Paradise - What Is It?

The first paradise mentioned was on earth. Man lost it thru sin and disobedience.
    It is a place where man and God dwell together. It is a place, not a state of being. It is a place where the resurrected will live. Therefore it is future. It is the new earth spoken of in Revelation. Peter also spoke of the new heavens and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. The question will arise to who will have a part in paradise.
    Our minds immediately go back to Luke’s gospel where the malefactor was promised a place with his Lord in paradise. He asked for a place in the kingdom, but instead of that request being granted, he was assured of paradise. Why?
    His request concerning the kingdom could not be granted. He was a Gentile. Peter had not yet opened the door of the kingdom to the Gentiles. In such a case the malefactor could not have a resurrection early enough to get into the kingdom. As did Job, he must wait for the Great White Throne. This is after the heavens and earth pass away.
    Paradise is not the millennium. It comes after the millennium. The rebuilt Jerusalem of the golden age or millennium was promised to the Jews. It is the theme of the prophets. But it is not paradise, it is the kingdom.
    In paradise will be the New Jerusalem which will come down from heaven like a bride adorned for her husband. Here will be the tree of life again. There will be no more sea. Paradise will be a new heaven and earth with no remembrance of former things to mar the enjoyment of it. This is the hope of the church of God of the Acts period. It is essentially Jewish, although Gentiles known as the spiritual seed of Abraham will be there. The gates will have the name of the 12 apostles on them. It is promised to the overcomers of Rev 2 and 3.  
                                                                                                              Originally Published Oct. 1948