Heaven Our True Home Revelation 22:1-5

Rebekyah Brewer
This entry is part 36 of 39 in the series Revelation

The past few weeks we have called about what the millennial kingdom will be like when Christ rules the earth and also what the new heaven and the new earth will be like once all former things pass away. This week we continue to look into this wonderful place that our Lord has been busy preparing for us and as Penny said last week it’s going to be a place that has been tailor made just for us and will reveal how well Jesus knows us, knows our likes, dislikes, wishes and desires, talents and enjoyments.

Penny forwarded me a devotional last Friday from Ann Graham Lotz called Homecoming Day that just touched my heart circumstantially in grieving for Bill and in thinking about this lesson. I wanted to share it with you because it emphasized so well what Penny taught last week about this place Christ is busy preparing for us.

Homecoming Day

Rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

Luke 10:20, NKJV

When I know that my loved ones are coming home I begin to prepare for them. My son, Jonathan, loves barbecued spareribs on the grill, a homemade apple pie, and time to play tennis with his dad. When Jonathan lived out of state, I would prepare those things for him, so that when he walked through the door of the house he knew he was expected and welcome, because this is his home!

Considering how I prepare for my children when I know they are coming home, I love to think of the preparations God is making for my homecoming one day. He knows the colors I love, the scenery I enjoy, the things that make me happy. All these personal details will let me know when I walk into My Father’s House that I am expected and welcome because He has prepared it for me! And in the same way, He is preparing a glorious homecoming for you!

If we prepare such great homecomings for our loved ones, how great of a homecoming must our Lord be preparing for us?

“When I was a boy, I thought of heaven as a great, shining city, with vast walls and domes and spires, and with nobody in it except white-robed angels, who were strangers to me. By and by my little brother dies; and I thought of a great city with walls and domes and spires, and a flock of cold, unknown angels, and one little fellow that I was acquainted with. He was the only one I knew at that time. Then another brother dies; and there were two that I knew. Then my acquaintances began to die; and the flock continually grew. But it was not till I had sent one of my little children to his Heavenly Parent-God-that I began to think I had got a little in myself. A second went, a third went; a fourth went; and by that time I had so many acquaintances in heaven, that I did not see any more walls and domes and spires. I began to think of the residents of the celestial city. And now there have so many of my acquaintances gone there, that it sometimes seems to me that I know more in heaven than I do on earth.” – Unknown

22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city;

After seeing the beautiful New Jerusalem, the city built by God, all decorated and prepared as a bride for her husband being established on the new earth, John’s vision continues with more detail We were just looking outside of this great city and seeing how beautiful and majestic and awesome its great walls were, its foundation, its gates, its dimensions. All the outward appearances of this city are majestic and so are the inward glimpses we are being given tonight.

The first thing in this city of God, this New Jerusalem that John is shown is the river of the water of life. He sees that it is bright as crystal, clear, translucent, luminous as it shimmers and reflects as it flows out from the throne of God and of the Lamb which are its fountainhead.

O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in  the earth, for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water. (Jer. 17:13)

We know that everything that comes from God and flows from God is pure and this river radiates pureness, continual abundant flowing, undiluted pureness that is life giving and continually freshly flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb as it goes out to water the earth. There is nothing to hinder this rivers life giving qualities, it won’t pick up unclean things the further it flows, it will not need to be filtered, it can’t be polluted, there is no longer any sin or any curse to pollute it and dilute its life giving qualities. It is continually fresh water.

In addition, it doesn’t rage like the seas rage in an unsettled uproar but flows peacefully as it runs its course. This river is full of life, it is living water, the kind of water that Jesus promised to all those who thirst and come to him who is the fountain head of this living water:

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”  (John 7:37-38)

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? (John 4:10-11)

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Rev. 7:17)

Here we read about a symbolic river of living water but in the new heaven and on the new earth there will be an actual river of life full of flowing living water that goes out and makes glad the city of  God. It’s not just symbolic, figurative speech but will be our living reality for these words are faithful and true.

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.  God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. (Psa. 46:4-5)

  ‘You shall make them drink of the river of Your pleasures’ (Psalm 36:8)

 also, on either side of the river, the tree of lifewith its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

We not only have a river going out from this restored paradise, but we also have the tree of life just like in the garden of Eden except there is no longer any tree of knowledge of good and evil. All knowledge and judgment of good and evil belongs to God who rules righteously. We are not very good judges of what is good and what is evil for we continually call evil good and good evil. Instead of trying to judge for ourselves we will look to God for his righteous ruling and perfect judgment.   In this place we will have no fear of sin entering in or deceiving us. No fear of snakes entering our garden.

Both the river of life and the tree of life are present to nurture life to bring life to its surrounds.  The tree of life was first mentioned in the Garden of Eden. After Adam and Eve sinned they were shut out of the garden  and a cherubim with a flaming sword was set before it that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life so that man would not eat from it and live eternally in his fallen condition.

This is by the grace of God, for if man would have eaten from the tree of life then in his sinful condition there would have been no hope for his salvation from sin. He would have been eternally sinful and there would be no place left for him except the second death, the lake of fire. There could have been no redemption.

The tree of life is also mentioned several times in Proverbs in speaking about wisdom, the fruit of the righteousness and the words of the tongue:

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise. (Prov. 11:30)

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. (Prov. 15:04)

She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. (Prov. 3:18)

From these verses we can draw the picture that the tree of life is life giving and we can have a life giving effect to others and nourish others with a gentle tongue and with the fruit of our lives.

Over and over again in the bible people are often compared to trees.

He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”  He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” (Mark 8:23-24)

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers. (Psa. 1:1-3)

 

The wicked in comparison are often compared to chaff, having no roots, easily blown away, fruitless, not even good to burn for wood.

Here we see the tree of life, and it is planted by a stream of living water, the river of life and it yields fruit in every season and has a leaf that not only blooms year round but even its leaves have a life giving purpose beyond bringing joy and beauty and ornament they are for the healing of the nations.  We won’t have to worry about any poisonous plants or leaves here. Everything was created to promote and enhance the life, joy and peace of the people who dwell in its midst.

 The word for healing here is therapeutic. There is no more pain in this new world so there is no need for healing in that sense but it may be that these leaves preserve our health. Like the tree they are life giving in themselves. Each one is precious and valuable. They will never turn brown and fall to the grown. The limbs of this tree will never grow bear.  These leaves are therapeutic which simply enhance life and bring health and wholeness to all people of all nations.

Ezekial 47 is a shadow of this. In Ezekial 47 he speaks of the millennial kingdom but we can also see that the millennial kingdom is a shadow of the reality of the new heavens and the new earth.

Then he brought me back to xthe door of the temple, and behold, ywater was issuing from below zthe threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of athe altar. Then he brought me out by way of bthe north gate and led me around on the outside to cthe outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side.

Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, dthe man measured a thousand cubits,1 and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. And he said to me, e“Son of man, fhave you seen this?”

Then he led me back to the bank of the river. As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river gvery many trees on the one side and on the other. And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into hthe Arabah, and enters the sea;2 when the water flows into ithe sea, the water will become fresh.3 And wherever the river goes,4 every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea5 may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. 10 Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From jEngedi to kEneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of lthe Great Sea.6 11 But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. 12 And on the banks, mon both sides of the river, there will grow nall kinds of trees for food. oTheir leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, pbut they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and ptheir leaves for healing.” (Ezekiel 47:1-12)

Because of Ezekiel’s vision some teach that there will not be just one singular tree of life in the midst of the river and on both banks but rows of trees whose roots are fed by this river of life. It cannot be known for sure. It certainly could be a giant tree that stretches to both banks of the river.

There is the earthly tree and the heavenly tree, just as there is the earthly and the heavenly Jerusalem; the tree of the lower Paradise, and the tree of the upper Paradise; but the glory of the terrestrial is one, and the glory of the celestial is another. Here we have the celestial; and yet, when we read this chapter in connection with the forty-eighth of Ezekiel, we see that the two are connected the one with the other—like the upper and the nether springs; like the higher and the lower stories of the great palace; like the outer and the inner courts of the great temple. This tree of life lines the river of life; extending like a fringe along its margin on both sides, between it and the street; shooting up like a long avenue of palms in the midst of the broad street, through the center of which the river flowed. A wondrous tree; or rather a forest of wondrous trees pleasant to the eye, good for fruit, and excellent for shade and fragrance, under whose shadow we shall sit down with great delight, in the day when the tabernacle of God is with men. (H.Bonar)

Another unusual aspect of this tree is the fruit. It doesn’t yield just one kind of fruit but it yields twelve different kinds of fruit that changes throughout the year so that it is always fruit bearing, always ripe and always in season. It’s leaves will never turn brown and fall dead to the ground.  Its limbs will never be dead and bear. It will not be found barren like the fig tree that Jesus cursed. This tree will continually be filled with life giving fruit. We are not told what kind of fruit it is, and we were never told what kind of fruit grew on the trees in the Garden of Eden. It very well could be a kind of fruit that we have never experienced before. It will be a surprise but we can be sure they will be sweet.

This is an unusual tree but it’s not so much what it looks like that makes it unusual but what it represents along with the river of life and the is Christ. Both the river and the tree of life are symbolic of Jesus Christ.

We might in this aspect say, Jesus is the river, He is the tree, He is the fruit, He is the healing leaf. But perhaps it is more correct to say, He is the fountainhead of all blessing in heaven and earth, in this world and in that which is to come; and these material things are the channels through which He pours out His fullness.

No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servantswill serve him.

And to Adam he said, ?????????????????????????“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife ???????and have eaten of the tree ???????of which I commanded you, ???????‘You shall not eat of it,’ ???????cursed is the ground because of you; ???????in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; ??? (Gen. 3:17)

We are so accustomed to living under the curse that it is hard to imagine life any other way because death is always around us in the world we live in. We talked about this a couple of weeks ago when we spoke about how everything in this world deteriorates and breaks down, wears down and eventually dies or breaks. Nothing stays in its new state. The laws of deterioration will no longer rule now that death has been destroyed.  Nothing will be under death’s curse anymore. Everything will be in its original perfect state and because of this the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it. There will be no more separation between heaven and earth. No more praying for it to be on earth as it is in heaven for heaven and earth will be joined together and forever inseparable.  The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it.

  It is the glory of the new creation, and specially of the new Jerusalem, that is here described. It is no longer, as at first, Paradise alone without a city, and with only our first parents to inhabit it; nor is it Jerusalem alone without Paradise, and without a river, and without a tree of life. It is Paradise, and Jerusalem together. The city is in the garden, and the garden in the city; the tree of life springing up in fruit-bearing beauty, and the bright river flowing through the street and under the shade of the trees. Nor is this Paradise without its ‘Adam,’ nor this city without its Solomon. The second Adam is here, the Lord from heaven. The throne of God and of the Lamb is here. All is heavenly, yet all is earthly too; all is divine, yet all is human. There is perfection everywhere—there is glory over all. It is the perfection of the material and visible, as well as of the spiritual and invisible. Creation has reached its summit—the eternally predestined height from which it cannot fall. (H.Bonar)

God’s servants will serve him. This might be a surprise for some but heaven is a place of work. We won’t be sitting idle in heaven playing harps and eating grapes. Instead we will have purpose filled work to do, not futile work but meaningful work that will bring us great joy to perform.

“Heaven is not a place of indolent leisure, but a place where service is done, centering on God.” (Morris)

We work for the Lord now, everything we do we are to do for the Lord and not for man. Sometimes it is hard to maintain this attitude because it doesn’t seem like we are doing much work for the Lord when we are running copies, delivering mail, filing or answering phones. Although we do serve God now we will much more serve God in this new earth and heaven. God will have special jobs reserved just for us. We won’t have to worry about job hunting and interviewing and not being qualified. Just like the place where we live has been prepared for us so our positions of service have been prepared for us specifically and are part of our reward.

They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  (Matt. 5:8)

 ????????For the LORD is righteous; ???????he loves righteous deeds; ???????the upright shall behold his face. ??? (Psa. 11:7)

We talked a couple of weeks ago about doubting Thomas and his response in stating that he would not believe until he saw the resurrected Jesus with his own eyes and touched his side.  Then Jesus appeared and told him to belief and said: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  (John 20:29)

One day our faith will turn to sight. One glorious day we will see with our eyes him who our heart has known so well. We will see his face.

Guzik: Because of Jesus, we can know something of the face of God right now: For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2Co. 4:6)

 This will be the greatest glory of heaven: to know God, to know Jesus, more intimately and wonderfully than we ever could on earth.  “It is the chief blessing of heaven, the cream of heaven, the heaven of heaven, that the saints shall there see Jesus.” (Spurgeon)

His name will be on their foreheads. His name on their foreheads shows his possession, his ownership of us in a prominent place where all can see.  We will be forever identified with our God and there will be no longer any questions of who we belong to.

And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. (Rev. 21:23)

Night is a time of darkness a time of ignorance and gloom. It is also associated with being a time of suffering, whenever one is sick, it is always worse through the night and many would pass away during the night. It is a time of waiting for  the sun to rise, a time to sleep and rest a retired body which our glorified bodies will no longer need.  Night is primarily a time when light is absent or distant and in the new heaven and in the new earth this will no longer be for God will always be present and he will be our source of all light. We will not need any secondary sources or candles because we will no longer have to endure darkness.

Heaven will be a place where the sun is considered to be artificial light. It’s only after we see and experience the real light that we can recognize artificial light sources.

They will reign forever and ever. This is God’s promise come true to all those who serve him now, that we will reign forever with him. Many will be assigned to positions of ruling over cities and over nations.

if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; (2 Tim. 2:12)

and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:10)

20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[e] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’’ (Matt. 25:20-21)

   Home!  by Horatius Bonar

         Afflictions are preparing for us a “more abundant entrance,” a weightier crown, a whiter robe, a sweeter rest, a home made doubly precious by a long exile and many sufferings here below. However desperate our earthly warfare may be, it is not forever. No, it is brief, very brief. Its end is near, very near. And with the end come triumph, and honor, and songs of victory. Then, too, there follows peace, and the return of the war-worn soldier to his quiet dwelling. This is the joy of the saint. He has fought a good fight, he has finished the course, he has kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for him the crown of righteousness. His battle is over, and then for him there are rest and home. Home! Yes, home! And what a home for us   to return to and abide in forever! A home prepared before the foundation of the world. A home in the many mansions. A home nearest the throne and heart of God. A home whose peace shall never be broken by the sound of war or tempest. A home whose brightness shall never be overcast by the remotest shadow of a cloud.

            How solacing to the weary spirit to think of a resting-place so near, and that resting-place our Father’s house where we shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, where the sun shall not scorch us, nor any heat, where the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed us and lead us to living fountains of waters, and God Himself shall wipe away all tears from our eyes!

            The time is at hand. The conflicts are almost over. Our struggles and sorrows are nearly done. A few more years, and we shall either be laid quietly to rest, or caught up into the clouds to meet our coming Lord. A few more deaths, and then we shall be knit together in eternal brotherhood with all the scattered members of the family. A few more suns shall rise and set, and then we shall ascend in its strength the one unsetting sun. A few more days shall dawn and darken, and then shall shine forth the one unending day. A few more clouds shall gather over us, and then the world shall be cleared forever. But a few brief years, and we shall enter in through the gates into the city, sitting down beneath the shadow of the tree of life, feeding upon the hidden manna, and drinking of the pure river clear as crystal, which proceeds out of the throne of God and of the Lamb! Bu a few brief years and we shall see His face, and His name shall be upon our foreheads!

            We have only the foretaste now. The full brightness is in reserve, and we know that all that is possible or conceivable of what is good and fair and blessed shall one day be real and visible. Out of all evil there comes the good; out of sin comes holiness; out of darkness, light; out of death, life eternal; out of weakness, strength; out of the fading, the blooming; out of rottenness and ruin, loveliness and majesty; out of the curse come the blessing, the incorruptible, the immortal, the glorious, the undefiled! Our present portion, however, is but the pledge, not the inheritance. The inheritance is reserved for the appearing of the Lord. Here we see but through a glass darkly. It does not yet appear what we shall be.

            We are now but as wayfaring men, wandering in the lonely night, who see dimly upon the distant mountain peak the reflection of a sun that never rises here, but which shall never set in the “new heavens” hereafter. And this is enough. It comforts and cheers us on our dark and rugged way. It would not be enough hereafter, but it is enough just now. This wilderness will do for us until we cross into Canaan. The tent will do until the eternal city comes. The joy of believing is enough until we enter on the joy of seeing. We are content with the “mountain of myrrh, and the hill of frankincense,” until “the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”

Series NavigationComing Soon! Revelation 22:6-21My Father’s House Revelation 21:9-27

One Response to “Heaven Our True Home Revelation 22:1-5”

  • Darris waters Says:

    J was shine this city in a dream after fasting while I was in prison. The only thing I ask for was a faith increase. Fair enough right. Anyway. Isn’t it awesome that GOD showed me heaven and aslo had an someone in place to interpret it for the following morning and to think I almost didn’t mention it. As I described the dream to him I remember the first thing he said that sounds like the crystal sea. He said he would show me and turned to rev. 22 vs 1. And that last line put me nearly on shock. It reads “and on either side of the river, was there te tree of life. So I immediately hit the concordance lookin up the words crystal, sea, glass, tree of life etc. as I was doing this he came back over and said uou know the dome in your dream he said he showed me gen.3 vs24 the the tree of life was gaurded by the flaming sword which turns every way symbolic for the done I was in awe by this time this was before the first time I ever read the bible I had never read this stuff. Anyhow it’s continued to unfold from there and has led me thoroughly the entire bible from the prophets to the the gospels and in the beginning geniuses the tree of life the DREAM DESCRIPTION beautifull dream first that is why I I payed it any mind it stood out something was different maybe a vision rather than a dream but it was a a endless sea of clear water the water was 12” deep or so with appeared to have a glass bottom. In the middle of this sea there was a beautifull green tree. And the whole city was in a perfectly clear glass dome. That’s it but as it has unfolded I now know thag this is the heaven before the new Jerusalem descends down upon the waters. Just felt compelled to share this also this is the first time I have researched this on the Internet it has all been researched through lots of time strongs concordanance etc. and been revieled through GODS perfect timing placement and people. GOD is a mighty GOD who is always very near. Would like to hear back if u feel compelled my email is watersd1989@yahoo.com and as Paul would say “may grace be with you.

Leave a Reply