Revelation 22:2 KJV – “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.”
In this tree, which is symbolic of Christ and His work, we find “healing” for the nations (both Jew and Gentiles). The idea of healing carries with it the ideas of “to attend to”, “to cure”, “to treat”. The work of Christ is the source of all healing that comes to man.
This healing involves the curing of the spiritual results of sin in our lives. The alienation of mankind from God, the possession of a sin nature, slavery to sin, and the inability to understand the Word of God, are just a few of the many spiritual “afflictions” that come upon mankind due to their sinful condition.
However, the healing that the Lord provides to His people is not limited to the spiritual results of sin, but it also includes the physical results of sin as well. Some of the physical results of sin include diseases, birth defects, physical weaknesses, and even death.
It is interesting to note that the prophet Isaiah spoke of these healing graces flowing directly from the work of Christ….
Isaiah 53:4-6 KJV – “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
When we come to understand that healing from the effects of sin flow through the work of Christ, we then must also come to an understanding of when this healing takes place in the lives of Christians….
Although the Lord many times graces the Christian with partial healings during the course of his lifetime, He never grants a total healing prior to eternity. Some examples of this principle include:
- the Lord showing His people some of the wondrous truths found in His Word, but never totally taking the veil off of our eyes until eternity.
- the Lord removing the bondage of sin from His people and yet allowing the old nature to continue to exist within them. This allows periodic failures and sins on the part of the people of God. Only in eternity, with the receipt of glorified bodies, will His people be totally freed from the presence of sin in their lives.
- the Lord choosing to heal His people from a specific physical sickness, however they remain susceptible to other illnesses and afflictions until they enter eternity.
Please note in all the above, the Lord is not obligated to fully redeem His people from these effects of sin prior to our entrance into eternity. It is only in eternity, with the receipt of their glorified bodies, that the saint is guaranteed of a full deliverance from the spiritual and physical ravages of sin in their lives. Prior to eternity the Lord is NEVER obligated to totally deliver any Christian from the consequences of sin.
This is a very important point that cannot be overstressed. Using our above points as examples, prior to eternity, the Lord is NEVER obligated to:
- show us ALL the truths from His Word… none of us know all the truths that can be found in His Word
- to grant us ABSOLUTE freedom from the power of sin… none of us have total absolute deliverance from sin’s workings in our lives
- nor is He ever obligated to heal us from ALL the physical illnesses that may come upon us…. none of us can obligate God to heal us of a specific illness.
The Lord alone, prior to eternity, graciously, sovereignly chooses to bless us with these healings only when He sees fit, it is for our good, and it brings the optimum glory to Himself. With our entrance into eternity and the receipt of our glorified bodies, God will fully fulfill His promises to bring absolute healing to His people from all the spiritual and physical effects of sin that have touched our lives.
May we all remember the Lord’s gracious acts of healing in our lives, never take them for granted, never believe that we deserve them, nor that we are owed to us. They are ENTIRELY at His discretion, based upon His sovereign will for our lives!
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: