O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

"...and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."

I am going to be doing a little study of this, and will post it when it is finished, but I would also like to solicit some input. Here is the immediate context of the "healing leaves":

Rev 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Here are some questions which immediately come to my mind, and I would be interested in anyone else's thoughts:

**What is "the tree of life?" (or what does it represent?)

**How do the leaves of the tree of life heal the nations? (or what specifically is meant by "healing?")

**Does "the healing of the nations" refer to something specific which we could see defined in Scripture, or does it mean more than one thing, or could it mean any number of things?
Could it have both a spiritual and a physical meaing? And if so, where would we find this dual meaning defined in Scripture?

**What is the evidence that a person has been "healed" according to Scripture?

**Are Christians called to participate in "healing the nations?" And if so, how specifically do we carry that calling out?

**Can non-Christians (ie, unbelievers, or those outside of Christ) carry out "the healing of the nations" by their actions or words? Why or why not?

**Can the "healing" of which Revelation and the other prophets speak be accomplished apart from the "tree of life?" ie, Is there any other source for this healing than Jesus Christ?

Those are just a few questions I will be looking to have answered by the Scripture. Any thoughts you have to share would be appreciated.

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Ummmmm... Leaves..

Many animals eat leaves. Many nations were represented by animals under the old law. If Christ is the tree of life (and He is) then I see a picture of the animals (nations) coming to partake of the leaves of the tree (Christ). Christ said that if we do not eat his flesh and drink his blood (partake of the "tree") then we have no life in us. That life that Christ provides is "the healing" from "the death". Rev 22 and Gen 3 are certainly linked by the reference to the tree of life.
One thing is for sure: Ezekiel 47 is a clear parallel to Revelation 22. (Same river, same tree(s) on either side, same fruit, same leaves for healing).

So if there is a physical application to "the healing of the nations" in Revelation 22 the same would be true of the same healing in Ezekiel 47. In which case the land inheritance of which Ezekiel 47 speaks would have to have a physical fulfillment also.

And yet "full preterists" (who would deny a physical fulfillment of land promises) are claiming that "the healing of the nations" refers to Chrsitians "getting to work" and physically feeding the hungry, and "curing the physical effects of Adam's sin." (ie, the cross was not the full solution to sin, and did not remove all of its "effects.") How are they then able to avoid physical land promises in Ezekiel in any way that is hermeneutically defensible?

And by the way, how is it that physical sickness would be an effect of sin, but physical death would not? In other words, if advances in medicine are an ongoing fulfillment of new creation prophecies (as some "full preterists" are teaching) would not the ultimate fulfillment be physical immortality? Of course these same "full preterists" are already claiming that prophecies of the new creation in Christ will realize their fulfillment in physically longer life spans--but how long? As the kingdom grows (the "increase of His government"--a passage which has also been applied physically) people will just continue to live longer and longer and that, what? They never die physically? I can't help but wonder how this view can then avoid revisiting "the death" in Genesis 3, and ascribing physicality to it? After all, it is already posited that Adam's sin had "physical effects." Just looking at the context of Genesis 3, I am having a lot of trouble understanding which effects are phsyical, which are spiritual/covenantal, and which are both.

I guess I just have a lot of questions....
"..and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His stripes we are healed" 1 Pet. 2:24

Healed from what? Certainly not diseases. For a good treatise of that concept, see the website at Healed By His Stripes?
So, if the leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations, to be consistent with biblical teaching about what healing is, the leaves must be for the forgiveness of sins. They can NOT be for physical healing. Just one more proof that the "future" is not a physical future Shangri-La.

Kessler 08

Rev 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.


Rev 22:1 is the reference I used and I remember thinking some of these exact same thoughts as I was doing this logo for Mike Sullivan. I do have a few idea's that I will share in the next few days.


Reve 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

The OT verse John seems to be alluding to is from Ezekiel’s Temple vision:

Ezek 47:12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

Although there is much to research here, both Old and New Testament, I think the “leaf” itself may be important. Afterall, the question that jumps to my mind is that in the Garden of Eden, the tree of life was known for its FRUIT, not its leaves. So why are the leaves of the Tree(s) of Life so important in the New Jerusalem?

The Hebrew word here for “leaf” is ‘aleh, and is found several times in the Old Testament, interestingly enough, beginning in the Garden of Eden:

Gene 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

I don’t think that this association is random…I think that ultimately the purpose and meaning of the “leaf” of the tree of life is rooted in this verse.

Several other verses that use the same Hebrew word for leaf that may be important include:

Gene 8:11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth [was] an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.

Nehe 8:15 And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as [it is] written.

Psal 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Prov 11:28 He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.

Isai 1:29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.
Isai 1:30 For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.

Isai 34:4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling [fig] from the fig tree.

Isai 64:6 But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Jere 8:13 I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: [there shall be] no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and [the things that] I have given them shall pass away from them.

Jere 17:8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and [that] spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

The common thread in these verses, that I see, is that the leaf represents AN OUTWARD SIGN OF THE INWARD LIFE. Thus a tree that is planted by RIVERS OF WATERS (NEW SPIRIT – LIFE) have plenteous leaves that are not faded. The LEAVES are the OUTWARD COVERING of that tree. A tree that does not have access to the WATERS are barren of leaves, or have leaves that are faded.

Even in the Garden of Eden, the leaves were used to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness. My argument here is that the leaves for the healing of the nations is not necessarily some ongoing healing process (although I will not deny this), but that it represents the bestowal of a person’s SPIRITUAL BODY. The outward covering over our soul’s nakedness. The RIVER OF LIFE is tied to the SPIRIT (inner), while the TREE OF LIFE and its LEAVES are tied to the SPIRITUAL BODY (outer).

Now I am IBD, so I interpret this completely different from most of you who are IBN & CBV, but one thing I think we might agree on is that the leaves have less to do with the healing of our current corruptible physical bodies and more to do with being raised into the SPIRITUAL BODY (for you the Church, for me an actual spiritual body after death).

Just my two cents…
Unfortunately as a full preterist this scripture is rendered meaningless as we see billions suffering today. Million or so who feel good inside just doesn't explain this promise.


Actually, the world is a BETTER place than ever in history. Statistics can show that clearly. And it is that way because of the slow erosion of the effects of sin that were perpetrated on the world by the devil. Now that he is gone, and Christ is on the throne of the universe, more people than ever daily enter the gates of Christ's kingdom.

You are caught in the classic trap of being in a small slice of time and comparing your own experience and view with that of history.

I am convinced that God takes the long view of things, and this promise of healing is actually happening every moment of every day. However, don't expect to see details of it on CBS Nightly News. Instead, take a visit to the local soup kitchen, or the battered women's shelters, of the countless ways people interact and show kindnesses to one another. THAT is the healing of the nations.

Remember too that the last book of Revelation says that outside the gates are the sinners, and they have no right to eternal life. But INSIDE the gates are where the healing is going on. If you look outside the gates, you will indeed see the results of the sins of generations being spent on the nations. Only those who enter into the gates will experience the healing of the leaves. There IS a balm in Gilead, and it heals the sin sick soul.

Good argent
I meant good argument


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