“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Revelations 2:7)
The “paradise of God” mentioned in verse 7 is the heavenly condition where God is – where his awesome all powerful presence can be felt and witnessed. In the beginning of the world, there was a place where “paradise” existed on earth – in the Garden of Eden. Before the fall, Adam and Eve lived in Eden and walked with God. They were comfortable to be right in the presence of God himself because there was no sin in their lives – there was nothing between God and them. They were created pure, “in the image of God” and until the day they disobeyed, they were kept that way.
The church began with the presence of God among them. Spiritually they were dwelling in “paradise”. But as the years went on, the corruption of fallen mankind began to sneak back in among those who were the church. So as a body of people, they lost the presence of the power of God working among them, like they had before. It was not like “paradise” anymore.
Today “paradise of God” is most often thought of as God’s heaven above, and it definitely includes that. But the Bible also states that the heavenly condition of God’s presence exists among those of the true church here on earth.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
Paradise is not the “paradise of God” if God is not there. Jesus stated that wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. (see Matthew 18:20)
Now the “tree of life”, also mentioned in verse 7, was also first noted in the Garden of Eden, or paradise (Gen 2:9). And in Gen 3:22 we learn that by eating of this “tree of life” one would live forever. It is also referenced in other scriptures this way:
- “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30)
- “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)
In Prov 3:18 it speaks of wisdom and understanding this way “She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.”
Again, these scriptures state that the tree of life is: “the fruit of the righteous”, “a wholesome tongue”, and “wisdom and understanding.” It is good “spiritual food” (the Word of God) that if one eats of it (meaning they take it into their heart and live by it) then they can live forever. Jesus’ words are our spiritual food that is our “tree of life”, therefore Jesus said:
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)
But note, when Adam and Eve sinned, they were driven out of the Garden for the specific reason that they would NOT be able to eat of the tree of life. When people sin today, even though they may read the Bible, they cannot feast on it because of their sinful heart. God has not changed, and he still does not allow it! They must sincerely repent and forsake sin to be able to “feast” on the Word of God and have it take root in their heart.
Now, because Jesus (God’s presence) is among his true people, they also can provide that “tree of life” to the lost and dying soul that is willing to repent.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” (Isaiah 63:1-3)
Finally, in Revelations 22:1-2 it shows that in God’s kingdom, where he is placed on the thrones of people’s hearts, there is a “river of water of life” (which is Jesus – see John 7:37-39), and on either side of the river, the “tree of life”:
“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. 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 “healing” is the life that is given “to him that has overcome” the condition of having “left your first love” – Jesus Christ.