The Tree of Life
There are only a few who might be considered to be experts on the Book of Revelation, though many have read it. The Book of Revelation has generally been interpreted to be depicting things and events that will take place at the end of the world or when the saints get to heaven.
But as we look closely at the book, some of the things that are described in Revelation appear to be things that have already taken place.
Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
The one who overcomes shall be granted the privilege of eating from the tree on life. He who overcomes what? What is there to overcome in this world? Through salvation in Jesus Christ there is an overcoming of the spiritual entrapments of this present world. How does one overcome? Well, it’s by the blood of the Lamb.
Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Who is he talking about? All those who have received the salvation made available by the blood of Christ. They have overcome the world by the blood of the Lamb. And that’s been going on since the day Jesus died and was raised from the dead. It seems clear that salvation in Christ has been taking place for centuries.
And these are the ones, the verse says, who may eat of the tree of life, not at a later time when they get to heaven, but now in this life when the benefit of it is needed.
Revelation 22:1 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.
John the apostle is receiving a heavenly vision, the vision of a heavenly city, and in this vision, he sees a river that he calls a river of water of life. Notice that this river of life proceeds out from the throne of God and out from the throne of the Lamb. The Lamb has been on His throne since Jesus ascended to heaven after He was resurrected from the dead. And that heavenly river of life has been flowing out ever since.
Where does this living water flow to? It flows out of heaven and into the earth, and into the hearts of those who believe on Christ and have ears to hear. It is a spiritual water of life that Jesus promised to all believers.
John 4:14 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.
Springing up into everlasting life. It is a spiritual water that contains the life of God, the eternal life of God, His everlasting life, the very life and nature of God.
Revelation 22:2 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.
The Apostle John is describing a vision of the heavenly city and he says that in the middle of the street, and on both sides of the river was there the tree of life.
And the tree bares twelve types of fruit. Theologians generally agree that the number twelve is the number that represents authority, based on fact that there are twelve tribes of Israel and twelve apostles. We could probably make the leap of faith to infer from that number that eating of the fruit of the tree of life has something to do with authority of some type.
Romans 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
Based on this verse in Romans, believers, those who have received God’s grace and the gift of righteousness, are supposed to reign in life by Jesus Christ. Why? Because they eat of the tree of life. They rise to a place of authority over the evil forces of this world, the wicked spirits that endeavor to keep mankind in spiritual darkness, the rulers of the darkness of this world.
And the end of Revelation 22:2 says . . . and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. What has God given to us for the healing of the nations? The gospel. God has already given us the thing that will heal the nations. But in this analogy, it is depicted as a tree of life whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. Does the truth of God's word, the tree of life, have the capacity to heal the nations? Yes, it does.
Redeemed from the Curse
Revelation 22:3 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:
Those who believe on Christ are delivered from the curse that came upon Adam when he sinned. In Christ, fellowship with God has been restored. That is already a kingdom reality. And we can also see that Christ has already redeemed us from the curse of the law.
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Galatians 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
We were delivered from the curse of the law the day Christ rose from the dead and we set our faith upon the finished work of Calvary. That is already a kingdom fact.
Is there a tree whose fruit gives life? Yes. It's the word of God, revealed to our hearts by the One sent from heaven to guide us into all truth. Let us feed upon the fruit of the tree of life, the revealed word of the Living God, that we may grow day by day in the amazing knowledge of God.
Continued in the message The Light of Heaven