Three Eras of Earth and Mankind

HeavenThree Eras of Earth and Mankind

The chart “Three Eras of Earth and Mankind” portrays human history and human destiny. It demonstrates the continuity of past, present, and future, and the continuity between life on the old Earth and life on the New Earth. By comparing each series of statements, you’ll see the distinct differences between these three periods. I encourage you to study this chart and contemplate the significance of each phase of Earth’s history. 

Three Eras of Earth and Mankind
from Randy Alcorn’s Heaven  (Tyndale House Publishers, 2004)  




Genesis 1 – 2  

Genesis 3 – Revelation 20  

Revelation 21 – 22  

Original mankind  

Fallen mankind/Some believe and are transformed  

Resurrected mankind  

Original Earth  

Fallen Earth,
with glimmers of original  

New Earth; resurrected on mankind’s coattails (Rom. 8) 

God delegates earth’s reign to innocent mankind  

Disputed reign with God, Satan, and fallen mankind  

God delegates earth’s reign
to righteous mankind  

Mankind given dominion, with intended stewardship of Earth  

Mankind’s dominion thwarted, 
frustrated, and twisted; culture tainted  

Mankind’s dominion fulfilled; 
redeemed stewardship of Earth under King of Kings; culture redeemed  

God in Heaven, visiting Earth (walking in Eden)  

God in Heaven, cut off from fallen men (indwells believers by his Spirit)  

God’s face gloriously seen, as He dwells with mankind on New Earth  

No Curse  

Sin and the Curse  

No more Curse  

No shame  


No shame or potential for shame  

Tree of life in Eden
(mankind can eat)  

Tree of life in Paradise
 (mankind cut off from)  

Tree of life in New Jerusalem 
(mankind can eat it again)  

River of life in Eden 

Rivers and nature, with glimmers of past and future  

River of life flows
from God’s throne in city  

No death  

Death permeates all  

Death forever removed  

Mankind created from the Earth  

Mankind dies, returns to the Earth; new life to some  

Mankind resurrected from Earth to live on New Earth  

 First Adam reigns  

First Adam falls; mankind reigns corruptly, with glimpses of good; Last Adam, Jesus, comes  

Last Adam reigns as
God-man, with mankind as co-heirs and delegated kings 

Serpent, Satan, on Earth  

Satan judged but still present on Earth  

Satan forever removed from Earth, thrown into eternal fire  

Creation and mankind perfect  

Creation and mankind tainted by sin  

Creation and mankind restored to perfection  

Mankind names, tends, rules the animals  

Animals and mankind hurt each other and suffer  

Animals and mankind live in complete harmony  

Ground fertile, vegetation lush  

Ground cursed, vegetation diseased  

Ground fertile, vegetation thrives  

Abundant food and water  

Hunger and thirst, toil for food and water  

Abundant food and water  

satisfaction in labor 

Restlessness, toil in labor 

Enhanced restfulness,
joy in labor  


Paradise lost, sought; glimmers seen, foretastes 

Paradise regained and magnified  

Mankind in ideal place  

Mankind banished,
struggles and wanders in fallen place(s)  

Man restored to ideal place, but much improved  

Mankind able either to sin or not to sin  

Mankind enslaved to sin, empowered not to sin  

Mankind unable to sin, permanently empowered  

One marriage
(Adam and Eve)  

Many marriages (designed to reflect Christ and church)  

One marriage
(Christ and church)  

Beginning of human culture  

Contamination and advancement of culture  

Purification and eternal expansion of culture  

Mankind learns,
creates in purity  

Mankind learns, creates in impurity (Cain, Babel)  

Mankind learns, creates in wisdom and purity  

God’s plan for mankind and Earth revealed  

God’s plan for mankind and Earth
delayed and enriched  

God’s plan for mankind and Earth realized  

For more information on the subject of Heaven, see Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven.

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries