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Should we really want to be on earth rather than heaven? Does the Bible give us that option?

HeavenAll of the wonderful Jehovah’s Witnesses that have come to my door have expressed no desire for a heavenly hope.  Their desire is to be on Paradise Earth forever.  And what could be wrong with good food, a nice house, domesticated wild animals and beautiful scenery?

The problem is the difficulty in making a scriptural case for an earthly hope.  Yes the Bible clearly teaches about the earthly kingdom, but for the Christian, the Bible only speaks of a heavenly hope as in the scriptures that follow:

Philippians 3:20 (NASV) “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;”

Colossians 1:5 (NWT) “the hope that is being reserved for YOU in the heavens.

Hebrews 3:1 (NWT) “Consequently, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest whom we confess-Jesus.”

Matthew 5:12 (NWT) “Rejoice and leap for joy, since YOUR reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to YOU.”

Luke 6:22-23 (NKJV) “22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake.  23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven…”

2 Corinthians 5:1-2 (NWT) “1  For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, should be dissolved, we are to have a building from God, a house not made with hands, everlasting in the heavens. 2  For in this dwelling house we do indeed groan, earnestly desiring to put on the one for us from heaven,”

Hebrews 6:19-20 (NASV) “19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,  20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”

1 Corinthians 15:42-45 (KJV) “So also is the resurrection of the dead… It is sown a natural body [death]; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [Jesus] was made a quickening spirit.”

1 Corinthians 15:49 (NASV) “Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.”

John 14:2-3 (NWT) “2  In the house of my Father there are many abodes. Otherwise, I would have told YOU, because I am going my way to prepare a place for YOU. 3  Also, if I go my way and prepare a place for YOU, I am coming again and will receive YOU home to myself, that where I am YOU also may be.”

1 John 3:2 (NKJV) “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

Philippians 3:14 (NKJV) “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward <Strong’s 507> call of God in Christ Jesus.”

[Upward Call is to HEAVEN.  Compare Colossians 3:1 (NKJV) If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above <507>, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.” Also compare: John 8:23 (NKJV) “And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above <507>. You are of this world; I am not of this world.”

Daniel 12:3 (NASV)  “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”

None of these scriptures indicate any other hope for the Christian than the heavenly hope.  As a matter of fact, Eph 4:4 says, “One body there is, and one spirit, even as YOU were called in the one hope to which YOU were called” (Eph 4:4 NWT).  So for the Christian there is only one hope; the heavenly hope.  Throughout the book of Acts, whenever anyone is baptized, nobody is ever given the option of whether they want to choose an earthly or a heavenly reward.

Even the Great Crowd are said to be in Heaven in Rev 19:1 which says, “After these things I heard what was as a loud voice of a great crowd in heaven.” (NWT)  The Greek words translated great crowd is exactly the same as in Rev 7:9.  See more on the Great Crowd in the next questions.

16 comments to Should we really want to be on earth rather than heaven? Does the Bible give us that option?

  • Hello one and all,
    Just love to add another comment to the original post here:
    Since my original retort focused on the meaning of living on earth forever subject to the SMALL print of obedience and eating food, I did not address the many valid heavenly destiny NT quotations of the original post. I was certainly much amiss in that.
    This brings me to the most profound and confusing failure of Christians, JWs, Bible students, if not all others, to understand whom Jesus and the NT writers were addressing. That is called Audience Relevance.
    The 120 Israelites baptized and spirit-anointed at Pentecost 33, in the same manner as was their forerunner Jesus, were the first of that little flock to be given the Kingdom by Jehovah God
    -Exodus 19:3-8; 1 Peter 2:29; Luke 12:32.
    As in all countries, especially Democracies, where all members of a government need to be first selected, then sworn in and subsequently take their places in the assembly/parliament/whatever to be in the right position to govern before those to be governed can be.
    The saints, as they are called in scripture, are specifically selected and set-apart for that very assignment of governing humanity during the final 1000 years of Jehovah’s earth-related rest day.
    Because Jehovah ALWAYS keeps His promises, He can be trusted to fully accomplish all He had purposed for humanity: To forever live happy and satisfying lives and continue with the original assignment given them in Genesis 1:26-27.
    The only thing Jehovah had changed was the MEANS to accomplish this after Adam failed to co-operate. The Seed of Abraham Israel* became the means, later supplemented by Gentiles (Romans 11; Galatians 3:28-29). Since their position was heavenly and the selection process has so far taken Centuries and is continuing even now, the entire Bible from Abraham** to Revelation is all about getting that little flock government selected (sanctified), ready and installed.
    * Isaiah 41:8
    ** get real here, I know there’s no such a book 🙁

    The false doctrine of inherited sin and Jesus dying for sinful
    humanity rather than Israel***, has completely jeopardized all the above in the hearts and minds of men.
    *** Matthew 15:24; and especially Isaiah 53 where audience relevance
    demands of the student to go to Isaiah chapter 1 for the ‘sinful
    nation’ dentity of the prophet’s audience Israel.
    I mean, here was an Israelite Prophet living in Israel
    addressing an Israelite audience about their sins and Redemption

    How much better can it get?

    Conclusion for the author of the original post:

    Only a small flock comprising the HEAVENLY kingdom are actually Christians. No one else can be a Christian since they are selected and anointed in the manner of their forerunner, son of man Jesus who became the Christ (anointed one) at his anointing.

    Christians is their exclusive God-appointed name as anointed ones.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses use the unfortunate doctrine-dictated tautology ‘Anointed Christians’, as though there were other christians. No, no other anointed ones.

    Am I making all this up? You be the judge.
    Dieter

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Dieter,

      Thanks. Let me summarize your main point as I understand it: Only the Anointed (those receiving the Holy Spirit) should be called Christians. Those not Anointed should not be called Christians.

      I am not sure why you are making this point and why it is important to you? Certainly, only the anointed (2 Cor 1:21-22) will receive a heavenly resurrection. However, there are only three Bible verses (see below) that use the word “Christian” and I am not sure that any of them are excluding those attending the congregation who are not anointed.

      Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians <5546> in Antioch.

      Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian <5546>.”

      1Peter 4:16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian <5546>, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

      I think that the word “brethren” in the NT are primarily referring to the Anointed. However, even here some Bible verses may be broader.

      Romans 12:1 (NKJV) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

      Col 1:2 (NKJV) “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse…”

      I do not understand your statement, “The false doctrine of inherited sin and Jesus dying for sinful Humanity…”

      Mankind did inherit sin from Adam.

      Romans 5:12 (NKJV) “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men…”

      Jesus did die in Adam’s place to give all mankind the opportunity for life.

      Romans 15:18 (NKJV) “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.”

      • Dear Peter,
        Thank you ever so much for responding. Whether I am right or wrong, at least someone is treating me with a measure of respect, thank you.

        Some principles here:
        1. All early Christians were of the anointed.
        2. The number of those in government is always smaller than
        those to be governed. So the little flock of Kings and
        Priests numbered at 144000 in Revelation is miniscule in
        comparison to Earth’s entire population at the end of the
        1000 year Kingdom they are governing.
        3. Romans 5:12 must be seen in the context already provided
        by Paul in Romans 4:15: ‘No Law = No Transgression’ and
        that lovely verse 13 which follows verse 12 of Romans 5.
        Yes people sin alright, but it is neither counted as
        transgression or sin by Jehovah nor is there a penalty
        awaiting those who did. And anyway, most are dead and
        death acquits all from sin: Romans 6:7, which, by the
        way, I am taking out of context here, since that deals
        there exclusively with those who have died in their Lord
        when he was executed in their stead.
        Please do a little context read from that verse while
        not including yourself among those addressed by the
        plural personal pronouns.
        4. Jehovah NEVER had a religion on earth, or anywhere for
        that matter, has not originated one nor does he have one
        now. Israel received a constitution for government and a
        way of life as a temporary measure to lead them to THEIR
        Messiah and to the fulfilment of God’s promises to Abraham
        to ultimately bless ALL the families of the earth i.e. all
        humans who ever lived, live and yet shall, by giving them
        the same choice Adam chose to forego, a choice
        temporarily denied his progeny.

        The little flock anointed for governance have for nearly 2000 years been the only ‘congregation’ representing Jehovah wherever the few remaining may reside or be associated with.

        Since the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, the anointed had neither a central administrative hub to connect them to each other and refer back to. They remain scattered throughout Christianity, for that is what the small flock of the Bride of Christ has grown into since late Roman times as she lost her purity, though promised in marriage to her bridegroom Christ.

        There is a lot more detail about all manner of related subjects on the site of my rather insignificant, undereducated self, which I am not at liberty to divulge here in keeping with the standards of fairness or whatever is applicable to this friendsofjehovahswitnesses website.

        Thank you. Dieter

  • Sorry to bother you all again, but I have received a reply to my (Dieter) comment above via email instead of here. That’s OK with me. Even if it wasn’t, it would make little difference. OK?

    By the way, my default email address: dhoffer@iprimus.com.au has been compromised by some JW or other zealot who might be working at/for my provider, because all personal emails are filtered out, as in blocked, while all company emails get through OK. They would do the same to Jesus, if he was here.

    NOW FOR THE REPLY. Quoting here the part that troubles me:
    “Dieter, You stated that everlasting life was not Gods original purpose for man kind? How? Then why were Adam and Eve created in a state that they would live forever? If Gods purpose for us was, to not live forever but to go to heaven, the. god would have to make sure we at some point would sin so that we can die those going against his own nature and requiring sin. then he would have to have made sure that Adam and Eve fell so that they would die so that people could go to heaven.”

    It really pains me having to do this, but the above was in reply to my points here:
    “On the basis of ‘All things written aforetime’, it would be wise to first take a look at the Genesis account for God’s purpose in creating man and woman: To take care of the earth, all living things on it and just keep on living indefinitely on earth. Adding to the heavenly host, as if God could not do that all by Himself, as He had indeed done millions of times, was not part of Jehovah’s agenda for generic man.”

    Notice I said: ‘man was to keep on living indefinitely on earth’ NOW, how does that equate with everlasing life? Living on earth forever or everlastingly would depend on TWO things: Here straight from the mouth of the son of man Jesus at Luke 4:4: “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”
    Right! Eating food would be THE prime prerequisite in order to stay alive in order to comply with the second admonition, which the dead cannot, namely to live also by every word of God.
    But to repeat: Humans were meant to live forever on earth subject to the small print of OBEDIENCE to first eat food to stay alive long enough to comply with the second and most important piece of good advice AND do so FOREVER cyclically.
    Thanks and Greetings to all and especially to my co-respondant. I think people need to read matters more carefully with an engaged brain while keeping their reactive emotions most judiciously in check.
    Dieter

  • In reply to the original post:
    On the basis of ‘All things written aforetime’, it would be wise to first take a look at the Genesis account for God’s purpose in creating man and woman: To take care of the earth, all living things on it and just keep on living indefinitely on earth.
    Adding to the heavenly host, as if God could not do that all by Himself, as He had indeed done millions of times, was not part of Jehovah’s agenda for generic man.
    Now that wasn’t all that difficult, was it? Don’t believe it? Well, chapters 1 and 2 ought to tell the tale.
    From implementing the direct result of Adam’s failure to yield to God’s good advice recorded in Genesis chapter 3, the rest of the word of Jehovah is entirely about the method He chose to make that original purpose happen and not about adding to the heavenly host.
    The ‘heavenly hope’ is simply the privilege accorded to those few of the little flock of Luke 12:32 having displayed the faith of Abraham, to temporarily govern for the final 1000 years of Jehovah’s earth-related Rest day until their King and Christ hands the Kingdom and all its accomplishments back to Jehovah for Him to be all things to everyone -see 1 Cor 15.
    This is by no means the demise of them as a collective administrative entity and their individual sonship after His name and inviolable purpose for humanity have been vindicated.
    While the tasks for them and humanity beyond the week of the 7 creative days or epochs are yet to be revealed, the vast universe simply begs for answers that will be attended to by Jehovah in His own good time.
    So, the short and the long of it is: (Psalm 115:16) “16 As regards the heavens, to Jehovah the heavens belong, But the earth he has given to the sons of men”*.
    * NWT Footnote: Or, “earthling man.” Heb., ’a‧dham′.
    NWT xrefs: (Genesis 1:28) (Deuteronomy 32:8) (Psalm 37:29)
    (Isaiah 45:18) (Jeremiah 27:5) (Acts 17:26)

    Jehovah has never changed his mind about any of that. As his name: ‘he chooses to become’ suggests, he simply becomes whatever is necesary to fulfill His stated will and promises.
    NOTE to JWs: Everlasting live was NEVER God’s purpose for Humans. Their need for food as a prerequisite for life’s continuation should be all the evidence required to that end.
    Life minus food equals death. Life minus food makes obeying the more important things (Luke 4:4) an impossibility: Psalm 115:17: ‘The dead themselves do not praise Jah, Nor do any going down into silence.’ –NWT xref: (Psalm 115:17) (Psalm 6:5) (Psalm 30:9) (Psalm 118:17) (Ecclesiastes 9:5) (Isaiah 38:18)–
    -thank you for the opportunity to respond

  • ari davies

    earthly hope, hevenly hope,I have no earthly idea who is who and neither do you. but this I do I forget the things behind reaching forward with all my might to be were jesus calls me to be

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Ari – We can discuss the scriptures together to see what they teach. John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

      Titus 1:9 shows the responsibility of elders to learn and understand the Truth of God’s word and to be able to explain it to others. Titus 1:9 (Amplified) “9 He must hold fast to the sure {and } trustworthy Word of God as he was taught it, so that he may be able both to give stimulating instruction {and } encouragement in sound (wholesome) doctrine and to refute {and } convict those who contradict {and } oppose it showing the wayward their error.”

      Everyone is familiar with how the brethren at Berea studied Paul’s teachings to make sure they were in agreement with Old Testament scripture. (Acts 17:11)

      All this suggests that we can study and know the Truth on various Bible topics as we are guided by God’s Holy Spirit and see the scriptural evidence and the harmony of the Bible as a whole on any given topic.

  • Kevin

    I now know my desire to live on the renewed earth is my hope. It isn’t conditioned on faithfully going to JW meetings, out in service, or any of the other requirements that are given by the GB. It is a time for rejoicing, not fear, for all will receive the opportunity to live on the earth who are not anointed. That alone has given me alot of peace. Thank you.

    • Sharon/Tulsigirl

      My dear Brother, Kevin, I, too, have the “earthly-hope.” I now consider myself a Bible Student and a few are a bit put off by that. They think that it is my “indoctrination” as a JW. As a JW I was taught that we just knew it in our heart. There was a connection between heavenly things and earthly. I was thrilled when, as a JW, I found out about the earthly-hope. Back when I was a Catholic, I never felt I truly wanted to be in Heaven. I appreciate the scriptures in the above article, however, there is an earthly-hope. Maybe it is only taught in the Old Testament. Maybe I was born too late. LOL I like to say to those I have this discussion with, that the Heavenly Call has to be nearing it’s end. (I certainly hope so as when it is the complete the Kingdom can begin in earnest.) It seems to me that the new earthly order will need those of us who are familiar with the truth and GOD’s Divine Plan. Not just a bunch of people struggling and confused as to what is going on. I think such ones as you and I will be there to help calm their fears and instruct them in the way which they should go. Kevin, I say that I am Consecrated to Righteousness to do the Will of GOD. If his will is that I be part of the Heavenly organization, then can I truly imagine being unhappy? OF COURSE NOT! I strive hard to learn what the scriptures say about all things. I’m not as good a student as I wish. However, I do know that pleasing GOD by my prayers and actions dictates how I conduct my life on a daily basis. Part of my actions is to study and reach out to others whether brethren or Christendom with the Truth that sets us all FREE.
      Gal 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty
      by which Christ has made us free,…

  • Ken

    My being one of the anointed was made absolutely clear to me about a year after I was no longer a Jw…..one day I was reading the Bible and I asked Jehovah: “if I’m really one of the anointed please show it to me from the Bible”,right away I turned to 1 john chapter 2 and my eyes went straight to verse 27!

  • Ken

    Well said jacqueline!

  • jacqueline

    I am on the road now but i want to say, elders asked me to examine my hope. He based it on my ability to understand deeper on scriptures. I also had absolutely no fear of the GB or elders. I respected them but i felt like Paul with Peter but with respect. I loved even lowly ones and was not afraid to stand up in the name of God for them. I still grapple with it tho. I have not had a single event calling. I however never think about living on the earth anymore. I say instead now, Jesus we are going to fix that in the new system. I know I will have a share in bringing the many to righteousness. Whether on earth or heaven, I am at his service.

  • Ken

    Thanks for the welcome!Yeah the Jw cong. that you were raised in will think you have a mental illness or something if you start partaking,in fact, I’ve heard of some being so itimadated by that fact that they will only partake in the privacy of their own homes on the memorial day!!

  • Ken

    I was a Jw for over 40yrs and all along I never really had a desire to live on earth, I had to force myself to except the conccept, but still it just did not FIT.However, since I’ve parted with the Jw’s, I’ve been led by God’s spirit to the Bible students and now I FULLY realize that I am one the annointed!!

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Ken – You are welcome here. It seems sad to me that a JW cannot share with other JWs that they are anointed by the holy spirit to the heavenly call, without fear of a most unwelcoming response.

    • Dupin

      I know the feeling Ken.

      I can tell you the day and time things changed for me and my desire became heavenly. Yet, because of Witness teachings I kept it to myself. Only my wife knew as she’d noticed it in our conversations after we got married.

      You are somewhat right Br. Peter. Those who come forward in the organization are often mistrusted and looked at a bit askance. So there is a bit of pressure not to come forward. That wasn’t my problem, but I couldn’t help but notice it.

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