“ELDER G. BEEBE – DEAR FATHER IN ISRAEL: – Will you please give us through the SIGNS your views on the first two verses of Revelation xxii., more specifically on the words leaves and nations, and oblige the writer and many others?
Yours in hope of a better resurrection.
T. V. WARE.
REPLY. – Such views as we have on the subject proposed may be found in volume xxvii., No. 13, Pages 101 and 102, for July 1, 1859. But as our brother may not have access to that paper, we will briefly state for his satisfaction that the nations to be benefited by the healing virtue of the leaves of the tree of life we understand are those nations spoken of by the prophet Zechariah, ii. 10, 11: “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.” These nations may represent the people of God among the Gentiles, which are healed by the living waters which flow from the throne of God and the Lamb; or as in the vision of the prophet, from the sanctuary of the Lord, of which it is said, “And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.” – Ezekiel xlvii. 12. The healing virtue in the leaf is from the saving virtue of the pure waters of life, which nourish and invigorate the root, permeating the tree and all its branches, causing it to bring forth its fruits according to his months, and supplying its foliage with medicinal virtue for the healing of the nations.
Only the pure waters from the throne of God and the Lamb can give life to the nations of those who shall be joined unto the Lord, of whom it is said, “Many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” – Micah iv. 2.
We are inclined to believe that while the fruits of the tree of life are the fruits of the Spirit, “Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,” &c., the leaves of foliage which adorn the tree, and possess healing virtues, may represent the order, ordinances, conversation, and strict obedience of the saints, in which they adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things, and thereby let their light so shine before men that they may see their good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven. – Matt. v. 16. The people of God in all the nations of the earth, especially among the Gentiles, are in their natural and fallen state prone to idolatry, and will-worshipers, and followers after the traditions of men; and among such all who are now recognized as saints “had their conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” But being redeemed by the blood of Christ, called by grace, quickened and born of the Spirit, they require the healing virtue of the leaves of the tree of life, and all the gifts and graces which adorn and beautify the tree of life, the gospel church, which are for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. – Eph. iv. 12, 13.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Middletown, N. Y.
Signs of the Times
Volume 49, No. 6
March 15, 1881