We have great pleasure in publishing the speech "Can You Live Forever in Happiness on Earth?" delivered by the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society on Sunday, August 6, 1950, at the public meeting of the Theocracy's Increase Assembly of Jehovah's witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York city. It was also broadcast over WBBR and carried by private telephone line to the trailer encampment of this international convention. The total visible audience was 123,707.
Whether you have heard this speech direct at the stadium or by radio or by wire, you will read this copy of the speech with immense profit and pleasure. You will want to follow up your reading by further literature enlarging upon the subject. So we refer you to the ads on the final pages for information. -THE PUBLISHERS
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc.
International Bible Students Association
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Made in the United States of America
Can You Live Forever in Happiness on Earth?
COULD you live happily on an earth so peaceful and secure that there was never any need of military preparedness to forestall or meet the threat of war? Could you live happily on an earth on which human society was not kept in a constant friction by racial divisions, by international boundaries, jealousies, rivalries and hatreds, by commercial monopolies and selfish competition, or by religious prejudices, crusades, inquisitions, bigotry, intolerance and conflict? An earth on which no great natural disasters occurred, like devastating storms, floods, conflagrations, famines, insect plagues, pestilences and earthquakes? An earth on which you and your fellow creatures enjoyed complete health and permanent youthful beauty and vigor and where never a hospital or graveyard marred the grandeur of a perfectly cultivated land? An earth over which no one acted like the Devil with a pack of malicious demons? An earth filled with the knowledge of a God whom you could love and worship intelligently and who loved you? An earth fully under the government of this God, with his law enforced and justice rendered to all impartially and with righteousness carried on by all inhabitants in the love of God and of their fellow man?
Any normal person ought reasonably to he able to answer Yes! But from our questions please do not think that we are describing an impossible condition for an earth which has been the scene of human woe for about six thousand years. Not at all! Our questions to you are founded on a Book that plainly tell! how human woe invaded the earth and how it will be fully removed with the permanent establishment of the conditions we just described. That wonderful Book has the greatest circulation in the world, having passed the mark of three billion copies and in more than 1,118 languages and dialects to date. Do you know that Book? It is the Bible, and its contents and also its history offer us incontrovertible proof that it is Almighty God's gift of knowledge to groping, suffering mankind. We therefore accept it as authoritative on what it has to say regarding the happy destiny that God the Creator has fixed for obedient people of good will. We must follow what it has to say on how we may enter into that happy destiny. Only by this course can all of us come to a meeting of our minds in common agreement.
You are acquainted with the dire situation all over the earth today. It is more than a challenge to human leaders and governments to do something about it. It is rather a challenge to Almighty God, the Possessor of heaven and earth. The more so is this the case as we see all human efforts to meet the needs of the situation continue to fail, and the lot of the people grows more perilous. The present state of the world merely emphasizes what all human history shows for the past four thousand years, the impossibility of nations filled with the spirit of this world to get along together.
The advancement of modern science has not improved matters, but has increased the menace. The great educational systems, yes," even the hundreds of religious systems of Christendom, have not changed the self-seeking spirit of mankind. They have not filled men to overflowing with love that seeks to do good, not harm, to one's neighbor.
It is self-evident that conditions among mankind must change if you are to escape death and live forever in happiness on earth. That means they must change for the better everywhere on this globe. It must be a world change, and it must occur quite soon if it is to overtake you. Despite the lesson that all human history has taught thus far, the rulers who try to keep in power and favor with the people continue to make political promises. They tell the distressed people that they will create global organizations and create a new world by human hands, a finer world of tomorrow. But such political saviors of mankind ought to know they are deceiving the people with promises which are impossible for man to fulfill. Man's un-broken string of failures in the past builds up in us no confidence in man's ability to succeed in the future, even if we have moved into the electronic age.
The only one who can bring about a world change for the better is the Creator, who put man upon this earth. He has not laid upon man the responsibility to bring about the needed world change. He discourages us from depending upon worldly rulers to establish a righteous government with lasting peace and prosperity. He shows us that the way to endless happiness lies in looking to him and depending upon him to make conditions on earth perfectly right for all mankind.
Here are his words to us as contained in the 146th Psalm of the Bible. It is a prophetic psalm meant for us in this day, and we are quoting it according to the American Standard Version of the Bible:
"Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in Jehovah his God: who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is; who keepeth truth for ever; who executeth justice for the oppressed; who giveth food to the hungry. Jehovah looseth the prisoners; Jehovah openeth the eyes of the blind; Jehovah raiseth up them that are bowed down; Jehovah loveth the righteous; Jehovah preserveth the sojourners; he upholdeth the fatherless and widow; but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. Jehovah will reign for ever." -Psalm 146:3-10, Am. Stan. Ver.
THE ONLY HOPE
Note all those things which Jehovah God does, but which human rulers have failed to do. It is no secret that all men of affairs in the world are sick men, doctoring themselves and seeking to maintain some degree of health in one way or another. They are all mortal. Eventually they breathe out in death. They are laid in the earth to turn to dust. Their brains rot and their thoughts perish with them, and they leave you behind to struggle along with your unsolved problems. Those political leaders and princes promised to help you and create a new world, but who now will help THEM? The worldly governments of which they were once a part cannot Electronic science
cannot. The religious systems cannot. You cannot. All mankind together cannot. Unless Jehovah God, who "made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is", does something for those dead politicians and leaders by a resurrection from the dead, they have perished forever. If during their brief existence they have fought against Jehovah God and his good purpose, the future outlook for them is very serious. That is why that same 146th Psalm says: "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in Jehovah his God." -Verse 5, Am. Stan. Ver.
This "God of Jacob" turned the patriarch Jacob's name to "Israel", so that he became the father of the Israelites. God said to him: "I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: ... in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 28:13, 14, Am. Stan. Ver.) Thus this God of Jacob declared that he had an interest in all the families of the earth and that his unchangeable purpose was to bring them a lasting blessing, whether alive or dead. So you can really be happy if you have this God of Jacob for your help and have your hope in him, for He alone, and not the dying worldly princes, can help you.
The Psalm says that this God Jehovah turns the way of the wicked ones upside down, completely reversing matters for the good of the righteous ones, and that He will reign forever. He will be an eternal King over mankind, and he will reign through the agency of that Seed in whom all the families of the earth will be blessed. Who is that Seed of blessing? It is God's own beloved Son Jesus Christ, who came to earth nineteen centuries ago and became an Israelite, a natural
descendant of Jacob. (Galatians 3:8,16) God anointed Jesus with power to be the King of a new world for man. For Jesus' faithfulness on earth till death like a cursed criminal the Almighty God highly exalted him, raising him from the dead and seating him at His own right hand in the heavens. Whereas the great blessing for mankind must originate with Jehovah God, every family on earth of whatever nationality has to get it through the one channel, the Seed, who is Jesus Christ now invested with all the needed power in heaven and in earth.
Blessing has already come to men through Jesus Christ. The ones blessed have been his true followers, and not mere imitation Christians. That explains why Christendom with her hundreds of religious sects and her hundreds of millions of religious adherents today is not blessed. She has long professed to be the realm of Christianity. Now she is reaping what she has, sown over the past sixteen centuries since Emperor Constantine's day. The crop of communists and Bible illiterates and lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God which she has reaped proves she has reached her last days. The mental, moral, social and religious state of her inhabitants agrees with the prophecy of the apostle Paul, who described conditions certain to prevail at the end of this world. We quote his words according to the New World Translation of the Scriptures, which reads:
"Know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, without gratitude, with no loving-kindness, having no natural affection, not open
to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with self-esteem, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away." -2 Timothy 3:1-5, NW.
The true followers of Jesus Christ have obeyed and turned away from such religious hypocrisy. They are the ones who have received the blessing from the promised Seed, and that blessing has opened to them the way to heaven to a place with the glorified Jesus Christ in the kingdom of God. If Christendom has been the realm and organization of Christianity and has been a demonstration of what it can accomplish, then Christianity has failed. But, thank God, whereas Christendom has failed, the true Christianity does not fail, for it produces the faithful followers of Christ in the number God foreordained. They gain the heavenly kingdom and will rule with Jesus Christ in the kingdom of God for the blessing of all the families of the earth. That kingdom is now at hand!
Human happiness for eternity is dependent entirely upon the kingdom of God, and not upon the political, commercial and religious rulers of Christendom. Hence never fear. The disaster which Christendom faces will not wreck all hope for mankind's everlasting happiness on earth. To the contrary, it will clear the earth of a great religious masquerade which has misrepresented and reproached the true God and his Christ. It will open a clear way for all men of good will to unite in worship of God, with all the benefits that this will mean to them spiritually and materially. The earth will be dominated no further by political and religious powers who claim to rule by the
grace of God and in the stead of Christ. No; but we shall have the direct kingdom of God with Jesus Christ himself wielding the scepter of power for the righteous government of all mankind for whom he died on the torture stake at Calvary. Under the rulers of Christendom as well as rulers of heathendom all humanity has continued to suffer until they have been brought face to face with the present dreary outlook for this world. All human self-help is inadequate. But under God's kingdom which comes to our rescue obedient mankind will enjoy the happy destiny for which this earth was created and they were put upon it.
HUMAN DESTINY FIXED
Man's eternal destiny was fixed by the Creator at the beginning of our race. This is what makes it certain you will be privileged to live forever in happiness on earth. The apostle Paul once addressed the pagan philosophers at the Grecian city of Athens and said: "The God that made the world and all the things in it ... made out of one man every nation of men, to dwell upon the entire surface of the earth, and he decreed the appointed seasons and the set limits of the dwelling of men, for them to seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us. For by him we have life and move and exist." (Acts 17:24-28, NW) The "one man" out of whom God made every nation that has existed till now was the first man, Adam, and all the efforts of so-called "scientists" who follow the theory of human evolution have been unable to disprove that. Says the apostle further: "The first man is out of the earth and
made of dust." (1 Corinthians 15:47, NW) From the man God created a wife for him, bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. Thus he created them male and female. Why did God do that? In order that they might fulfill the divine purpose respecting the earth of which they were a part, that is, to populate it with a race that was at unity, all of one flesh and blood and able to love and help one another as brothers and sisters.
To quote God's own words on his purpose respecting our globe: "Thus saith Jehovah that created the heavens, the God that formed the earth and made it, that established it and created it not a waste, that formed it to be inhabited." (Isaiah 45:18, Am. Stan. Ver.) In harmony with his purpose in forming the earth God blessed the first man and woman and gave them a mandate. The creation account tells us: "Male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Genesis 1:27,28) In this way the Creator gave mankind a blessed beginning, and he meant that their blessedness on earth should last forever.
But was it possible for mankind to live in happiness on earth forever? Yes; because they had a perfect start and a perfect opportunity. After finishing his work on the sixth day by the creation of man and woman, God pronounced his work good. That signified that the man and woman were perfect in health, mind and body. Only a perfect work would be a credit to the Creator Jehovah God. "His work is perfect," the prophet Moses
tells us at Deuteronomy 32:4. God created them mentally and morally in his image and likeness. So their happiness would be complete only by worshiping the God in whose image and likeness they were made. The image must worship that which it reflects. The intelligent creature must worship the Creator. That is an inescapable rule for eternal happiness. The psalmist exclaims: "O the happiness of those perfect in the way, they are walking in the law of Jehovah, O the happiness of those keeping His testimonies, with the whole heart they seek Him. Yea, they have not done iniquity, in His ways they have walked." -Psalm 119:1-3, Young.
Think of the happiness that Adam and Eve had before them in bringing forth children of perfection and peopling the earth with them. Eve's conception and bearing of them would not be in sorrow and pain, but with the unmixed joy of being fruitful. With these children and for the sake of these children they were to subdue the entire earth, but not by warring against the lower animals over whom they were to exercise dominion, and not by fighting one another and killing one another for the conquest of territory and for grabbing its rich natural resources. It was to be a subduing of the earth by making it suitable for a permanent home for mankind, in which men would be at peace with themselves and with the lower animals.
It was a happy home that God gave mankind to start with. He did not put them in a thorny, thistly patch of ground with a soil that required the sweat of the brow to cultivate and make productive and then say: "Now you go ahead and subdue the earth." He gave them a prepared
home, putting them in the garden of Eden, and that name "Eden" means "pleasure". The Roman Catholic Douay translation of the Bible says: "And the Lord God took man, and put him into the paradise of pleasure, to dress it, and to keep it. And he commanded him, saying: Of every tree of paradise thou shalt eat: but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death." (Genesis 2:15-17, Douay) Could any perfect man and woman be happy in such a paradise, surrounded by beloved perfect sons and daughters, all engaged in pleasant garden work and with all the lower animals in subjection in a harmless state? Let the natural impulses of your own human heart answer that question.
As Adam and Eve's perfect offspring increased in number, the garden of Eden or paradise of pleasure would need to be enlarged. This would be done by the peaceful activities of all living humankind until all the earth had been brought to the same perfect state of cultivation which glorified the original garden of Eden. The entire earth subdued would mean a global paradise. With that paradise state of the entire earth attained and all the earth filled with a perfect human race living together in peace and happiness and worshiping their Creator and Blesser, then what? Would that be a world too material for them to live in forever? Would they then all be taken to heaven to a spiritual realm, an immaterial world? Was that God's ultimate destiny for man? Not at all! But the perfect human race would remain right on earth in their paradise of pleasure, eating of its life-sustaining fruits, and dressing and keeping it
and enjoying it, all to the glory of their Creator. Would that be an "absurd eternity"? A clergyman of the largest religious system in Christendom has called it that. But do you think so? Why, that would be man's natural place in the universe. The Creator has appointed such an earthly paradise as the everlasting destiny of the human race, and He cannot be accused of absurdity.
God extended no promise to Adam and Eve of transporting them to heaven to become angels if they continued faithful to God for a time on earth as a proving ground. The fact is that in all the inspired Scriptures from Moses' writings down to the last Hebrew prophet Malachi before Jesus Christ, there were no promises of heaven held out to mankind. Neither did any man go to heaven. More than four thousand years after Adam's creation, the Son of God came down from heaven to bear witness for Jehovah God and to sacrifice his human life as a ransom for our race, and he said to the Jewish ruler: "How shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man." (John 3:12,13) By Jesus' return to heaven after the sacrifice of his perfect human life he became the forerunner who opened the way to a heavenly destiny for his faithful followers who would sacrifice all future earthly prospects the same as Jesus Christ their Master had done. Jesus spoke of only a "little flock" as being those to whom it was his heavenly Father's good pleasure to give the heavenly kingdom. Also in the last book of the Bible, Jesus, "The Lamb of God," reveals that only 144,000 followers who follow him faithfully wherever he goes will stand victorious with him on the heavenly
Mount Zion, only this number being "purchased from among mankind as a firstfruits to God and to the Lamb". (Revelation 14:1-4; 7:1-8, NW; Luke 12:32) All the rest of mankind who take advantage of salvation to everlasting life through Jesus' sacrifice will remain on earth as the after-fruits of God's mercy.
Adam and Eve were under no obligation or appointment to die, and they were not destined by God to bring imperfect, deformed, diseased, dying children into this earth. God put Adam definitely on notice that only if he ate of the "tree of knowledge of good and evil" which God pointed out to him as forbidden would he die. If Adam and Eve had kept on obeying the divine law perfectly for all eternity they would never have died but would enjoy the paradise of pleasure on earth forever. We challenge anyone to show where the Holy Bible says anything to the contrary of this. It was only after Eve and Adam broke the divine law under inducement by the adversary that God appointed man to die, because now man had become a sinner. "The wages of sin is death." And because Adam sinned before fathering the human family, all of us were born imperfect and sinners and hence condemned and appointed to death. (Romans 6:23; 5:12; Hebrews 9:27,28) So our first parents were driven out of the earthly paradise of pleasure to die outside with their future offspring. Even in the cursed earth outside of paradise Adam, after begetting many sons and daughters, lived to a total age of 930 years. So remarkable was his vitality, he having been once a perfect man, that he lived almost a thousand years as a sinner on cursed ground. (Genesis 5:1-5) Think of what Adam could have accomplished in fulfilling the
divine mandate if he had not sinned but had remained all those years inside Paradise!
HUMAN DESTINY UNCHANGED
Now we ask, Did Jehovah God change the destiny of the earth and of mankind on it after Adam had started off the human race in sin and death? By no means! If God had changed the destiny of earth and mankind, it would have been to admit defeat as to accomplishing the original purpose for which he had created earth and put perfect man upon it. His purpose was to have a paradise earth filled with sinless humans in His image and likeness to live there forever in happiness. That original purpose still stands. God will yet crown it with success in full vindication of his wisdom, justice, love and power. The only new thing that God now introduced was his decision to vindicate his unchanged purpose by means of a new government over the earth. This is the kingdom of his beloved faithful Son, the Seed whom he declared he would bring forth from his heavenly organization, his "woman", the mother organization. In the distant future, at the critical time in human history, yes, when mankind had reached their direst extremity, he would establish his Son's government and proceed to make all earth a paradise and fill it with obedient men and women brought to human perfection.
In the meantime God would let the great adversary who had now challenged God's law and universal sovereignty have ample time to go to the limit in trying to block God's Kingdom purpose and to interfere with the everlasting happiness of God's creatures. God declared he would let this adversary, Satan, who had used the serpent to
mislead Eve into sin, go to the extent of even murdering the Son of God when he came down to earth and thus trying to crush the promised kingdom of God. Yes, Satan could also persecute and try to destroy spiritually all those who became followers of God's Son and whom God called to be joint heirs with the Son in his heavenly kingdom. This explains why God Almighty has permitted the reign of wickedness on earth during these six thousand years. This is what God meant when, in passing the sentence of eventual destruction upon that old Serpent, Satan, he declared: "I will put enmity Between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:15) The bruising of the head of Satan the Serpent means the destruction of him and of all his wicked seed. It means the complete foiling of his evil design against God's kingdom and therefore the carrying out fully of God's purpose for the earth by means of his kingdom.
According to the Bible account, mankind witnessed nineteen hundred years ago the bruising done by Satan the Serpent upon the heel of the Seed of God's "woman" or heavenly organization. That was when Jesus Christ was put to death on the torture stake outside the walls of Jerusalem. He died there for his faithfulness to God's Kingdom cause, refusing to compromise with Satan the Devil and become a politician and accept the offer to become the ruler of Satan's world and a worshiper of Satan. Jesus held true to Jehovah's universal sovereignty. During the several years of his public work in Palestine he persistently preached God's kingdom and showed his followers their opportunity of reigning with him in that
heavenly government. It was only after man had sinned in Eden and after God had determined to establish this kingdom for mankind's blessing that God opened the way for the "little flock" of his Son's followers to go to heaven to reign with him there for mankind's deliverance. The destiny of these few alone has been made heavenly because of their sacrifice with Christ. But the destiny of all others of mankind who become the subjects of God's kingdom remains earthly. The followers of Christ the Seed share in being bruised with him to the death. The seed of the Serpent Satan are the ones who do the bruising, and woe to any persons who become bruisers! Almighty God healed the bruise upon the heel of his Seed of the "woman" by raising him from the dead and exalting him to the highest place in the universe next to himself. He also heals the bruising of the followers of Christ by resurrecting them out of death to spirit life in heaven to reign with Christ. -2 Timothy 2:11,12.
WORLD CHANGE AT HAND
Now the tables have been turned! The time has now come for the bruiser, Satan the Devil, "to have his head bruised under the heel of the Seed of God's "woman". That signifies that the kingdom of God by Christ has been established in the heavens. The Bible time-schedule for God's purpose establishes the year 1914 as the date for that event of universal importance. Since that event was heavenly and hence invisible to human eyes, do you ask for the visible proof? Then look at the turning of the world system of things upside down since A.D. 1914. It has never been restored to normalcy, and all signs and Bible prophecies point
unerringly to absolutely the worst for it. Look back at the first world war which marked that epochal year of 1914. Mark how it has been followed by a train of human woes and calamities in unbroken sequence till now, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, the persecution of Christ's internationally hated followers, the distress of nations with increasing perplexity and rising fears for the future, the roaring of the sea of discontented, resentful humanity with waves of Nazism, Fascism, and godless Communism which dash menacingly against the old system of things.
All this is not just another transitional upheaval of human society such as occurred on a smaller scale in bygone centuries and which worldly society weathered. Why not? Because this period of woe, in its fourth decade now, is timed. These sorrows, which are spoiling all of worldly society's happiness, were foretold by Jesus Christ as the sign of his presence in the kingdom of God and as the sign that the old system of things had come to its "time of the end". In 1914 the Times of the Gentile Nations ended, after 2,520 years of uninterrupted continuance. Those Gentile times began with the overturning of the miniature kingdom of God at Jerusalem in 607 B.C. by Babylon's armies. Now those Gentile times end with the establishment of God's kingdom, not on earth at the site of old Jerusalem, but in the heavens at the capital, the New Jerusalem, with the enthronement of the great Son of King David, Jesus Christ -Luke 21:24-26; Ezekiel 21:27; Matthew 24:3-22.
The last book of the Bible is the Revelation. It shows that God's establishment of the Kingdom in heaven in 1914 was resisted by Satan the
Dragon, but without success. War in heaven broke out and ran concurrently with world war here on earth. Satan the Devil and his demons were defeated by the new heavenly King and his angels and were cast down en masse to the vicinity of our earth. This has infuriated Satan the Devil. He knows that now his time is short, and so he brings great woes upon earth and sea to wreck all human happiness. He, too, is the one that instigates the persecution of all the witnesses of Jehovah God and he wars against them for their destruction. By his demons he spreads propaganda contrary to the established kingdom of God, and moves the world rulers to action for their own world domination in defiance of God's King and kingdom. He is driving all the worldly rulers and their hosts of supporters irresistibly on to the battleground of Armageddon. The tramp, tramp, tramp of the marching hosts has been heard for years now. The pace seems being speeded up to double-quick time, and soon the line of battle engagement will be reached. Jesus Christ is no longer on earth in the flesh to die unresistingly as a sacrifice. No! Now he is on his heavenly throne with the rod of iron in his hand. This time when his enemies come out against him and his disciples it will be different. This time he will fight! Jehovah God at his right hand will support him in the fight. With overwhelming power he will crush the head of the great Serpent and all his wicked seed both in the invisible realm and on the earth. That "battle of the great day of God Almighty" will effect the complete destruction of Satan's world with its evil heavens and earth. -Revelation 12:1 to 20:3; Psalm 110:4-6.
The apostle Peter describes the coming of that great day of Jehovah's battle against Satan's world in these words: "By the same word the heavens and the earth that are now are stored up for fire and are being reserved to the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly men. Jehovah is not slow respecting his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. Yet Jehovah's day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a hissing noise, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be discovered." (2 Peter 3:7,9,10, NW) This will be a destruction which the Almighty God, the Creator, will bring about, and not military men with their atomic and hydrogen bombs and rockets and chemical warfare.
Some will now ask, How will this destruction of heaven and earth by fire leave any possibility for me to live forever in happiness on earth? How? Well, because it will not be the literal earth that will be destroyed by a literal fire, any more than it will be the literal heavens above us that will be thus destroyed. True, just before these verses, the apostle Peter did mention the flood waters of Noah's day and say: "By those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water." (2 Peter 3:5,6, NW) But in prophesying on the end of this world Jesus Christ told Peter: "Just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as people were in those days before the flood, eating
and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be." (Mark 13:3,4; Matthew 24:37-39, NW) It is important here to note that in Noah's day it was not our literal earth nor the starry heavens above that were destroyed. It was the world or heavenly and terrestrial organization that Satan the Devil had built up that was destroyed, so that after the flood he had to build up a new organization of wickedness, which has continued to this day.
If religious clergymen contend that it is this literal earth that will be destroyed, they must consistently agree that then the literal heavens must also be destroyed. But is either of such religious arguments Scriptural? No! Jesus said: "Do not swear at all, neither by heaven, because it is God's throne; nor by earth, because it is the footstool of his feet." He quoted from Isaiah 66:1, where we read: "Thus saith Jehovah, Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool." (Am. Stan. Ver.) The starry universe that man has been able to view with the most powerful telescope is a billion light-years across. Will the great Creator destroy all his billions of years of creation in the brief battle of Armageddon, just because a few billion human sinners exist down here on our tiny earth? If Jehovah God is to reign forever and ever, will he destroy his own throne and footstool, the literal heavens and earth?
Moreover, the King Jesus Christ reigns from God's throne and has cast Satan and his demons out of heaven and now has them under his feet,
down at his footstool the earth. Will he destroy the literal earth in order to destroy the sinners confined there? To get rid of rats in a house is it necessary to burn down the whole house? Jesus Christ did not have to destroy the heavens in order to clear them of the Devil and his demons. He simply cast them out arid down to the earth. And now why does he have to destroy the earth his footstool in order to destroy all his enemies held here under his feet? If he did so, how would his own prayer that he taught us be answered? He taught us to pray: "Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will come to pass, as in heaven, also upon earth." (Matthew 6:9,10, NW) We now know what God's will is concerning our literal earth. God stated to Adam and Eve that his will is for this earth to be peopled with a perfect human race in a paradise made earth-wide. And that is God's will which His kingdom comes into power to bring to pass upon earth. That fulfillment of his original will concerning the earth bars any destruction of God's good and beautiful handiwork, the earth, man's native home and eternal habitat.
It was Satan's antediluvian world that was destroyed in the flood of Noah's day, whereas the literal heavens and earth remained. It will be Satan's present world, his organization of demons and of wicked men, his heavens and earth, that will be utterly wiped out as by fire. That will be the end of this world, but it will leave the literal heavens and earth which God created remaining for his glory and purpose. In the sermon on the mount Jesus quoted from Psalm 37, which says, "The meek shall inherit the land, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." Besides
telling of the destiny of the meek, this psalm tells what will happen to the wicked at this end of the world, saying: "Evil-doers shall be cut off; but those that wait for Jehovah, they shall inherit the land. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and he shall not be. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of Jehovah shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; in smoke shall they consume away." (Matthew 5:5; Psalm 37:9-11,20, Am. Stan. Ver.) Also the Proverbs tell us: "The upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it. The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth." (Proverbs 2:21,22; 10:30) Those divine promises have never been fulfilled in completeness till now. They will all be carried out at this end of the world, leaving a cleansed earth for the meek, righteous and upright people of good will to inhabit forever. And in harmony with this the inspired writer said: "The earth abideth for ever." -Ecclesiastes 1:4.
THE NEW EARTH
There are many today who love God but who have not been begotten by his spirit to a heavenly inheritance in the Kingdom, but these should not be disturbed by the old religious traditions and misconceptions. Do not think the end of this world will wipe out the material universe and ruin all opportunity for an earthly paradise filled with human happiness. After the apostle Peter tells us of the "day of Jehovah, through which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved and the ele-
ments being intensely hot will melt", he adds these comforting words: "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 Peter 3:12,13, NW) These words describe a new world created by Almighty God, who says: "Behold, I make all things new." A great multitude of persons of good will who today live on earth have the possibility of surviving the battle of Armageddon into that righteous new world to live happily on earth forever after. Remember that when Noah and his family were carried through the flood which ended the antediluvian world, they did not go into the ark on earth and come out of it in heaven. They came out of the ark on the same earth, only an earth cleansed of the wicked. So Jesus said it would be in the days of his presence in his kingdom at the end of this world.
Certain religious critics have said that this is a "materialistic conception of eternal happiness" which appeals to only the ignorant. But if that is so, then was Peter materialistic when he said, not just, "we look for new heavens," to make everything spiritual and celestial, but, "we look for new heavens and a new earth"? Was the apostle John materialistic and describing a "silly heaven" when he received the revelation and wrote: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more"? Why did both Peter and John set before us a new earth, and also the prophet Isaiah give us Jehovah's promise of the "new earth" as well as the "new heavens"? (Catholic Douay Version of 2 Peter 3:13; Apocalypse 21:1; Isaias 65:17; 66:22) It is because Peter and John had hopes for
themselves of spiritual blessings in God's heavenly kingdom, but they did not begrudge material paradise blessings for obedient mankind on earth under God's kingdom. The kingdom of Jesus Christ together with his 144,000 glorified followers will constitute the new heavens of the new world, to replace the wicked present heavens of Satan and his demons who now exercise an invisible control over mankind and bring great woes upon them to drive them against God's kingdom by Christ. The "new earth" will be the new organization of , righteousness and peace which God's kingdom will put in operation among people of good will all over our terrestrial globe.
GAINING ENTRANCE INTO IT
After describing charmingly the peaceful conditions which will obtain in the coming "new earth" in which even a little child will lead animal creatures formerly dangerous to man, Isaiah's prophecy climaxes it, saying: "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah 11:1-9, Am. Stan. Ver.) Seeing that a new earth is before mankind, the question with many lovers of life and happiness is, How can I gain entrance into that new earth? What must I do now, while the opportunity is open to survive into it without needing to go down into the grave? God's Word does not leave that question of the hour without answer. You must recognize that Jehovah's anointed King, Jesus Christ, now rules in the heavens and will soon dash the nations of earth to pieces like potter's vessels struck with a rod of iron. You must therefore forsake the course of this old world and
seek his favor and proclaim his kingdom to others. That requirement applies, too, to any political rulers and judges who want to escape and survive, for to them it is written in stern words: "And now, O kings, act wisely, be instructed, O judges of earth, serve ye Jehovah with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Chosen One, lest he be angry, and ye lose the way, when His anger burneth but a little. O the happiness of all trusting in Him!" (Psalm2:8-12,Young) So get the vision of God's established kingdom and the approaching new world and keep God's law in harmony with that vision, for it is written: "Where there is no vision, the people break loose; but those who obey the law - happy are they!" -Proverbs 29:18, An American Translation.
Amid a world of increasing woes you can begin a happiness which will never end, by taking the course God's Word marks out for your salvation. Like the sheep in Jesus' parable of the sheep and goats, be considerate to the least of Christ's brethren who are to reign with him in the Kingdom. Do good to these who are poor in this world and hated and persecuted internationally. For a certainty this course leads to deliverance, for we read: "O the happiness of him who is acting wisely unto the poor, in a day of evil doth Jehovah deliver him. Jehovah doth preserve him and revive him, he is happy in the land, and Thou givest him not into the will of his enemies." (Psalm 41:1,2, Young) To guide you to preservation the inspired psalmist says further: "Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. For Jehovah loveth justice, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall
inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. Wait for Jehovah, and keep his way, and he will exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it." (Psalm 37:27-29, 34, Am. Stan. Ver.) But you yourself will not be cut off.
The apostle Peter once quoted from Psalm 34, and this is the part from which he quoted: "Taste ye and see that Jehovah is good, O the happiness of the man who trusteth in Him. . . . Who is the man that is desiring life? Loving days to see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking deceit. Turn aside from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of Jehovah are unto the righteous, and His ears unto their cry." -Psalm 34:8-15, Young; 1 Peter 3:10-12.
The whole tenor of the message from God's Word for this crucial day is that you acquaint yourself with Jehovah God and with his King of the new world, if you want to live forever and be happy. The Son of God, on the night before he died for your eternal happiness, said: "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, NW) So study your Bible. In many lands totalitarian governments are making it hard for the people to take in this life-giving knowledge, but let all lovers of life in the new world seize the opportunity to take in the Vital knowledge now while they can. In no other way may you hope to be protected and to survive when the day of divine anger breaks upon this world. To you goes the call from Zephaniah 2:2,3: "Before the fierce anger of Jehovah come upon you, before the day of Jehovah's anger come upon you. Seek ye Jehovah, all ye meek of
the earth, that have kept his ordinances; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye will be hid in the day of Jehovah's anger." -Am. Stan. Ver.
Some of you may now be aged and near a natural death. But whether you live long enough to survive the battle of Armageddon or whether you succumb before then to the death which you inherited from Adam, your now taking in knowledge of the only true God and his Christ is necessary for your everlasting life. Then even if you pass out of this life before Armageddon and are not permitted to see the extermination there of all the wicked and the glorious incoming of the new world, the King assures you that you will live again to see the new world with him in undisputed power over the earth. At the time that he raised his beloved friend Lazarus from the grave he said: "I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life, and everyone that is living and exercises faith in me will never die at all." (John 11:25,26,NW) What a wealth of hope those words of the King hold out for the dead in the graves!
Yes, but what a stirring hope those same words hold out for those who are hid in the day of Jehovah's anger and who live through into the world of new heavens and a new earth! "Everyone that is living and exercises faith in me will never die at all." If you survive into the new world, the King Jesus Christ will make good his own words to you. By avoiding Adam and Eve's example in Eden and by rendering Jehovah's King your unswerving faith and obedience, you will never die at all, but live forever in happiness on earth. The
King died as a ransom sacrifice in order to provide that for you. He reigns in his kingdom to give you this precious gift of life. He will give it to you in perpetual youth in the earthly paradise of pleasure which his government will renew on our earth. (Job 33:24,25) Not only that, but the King who is the resurrection and the life will call forth all the dead who are in the graves. He will set before the earthly dead the opportunity of endless happiness in the paradise earth on condition of their unbreakable allegiance to him. He made certain of that when he said to the friendly criminal who asked to be remembered when Jesus got into his kingdom: "Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise." -Luke 23:42,43, NW; John 5:28, 29.
It is here on earth that the death traceable to Adam's original sin has reigned and filled mankind's life with sorrow and grief. It is here on earth that Christ's kingdom of a thousand years will wipe out this monstrous enemy of mankind. The divine promise is positive to that effect, in these words: "For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. As the last enemy, death is to be destroyed." (1 Corinthians 15:25, 26, NW) Harmoniously with this, the apostle John, after beholding the establishment of the new earth, said: "God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more. The former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:3,4, NW) By the gift of everlasting life to loyal and obedient mankind and by the government which will rest upon his shoulder Jesus Christ the Son of Almighty God will prove to you that he is
"Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"; and "of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end". -Isaiah 9:6,7, Am. Stan. Ver.
Can you live forever in happiness on earth in a righteous new world under such a King? Countless men and women of good will are destined to do so, even from this generation. May you grasp the present opportunity to be one of them.