THE CHERISHED EARTHLY HOPE
The Reality of the Earthly Hope
Let’s look at the “assumed” earthly hope beginning from the day after “the war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Armageddon when all enemies of God have been crushed and Satan and his hordes have been temporarily imprisoned – based on the Society’s understanding of how the events would unfold. (If we have misstated any of the Society’s assumptions, please let us know and we will be swift about making the correction.)
The earth has suffered great upheaval. Great earthquakes “in one place after another” and other natural and unnatural disasters have devastated the landscape. All governments are gone, along with their infrastructure. All the wicked and those who refused to hear and heed the message preached by Jehovah’s Witnesses have perished. Of the 7 billion people on the planet, only about 7 million remain – all faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses and their progressive students.
Though the sea may have carried away many of the 6.993 billion dead, the streets are littered with human carcasses, especially the city streets – a ratio of 1,000 dead bodies to each living one. The beasts of the field are being tamed and pose no threat to humans; but the birds of the heavens have come to share in the great feasting on human flesh. Quite a sight!
The governmental infrastructure is gone, and all businesses are crippled as practically all of the employees have perished. The roads are blocked with abandoned cars and toppled buildings, and the only communication apparatus still working are possibly CB radios. Nevertheless, the survivors instinctively gather at their local Kingdom Halls for instruction.
The 144,000 have been instantly made perfect and miraculously understand how to rule over God’s people. They are now invisibly reigning in heaven with Christ Jesus. They are in the process of appointing earthly representatives known as “princes” who will somehow hear the direction of the invisible kings and priests and set up an earthly representation of the heavenly government. While this seems to be the same arrangement as before Armageddon where men on earth are directing God’s people, we are told this is somehow different.
The first order of business is clearing away the ruins of the old system. According to God’s instructions, only certain ones among the living are authorized to touch and remove the dead bodies, so the majority of the survivors must navigate around these gross and putrid sights. They are consoled by the reminders that these dead wilfully refused to listen to Jehovah’s earthly organization.
The princes likely instruct the survivors to travel out of the cities to mostly uninhabited regions to begin building living structures for themselves. Initially, most will reside in makeshift tents while the building process begins. There will also need to be arrangements for food supplies and possibly first aid. Remember, a large portion are children, elderly and infirm. Though they are in a world without Satan’s influence, their daily needs, including physical care, will need to be met as they grow to perfection – some growing older, some growing younger, simultaneously!
The rebuilding is a monumental task in itself since the stores where they could have purchased building supplies are abandoned. Further, transporting the building materials to the new residence sites is hampered by the lack of trucks and the obstructed roads. And once the construction materials are exhausted, they are left to themselves to figure out how to hew wood planks out of trees, how to smelt nails, screws and tools, how to manufacture concrete and other building supplies, and how to tap into the fuel and power sources. Quite a task for preachers and teachers! The few among them who have managed to get an education and learn a trade will be invaluable!
The task of clearing away the ruins is much more complicated. Where will they dump the waste? How will they transport the waste to the dumping locations? How will 7 million people, the majority of whom are women, children, infirm and elderly, spread all over the face of the earth, be able to clear away the vast ruins of 7 billion people? The hope is that the infirm, the elderly, and the handicapped are quickly restored to perfect health so they can be of assistance.
In addition to building their residences, they must plant gardens and return the earth to a paradisaic condition in preparation for the resurrection of the dead – those who died before Armageddon. According to the “Population Reference Bureau,” it is estimated that they should be expecting about 100 billion! The earth will have to house and feed fifteen times the number of people it currently supports. That will require a great deal of space and population management!
Most of those who are resurrected died without coming to “an accurate knowledge” of God. Thus, the survivors will need to conduct a massive education work. The returning inhabitants will be resurrected with their old personalities and habits so they, too, will have to grow to perfection. This will be a compound challenge to the survivors because they will at the same time be perfecting their own personalities. And they will have the added duty of explaining why the resurrected ones are not in the heavens with Christ. Most of them expected to wake up in heaven! Even the non-Christians!
Since those who are resurrected neither marry nor are given in marriage, they have what we might categorize as a third gender – non-sex creatures. Many of them are no doubt quite beautiful which creates a bit of a challenge for the sex creatures. So there has to be a separation of the 7 million sex creatures who survived Armageddon from the 100 billion non-sex resurrected ones. Surely there must be some way to identify them so problems will be minimized.
And, of course, they only have 1,000 years to do all of this work – clearing the ruin, rebuilding the cities, regenerating the land, and teaching the multitude – so its not until late in the 1,000 year reign, if at all, that they can truly relax and enjoy themselves before Satan and his hordes are let loose on the paradise inhabitants to test mankind one last time.
This last test is rather severe – another great war! Satan manages to mislead so many of their number and soon he has the faithful ones surrounded. But fire comes down out of heaven and devours the enemies. Finally, evil and sin have been eradicated, and the faithful among them have their names written in the Book of Life.
Finally, they can look forward to an undisturbed eternity on the earth under paradise conditions! Of course, they can examine the vast universe from afar – through telescopes and perhaps unmanned vehicles – but they will have to remain on earth. That is God’s great purpose for them – everlasting life on earth!
Meanwhile, the anointed, having worked with Jesus to bring mankind back to perfection and escaping altogether the second great test, are personally enjoying the vast universe, even appearing before the face of Jehovah! They have the privilege of visiting all of the Father’s many abodes, journeying through the planetary systems, meeting and interacting with new types of spirit creatures, learning new languages, and experiencing sights and sounds that the earthly ones could not even imagine! How blessed this small number of 144,000!
But the earthly ones have the privilege of having all their needs met. They will never be in want of anything or have anything to fear. No tears, no pain, no crying, no dying. They will have plenty of food and peaceful fellowship, not only with mankind, but also with the animal kingdom.
Eventually the original purpose will have been fulfilled. The earth will be inhabited by perfect beings. Since the edict was to ‘be fruitful and fill the earth’ (not overfill it), the time will come when the earth’s capacity to comfortably sustain human beings will be filled. Then the ability to procreate will end and then all creatures will be of the non-sex type and can enjoy unlimited association. At that point, all the human beings that will ever live have been born and raised to perfection. They are now the permanent residents of this beautiful blue planet – forever! How blessed they must feel! But are they?
When we consider what is truly involved in manifesting the “assumed” earthly hope, we see that it is not a blessing at all. In truth, this version of events leaves mankind as nothing more than obedient citizens of a well manicured zoo. Well cared for absolutely! But also, unable to leave. They are marooned for an eternity.
The Father will continue working and creating new worlds. But these earth-locked beings will never be able to experience anything more than what is offered on this tiny blue planet. They will no longer be able to experience the challenges of improving and sustaining their lives, for everything will be handed to them. We wonder how long it would take before they get restless and want to venture off their perfectly managed planet. We wonder how long they would accept their controlled environment, especially once they realize their heavenly brethren are having untold experiences. Is this really God’s plan for mankind?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! God would not provide unimagined blessings to 144,000 while forever limiting the life experiences of 108 billion. God is not partial!
“For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.”
– Acts 10:34-35
The Father’s eternal blessings are offered equally to ALL. He wants all his intelligent creatures to find him and eventually attain to his presence. We suspect that His plans for us have to do with the many other planets and galaxies in our universe and in other universes. Either these planets are currently inhabited or they are soon to be inhabited. Surely if God created the earth to be inhabited, He likely has similar plans for the other planets. We suspect that the heavenly sons that have been perfected will be leaders and administrators in these other inhabited regions!
As for our planet, the Father indeed has great plans for it. The righteous, as a group, will for a certainty reside forever upon the earth under paradisaic conditions. But there is so much more for us as individuals. Let’s consider the real hope for mankind and the role the earth plays in that hope in the next article: The Real Hope for Life on Earth.