Rev 22:1 "And he showed me a pure
river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God
and of the Lamb."
Many things are presented to us with
the river or rivers in the scriptures. In Gen. Chapter 2, there is a river,
which went out of Eden and watered the garden and from thence, it was parted
into four heads. This was not a normal river in that instead of streams flowing
into this river, it was parted and streams were flowing out of this river.
Similarly in Psalms 46 we read of a river that the streams whereof make glad the
city of God. Additionally we read of a river in Ezekiel 47 of waters that
issued out from under the threshold that swelled into a great river that could
not be crossed. Many things have been compared to rivers such as God's love,
his grace, the working of the Holy Spirit and the word of God. There are
several things that are said in Rev. 22:1 that lead us to the conclusion that
the "pure river of water of life" is the word of God.
First, we note the rivers purity.
According to Psalms 12:6 "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver
tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." As the word of God is
compared to silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times, this
teaches us that God's word is completely (seven times) pure and verse 7 teaches
us that God preserves in that pure state: 7 "Thou shalt keep them, O LORD,
thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
Second, we note where the river comes
from. It comes from the throne of God and of the Lamb. This is in harmony with
2 Tim. 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good
works." Thus, the scriptures flow from the throne of God and of the Lamb
being inspired of God.
Third, we note that the river is clear
as crystal. The word, clear, is translated from the Greek word, lampros
meaning: "radiant; by anal. limpid; fig. magnificent or sumptuous (in
appearance):--bright, clear, gay, goodly, gorgeous, white." Countless millions
of God's people have through the reading and study of God's word been delighted
in the beautiful or gorgeous word pictures of Jesus and his church. Just as the
gorgeous crystal that manifest its brilliance so the scriptures manifest the
brilliance of Jesus Christ and his bride who He made brilliant through his
Fourth, we note the nature of the water
of this river. It is called the "water of life." Water does not give life, but
it nourishes, sustains and refreshes life. Water will cause dead things to rot
or fossilize. At the same time, water nourishes the living. Water sustains the
strength of the living. Water also refreshes the living that are thirsty.
Similarly, the word of God nourishes the soul and spirit of God's spiritually
born people. It sustains the strength of their faith and spiritually refreshes
the soul and spirit of the children of God.
In summary, God has caused to flow from
his throne, his word as a river to manifest the brilliance of Jesus Christ and
his bride and to nourish, sustain, and refresh the souls and spirits of his
Rev. 22:2 "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 all know that trees can grow in many
different locations and that different types of trees can grow even in arid
conditions. However, the mighty and most fruitful trees grow by the rivers of
water. Psalm 1 compares a blessed man to a tree planted by the rivers of water
that brought forth his fruit in his season. In addition, the leaves of this
tree did not wither. A river provides a most fertile and nourishing environment
for a tree that enables the tree to bear much fruit, to grow tall, and to
prosper with a long growing season.
The biggest question in verse 2 seems
to be the identity of the "tree of life." Many think this tree to be Christ and
use the tree of life in Genesis chapters 2 and 3 as proof text. I fully concur
that the "tree of life" in Genesis chapters 2 and 3 is a symbol of Christ.
However, there are several things in the scripture that are said to be a tree of
1. Gen. 2:9 "And out of
the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight,
and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the
tree of knowledge of good and evil."
2. Gen. 3:22 "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:"
3. Gen. 3:24 "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."
4. Prov. 3:18 "She is a
tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that
5. Prov. 11:30 "The fruit
of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise."
6. Prov. 13:12 "Hope
deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of
7. Prov. 15:4 "A wholesome
tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit."
8. Rev. 2:7 "He that hath
an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that
overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the
paradise of God."
Not only is the Lord referred to as a
"tree of life," but we also find wisdom, the fruit of the righteous, the desire
of hope, and the wholesome tongue compared to a "tree of life."
In the subject verse above, the tree of
life is of the feminine gender (her). Nowhere in the scripture is Christ
referred to in the feminine gender, but always in the masculine gender. In
contrast, the church is always referred to in the feminine gender.
The church receives her nourishment,
strength, and refreshment from the word of God, i.e., the river of water of life
and subsequently bears fruit to the praise and glory of God's name. Twelve is a
representative number and is used to represent the people of God. The Lord said
to the disciples, "herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit."
When the Lord's people in his church bear fruit, then they are letting their
light so shine that others may see their good works and glorify God.
There are also twelve spiritual fruits
mentioned in the word of God:
1. Gal. 5:22 "But the
fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
2. Rom. 6:22 "But now
being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto
holiness, and the end everlasting life."
3. Heb. 12:11 "Now no
chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless
afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are
4. Heb. 13:15 "By him
therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the
fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
The fact that the church yields her
fruit every month teaches us that serving the Lord is not a part time endeavor,
nor a convenience endeavor, but we are to be continuously bearing fruit to the
honor and glory of God.
"Leaves of the tree were for the
healing of the nations." The Greek word translated "healing" is "therapeia."
This Greek word appears four times in the New Testament. Twice it is translated
"household." The meaning here is not of physical healing, but indicates
bringing about the spiritual well-being of the household of God. The worship
service, prayers, and ordinances of the church promote the spiritual well-being
of the household of God and is the "therapeia" to the individual members of the
church who collectively make up the church.
Rev 22:3-5 "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: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name
shall be in their foreheads. 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 for ever and ever."
"And there shall be no more curse."
According to Gal. 3:10 we were all under the curse of the law: "For as many
as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is
every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the
law to do them." Certainly, no man had continued in all things, which are
written in the book of the law. Thanks be to God that he delivered us from the
curse of the law as stated in Gal. 3:13: "Christ hath redeemed us from the
curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every
one that hangeth on a tree." Thus, the curse is forever removed from the
elect. Rom. 8 speaks of it as a charge that can no longer be levied against the
elect: 33 "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God
that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died,
yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also
maketh intercession for us."
When Satan tried to levy a charge against Moses,
the Lord rebuked him: Jude 9 "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with
the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a
railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." This is consistent
with Satan being cast down from the Old Law Heaven: Rev 12:10 "And I heard a
loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the
kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren
is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." Therefore,
there is no more curse against the elect.
"But the throne of God and of the
Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him." Chapter 22 carries
over from the theme of Chapter 21 describing the "new heaven" and the "new
earth." We have previously shown that this "new heaven" and "new earth" is the
Kingdom of heaven that we have today. The connection between the throne of God
and the Lamb speaks to us of the throne of God's judgment or "Judgment throne"
and the "Lamb of God" who delivered us in the midst of God's judgment and took
away the sins of the elect world. We, having been bought by the precious blood
of Christ, are not our known, but we reckon ourselves to be the rightful
servants of Christ and, therefore, we desire to serve him who has redeemed us
from the curse of the law.
"And they shall see his face; and
his name shall be in their foreheads." There are times that God hides his
face when he is displeased with his servants:
1. Mic. 3:4 "Then shall
they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face
from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings."
2. Job 34:29 "When he
giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who
then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man
3. Psa 10:11 "He hath said
in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it."
4. Isa 8:17 "And I will
wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will
look for him."
When God is pleased with his people he
causes His face to shine upon them:
1. Num. 6:25 "The LORD
make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:"
2. 1 Chr. 16:11 "Seek the
LORD and his strength, seek his face continually."
3. Ps. 67:1 "God be
merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah."
4. Ps. 105:4 "Seek the
LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore."
The name on the forehead is used as an
identifying mark whether good or bad:
1. Rev. 17:5 "And upon her
forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."
2. Rev. 14:1 "And I
looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty
and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads."
God's children in His kingdom have
identified with the Lord, his redemption, and his service. They honor him as
their King, Priest, and Prophet. He is foremost in their thoughts.
"And there shall be no night there;
and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them
light." Night is associated with darkness: Gen. 1:4 "And God saw the
light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening
and the morning were the first day." Darkness is frequently associated with
the judgment of sin:
1. Gen. 15:12 "And when
the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of
great darkness fell upon him."
2. Ex. 10:21 "And the LORD
said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be
darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. 22 And
Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in
all the land of Egypt three days:"
3. Job 10:21 "Before I go
whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death;
22 A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death,
without any order, and where the light is as darkness."
4. Ps. 107:10 "Such as sit
in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;"
5. Matt. 27:45 "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land
unto the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud
voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why
hast thou forsaken
For God's people the judgment of sin
(darkness) is past. The light now shineth. 2 Cor. 4:6 "For God, who
commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give
the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
Our light comes from God and often
shines through the gospel unto us: 2 Tim. 1:9 "Who hath saved us, and called
us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own
purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who
hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the
The darkness of God's judgment for sin
(night) is past for the elect. The light of the gospel now shines to direct
them in the kingdom of God.
"And they shall reign for ever and
ever." God's people in his kingdom reign with Christ now and they shall
continue to reign with him through all of eternity.