Posts Tagged ‘ Tree ’

Privileges to Active Commandment Doers

Jan
27
2013

Revelation closes with Revelation 22:14 that makes no exceptions to keeping God’s commands, Christ’s instructions, and New Testament teaching.

A person has to be found actively doing the commands of all Scripture in order to have privileges in the New Jerusalem. These are people that make the teachings and laws of God relevant to today through their careful observance of them, and practices each day. They are people that actively study the instructions to make sure they are following them correctly.

Where does that put the person today that just said the sinner’s prayer, but continues on living how they please, except maybe attending a church service now and then? Where does that put the person that goes to some church that does not teach the commandments of God and holy living?

Frankly the sinner’s prayer or some momentary assent to Christianity carries no meaning. Baptism by immersion is a good start, but even that does not save. It takes a lifestyle I don’t see among those that profess to be Christians and sure of a seat in the theater of heaven. Christians really approach Christianity as a sign on the dotted line membership application, and then don’t think they need to do anything to prove their membership from then on.

The Lord Jesus’ last words to us is to make sure we are obeying all of the Scriptural commands so that we have the privileges of access to the Tree of Living and also be allowed to enter the Gateways to the New Jerusalem. Those that do not make a lifetime proof of their salvation do not have these privileges, and frankly, they don’t have a place in heaven either.

Christianity takes work and there will be clear evidence of the rejection of the immoral, unethical, unholy life of the world. There will also be a clear rejection of the world to those that follow the faith of the Scriptures. Acceptance by the worldly is proof there is no change in the heart and lifestyle. It is also proof there was no salvation.

The “Wood” of Life

Jan
09
2013

The thoughts come from the study of Revelation 22:2 in the Prophecy Guide.

This one got me thinking all day. The leaf and fruit bearing stake in heaven is commonly called the “Tree of Life.” But the word for “tree” is not used. Instead it is a stake, or piece of wood, generally prepared to be burned. In other words, it is a chopped or cut piece of wood!

Those that try to grapple with this unexpected choice of Greek words usually go to the cross, and try to say that the cross is represented in heaven, but it is alive and bearing fruit and leaves. This may be true, but it is based on human reasoning and not on any specific Scriptures that I could find.

I cannot get away with the comparison to Aaron’s rod that budded. When Moses’ and Aaron’s leadership of Israel was questioned (not a rare thing unfortunately), God decided to give Israel a clear and unmistakable sign that He had divinely appointed them. In short, the cane Moses used, not only blossomed and bore almonds, but it did so overnight. It was a cane that was several years old, and thoroughly dead, but it was fruitful from being in God’s presence.

Next, we are not told there is any soil in the New Jerusalem. Soil is something that is on earth. Trees on earth need soil to grow. However, these trees are in heaven and probably do not need soil, since all the energy they need is present in the air. They also do not need to be rooted down to survive the storms of the earth. Can you imagine having a tree that can be moved very easily? Now that would be something only Heaven could have!

Could it be that John was trying to make sure we got the message that the “Tree of Life” is just a stake that has leaves and fruit? The need of shade is a foreign concept in heaven. We would not need the protective canopy of a large tree to survive the summer days there.

If God was giving us a taste of the benefits of living in New Jerusalem, by showing what happens when a piece of wood is put in God’s presence, then if we needed the fruit of Life or healing leaves of Life for the people on earth we care for, all we have to do is get a piece of wood and collect the fruit and leaves from it.

I cannot wait to see this amazing board in heaven!