1. Today we finish our journey through the book of Revelation. We first look again at a description of our eternal dwelling place and then we consider the epilogue or summation of the book, including our response.
2. John is shown more of the city, the New Jerusalem which as we said represents the church triumphant,
3. But the scene before us is that of a garden. And it reminds us of that first garden when man, before the fall, walked in fellowship with God. As we will see there are a number of connections or similarities.
4. But do not think that this is a return to the garden of Eden. This is much better. Here we cannot be tempted to sin. In fact the garden of Eden was a shadow pointing to this eternal garden. Just as many things in the Old Testament are.
5. The garden scene or paradise is not to be seen as separate from the Holy city. It is but another way at looking at the same thing. The people of God gathered and dwelling in their eternal, perfected state.
6. Just as Eden there is a river and a tree of life. But there is no tree of the knowledge of good and evil nor the warning associated with that tree. Because there will be no more room for evil or corruption. These things will have been destroyed.
7. The river flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. We said last week how this represents the life giving presence of the Holy Spirit. On each side of the river stood the tree of life. This tree is more than one tree. And there is something amazing about this tree. It bears 12 crops of fruit and it yields it fruit every month. The water of the river is as clear as crystal - pure and undefiled. Although we are not told so, the saints would probably drink of this water. And the tree of life receives its life from this water. And the saints will undoubtedly feed from the tree. This means that they will have perfect heavenly fellowship with God. They continually taste God’s covenant relationship or friendship.
8. The tree in Eden was a sign of God’s favour. But the tree here will not just be a sign of God’s favour but the actual full realization of that favour. God ‘s favour flows from Him - His and the Lamb’s throne, in the river, to the trees and to the saints.
9. Also, the fact that there are 12 crops is symbolic of the church. Remember the number 12 represents the church. The church will never lack anything. God will continuously feed His church. We will be full of Him.
10. Also the tree is for the healing of the nations. This does not mean that there will be any sickness. But this a way of saying that no sickness of any kind can enter the city.
11. We are told a number of things about this blessed life we will have. There will be no curse - no wrath of God against sin. The curses of Genesis 3 will no longer be in force. The curse is also separation from God. We will see His face. And that means we will fully know God. Paul says in 1 Cor 13:12:
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
This knowledge is also sytmbolized by His name being on our foreheads.
12. We will need no light, we will not be in the darkness for God will be our light. And we will reign with God for ever and ever.
13. Jesus then speaks in vs. 7. To remind us that he is coming soon. That is why John was told to write down these words. So that we would not loose heart.
14. Our response is to be as the angel says in vs. 9. To keep the words, to hold on to them and trust in their truth. And to worship God for He is worthy.
15. John is told not to seal up the words. People are to read them and respond to them. That does mean however that the wicked will continue in their wicked ways but they have been forewarned.
16. Jesus speaks again. He is coming soon. It seems like a long time for us but it is soon in God’s eyes. And the elect still need to be gathered.
17. Blessed are those who are cleansed by the blood of Christ. He has given us the hope of the great blessedness we will share.