The Word (of God) – Jesus Christ.
The Word to fulfill The Word, Amen.
What has ceaselessly amazed me is ALL is known, has been spoken and has been destined. It all has been seen!
I will state the obvious first: Time was known before “Time!” Time is a cosm in The Sight of God. What constantly blows me away is that judgement day has been seen! Simply, your part is one decision you have to constantly hold on to!
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.” Revelation 20:11-15.
We among us have those with Precognition (from the Latin prae-, “before” and cognitio, “acquiring knowledge”), also called prescience, future vision, future sight is a claimed psychic ability to see events in the future.
Omniscience of God – God Knows All Things
The omniscience of God is the principle that God is all-knowing; that He encompasses all knowledge of the universe past, present, and future. In the beginning, God created the world and everything in it, including knowledge.
At first look, the idea of the omniscience of God may seem to be a simple concept—God knows everything. But the more we study the Bible, the more we come to understand what an incredible truth it is. Psalm 147:4-5 tells us, “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.” Imagine. God not only knows how many stars are in the universe, but knows each of them by name. An Australian study a few years ago put the number of stars we can see at 70,000 million million million, or the number 70 followed by 22 zeroes. That means there are more stars in the sky than there are grains of sand on all the beaches and deserts of the world! What an incredible picture of the omniscience of God.
In the book of Genesis we read the story of Joseph, the favored son of Jacob. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him and devised a scheme to get rid of him. They considered killing him, but ended up selling him as a slave to foreigners. God knew this was going to happen, and already had a plan in place. Through a series of events, Joseph went from slave to prisoner to Egyptian ruler. Years later he was able to use his authority and position to provide for his family during a famine in their homeland. How do you think Joseph felt when he and his brothers were reunited? Do you think he wanted revenge? No, he didn’t. He told them: “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you (Genesis 45:5).” Joseph understood the omniscience of God; that the events in Joseph’s life had worked together for his family’s own good.
Omniscience of God – God Knows All About Us
God knew us and had a plan for our lives before we were born. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Matthew 10:30 tells us that even the hairs on our head are numbered. No matter how carefully we keep secrets from others, we have no secrets from God.
In Psalm 139:1-4 David wrote, “You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.” And Proverbs 15:3 tells us: “The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” He sees our actions every minute of the day, and even though He knows everything about us—both good and bad—He still loves us. God understands how we feel when we are going through hard times because He knows our thoughts and feelings. What a comfort it is to realize God who knows every star by name knows each of us personally and loves us no matter what. “For the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought” (1 Chronicles 28:9).
Omniscience of God – God Knows All About Our Future
The omniscience of God is complete. God does not continually learn, but knows everything at once. He knew millions of years before He created the world He would send His Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins: “He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:20). God revealed His plan to Old Testament prophets, such as Isaiah, who spoke God’s word to the people: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
The birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus were not by happenstance. They were the result of a divine plan God set in place an eternity ago to provide us a way to have a personal relationship with Him. We can enter into that relationship by praying to God, confessing our sins and asking Him to come into our lives. 1 John 1:9says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
As believers our future is secure. Not because we know what lies ahead, but because God knows.
The His-story of life has been written, Amen. Exactly what we experience has been determined! Walk on the straight and narrow! No ‘room’ to ‘stray’; this got placed on my spirit. Straight and narrow, so that few will turn away. The Word swims and is chock full of wisdom: Matthew 7:14 says “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Have you, will you?
What as I stated earlier is most amazing is that our ways are known.
We have a decision! Eve in the garden of Eden had a decision. God knew exactly what would occur. He permitted temptation to occur as God had simply Stated: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:15-17
Many things are to be noted here:
1. God had Spoken to Adam who shared it with Eve. A command is a command; we may interpret wrongly that it may have been watered down! But, it was still a commandment!
2. We may ask “Was Adam less likely to fall since he was directly spoken to?” To assuage our doubts/concerns; Adam did not have to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But, he did. This takes us on a whole new direction. As in having another half, what happens to one happens to the other. Pray for and with each other, Amen. What any two of you agree on as touching anything in God’s Will shall come to pass, Amen. “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in Heaven.” Matthew 18:19
3. We have previously shared on Omniscience and this act was known before it occured. Hence, God’s Presence in the garden of Eden was patiently Waiting for Man to confess and repent. Think on this! The tree of life was present in the garden. From this tree they did not eat. God Created in His Form; we shall be for always, Amen.
Yet, in physical there is a limit. We initially were created without limit in reference to age. However, the sin of eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. For this reason an angel with a flaming sword was placed at the entry into this holy place.
Here, many questions about what is are asked: where, what, how? A big question is the flood in the days of Noah. I am led to believe that ALL is undoubtedly possible with God. There will be a tree of life in Heaven.
“What does it mean that the tree of life bears twelve kinds of fruit in Revelation 22?”
The final chapters of the Bible describe what is known as the “new heaven and earth” (Rev 21:1). This is the final epoch of heaven. It occurs after the Millennium, and is therefore separate from it. Some believe Peter’s description of “the heavens passing away” and “the elements burning and dissolving” occur in between the Millennium and the new heaven and earth (2 Pt 3:10). This would make sense since there is a “new heaven and earth,” which is distinct from the current heaven and earth. Peter writes,
… of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire and the elements will melt with heat. But based on his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells (2 Pt 3:12-13).
John offers several fascinating descriptions of this new creation, which include: no more sea (21:1), a New Jerusalem (21:2, 9-27), God dwelling with humanity (21:3), no more tears or crying (21:4), and no more death, grief, or pain (21:4). This is because all of those things were burned up in the presumed fire, and have thus “passed away” (Rev 21:4). More importantly, the fire is a result of God’s victory over the Fall and its effects, and so it is God who purges creation to bring about these results. This much is observed in the following verses, in which God declares that he is the one “making everything new” (Rev 21:5). He describes himself as the “Alpha and the Omega,” the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and says “it is done!”
This is all to say that we have God to thank for abolishing tears and pain and grief and death.
The rest of Revelation 21 intricately describes the walls, foundation, and measurements of the new heaven. This is the structure of what John calls the “New Jerusalem.” It’s truly a beauty to behold, and John’s description removes our ability to ever say we can “only imagine” what heaven will be like, because it’s described in intimate detail.
It’s at this point that John begins to describe what it looks like inside the New Jerusalem. This begins in Revelation 22, where he depicts a “river of the water of life, clear as crystal” and a “tree of life on each side of the river, bearing twelve kinds of fruit” (Rev 22:1-2). “Water and food, two basic necessities of life, are presented in abundance as river and orchard” (Peterson 1988:181).
This article is specifically concerned with the tree of life. More specifically, what it means that it “bears twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month” (Rev 22:2). In order to answer this, the description will be broken down into parts, and then summarized as a whole.
The Significance of Twelve
The number “twelve” is a common number in Scripture. It’s most popular uses include the twelve sons of Jacob and the twelve apostles, showing its significance in both the formation of the nation of Israel and the Church. As an aside, Jesus was twelve years old when he first appears in public and utters his first public words, which is no coincidence (Lk 2:42).
Bullinger (1992:253) describes the number twelve as “perfect,” and maintains it is the product of the multiplication of “three,” the perfectly divine number, and “four,” the earthly number for what is material and organic. This means that twelve is the perfection of the uniting of heaven and earth, which is precisely what Revelation 21-22 describes, when heaven and earth are reimagined into a “new heaven and earth.”
Therefore, that the tree of life bears “twelve kinds of fruit” is significant in that it symbolizes the perfect union of God and creation, which includes man. This is something that hasn’t occurred since the days of the Garden of Eden.
The Significance of Fruit
The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery states the word “fruit” appears more than two hundred times in English translations (1998:310). Much of the references include “fruit trees” and the edible product of said trees. Jesus’ statement in the Sermon on the Mount offers a general idea about fruit that sheds light on its meaning in Revelation 22:2: “Every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit” (Mt 7:17-18).
Jesus’ statement is in reference to false prophets, but there are also hints of the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (1998:310) relates the following description:
While satisfying the human appetite through eating of the fruit of the garden is good in itself, the fruit of the forbidden tree is invested with the potential to bring death. The primal sin consists of Eve’s eating the fruit of the forbidden tree and giving some to her husband, who also eats … Here, surely is the archetypal bad fruit of human experience … If the forbidden fruit has overtones of the supernatural, so does the fruit that appears in the celestial paradise at the end of the Bible.
In short, fruit can be either bad or good, depending on the tree from which it comes. The tree described in Revelation 22:2 is indisputably good. Moreover, John’s description shows it is not merely a single tree, like the one described in Eden, but a tree “on each side of the river,” which could mean several trees on either side of the river, or a large tree that extends to both sides of the river. Regardless, it seems the tree is especially bountiful and especially good. Its leaves are for “healing the nations” (Rev 22:2).
The Significance of New Fruit each Month
Scholars differ on the meaning of John’s statement, “kinds of fruit … every month” (Rev 22:2), but one general compromise indicates it means both abundance and freshness (Kistemaker 2001: 581; Smalley 2005:563). Osborne (2002:772) particularly references the verse’s relationship with Ezekiel 47:12, where fruit trees bear fruit every month, but not “twelve different kinds.” For Osborne, this alludes to the four seasons of our twelve-month calendar, and shows how the tree and its fruits are not susceptible to our changing climate, perhaps because the climate has been completely altered in this “new heaven and earth.”
(The question of how John’s mention of “months” might impact the idea of “time” in eternity is another question for another time.)
The Overall Significance of the Tree of Life
The first time a “tree” is mentioned in Scripture is in Genesis 1:11. It was part of the vegetation God created on the third day. Genesis 1:12 says the trees bore fruit, and Genesis 1:29 says God gave the fruit of the trees as food for man, a command echoed in Genesis 2:16. The following verse, however, states there was one tree that was forbidden—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “From [this tree],” God said, “you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Gen 2:17). A few verses later the serpent is shown tempting the woman. The text says she “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, [so] she took from its fruit and ate” (Gen 3:6). This is known as “The Fall,” an act that ushered in the physical and spiritual death of mankind.
Mankind lost access to the tree of life after disobeying God’s command to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In fact, God went to lengths to guard Adam and Eve from ever getting near the tree again (Gen 3:22-24). The beauty of Revelation 22:2 is that it shows that what was forfeited to them will be freely available to heaven’s residents.
Therefore, while the first mention of a tree in Scripture shows how it was used by Satan to devastate man’s eternality, as well as his personal relationship with God, the last mention of a tree in Scripture describes a “Tree of Life” that will bear twelve kinds of fruit, symbolizing man’s eternal life and redeemed relationship with God. The leaves of this tree heal the nations, and “there will no longer be any curse.” The image that was used to curse the world will now sit in the middle of the new heaven and earth as a symbol of eternal life and blessing.
This is all possible because of another tree mentioned in the Bible, the cross, an object often described as a “tree” (Acts 5:30, 10:39, 13:29). Paul uses “tree” in Galatians 3:13 to describe how Christ became a curse for us, because “everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed” (Deut 21:23). Peter says Jesus bore our sins while “on the tree” (1 Pt 2:24).
Because of Jesus’ work on the tree, mankind will have access to a tree of life in the new, eternal heaven that echoes a return “to the original glories and privileges of God’s presence with man, before sin raised a barrier that prevented that direct contact” (Thomas 1995:484).
Bullinger, EW. Number in Scripture. Grand Rapids, Mi: Kregel Publications, 1992.
Peterson, Eugene H. Reversed thunder : the Revelation of John and the praying imagination. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988.
Ryken, Leland, et al. Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1998.
Smalley, Stephen S. The Revelation to John: A Commentary on the Greek Text of the Apocalypse. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 2005.
Thomas, Robert L. Revelation 18-22: An Exegetical Commentary. Chicago, Ill: Moody Publishers, 1995.
All Scripture quotes taken from the Christian Standard Bible.
In starting at the beginning having traipsed through The Word, we may start our study and move through, Amen.