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THE ENSIGN MESSAGE

THE TREE OF LIFE

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Revelation 22:1-2

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.

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.

Revelation 21 describes this  Holy City, New Jerusalem (after the Millenium) as this is where  the river and the Tree of Life are situated.

Revelation 21:18-21

And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was  pure gold, like unto clear  glass.

And  the   foundations of the  wall  of the  city were  garnished with all manner of precious stones. The   first  foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the  third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an  emerald;

The  fifth,  sardonyx; the  sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the  eighth, beryl; the  ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the  twelfth, an  amethyst.

And  the  twelve gates were  twelve  pearls; every several gate  was of  one   pearl: and  the street of  the   city   was pure gold, as  it  were transparent glass.

It is important to understand that the Bible tells us  in  Revelation 21 :2  that  this  holy  city,  New Jerusalem is coming  down from heaven onto  the earth.

Revelation 21:12, 14, 16 & 22

And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates  twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are  the  names of the twelve tribes of the  children of Israel:

The wall  of the  city  had  twelve foundations, and in them the names of the  twelve apostles of the  Lamb.

And the  city  lieth foursquare, and  the  length is  as  large  as  the  breadth: and  he  measured the city  with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the  breadth and  the  height of it  are equal.

And I saw  no temple therein: for the  Lord  God Almighty and  the  Lamb are the  temple of it.

Twelve is the number of completion in God’s eternal administration. This  completion is  not temporary, but eternal. It is the completion in God’s administration for the fulfilment  of God’s  economy. The New Jerusalem will declare  to the whole universe that God’s  redeemed people will be  twelve among twelve, completion among completions.

The purpose of Israel the Servant  Nation is clearly highlighted  in,

1 Peter 2:9

But  ye are  a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the  praises of him who hath called  you  out of darkness into his  marvellous light.

With reference to the river in Revelation  22:2, we know  that water  is the essence of life; the river and the water spoken of in these verses are the same and possess a divinely created miraculous healing  and sustaining ability. It seems logical  that  the  river of water in the New Jerusalem, as well as the river which ran out from  Eden  had  the same properties, giving life  sustaining substance  to  God’s people in  the beginning and the end.

Genesis 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.

Genesis 2:10

And  a  river went out of  Eden   to water the garden; and    from   thence it  was  parted, and became into four heads.

The  tree   in  Revelation 22:2  (New  Jerusalem) produces fruit  on  a  monthly basis. Its  ongoing production implies  an ongoing  consumption of the fruit by the nations, although this is not explicitly said.

In the Millennia! Kingdom, the fruit of similar trees will be used  for food  (Ezekiel47:12), whereas their leaves will be used for medicine.

And by the river upon the bank  thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees  for meat, whose  leaf shall  not  fade, neither shall  the  fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring  forth new  fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued  out of the sanctuary: and the  fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf  thereof   for  medicine.

This leads to two very important questions:

  • Why the Tree Of Life in conditions of paradise?
  •  Why a special mention of leaves in the eternal healing of the Nations in the New Jerusalem?

To answer the first question could  there be a relationship between the tree of life, sin, and death? The tree of life serves as a source from which sinless men obtain life as Adam & Eve were  perfect  until Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and  Evil. Also, in the New Jerusalem there will be no death Rev 21:4,

And God shall  wipe  away  all tears   from their eyes; and  there  shall  be no  more  death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall  there be  any more pain: for the  former things are passed away.

They do not attain eternal life in any sort of independent manner, but are completely and forever dependent upon God, the ultimate source of life. This dependence is reflected in their need  to access the fruit from the tree for its life-giving qualities. The moment sin enters into  the  picture, as it did in the Garden  and which  it can  never  do again  in eternity, independence from God results. When sin entered in the Garden of Eden and  independence from God with it, God saw  fit to remove access to the Tree Of Life, the very  channel by which  He had  chosen  to dispense eternal life.  The  result was   death . To summarize, sin  brought independence  from  God which was manifest in being cut off from The Tree Of Life resulting  in death. In the eternal state,  man will be sinless, but  will always and  forever remain dependent upon  the Creator as the source of life, a reality which God has chosen to manifest via the tree.

Now let’s  take  a look  at the  leaf of these trees which John  describes as healing  the Nations.

What is a leaf and what  is its purpose? A leaf is a type of reservoir and conduit for life giving properties to the tree and  its fruits. A leaf with its surface area captures the sunlight,  water,  and carbon dioxide and through photosynthesis converts these into oxygen and sugar  to feed  the tree.

This energy and nutrients are fed to the tree, which in turn passes these  nutrients to the fruit and  on to the  one  who  consumes the  fruits. Leaves  begin  to fade and drop off the trees in autumn due to the lack of sunlight  as the days become shorter. In the  New Jerusalem there will be no need  for sunlight as Jesus’ Glory will give the light as shown in Revelation 21:23, therefore the leaves  will never  fade  or drop  as  the light from the Lamb will never dim.

Nations are  made up of people, so we  can  also say that the leaves  are for the healing  of the people. This interesting phrase has a dual meaning, because of  the  word   healing. In order   to  get  at  a  clearer meaning of this phrase, let us consider the following meanings found in Strong’s Concordance and  in Webster’s dictionary:

Strong’s Concordance

2322 – Menial attendant, servant, medical, cure, healing, worship.

Webster’s

Heal, to make sound or whole, to restore  to health, cure,  remedy,  to patch up, to restore  to original purity or integrity, to return  to a sound state.

In  Strong’s Concordance we  see that   the translation from  the Greek  to the  English  the word healing can have the connotation not only of physical healing,  but also that of mental healing  through the worshipping of God. Moreover,  we see  also  that adoration is also an appropriate meaning for healing.

And  reinforcing these meanings we  have Webster’s definition of restoration to original  purity and   a  sound state (mind). Therefore, we  can conclude that  the  phrase “the  leaves are  for  the healing  of the people” means that the leaves of the Tree of Life are for the purpose of bringing the people to adore and worship God.

How the  Nations  are  Healed  The Bible does  not tell us by what  means the  leaves accomplish their purpose, although the nations (people) will not need any  physical  healing  in eternity (Revelation 21:4), they will still need  to purify their minds throughout all eternity,  thus the need  for spiritual healing.  In this regard, we can see  that a reciprocating effect  takes place; our  minds  are  healed spiritually when we worship God, as given in the definitions above.

Since the Bible does  not tell us that the leaves  of the Tree of Life will replace themselves if  they are removed from it (supposedly to be used for medicinal purposes), we  cannot assume that  they will do so. The fruit, however, will be continually replaced. If the leaves  were  to be  removed, they  could  be sold  to people who did not want  to bother  making the trip to the Tree of Life, or traded,  or whatever. We know that the saved  Nations will come to the  New Jerusalem (Revelation 21 :24) Therefore, if the leaves  are  not removed, and do not replace themselves if removed, there  must  be  another avenue whereby they  may accomplish the healing  of the nations.

There is a way in which  the leaves  could  provide the healing, and  that is by providing a shade, or shadow, which itself may  have  healing  properties. Such an instance is recorded in Acts, where Peter’s shadow had healing  powers (Acts 5:12-15)

And  by  the  hands of the  apostles were  many signs  and  wonders wrought among the  people; and  they  were  all  with one  accord in  Solomon’s porch. And of the  rest  durst no  man join  himself to them: but the   people magnified  them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men  and  women. Insomuch that they  brought forth  the  sick  into the  streets, and  laid  them on  beds and  couches, that at  the least the shadow of  Peter passing by  might overshadow some of them. Acts 5:12-15

Having the  leaves  to provide  a “healing shade” would ensure that everyone would  have to come to the Tree of Life for healing  (and  to worship thereby), without any disfiguring of the Tree of Life taking place.

One difference between Ezekiel’s prophecy and that of Revelation is that Ezekiel mentions trees, while Revelation mentions the Tree of Life, singular.

It should  be strongly emphasized that the phrase the  healing   of the  nations is a  reciprocal action, people will become purified spiritually whenever they have attitude of worship before  the Throne  of God, which is the source of the river that supplies the Tree of Life.

“Healing” is an act of worship, so “for the healing of the nations” means “for the worship of the nations” i.e., nations will acknowledge their dependence on the Lord by the leaves of the Tree of Life. This could  be accomplished by the peoples  of all saved  nations  to come under God’s Tree of Life’s shadow. There will be no need for physical healing; we can start this process even now in these difficult times for in Psalm 91 we read,

He that dwelleth in  the  secret places of the most High  shall abide under the  shadow of the Almighty.

I will  say  of the  Lord, He is my  refuge and  my fortress: my  God; in him will  I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee   from the  snare of the   fowler, and   from the  noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee  with his  feathers, and under his  wings shalt thou trust: his  truth shall  be thy shield and buckler.

Thou  shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the  arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the  pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the  destruction that wasteth at noonday.

In conclusion I  hope  this has shed  some light on the purpose of the leaves in the eternal state.

I would  encourage all of us no matter what  stage we are at in our walk with GOD whether we feel we are not worthy or discouraged, to come to the living waters as demonstrated in these two scriptures:

John 4:10-14

Jesus answered  and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that  saith  to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked  of him, and he would  have given  thee living  water.

The  woman saith unto him, Sir,  thou hast nothing to draw with, and  the  well  is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

Art thou greater than our  father  Jacob, which gave  us the  well, and  drank thereof himself, and his  children, and  his  cattle?

Jesus answered and  said  unto her, whosoever drinketh of this water shall  thirst again:

But  whosoever drinketh of the  water that I shall give  him  shall  never thirst; but the  water that I shall  give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Isaiah 55:1-2

Ho,  every one  that thirsteth, come ye to  the waters, and  he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and  eat;  yea, come, buy  wine and  milk  without money and  without price.

Wherefore do  ye spend money  for that which is not bread? and   your labour  for  that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is  good, and  let  your  soul delight itself in  fatness.

 

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