Volume 11, Number 1, July-August 2007

Who Is in the
New Heavens & New Earth?

After God had created Adam and Eve, He blessed them. And then God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Gen 1:28) Now the earth is a very large planet and it seems unlikely that Adam and Eve were able to “subdue” it in their lifetimes. So who is going to subdue the earth? Will it be flesh and blood humans or spiritual beings? And when will the earth be subdued?

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind (Isa 65:17, KJV unless noted).

This writer’s Bible study has shown that the earth will be subdued in the period following the “end times” as referred to by the prophet Daniel, a period of time when God has promised there will be a New Earth.

And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed (Dan 11:35).

So what will be the characteristics of those times? Many believe that everyone on the New Earth will no longer be composed of flesh and blood but of eternal spirit, so that they can “die no more” (Luke 20:36). That is true for people raised in the “first resurrection” (Rev 20:6), but probably not for resurrections afterward (Rev 20:12).

Consider if you will the following: What was the purpose of the presence of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden? Adam and Eve were banished from the garden specifically because they might try to eat the fruit of the tree of life and gain that which the tree of life offered. And what was offered by the tree of life?

After Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, we learn from Genesis 3:22 that the Lord God said, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever…” Something must be done to prevent this from happening. “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life (Gen 3:24). This angelic watch prevented anyone from eating of the tree of life.

What, then, is the purpose of the tree of life? The tree of life is obviously good. We are told in scripture that eating of its fruit will allow man to live forever. God made the tree of life so flesh and blood man, at the proper time, could partake of everlasting life. God Himself has no personal need of it. He does not need it to obtain eternal life. He is eternal life. He is the Eternal! God the Father, God the Son and other god-like beings already possess eternal life; they are already eternal spirit beings with a glorified body like our Lord Jesus Christ (Rev 5:13).

Was the only function of the tree of life to provide eternal life for human beings like Adam and Eve? Or was it to provide for their physical needs, also? We can find out more about the tree of life in Revelation 22:2:

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Do God-like beings need healing? No, they don’t! When God’s kingdom on earth is finally established it will be the nations of the New Earth that need healing. Spirit beings are never referred to as “nations”. This is just one indication that flesh and blood beings will inhabit the New Heavens and the New Earth. They will not all be “spirit beings”.

Why should the purpose for the tree of life be any different in the New Heavens and the New Earth? Yes, removing Adam and Eve from access to the tree of life kept them from using it for physical needs, too. The leaves of the initial tree of life could very well have been utilized for healing, also. And we will learn later in this article how and when.

But these nations are supposed to be populated from those that are saved.

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it (Rev. 21:24).

Who is saved? Certainly not anyone who will be thrown into the lake of fire. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).

It is those whose name is found written in the book of life that are to be saved. They are saved in order to repopulate the New Earth. But first they must be healed. And how are they healed? They are to be healed by the leaves of the tree of life. It is later that they are to have access to the fruit of the tree of life. It is the fruit of the tree of life that allows them to gain eternal life.

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie (Rev 22:14-15)

Those who do the commandments will gain eternal life and be able to enter the city. Those who still insist on sinning will remain outside the city. Their sin will cause sickness from which they will need healing. But the process will not be as difficult as it is today. Remember, Satan is not around any more to lead them to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That tree is not mentioned as existing on the New Earth.

The original promised land (the land of Canaan in the Hebrew Scriptures) was a type of the New Earth. The capital city of the promised land is the new Jerusalem. The new Jerusalem, like the old Jerusalem, has twelve gates (see illustration, Rev 21:12), but the new Jerusalem will have its twelve gates open all the time. Only spiritual beings will be able to enter the new Jerusalem (see Rev 22:14, above) through these gates. Additionally, these twelve gates will lead out into the territory where the twelve tri

The Holy City is a cube of 1500 miles each side, with 12 gates and living water flowing from it (Rev 22)

bes of Israel and their “grafted on” nations will be located.

For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city (Heb 11:14-16).

Those who will be resurrected in the second resurrection will be fleshly human beings.

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. and he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord (Ezk 37:1-7).

This writer believes that the above verses indicate that they shall rise at the judgment day and be placed in the land of Israel known to the Jews as Eretz Israel (the modern nation of Israel including modern day Palestine); i.e., the New Earth to be perfected with their sister and daughter nations.

When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate. (Ezk 16:55).

But in order for them to be “perfected” they must be healed (Rev 22:2, again). Most people died of some great injury or disease. “Perfected” does not mean being immediately made into eternal spirit beings. Rather, it means they are to be physically “healed.” We learn from Ezekiel 16:60 that the Lord God intends to make a different covenant with them. He says, “And I will establish an everlasting covenant with you” (Ezk 16:60).

The Levitical covenant, which involved temple worship, is to be abolished. John’s vision described in Rev. 21:22 tells us John “did not see a temple in the city because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”

Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. (Ezk 37:12).

And then from John 5:28: “The hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice”. And, putting it in the vernacular, for those that have “done good,” but, haven’t qualified for eternal life, it will be a resurrection to “regular” life, again. Luke 12:41-48 also seems to describe four categories of believers to be raised from the dead. The first seem to be raised in the first resurrection to rule, but the latter ones need correction (“stripes”),

Those “apples” are not completely rotten. They have done some good and they still can be saved. Those grape vines are not beyond being healed; they can be salvaged. They are to be planted in the land of Israel, the New Earth where they can partake of the tree of life, become healed and receive eternal life. “Behold, oh my people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves and bring you into the land of Israel,” the real promised land (Ezk 37:12, again). Yes, the promised land now is not just Palestine, it is the New Earth.

Hebrews 11:39 further illustrates that the promised land is the New Earth. “And all these [David, Joshua, Gideon, Barak, Samson] having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.” Even though they lived in Palestine, they did not receive the promised land in their lifetimes or at their death.

Continuing in Hebrews 11, we learn that “God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Heb 11:40).

But, what things? We need to look to Hebrews 11:10 which tells us “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God”. These people of Hebrews 11 died in a physical city and country, awaiting a heavenly city and country after the New Earth is ushered in, where His kingdom has come in [the] earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10)..

And, quite possibly they say to themselves, “Let us go and spy out the New Earth and receive an honest report of it’s condition”—Is it not paradise? Is it habitable by human beings? Or is it burnt up? And, does it have water? Does it have plant life? Can it be harvested? Does it have days?

From Rev. 22:2 we learn that “there are months” (months are made up of days), and there are gases produced by the trees, and therefore, there is an atmosphere. And there is water. The river flows out. It must flow out or it would overflow into the city and inundate it. And if it flows out, does it not flow out and water the New Earth? And if the water flows, the water is not frozen and it can evaporate and form clouds and make rain just like on the earth we now know. It will become a time when the earth is harvested forever.

Let us now consider the kind of covenant God made with Noah. In Genesis 8:22 We learn that this covenant says that, “While the earth remaineth (Hebrew: Kol yem “all days”), seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Yes! Once again we can see that there are days on the New Earth. There will be a seed time and harvest. There is harvest on the New Earth? Of course! Scripture affirms this! So, who will eat of this harvest? Those brought back to life still seeking eternal life, who now populate the New Earth. There will still be cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. If there is seed time and harvest time then there must be seed planters and harvesters, and, most importantly, someone to eat the crop.

Isaiah 9:7 states: “Of the increase of his Government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.” In order to have an endless increase of His Government there needs to be an endless increase in the number of those to be governed.

But from Mat. 22:29-30 we learn, “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are as the angels of God in heaven. This, then, must refer to those given eternal life at the first resurrection, for they are referred to “as the angels.”

But at the second resurrection (Ezk 37:1-14), they are not like the angels. They have bones, sinews, flesh, and they have breath. “And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” In addition, we know that they have blood to carry oxygen through their bodies. They have been healed physically, but they still need to partake and eat the fruit of the tree of life to gain eternal Life.

And they can be given in marriage, can they not? Will they be capable of having offspring? Of course. Both of these things will be occurring in the New Earth. Living, flesh and blood human beings reproduce as long as they have food; they can multiply forever, virtually endlessly, on the New Earth under the rule of God’s, now expanded, family. No longer is God’s family “the Father and His only begotten Son.” When the resurrected inhabitants of the New Earth are ready they can partake of the fruits of the tree of life and become eternal, also. Genesis 3:22 states this and I repeat it here, although admittedly, somewhat out of context, but still, accurately, that they can “eat and live forever.”

So, these are the scriptures, hopefully clearly explained. Those returned to life at the second resurrection, those who still need to perfect themselves in the way that they live and “do unto others”, are living as flesh and blood humans ruled over by those who have been perfected and are now spirit beings. They have been returned to their former estate as suggested in Ezk. 16:55 “When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate.” Even Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters will be ready to return to where they were before death.

And you and your sons and daughters will be returned to where you were before, your former estate, life in a human, flesh and blood body, to be given the wonderful opportunity to achieve eternal life—if God has not already raised you, and them, in the the first resurrection.

While it is exciting to study the Bible’s promises of the future life, we must never let unclear points stir up anger or division among brethren. As the Apostle Paul said:

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known (1Cor 3:12).   &


Download Full Issue in PDF:

July-August 2007 Quick PDF (.6 MB)

July-August 2007 High-Quality PDF to Print (2 MB)

Back to front page
Latest Issue   Previous Issues    Literature List   About Servants' News
Directly Helping    Contact    Help   Search this site    Receive SN for free
Permission is granted to reproduce any article in its entirety