The throne of God is the center of the spiritual view John had in the book of Revelation. But the true significance of the throne is not seen until the final chapter of the book. In Revelation 22:1-5, the throne of God and our relationship to it is revealed in a full and complete way. This vision of the throne describes both our full portion in eternity and our enjoyment and experience today. We are, as believers in Christ, a little New Jerusalem with the throne of God and of the Lamb in the center of our being. As we experience this throne in a practical way, we will receive the dispensing of the Triune God which will issue in the New Jerusalem—our full experience and enjoyment of this vision at the end of the Bible.
The vision of the throne in Revelation 22 contains several important themes. These themes are the throne itself, the golden street, the river of water of life, the tree of life, seeing God, serving God, and reigning with God. In order for these to be our experience in eternity future, we need to experience them today. It is by our experience of these seven items that we experience being a little New Jerusalem today, and become the consummate New Jerusalem in eternity future.
The first and most significant item in Revelation 22 is the throne of God and of the Lamb (v. 1). The fact that God and the Lamb are on this throne is very significant. This indicates that not only the creating God is on the throne (signified by God; Gen. 1:1; John 1:3), but also the redeeming God is on the throne (signified by the Lamb; John 1:29; Rev. 5:6). This shows that God is not only the Source and Creator, but He is also the Redeemer, redeeming His creation so that they may partake of Him (Eph. 1:7-9). This throne is also the source (Eph. 4:6). Every other item in Revelation 22 issues out from the throne. We need to practically experience this throne of God in order to experience the other items in this chapter. The simple way to experience this throne is to tell the Lord that we submit to Him, that we enthrone Him in our being. We are not here for ourselves, but we are here for God. By taking Him as the Head and Authority in our life, we allow Him to carry out His purpose in us. This can be applied in any situation from shopping to living with our spouse or roommate. If we are under the throne of God, we will experience the other items in this chapter. But if we throw the throne away we will be dried up and it will be difficult for God to have His way in us.
The next item related to the throne is the golden street of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1). The street being gold signifies that it represents the divine nature of the Father. We are partakers of the divine nature to be constituted the New Jerusalem (2 Pet. 1:4) and the divine nature is the governing factor of our living and walk. There is only one way—one street—in the New Jerusalem and it is according to the divine nature. If we submit to the throne, we will be in the position to walk on this golden street, to walk by the divine nature. Walking by the divine nature of God is seen in Ephesians where Paul tells the believers to walk as children of light (Eph. 5:8; cf. 1 John 1:5), to walk in love (Eph. 5:2; cf. 1 John 4:8, 16), and to be filled in spirit (Eph. 5:18; cf. John 4:24). The nature of God’s being is Spirit, the nature of His essence is love, and the nature of His expression is light. We walk by these three things, therefore we walk by the divine nature. This is the practical experience of the street once we submit to the throne.
In the middle of the street is the river of water of life. This is the sweetest and most experiential part of the vision in Revelation 22. If we submit to the throne, taking God as our Head, and walk on the street, walk by the divine nature, we will spontaneously have the flow of God as the consummated Spirit in our being (John 4:14; 7:39). This is what is signified by the river of water of life. This flow is the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:19) and this flow supplies us and waters us. When we are dry, not in the flow, we need to turn back to the Lord to submit ourselves to Him and walk by His divine nature, then we will have the flow in our being again. Everything we do should be done by this flow and not by our own effort.
With the flow of the Spirit as the river of water of life comes the tree of life as our life supply (Rev. 22:2). This tree of life with its twelve fruits, yielding them each month, signifies the crucified and resurrected Christ in all His riches as our fresh and inexhaustible supply (Eph. 3:8; Col. 3:4; John 6:57). As we experience the throne, the street, and the river, spontaneously Christ as the tree of life will supply our being. Even today, when we turn to the Lord and touch his word in a living way with our spirit, we can eat of Him as our life supply (John 6:63).
Finally, there are the matters contained in Revelation 22:3-5 concerning our seeing, serving, and reigning with God. The prerequisites to these are the previous items, submitting to the throne, walking on the street, and being supplied by the river and the tree. Once we experience these matters, the seeing, serving, and reigning will be spontaneous. Seeing God equals gaining and entering into God. God as the reality of the temple is our dwelling place (Psa. 90:1; Rev. 21:22), and it is in God that we serve Him. Serving God is simply eating and drinking Him (John 4:24; 6:55; 7:37-39). God can do everything, but He cannot eat, drink, and partake of Himself. We need to experience Him in these ways so that we can be the ones to fulfill His desire to be partaken of. This is the true service to God. We enter into and gain God by seeing Him, and in Him we serve Him by eating and drinking Him. Then we reign with Him. The leaves of the tree being for the healing of the nations (Rev. 22:2) shows that by our enjoying the tree of life, our conduct (symbolized by the leaves) will regulate and govern the unregenerated nations that they may live forever. This can be our experience today. We can turn our heart to the Lord to behold Him with an unveiled face (2 Cor. 3:18). We enter into God through our organic union with Him by believing and being baptized (John 3:16; Matt. 28:19) and we remain in Him by abiding in Him (John 15:4). We reign with Christ, experiencing His authority even today (Rom. 5:17; 1 Cor. 4:8). As we experience these things today, we proceed toward the goal of our Christian living and work, the full experience of these things as the New Jerusalem in eternity future.
We are a little New Jerusalem today, a miniature of the full experience of the New Jerusalem in eternity future. We have the throne of God in the middle of our being, just as the throne of God is the center of the holy city which is the aggregate of all God’s chosen and redeemed ones. As we submit to the throne, we walk by the divine nature symbolized by the golden street of the New Jerusalem. In this submitting and walk is the flowing river of water of life and the tree of life. We experience the consummated Spirit as our flowing supply and the crucified and resurrected Christ as our life supply today. By enjoying all these aspects of the New Jerusalem we see God, we serve God, and we reign with God. All of these are our portion in eternity future, but we need to experience them today to bring about their consummation. This mainly starts with the throne, which is the center and source. The best way to submit to this throne is to start every morning by giving ourselves to the Lord to be under His throne and headship. As we submit to the throne in every aspect of our daily life, we experience the other items of the New Jerusalem and live a life in the center of God’s economy which will consummate in the New Jerusalem for the fulfillment of His eternal heart’s desire.