Monday, January 2, 2012

Part Two of the "Identities of Revelation" Series

This is a work in progress, which is emerging.

Rev.22:1,2 reads:
1 And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of its broad way. And on this side of the river and on that side [there were] trees of life producing twelve crops of fruit, yielding their fruits each month. And the leaves of the trees [were] for the curing of the nations."

This scripture merits close examination, so that we may gain a fuller understanding of the future Kingdom arrangement.

I will therefore, compare the phrases it contains, with the interpretation given by God.

"And he showed me a river of water of life"

Here we see a symbol (Rev.1:1 this book was written in signs and symbols) of water which imparts life. It has become, not a trickle nor a filled vessel, but a river. How do we know the meaning of this symbol of "water", which imparts "life"? Jesus told us the meaning of this symbol, at John4:10,13,14; 7:37,38. Here Jesus claims to be the source of this living water. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me." (John14:6) His anointed disciples, while in the world, are also a source of this water (John4:14; 7:38,39; Matt.12:35,37) That water then, is the truth, the way of life directed by God, the accurate knowledge that leads to life (John17:3) By taking that knowledge in, we are taking in the water of life (Rev.22:17) When Rev.22:1,2 are fulfilled, no longer will there be a drought of spiritual provisions (Amos.8:11; Rev.22:3; Zech.14:11).

"clear as crystal"

This phrase adds the detail, that at this time, the "waters" of life will be absolutely pure and perfect. No false deceptions or "Wormwood" will be a part of those teachings (Rev.8:11). This pure water will adjust and correct what was lacking (Eze.47:8,9; Rev.20:13). This "increasing light" (Prov.4:18) will contain no darkness. This water of life will not lack anything. It will occur in the period referred to by the apostle Paul...
  "For we have partial knowledge and we prophesy partially; 10 but when that which is complete arrives, that which is partial will be done away with. 12 For at present we see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror, but then it will be face to face. At present I know partially, but then I shall know accurately even as I am accurately known."  1Cor.13:9,10,12

Yes, even the apostle Paul freely taught that "at present", previous to the fulfillment of Rev.22; we only see spiritual truth, in a partial haze. Yet he spoke of a time when such things will become "crystal" clear (as clear as seeing someone "face to face"). This is the period referred to, in Rev.22.
And no wonder! Look at this river's direct source!...

"flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb"
This water is not sourced in corruptible vessels of flesh, no! It flows directly from the very thrones of God and Christ! As soon as it issues from their thrones in heaven, where do Jehovah and Jesus send this living water?

"down the middle of its broad way"

A "broad way" is speaking about the central street of a city (examples at Luke10:10; 14:21). The broad way of a city was the main channel of public travel, commerce, and public exposure. The Bible verifies that this "broad way", is also part of a very special City. Jehovah and Jesus channel the water of life and truth, into the center of this City....

Rev.21:21 "Also, the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was made of one pearl. And the broad way of the city was pure gold, as transparent glass."

Here we see that this crystal clear water of life, is channeled along a highway of "pure gold, as transparent glass". It is indeed flowing down the center of a heavenly "City". We should be in fear of drawing the assumption that these divine provisions and teachings, could ever be channeled through corrupt men, and still retain their purity. 
(Note: The scriptural meaning of "perfection", is not what we commonly think of. Eph.4:12,13; Heb.12:23; James1:4)
This crystal clear water flows directly from the thrones in Heaven... down the Heavenly City's pure and golden center. That broad way has been made so refined, that the gold has become "transparent" (Rev.3:18; Jer.9:7; Mal.3:1,2,3,4; Zech.13:9; Isa.4:4; 48:10; 1Pet.4:12; 1:6,7; Job23:10; Prov.17:3; Matt.5:48; Isa.1:25,26).This river of life-imparting waters, runs along this very "broad way" of that City (John7:38)'s main highway of holiness (Isa.35:7,8).
Knowing that this "City" is made up of the 144000 "living stones" (1Pet.2:5)...what part of them is this refined gold that is the aqueduct of living water and truth? Remember John7:38; 4:14 told us that this living water would flow from the "innermost part" of the faithful...their hearts (Luke6:45; Prov.17:3). These hearts of the faithful, have been refined, as if by fire (Mal.3:2,3; Isa.1:25,26,27,28) so that their lampstand will be of pure gold...a fit utensil for Jehovah's eternal Temple dwelling of "light" (Eph.2:22; Rev.22:3; 21:18,21,22,23,24,25,26,27).

Once this provision of pure truth from Jehovah and Jesus fills the Holy City of these heavenly ones (Eph.2:6), what then?

"And on this side of the river and on that side"

We see that the broad way of the Heavenly City, is lined with two edges on both sides of it. There the edges of the broad way make contact with these divine waters. By means of this broad way, the City has access to this water of life, flowing from God and Christ.
Does the Bible tell us of any who benefit from having access to this pure water of life?

"trees of life"

 We see that down both sides of the broad way, there are "trees of life". What do trees do when they are planted along a river? They are living things. They need water. They will naturally absorb and use the water source they have access to. These blessed trees, have before them the finest water in the universe. (Psalm1:3; 46:4; Jer.17:8) How do we know that they do indeed absorb this divine water? They are called "trees of life". The river in their city is the only source of water. If they did not take it in, they would not live. We are assured that they do indeed absorb God's provisions. How so?

"producing twelve crops of fruit"

Could these "trees" of the Holy City in heaven "produce" a crop, without water? Certainly not. What can we be sure is inside the fruit of these trees? Well, if we consider a real physical tree, what can we be sure is inside it's fruit? Would that tree offer us juicy fruit, and show us it's lush green foliage, if it were living in a water-less region? Just as the tree itself depends upon water for life, so too its production of fruit and leaves depend upon water. The very juice inside the fruit, is the water the tree's roots absorbed. The very tenderness and health of it's leaves, is the water inside them.

We can be certain, that the fruit and leaves of these Heavenly trees, have become full of the crystal clear living waters, which their roots feed upon, along the broad way of the City. What very special "crops" these trees produce! For they contain, the water of life! Twelve Crops. Why twelve?
There are a few reasons.
When we are told that these trees are lining the two sides of the river (6 crops of fruit on each side), and that the river flows from the thrones of God and the Lamb, we are learning who these trees are. Let us see what the Bible says about these...

4 “And as for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book, until the time of [the] end. Many will rove about, and the [true] knowledge will become abundant.”

"And I saw, I Daniel, and, look! there were two others standing, one on the bank here of the stream and the other on the bank there of the stream. 6 Then one said to the man clothed with the linen, who was up above the waters of the stream: “How long will it be to the end of the wonderful things?” 7 And I began to hear the man clothed with the linen, who was up above the waters of the stream, as he proceeded to raise his right [hand] and his left [hand] to the heavens and to swear by the One who is alive for time indefinite: “It will be for an appointed time, appointed times and a half. And as soon as there will have been a finishing of the dashing of the power of the holy people to pieces, all these things will come to their finish.” Dan.12:4,5,6,7

Notice according to Daniel, there was a "man" clothed in linen above the waters of a stream (also the word for "river"). This corresponds to the throne of Christ, being above the river of water of life, flowing into the Holy City. We receive assurance that this is Jesus, when we see that he raises his hands to heaven, regarding the accomplishing of 3 1/2 times...
(compare Rev.10:4,5,6):

"4 Now when the seven thunders spoke, I was at the point of writing; but I heard a voice out of heaven say: “Seal up the things the seven thunders spoke, and do not write them down.” 5 And the angel that I saw standing on the sea and on the earth raised his right hand to heaven, 6 and by the One who lives forever and ever, who created the heaven and the things in it and the earth and the things in it and the sea and the things in it, he swore: “There will be no delay any longer"

While we see that Jesus is above this river, we also see that there are "two others standing", one on each side (on each bank) of that river.

This corresponds to those trees on each side of the River (Rev.22:2). We are told two things...that there are many "trees of life" along the broad way (Eze.47:6,7,12; 1Kings22:19; Mark10:40); and at the same time, there are only one on each side (Zech.4:3,11,12,13,14). How are both these descriptions, true?
We see in Zechariah, that these "two" are only a symbol of many. We receive confirmation for this, at Rev.11:3,4:
" 3 And I will cause my two witnesses to prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days dressed in sackcloth.” 4 These are [symbolized by] the two olive trees and the two lampstands and are standing before the Lord of the earth."
(Rev.1:13; 2:1; Deut.33:2,3)
This helps us to see why "two" are used to represent all the "trees of life" who are filled with the waters of truth [and also the "golden liquid" (olive oil/holy spirit/fuel for lamps)]...
John 8:17 reads:
 "Also, in YOUR own Law it is written, ‘The witness of two men is true.’ ".
We know from Mark9:2,3,4,7; 2Pet.1:16,17,18,19 , that these two symbolic witnesses who appeared with Jesus on Mt. Zion ("the sacred mountain" 2Pet.1:18), are represented by Moses and Elijah. These two men of Truth, bear the attributes required of all the sealed 144,000 (Rev.14:1). These two witnesses, represent the 144,000 trees of life, 
who worship God in "spirit" (golden liquid) "and truth" (living water) John4:24.
Zech.4:2,3,4,11,12,13,14; Rev.11:3,4
At the same time, these two witnesses are the end time faithful remnant, who pass the Great Test/Tribulation. Isa.28:17 and represent the 144000/"woman" within the earth at that time.

This symbol then (Rev.1:1), of all the trees of life within the Holy City, represents all the anointed "trees of life" while they are sealed in heaven, receiving perfect complete truth, directly from the thrones of Jehovah and Jesus Christ.
We know that the "Temple" of God, are the anointed (1Cor.3:16; Eph.2:22; 1Pet.2:5; 2Cor.6:16)
That "true tent/temple" was foreshadowed in the physical temple of the Jews, according to Jehovah's instructions (Heb.8:2,5). To confirm that these trees of life are part of that temple, and therefore the sealed faithful anointed, we read Eze. 40:34,37; 41:18,19,20,25,26.
(Interestingly, the figures presented within these trees, have two of a man, and one of a lion. (Rev.9:17) This confirms the "new creation", that will be both human and angelic king. (see the second half of the article )

 "yielding their fruits each month"

This is the second reason why there are "twelve crops" (6 on each side of the river). There are twelve months in a year, and twelve tribes of spiritual Israel.
(To see more about the number twelve and it's meaning of truth, see
The service of these temple priests, is a parallel to the crops of these trees. This service also followed a monthly pattern... (2Chron.23:2,3; 1Chron.27:1; Rev.5:8) (24,000 priests in each division/24 elders) (More about this later)

The Scriptural conclusion then, is that these "trees of life" who absorb the life-giving truth from heaven, are the sealed "two witnesses" and the resurrected 144000 when in heaven. We see that they themselves will be fed by Jehovah and Jesus. The last remnant of these will be fed by means of the two last prophets...the "two witnesses", that "pour the golden liquid (holy spirit) from "within themselves" (Zech.4:12), into the "golden bowl" that feeds the "lampstand" of seven lamps (see black & white illustration above). 
When all 144000 have been resurrected and these have already been given life...what then is the purpose of them absorbing these waters and producing a crop of fruit and leaves?

"And the leaves of the trees [were] for the curing of the nations."

Remember...those leaves and fruit are filled with the water of life, coming directly from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
We see that "the Nations" will be able to eat of these trees, during the Kingdom. The result?
We recall the promise made these trees...these "seed" of Abraham...
"by means of you and by means of your seed all the families of the ground will certainly bless themselves."
or in other words...
this "seed of Abraham" (Gal.3:29), will cure the Nations (Rom.8:19,21); doing works even greater than Jesus did (John14:12). For, their works will reach the entire planet during the Kingdom. We are told that these "will certainly spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south", (Gen.28:14,18; Dan.2:35) blessing all the families of the ground ...("and the leaves of the trees were for the curing of the Nations." Rev.22:2c).

Eze.47:12 reads:
"12 “And alongside the torrent there will come up, along its bank on this side and on that side, all sorts of trees for food. Their leafage will not wither, nor will their fruitage be consumed (or, run out). In their months they will bear new fruit, because the water for them—it is coming forth from the very sanctuary. And their fruitage must prove to be for food and their leafage for healing.

Yes, during the Kingdom, living water will be provided to all those on earth, through God's messengers, Christ's ambassadors (2Cor.5:20). Through these "trees of life" their fruit will contain spiritual food to impart everlasting life; and their leaves will heal every wound....physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Rev.21:4

 2 I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
5 And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also, he says: “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” Rev.21:2,3,4,5

How will this take place?

In the future, more information about the exact details of how the 144000 will bring mankind to perfection during the Thousand Years, will be contained in another article.
There will also be an article written, about why the Kingdom numbers 144000, and how that number reflects exactly how these trees will give their fruit "each month" (which also explains how "Jacob's ladder" will function.
When ready, notice will be posted on the Main Page.