Healing of Nations

Q. Why is the tree of life in Rev 22:2 for the healing of nations? Didn’t Rev 21:4 say there will no longer be any death or pain?

A. Although the words “sickness”, “illness” or “disease” are not in Rev 21:4, the implication is that they will no longer be present in heaven:
Rev 21:4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.

So if there is no sickness or illness, why is there need for healing?
Rev 22:2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

“Healing” translates the Greek word therapeia, which means:
• service rendered by one to another; care or attention;
• medical service, from which we get the English word “therapy”; cure;
• household service.

Taking the context of heaven into consideration, healing in Rev 22:2 should mean “for the service of”, which is so translated in:
Disciples’ Literal NTin the middle of its wide-road. And on this side and on that side of the river is a tree of life producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations.
Young’s Literal Translationin the midst of its broad place, and of the river on this side and on that, [is] a tree of life, yielding twelve fruits, in each several month rendering its fruits, and the leaves of the tree [are] for the service of the nations;
The understanding is one of health-giving, not curing of disease.

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Dave Hunt and Hugh Ross

Q. What do you think of Dave Hunt’s Daniel’s prophesies? I have read many articles on “prove the Bible is God’s inspired words”, both historically and scientifically. I have found that people don’t appreciate historical proofs very well. Do you know of any better scientific articles than those of astrophysicists Hugh Ross’?

A. With respect to Dave Hunt’s interpretation of Daniel’s prophecies, that is a very broad question. Hunt wrote many books on prophecy, some of which involved Daniel & would require many pages to respond. Can you narrow it down to specific topics more manageable in my humble blog? In general Hunt is evangelical dispensational, but rejects Calvinism. My own position is evangelical, non-dispensational, & primarily Reformed. Beyond that I would rather comment on specific subjects than make broad-sweep statements.

As to Hugh Ross, he is an old-earth creationist. He advocates progressive creation, which holds that the universe began with the Big Bang controlled by God. An alternative creationism model is young-earth. If you are interested you can read up on papers from:

• Institute of Creation Research http://www.icr.org/ (Henry Morris)
• Answers in Genesis https://answersingenesis.org/ (Ken Ham)

People don’t appreciate historical proofs because they may think that they are not scientific. Science deals with making hypotheses, doing experiments, observing the results to see whether they support or reject their theory, & revising assumptions & testing again to see whether they are valid. That’s good for the present, upon which you predict future outcome provided your theory holds. But what do you do with the past when you cannot perform experiments on them?

What happened occurred in time past, & we cannot go back in time to observe the events as they happened. Science is out of its realm. What remains is historical evidence, either physical objects or written records. The former falls under the domain of archeology, while the latter is within the study of history. Many have a tendency to value science above history. Actually both have their place, dealing with the present & the past respectively. We need to know each one’s limitations.

Greater Damnation

Q. What is “greater damnation” in Mt 23:14? It makes sense to me that sins comes in different sizes or severities, which then deserve different degrees of punishments. Some articles have commented that in hell, Satan does aggravate punishments commensurate with the sins.

A. Mt 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. (KJV)

Although Mt 23:14 is not found in early manuscripts, some manuscripts include wording similar to:
Mk 12:40 who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation.
• Lk 20:47 who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.

so we will analyze it as is. According to Mt 23:14 & its parallels, there are degrees of condemnation proportional to the sin i.e. greater condemnation for greater sin. Is this supported elsewhere in Scripture?

Yes. First, some sins are greater than others:
Lam 4:6a For the iniquity of the daughter of my people Is greater than the sin of Sodom, …
• Jn 19:11 Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”

Second, there are degrees of punishment:
Lk 12:47-48 And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

The one who knew will be punished more than the one who did wrong but did not know, because the former did it willfully. The scribes & Pharisees are hypocrites who knew but pretended to be holy. Therefore they are guilty of greater condemnation. I do not believe Satan control the degree of punishment, as he is not the judge.