1. ENTERING THE KINGDOM OF GLORY
a. Where will the faithful be after Christ’s second coming? 1 Thessalonians 4:15–17.
“We all entered the cloud together and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought the crowns, and with His own right hand placed them on our heads. He gave us harps of gold and palms of victory. . . . All were perfectly satisfied with their crowns. And they were all clothed with a glorious white mantle from their shoulders to their feet.”—Early Writings, pp. 16, 17.
b. What gives the saints the right to enter the New Jerusalem? Psalm 87:3–6; Galatians 4:26; Revelation 22:14; Isaiah 26:1, 2.
“Angels were all about us as we marched over the sea of glass to the gate of the city. Jesus raised His mighty, glorious arm, laid hold of the pearly gate, swung it back on its glittering hinges, and said to us, ‘You have washed your robes in My blood, stood stiffly for My truth, enter in.’ We all marched in and felt that we had a perfect right in the city.”—Ibid., p.17.
2. THE MILLENNIUM
a. How long will the saints spend in heaven? Revelation 20:4. What will we be doing during this time? 1 Corinthians 6:2; Matthew 19:28.
“During the thousand years between the first and the second resurrection the judgment of the wicked takes place. . . . In union with Christ [the righteous] judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book, the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion which the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works; and it is recorded against their names in the book of death.”—The Great Controversy, pp. 660, 661.
b. Where will Satan be during the millennium? Revelation 20:1–3. In what state will the earth be during this time? Jeremiah 4:23–27.
“Here [on this earth] is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for a thousand years. Limited to the earth, he will not have access to other worlds to tempt and annoy those who have never fallen. It is in this sense that he is bound: there are none remaining, upon whom he can exercise his power. He is wholly cut off from the work of deception and ruin which for so many centuries has been his sole delight. . . .
“For six thousand years, Satan’s work of rebellion has ‘made the earth to tremble.’ He has ‘made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof.’ And he ‘opened not the house of his prisoners.’ For six thousand years his prison house has received God’s people, and he would have held them captive forever; but Christ has broken his bonds and set the prisoners free.
“Even the wicked are now placed beyond the power of Satan, and alone with his evil angels he remains to realize the effect of the curse which sin has brought. . . .
“For a thousand years, Satan will wander to and fro in the desolate earth to behold the results of his rebellion against the law of God. During this time his sufferings are intense. Since his fall his life of unceasing activity has banished reflection; but he is now deprived of his power and left to contemplate the part which he has acted since first he rebelled against the government of heaven, and to look forward with trembling and terror to the dreadful future when he must suffer for all the evil that he has done and be punished for the sins that he has caused to be committed.”—Ibid., pp.659, 660.
3. MOVING THE HEADQUARTERS
a. What will take place at the conclusion of the judgment in heaven? Revelation 21:2, 3.
“With Jesus at our head we all descended from the city down to this earth, on a great and mighty mountain, which could not bear Jesus up, and it parted asunder, and there was a mighty plain. Then we looked up and saw the great city, with twelve foundations, and twelve gates, three on each side, and an angel at each gate. We all cried out, ‘The city, the great city, it’s coming, it’s coming down from God out of heaven,’ and it came and settled on the place where we stood.”—Early Writings, pp. 17, 18.
b. Where will the New Jerusalem be located? Zechariah 14:4.
“As the place of His ascension, Jesus chose the spot so often hallowed by His presence while He dwelt among men. Not Mount Zion, the place of David’s city, not Mount Moriah, the temple site, was to be thus honored. There Christ had been mocked and rejected. There the waves of mercy, still returning in a stronger tide of love, had been beaten back by hearts as hard as rock. Thence Jesus, weary and heart-burdened, had gone forth to find rest in the Mount of Olives. The holy Shekinah, in departing from the first temple, had stood upon the eastern mountain, as if loath to forsake the chosen city; so Christ stood upon Olivet, with yearning heart overlooking Jerusalem. The groves and glens of the mountain had been consecrated by His prayers and tears. Its steeps had echoed the triumphant shouts of the multitude that proclaimed Him king. On its sloping descent He had found a home with Lazarus at Bethany. In the garden of Gethsemane at its foot He had prayed and agonized alone. From this mountain He was to ascend to heaven. Upon its summit His feet will rest when He shall come again. Not as a man of sorrows, but as a glorious and triumphant king He will stand upon Olivet, while Hebrew hallelujahs mingle with Gentile hosannas, and the voices of the redeemed as a mighty host shall swell the acclamation, Crown Him Lord of all!”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 829, 830.
4. A NEW EARTH
a. When the wicked are no more, what will happen to the earth? Revelation 21:1; Psalm 102:25, 26.
b. What will the redeemed do on the new earth? Isaiah 32:18; 65:21, 22.
“Then we began to look at the glorious things outside of the city. There I saw most glorious houses, that had the appearance of silver, supported by four pillars set with pearls most glorious to behold. These were to be inhabited by the saints. In each was a golden shelf. I saw many of the saints go into the houses, take off their glittering crowns and lay them on the shelf, then go out into the field by the houses to do something with the earth; not as we have to do with the earth here; no, no. A glorious light shone all about their heads, and they were continually shouting and offering praises to God.”—Early Writings, p. 18.
“In the earth made new, the redeemed will engage in the occupations and pleasures that brought happiness to Adam and Eve in the beginning. The Eden life will be lived, the life in garden and field.”—Prophets and Kings, pp. 730, 731.
c. How does the Bible describe the environment of the new earth? Isaiah 11:6–9; 65:25.
“I saw another field full of all kinds of flowers, and as I plucked them, I cried out, ‘They will never fade.’ Next I saw a field of tall grass, most glorious to behold; it was living green and had a reflection of silver and gold, as it waved proudly to the glory of King Jesus. Then we entered a field full of all kinds of beasts—the lion, the lamb, the leopard, and the wolf, all together in perfect union. We passed through the midst of them, and they followed on peaceably after. Then we entered a wood, not like the dark woods we have here; no, no; but light, and all over glorious; the branches of the trees moved to and fro, and we all cried out, ‘We will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.’ ”—Early Writings, p. 18.
“[Children’s] minds should be filled with stories of the life of the Lord, and their imaginations encouraged in picturing the glories of the world to come.”—Child Guidance, p. 488.
5. INHERITING THE EARTH
a. What is prophesied of those who, though outcasts from the present world, will inherit the next? Psalm 37:8–11.
“The meek ‘shall inherit the earth’ (Matthew 5:5). It was through the desire for self-exaltation that sin entered into the world, and our first parents lost the dominion over this fair earth, their kingdom. It is through self-abnegation that Christ redeems what was lost. And He says we are to overcome as He did. Revelation 3:21. Through humility and self-surrender we may become heirs with Him. . . .
“The earth promised to the meek will not be like this, darkened with the shadow of death and the curse. . . .
“There is no disappointment, no sorrow, no sin, no one who shall say, I am sick; there are no burial trains, no mourning, no death, no partings, no broken hearts; but Jesus is there, peace is there.”—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 17.
b. What will be the character of those who dwell in the new earth? 2 Peter 3:13.
“The feet of the wicked will never desecrate the earth made new. Fire will come down from God out of heaven and devour them—burn them up root and branch. Satan is the root, and his children are the branches.”—Early Writings, p. 52.
“The same fire from God that consumed the wicked purified the whole earth. The broken, ragged mountains melted with fervent heat, the atmosphere also, and all the stubble was consumed. Then our inheritance opened before us, glorious and beautiful, and we inherited the whole earth made new.”—Ibid., p.54.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. On what condition is a person counted as a citizen of the New Jerusalem?
2. What happens during the Millennium in heaven and on earth?
3. Why will God choose the earth for the new location of His headquarters?
4. Describe the earth made new.
5. What kind of people will inherit the new earth?