Renewal of the World

Revelation 22:1-5
The End Times

In my last post, we examined Revelation 21:22-27 ~ The Habitation of God. In this post, we begin to explore the last chapter of The Revelation of Yeshua HaMassiach to Yochanan by examining Revelation 22:1-5 ~ Renewal of the World.

1 Next, the angel showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 Between the main street and the river was the Tree of Life producing twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind every month; and the leaves of the tree were for healing the nations  –  3 no longer will there be any curses. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship Him; 4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 Night will no longer exist, so they will need neither the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because Adonai, God, will shine upon them. And they will reign as kings forever and ever.” ~ Revelation 22:1-5 (CJB)


Graphic courtesy of Google

The Water of Life

Next, the angel showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  The first thing mentioned in this chapter is the river of the water of life. The Psalmist said: “There is a river, whose streams make glad the city of God, the holiest dwelling-place of the Most High. God is in the midst of her…” ~ Psalm 46:5-6.

How vital water is to human life. Settlers to new areas always search out water before beginning any building and putting down roots. This was especially so in Yochanan’s day, as most of the people were agriculturally centered. Water would be their first priority (see Joshua 15:19). Water not only represents that which is refreshing but also essential. Man cannot live long without water. In the New Jerusalem, the source of refreshment is the throne of God.

The Tree of Life

Between the main street and the river was the Tree of Life producing twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind every month; and the leaves of the tree were for healing the nations no longer will there be any curses.  The Tree of Life was initially in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9), but after sinning, Adam and Eve had to barred from it (Genesis 3:22) and the way to it guarded by a keruv (cherub) (Genesis 3:24). Here in restored Eden, the Tree of Life is restored. Like the other phenomena of the New Creation (21:14-21), it is unlike anything we now know, producing twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind every month. Moreover, the leaves of the tree are for healing the nations – no longer will there be any curses. Here healing seems to mean “making whole.” Heaven has no illnesses; the point is that sickness cannot exist in that perfect environment. These leaves provide all the healing power necessary to sustain ideal health for God’s people. Even though there is no sickness in the eternal state, the fruit and the leaves from this Tree of Life provide physical well-being to those in heaven. The curses were evils that came upon the nations – both Israel and the Gentile nations – due to their continued and unrepented sins; most of the biblical prophets pronounced curses at one time or another.

The Throne of God

The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship Him; 4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 Night will no longer exist, so they will need neither the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because Adonai, God, will shine upon them. And they will reign as kings forever and ever.”  The central theme of existence in the redeemed world will be worship of God and of the Lamb Yeshua the Messiah, who share the throne. His servants will be entirely focused and completely satisfied when they worship him (which is not always the case today!), because (1) having unimpeded fellowship with God, they will see His face, and (2) His name will be on their foreheads, meaning that God will have made them wholly His own (see also 7:2-3, 13:16-17a, 14:1, 17:5). Night, with its darkness symbolizing God’s absence (Yochanan 1:5-9, 3:19-21; 1 Yochanan 1:5-7, 2:7-11), will no longer exist,… because Adonai, God, will shine upon them. Moreover, the physical and the spiritual will be intimately interconnected, since God’s immediate presence will make them need neither the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun. And, as promised in Revelation 3:21 and 1Corinthians 6:2-3, they will reign over the universe with the Messiah and with God as kings forever and ever.

Ray Stedman summarizes these three verses: [1]

From this magnificent scene of the Holy City flow three ministries that the redeemed saints will perform: First, empowered service. The saints will joyfully serve God. There is no greater privilege, pleasure, or joy that you and I could ask than to spend eternity in service to the God of our salvation. Second, intimate fellowship. The Saints will see His face and bear His name, just as a bride bears her husband’s name and sees his face. Third, enlightened authority. The saints shall reign forever and ever. Remember George Bernard Shaw’s complaint about heaven as an “inane, dull, useless, miserable” place? Have you ever pictured heaven as a boring place? You couldn’t be more wrong! What is it that causes boredom? Selfishness! The feeling of, “I want to be gratified, I want to be pandered to, I want to be indulged, I want to be excited, I, I, I!” But in heaven, there will be no selfishness. There will be continual excitement, discovery, anticipation, gratitude, praise, and the joy of being a partner in an eternal adventure with God Himself!

Revelation 22:5 concludes the description of the new heaven and the new earth. Think about the difficulty Yochanan must have had in finding the vocabulary to describe this scene. Man in his most vivid imagination could not come close to visualizing how the actual new heaven and new earth will look! Remember the Apostle Paul’s words recorded in 1 Corinthians: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no one’s heart has imagined  all the things that God has prepared  for those who love him.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:9 (CJB)

In my next post, we’ll examine Revelation 22:6-10 ~ Affirmation of God’s Word.

Click for PDF version.

[1] A Layman’s Commentary on Revelation by Don Jones.

 

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