Friday in the Fifth Week of Easter

Revelation 22:1-7

The New Garden of Eden

As we have said already, Genesis and Revelation are appropriate bookends to the Bible.  What we saw in Genesis is mirrored in Revelation, only now perfected.  In the Eden of Genesis, a river flowed out to water the garden, where it divided into four parts.  In the Eden of Revelation, a river that is bright as crystal, flows from the very throne of God and of the Lamb.  In the Eden of Genesis, we noticed the tree of life.  In the Eden of Revelation, we meet the same tree, now bearing abundant fruit every month, with leaves that “heal the nations.”  We should see both the tree and the river as the means whereby the saints will be eternally refreshed.  No longer shall we bear the burden of providing for ourselves; thus, heaven is called our rest (Hebrews 4:9).  And healing is the very essence of salvation – in this case, the healing of body and soul.  For it is the healing of the soul – its being remade into the image of Christ – that is the healing of the body.  No longer burdened with our sinful selves, the old nature will finally be shed forever.  The new nature will be the only nature we have.  The image of God within us will be no longer shattered but completely restored.  And as our broken bodies are the result of our sinful souls in this life, so our glorified bodies will be the result of our redeemed souls in the next.

And because we will be totally restored and redeemed, we will “see His face.”  This is the promise of 1 John 3:2: “We shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”  Jesus said the same: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).  Moses’ request that he might see God’s glory will finally be realized (Exodus 33:18).  And sense no mortal can see God and live, we know that we shall behold him because we will be made immortal (1 Corinthians 15:53) and transformed into people who can behold Him – and live.  This is further illustrated in the passage, “His name will be on their foreheads.”  It’s not just that God’s name will be stamped on us, but that His name will be an indelible mark within us.  In other words, His character will be our character as we shall be changed to be like him.  Our growth in grace will be complete, at least as it concerns our graduation into heaven.

“These words are trustworthy and true.”  How many times have we heard these words?  God wants us to know that this is our inheritance: a glorified state in which sin and disease and death are no longer our masters, but to be pure, sinless, spotless, healed, transformed, and to see His face forever.  Pearly gates and golden streets are wonderful, but being with God forever – that is heaven itself.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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