Written by :   Zac Poonen Categories :   Knowing God Disciples
WFTW Body: 

In Rev 22:2 we read - In the middle of its street and 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. We find a lot of similarity between Gen 2 and Rev.22. The tree of life symbolizes the life of God Himself - eternal life or the divine nature that we can now partake of. Eternal life, does not mean "existing forever" for those who go to the lake of fire also exist for ever. But they do not have eternal life. Eternal life means a life which had no beginning and has no end. That is the life of God himself. That is what is symbolized in the tree of life. Adam foolishly went to the tree of knowledge, instead of to the tree of life, just like many do today, who seek for Bible-knowledge rather than life. The tree of knowledge of good and evil is not found in Rev.22. It has disappeared. In front of the tree of life God placed a flaming sword (Gen.3:24). This teaches us that a sword must fall upon our Self-life, if we are to take part of the tree of life. This is why most Christians would rather go to the tree of knowledge, in front of which there is no sword. To get Bible knowledge, we don't have to die to our Self-life or take up the cross daily. But to partake of God's nature, we have to"bear the dying of Jesus in our body" always (2 Cor.4:10). We have to allow the sword to fall upon us. The way of the cross is the way to the tree of life. The sword fell upon Jesus and He was crucified. Since we too were crucified with Him, the sword is to fall upon us too. Thus we can partake of the tree of life, which bears a new kind of fruit every month, and whose leaves bring healing.

In Rev 22:7 we read - And behold I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book. The Lord does not say here that He is coming soon. No. He says He is coming quickly - suddenly- like a thief in the night, without any warning.

In Rev 22:8,9 we read - And I John am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. And he said unto me 'Do not do that; I am also a fellow servant of yours of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.' John made the mistake of being taken up with the person whom God had used to teach him all these truths. He fell down in worship at the feet of the angel who showed him all these things. But the angel quickly said, "Do not do that. I am only a fellow servant of yours. Worship only God". That is one mark of a true servant of God, that whenever he sees anyone getting attached to him, he detaches himself from that person at once, so that the person can cling to the Lord and not to man! In heaven they sing only one song - the new song - saying, "Thou alone art worthy". This angel had learnt that song and so he was quick to shake John off and to ask him to give the glory to God alone.

In Rev 22:11 we read - Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong and let the one who is filthy, still be filthy: and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness and let the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. This is an amazing exhortation that we find on the last page of the Bible. It tells people to continue to "Be filthy" and to continue to "Do wrong". The implication is this: "If you have read through the whole Bible and come to the last page and you still don't want to repent or to give up your sins, then go ahead and be filthy and keep on doing wrong. There is no hope for you". If after reading about God's judgments on sin in the book of Revelation, you still want to indulge in your lusts and to seek after the pleasures of sin, and to read filthy books and to look at pornographic movies, if you still want to retain your bitterness against someone, and to be unforgiving, if you still want to slander and backbite, and be jealous and to live for yourself and for this rotten world, then go ahead and do it. God will not stop you. But see what is written for the righteous in the second part of verse11. "Let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness. Let the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. There is never an end to this pursuit of holiness. So pursue after righteousness and holiness yet more. The state in which we end our lives is going to determine how we spend our eternity. If we have lived in sin and filthiness, we will continue in sin and filthiness and wrongdoing for eternal ages in the lake of fire. If we have pursued righteousness and holiness in this life, then that will be our pursuit in eternity too. Our state is going to be fixed for all eternity when we die. "Whether a tree falls toward the south or toward the north, wherever the tree falls, there it lies" (Eccl.11:3).

In Rev 22:21 we read - The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. It is wonderful to see how the Word of God ends. It is only by grace that we can be a part of the New Jerusalem. Only by the strength and help that God gives, can we be free from the bondages that have enslaved us for so many years. Grace forgives our sins! And grace helps us to overcome sin, the world and Satan! Contrast this word with the last word of the Old Testament- which is "curse". In Mal.4:6, God says, "lest I come and smite the land with a curse". The New Testament begins with the birth of Jesus and ends with a benediction that "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all." How wonderful that we can be free from the curse with which theOld Testament ends and come under grace in the New Testament, experience the blessing of God in every area of our lives, and be a part of the dwelling place of God, for all eternity. Hallelujah! All glory and praise and honour be unto God and to the Lamb Who was slain for our sins Amen and Amen!