever book:
What are the "scrolls" that are opened from which "the dead" as well as "the living" are judged? Evidently they will be something in addition to our present Holy Bible. They are inspired writings or books that contain Jehovah's laws and instructions. By reading these all people on earth will be able to know God's will. Then, on the basis of the laws and instructions in these "scrolls," everyone on earth will be judged. Those who obey the things written therein will receive the benefits of Christ's ransom sacrifice, and they will gradually grow to human perfection. Live Forever book, page 181, par. 17:
And in the KNOWLEDGE book:
How grand it will be when the knowledge of God fills the earth! There will be an extensive educational program under the direction of the King Jesus Christ and his 144,000 corulers. New "scrolls" will then come into use. Evidently these are God's written instructions that will serve as a basis for educating earth's inhabitants. (Revelation 20:12)
KNOWLEDGE book, page 185, par. 13
Then, resurrection is said to begin--not after but during the thousand years--in phases. All "righteous" people who have died throughout the world's history will supposedly come alive, at various times, in the evolving Paradise. Resurrection during the "Millenium" is also said to be the time when billions of "unrighteous" will be brought back--a second life chance for the opportunity of Jehovah's Witnesses to teach them about Jehovah. Consider the following in the KNOWLEDGE book beginning on page 186, paragraphs 15-17:
15During the Millennium, the resurrection will take place. Those who willfully sinned against God's holy spirit, or active force, by unrepentantly acting contrary to its manifestation or leadings will not be resurrected. (Matthew 23:15, 33; Hebrews 6:4-6) Of course, God will decide who sinned in that way. But two distinct groups will be resurrected--"the righteous and the unrighteous." (Acts 24:15) Since there will be proper order, it is reasonable to conclude that the first to be welcomed back to life on earth will be the righteous, those who served Jehovah loyally.--Hebrews 11:35-39
16Instead of hearing news about wars, disasters, and death, Jehovah's servants will receive wonderful reports of the resurrection. It will be exciting to learn about the return of such faithful men and women as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Job, Moses, Rahab, Ruth, David, Elijah, Esther. What stirring historical facts they will present as they give background details of many Bible accounts! No doubt they and righteous ones who have died in more recent times will be just as eager to learn about the end of Satan's system and how Jehovah sanctified his holy name and vindicated his sovereignty.
17How helpful these faithful ones will be during the next phase of the resurrection, when billions of "the unrighteous" are released from the bonds of death! Most of mankind never had a chance to know Jehovah. Satan was 'blinding their minds.' (2 Corinthians 4:4) But the Devil's work will be undone. The unrighteous will come back to a beautiful and peaceful earth. They will be welcomed by a people well organized to teach them about Jehovah and his reigning Son, Jesus Christ. As billions of resurrected ones come to know and love their Creator, the knowledge of Jehovah will fill the earth in an unprecedented way. . . .
--KNOWLEDGE book, pages 185-186, par. 15-17
Typically, Watchtower writing supplies ample references to uncited scriptures, inferring that what is said is firmly based on the Bible. Let us consider a couple of the references from the above text quoted out of the KNOWLEDGE book.

Matthew 23:15 and 33 (reference to verify that willful sinners will not be among those "unrighteous" resurrected during the Millennium):

15"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you traverse sea and dry land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one you make him a subject for Gehen'na twice as much so as yourselves. ... 33"Serpents, offspring of vipers, how are you to flee from the judgment of Gehen'na?--Matt.23:15,33 NWT
As is not infrequently the case, the verse has no relevance to the point made in the book. (However, perhaps Jehovah's Witnesses should give closer consideration to this scripture for other implications.)

Acts 24:15 (reference to support resurrection of two groups, "the righteous and the unrighteous"):

and I have hope toward God, which hope these [men] themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.--Acts 24:15
To keep this verse in context, let us include reading verse 16:
In this respect, indeed, I am exercising myself continually to have a consciousness of committing no offense against God and men.--Acts 24:16
Contrary to the Watchtower's concept, Paul was diligent to "exercise continually" so as not to be among those resurrected "unrighteous."

You might wonder how all of this can reconcile with what Christianity has termed "Judgment Day" throughout the centuries, based on Revelation 20:12 and 13? Well, the Watchtower Society has determined that "Judgment Day" is not after the thousand years; it is the thousand years. "Judgment Day," according to Jehovah's Witnesses, takes place throughout the thousand years before a final test at the end of the thousand years. From a strictly biblical standpoint, their dogma about a millenial "Judgment Day" is no less remarkable than their concept of a millenial Paradise. Let us consider:

Judgment Day

And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds. And the sea gave up those dead in it, and death and Ha'des gave up those dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds.--Rev. 20:12,13

The literal term "Judgment Day" appears only once in the New World Translation of the Bible, at Matthew 10:15:

Wherever anyone does not take you in or listen to your words, on going out of that house or that city shake the dust off your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more endurable for the land of Sod'om and Gomor'rah on Judgment Day than for that city.--Matt.10:14,15
Do Jesus' words here indicate "Judgment Day" is a blessed time for the "unrighteous"? Yet Jehovah's Witnesses assert that "Judgment Day" for the "unrighteous" is a time of blessing--throughout the Millennium, not for judgment afterward. Contrary to above quoted verses, the Live Forever book, in the twenty-first chapter titled "Judgment Day and Afterward" (page 175), boldly asserts:
1What picture does Judgment Day call to your mind? Some imagine a great throne, and in front of it a long line of persons who have been resurrected from the dead....
2The Bible, however, gives a much different picture of Judgment Day...
But what does the verse say?: And I [John] saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and the scrolls were opened....
Continuing on in the Live Forever book (note the rationalizing about scripture):
...It is not a day to be dreaded or feared. Note what the Bible says of God: "He has set a day in which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed." (Acts 17:31) This judge appointed by God is, of course, Jesus Christ...
3We can be sure that Christ will be fair and just in his judgment. A prophecy regarding him at Isaiah 11:3,4 assures us of this. So, contrary to popular opinion, he will not judge persons on the basis of their past sins, many of which may have been committed in ignorance. The Bible explains that at death a person is set free or released from any sins he has committed. It says: "He who has died has been acquitted from [his] sin." (Romans 6:7*) This means that when a person is resurrected he will be judged on the basis of what he does during Judgment Day, not on what he did before he died.[italics in original]
[But the verse says: ... And the dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds."] _________________
[*Note: Romans 6:7 in other translations is rendered: "for he who has died is freed from sin" (NAS), or something very similar, presumably meaning dead men no longer sin.]

See further the illustrations on pages 176-177:
"Look on these pages. They give some idea of how wonderful Judgment Day will be for humankind."
--page 176, paragraph 5.)
Indeed, but the scriptures cited do not support the concept.
[Referenced illustration]
It must be clearly understood here that the Watchtower teaching does not extend this "acquittal" to people who are killed in the battle of Armageddon. Only the billions who have died prior to Armageddon may have a resurrection during the thousand-year "Judgment Day" for a second-life opportunity to prove loyal to Jehovah. Those "unrighteous" whom God deems worthy of that resurrection, for the purpose of being retested "during Judgment Day," will get their "fair and just" test for life in Paradise under the righteous reign of Jesus Christ and the saints (with the advantage of extended life and not having Satan and hordes of demons around to tempt and mislead).

What would life be like on earth in God's promised new world? (2 Peter 3:13) We need not speculate, for the Bible tells us, and what it says is thrilling. We learn that Satan and his demons will be put out of commission, locked away in an abyss of inactivity during the Thousand Year Reign of Jesus Christ. No longer will those wicked, malicious creatures be lurking behind the scenes, fomenting trouble and trying to goad us into acts of unfaithfulness against God. What a relief!
KNOWLEDGE book, page 183, par.7
Would it not seem that "unrighteous" persons who would be tested in Paradise--who have experienced the miricle of a resurrection, who have no pain, no sorrow, no Satan around for evil temptation, no sexual orientation, growing younger and healthier--would be more disposed to right worship and passing the final test of faith than those who endured the "great tribulation" of the "wicked system" before Armageddon? How is this deemed fair?

Reading again in the KNOWLEDGE book, on page 187:

PERFECTION AT LAST!
19Throughout the Millennium, a wonderful miracle will be taking place. For mankind, it will be perhaps the most thrilling aspect of Christ's Thousand Year Reign. Jehovah will direct his Son to apply the benefits of the ransom sacrifice to each and every faithful and obedient man and woman. By that means, all sin will be removed and mankind will be raised to perfection.--1 John 2:2; Revelation 21:1-4....

And finally, at the end of the thousand years, perfected mankind in a perfect new earth will face a final test. An undetermined number of selfish perfect people (like Adam and Eve) will fail to remain faithful to Jehovah and will be annihilated with Satan and the demons:
21Perfect humans will face one final test. At the end of the Millenium, Satan and his demons will be released from the abyss for a short time and will be permitted to make a final effort to turn people away from Jehovah. Some will put wrong desires above love of God, but this rebellion will be cut short. Jehovah will execute these selfish ones along with Satan and all his demons. All wrongdoers will then be gone forever.--Revelation 20:7-10.
KNOWLEDGE book, pg.187, par.19 and 21
Summary
Jehovah's Witnesses assert the following order of prophetic events, as opposed to the events and their relative sequence in Revelation, particular in chapter 20.

Order of events according to the Watchtower Order of the events in Revelation
  1. Jesus Christ (Michael the archangel) returned invisibly in A.D. 1914 and cast Satan and his demons out of heaven. He was crowned King and established the long-awaited kingdom of God prophesied at Matthew 24:14. Thus began the "last generation" before Armageddon.
    (See Revelation Climax book, (1988) pg.188, par.16
    Watchtower, May 1, 1994, pg.21, par.2)
    Proclaimers book (1993) pg.716, top paragraph)
  2. Resurrection of the 144,000 saints began in A.D. 1918, except for a "remnant" remaining on earth to direct the "preaching work" of Jehovah's Witnesses through Armageddon.
    (Revelation Climax book, pg.103, par.12; and pg. 277, par.17)
  3. C.T. Russell's religious movement, under the leadership of J.F. Rutherford (forerunners of Jehovah's Witnesses) chosen as the "faithful and discreet slave" (Matt.24:45) in 1919 to bear his "good news" of the newly-established kingdom of God to the world.
    (Revelation Climax book, pg.63, par.18)
    Fall of "Babylon the Great" (Rev.18; Revelation Climax book, page 260, par.6)
    (Note: Russell died in 1916, never having believed nor taught that Christ returned in 1914. He believe Christ had returned in 1874.)
  4. The "great tribulation." All the religions of the world, except Jehovah's Witnesses, will be destroyed by the political nations (destruction of "Babylon the Great").
    (See KNOWLEDGE book, page 106, par.15)
  5. Before the 1914-generation ends, the long-prophesied Battle of Armageddon will destroy all people except faithful Jehovah's Witnesses.
    (Live Forever book, pg.154 par.8)
    (KNOWLEDGE book, pg.182, par.6)
  6. Satan will be cast into the abyss for a thousand years.
    KNOWLEDGE book, pg.183, par.7)
  7. The beginning of: 1) thousand-years rule by Christ and 144,000 resurrected corulers; 2) "Judgment Day"; and 3) clean-up of the "new earth".
    (KNOWLEDGE book, pg.88 par.19; pg.92 par.7; pg.185 par.13; Live Forever book chapter 21)
  8. First "phase" of resurrection, beginning with faithful worshippers of Jehovah who have died.
    (KNOWLEDGE book beginning on page 185, par.15)
  9. Scrolls adding to the present Bible will be opened (see Live Forever pg.181, par.17).
  10. People growing younger, healthier, no longer sick or dying.
    (Live Forever, pg.164, par.18)
  11. Resurrections of the worthy "unrighteous" who died prior to Armageddon.
    (KNOWLEDGE book, pg.186, par.17)
  12. By millennial end, the earth is cultivated back to the state of Eden, and the world and people will have become perfect. Natural death will be fully reversed. This ultimate undying condition is what the Watchtower contends Revelation 20:5 means by "the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended" (as opposed to being resurrected at that time; see Live Forever, page 181, par.18)
  13. After the "Judgment Day" Millennium, Jesus hands everything back to Jehovah for the final judgment. (Live Forever, page 182, par. 19)
  14. Before Jehovah judges, He will unleash Satan and the demons out of the abyss to tempt the nations of perfect people on earth before the final test. Many will fail the test of faith.
    (KNOWLEDGE book, pg.190, par.21)
  15. Then, the book of life will reveal the names of all the people judged worthy of everlasting life on earth.
    (Live Forever book, pg.182 par.20)
  16. LAST, in the perfect new earth, there will be a final global destruction to rid the earth of Satan, the demons, and all perfected selfish people (like Adam and Eve) who did not pass the test of faith in the post Judgment Day final test, whose names are therefore not written in the book of life. (Live Forever, page 182-183, par. 21
    KNOWLEDGE book pg.190 par.21)
    [Evidently this final destruction will not affect the paradise conditions of the perfect new earth.]
  1. Michael and his angels defeat Satan and the demons, casting them out of heaven down to the earth. (Rev.12:8,9)
  2. Fall of Babylon the Great (Rev.18)
  3. An angel binds Satan and hurls him into an abyss for a thousand years. (Rev.20:1,2)
  4. The "first resurrection" (those who will rule with Christ for the thousand years). (Rev.20:4,5)
  5. Satan loosed after the end of the thousand years to gather the nations for "the war." (Rev.20:7-9)
  6. Satan hurled into lake of fire with wild beast and false prophet. (Rev.20:10)
  7. Resurrection of the "rest of the dead." Scrolls are opened, including the "scroll of life," for final judgment. (Rev.20:5,12,13)
  8. Death, Ha'des, and all those not written in the "scroll of life" destroyed. (Rev.20:14,15)
  9. LAST, John sees a "new heavens and a new earth" and New Jerusalem descending from heaven to earth. God will dwell with men and their tears, outcry, pain and death will be no more. God then makes all things new. (Rev.21:1-5)

Conclusion
Although the Watchtower Society frequently cites scriptures in Revelation chapter 20 to support their particular doctrine of the new earth, the events and their sequence cannot be reconciled with that prophetic chapter. Nowhere does the Bible lend support for their elaborate teaching of paradise and resurrections "in phases" during the thousand years, nor of resurrection of the "unrighteous" during that time for the purpose of a second opportunity to be tested. The whole paradigm of paradise on earth occurring during the Millennium is without scriptural premise, including the following tenets:

And as it is reserved for men to die once for all time, but after this a judgment, so also the Christ was offered once for all time to bear the sins of many; and the second time that he appears it will be apart from sin and to those earnestly looking for him for [their] salvation.--Heb.9:27,28 NWT

The only things said about the Millennium in the Bible are that Christ and the saints will reign in heaven, and that Satan will be confined in the abyss for that time. Nothing is stated about conditions on the earth. (Revelation chapter 20) The "new heavens and new earth" do not appear until after the end of the thousand years and after judgment. (Rev. 21:1) Kingdom rule does not come to the earth until New Jerusalem descends upon the earth after the Millenium and after judgment. (Rev. 21:2)

Witnesses ask, "if Paradise is not restored to earth during the thousand years, who do Christ and the 144,000 rule over?" As they believe the Kingdom was established in 1914 and the 144,000 have been undergoing resurrection since 1919 (in phases, as they die), one might respond with the question: over whom are they supposed to have been ruling since 1919? According to the KNOWLEDGE book, page 99, paragraph 3, "God's Kingdom has begun ruling, ... 'in the midst of his enemies.' Is the time between 1919 and Armageddon part of the thousand years? If not, where is the scripture to support that some of the 144,000 are with Christ in heaven prior to, or for more than, the thousand years? How may it then be said that a literal 144,000 rule with Christ for a literal 1,000 years?

Regardless of their reasoning, the Bible, in Revelation 20, says explicitly that resurrection, judgment and the "new heavens and new earth" occur after the end of the thousand years.

Witnesses may claim validity for the Watchtower's millennial paradise on the basis that Revelation events are not always chronological, which is true. However, this does not apply for the episode of chapter 20. To view it otherwise requires elaborate imbellishments for certain texts (such as "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended) to conclude the Watchtower's new-earth premise.

Finally, it is interesting to consider one more quote from the Watchtower Society's book, You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth. On page 32-33, paragraphs 19 and 20, it says:

There cannot be two sets of truth when one does not agree with the other. One or the other is true, but not both. Sincerely believing something, and practicing that belief, will not make it right if it really is wrong. 20How should you feel if proof is given that what you believe is wrong? For example, say that you were in a car, traveling for the first time to a certain place. You have a road map, but you have not taken time to check it carefully. Someone has told you the road to take. You trust him, sincerely believing that the way he has directed you is correct. But suppose it is not. What if someone points out the error? What if he, by referring to your own map, shows that you are on the wrong road? Would pride or stubborness prevent you from admitting that you are on the wrong road? Well, then, if you learn from an examination of your Bible that you are traveling a wrong religious road, be willing to change. Avoid the broad road to destruction; get on the narrow road to life!

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