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Keys to Revelation - Chapter 22

Written by: Capoccia, Tony    Posted on: 05/12/2003

Category: Bible Studies

Source: CCN

                        Keys to Revelation - Chapter 22

Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New York International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

          BIBLE TEXT                                  COMMENTARY

REV 22:1  Then the angel showed me        [river] - A literal river that is the river of the water of life, as        called the "Water of Life River." clear as crystal, flowing from the        The name of the river agrees to the throne of God and of the Lamb            concept of "living water" found in                                           John 4:10.  This river consists of                                           water that is the very essence of                                           life. 

                                          There is a similar description of a                                           river that flows from the Millennial                                           Temple out onto the land in Ezekiel                                           47:1-12. 

                                          The inhabitants of the eternal city                                           will drink from this special river                                           (REV 22:17) and it will somehow                                           provide them with life.  Because                                           there is no death in heaven, we can                                           assume that no one will ever fail to                                           drink from this river.  In fact, it                                           will be one of the many great pleas                                           ures of the eternal state.

                                          [clear as crystal] - This gives the                                           picture of a bright pure river,                                           glistening like a liquid diamond. In                                           fact, the term translated as "clear,"                                           really means "brilliant."  This                                           implies having a light bearing                                           quality, appearing like a liquid,                                           lighted, sparkling, diamond crystal.

                                          [flowing] - The Water of Life River                                           is no still stream of water, rather                                           it flows from the throne of God and                                           "winds" its way throughout the                                           Golden City (1400 mi cube).  I                                           believe that it continues to flow out                                           of the city onto the new earth.

                                          [from the throne] - The source of the                                           river is the very throne of God and                                           the Lamb, Jesus Christ.  During our                                           present age, most rivers have as                                           their source rain and/or snowfall.                                           But, the river of the Water of Life,                                           has as its origin, God the Father and                                           Jesus Christ, literally creating the                                           brilliant crystal water instantly                                           and thus causing it to flow into a                                           river.

REV 22:2  down the middle of the          [down the middle] - In the city of great street of the city. On each        New Jerusalem there is a "Great side of the river stood the tree of      Street" that proceeds throughout life, bearing twelve crops of            every part of its vast area.  The fruit, yielding its fruit every          street is literally split in the month. And the leaves of the tree        middle by this beautiful, life are for the healing of the nations.      giving river.  Imagine, the street                                           is very wide and made of pure gold,                                           like transparent glass (REV 21:21),                                           and flowing down the middle is the                                           Water of Life river.

                                          [on each side stood] - On both banks                                           of the river were trees.  The picture                                           is the redeemed saints traveling on                                           the great street with a tree-lined                                           river flowing down the middle.  The                                           saints on both sides of the street                                           can simply walk to the center of the                                           street and have access to the trees                                           and the river.

                                          [tree of life] - Just as drinking                                           from the River of the Water of Life                                           brings life, so will eating from the                                           fruit of the Tree of Life.  We first                                           saw the Tree of Life in the Garden of                                           Eden (GEN 2:9).  It was right next to                                           a tree that brought death.  Adam and                                           Eve could and did eat regularly from                                           the Tree of Life and they would live                                           forever as long as they continued to                                           eat from the tree. 

                                          But then they sinned against God and                                           He prevented them from eating from                                           the life-giving tree so that they                                           would not continue to live                                           indefinitely with their unredeemed                                           sins.  However, in our redeemed state                                           in the New Jerusalem, we will never                                           fail to eat from the Tree of Life and                                           will thus live forever.

                                          [bearing twelve crops] - These trees                                           that line the river bear fruit in a                                           regular cycle.  Every month a new                                           crop of fruit is produced.  This                                           seems to present a problem when one                                           considers the fact, that some say                                           there is no time in heaven. Actually,                                           while there is no day and night, that                                           is no reason to assume that there is                                           no time.  God gave the Sun and Moon                                           to mark the day and night, but in                                           reality, time continues to advance,                                           whether they exist or not.

                                          Take the astronauts into space with                                           their TIMEX watches and removed them                                           away from our Sun and they still can                                           mark the 24-hour day by their                                           watches.  Likewise, God has revealed                                           that in eternity there will be a                                           measurement of time that will allow                                           for a monthly (30 day cycle) crop of                                           fruit. 

                                          One should note that in Ezekiel's                                           description of the Millennial Kingdom                                           there also appears a river with fruit                                           trees on each side.  The river comes                                           from the temple and causes the dead                                           sea to become fresh water.  The fruit                                           trees are said to produce fresh fruit                                           each month due to the water flowing                                           from the special river (EZE 47:12).

                                          [leaves of the tree] - These trees                                           are to be pictured as looking very                                           much like the trees of this age.                                            They will have a wooden tree trunk                                           with branches with green leaves and                                           colorful fruit.

                                          [healing of the nations] - A very                                           difficult phrase to understand.                                           Somehow the leaves are therapeutic                                           and bring about healing.  But who                                           would need healing in the eternal                                           state?  The word for "healing" is                                           therapeian, which would be better                                           understood to mean "health giving." 

                                          Therefore, the leaves provide a                                           healthy, enjoyable environment.  It                                           could be like the Water of Life that                                           is to be drunk, although no one                                           thirsts.  Also, the fruit of the Tree                                           of Life, which is to eaten, although                                           no one hungers.

                                          God has determined that the redeemed                                           will drink and eat in the eternal                                           state.  He has somehow "tied" our                                           eternal life to these two activities.                                           He will ensure that all will desire                                           to drink and eat for He desires it.                                            Likewise, these leaves will have some                                           life-giving effect to the saints and                                           we will not fail to use them for that                                           purpose. 

                                          [nations] - See REV 21:24

REV 22:3  No longer will there be        [No longer...any curse] - The curse any curse. The throne of God and of      was placed upon man and the universe the Lamb will be in the city, and        when he sinned in Genesis Chapter 3. his servants will serve him.              The whole universe has been subject                                           to decay and death because of the sin                                           of mankind, but promised liberation                                           from this curse in Romans 8:21.  In                                           the Millennial Kingdom there is a                                           partial lifting of the curse, for sin                                           and death do occur, but in a very                                           limited way (ISA 65:20).  However,                                           in the New Heavens and New Earth,                                           there will be no curse at all.

                                          [throne of God and of the Lamb] -                                           The Father will be visible as Light                                           and the Son in His Glorified body                                           that still bears the marks of cruci                                           fixion (JOH 20:27).  We do not see                                           the Holy Spirit described, but can                                           assumed that He too will be there                                           with us.  Oh, what a glorious time                                           living in the very presence of the                                           Almighty Triune God!

                                          [servants will serve Him] - There is                                           purpose and function in Eternity.                                            Our great God has a purpose for each                                           of us and we will serve Him to that                                           end.  There will absolute perfect                                

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