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A New Heaven and a New Earth

As the wicked are consumed in the Lake of Fire, the fire continues to burn and purify the earth, as written in II Peter 3:7, 10-12 (NKJV): “But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men…But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent
heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”  

After the entire earth is burnt up and consumed in this fire, the next event to occur will be a new earth and new heavens. This is prophesied in Revelation 21:1-3 (NKJV): “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

The New Earth with the new holy city, the New Jerusalem, will no longer need oceans and seas to sustain physical life because only spirit beings, the immortal sons of God, will inhabit it from then on.  God the Father will also dwell among them.  

The apostle Peter also mentioned the new heavens and the new earth in II Peter 3:13: “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.”

Isaiah also mentions the new heavens and the new earth in 65:17-19, 66:22: “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.  But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create…”

God’s Purpose in Creating Humanity

Perhaps now we can understand God’s great purpose in creating mankind in His own image as explained by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong through whom God founded the modern era of His true Church.  

God first created the angels.  Three angels of apparently the highest rank of archangels were Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel.  After they had learnt God’s way of life and government, God then created the earth and the rest of the material universe.  He then sent one third of the angels under the leadership of Lucifer to earth to finish its creation.

Ezekiel 28:12-15 (NKJV) describes Lucifer this way: “Thus says the Lord God: "You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.  The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. 14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.”   

Thus God created Lucifer a perfect spirit being, but he led apparently one third of all the angels under his command to rebellion against God.  Then God saw that He could create a perfect being with incredible talents, but He could not create perfect holy righteous character in that being by fiat.

Mr. Armstrong writes in his book “Mystery of the Ages” p. 101:

“Character cannot be automatically created by fiat.  Godly spiritual character is the habitual action and conduct of the person or created entity to come to knowledge of the true ways of God, and to exercise the will to follow those ways even against opposition, temptation or self-desire to the contrary.  Character must be developed with the assent, will and action of the separately created entity.  It is imparted by God and must be willingly
received by that entity.”

When Lucifer and the angels under his command rebelled against God, they demonstrated that they had not developed perfect, holy and righteous character.  Otherwise they would not have rebelled against God and His government.  Mr. Armstrong continues on pages 93-95:      

“As God surveyed this cataclysmic tragedy [the destruction of the earth and other parts of the universe caused by Satan’s rebellion], He must have realized that since the highest, most perfect being [Lucifer who became Satan]…had turned to rebellion, it left God himself as the only being who would not and cannot sin…

“God saw that no being less than God, in the God family [currently with only two members in it – God the Father and Jesus Christ as the Son], could be certainly relied on to never sin.  To fulfill His purpose for the entire vast universe [which was to finish its creation by beautifying it], God saw that nothing less than himself (as the God family) could be absolutely relied upon to carry out that purpose in the entire universe.

“God then purposed to reproduce himself, through humans, made in his image and likeness, but made first from material flesh and blood, subject to death if there is sin unrepented of – yet with the possibility of being born into the divine family begotten by God the Father…And that is why God put man on earth.”

Mr. Armstrong writes on p. 103:

“Man was [is] to improve the physical earth as God gave it to him, finishing its creation (which sinning angels had deliberately refused to do) and, in so doing to RESTORE THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD, with God’s way of life; and further, in this very process FINISHING THE CREATION OF MAN by the development of God’s holy, righteous CHARACTER, with man’s own assent.

“Once this perfect and righteous character is instilled in man, and man converted from mortal flesh to immortal spirit, then is to come the INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL – man being born into the divine family of God, restoring the government of God to the earth, and then participating in the completion of the creation over the entire endless expanse of the universe… [Thus] God shall have reproduced Himself untold millions of times over.”    

God says in 2 Corinthians 6:18: “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”  God always means what He says.

John the apostle also wrote 1 John 3:2: “Beloved, now we are the 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.”  Thus our human potential is to be born into God’s divine family as His literal sons and daughters, with a spirit body like His, and rule the entire universe with Him.

Next Colonize the Entire Universe

Here is proof that we shall rule the entire universe.

God has promised all things, meaning the entire universe, to those who overcome and became His immortal sons and daughters.  This is stated in Revelation 21:7 (NKJV): “7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”

Hebrews 2:6-8 (NKJV) also states: “6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: "What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put
under him.”

The picture is quite clear.  The New Jerusalem will be the center of the universe where God will dwell with all His immortal sons and daughters.  But they will not be confined to the earth.  They will have inherited all things from God the Father and Jesus Christ, meaning the entire physical universe and the spirit realm to work with and rule.  God will have set His immortal sons and daughters over all the works of His hands that He has created.

God said through Isaiah the prophet about the earth in Isaiah 45:18: “For thus says the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he has established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”  If God created the earth to be inhabited, He certainly would not have created more than 100 billion stars with their planets in each galaxy with more than 100 billion galaxies in the universe to lie waste and empty.  He created them to be inhabited at some time like the earth.

Thus after God’s plan of salvation for mankind is complete, and human beings have become literal immortal sons of God with God the Father dwelling among them, there will be a new beginning.  What has been accomplished on earth, God’s sons will then accomplish in the rest of the universe, which Satan and the demons disqualified from doing.  They will have proved to God the Father that even when they are sent to the
remotest corner of the universe, they will not rebel against Him as Satan and the demons did after they were sent away from heaven to rule the earth.  God’s sons and daughters will administer God’s government throughout the universe.

These things cannot be imagined by our limited minds but God has revealed them to members of His Church through His holy spirit as Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NKJV): "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit."

There is a Way of Escape

We have used only the sure words of prophecy (2 Peter 1:19: “19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts”) to show what will happen in the world in the very near future.  These words come straight from the Bible, describing the horrors the world will soon be plunged into.  But there is a way of
escape from these catastrophic events.

Only one group in the world is promised protection throughout the entire three and a half years of the coming Great Tribulation: members of God’s true Church with the Philadelphian attitude as described in Revelation 3:7-11 (NKJV), “' 7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: 8 I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not
denied My name…10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”

Millions of others besides members of God’s Church will survive, but when the 7 billion population of the world is taken into consideration, the percentage surviving may be 1% or less.  Those are very poor odds of surviving the troubles that lie ahead.  The best chances of survival are promised for members of God’s Church who keep God’s word, meaning all His commandments and doctrines, have not denied that they worship the true Jesus Christ of the Bible, persevere in doing God’s work of warning the world of the coming catastrophes, proclaiming the most wonderful news of the return of Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of the Kingdom of God, and endure to the very end while diligently doing these things.

God has laid before us the choice He offers to all human beings.  But each and every human being must individually choose and take action.  So the choice to become members of God’s Church and do God’s work in order to receive protection during the Great Tribulation, or stay in the world and watch along as events unfold and engulf everyone is entirely yours.

How you can Join God’s True Church

If you would like to become members of God’s true Church, you must first learn more about God's way of life and then make your choice.  You can do so by reading the literature published by the United Church of God.  Two small United Church of God booklets that could be read in a total of about 2-3 hours explain what steps an individual must take to receive God’s free gift of eternal life, and what the fundamental beliefs of the true Church of God are.  These booklets are titled “The Road to Eternal Life” and “Fundamental Beliefs of the United Church of God.”

All literature is offered free of charge upon request by the United Church of God.  It can also be read online, or downloaded free at the Church's web site  You can also write to the United Church of God at: United Church of God, Post Office Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254, USA.  In the USA you can also request literature on the phone by calling toll free at 1-888-886-8632, or from anywhere in the world at 1-513-576-9796.  You may also request a free subscription to our monthly magazine “The Good News” at

The Church also has ministers available almost everywhere in the world to answer any questions you may have or counsel for baptism to become a member of God's true Church.

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