“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 (v.2).
In the Garden of God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat (Ge.2:16). God’s offer included the tree of life and it could have enabled him to live forever. After having disobeyed a direct commandment of God what sin did was against the very nature of eternity. Holiness of God was symbolized by the name,-‘holiness is his name (Lk.1:49). This being the case affixing his Name to one sinner would have meant God denying own Power and Wisdom. Eternity is Holiness of God in Itself and through all that is of God. Principle of Association explained it in terms of gospel. “…But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also (1 Jn.3:23-NIV). Father’s name on the forehead of a saint is the sign of holiness. “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads(Re.22.4)”.
Adam had lost his first estate and he hid himself from the presence of God. He knew he had fallen (Ge.3:10) It was for this reason God set Cherubims, and a flaming word, to keep the way of the tree of life (Ge.3:23-24). This tree reappear in the last chapter of this book and also the river of life as an unbroken thread along the Salvation Plan of God in his Core Will. It connects heaven and the earth as one. Law of Gradation compares both on the principle of eternal verities of God.
By Law of gradation tree signifies certain quality to life and the waters. In Christ it is no more merely living but abundant life that defines Christian Living. While God had separated the waters above by means of a firmament or heaven the Spirit assigned a value to it. When the heaven is rolled up as a scroll and put away it ushered the new heaven and by association new earth as well. Significantly there was no more sea(Re.21:1b). It symbolized the nations with their wickedness all stirred up(Is.57:20-21). On the other hand the new heaven signals a pure river of life,’clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb(v.1).’ The waters above the heaven has become part of the new earth and new heaven. Eternal verity of God was manifest when Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, the life and the truth(Jn.14:6)” In the present context we shall treat the river proceeding from heaven because of the atoning work of our Lord Redeemer. His promise of living waters “…The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (Jn.4:14)”
God’s holiness is established because it is His nature to be merciful to whosoever He will. In short the holy city of God is a sign.
Here is a puzzling thought:’the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month’: Like the day in the creation account the month is a stand in for a period of time. Calling and gifts of God are irrevocable. So yielding fruits must denote refreshing the nations from what God has provided before the worlds began. God as the Father of lights and His glory does not suffer any change. As spiritual bodies every saint bears the self-same brightness. For them Jesus Christ as the morning star (Re.22:16) presents a day that shall continue unbroken(And there shall be no night there (v.5).
(To be concluded)