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[Revelation Ch.22: New Heaven and New Earth]

New Heaven and New Earth

REV 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 home.

     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 provides.

REV 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.

REV 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 book.

     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.

REV 22:20, 21  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

     The 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 lifetime.

 

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