Eternity manifests altogether differently from what was given in the creation account of the heaven and the earth. God set the lights to divide the day and from the night (Ge.1:14) In the new heaven and new earth there is no firmament(Re.6:14; Is.34:4) The heaven is rolled up a scroll and put away while the stars are dissolved all those distinction of days in the opening chapter are likewise dissolved. Instead of sign mentioned there it is replaced by the holy city of God hung in mid-air. In order to signify this we have the Spirit place the throne of God and of the Lamb so glory of it did lighten the city. This is the Rest of God. Sabbath that God commanded the nation of Israel to observe merely pointed to it; in the same manner Jesus had. transfigured on the mount of Transfiguration Glory of the city of saints is the rest of God and of the Lamb. There shall be no curse ((v.3) The spirit uses mode of inversion to establish the spiritual significance of Sabbath on the seventh day. Correspondingly Spirit placed rest of God on the eternal verities Mercy and Truth. Whenever man transgressed Mercy of God provided ways of reconciliation. Law of Moses was one such. Righteousness was imputed to man considering his infirmity in flesh. When He sent Jesus in fullness of time how he delineated grace and truth specified the Rest of God . “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matt.11:28)” When we speak of rest in terms of eternity we can apply the law of Gradation whereby God’s Will and its fulfilment by Jesus Christ is complete: truth and grace came by Jesus Christ so by faith this rest was our portion. God’s promise to bless all families on the earth through Abraham has been fulfilled in this Rest. By Law of gradation each believer before the foundation has been foreordained (Eph.1:3-4). This is called ‘spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus’ and not to be mistaken for wealth or any such material circumstances. Though poor when God blessed they had become rich in faith and gladly willing to suffer for His sake. Christian Living for them would have started while on the earth, being hid in Christ and producing fruits for his glory. Law of Gradation can be applied to a believer in terms of spiritual blessings in eternity with that of physical deprivations. Lazarus and the rich man are two classic examples.
The city is a sign as well as Rest “…And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more(Is.2:3-4)”. In the following verse we find a phrase ‘for the healing of the nations (v.2). There is no curse, no sorrow and no pain. Under such a condition what healing are we considering? The law shall procceed out of Zion; and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.This passage refers to the Millennial Reign but the nations in the holy city of God whose names are found in the book of life shall flow into it. In ch.21 we read that gates are never shut (vv.24-25).
In order to understand we have to look at the tree of life. God had provided the tree on the garden of Eden alongside the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It symbolizes Mercy of God and gifts that are irrevocable This spiritual truth holds twelve manner of fruits, signifying the number 12 tagging the ministry of His Son.
Before we proceed further I shall quote two verses referring to Christ as the Head and he church serving as signs and wonders. (Is.8:18) It is again cited in the epistle to the Hebrews, “Behold I and the children which God hath given me(2:13)’ When Jesus Christ used the parable of the city set on a hill we know that it was a sign. Also the verse ‘His (the Lamb) servants shall serve him (Re.22:3). We also can understand as priests and kings they shall reign with him. “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Lk.12:32)”. So healing must indicate something else than physical condition. Speculating on matters where the Spirit has not left a hint is not convenient for our present purpose.
“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(v.1)”.
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.
(To be continued)