1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. ~ Revelation 22:1-5
Today, we transition into the final chapter of the book of the Revelation. And, today, we conclude our study of The New Jerusalem by continuing our look on the inside of this incredible dwelling of the redeemed.
In v.1-2 we read, "1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations."
In heaven, there will be no more sea. And, this river will not be a river like we know rivers to be. In order to have a river, we would have to have a sea, because the river would have to go somewhere, and then it would have to dissolve into something, and it would have to be evaporated and picked up and brought back and put back in the head waters to make the river go again. There would have to be some cycle that moved the water. But, in The New Jerusalem, there will be no sea, nor will there be a hydrological cycle as we know it.
This river will be filled with the water of life which will be clear as crystal. That speaks of its purity. It will be ever flowing and it will be ever cascading because it will come down from the throne of God and of the Lamb. This river's water will tumble down, like a waterfall, across this crystal city, splashing across the transparent gold.
The water of life will be pure and holy, and it will flow down through the city from the throne of God. The water of our heavenly paradise will symbolize eternal life. And, everyone who drinks of this water shall never thirst, for it will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.
According to v.2 the water will flow down the middle of its "street." And, on each side of the river, there, the tree of life will be. This tree will symbolize healing and blessing. And, the tree of life will bear twelve kinds of fruit, every month, and the leaves of the tree will be for the healing of the nations.
The twelve different kinds of fruit means heaven is going to be filled with variety, changing all of the time. And then a most interesting comment. "The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." From this word “healing” we get our word therapeutic. Kind of like vitamins, only we don’t take vitamins because we’re sick, we take them because vitamins make us feel better. There will be provided for us in heaven continual energetic life which will produce life to its fullest.
In v.3 we read, "3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him."
No more curse will there be. This means no more tears, death, mourning, crying, and pain because the Lord Jesus will reign. And, He has conquered sin and death. His reign will produce in us a desire to serve. In Luke 12:37 we are told, "The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat!" Out of His great love for us, our King, the Lord Jesus, will serve us, producing in us, a great desire to serve Him!
In Revelation 7:15 we read, “they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them.”
This will be the reason there will be no temple or tabernacle in The New Jerusalem, because He will spread His presence over all of us. His presence is His glory and His glory is His presence.
In v.4 of today's text we read, "They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads."
In Exodus 33 we learn, “If anybody looks on My face, they’ll die; they’ll be consumed. No man can see Me and live.”
In heaven, we will be able to look at the blazing glory of God in all its fullness and not die, because we will be covered with His holy presence. To see God’s face as sinners would be to be consumed by His holy anger. But in heaven, we will be like Him, and we’ll see Him in all His glory.
The fact that His name shall be on our foreheads shows that we will be His personal possession. There will be no doubt who we will belong to, and we will belong to Him forever.
In v.5 of today's text we read, "There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever."
Darkness veils, it hides, and it confuses us because it limits our perception. And, when our perceptions are limited, we get confused, and perhaps, made afraid. Fear is at the root of all of our abnormalities. The fear of being alone, the fear of being found out are just a few expressions of our fear. The glory of God will chase away our fears. Our need to put on a good face before others will be destroyed by the glory of God come to rest in our being.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 we learn that God chose us as the firstfruits for salvation, through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth, to which he called us through our gospel, so that we may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The word "glory" is described in the Bible with its usage of several different words. The most prominent is the Hebrew word "kabud" which means "heaviness." And, this heavy presence of God provides for its recipients stability and security. This explains why there is a clear connection in scripture between "glory" and "service." When we find our identity in the presence of God, we will act out of that acceptance. Gone will be the fear, gone will be the insecurity. And, when we have shared in His glory, we will operate according to His culture.
Finally, according to Romans 8, the whole creation has been subjected to the corruption which comes through sin, and they are all eagerly expecting and looking forward to the glory of the revelation of the sons of God. This means after we have shared in the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, once we have shared in His glory, all of creation will be delivered from the effects of sin and death.