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. Rev 22:1-2
John is still describing the things he is seeing in the New Jerusalem. John sees the tree of life, which has not been seen in the Scriptures since the Garden of Eden. This passage links thematically with Gen 2:9, the introduction of the tree of life. Because the tree of life is here, we know that in the new heavens and new earth, and in New Jerusalem, God has restored the perfection to creation that existed in the beginning, before there was Satan, sin, and death.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is not here, in the New Jerusalem. This is how we know that God planted the tree of life in the Garden of Eden, but He did not plant the tree of the knowledge of good and evil: every plant not planted by YHVH will be uprooted (Mat 15:13), and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is uprooted and is no more in the New Jerusalem. Here is another way that we know that God did not plant the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, in the beginning: out of the ground God made every tree to grow which was good for food (Gen 2:9), however, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not good for food, and Adam and Eve were forbidden from eating its fruit (Gen 2:16-17).
How did the tree of the knowledge of good and evil get there, if God did not plant it? His enemy came and planted it, perhaps while Adam slept, while the LORD God was fashioning the woman (Mat 13:25). Be that as it may, at the restoration of all things, the enemy, his tree, the curse, sin, death, disobedience, rebellion and every evil thing will be no more, and we will dwell with God, with His very Person, forever and ever.
The final chapter of Revelation connects with the opening chapters of Genesis through the tree of life, these being the only places in Scripture where the tree of life is mentioned (however, if we read Psa 1 closely, we see that the man who loves the Torah of YHVH is like a life- giving tree). These chapters are opening matching elements in a single great chiastic structure, which the entire Scriptures, Old and New Testaments together, form. I have started working out the structure, but I have no doubt it will take the rest of my life to complete it. 🙂
If so, we have the thumbprint of the Holy Spirit on the entire Word of God from beginning to end, so that we know the New Testament is as valid as Torah as thus saith the LORD (and here in the final chapter of Scripture, God likewise validates for us a last time what has been said throughout Scripture from the beginning, repeated by Jesus, and repeated by the apostles: Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city, Rev 22:14). If so, there is a central axis that is the point of the written Word of God. If it turned out to be the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, I would not be surprised.
And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. Rev 22:17
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Rev 22:20-21
Christine’s book The Revelation of Jesus Christ Revealed, based on these studies, is now available at www.RevelationRevealed.online. You may also be interested in reading Book Extras and joining in on Discussion.