THE EARTHLY INHERITANCE SERIES of BIBLE SUBJECTS
Various Bible study guides in subjects pertaining to
New Earth prophecy, as taught by Paul Phelps.
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD,
they shall inherit the earth. Psalm 37:9
The EARTHLY INHERITANCE
Bible quotes are from the New Revised Standard Version
except for my own translations or as otherwise indicated.
A study guide of the inheritance of earth promised to
the humanity of the future that will inhabit New Earth.
A Bible study project by Paul Phelps.
After several years of study this writing was completed in 2004.
The Bible clearly promises a New Heavens and a New Earth. It is a renewed
creation that is meant in this promise. Total eradication of the existing creation
is not implied. It is true however that many aspects of the existing creation will
be erased. We are in the last days of this age, this world, and are in a transition
time between this age and the next. God is not erasing all things but is shaking
all things to get rid of all not worth keeping, and to keep only what will remain.
For thus says the LORD of hosts: Once again, in a little while, I will
shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land; and
I will shake all the nations, so that the treasure of all nations shall come,
and I will fill this house with splendour, says the LORD of hosts.
… “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.”
This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken,
that is, created things, so that what cannot be shaken will remain.
It is God’s intent that all things be restored to his original plan and purpose.
He has appointed "times of refreshing" and "universal restoration" to begin at the
return of Messiah Jesus. The presence of the LORD will then be in the earth.
… so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the LORD,
and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus,
who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration
that God announced long ago through his holy prophets.
Isaiah is among those prophets that foresaw the time of universal restoration.
… He will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God;
we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the LORD
for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
In this study guide we shall be referring to Isaiah’s prophecies very often for
he said much about the restoration of mankind and earth in God’s foreordained
universal kingdom. Church sages have written a rich legacy of teaching for the
heavenly inheritance and the calling that pertains thereto, but our writings are
devoted to the earthly inheritance and the covenants that pertain to it. There is
much in the Bible of this subject but it has not been widely taught for centuries.
The Church age and existing era are now nearing the end of their allotted time.
It’s now time to teach the eternal gospel (Rev. 14:6), the gospel of the New Earth.
In the Biblical portrayal of God’s plan for earth, the Jewish nation is the prime
example and starting signal of God’s workings, both in judgment and blessing.
There will be anguish and distress for everyone who does evil,
the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honour and peace
for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.
God’s plan is focused on Israel, but new world Israel shall include all peoples.
In this age Israel is Jacob’s seed, but new world Israel is a worldwide kingdom
inclusive of everyone. What applies to Israel will ultimately apply to all nations.
Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! For lo, I will come and dwell in your
midst, says the LORD. Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD
on that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in your midst.
And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
The LORD will inherit Judah as His portion in the holy land, and
will again choose Jerusalem. Be silent, all people, before the LORD …
The New covenant will at first be agreed with Israel and Judah (Jer. 31:31-34)
but will include other nations as they enter in God’s kingdom. As people learn
God’s standards they become part of his expanding kingdom of earth.
In days to come the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established
as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the
God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in
his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of
the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and
shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into
plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not
lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
We learn in the above text that worldwide peace is one of the most apparent
features of the Messianic age. This is in strong contrast to the present situation.
Peace will come because Jesus the Prince of Peace will be King of all the earth.
… Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority
shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne
of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice
and with righteousness from this time onward and for evermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
… and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called
the Son of the Most High, and the Lord GOD will give to him the throne
of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.
The throne of David that shall continue for evermore is an earthly dominion.
God’s earthly dominion is not a short-term plan, it is long-term and permanent.
The house of Jacob (the twelve tribes of Israel) is an earthly people unendingly.
The prophet Hosea says that the Jews shall remain many days without king or
prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or teraphim; and that they will
afterwards return and seek the LORD their God and David their king, and come
in awe to the LORD and his goodness in the latter days (Hosea 3:4-5). That is a
description of the Jewish Diaspora from 70 CE onward with no Davidic kingdom,
temple or priesthood. Since then, the LORD waits in heaven for Israel’s people
to recognise their guilt towards him, and seek him; Hosea 5:15,
I will return again to my place until they
acknowledge their guilt and seek my face.
In their distress they will beg my favour.
Such acknowledgement is foreseen (in Zech. 12:10—13:1) and then the LORD
will come to establish his earthly kingdom; Hosea 6:1-3,
“Come, let us return to the LORD; for it is he who has torn,
and he will heal us; he has struck down, and he will bind us up.
After two days he will revive us; on the third day
he will raise us up, that we may live before him.
Let us know, let us press on to know the LORD;
his appearing is as sure as the dawn; he will come to us
like the showers, like the spring rains that water the earth.”
A day with the LORD is as a thousand years (Psalms 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8) so
Hosea is saying that two thousand years will pass until Israel’s people repent of
their guilt by rejecting Jesus at his first advent. Jesus died in Spring at Passover.
The year of his death is not confirmed but it is historically certain his crucifixion
occurred during the years from 29-34 AD. Josephus the Roman historian said his
death was 30 AD (forty years before Jerusalem’s temple was destroyed in 70 AD).
The Hosea 6:1-3 prophecy means that Jesus will return 2000 years after his death
and that the resurrection of the dead comes at the start of the 3rd millennial day.
Psalm 72 has the Messianic age in view, likening Messiah’s reign to showers
of rain that water the earth bringing an abundance of peace and righteousness.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers
that water the earth. In his days may righteousness flourish and
peace abound, until the moon is no more. May he have dominion
from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
The LORD’s righteous teaching in that day will be like the dew, like the rain.
… let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
May my teaching drop like the rain,
my speech condense like the dew;
like gentle rain on grass,
like showers on new growth.
If you will only heed his every commandment…
loving the LORD your God, and serving him with all your heart
and with all your soul—then he will give the rain for your land
in its season, the early rain and the latter rain …
Jesus will be the teacher of righteousness for humanity in the new world—to
bring mankind into the wisdom and pattern of righteous living. One purpose of
the Millennial age is to give humanity godlike wisdom and childlike innocence,
as intended for Adam and Eve at the beginning. After a millennium of tutelage
and a testing time at the end (Rev. 20:7-14), the entitled of mankind will live by
conscience according to God’s initial plan. From the New Testament record of
Jesus’ ministry we expect his new-world teaching will not be religious but rather
about wisdom and ethics; (old-world religion and tradition will be over and gone).
Jesus teaches us wisdom principles; therefore he has no need of past traditions.
He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites,
as it is written, ‘This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts
are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts
as doctrines.’ You abandon the commandment of God and hold to
human tradition.” Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of
rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition!”
Good attitudes, right thought patterns and ethics will be the standards taught
to the public. This is righteousness both towards earthly life and towards God.
The life covenant of earthly inheritance is long-term and permanent. The nature
of earthly righteousness will be to preserve each one’s place in the mainstream
of human life and to preserve and glorify earthly life and humanity.
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the
prosperity of your children. In righteousness you shall be established ...
Mankind’s new world covenant will have the lasting presence of God’s spirit
on future generations forever. Children will be born into the Kingdom forever;
(and in this infinitely expanding universe our living space has no limit).
And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says the LORD:
my spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth,
shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouths of your children,
or out of the mouths of your children’s children, says the LORD,
from now on and for ever.
The people of New Earth shall be eternally blessed with a prolific family life,
as part of their human entitlement—according to many Old Testament promises.
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God
who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and
keep his commandments, to a thousand generations …
The children of your servants shall live secure;
their offspring shall be established in your presence.
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children…
For you will spread out to the right and to the left, and your
descendants will possess the nations and will settle the desolate towns.
The mandate given to Adam and Noah is to multiply and fill all of the earth,
but in the new world the decree will be to multiply and fill all of the kingdom.
Mankind will be populating forever because the new-world kingdom is endless.
The thought in Isaiah 60:22 is that men having greater devotion to righteousness
will have more descendants than men of less devotion. That idea is supported in
Malachi 2:15, “And what does the one God desire? Godly offspring.” Presently
the hindrances and restrictions are many and severe due to Satan’s system, but
new-world standards will favour righteous people in all aspects of life.
Your people shall all be righteous;
they shall possess the land for ever. They are the shoot that I planted,
the work of my hands, so that I might be glorified.
The least of them shall become a clan, and the smallest one
a mighty nation; I am the LORD; in its time I will accomplish it quickly.
They shall not labour in vain, or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be the offspring blessed by the LORD—
and their descendants as well.
For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make,
shall remain before me, says the LORD;
so shall your descendants and your name remain.
They shall live in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob,
in which your ancestors lived; they and their children
and their children’s children shall live there for ever.
I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting
covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them …
You shall allot it (the land) as an inheritance for yourselves and
for the aliens who reside among you and have begotten children
among you. They shall be as citizens of Israel; with you they shall be
allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.
Biologic reproduction is one feature that markedly differentiates the physical
universe from the spiritual universe. The Bible uses terms like fire, spirit, light,
to describe the spiritual universe; these terms indicate an energy-based realm
(rather than a material-based realm like earth). This may be the reason that no
reproduction occurs in the spirit realm. Cell-growth processes do not exist in
pure energy. Energy beings do not need a life support environment as we do.
The Bible nowhere mentions gender differentiation amongst angels, nor is there
mention of angel children. Angels evidently do not populate in the spirit realm.
The Bible reveals that heaven was originally populated by direct creation. But
God is now repopulating heaven by the Church call of believers into heaven.
In the last days of the Church age, as we enter into the Messianic age, these
two identities are easily seen—just as Elijah and Elisha were seen as two distinct
persons in the time they were together. But after Elijah was taken into heaven
Elisha was the only one seen. And likewise, the eternal gospel is the only gospel
after the Church is taken to heaven. The eternal gospel (of Rev. 14:6-12) is the
message of inheritance in God’s earthly kingdom.
A primary characteristic of an earthly covenant is affection for earthly things.
That should not be a problem for those having the hope of earthly inheritance,
(because God created mankind to be caretakers of the earth; Genesis 1:26-28),
but for those who are called to heaven a mind renewal is needed (2 Cor. 4:16).
This mind renewal is not just turning from sin, as some think. More importantly
it means turning away from love for earth and turning towards love for heaven.
This is a struggle in this age for Christian believers but the grand heavenly hope
gives strength to overcome. Hope of heaven’s reward is vital to the Church call.
The earthly elect also have an inward struggle—love of this world and its sin.
This present evil world is not pure as Eden was. The righteous-minded can have
earthly affections but not for this world, nor for sin, (this world is passing away).
To them are the words of Matt. 6:33: “But strive first for the kingdom of God
and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
God’s spiritual kingdom began for the heaven-called at Christ’s first coming
and has its perfect realisation in heaven. The physical kingdom begins in earth
for earth people at Christ’s return and has its full realisation in earth during the
thousand-year Messianic age and ever after. Both inheritances are signified in
2 Tim. 2:20,
In a large house there are utensils not only of gold and silver
but also of wood and clay,
some for special use, some for ordinary.
Gold and silver are light reflecting and represent heaven but wood and clay
signify earth. The two categories in each evidently indicate quality differences
for there are different degrees of rewards; Luke 19:15-26. At judgment-day, as
the Kingdom starts, each one’s righteousness is measured (Matt. 25:31-46), and
the resurrection of the righteous follows (Luke 14:14). The people to inherit the
New Earth are the end-time elect and the righteous of all past generations.
The Messianic age is an appointed time for humankind to learn righteousness
(Isaiah 2:3; 54:13), and it is also a time for joy and gladness (Isaiah 35:10; 55:12).
God intends to remove sin, sadness and sorrow, and to restore earth as in Eden.
It is a time for regeneration, renewal and restoration (Matthew 19:28; Acts 3:21).
An essential human attribute to be restored is long life. Genesis Chapter Five
has a genealogy of pre-Flood patriarchs indicating an average age span beyond
nine hundred years. Such longevity is near a thousand years and appears to be
the genetic norm for human age in pre-Flood conditions, even without access to
the tree of life. This shall be the genetic norm for New Earth restored humanity,
and access to living water and trees of life (for those living uprightly, Rev. 22:1-2).
… for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
Trees can live to a great age. The natural age limit for trees is not known, but
some are known to live several thousand years. However, the age limit of trees
in earth’s present degraded climate is not the created norm; their age span in a
renewed earth will surely be more. Anyhow, we know that Adam and Eve were
created to live forever—having the tree of life and a perfect earth environment.
(That is the reason they were expelled from Eden. Adam and Eve were expelled
so that they would not live forever; Genesis 3:22-24.)
In the new world adolescence will last longer and puberty will be later, as in
the pre-Flood world; Mahalalel at 65 had the earliest age of fatherhood listed in
Genesis Five, the begettal of Jared, v 15. This explains the curious statement in
… for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
Infant death (even by accident) will be a thing of the past. It will not happen.
Isaiah 65:23, …(and v 20),
v 23, They shall not labour in vain, or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be offspring blessed by the LORD—
and their descendants as well.
v 20, No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days,
or an old person that does not live out a lifetime …
New Earth longevity introduces several new factors: it greatly affects the rate
of population increase among humans and radically affects family relationships
and many wider aspects of life. It is amazing to imagine all the ways longevity
will affect life. But we must know that eternal life for humans remains an option.
Longevity beyond a thousand years will depend on the genetically tailored fruit
from the tree of life to maintain youth. If any member of mankind reverts to sin,
further access to the tree of life will be denied, as happened to Adam and Eve.
Evidently the tree of life will be inside the city under lock and key as it were.
Revelation 22:14, …(and v 15),
v 14, Blessed are those who will have washed their robes clean,
so that they will have the right to feed on the tree of life
and can come through the gates into the city.
v 15, Outside are the dogs and sorcerers
and fornicators and murderers and idolaters,
and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
The promise that death will be no more (Rev. 21:4) means that unending life is
always available—but that is still a matter of choice. To feed on the tree of life
is always a matter of choice. Humans will retain their option to die at any time,
(which is an option that angels evidently do not have; Luke 20:36).
The natural direction of human life will be towards inner contentment. There
won’t be the inner conflict and turmoil of emotion that characterises this world.
A spirit of harmony and quiet peace shall be everywhere present; Is. 30:19-21,
Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep
no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
when he hears it he will answer you. Though the LORD may give you
the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher
will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes will see your Teacher.
And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears
shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of
righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in
a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
The spirit of peace was upon all the animals in Eden at the start and it will be
so again, animals were not created wild but ate grass (Gen. 1:30); Isaiah 65:25,
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall
eat straw like the ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the LORD.
The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down
with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little
child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young
shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the
weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will
not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be
full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
All of nature will be restored, both for earth and for humanity. Isaiah 35:1-2,
The wasteland and dry plain shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice
and blossom like a spring flower, it shall bloom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and song. The grandeur of Lebanon
shall be given unto it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon;
they shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.
vv 5-7, Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the
deaf unstopped; then the lame will leap like a deer, and the
tongue of the silent will sing joyously. For waters shall
burst forth in the desert, and streams in the dry plain.
And wherever was parched will become a pool, and
arid zones will become springs of water; in the meadowlands
where dragons recline shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
Much of earth is a dry wasteland but it was not so at first, nor will it remain so.
The trees and forests shall be restored (Isaiah 29:17; 41:19). Isaiah 44:3-4,
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams
on the dry ground; I will pour my spirit upon your descendants,
and my blessing on your offspring. They shall spring up
like a green tamarisk, like willows by flowing streams.
For the LORD will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places,
and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden
of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.
For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier
shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial,
and for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress,
the plane, and the pine, to beautify the place of my sanctuary…
New Earth will be ruled from a new heavenly city called the New Jerusalem,
described in Revelation 21 as built in heaven but coming to earth. This city will
appear as a brightly shining light in the sky as it comes towards earth.
And the city has no need of the sun or moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
The nations will walk by its light,
and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.
Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.
The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness
shall the moon give light to you by night; but the LORD will
be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.
Your sun shall no more go down, or your moon withdraw itself;
for the LORD will be your everlasting light …
Other scriptures assure us that the sun and moon shall continue into the ages
to come, but the above texts are saying that this New Heaven-built city will be
so brightly illuminating that the earth will no more need sunlight or moonlight.
This means that God will maintain a visible presence in sight of earth’s people
as a constant reminder and assurance that earth abides under heaven’s control.
There will be cordial relations between heaven’s dignitaries and earth people
with agreed human rights as part of the New covenant (Jer. 31:31-36; 33:14-26).
Angels will serve in the new world but will not have administrative authority
(Heb. 2:5-8). The glorified saints will share in the supreme authority of Jesus in
the New Heaven, and mankind will regain the position of honour given to Adam
with authority in the material realm of creation; Genesis 1:28; Psalm 8:4-8. This
position of honour given humanity is an eternal honour according to Scripture.
This is legal recognition of the basic characteristics that identify humanity, with
the guaranteed right to retain them without modification. These characteristics
include spiritual souls linked to material bodies with right to live in the material
realm, male-female gender differentiation and attributes and right to reproduce
children, the right to die by natural aging process or otherwise, the right to live
forever by access to the tree of life if stated conditions are met, the right to live
in paradise environments in harmony with nature, the right of a normal friendly
relationship to God and heaven’s dignitaries as we are put in contact to them,
and the right of heaven’s protection from attack of hostile invaders and agents.
These human rights do not prevent changes in the human life contract if such
changes are by the informed consent and agreement of those involved. There
are no Scriptures indicating that the Church call to heaven will be repeated but
it serves as an example how individual choice can change one’s life contract.
Heaven was originally populated by direct creation of God, but no more. The
call to heaven for Christian believers in the Church age was a divine selection
programme of individual consent designed to repopulate heaven. That calling
involved the sacrifice of the earthly human identity –and replacement with a new
heavenly identity only by divine invitation and by individual consent—and so it
must always be. If in future such divine callings are again offered among men,
the human rights of mankind at large will not be affected. Humanity will retain
without change the covenanted relationship to God that is already established.
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