The Rising River Water (1)
Updated: Aug 17
Speaker: Reverend Philip Lee
Service: Moriah, 2nd Service
Date: August 2, 2020
The overflowing river
Through the man whose appearance was like that of bronze, God shows the prophet Ezekiel a total of 25 places within Ezekiel's temple. The number 25 is the basic number in Ezekiel’s temple and is very central. Of the 25 locations, the “river bank overflowing with water” was the 25th place that God revealed to Ezekiel, and God led him to the bank of the river and brought him back (Ezek 47:6). Today, we’re going to look at the overflowing river, the “river of life.”
The river of life gradually became greater
The “river of life” gradually became greater and it flowed from the outer gate facing east. From there, the water flowed and after one thousand cubits, the water reached the ankles (Ezek 47:3). After another thousand cubits, the water reached the knees, and still after another one thousand cubits the water reached his loins (Ezek 47:4). This expression tells us that the water steadily became greater and greater. Redemptive-historically, this shows us that the movement of the Word of God will steadily grow and spread out as we receive the power of the Holy Spirit and begin to witness for God even to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:8).
The Word will grow even more when there is persecution (Acts 7:60; 8:1). Deacon Stephen was martyred, and on that day, a great persecution began. The people were scattered and went about preaching the Word (Acts 8:4). Thus, the Word spread even more because of persecution. King Herod came against the church and killed one of the disciples of Jesus called James, and afterward, the Word of the Lord continued to grow and multiplied (Acts 12:1-2, 24).
Due to the COVID-19 virus, today we are unable to gather and meet. However, we are able to share the Word of God via the internet and YouTube and reach three times as many people than gathering in one place, allowing our voices to go out into all the earth (Rom 10:18). Thus, the Word of redemptive history will be preached to the end of the world.
The river of life will grow rapidly in the end!
The living waters of life began flowing from the threshold from the house of God to the south of the altar of burnt offering and trickled out from the south side of the outer gate facing east. At one thousand cubits it reached the ankles, a thousand cubits later it reached the knees, and another thousand cubits the water reached the loins. Finally, after another one thousand cubits, the water grew so much that it could not be crossed or forded (Ezek 47:5). Until it reached the loins, the water grew steadily; however, when it reaches a certain point it will suddenly grow rapidly to a depth that cannot be crossed and men would have to swim in it in order to cross it. This demonstrates that in the end time, at a certain point, the Word of God will prevail so greatly that it will grow rapidly according to God’s plan and cover the ends of the world (Isa 11:9; Hab 2:14).
Therefore, symbolically, the river of life is the expression of the work of the Word of God and demonstrates that man cannot ford this river or understand the Word of God by his own human strength. Thus, if the Scriptures are the river of life, we have to be able to ford this river with the helping hand of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16). Without the inspiration of God and the help of the Holy Spirit, mankind can never understand the Scriptures.
Secondly, the Spirit will make us remember all things.
Thirdly, the Spirit will guide us into all truth.
Finally, the Spirit will teach us of the things to come in the future (John 14:26; 16:13). When we rely on the Holy Spirit, we are able to fully swim across the river of water, the river of life and go into the depth of the river and see the profound world of our God (1 Cor 2:10). It is Father who will send the Spirit of truth and will teach us all things (John 15:26).
The second characteristic of the river of life is that the water was “risen.” In Hebrew, the word “risen” means "majestic," "victorious," "exalted" or "glorious," demonstrating the grandeur, triumph, and glory of God. After crossing the Red Sea, the Egyptians were destroyed and the people praised God saying, “The Lord is highly exalted" (Exod 15:20-21). Therefore, no matter how many persecutions or obstacles we go through in this world, the Word will truly be majestic, triumphant, and glorified.
When Jesus called His disciples in Matthew 4:19, He said "I’m going to make you fishers of men." Likewise, we must become spiritual fishermen. In the vision of the river of life that Ezekiel saw, this water will reach all the way out to the Dead Sea which is enormous, about 30 kilometers from Engedi to Eneglaim. Therefore, the fishermen will cast their net over a great distance and catch many fish. This demonstrates that there will be countless fishermen and we are the spiritual fishermen in the end time, the fisher of men (Ezek 47:10).
Today, the Word of redemptive history that we have received is this spiritual net and we can only catch fish when we cast this net. Previously, we had to bring people to the church, but now we can reach many through the internet and YouTube. Right now, there is a famine of the Word and people are hungry for the Word of God and are not able to hear it (Amos 8:11). However, if we share the Word of the living waters in times like this, people will be very blessed. So let us all diligently cast the net by the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Word of redemption in the Bible, and share this message to whomever God designates for us to meet. We must ask God to show us where to cast the net into the deep so that we can catch many fish (Luke 5:4-6). We must let go of all of our knowledge and experiences and just ask Father where to cast our nets so that we can recover many souls that our Father God has appointed for life who will come to believe (Acts 13:48). Thus, it is not we who are causing people to believe but those whom God has appointed to eternal life will surely come to believe. So, may we become those spiritual fishermen and throw nets of the Word of redemptive history so that souls will be saved and where God’s Word will be majestic, triumphant, and glorified.