Revelation 22:1-5

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Rev 22:1 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.
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.
Rev 22:3 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:
Rev 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Rev 22:5 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.

Introduction

Who is this “river of life”? Who is this “tree of life”? And when do we “see the face of God”? We will see in our study today that this river of life is within you and me at this very moment, if Christ is in us. We will see that the tree of life is within you and me today, if Christ is in us today. And we will learn that if we “see Christ” and “know Christ”, then we see and know His Father.
There are no chapter breaks in the original Greek. This last chapter is simply a continuation of the description of “the bride, the Lamb’s wife”.
Last week we saw that this it is through this “foursquare” city with her 12 gates, and with the number 12 stamped all over it, that the glory of the nations of all time will, “in their own order,… come into this great city the holy Jerusalem”.

Rev 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
Rev 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
Rev 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

Here is the Old Testament verse which proclaims that very same statement:

Isa 60:11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.

We have been shown that “the bride, the Lamb’s wife” is “on a great high mountain; she has the glory of God, she is like a stone most precious, she is clear as a crystal, and she has a wall great and high”. She has twelve gates and twelve foundations. This city, the Lamb’s wife, lies foursquare, and her length is as large as the breadth, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. Her wall is like jasper, clear as glass, her twelve foundations are garnished with all manner of precious stones. Her twelve gates are of twelve pearls, each gate one pearl. She has no temple, no sun, nor moon, because God and the Lamb are all of these things within her. The nations of the saved bring their glory into her through her twelve gates. Her twelve gates are never closed by day, and there is no night there. The glory and honor of the nations is brought into “the bride, the Lamb’s wife”. Nothing that defiles, works an abomination or makes a lie, enters into her. Only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
That is why the world hates this woman so much that it wants her dead. But here in this final 22nd chapter we learn more about what our Lord thinks of those who He has espoused to Himself, and it is only Him that we are interested in pleasing.

Rev 22:1 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.

Being pure and clear as crystal is of great importance to our Husband, Christ. He and His Father dwell within us, and because they do, out of His throne and the throne of His Father within us proceeds “a pure river of water life, clear as crystal.”

Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

This river “proceeds out of the throne of God and of the Lamb”. Where is this throne of God? Who makes up this throne? From whom does this “river of water of life” proceed?
Christ has already made clear where His throne is and who they are who are with Him in His Father’s throne.

Mat 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:
Mat 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Mat 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Rev 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

“Heaven… is God’s throne… He that swears by heaven swears by the throne of God”, and these four beasts are “in the midst of the throne and round about this throne”. Who are these “four beasts”? As we saw in our study of chapter five, they too, are just another type of this city. They are just one more symbol of God’s overcoming elect, the Lamb’s wife, and that is what they tell us.

Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Rev 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

God’s throne is in heaven (Mat 5:34); His throne is in this ‘city’, which we are told is the Lamb’s wife. Therefore the Lamb’s wife is ‘heaven’, and that is exactly what Heb 9 confirms to us:

Heb 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [ the blood of bulls and goats] ; but the heavenly things themselves [ this city, His wife, His throne, His elect] with better sacrifices than these.
Heb 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, [ into this city, His wife, into us] now to appear in the presence of God for us:

As always the principle of “the dream is one” is in play throughout this Revelation of Jesus Christ, within us.

Gen 41:25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.

It is Christ Himself who revealed to us from whom this river of living water proceeds and flows.

Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Since this river of living water flows from the belly of those who believe on Christ, it is therefore not at all adding to what is written to conclude that God’s throne is this city itself. God’s throne is the Lamb’s wife herself. God’s throne is the four beasts in its midst. God’s throne is you and me who have been ‘espoused to Christ, as the Lamb’s wife’.

2Co 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Being the instrument of God through which this “river of water of life” flows, is simply part of being the channel through which life will be given to every man, woman and child who has ever lived. Being the “four beasts in the midst of and round about the throne” from which this “river of water of life” flows, is just one more accolade Christ places upon His bride, His wife.
But if we are this city, and if we are Christ’s wife, then Christ wants to honor us even more.

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.

Where does God reveal to us this tree of life to originated?

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.

We are God’s “house… His temple… His vineyard… His field…” and we are His “garden’. But they all begin in the earth, or “out of the ground… the tree of life also”. That is why Christ had to “empty Himself” and become a man, in a vessel of clay, “out of the ground”, who could atone for the sins of all men.

Php 2:7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men;
Php 2:8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross.
Php 2:9 Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name;
Mat 8:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

How are we to get to this “tree of life”?

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.

The way of this Tree of Life is only through these Cherubim, and a flaming sword. That sword is of course, the Word of God, and these Cherubim are those in whom that Word dwells. Here is another way of saying all of this:

Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

If “Christ is in us”, then we are His sword:

Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

If Christ is in us, the “rivers of living waters flow from our bellies”:

Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

If Christ is in us, we are these Cherubim who hold the flaming sword which guards the way of the tree of life.
If Christ is in us, we are these same Cherubim in the midst of and round about the throne of God. We are the twelve gates to this city. We are the twelve foundations of this city, garnished with many precious stones. We are the pure gold and the pure jasper, out of which the city is composed. We are this city itself.
We are told this ‘tree of life’ is in the midst of the street of this city, and on either side of the river of life. Where else are we told we will find this “tree of life”? Here is where the tree of life is to be found:

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.
Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it [ the New Jerusalem], 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.
Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Here we have it. Here are three verses which tell us where the tree of life is to be found. Rev 2:7 tells us that the tree of life is “in the midst of the paradise of God” and Rev 22: 2 and 22:4 tell us that the tree of life is in the midst of the street of the New Jerusalem, and on either side of the river of life which proceeds out of the throne of God in the New Jerusalem. Rev 22:14 tells us that the tree of life is within the gates of the New Jerusalem. It should thus be obvious that “the paradise of God” is the third heaven and the New Jerusalem.
Now that we know where the tree of life is located, let’s see who is given to enter therein:

Luk 23:43 And Jesus said unto him [ the thief on the cross], Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Here is what Paul tells us about this “paradise”, also called New Jerusalem, (Rev 2:7; 22:2, and 22:14), where we are told the tree of life is located:

2Co 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
2Co 12:3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
2Co 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Paul is speaking of himself in the third person because he is dealing with the subject of his glorying in his revelations. Here is what he says in verse one:

2Co 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

And this is what he says in verse five:

2Co 12:5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
2Co 12:6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Paul is speaking of himself boasting only in the spirit of Christ within him, instead of boasting in his own carnal mind, and in his flesh. It was inthe spirit that he was caught up to this New Jerusalem where “the tree of life is in the midst of the paradise of God”.
And of course Rev 2:7 tells us that only overcomers are given to enter into this “paradise of God”.

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.

So it should be apparent that in scriptural terms “the paradise of God” is “Jerusalem above which is the mother of us all”.

Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Our mother, like our Savior, is who we are for those who will come to God through us when we become part of that city.

Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Rev 22:3 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:

“The throne of God and of the Lamb are in it.” The honor bestowed on those who first make up this city, which is “the bride, the Lamb’s wife”, is the single greatest honor that can be bestowed on any man. Here is what Christ tells us of those who are this city:

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

It is those who have been through the fire of the Word of God in this age who will be in that “blessed and holy first resurrection”, who will also be the channel for showing God’s goodness and mercy to all the rest of mankind who are not part of that “blessed and holy first resurrection”. And while it does not say so here, these are the same people who will be at home “in the everlasting burnings” of the lake of fire, which will cleanse and purify all the rest of mankind who are not part of that blessed first resurrection:

Isa 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
Isa 33:15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

If “the throne of God and of the Lamb” are in us, then surely “there shall be no more curse… in it”. Those who “go no more out” are those who will be used by God to bring all men into this “paradise of God”; this “mother of us all”.

Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

As we saw above “God and the Lamb are the temple of it”. Because they dwell within us we need no outward temple. We will then “know God and Jesus Christ who He has sent”. That is the very meaning of having the name of our God written upon us.

Rev 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

“They shall see His face”. The spiritual meaning of all of this is explained clearly in these words of our Lord to his apostles Thomas and Philip.

Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Joh 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
Joh 14:5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Joh 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Joh 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know” was certainly speaking of things that are not as though they were already accomplished. The disciples, at this moment, were just hours away from denying their Lord and forsaking Him and leaving Him to His fate upon the cross.

Rom 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

“My Father’s house” is this New Jerusalem:

Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

It is in this “great city of God, the holy Jerusalem” that the “many mansions” are found.

Rev 22:5 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.

We have already seen why “there shall be no night there”.

Rev 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Here is the Concordant Literal Version of these words “for ever and ever”:

Rev 22:5 And night shall be no more, and they have no need of lamplight and sunlight, for the Lord God shall be illuminating them. And they shall be reigning for the eons of the eons.

And this is Young’s Literal Translation:

Rev 22:5 and night shall not be there, and they have no need of a lamp and light of a sun, because the Lord God doth give them light, and they shall reign– to the ages of the ages.

Because both ‘ages’ are plural, this tells us that all the ages of all men of all time are included in this time of the reign of God’s elect. In other words, “the righteous… will dwell in the everlasting burnings and the devouring flames” of God’s Words in their mouths as the mouth of His elect. They are this city which is the bride the Lamb’s wife, by which all those who are not in that blessed and holy first resurrection, will be brought to God.

1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

This is the harvest at “the end” spoken of in 1Co 15:

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
1Co 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
1Co 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

“Then comes the end” means “the harvest at the end of the year”.

Exo 23:16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.
Exo 34:22 And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.

As long as one soul who has ever been born is still dead, then death has not yet destroyed. But death will be destroyed through this thing called “the second death… the lake of fire” which will bring all in Adam to be made alive in Christ.
So we have seen in our study today that this river of life should be flowing out from within you and me at this very moment, if Christ is in us. We have seen that the tree of life is within you and me today, if Christ is in us today. And we saw where Christ told us that if we “see Christ” and “know Christ”, then we have already seen and already know Him and His Father, heretoday, in these “vessels of clay”.

2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Next week, Lord willing we will cover these verses:

Rev 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Rev 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
Rev 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
Rev 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

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