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Exploring Revelation
17407
“Revelation 22:1-5 - Eternity Future”
by Art Sadlier   
October 7th, 2012

Because these are intended to be individual studies let us do some review of chapter 21.

When we came to chapter 21 we discovered that time was no more. Eternity begins in chapter 21, in chapter 22 we have the continuation of the promises relating to eternity.

  Three new entities.

1 – A new atmospheric heavens and solar heavens.

2 – A new earth.

3 – The New Jerusalem.

We saw three separate and distinct eternal homes for three separate and distinct groups of saved people.

1 – For the Jew – The promised land.

2 – For the gentiles – The rest of the earth.

3 – For the Christian – The New Jerusalem.

We discovered that God is going to dwell with men in a face to face relationship for all of eternity.

1 – We discovered the names of the twelve apostles will be on the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem. We realize that the apostles were the foundation stones of the church (Ephesians 2:20). Their names are on the foundation stones because this is the home of the church.

2 – The names of the twelve tribes of Israel are on the gates. This is because they will have constant access through their designated gate. They will live on earth but access to God will be their constant privilege. This is the city that Abraham sought, “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

3 – The saved of the nations will have access to heaven also, day and night (Revelation 21:24).

We learned some wonderful things about heaven, our eternal home.

1 – It came down from God out of heaven (John 14:2).

2 – It will either rest on the earth or hover over the earth, but it has its own foundation.

3 – It is 1500 miles high and wide and long. It is like a building, it will be evidently inhabited within.

4 – It will be made of  transparent, pure gold.

5 – It will need no sun or moon to light it. The glory of Christ will be its’ light.

6 – It will have no temple because God dwells in it visible to us and in fellowship with us. We will not need a temple because we will have constant access to Him.

7 – The walls are 216 feet high.

8 – Twelve gates will be each a large single pearl. The pearl reminds us of our origin, a speck of dirt on the ocean floor from which the pearl comes into being.

9 – The foundations contain the names of the twelve apostles. (Again this indicates that heaven is our home).

10 – There will be no night, no fear, and no tiredness, in spite of ceaseless activity.

11 – There will be no tears, no death, no sorrow, no sickness, no pain and no more curse.

12 – No sin will ever enter in to trouble us, Hallelujah!

13 – No one whose name is not written in the book of life will enter in. If you want to go to heaven you must have your name written down now. Faith in Christ which involves confession and repentance of sin is the requirement for having your name written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Now in Revelation 22:1 we enter into the city that has been prepared for our enjoyment. “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

We see a mighty river

We see the river of life which is proceeding out of the center of the city. It is actually proceeding out of the very throne of God, to the whole city and probably to the whole world. Because of its source it is clear as crystal, absolutely pure. God is the only source of all that is good and profitable, of all that brings blessing to mankind.

In the beginning of creation we see in Genesis a river flowing out of the garden in God’s presence. Now in this scripture we see a river flowing in God’s presence.

Today there is a fountain open to all who will come to the saviour in repentance and faith. “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water” (John 4:10). “Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).

Verse 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.”

We see the tree of life

Notice the river flowed down the main street of heaven and on either side of the street there was the tree of life which bears twelve manner of fruits. We see the same tree of life in Eden (Genesis 2:9).

Genesis 3:22-24, “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” God gave man a choice of two trees to eat from.

One was forbidden

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was forbidden. God said if you eat of it you will die.

The other was not forbidden

This was the tree of life open to man’s partaking. Adam made the wrong choice. When he chose to disobey God the “Tree of Life” was closed to him.

The reason was given in Genesis 3:22, “Lest he put forth his hand....and live forever.”  If man had in his fallen sin nature had eaten of the tree of life, he would have been doomed to live forever in sin with no hope of salvation. He would never been able to live in his body with the quality of life God intended man to enjoy. God wants man to eat of the tree of life and live life in an entirely different dimension.

Illustration

Go and observe the cows in the field. What quality of life do they really have? They can’t talk or communicate. They do not think about all of the knowledge and experience they have gained. They have no knowledge and they do not comprehend experience. They never have the satisfaction of achievement.  They can’t play baseball and they can’t paint a picture nor drive a car. There is so much they are totally unaware of, they just exist. They are really not living; their quality of life is so much below ours.

I believe when we finally partake of the tree of life, a new quality of life will open up to us. A new dimension of life will be ours.

I would like to tell you all about this new dimension of life. I would like to tell you what it will be like. But I can’t tell you. 1 Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

Illustration

Imagine that an ant crawls on board a 747 jumbo jet before take off in Toronto. When he arrives in London he is met by a reporter who interviews him. Were you impressed by the size of the aircraft? Were you amazed by the speed of the plane? What did it feel like to fly at 35,000 feet? What do you think of London? In like manner we do not have the capacity to comprehend what God has prepared for us in heaven. The life that waits is beyond our comprehension.

“....and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” What does that mean? Could it be that the nations will still be in their natural bodies? Actually the word “healing” means therapy or “health.” The purpose therefore is to yield continuous health to the occupants of earth who are still in their natural bodies.

Verse 3, “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.”

What a day that will be when the curse of sin is gone forever. No more sickness, sickness is the result of sin and since the curse will have been removed, so will sickness. No more evil thoughts, no more bad attitudes and no more depression as a result of sinful acts. Incredible to contemplate, we will be like our Saviour. If you meditate on that for a while it will fill your heart to overflowing with joy.

Verse 4, “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” There could be no higher joy for the child of God than to be with Christ and look into His face. “His name shall be in their foreheads” this is nothing but the mark of ownership. I belong to the King!

Verse 5, “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever.”

Here in verse five the apostle John brings to an end the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ. The first unveiling was of His personal glory in Chapter one. The second unveiling was of infinite grace as He walked among the churches in chapters 2-3. Thirdly we see our Lord in His majesty as he opens the seven sealed book in chapters 4-5. Fourthly in chapter 19 we see him in His glorious return to the earth. In chapters 21-22:5 we see Him ruling in glory over the new heaven and the New Jerusalem.

With verse 5 the unveiling of Jesus Christ is finished. The story of man's day is concluded. The remaining verses have to do with the conformation of the words that have been spoken and with the final invitation.

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