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Tree of Life, Rivers, Ch'ruvim and God

Reader comment on item: Musing on History
in response to reader comment: 19 d is stretching it - I'll accept 11.

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jan 13, 2016 at 05:24

Hi, Moh. Thanks for being game to look at these things. I'm going to do something here. Since we no longer have editing tools at our disposal, I'll invent a few. instead of indents, for instance, I will use lines to set off quotes. You said, quoting me:

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"...Read that, and tell me if you don't see some sort of "time warp" happening here."
In what sense?

" Who are these "gentiles", these "nations" in this new world, who are somehow in need of "healing"?
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and you responded,

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Well, when you think about it - it is anyone who is not prepared to leave the planet at any time. That's most folk.
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The scriptural quote was,

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.

The "tree of life" is shown here to exist in the "New Jerusalem", part of a whole new universe; but it has features that do not belong in that universe:

1. The leaves are for the "healing of the nations". (There's no mention of planets here, so try to stick with the text.) What didn't fit in the passage, is that there should be no "nations" in this new universe:

Galatians 3:
[28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
[29] And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

That passage doesn't pertain to this present universe, where to this day, there is a separation between Jews and gentiles; so it must pertain to the world to come. Also, the last we hear of the gentiles before the New Jerusalem appears, is:

Rev.11
[1] And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
[2] But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

"Gentiles" (Engl. "nations" or "heathen", Greek "ethnos") is virtually synonymous in the Bible, with people who do not have a covenant relationship with God. Gentiles who come to know God through believing in Jesus are still outwardly non-Jewish, or "gentiles", from a ceremonial point of view; but inwardly, they reckon themselves to be Jews, descendants of Abraham. That is why it seems out of place, that they should be mentioned in the New Jerusalem. The other problem is that

2. there should be need of "healing" in the New Jerusalem.

Rev. 7:
[13] And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
[14] And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
[15] Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
[16] They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
[17] For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

In this new place, there is no more hunger, and no mor tears. In fact, the inhabitants of this new world will never die. How, then, is there a need for healing?

I suppose one can come up with explanations for these things; but there is another point: The river in the New Jerusalem, which proceeds from the throne of God, originates in a place protected by guardian spirits, or "ch'ruvim". The garden in Genesis, where Adam and Eve communed with God, also had rivers proceeding out of it, also contained the "tree of life" and also was protected by ch'ruvim.

Ponder that for a minute. If both places are the same, then either (1) Adam and Eve actually lived in the New Jerusalem, or (2) the Garden of Eden has somehow been translated out of this universe.

That's why I said that it seems there's a "time warp" of sorts, where that new universe has contact with our present universe. Have you read the Narnia Chronicles, by C. S. Lewis? In the last episode, there was a door to a barn in this world, that opened up into a wide expanse in another world. In that world, the door seemed to be standing alone, in the middle of a field. Those who had died in "present" Narnia saw this world as it was; but those who had not died only saw themselves in a dark place, and imagined themselves to be inside a barn. Lewis seemed to be trying to describe the portal I'm alluding to.

Once we agree that there is such a "portal" or "time warp" between the two worlds, I think we can discuss some of the symbolism involved. It requires sticking to the text, though -- seeing things as John saw them.

Submitting....

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