A Pure River

Key Verse: “He shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
—Revelation 22:1

Selected Scripture:
Revelation 22:1-7

IN ANOTHER VISION, JOHN was shown a “pure river of water of life.” Water is a symbol of truth. A “river of water of life” represents the many blessings and holy influences of truth which will issue forth upon all mankind in God’s kingdom. This water will be “clear as crystal,” without any false teachings or human traditions. It will be a pure message from the Lord. In the book of Jeremiah, God is spoken of as the “fountain [source] of living waters.”—Jer. 2:13; 17:13

“On either side of the river,” there was the “tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits … every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Rev. 22:2) These twelve “fruits” well represent the instruction, help and influence from the church, the 144,000, upon mankind during the entire thousand-year kingdom period.—Rev. 14:1-4; 20:4,6

Ezekiel recorded a prophecy similar to the vision which John had, stating that the fruit which issued from the trees was “for meat,” or sustenance, and the leaves of the trees were for “medicine,” representing healing the hearts and minds of mankind. (Ezek. 47:1-12) Zechariah also prophesied along the same line, stating that “living waters shall go out from Jerusalem. … And the Lord [with Christ as his representative] shall be king over all the earth.”—Zech. 14:8,9

“And there shall be no more curse.” (Rev. 22:3) Thus is indicated the removal of the penalty God had exacted upon Adam because of his disobedience. The promised resurrection of the dead will bring back the identity and consciousness of all the billions of people who have died and gone into the grave under the divine sentence: “Thou shalt surely die.” “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”—Gen. 2:16,17; 3:17-19

There could be no resurrection, no escape from this “curse” except in the way God has arranged—namely, that Jesus took the place of the original sinner, Adam. Purchasing Adam from the death sentence meant the purchase of all Adam’s descendants, who died in him. Christ died “the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” “Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”—I Pet. 3:18; I Cor. 15:21,22

“They [mankind] shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads.” (Rev. 22:4) No human can literally see God and live. (Exod. 33:20) Therefore, this means that each one will come to know and love God in an intelligent way, based upon learning about his character, precepts and plans. At that time, “they shall teach no more every man his neighbor … saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”—Jer. 31:34; Heb. 8:8-12

“And there shall be no night there.” (Rev. 22:5) Night is a symbol of the entire “dark” period of time from Adam’s disobedience until the completion of the church class. During this night time, mankind has been experiencing sin, sickness, sorrow, and death. God has promised, however, that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”—Ps. 30:5