THE RIVER OF WATER OF LIFE AND THE TREE OF LIFE
Verses 1-2 of chapter twenty-two say, “And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street. And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” In these verses there are four items, all in singular number: the throne, the river, the street, and the tree. The throne is one, the street is one, the river flowing in the middle of the street is one, and the tree of life growing in the river is also one. In Genesis 2 there is the tree of life with a river flowing beside it, and in Revelation 22 there is again the tree of life with a river constantly flowing. Here is a throne, and from the throne a river flows in the middle of the street. Verse 2 says that “on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life,” indicating that the tree of life is on the two banks of the river. This means that the street is the two banks of the river on which the tree of life grows.
How can one street serve twelve gates, and how can we enter into the city? Remember that the city is very high, twelve thousand stadia in height. The wall, which is also high, though not as high as the city itself, is one hundred forty-four cubits. That the throne is in the center of the city means that the throne must be on the top of the center of the city. By this we can see that the street must be a spiral. From the throne at the top of the city, the street constantly spirals until it reaches to the twelve gates. In this way, all twelve gates use the one street. Because there is only one street, no one can be lost in the city. Regardless of which of the twelve gates you enter, if you proceed on the street, you eventually will reach the throne of God. As long as you enter in, you will know the way on the street. Simply go on continually and you will reach the Lord Jesus.
THE BLESSINGS OF GOD’S REDEEMED IN ETERNITY
Verses 3-7 say, “And there will no longer be a curse. And the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His slaves will serve Him; and they will see His face, and His name will be on their forehead. And night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them; and they will reign forever and ever. And he said to me, These words are faithful and true; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent His angel to show to His slaves the things which must quickly take place. And behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this scroll.”
Here, to some extent, we have seen a picture of the holy city. In the next chapters we will continue to see something further.
(The Central Thought of God, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)