The key to understanding Revelation is to be familiar with biblical idioms, signs, symbols
Q. In the last chapter of Revelation there is a statement that the leaves of the tree of life would be used for the healing of the nations. What affect do the leaves have and why are the nations being healed.
Was it as a result of all the judgments poured out during the Tribulation?
A. The book of Revelation concerns the closing of God’s “controversy” with creation, angels, Satan and man.
It links Genesis to Revelation and it is filled with Hebraic thought, images, symbols and idioms called “apocalyptic style” and it is used to unveil and unfold things not previously known, either past, present or future and this technique is found in many other books of the Bible.
They key to understanding Revelation is to be very familiar with biblical idioms, signs and symbols.
The verses you are referring to can be found in Revelation 22. 1-2 and so we will concentrate on those verses.
Chapter 21 and 22 deal with what happens after the Messianic Kingdom is over and where the Lord sets up “the World to Come” on earth.
These chapters do not happen in heaven but on earth and that is very important to understand.
Once you understand the idioms and phrases, these are very easy to understand.
The best way to do this is to write the verse and in parentheses give the meaning of the symbolism or idiom.
“And he showed me a river (channel of truth) of the water of life (word of God) clear as crystal (no impurities) coming from the throne of God (the Father) and the Lamb (Messiah) in the middle of its street (the way of life).
And on either side of the river was the tree of life (wisdom-Prov 3.13-19) bearing twelve (number of teaching and divine government) fruit (results), yielding its fruit every month and the leaves (teachings) of the tree were for the healing of the nations (promotes life with no conflicts).”
In other words, God will be present with the redeemed of mankind and there will be prosperity and peace throughout the world.
The word of God will be known and obeyed and the wisdom that comes from that knowledge will promote peace among all the nations.
There will be no more war, sin, death and all the things that weigh down mankind today.
The earth will be restored back to the way it was in Eden and the Lord will be the center of all life and worship.
Revelation 22.3-4 sums it up where it says that “there shall be no more curse and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it (Shekinah, presence of God) and His bond-servants (believers) shall serve Him (experience His favor) and they (believers) shall see His face and His name (also known as the word of God -Rev 19.13) will be on their foreheads (seat of the intellect, profession and comprehension).