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.
God has created and revealed to us a prepared place for His prepared people. One day, far from the pain and sin of this life, those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb will live in His presence for all of eternity, in a new earth and they’ll look up and see a new heaven. John the Revelator was given certain details about this perfect and promised land. There is a river there, but no ordinary river. It is a river of life, it’s pure, it’s clean, and its source is not an icy mountain top, but the throne of almighty God.
One day under a blistering desert sun, a woman stood by a well in Samaria. She encountered Jesus, who asked her for a drink. In response to His request, she became very theological. “What dealings do samaritans have with Jews like you? You worship in Jerusalem, and we worship in this mountain.” Her response was that there was too great a gulf between Christ and herself.
Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
She was forever changed after meeting the only one who could offer eternal life. Jesus Christ is the source and sustainer of every good thing. All the promises of God will be physically manifest in the land He has prepared for us.
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.
I’m pleasantly baffled trying to imagine a tree that spans the water and extends beyond both banks of the river of life. The first reference to a tree of life was in the garden of Eden. When God created human beings, He created them to live eternally, enjoying His presence and provision. Sin changed everything. When Adam and Eve were forced out of the garden because of their rebellion, God blocked the way to the tree of life with angelic beings. It would not have been good for sin-fallen mankind to have access to a tree of life, it would only allow their evil to grow unchecked. In the land God has prepared for us, no sin will enter. Nothing evil or defiled will ever enter that city. We will have access to the real tree of life, that earth held the pattern of in the garden. Rich and plenteous access to health and abundant life.
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:
It is very easy to forget that we live under the curse of sin, although the evidence of it is all around us. We’ve never known anything that wasn’t affected by sin. And yet, God is so good, and His very good creation is so spectacular, that this earth is filled with beauty, elegance, and goodness. We marvel at His mountains, His oceans, and His waterfalls. We are undone by the sweetness of our newborn children, the knowledge He placed in a hive of bees, and the exacting design of a massive blue whale. When we enter His presence on the other side of eternity, we will be astonished at the creativity of God where the curse has been done away.
Moses asked to see God and was granted his request in a limited way. He would have died if God had revealed Himself wholly, he was a sinful creature like we are. God hid him in the cleft of the rock, He covered him with His hand and passed by, allowing him to catch a glimpse of His back. Moses was never the same. His face shown with the glory of God, it actually terrified the Israelites, and they asked him to cover it. But someday… Someday in a new body, free from the bonds of sin, we will look upon the throne of God, we will see the Lamb, Jesus Christ, and not have to look away. We will actually have the privilege and honor of serving Him. Oh, what a beautiful city!
And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Jesus means, Savior. Emmanuel means God with us. Jehovah means the Lord our God. During the great tribulation period, the middle ground will be abolished. Mankind will either pledge allegiance to the Beast, who serves Satan himself, and take his mark in their forehead and hand, or they will suffer for staying faithful to Christ. We’re told that 144,000 will remain pure. They shall have His name in their foreheads. Having no ability to see into the future, I don’t know how that will look or what name of Christ will be written there, but I know that there is a lot of value to a name. Giving someone your name shows that they have a relationship with you. Married women take the name of their husband, and the implication is that everything he has now also belongs to His beloved. Children take the name of their fathers, meaning that they have intimate access to him, a privilege not afforded to anyone without his name. Someday we will look into the face of the one who saved us, and we will find perfect relationship, access, love, and loyalty.
And there shall be no light there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Before God created the sun, moon, stars, and heavenly bodies, He said, “Let there be light.” The energy, the force that fuels everything in his creation, comes from God and is sustained by God. Revelation tells us that there will be a new “heaven” and a new earth. That word heaven refers to the sky and the universe. However, the light that we will enjoy in the presence of God, just like the river of life, comes not from a natural source but from the goodness and glory of God himself. Those who enter this place are not just citizens or guests, but rulers.
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
In other words, you won’t just live there, it will be yours to share with Christ, to delight in and enjoy.
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which much shortly be done.
Lest you begin to think that this sounds like a dream, God commanded John to write this to you. These things are faithful and true. God signs His name to these promises, all of it is reality. Jesus told His disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am there you may be also.” He keeps His world. God hasn’t forgotten, and people misunderstand the phrase, “shortly to be done.” When God is ready, He will call an end to life here on earth, and eternity for those who are born again through the sacrifice of His Son will begin. There will be no time to prepare once you see Him, your opportunity to prepare is now. The church of God has looked for Christ’s return for over 2,000 years, but when He returns, we will live forever with Him, and we will understand how very short that wait was compared to the eternity that we will live.
Behold I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Keep these sayings, and hide them in your heart. Speak the promises of God out loud to yourself and out loud in your prayers. God has done what He said He would do, God will fulfill every promise that He made in His word. The secret to living victoriously, peacefully, and abundantly in this world is a clear trust and faith in the new world that lies ahead of you, made possible by the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Thank you for studying with us! God bless!