Leaves of the Tree
To the Editor:
After reading your most interesting article concerning the passage in Revelation 22:2, which states, “and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations,” I felt impelled to write and present my humble treatise on the subject.
I agree that the word “healing” is used in the sense of health-giving. This is further understood when we realize that these leaves were from the tree of life. The tree of life is first mentioned in Genesis 2:9 and would seem to be the same tree as in Revelation 22:2. Notice that Adam was given permission to eat of every tree in the Garden of Eden, presumably even the tree of life, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This tree of life must surely have had the same qualities in Genesis as in Revelation. Since the Garden of Eden was free of sin and, therefore, free of sickness, there was no need of healing, even though it is inferred that Adam could freely eat of the tree of life (and probably did since it seemed to have exceptional fruit). Up until the fall of Adam and Eve and their subsequent banishment from the Garden of Eden, the earth was without the curse of sin just like the new earth of Revelation 22 will be. Thus, if God had a tree of life in the sinless, sickless earth of the beginning, why not in the eternal, sinless, sickless earth of eternity future? Perhaps the fruit of this tree of life is perfectly suited to the physical needs of sinless man.
The only problem I see with this line of thought is the fact that the leaves of a tree are not normally eaten, as Revelation 22:2 would imply, but rather the fruit. The answer may lie in the thought that the leaves are not “healing” by being eaten, since this is not specifically stated in verse 2, but perhaps they are to be thought of in a manner not totally unlike tree leaves today which help keep us healthy by using up carbon dioxide while giving off oxygen.
I pray that God will use these few comments to further stimulate your thinking on the subject, and edify you, as your article has me.
To the Editor:
I have been a faithful reader of “Food for the Flock” for many years and have enjoyed the many articles from spiritual men who rightly divide the Word of Truth.
Concerning the article on “Christ and Divorce” in the Jan.-Feb. issue, I enjoyed the article but not the answer to the modern question concerning divorce. I believe that Matthew 19:9 supports a legitimate reason for divorce (i.e., fornication), but the writer of the article gives a conflicting view on this subject. The Lord does not say anything about remarriage. Since the Scriptures are silent, why add man’s supposition? He states that if it is legitimate (by law, I guess), then remarriage is permissable. This is the world’s view, not Scripture’s. This cancer of man’s supposition is the very thing that is causing widespread dissention, division and separation among the assemblies of God’s people. It is an instrument of the devil to divide God’s people, causing much heartache.
In Genesis we have the story of Eve, who was beguiled by the devil into believing a lie, by his adding to Scripture…which caused the whole human race to fall. There is a warning given in the book of Revelation that places a curse on everyone who adds to or takes away from this book. This curse is, in part, true today.
The Scripture also states that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established. Our Lord reiterated in the mouth of two other witnesses, Mark and Luke, the same truth about remarriage after divorce. The permanency of marriage can only be dissolved by death (Romans 7).
It may seem strange, but couples who are not saved, and know nothing of the Scriptures, believe in the permanency of the marriage vow, while many knowledgeable Christians do not. If we believe all of the Scripture, then I think a retraction of that supposition is in order.
—John M. Duff