Ch.22: New Heaven and New Earth]
Heaven and New Earth
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.
Here is the picture of Paradise Regained. The tree of life and the river,
once guarded by the cherubim with the flaming sword at Eden, now reappear
on the pages of Scripture to beckon the weary pilgrims to their future
Because of the location of the tree of life "on either side of the
river," theologicans have understood the "tree" to be not a
single tree, but a single kind of tree. It is like a row of
trees on either side of the river.
Others, however, see one tree planted at the middle of the
river, with branches extending to both banks. The tree is large enough to
span the river, so that the river is in the midst of the street, and the
tree is on both sides of the river.
The leaves of this tree are for "healing" of the nations. The
Greek word for healing is a word where we get the English
"therapeutic." It may have the connotation of health and
benefit, instead of healing and cure. The idea of preserving rather than
restoring is indicated. Dr. John Walvoord of Dallas Seminary said:
"While it is necessary for believers in the eternal state to sustain
life in any way by physical means, they can enjoy that which the tree
22:8-9 I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which
shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I
am thy fellowservant... worship God.
In pent-up appreciation and admiration for the revealing angel, John again
seeks to bow down before the angel. But he was admonished not to do so,
because angels are not gods but also created beings.
22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book
of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life,
and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this
Here is an important prohibition against tampering with God's written
revelation. No addition or subtraction of Holy Scriptures is allowed.
Divine revelation ceased with the completion of the Biblical canon. What
follows is the work of the Holy Spirit in illumination of
the writtern Word.
22:20, 21 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come
quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
soon and imminent return of Christ became a belief upheld by the early
Christians. The apostle John longed for the coming of Christ in His own
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