1. What is God’s purpose for humans?
GOD has a wonderful purpose for humans. He created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, to live in a beautiful garden. His purpose was for them to have children, to make the whole earth a paradise, and to take care of the animals.—Genesis 1:28; 2:8, 9, 15; see Endnote 6.
2. (a) How do we know that God will do what he has purposed? (b) What does the Bible say about living forever?
2 Do you think that we will ever live in a paradise? Jehovah tells us: “I have purposed it, and I will also carry it out.” (Isaiah 46:9-11; 55:11) Yes, he will do what he has purposed, and nothing will stop him. Jehovah says that he created the earth for a reason. He “did not create it simply for nothing.” (Isaiah 45:18) He wants people to live all over the earth. What kind of people does God want to live here, and for how long? The Bible says: “The righteous [or, obedient] will possess the earth, and they will live forever on it.”—Psalm 37:29; Revelation 21:3, 4.
3. Since humans get sick and die, what might you ask?
3 But today people get sick and die. In many places, they fight and kill one another. Surely this is not what God purposed. So, what happened, and why? Only the Bible can explain.
AN ENEMY OF GOD
4, 5. (a) Who spoke to Eve through a snake in the garden of Eden? (b) How can a person who is honest become a thief?
4 The Bible tells us that God has an enemy who is “called Devil and Satan.” Satan used a snake to speak to Eve in the garden of Eden. (Revelation 12:9; Genesis 3:1) He made it look as though the snake was talking.—See Endnote 7.
5 So, did God create Satan the Devil? No! An angel who had been in heaven when God prepared the earth for Adam and Eve changed and became the Devil. (Job 38:4, 7) How was that possible? Well, how does an honest person change and become a thief? He was not born a thief. But he desires, or wants, something that doesn’t belong to him. He keeps thinking about it, and his wrong desire becomes stronger. Then, when he gets a chance, he steals it. He has turned himself into a thief.—Read James 1:13-15; see Endnote 8.
6. How did an angel become an enemy of God?
6 This is what happened to that angel. After Jehovah created Adam and Eve, he told them to have children and “fill the earth.” (Genesis 1:27, 28) That angel may have thought, ‘All those people could worship me instead of Jehovah!’ The more he thought about it, the more he desired what belongs to Jehovah. That angel wanted people to worship him. So he lied to Eve and misled her. (Read Genesis 3:1-5.) By doing that, he became Satan the Devil, an enemy of God.
7. (a) Why did Adam and Eve die? (b) Why do we grow old and die?
7 Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit. (Genesis 2:17; 3:6) They sinned against Jehovah, and in time they died, just as Jehovah had said they would. (Genesis 3:17-19) Adam and Eve’s children were sinners, so they died. (Read Romans 5:12.) To help us understand why Adam and Eve’s children were also sinners, consider this example. Imagine baking a loaf of bread in a pan that has a dent. The bread will have the same dent as the pan. When Adam disobeyed God, Adam became a sinner. Because we are Adam’s children, all of us are sinners, or have the same “dent” as he did. And because we are all sinners, we grow old and die.—Romans 3:23; see Endnote 9.
8, 9. (a) What did Satan want Adam and Eve to believe? (b) Why did Jehovah not kill the rebels immediately?
8 Satan started a rebellion against Jehovah when he influenced Adam and Eve to disobey God. He wanted Adam and Eve to believe that Jehovah is a liar, a bad ruler who didn’t want the best for them. Satan was saying that humans don’t need God to tell them what to do and that Adam and Eve should decide for themselves what was right and wrong. So, what would Jehovah do? He could have killed the rebels and ended the rebellion. But would that have proved that Satan is a liar? No, it wouldn’t.
9 Thus, Jehovah didn’t kill the rebels immediately. Instead, he allowed time for humans to rule themselves. This would make it clear that Satan is a liar and that Jehovah knows what is best for humans. We will learn more about that in Chapter 11. But what do you think about Adam and Eve’s decision? Was it right for them to believe Satan and disobey God? Jehovah had given Adam and Eve everything they had. He gave them perfect life, a beautiful place to live, and work that they enjoyed. But Satan had never done anything good for them. If you had been there, what would you have done?
10. What important choice does each of us have?
10 Today, each of us has a similar choice to make, and our life depends on that choice. We can choose to obey Jehovah as our Ruler and help prove that Satan is a liar. Or we can choose Satan as our ruler. (Psalm 73:28; read Proverbs 27:11.) Very few people in this world obey God. In fact, he is not the ruler of the world. But if God isn’t, who is?
WHO RULES THE WORLD?
11, 12. (a) What do we learn from Satan’s offer to Jesus? (b) What scriptures show that Satan rules the world?
11 Jesus knew who really rules the world. On one occasion, Satan “showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.” Then Satan promised Jesus: “All these things I will give you if you fall [or, bow] down and do an act of worship to me.” (Matthew 4:8, 9; Luke 4:5, 6) Ask yourself, ‘If those kingdoms didn’t belong to Satan, could he have offered them to Jesus?’ No. All governments belong to Satan.
12 You may wonder: ‘How could Satan be the ruler of the world? Isn’t Jehovah the Almighty God who created the universe?’ (Revelation 4:11) Yes, he is, but Jesus clearly called Satan “the ruler of this world.” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) The apostle Paul called Satan the Devil “the god of this system of things.” (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4) And the apostle John wrote that “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.”—1 John 5:19.
HOW WILL SATAN’S WORLD BE DESTROYED?
13. Why do we need a new world?
13 This world is becoming more and more dangerous. We see wars, corruption, hypocrisy, and violence all around us. Humans cannot get rid of all these problems, no matter how hard they try. But God will soon destroy this wicked world during his war of Armageddon, and he will replace it with a righteous new world.—Revelation 16:14-16; see Endnote 10.
14. Whom has God chosen to be King of His Kingdom? What did the Bible foretell about Jesus?
14 Jehovah chose Jesus Christ to be the King of His heavenly government, or Kingdom. Thousands of years ago, the Bible foretold that Jesus would rule as “Prince of Peace” and that his government would never end. (Isaiah 9:6, 7) Jesus taught his followers to pray for this government when he said: “Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.” (Matthew 6:10) In Chapter 8, we will learn how God’s Kingdom will replace the world’s governments. (Read Daniel 2:44.) Then God’s Kingdom will make the earth into a beautiful paradise.—See Endnote 11.
A NEW WORLD IS NEAR!
15. What is the “new earth”?
15 The Bible promises: “There are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting,” and “in these righteousness is to dwell.” (2 Peter 3:13; Isaiah 65:17) Sometimes when the Bible talks about “the earth,” it’s talking about the people who live on the earth. (Genesis 11:1) So the righteous “new earth” refers to all the people who obey God and are blessed by him.
16. What wonderful gift will God give to those who live in his new world, and what must we do to receive this gift?
16 Jesus promised that those who live in God’s new world will be given “everlasting life.” (Mark 10:30) What must we do to receive this gift? Please read John 3:16 and 17:3 to find the answer. Let us now see what the Bible says life will be like in the earthly Paradise.
17, 18. How do we know that there will be peace everywhere on the earth and that we will feel secure?
17 Wickedness, war, crime, and violence will be gone. There will not be any wicked people left on earth. (Psalm 37:10, 11) God will bring “an end to wars throughout the earth.” (Psalm 46:9; Isaiah 2:4) The earth will be full of people who love God and are obedient to him. There will be peace forever.—Psalm 72:7.
18 Jehovah’s people will feel secure. In Bible times, when the Israelites obeyed God, they were safe because he protected them. (Leviticus 25:18, 19) In the Paradise, we will not be afraid of anything or anybody. We will always feel secure!—Read Isaiah 32:18; Micah 4:4.
19. Why can we be sure that there will be plenty of food in God’s new world?
19 There will be plenty of food. “There will be an abundance of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains it will overflow.” (Psalm 72:16) Jehovah, “our God, will bless us,” and “the earth will give its produce.”—Psalm 67:6.
20. How do we know that the earth will become a paradise?
20 The whole earth will become a paradise. People will have beautiful houses and gardens. (Read Isaiah 65:21-24; Revelation 11:18.) The whole earth will be as beautiful as the garden of Eden was. Jehovah will always give us everything that we need. The Bible says about him: “You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”—Psalm 145:16.
21. How do we know that there will be peace between humans and animals?
21 There will be peace between humans and animals. Animals will not harm humans anymore. Little children will feel safe, even around animals that are dangerous to us today.—Read Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:25.
22. What will Jesus do for those who are sick?
22 No one will be sick. When Jesus was on earth, he healed many people. (Matthew 9:35; Mark 1:40-42; John 5:5-9) But as King of God’s Kingdom, Jesus will heal everyone. No one will ever say: “I am sick.”—Isaiah 33:24; 35:5, 6.
23. What will God do for those who have died?
23 The dead will live again. God promises that he will resurrect millions of people who have died. “There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.”—Read John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15.
24. How do you feel about living in Paradise?
24 We all have a choice. We can choose to learn about Jehovah and serve him, or we can just do what we want to do. If we choose to serve Jehovah, we can have a wonderful future. When a man asked Jesus to remember him after he died, Jesus promised him: “You will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Let us learn more about Jesus Christ and how he will make God’s wonderful promises come true.
WHAT CAN THE BIBLE TEACH US?