Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 10, 2011

The New Heaven and the New Earth, Part 5 – by David Bower

 The River of Water of Life

One of the major features of the new earth will be the river of water of life. What we know of this river appears in Revelation 22:1-2. We are told first the source of the river is the throne of God and of the Lamb.

We are told it is pure, flows down the middle of the great street of the city, and has on either side of it the tree of life. We are then told the tree of life bears twelve kinds of fruits which it yields every month and her leaves were for the healing of the nations. It has been determined that the Greek word translated healing may be better understood as health-giving.

Whether tree is a reference to one tree or one type of tree is debated. In Revelation 22:2 there is a reference to the tree of life on either side of the river. This may refer to twelve trees of life that each bears a separate kind of fruit with six on either side of the river of life; or twelve similar trees that each bears a different fruit each month.

Who are the Nations?

There are three references to the nations in this context, Revelation 21:24, 26; 22:2; it is understood that these references are synonymous with gentiles. The question then comes as to the identity of the nations. They are obviously distinct from the Church and Israel so who are they and where do they come from? The Bible does not specifically reveal this information so I shall speculate.

At the close of the Millennium there will be large numbers of mortal Gentile believers that remain after the judgment of Gog and Magog; what happens to these mortal believers? I believe they may be the ones who comprise the nations referenced here.

Just as Noah’s family was preserved through the flood, so shall all of God’s family, Israel, the Church, and the nations be preserved through the destruction by fire of the heavens and the earth. I have no idea how this will be done but is anything too hard for God?

Could the Edenic Pattern be Revived?

What I believe is God is repeating the pattern he first established in the Garden of Eden; Adam and Eve were created and placed in the Garden to work and multiply by having children. I believe this will be the pattern again with the saved mortal believers who enter eternity from the Millennium. The unsaved will have been destroyed by God with fire from heaven at the Satan led revolt of Revelation 20:9b. 

This time God’s plan will not be thwarted by sin and rebellion but will proceed as God had originally planned.  Mortal believers will live forever by means of the tree of life, just as Adam and Eve would have done if not expelled from the Garden, Genesis 3:22-24.

As I have mentioned before, I believe God’s plans for eternity are much grander than anything we can imagine. I, with my finite, puny imagination can, however, imagine this: I believe the new heavens will include many habitable planets similar to earth to which mankind will finally expand. As time will be irrelevant there are no limits on how far mankind can spread; I find this a rather exciting subject on which to meditate.

I also believe all will live active, constructive lives filled with joy and happiness; we will finally be able to exist and live our lives as God has always planned we should. 

In Part 6 we will consider our role as children of God and our responsibilities and privileges as joint heirs with Christ.


  1. Hi David,

    I’ve really enjoyed this series of posts. What an awesome vision that is. I’ve always got caught up in the darkness of Revelations and completely missed this part of it.

    This may seem like an odd correlation, but it connects thematically for me to what you are talking about.

    I was reading that researchers have sequenced an individual’s DNA to music, each protein to a musical note, and it makes a melody. Every person’s DNA makes a unique melody, and if someone is sick, like in the case of a cancer patient, it distorts it.

    I don’t know why, but I think this is just the coolest thing. We all have a song in us.

    And it made me think of the verses that say that the angels spend their time praising and worshiping God. We were meant to be praise to him here on earth. A living orchestra.

    That’s what it will be in the New Jerusalem. All of our messes and wrong notes will be gone


    • Carla:

      Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate them.

      I was completely unaware of this line of research into DNA music, it’s fascinating and I’ve listened to some samples, very ethereal. I’m not surprised at the harmony it suggests in creation; I suspect the more we learn the more harmonious we’ll find God’s creation to be in spite of the curse. Isn’t it fun to meditate on the harmony we’ll find in eternity?

      Thanks again for bringing this to my attention.



  2. What a wonderful concept for the new heaven and the new earth. I agree that in no way can our minds comprehend the magnificence that God has prepared for us. But, how exciting to think about that day when Jesus will be standing with open arms, grinning from ear to ear waiting for our arrival.


    • We can know that the Lord is preparing something for us that is a perfect fit; after all He designed us and knows us far better than we know ourselves. I’m sure eternity, free of sin and death, will be wonderful beyond our ability to imagine. I earnestly look forward to the time we can hear Jesus laughing; what an unimaginable privilege; it makes me smile just to think about it.


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