The Leaves for the Healing of the Nations

The river of water of life flows from the throne in New Jerusalem. “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2).

New JerusalemThe fruit of the tree of life is the life supply for God’s people who are constituted into New Jerusalem. The leaves of the tree are for the nations living around and outside New Jerusalem, who are not part of the city. There is a difference: Built Into or Living Around New Jerusalem.

The peoples of the nations around the city will have human life restored to the condition of Genesis 1–2, before sin entered. They will not have the divine, eternal life that the people constituted into the city possess, and they will not eat the fruit of the tree of life.

The leaves of the tree are for their healing. The fact that they need healing indicates some imperfection. In contrast, the people who are part of New Jerusalem have the perfect eternal life.

The nations around New Jerusalem are mentioned in Revelation 21:3, 24, 26, and 22:2. But God’s goal is New Jerusalem as His dwelling place, the place of His glory, and the bride, the wife of Jesus Christ. Let us align ourselves with this. Our first step is to repent of our past living and believe into Jesus Christ. Then we exercise to take Him as our life supply that we may live Him daily. This brings us to the goal, New Jerusalem.

The Tree of Life is Here Today and in New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem has “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street. And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month (Rev. 22:1-2).

New JerusalemThe words tree of life appear only in Revelation. This tree with its fruits portrays Christ as our life supply for us to live a proper Christian life now, in the coming age, and in New Jerusalem. Jesus Christ is the reality of the tree of life.

In John 6 Jesus told everyone, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall by no means hunger.” We eat Him today as our bread of life, the fruit of the tree of life. This bread gives us eternal life and the supply to live this life daily. Jesus said, “he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.”

This eating is spiritual. Further speaking by Jesus in John 6: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” With an open heart and exercised spirit we touch the Spirit through the words of the Bible.

Revelation 22:14, speaking to us today, says “Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city.” We confess our sins that we may eat the bread of life, the tree of life, and enter into the present reality of New Jerusalem.

Jesus is the Tree of Life in New Jerusalem

In Revelation 22:1 New Jerusalem has the river of water of life coming from the throne of God and the Lamb. In 22:2 “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”

The tree of life on both sides of the river indicates that it is easily accessible. Jesus invites us to come: “Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall by no means hunger, and he who believes into Me shall by no means ever thirst” (John 6:35).

New JerusalemThe tree of life on both sides of the river is one unique tree. Its spreading indicates that it is a vine tree, portraying the Lord Jesus, who told us in John 15 that He is the true vine.

The tree of life produces twelve fruits. The number twelve speaks of eternal perfection. What the fruits are and the life they maintain in us is eternal and perfect.

The tree of life also produces fruit every month. The twelve months again speak of eternal perfection. The fruit every month shows the unlimited capacity and freshness of this tree; its fruit is not limited to a single season during the year.

We come to the Lord Jesus today to partake of Him as our daily bread, which has all the characteristics of the tree of life in New Jerusalem.

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The River is from the Throne both Today and in New Jerusalem

In Revelation 22:1 the river of water of life flows out from the throne of God and the Lamb to supply the entire city for eternity. This flow is the Spirit. We also see this river in New Testament epistles for the preparation of New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemWhen Paul wrote Philippians he was in a Roman prison and he also describes another difficulty. Yet he says in 1:19, “I know that for me this [prison and difficulty] will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”

Philippians begins, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The blessings from our Father and our Lord are realized in the bountiful supply which is the Spirit. This is the present realization of the river (the Spirit as the bountiful supply) from the throne of God and the Lamb.

The result of this flow is Paul’s expectation that “even now Christ will be magnified in my body.” The flow of the Spirit produces the expression/magnification of Christ just as the river in New Jerusalem maintains the expression/magnification of God by the city.

Similarly both Ephesians 4:15-16 and Colossians 2:19 speak of a rich supply flowing out from the Head, Christ, which results in the building up of His Body. The rich supply is the Spirit and the building up is the preparation of New Jerusalem. Lord, keep us in this rich supply of the Spirit to prepare us for New Jerusalem! 

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The Tree of Life in New Jerusalem

New JerusalemDescribing New Jerusalem, Revelation 22:1 presents the river of life. Then verse 2 says, “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life.” The river brings the tree to us. We drink the water of life and eat the fruit of life.

The word of God is our spiritual food. Jeremiah said to the Lord, “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word became to me the gladness and joy of my heart” (15:16). And in Matthew 4:4 the Lord Jesus likened the words of God to bread. We will be eating this spiritual food for eternity in New Jerusalem.

The flow of the Spirit, the river of life, brings this food, the tree of life, to us. A good way to receive the food brought by the river is to pray with the words of the Bible. Ephesians 6:17-18 exhorts us to receive “the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God, by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit.”

We have the Bible, the printed word of God. We also have the Spirit, the living word of God. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63). To receive the word of the Bible by the Spirit is the present experience of Revelation 22:1-2’s description of New Jerusalem.

More: Pray-Reading the Word

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New Jerusalem’s River Flows in its Street

Revelation 22:1 says that New Jerusalem has “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.” And 21:21 says, “the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”

The golden street portrays the divine nature. To walk on this street, which is to walk according to the divine nature, we need to drink the Spirit who is the water of life. The more we drink, the more we are “bright as crystal,” constituted with “pure gold,” and become like “transparent glass.”

In Romans 6, through being identified with Christ in His death and resurrection, we “walk in newness of life” which is to be “in the likeness of His resurrection,” the likeness displayed by New Jerusalem. In Romans 7 the parallel is to “walk in newness of spirit.” This walk is on the golden street and enabled by the river of water of life, the Spirit.New Jerusalem

Stephen was an example of this. In Acts 6 he was a man “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” (v. 5), “full of grace and power” (v. 8), spoke with “wisdom and the Spirit” (v. 10), and under persecution his face had a heavenly appearance (v. 15). As he died, he lived out the forgiving pattern of the Lord Jesus (Luke 23:34) and “cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

He was a manifestation of the life of New Jerusalem empowered by the river of life, the Spirit.

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New Jerusalem’s River from the Throne

Revelation 22:1 says, “he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.”

New JerusalemThe river comes out of the throne of God. This tells us that we need to be under the throne, under the ruling of God and the Lamb. The extent to which we are ruled is the extent to which we are watered.

This throne is “of God and of the Lamb.” God and the Lamb share one throne because They are coinherent—God is in the Lamb, Jesus and the Lamb is in God, the Father. This is Jesus’ word in John 14:11, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.”

The Triune God is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The throne is of Two, but where is the Spirit? The Spirit is the river! John 7:38-39, “He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. But this He said concerning the Spirit.” The Triune God is here!

First Corinthians 12:13 declares, “in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body…and were all given to drink one Spirit.” Baptism is once for all, but drinking is lifelong. Let us drink the Spirit all the time to be saturated with the life of New Jerusalem.

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A River of Water of Life

Revelation 22 begins, “And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.”

In 21:9 an angel showed John “the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” In 21:10 the angel showed John “the holy city, Jerusalem.” Then the angel showed John the river of water of life. These are the three things specifically identified as shown by the angel. That means that the river of water of life is very important.

New JerusalemThe river of life was first presented to man in Genesis 2. Throughout the Old Testament we are encouraged to Take Freely the Water of Life. This continues in the New Testament in John 4 and 7, and 1 Corinthians 10 and 12. The consummation of all of this is the river of life in Revelation 22.

River indicates the fullness of the flow. Water signifies the ease with which we take it in. Life discloses the nature of this flow—the divine, eternal life.

The river of water of life is “bright as crystal.” The whole of New Jerusalem is bright with the glory of God, and like crystal the city is clear and transparent. The river of life transmits to us, and brings forth in us, this brightness; it also washes our inner being to make us clear as crystal. The more the river flows through us, the more we are constituted into New Jerusalem.

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New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:21-27

Revelation 21:22-23 says about New Jerusalem, “The Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

New JerusalemRevelation 21 has a wonderful description of New Jerusalem. This chapter and the next present what God wants us to see about this eternal city. May the Lord open our eyes to see the heavenly vision!

New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:1-8
New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:9-20

Here are the titles of recent posts and their links for 21:21-27.

21:21, Enter by the Regenerating Resurrection

21:22, The Triune God is the Living Temple
of New Jerusalem

21:23, The Living Glory of New Jerusalem
21:23, The Glory of God Illuminates the City

21:24,26 Nations Walk by the Light of New Jerusalem

21:25,27 First Step to New Jerusalem: Believe!

Many older posts about Revelation 21:22-27.

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First Step to New Jerusalem: Believe!

Revelation 21:25 tells us that the gates of New Jerusalem “shall by no means be shut by day, for there will be no night there.”

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is the center of the new heaven and new earth. In the new heaven are the sun, moon, and stars. Day and night (as in Rev. 20:10) are related to the sun, and months (as in Rev. 22:2) are related to the moon.

Although the new creation will have day and night, in New Jerusalem “there will be no night” because the glory of God illuminates the city. This glory is eternally constant and brighter than the sun. No Night in New Jerusalem and New Jerusalem: Night Will Be No More!

The nations on the new earth around the city will bring their glory and honor into the city. To facilitate that, the gates of New Jerusalem will not be closed to them.  However, verse 21:27 tells us that “Anything common and he who makes an abomination and a lie shall by no means enter into it, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

All negative things will be in the lake of fire. The top enjoyment in the new creation is to be built into the city. The lesser, but positive, enjoyment is to be the nations around New Jerusalem. The shameful portion is the lake of fire for Satan and those who follow him by opposing and rejecting God. Repent and believe into Jesus Christ now to get on the life path to New Jerusalem!

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Nations Walk by the Light of New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:23-24 tells us that New Jerusalem “has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. And the nations will walk by its light.”

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is constituted with God and His redeemed people. The nations are other peoples, including the sheep before the throne of glory in Matthew 25:31-40. Much more is in The Nations around New Jerusalem (7) with links to (1) to (6).

The glory of God, in Jesus Christ the Lamb as the lamp, enlightens all of New Jerusalem. Because New Jerusalem is clear and transparent, the glory shining within the city also shines through the city to illuminate the earth around it. In this way the surrounding nations “will walk by its light.”

Revelation 21:24 also says, “the kings of the earth bring their glory into it.” And 21:26, “And they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.” These kings are the leaders of the nations around New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem will be the center of life on the new earth and the surrounding nations will bring their top portion into the city in response to its centrality.

God’s desire is that we repent to receive His forgiveness and His life to enter New Jerusalem. Since this is His goal, His word has much more about New Jerusalem than about the nations.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

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The Glory of God Illuminates the City

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem has no need of natural light because “the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev. 21:23).

New Jerusalem is a city completely constituted with eternal life, and this life is the light of the city. The light is the glory of God and this light is in the Lamb, Jesus Christ, the lamp of the city.

God, the light, is in Christ, the lamp. This matches John, “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (14:10). The Father sent the Son and the Son lived because of the Father (6:57) and expressed the Father through His living (14:9,11). What is described in the Gospel of John is what will be in New Jerusalem, except that it will be enlarged to the Father in the Son in all God’s people.

Even today we as children of God should be “without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as luminaries in the world” (Phil. 2). We shine, not because of ourselves, but because God in Christ is in us as the light of life.

The Greek word translated luminaries in Philippians 2 occurs only one other time in the New Testament, which is in the description of New Jerusalem having the brilliance/ radiance from the glory of God (Rev. 21:11). Thus, what we should be today according to Philippians 2 is a miniature of New Jerusalem. God in Christ is the light in the lamp in both our Christian life and New Jerusalem.

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