in the middle of its street On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him;
 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.
 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
In heaven, the river of the water of the life which originates from the throne of God, flows to reach every corner of heaven from New Jerusalem to Paradise.
On either side of the river of the water of life is the tree of life.
There’s not one, but 12 varieties of the tree of life, and they each yield their own fruit respectively.
Now, what is the reason God put these 12 trees of life on either side of the river of the water of life?
First of all, spiritually the tree of life refers to the children of God who enter heaven.
Psalm 1:2-3 says, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”
In this verse, a tree’ refers to God’s children who live by the word of God.
The tree of life that is planted on either side of the river of the water of life also symbolizes God’s children who reach heaven by taking the word of God as spiritual bread.
The scripture says the tree bears 12 kinds of fruit. The meaning of number 12 is, first, all nations.
According to the bible, 12 tribes of Israel were originated from the 12 sons of Jacob.
Jesus came into this world through this Israel, and He established the kingdom of God over all nations.
Additionally, the gospel was preached to all nations through the 12 disciples of the Lord.
From all nations, whoever listens to the gospel, believes in Jesus Christ, and takes the word of God as bread can become a citizen of heaven.
To symbolize this, God put 12 kinds of the tree of life on either side of the river of the water of life.
Second, the number 12 is the number of light.
It is to mean that God gives eternal life to the souls who become the children of the light by living by the word of God who is the Light.
The different shapes and lights of the fruit that the 12 trees of life bear are the fruit that the souls bear while living in the light.
The fruit symbolizes the fruit of the light, of the Holy Spirit, and of the righteousness.
The scripture adds that “the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
The leaves of the tree of life are dark green; they have fine luster and they are wide and large.
The leaves of heaven do not wither no matter how much time passes.
What kind of spiritual meaning is there when the scripture says these leaves are for the healing of the nations?
In order for a tree to bear fruit, the tree needs the processes of maturing, putting out branches, and the blossoming of flowers.
As the tree grows, it should take nutrients and water through its roots.
And for a mature tree to bear its fruit, it has to have leaves.
When the leaves receive light and photo synthesize, the tree can receive nutrients to bear its fruit.
Originally, all the souls from all nations were destined to see death due to sin.
They may have life for their physical body for a moment, but they eventually die; that life being no better than death.
However, those who believe Jesus Christ and live by the word of God can be set free from the curse of the law which dictates “the wage of sin is death.”
Even a dying soul can receive eternal life and be healed.
However, confessing ones faith only with the lips and truly believing Jesus Christ is not the same.
We have to live by the word of God.
The Bible compares the word of God with water.
God is Light itself, and the word of God is also the Light.
Just as a tree needs to take water to survive, and to receive light to bear fruit, you should also eat and drink of the word of God.
In other words, when you learn the word from the Bible, you should not only understand the word, but also practice the word.
Only then, can the curse depart from your life, and blessings come upon you.
This is the meaning of “the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
When the souls receive the word of God, who is the Light and make bread out of the word, they can escape from all death and the curse. They can then come into life and blessing.
Revelation 22:3 says, “There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it.”
As explained earlier, since the sin of Adam, all human beings had to live a life of suffering under the curse of the Law.
They had to suffer from what they had never experienced in the Garden of Eden such as diseases, natural disasters, poverty, death, and wars.
Of course those who believe in Jesus Christ are set free from the curse of the Law, but they still are cultivated on earth.
Even if they are saved, they still need the process of undergoing trials and overcoming them.
If they don’t live by the word of God even if they profess they believe, they may encounter a disease, an accident, or a disaster.
Sometimes, if parents or ancestors devotedly worshipped idols, or if they stood against God and piled up evil, then their descendants may be under a curse.
Even if the descendants accepted the Lord and believe in the Lord, until they are completely set free from the curse, they may still suffer in spirit and in body.
In addition, those who obey according to the word of God may undergo God-permitted trials while their faith grows stronger.
They may be persecuted for the kingdom of God, or they may suffer unjustly.
Of course, those who diligently change into spirit always have joy and thanks in heart.
However, they still have to be refined in heart from time to time, and they always shed tears and mourn for the kingdom of God and for souls.
The perfect peace and true happiness can only be enjoyed only when they go to heaven.
In heaven, regardless of any sort of previous curses, they can enjoy eternal happiness and joy.
Moreover, how happy and ecstatic it will be to enter New Jerusalem and live near the throne of God and of the Lamb!
God wipes away all pains and tears from His children who overcome all the trials and enter New Jerusalem, and He comforts them.
Those of you with children can understand this heart of Father well.
For example, you may have to force your children to do something that they don’t like to.
Sometimes, you may speak strict words or scold them, but they to you they are still lovely after they obey you.
You may say, “Good job, son. Thank you,” and you may hug them. Or you may buy something for them and comfort them.
Also, when you discipline your children, you don’t do it because you hate your children.
If your children no longer need to repent or to be scolded, you will soon hug them and comfort them.
It happened in the days of Noah’s Flood.
Noah gave warnings of judgment to people, but they didn’t repent.
Finally, it was only Noah and his family that survived the Flood that judges the all mankind.
Even though they survived, they had to witness the extremely rigid judgment that destroyed the whole world. How great the reverent fear must have been in their hearts!
Their neighbors, relatives, and friends who used to live near them disappeared all at once.
When they saw they were the only ones who survived the great flood that destroyed the whole earth, no words could describe their hearts.
Then, God showed them a rainbow on the sky to comfort them.
God showed the rainbow as a sign of a covenant that there would be no judgment by flood again.
When Noah and his family saw the beautiful rainbow in the sky, how touched their hearts were!
Fear, sorrow, or worry from the judgment of the flood disappeared, and they could feel peace in the love of God.
We can feel such a generous heart of God from tonight’s scripture saying, “There will no longer be any curse”
God wipes away all the tears that people shed while being refined in the cursed earth, and says, “Good job, My children. There is only happiness from now on.”
When the souls see the glory of heaven that is unfolded before their eyes, they will be happy. But when they realize there will be no longer any curse, the comfort and peace will be greater.
Revelation 22:3 mentions about the throne of God and of the Lamb.
The throne of God and of the Lamb is in the very center of New Jerusalem.
As you may remember from the Heaven sermon series, New Jerusalem is divided into three areas.
They are the areas of God the Father, of God the Son, and of God the Holy Spirit.
At the summit of these areas, like at the apex of the triangle, is the throne of God the Trinity.
Mark 16:19 says, “So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.”
As written, the throne of the Lamb, our Lord, is at the right hand of God.
And the throne of the Holy Spirit is at the left hand of God, opposite from the Lord’s throne.
Now, Revelation 22:3-4 says, “His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.”
In this verse, His bond-servants don’t refer to those who were servants of God on earth.
His bond-servants refer to those who fulfill their duty completely as a true servant of God.
A servant cannot insist on his own opinion.
His job is to obey only to his master.
Philippians 2:5-8 says, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
2 Corinthians 1:19 also says, “For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us–by me and Silvanus and Timothy–was not yes and no, but is yes in Him.”
Just as Jesus did, a true servant of God is the one who obeys the will of God only with ‘Yes and Amen’ till death.
Then, what is the will of God?
Just as 1 Thessalonians 4:3 says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification,” the most important thing is sanctification.
If one is a true servant who truly obeys, he will cast off sin and evil to the point of shedding blood, and accomplish sanctification.
And he will fulfill his given-duty with all his life.
These true servants of God not only enter New Jerusalem, but also serve God in close proximity, and they can see the face of God and of the Lord.