SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW)

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Chapter 22

1. See EGW on 1 John 1:7, 9. 7BC 988.7

1, 2 (ch. 7:17; see EGW on Luke 23:40-43). Higher Education in the Future Life—Christ, the heavenly Teacher, will lead His people to the tree of life that grows on either side of the river of life, and He will explain to them the truths they could not in this life understand. In that future life His people will gain the higher education in its completeness. Those who enter the city of God will have the golden crowns placed upon their heads. That will be a joyful scene that none of us can afford to miss. We shall cast our crowns at the feet of Jesus, and again and again we will give Him the glory and praise His holy name. Angels will unite in the songs of triumph. Touching their golden harps, they will fill all heaven with rich music and songs to the Lamb (Manuscript 31, 1909). 7BC 988.8

2 (ch. 2:7; Genesis 2:9; see EGW on Genesis 3:22-24; John 5:39). Life-giving Power in Tree of Life—The tree of life is a representation of the preserving care of Christ for His children. As Adam and Eve ate of this tree, they acknowledged their dependence upon God. The tree of life possessed the power to perpetuate life, and as long as they ate of it, they could not die. The lives of the antediluvians were protracted because of the life-giving power of this tree, which was transmitted to them from Adam and Eve (The Review and Herald, January 26, 1897). 7BC 988.9

(John 1:4.) Life-giving Fruit Ours Through Christ—The fruit of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden possessed supernatural virtue. To eat of it was to live forever. Its fruit was the antidote of death. Its leaves were for the sustaining of life and immortality. But through man's disobedience, death entered the world. Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the fruit of which he had been forbidden to touch. His transgression opened the floodgates of woe upon our race. 7BC 988.10

After the entrance of sin, the heavenly Husbandman transplanted the tree of life to the Paradise above; but its branches hang over the wall to the lower world. Through the redemption purchased by the blood of Christ, we may still eat of its life-giving fruit. 7BC 989.1

Of Christ it is written, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” He is the fountain of life. Obedience to Him is the life-giving power that gladdens the soul. 7BC 989.2

Christ declares: “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” [John 6:57, 63; Revelation 2:7, last part, quoted] (The Signs of the Times, March 31, 1909, reprinted from Testimonies for the Church 8:288). 7BC 989.3

(Psalm 19:10; John 6:54-57.) Tree of Life Planted for Us—The sons of men have had a practical knowledge of evil, but Christ came to the world to show them that He had planted for them the tree of life, the leaves of which were for the healing of the nations (Manuscript 67, 1898). 7BC 989.4

The leaves of the tree of life are proffered you. They are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Take them, eat them, digest them, and your faintheartedness will pass away (Manuscript 71, 1898). 7BC 989.5

Christ ... was the tree of life to all who would pluck and eat (Manuscript 95, 1898). 7BC 989.6

Bible the Tree of Life to Us—Let all bear in mind that the tree of life bears twelve manner of fruits. This represents the spiritual work of our earthly missions. The Word of God is to us the tree of life. Every portion of the Scripture has its use. In every part of the Word is some lesson to be learned. Then learn how to study your Bibles. This book is not a heap of odds and ends. It is an educator. Your own thoughts must be called into exercise before you can be really benefited by Bible study. Spiritual sinew and muscle must be brought to bear upon the Word. The Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance the words of Christ. He will enlighten the mind, and guide the research (Letter 3, 1898). 7BC 989.7

Christ the Tree of Life—Christ is the source of our life, the source of immortality. He is the tree of life, and to all who come to Him He gives spiritual life (The Review and Herald, January 26, 1897). 7BC 989.8

3, 4. A Definition of Heaven—Christ is the truth of all that we find in the Father. The definition of heaven is the presence of Christ (Manuscript 184, 1897). 7BC 989.9

4. See EGW on ch. 7:2, 3. 7BC 989.10

10-12 (chs. 4:3; 10:1; see EGW on ch. 10:7; 2 Peter 3:9). Christ's Intercession Soon to Cease—The One who has stood as our intercessor; who hears all penitential prayers and confessions; who is represented with a rainbow, the symbol of grace and love, encircling His head, is soon to cease His work in the heavenly sanctuary. Grace and mercy will then descend from the throne, and justice will take their place. He for whom His people have looked will assume His right—the office of Supreme Judge (The Review and Herald, January 1, 1889). 7BC 989.11

Probation Ends When Least Expected—When probation ends, it will come suddenly, unexpectedly—at a time when we are least expecting it. But we can have a clean record in heaven today, and know that God accepts us; and finally, if faithful, we shall be gathered into the kingdom of heaven (Manuscript 95, 1906). 7BC 989.12

No Second Probation—There is not a second probation for anyone. Now is probationary time, before the angel shall fold her golden wings, the angel of mercy, and shall step down from the throne, and mercy, mercy is gone forever (Manuscript 49, 1894). 7BC 989.13

(John 9:4.) Time of Probation's Close Not Revealed—God has not revealed to us the time when this message will close, or when probation will have an end. Those things that are revealed we shall accept for ourselves and for our children; but let us not seek to know that which has been kept secret in the councils of the Almighty.... 7BC 989.14

Letters have come to me asking me if I have any special light as to the time when probation will close; and I answer that I have only this message to bear, that it is now time to work while the day lasts, for the night cometh in which no man can work. Now, just now, it is time for us to be watching, working, and waiting. 7BC 989.15

The Word of the Lord reveals the fact that the end of all things is at hand, and its testimony is most decided that it is necessary for every soul to have the truth planted in the heart so that it will control the life and sanctify the character. The Spirit of the Lord is working to take the truth of the Inspired Word and stamp it upon the soul so that the professed followers of Christ will have a holy, sacred joy that they will be able to impart to others. The opportune time for us to work is now, just now, while the day lasts. But there is no command for anyone to search the Scriptures in order to ascertain, if possible, when probation will close. God has no such message for any mortal lips. He would have no mortal tongue declare that which He has hidden in His secret councils (The Review and Herald, October 9, 1894). 7BC 989.16

13. See EGW on 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45. 7BC 990.1

13-17 (ch. 1:8). The Alpha and Omega of Scripture—[Revelation 22:13-17 quoted.] Here we have the Alpha of Genesis and the Omega of Revelation. The blessing is promised to all those who keep the commandments of God, and who cooperate with Him in the proclamation of the third angel's message (The Review and Herald, June 8, 1897). 7BC 990.2

14 (ch. 20:12, 13; see EGW on Genesis 3:22-24; Romans 3:31; 2 Corinthians 3:7-11). City of God for Commandment Keepers—None who have had the light of truth will enter the city of God as commandment breakers. His law lies at the foundation of His government in earth and in heaven. If they have knowingly trampled upon and despised His law on the earth, they will not be taken to heaven to do the same work there; there is no change of character when Christ comes. The character building is to go on during the hours of probation. Day by day their actions are registered in the books of heaven, and they will, in the great day of God, be rewarded as their works have been. It will then be seen who receives the blessing. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (The Review and Herald, August 25, 1885). 7BC 990.3

(Colossians 1:26, 27.) Travel in the Future Life—Many seem to have the idea that this world and the heavenly mansions constitute the universe of God. Not so. The redeemed throng will range from world to world, and much of their time will be employed in searching out the mysteries of redemption. And throughout the whole stretch of eternity, this subject will be continually opening to their minds. The privileges of those who overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony are beyond comprehension (The Review and Herald, March 9, 1886). 7BC 990.4

17. See EGW on ch. 3:20; Romans 3:20-31. 7BC 990.5

19. See EGW on ch. 20:12-15. 7BC 990.6