While researching the scriptural references to "paradise" (and the official WTS explanation for each), I was surprised with what I found regarding the location of paradise.
Luke 23:43Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth today you will be with me in paradise."
Earth is the location of this paradise.
artful said: 2 Corinthians 12:1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows. 3And I know that this man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows-- 4was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.
COMMENT- Paul's reference to the location of paradise is in the heavens. (The WTS "Insight on the Scriptures" agrees with this thought).
The Watchtower is wrong. Does that surprise anyone? The location of this paradise is still earth but under the authority of Christ. Just like the paradise described to the thief this vision describes this third heaven that is yet to come. You should already know that Heaven is a Jewish way to express authority and rule. Paul experienced the Law Covenant. That is one heaven. Then he experienced the rule of Rome that is his second heaven. And now Paul experienced the rule of Christ. That is his third heaven and the ultimate experience for him. It was paradise alright just as he described, the same paradise our Lord promised to the thief but future, a revelation Paul was not permitted to describe in detail.
Artful said: Revelation 2:7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
COMMENT- Jesus words (written by John) set the location of paradise as in the heavens. (The WTS "Insight on the Scriptures" agrees with this thought).
The Watchtower is wrong again. The tree of life will be in the city called New Jerusalem. And this New Jerusalem comes down to earth when Christ returns to rule men, nations in fact (not non-human beings) that will live in it.
21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of 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 shall be with them, and be their God.
22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Since this city is to be here with mankind (not spirit kind) how is it that the Watchtower or anyone else for that matter teaches that this paradise will be somewhere else at that time?
This is the hope of the faith, a kingdom here on earth, something the disciples themselves expected even after fourty additional days of intensive teachings regarding this kingdom by our Lord.
Acts 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
Now after being witnesses to His resurrection and with all this additional training would they be confused as the where this kingdom, this paradise of God would be? NO! They just did not understand that it was yet future. Their question shows this clearly, notice:
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Kingdom of God, Kingdom of the Heavens, Kindom to Israel, third heaven, Paradise, New Jerusalem, all ways to express this same kingdom here on earth to be ruled by Christ.
Edited by - JosephMalik on 1 January 2003 17:25:51