The Apocalypse – Chapter 22
In this chapter we have a further description of the heavenly state of the church, Rev. 22:1-5. (The River of Life) To follow will be a confirmation of this and all the other visions of this book, Rev. 22:6-19. And finally the conclusion, Rev. 22:20, 21.
The River and the Tree Just one river, not four as in Genesis, There two became scenes of sorrow. The river of the water of life in heaven Full of joy to welcome our tomorrow. One river full of water Proceeding out of the throne, To make glad the city of God Where sadness is unknown. And there is one Tree, yielding its fruit every month; A Tree that will never die. There is no Autumn, no barren winter, No need to store from last months supply. River and Tree, Christ’s fullness and ever-newness; We cannot progress without them, they must be our inward sight. Wherever we go we must carry them with us now - Christ’s way of life to give to others healing and light. By the late Andrew Feakin [passed away 16th March 2019]
Keys – The River of Life
- All our springs of grace, comfort, and glory, are in God.
- All our streams from Him are through the mediation of the Lamb.
- The presence and perfections of God furnish all the glory and blessedness of heaven.
- His seal and name will be on our foreheads in heaven.
- Our service there shall not only be freedom but honour and dominion. All this shall be with perfect knowledge and joy. We shall be full of wisdom and comfort, continually walking in the light of the Lord.
- This will not be for a time, but forever and ever.
The River of Life
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
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. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
Henry says – The heavenly state which was before described as a city, and called the new Jerusalem, is here described as a paradise. This alludes to the earthly paradise which was lost by the sin of the first Adam. Here is another paradise restored by the second Adam, Christ. A paradise in a city, or a whole city in a paradise! In the first paradise, there were only two persons to behold the beauty and taste the pleasures of it. But in this second paradise whole cities and nations shall find abundant delight and satisfaction.
The earthly paradise, Eden, was well watered: no place can be pleasant or fruitful that is not. This river is described by its fountain-head which is – the throne of God and the Lamb. All our springs of grace, comfort, and glory, are in God. All our streams from Him are through the mediation of the Lamb. Its quality is—pure and clear as crystal. All the streams of earthly comfort are muddy. But these are clear and refreshing, giving life, and preserving life, to those who drink of them.
Fed by pure waters
The tree of life, in this paradise far excels the tree that was in the earthly paradise, Gen. 2:9. This tree is—in the midst of the street, and on either side the river. It might have been better described as, in the midst between the terrace-walk and the river. This tree of life is fed by the pure waters of the river that comes from the throne of God.
The presence and perfections of God furnish all the glory and blessedness of heaven. The fruitful tree brings forth all sorts of fruit—twelve sorts, suited to the refined taste of all the saints. It brings forth fruit at all times—yields its fruit every month. This tree is never empty, never barren. There is always fruit upon it. In heaven, there is not only a variety of pure and satisfying pleasures but a continuance of them and always fresh. The fruit is not only pleasant but wholesome. The presence of God in heaven is the health and happiness of the saints. There they find in Him a remedy for all their former maladies and are preserved by Him in the most healthful and vigorous state.
Continually walking in the light of the Lord
There is perfect freedom in this paradise from everything that is evil. (Rev. 22:3) There shall be no more curse; no accursed one—katanathema. No serpent there, as there was in the earthly paradise. Here is the great excellency of this paradise. The devil has nothing to do there. He cannot draw the saints from serving God to be subject to himself, as he did our first parents, nor can he so much as disturb them in the service of God.
There the saints shall see the face of God and shall enjoy the beatific vision. There will be a supreme felicity in this paradisiacal state. God will own them, as having His seal and name on their foreheads. They shall reign with Him for ever. Their service shall not only be freedom but honour and dominion. All this shall be with perfect knowledge and joy. They shall be full of wisdom and comfort, continually walking in the light of the Lord. This will not be for a time, but for ever and ever.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
Prayer for the Day
Father, we come to You. We bless You for this heavenly vision. A vision that we can look forward to beholding with our own eyes. We declare that all our springs of grace, comfort, and glory are in You. All our streams from You are through the mediation of the Lamb. We thank Jesus for His mediatorial role in heaven on our behalf. Your presence and perfections furnish us with all the glory and blessedness of heaven here and will continue there.
May Your seal and name be on our foreheads. We long for the day when our service shall not only be freedom but honour and dominion. All this shall be with perfect knowledge and joy. We shall be full of wisdom and comfort, continually walking in the light of the Lord. Thank You that this will not be for a time, but for ever and ever. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
The River of Life
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