“And he shewed me a pure river of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb. IN the midst of it and on either side of the river, the tree of life which bare twelve fruits and yielded her fruit every month: And there was no more curse but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it and His servants shall serve Him”
John was speaking with one of the messengers of God who had the seven vials full of the wrath of God which is the seven last plagues who said to him, Come hither and I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife”. The glory of the bride is the glory of God and her brilliance is as clear as crystal. John then measured the holy city and proclaimed that the building of the wall of it was polished, a city of pure gold like unto clear glass, wherein no wise entered in anything that defiled, worked abomination or made a lie, but only those whose names were written in the Lamb’s book of life. “And he shewed me”. John could not have deduced, identified or understood any of what he was looking at after the ability and comprehension of Adam. The natural man can not perceive the glory of God or the wonders of His works. Just as Peter did not conclude that Jesus was he Christ by listening to Him speak, seeing the miracles or eating the loaves and fishes, so John was not shown these things by ‘flesh and blood’. These are the things of God who is Spirit and they that worship Him must do so in Spirit and truth. This was being revealed to him, the Spirit discerning the things of the Spirit from faith to faith, hence the messenger was shewing him “the evidence of things unseen and the substance of things hoped for”.
I use the word messenger here because I do not think this is what is normally understood as an angel. When John had heard and seen all the wonders of the revelation of Jesus Christ, he fell down on his face and worshiped this messenger and he said, “See that thou do it not. I am thy fellow servant and of thy brethren the prophets and of them which keep the sayings of this book”. I cannot find any reference in the scriptures where the children of the King are brethren with the angels or where the angels are called fellow servants with the redeemed. The angels in heaven are indeed subservient to the will of God but are not spoke of as keeping the words of the book in the same way as those who have the words written in their hearts and the Spirit to cause them to walk therein. This belongs to the partakers and recipients of the new covenant of which no angel has access.
There are not sufficient words in the vocabulary of man to describe the pureness of this water. Since it flows out of the throne of God it must be of purer eyes than to behold iniquity and John saw that it was shinning as ice or as magnificent as frost (clear as crystal) and it was living. It did not give life it was the abundance of life. It was for those who thirsted after righteousness and was the drink of the banquet of the King for His Beloved. It was the same water that Christ spoke of to the Samaritan woman at the well when He told her that those who partook of it would never thirst again. It is the same water that flows out of the inward soul (belly) of everyone who has the imputed faith of Jesus Christ. The characteristics of the water are the same as the fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints and the glory of that bright morning star, Jesus Christ. The river is the same as the Father, the Word and the Spirit and it proceeds forth from the throne of God and the Lamb.
The throne is the symbol of power and authority in any monarchy. It stands for the sovereignty of the government and the right to govern those under it’s domain. The throne of God is in heaven and from it He rules over all the inhabitants, kingdoms and affairs of the earth. His ways are Holy, True and Just and there is none who can stay His hand or say to Him, “What doest thou”. His mercy, grace, justice and wrath all proceed from this throne. Here the 24 elders and the 4 beasts praise His name. Here the lightning and thunder of His wrath comes forth to the dragon, the image, name and mark of the beast, against all those who have the name of the beast engraved in their foreheads and in their right hands and against that great city Babylon which is spiritually Egypt and Sodom where the Lord was crucified. And here His saints stand clothed in His righteousness singing His praises forevermore. This is the origin of that pure river of life. Here is the wisdom of God which is eternal. Here are His people, one with Him before time ever was.
The tree of life stands in the midst of the river and on either side. It bares twelve manner of fruit for the twelve tribes of the Lord and yields her fruit every month. Her fruit is the proof or evidence of the presence of the Spirit of the Lord (Gal. 5:22) and is the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Sustenance for each tribe redeemed unto Himself, each month of the year for all time and the leaves thereof for the healing of the nations.
If this is an event that is still in our future and one that we should be anxiously waiting for, then we must ask the question; what healing shall be needed when time is not more? If after the elements of this world burn with fervent heat and the body of this death is dissolved, will there be any sickness, corruption or disease that shall infirm the children of hope? When the tabernacle of this dwelling is put off and the dwelling not made with hands is revealed shall it be incomplete or vulnerable to contamination? No! A million times over NO! This healing is here and now and although the children are seated together with Him in the heavenlies yet, while they are still partakers of this flesh and blood they have warfare within. They find that in them, that is in their flesh dwells no good thing. They struggle against thrones, principalities, power and spiritual wickedness in high places all the while being in bondage to the corruption of the flesh and the vanity of this earth. They find the flesh is carnal sold unto sin and is drawn away after the lusts and desires of that flesh and they have a frail, week and unprofitable earthen vessel. The healing of the leaves is the grace of God which he equips His children with to fight the fight, run the race and endure to the end. When Paul entreated the Lord three times to remove the messenger of Satan, that thorn in the flesh, God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you”. He is a very present help in time of need. When His children, being taught of Him through trials and tribulations, cry out to Him, He reveals to them, “Lo I am with you always even unto the end of the earth”. The tree is that inward man who delights after the law of God, has the testimony of Jesus Christ and keeps the commandments of God. He proceeds from the sovereignty of God for “thine they were and thou hast given them to Me”. He does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly for, as a sheep of His pasture, another man’s voice he shall not hear. He does not stand in the way of the sinner for he is dead to sin and sin has no more dominion over him and he does not sit in the seat of the scornful for he is an ambassador for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is like the tree planted by the waters because he is a son of God, an heir of grace and a joint heir with Christ Jesus and although “it doth not yet appear what we shall be, we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him”.
There is no more curse of the land or the bondage of work. We are His workmanship and He has performed all our works for us. We stand complete in Him and as His servant we shall serve Him. We are not our own for we have been bought with a price. We love Him because He first loved us and we serve Him because of that everlasting love.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
January 23, 2011