On either side of the river was the tree of life. Revelation 22:1-4.

“Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,”
Revelation 22:1 NASB

Stop here for a minute. 

Where are we at on the chronological timeline of Revelation?

The seven years of wrath are over; the millennial reign has begun, and the Holy City has come down. Thrones are set up, and the survivors from among the nations – that did not attempt to fight with God- are walking freely upon the earth. 

From under God’s throne, a river begins to flow. This river is a supplier of the water of life, and it is so pure that it appears as crystal. 

Everything in the Revelation comes from some other part of the Bible – the Old Testament, but this comment from the Samaritan woman is eye-opening.

“Therefore, the Samaritan woman *said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
John 4:9-10 NASB)

I thought both God and Jesus had thrones?

Maybe not, as it tells us that this river comes out from under the throne “of God and of the Lamb.” I have two ways of perceiving this; one is that there are two thrones, and the water flows out from under both. Or, I can understand that the terminology is singular when it speaks of the river and that Jesus is God. But, it is certainly nothing to lose sleep over.

“They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house, And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” (Psalms 36:8-9 NASB)

While this river has been given for all to drink from, why would we, the immortals, need to drink? I don’t think we would, so my thoughts get directed to the nations (during the millennial reign) who have made no effort to join themselves to God yet.

“And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will  be in summer as well as in winter.”  (Zechariah 14:8 NASB)

1500 miles (2)

This area covers about 1500 miles square.

The river will flow toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the Western sea. In other words, no effort is made to restrict access to the water, and it may be the only clean water available.

“It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. “And it will come about that fisherman will stand beside it; from Engedi to Eneglaim, there will be a place for the spreading of nets. Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many.”
Ezekiel 47:9-10 NASB)

And, yes, fishing is back again. Yep, I just let my selfish heart express itself, and I could see myself running back to the house to grab my poles and gear. But, get real, after all the human savagery and firebombing from God, do you actually believe that your stuff will still be here? Hardly.

“in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
(Revelation 22:2 NASB)

One of the places that mention the street is in Revelation 21.

“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”
(Revelation 21:21 NASB)

Note that it says street in the singular. 

How does one have a city 1500 miles square and only have one street? 

In trying to define the Holy City I found this in Zechariah’s prophecies.

“So says Jehovah: I have returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And Jerusalem shall be called a City of Truth, and the mountain of Jehovah of Hosts, the Holy Mountain. So says Jehovah of Hosts: There shall yet be old men and old women sitting in the streets of Jerusalem; and each man with his staff in his hand because of their many days. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. So says Jehovah of Hosts: If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be marvelous in My eyes? says Jehovah of Hosts.”
Zechariah 8:3-6 LITV)

Here, it tells us that little boys and girls will play in its streets. If this prompts you to ask, what about today’s Israel, then consider that this prophecy was impossible until 1948. Even though Israel has been a nation for over 70 years, as I look at videos from the streets of Israel, they are filled with deadly attacks against Jews daily. Therefore, I would not let my children try to play there. Maybe this passage is speaking of the future Holy City? However, Zechariah made it a bit more challenging to picture as he adds that older men and older women will sit with their staff in their hands because of their many days; this would have to place the imagery into the millennial kingdom because I thought we never grow old in God’s kingdom.

Back to the passage in Revelation 22.

    • On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” 

      How the trees got there, we do not know, but there they are, flourishing. 

      Did you know that many kinds of fruit, like apples, need 1200 to 1500 hours of 40(ish) degree weather to produce fruit? We like to think that the temperature in the Holy City will be like Hawaii, about 72 degrees (all the time), and that does not fair well for most fruit trees. Let’s allow God to figure this one out. 

      The leaves of these trees grab my attention, as they are for the healing of the nations. These are the trees of life, the same tree that sat in the middle of the garden, and it was the same tree that God had to set up armed angelic guards to keep Adam and Eve away from it


      Because as broken humans, eating from that tree would have made them broken immortals and competitors for God’s throne alongside Satan, and that was not going to happen.

      Then why does it seem like just anyone from the nations has access to the trees of life? 

      That’s a great question. Maybe they don’t, and perhaps the trees are protected within the boundaries of this 1500-mile square city. I am jumping ahead, but look at what Revelation 22:15 tells us. “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.” (NASB). 

      It’s a redundant question, but where are they? 

      They are outside of the City. The only people who gain entrance into the City are those who have washed their robes.

      “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:14 NASB) 

Let’s move away from the rivers and fruit trees.

Revelation 22:3-4 NASB “There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; (4) they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.”

  • There will no longer be any curse;.”

    All humanity and the earth are under a curse because of Adam’s treason. 

    Why focus on Adam as entirely responsible for the curse(s)? 

    Because all dominion over the earth was his, and he handed it over to Satan.

    “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earthand over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28 KJV)

    Before the man and the women were physical beings, they were given dominion/rule over all living things and all the earth, and Adam gave this all away. 

    What are these curses that God is talking about? 

    “And unto Adam he said, Because you have listened unto the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life;” (Genesis 3:17 KJV slightly modified for readability)

    With or without God’s law, it was still written upon the heart of every human, and we are held responsible for not upholding it. 

    Cursed be he that confirms not all the words of this law to do them. …”
    Deuteronomy 27:26 KJV)

    In short, Adam brought a curse upon himself, all living things, and the earth. Humanity was now subject to the law, but just saying that tends to make most think of an oppressive God who can’t figure out whether to love or send us to an eternal hell. In fact, the moral law ruled throughout all creation, long before we existed, and Satan knew it. 

    So when Satan deceived Eve and moments later sucked the man into the deception, he thought he had trapped the God of the universe and beaten Him at His own game because the “law” demanded the death of the law breaker. 

    (How would I know that, especially since this detail is not precisely laid out in scripture? Well, actually, it is, and we see it when Able offers a correct sacrifice of a lamb. We did not see God spelling this information out to them, but we are aware of God talking with Adam and Eve after the fall. Again, we are not privy to this conversation; you know, the time when God puts clothing made of skins on Adam and Eve. This clothing took time as it was instructional and covered how to make appropriate sacrifices, the plan of redemption through death and blood, and, therefore, had instructions on proper sacrifices. And we can understand this because we saw Able make an acceptable sacrifice, only taught to Able through Adam. Even Cain knew this method. I know this because God told him, “if you do what is right.” (You can’t say that to someone unless they had first been told.)

    Since God had endowed the man – Adam, with God’s own dominion and handed the earth over to him, then Adam’s death seemed to be the one who would pay the price and die, and, in time, he did. But Adam was made in God’s image and not God’s blood (as yet), which is why God had to send His Son – His only Son! 

    The Son (Yeshua) paid the price of blood to redeem the entirety of humanity – past, present, and future. In doing so, all humanity was technically returned to the family, where they could live forever in the Father’s love and care. The problem is that everyone has the right to choose what they want to do, live for the lusts of this world, or live with the Father’s love, and they do that through acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice for them. 

    Do you realize that Satan does not own you anymore? But neither does God, for this relationship is one of love. He loved us and, therefore, paid the price to gain us back. On the other hand, we must accept His love through adoption.

  • and His bond-servants will serve Him; (4) they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.”

    In Greek, the phrase “bond-servants” is the singular word doulos, and yes, it can mean enslaved person, but it also carries connotations of one who is subservient or subject. 

    Still, it seems oppressive, especially since we were purchased back to God through redemption. Think about India, where a caste system subjugates many to a lifetime of poverty, where many must sell their children into a lifetime of slavery to survive. 

    If someone purchased you, wouldn’t you belong to them now and at least be subservient or subject to them? 

    You would think so, and yet God doesn’t operate that way.

    If Satan was your owner and your destiny was the same hell to which he is going, then why wouldn’t you jump ship and follow the Father, who, in a sense, now owns you, to heaven and the associated peace of His kingdom? 

    The Apostle Paul frequently used this doulos terminology of himself; yet, as a Jew, he could blindly say, I have never been a slave to anyone.

    Yeah, right, how about those 70+ years of captivity in Babylon?

    Oh, that’s right, I forgot, but I digress. Learning of the Father’s love, Paul chose to subject himself to God and to become subservient because the reward (if I can call it that) is an eternity of Love and peace with Jesus, the one who loved me enough to put Himself on that cross for me. 

This entry was posted in bible study, fishing, Revelation, rivers, tree of life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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