Preston Eby -
RIVER OUT OF EDEN
"And a river went out
of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became
into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which
compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of
that land is good: there is bdellium (pearl) and the onyx stone. And the
name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the
whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that
is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is
Euphrates" (Gen. 2:10-14).
In connection with the parable of Adam and Eve in the garden of
Eden, we are told of a remarkable river that had its source in Eden, but
on flowing out of the garden divided itself into four branches. The
picture is that of man placed in the garden before a tree called the tree
of life. By the side of the tree of life there was a river, and by the
flowing of this river there were some precious materials: gold, pearl, and
onyx stone. Remember this scene is in the second chapter of the whole of
the Bible. At the end of the revelations of the Scriptures, we find the
same things again in the very last two chapters. There we see a city built
of gold, pearls, and precious stones, the same kind of materials listed in
Genesis chapter two. There we also see a river flowing, and on either side
of it grows the tree of life. Here you have the river and the tree of life
once more. How remarkable that man's history began and ends at the same
river and tree of life! The tree of life in Genesis and the tree of life
in Revelation are not two different trees, but the one and selfsame tree.
The river flowing out of the garden and the river flowing from the city
are not two separate rivers, they are the same wonderful river.
THE OUT-FLOWING OF GOD
How many times throughout the scriptures God is spoken of as a
flowing stream of water! "How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God!
therefore the children of men… shall be abundantly satisfied with the
fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the rivers of Thy
pleasures. For with Thee is the fountain of life" (Ps. 36:7-9). The
Lord Jesus tells us that the water that He gives will become a fountain of
living water within us, springing up unto eternal life (Jn. 4:14). He says
again that whoever is thirsty may come to Him and drink, and whoever
believes on Him will have rivers of living water flowing from within him.
(Jn. 7:37-38). All these words relate to one thing - that God Himself has
flowed out and is still flowing on this earth into humanity AS LIFE. The
question follows – In what form has God flowed out? He has flowed out
first in His Son, in Jesus Christ; and then He has flowed out as the Holy
Spirit. Let us see God's order: God Himself is the spring, the very source
of the water of life; Jesus Christ, the first-born son, is the fountain,
the reservoir of this divine water; and the Holy Spirit, flowing through
the body of the Christ, the corporate son, is the living stream, flowing
all the time.
The scriptures tell us that along this river grows the tree of
life. What is the tree of life? It is
simply Christ as our life. The tree of life in Eden, on the one hand,
signifies the life of God in His Word – that which spiritually may be
“eaten” by man. It is the
dispensing of God into man, his partaking of life by the incorruptible
seed of the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever.
The river of life, on the other hand, signifies the outflowing of
God as the Spirit – that which may be “drunk” by man.
These two, this tree and the river, correspond to the life of
Christ presented in these meaningful words of Jesus: “Except ye eat
the FLESH (word, tree of life) of the Son of man, and drink His
BLOOD (spirit, river of life), ye have no life in you” (Jn.
6:53). The primary purpose of
a river is to water the seed of the earth and cause it to grow and produce
fruit. In turn, that
green verdage beside the river produces fruit that men may partake of and
live and leaves whose wonderful medicinal properties one made healing for
the nations. The Spirit
and the Word! The River
and the Tree! The Word
that proceeds out of the Spirit! Therefore,
whatever the meaning of a river is in the symbolism of scripture, it will
have the primary purpose of causing growth of the seed of God inside of
us. The pouring forth of life out of the Kingdom of Heaven unto
the barrenness of the earth realm. All life was to be found in
Eden, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Eden was constituted debtor to the
whole earth to send forth the life-giving streams. Thus, the river of life
out of Eden is the profound expression of God's purpose to not only enter
into the lives of His people, transforming them into the tree of life kind
of people, but to further bring forth in the earth a RIVER OF LIFE
COMPANY, a people out of whom the life would flow! Ah - beloved, God is
bringing forth His elect who shall be a RIVER OF LIFE, for He Himself in
them is an ever-flowing wellspring of life and glory. Wherever God flows
out by the Spirit, there He is found as life and eternal reality. To all
of man's need God Himself is the supply, the only supply, and all the
supply, bless His wonderful name!
Our usual desire, as the Lord's people, is to come together with
other "kingdom saints" and through praise and the ministry of
the Word, etc., to all get "turned on" together, until we feel
the mighty up-surgings of the river of life in waves of the glory and
victory. How we thank God for those tremendous surges of His life which we
experience from time to time as we are brought together in praise,
worship, ministry of the Word, and flow of revelation, and rejoice in each
one of them; but I tell you of a truth that out in the desert, arid,
barren, so parched and destitute, there God will cause His ELECT to
pour forth as a mighty flowing river with an unending supply, even there
shall the river of God's Spirit flow like a flood-tide to sweep out and
change the world.
The river of life is the flowing out of God as life. His flowing
out has passed through four steps. The first step was His becoming flesh.
This enabled Him to flow out from heaven into the midst of men and
manifest Himself as life. "In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God. In Him was life and the life was
the light of men. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we
beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of
grace and truth" (Jn. 1:1,4,14). Therefore, the Bible speaks of
Christ's coming into the world, on the one hand, as "GOD manifested
in the flesh" (I Tim. 3:16), and, on the other hand, as the
"LIFE which was manifested" (I Jn. 1:2). Hence, when Christ was
in the flesh, He said, "I AM the life" (Jn. 14:6). As a man He
had received the Holy Spirit without measure and His whole life was under
the complete dominion of the Spirit. The words He spake, the deeds He
wrought, the miracles He performed were all the result of that limitless
fullness of God that indwelt Him. When Aaron the priest was anointed with
the holy oil, Moses poured it on his head until it ran down over his face
and beard, over his body and down to the very skirts of his garments. This
is typical of that measureless fullness of the Holy Spirit of life which
Christ enjoyed – not just a drop of oil on the forehead applied by the
finger, but oil in abundance for the whole man! Wonderful and glorious as
was this reservoir of divine life, full and abundant in Christ, it was but
the first step in God's flowing out into humanity and the blessed river of
God had not yet begun to flow out from the garden of the Kingdom of Heaven
on earth. Although in this first step in God's flowing out He could
manifest Himself as life to us, in Jesus, He could not yet be
received by us AS LIFE; man could see the life, observe the life,
yea, even handle the life, but could not yet partake of the life!
Therefore, He must take the second step in flowing out.
God's second step in flowing out was His being nailed on the cross.
Through death, the body of the flesh which He took, which was the
reservoir of life, was broken, thus enabling Him to flow out from the
flesh and become the living water of life to be received by us (Jn. 19:34;
4:10,14). The rock in the Old Testament typified Him; it was smitten and
from it came living water to be obtained by the people of Israel (Ex.
17:6; I Cor. 10:4). He became flesh in order that He might be a grain of
wheat which contains life. He was crucified so that He could flow out from
the husk of flesh into us – His many fruits – and become our life (Jn.
The third step in God's out-flowing was in the sending of Holy
Spirit. On the day of Pentecost the Lord poured Himself out as the Holy
Spirit. "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all
witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and
having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has
poured forth this which you both see and hear" (Acts 2:32-33, New
American Standard). Notice the word "poured" in these verses. He
"poured out" the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit became the
flowing stream of the divine water of life. For twenty centuries since
that time, the Holy Spirit has been flowing in this world. This flowing
has never stopped and it shall flow into eternity! It shall flow until
there is no place in the whole universe that has not been bathed in its
life-giving waters! God has poured out His Holy Spirit, flowing with His
divine life. There is now a river, a flowing of God's life, and this
flowing is the Holy Spirit Himself, poured out by the crucified,
resurrected, ascended and glorified Jesus, fulfilling the prophecy of
Zechariah the prophet: "In that day there shall be a fountain opened
to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and
uncleanness" (Zech. 13:1). This fountain is naught but the
"head-waters" of the glorious river of life which flows from
Eden's lovely garden, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth!
The fourth and final step in the flowing out of God as life is in
the river of life itself. Ah – beloved,
know ye not that ye are that river? God as life to man has firstly
flowed out in His first-born son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus Jesus can
give us the water, and the water He gives becomes in us a well of water
springing up unto eternal life. It is He who gives us water so that we
shall never thirst. It was He who cried out on the last day of the feast:
"If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that
believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow
rivers of living water... this He spake of the Spirit, which they that
believe on Him should receive" (Jn. 7:37-39). Every Christian should
seek that God would open his eyes to show him that we who drink deeply of
Him BECOME THE CHANNEL by which God flows out to humanity. God Himself is
the wellspring, the eternal SOURCE of incorruptible life and glory; Jesus
Christ, the first-born Son, is the fountain, the reservoir of this
glorious life; and the SONS OF GOD are the RIVER by which His life and
glory shall be communicated to the arid barrenness of the earth realm. A
river is a large stream of water that flows downhill through a channel,
within banks. The earth of YOUR BODY and YOUR HUMAN LIFE is the channel
through which the stream of the Spirit of God's life flows!
THE RIVER OF LIFE
Those who know nothing of spiritual realities see nothing in the
garden of Eden than merely a literal garden abounding with trees and
flowers and animals and sparkling streams in the faraway land of
But there is neither
evidence nor proof of the garden of Eden anywhere in that region.
No wonder that men have sought for it; but they have sought in
vain. We read of the ancient
rivers that flowed out of Eden – of Pison the brimmer, of Gihon the
burster-forth, of Hiddekel the arrowy, but we cannot identify them.
If indeed there was such a garden the feature of the land have so
changed through the millenniums that we cannot tell which the golden land
of Havilah or the whole land of Cush.
Some have supposed that the garden of Eden was situated on the
great continent of Atlantis which is said to have sunk into the depths of
the sea. Without doubt it has
vanished like the mists of the summer rain before the heat of the sun.
And it is best that there are no rains of the lovely Garden, or we
should have expeditions got up by excursion agents; and men would build
great villas there as through it were possible to get back to the early
bliss of our race by surrounding oneself with the same scenes and
breathing the same air. No!
The Kingdom of Heaven is within you, and bliss is to be discovered
not in the Garden, but in Him who walked in the Garden in the cool of the
"literalist" studies the Genesis record from a strictly
historical, geographical and geological viewpoint. These do, however, come
up with some interesting insights about what such a literal garden would
have been like, and this is both fitting and helpful, for every parable
and type must, in what it represents, correspond to the anti-typical
realities to which it points. One scientist, who has spent much time
studying the scientific aspects of the literal garden, has concluded that
such a luscious garden would require an abundance of water, far more than
could be derived from the diurnal mist which nightly came up from the face
of the earth (Gen. 2:5-6). Since there was no rainfall, the river would
have to be supplied through a pressurized conduit from an underground
reservoir of some kind, emerging under pressure as a sort of artesian
spring. The pressure in the subterranean reservoir could have been
established, this scientist surmises, either when the waters were first
entrapped below the land surface and compressed or else by being heated
from a deep-lying heat source. If there was a continuing heat source, as
well as a continuing supply of water to the subterranean pool, then the
artesian spring at the surface could be fed indefinitely. The water coming
into the pool would have flowed by gravity from one of the surface
"seas," through penetrable sands or channels in the rocks, down
into the great water heater below. This scientist believes there were
similar subterranean channels and chambers in the earth's crust all around
the world, and that the water flow in the river of Eden must have been
very large for, after traversing the garden, it separated into four
"distributaries," each of which was a large and long river. The
rivers must have eventually reached one or more of the antediluvian seas,
thus completing the cycle. One last observation of this scientist: Since
all rivers flow downhill until they reach the sea, Eden would necessarily
have been located at a high altitude, in the mountains or a
plateau. What a beautiful spiritual picture, this!
This high altitude or "higher realm" of the garden of
Eden typifies the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. This garden is Canaan, the
Promised Land. "A land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of
the rain of heaven: a land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of
the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year unto
the end of the year" (Deut. 11:11-12). God placed Adam the first in
the garden of Eden, or the Kingdom of Heaven, a place of light and beauty,
from whence flowed the springs of the fountain of the river of life, the
source of living water. Without the garden lies the "lower
realm" of earth, bespeaking the human condition outside of God, that
whole dreadful realm of darkness and death in which is contained every
sin, sorrow, tragedy, pain, trouble, sickness, heartache, fear and torment
known to man. The higher realm of Eden extends upward into infinitude,
glory ascending above and beyond glory, for Eden is the gate to the
unbounded and inexhaustible heavens. The lower realm includes this world
and everything that is beneath it. It descends into the lowest realms of
the bottomless and embraces the outer realms of darkness. And flowing from
the higher realm of the Kingdom of Heaven to the lower realm of the
Kingdom of Darkness is the blessed River of Life. Its incorruptible waters
of Spirit and Truth are more real and sparkling and alive than any river
of earth. It pulsates with righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
and vibrates with the sheer, exquisite beauty of the divine nature of our
great and glorious God and His Christ that is impossible for my poor pen
to describe. Its glory surpasses the shining of a million diamonds in the
sun, for it is the glory of the Lord God Almighty.
As someone has written: “The waters of the most frolicking
streams on earth, can and do often come to a stale dead-end slough of
stagnancy and defilement. They can end in a contaminated swamp that breeds
disease and pestilence or in a fishless, salty sea. However, the waters of
that bounteous River of Life can never be restricted, defiled, polluted
nor stagnated, for they are living waters of God's Spirit and bring
life more abundant where ere they flow. The power and work of this mighty
river can best be described by using some of earth's scientific knowledge
as comparisons. The whole world is completely enfolded in the ethers and
oxygens and various elements which make up the air we breath. And though
the entire earth is completely enfolded and surrounded in this substance
we call "air" nevertheless there are, within that air, certain air
currents and trade winds which are like living streams or
rivers. They flow forth in their destined channels and as they flow they
continually RENEW and GIVE LIFE to the whole of the encompassing
atmosphere – and to the world. Without these currents, the jet streams,
all the pollutants and poisons in the atmosphere would hang around our
heads and the entire environment would stagnate and suffocate.
“Then there are the great
and mighty oceans of water, vast and extensive, covering the larger
portion of the earth's surface. And through and across these vast bodies
of water there are also currents and streams that are like great,
stupendous rivers, flowing onward age after age, forever RENEWING and
REVITALIZING the whole. These vast ocean currents are absolutely beyond
the power or control, yet they are essential to his existence upon earth.
Consider the great Gulf Stream as an instance of this beneficence derived
from a source beyond and above human invention. This famous stream has
been seen by innumerable visitors and residents in the state of Florida,
where the stream leaves the Gulf of Mexico and parallels the Florida coast
as it travels north to the region of Nova Scotia. As it leaves the Gulf
with a temperature of eighty-six degrees Fahrenheit, and practically
retains its warmth all the way, it has a tremendous influence on the
climate of the lands it passes. The heat of the stream is still
eighty-four degrees at Georgia-Carolina border, and the warm temperate
climate of these states is directly derived from this stream. Something of
its tempering power on the surrounding atmosphere may be understood when
we note that the stream is a thousand times the size of the mighty
Mississippi River at that river's mouth; being seventy miles wide and
something over three thousand feet deep.
“The fact is, the coast of North
America and Northern Europe would be a frozen waste without this
stream. It alone makes the New England states habitable and makes life
possible in Northern Europe as well. The British Isles would be frozen and
abandoned without the stream, and even now, when the current swings a
little wide of its general course, a near ice-age descends upon the old
country, and suffering is tremendous. And besides this, there are numerous
others gigantic ocean streams which lend their life-giving vitality to
cleanse, refresh, revitalize and keep alive the whole, vast, stupendous
seas as well as life upon the land.”
The River of Life can be likened to the trade winds and ocean
stream in this way: every existing thing which God has created is enfolded
or immersed in His great and wondrous presence and love - a presence and
love which fills all time and space. The languages of earth do not contain
words descriptive and meaningful enough to adequately describe the
immensity and all-embracing presence and love and power of our glorious
God and Creator, but one prophet by the Spirit framed the truth of it in
these words: "Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I
flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there:
if I make bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings
of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there
shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely
the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me"
(Ps. 139:7-11). If only men would open their hearts they would see that all
things are indeed enfolded in the presence and love of God, as it is
written, "He that descended is the same also that ascended up far
above all heavens, that He might FILL ALL THINGS" (Eph. 4:9-10). The
whole creation is always enfolded and surrounded by the unspeakable power,
the boundless presence and the limitless love of God. Mankind has
generally taken this love for granted, ignored it, rejected it, denied it,
or through their ignorance, remained unaware of it or its life-imparting
reality. Nevertheless the love is always there, always awaiting man's
acceptance of it. "For God so loved THE WORLD, that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have
everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the
world; but that THE WORLD through Him might be saved" (Jn. 3:16-17).
We have read that beautiful passage ten thousand times. Most of us know it
by heart, but today it holds new meaning and wonderful promise. I think I
see today what Jesus saw and felt when He spoke those meaningful words
about God's love for THE WORLD and His grand and glorious purpose for THE
WORLD. He has opened up a river, a River of Life, and that River flows on
and on unto all things in that lower realm of the earthy, until everything
everywhere shall LIVE by its life-giving waters.
With this picture firmly impressed upon our minds, may the Spirit
of wisdom and revelation from God enable us to behold God's glorious River
of Life and understand its purpose and meaning and powers. Flowing through
the vast glory of God's omnipresence and His all-embracing love is also a
mighty current or stream. In nature there is both air and water in every
part of the atmosphere, but a "river' is a CONCENTRATED and CHANNELED
CURRENT or STREAM of air or water. While God's presence, and love and life
enfolds and embraces all things, the River of Life is the river, the
flowing of GOD'S CONCENTRATED and CHANNELED LIFE, intensified and
magnified as it were a thousand times. This concentrated stream of God's
intensified life is wonderful River of Life which holds the power of
cleansing, restoration, renewal and transformation for all unto whom it
flows. The powers contained within these waters of life are
incomprehensible to the natural mind, for they are the powers of heaven's
own divine life. These waters contain the divine, wondrous ability to wash
away the very power and effects and result of sin and
Every sinner plunged beneath the flood of this River has
experienced something of the marvelous transformation that takes place
when old things begin to be swept away by its purifying waters and all
things become new! In an instant of time, at the foot of the cross, where
flow these precious life-giving waters, gone was the darkness, the guilt,
the bondage and the death, and in their stead bustling life and a bubbling
song filled the ransomed soul. The scripture, speaking of the condition of
an unregenerate man, describes him as being without God, without
Christ, a stranger to God's covenants and promises, and having no
hope (Eph. 2:11-12). He is said to be walking according to the course
of this age, under the dominion of the prince of the power of the
air, who works in all the children of disobedience. He fulfills the
desires of his own flesh and is by nature a child of the wrath working in
him. Above all he is dead in trespasses and sins, a captive
of the devil. Thus, as the earth stood in the beginning, desert, arid,
barren, parched and destitute, so now stands the unregenerate man. whom
God formed of the dust of the earth, but who through transgression fell,
becoming a stranger to God, bound in chains of lust and sin, captive to
every evil spirit, unconverted, enregenerate and without hope in the
world. But, as in the beginning, a river flowed out of Eden and waters
proceeded forth at the commandment of God with life to quench the strength
of drought and death, so that ten thousand forms of life might appear upon
the earth, so also is it written of men, once dead in trespasses and sins,
without hope and without God in the world, that, whosoever will, may come
and take of the water of life freely, and whosoever drinketh of the water
that Christ giveth shall never thirst again; for the water that proceeds
from the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in him a well of water
springing up unto eternal life.
While some practice their soulish arts of "inner
healing," leading the poor oppressed soul through the nightmare of
reliving all the horrible traumatic experiences of his childhood and
former life, in an effort to cleanse him from accumulated negative thought
patterns of guilt, fear, hostility etc., I can testify to you that one
simple plunge into God's glorious River of Life, the River of the mighty
surging of His Spirit Life, one plunge, I say, will wash away more guilt,
bondage, fear, hang-ups, frustrations, habits, oppression and possession
than all the "inner healing" seminars for a thousand years. I
will never forget how, years ago, because of an unfortunate experience
with some people, a bitterness began to spring up in my heart toward these
former friends and brethren in the Lord, and finally the bitterness turned
to pure hatred. I could not stand the thought of them, much less the
sight. One night, in a meeting, the Spirit of the Lord soverignly swept
over the whole congregation with its renewing, sanctifying, cleansing
power and suddenly, in an instant of time, my whole soul was deluged,
immersed in a baptism of God's divine love, and I found that all the
bitterness and hatred, all the animosity and hurt had been swept away by
the tidal wave of God's grace and love and I now loved, with a deep and
unspeakable love, those whom I formerly despised. I left the platform and
embraced these dear people, rejoiced and wept, cleansed and renewed, and
these have been among our closest and dearest friends in the Lord since
that day long ago. One wonderful sweep of the River of Life accomplished
more in one minute than a thousand sessions on inner healing or
psychotherapy could have ever produced. The so-called inner healing
movement is nothing more than a Christianized form of psychiatry and
psychology, and I earnestly exhort you in the Lord that all who would be
sons of God depart from such carnal substitutes for the reality of Christ
as life. Let it be forever settled in our hearts that there is a River,
the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place
of the tabernacle of the most High. May the deepest prayer of our hearts
be that God would cause us to come to HIS RIVER, to drink from HIS RIVER,
that we might truly LIVE BY HIS RIVER.
God gave Ezekiel a prophetic vision of the glory of the Lord to be
revealed at the end of the age. This
vision revealed what the body of Christ would become as the Church age
ends and the glorious age of the Kingdom comes in.
It is so mighty, so overwhelming in scope, that at the time Ezekiel
could neither comprehend it nor explain its meaning.
In fact half way in to this prophetic vision the Lord stops, turns
to Ezekiel, and asks, “Have you seen this?” (Eze. 47:6). It is as though the Lord is saying to him, “Do you
comprehend the magnitude of what you see?
Are you able to grasp the prophetic power of this vision? Do you yet see what the rising of the waters speaks of
– how it is going to end? Do
you see His glory coming, and the immensity of it?
It is so awesome, so mind-boggling, that I don’t want you to miss
the true significance of this revelation!”
The Holy Spirit was
shown to him as a small stream which periodically increased and continued
to rise until it became a mighty river.
In this vision the prophet was
conducted along the river by the angel of the Lord – in the form
of a man. Hearken now to the
words of the prophet as by the Spirit he views this blessed River and its
wonderful accomplishments: “Then my guide brought me again to the door
of the house of the Lord –
the temple; and behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of
the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple was toward the
east; and waters came down from under, from the right side of the temple,
on the north side of the altar. Then he brought me out by the way of the north gate and
led me around outside to the outer gate by the way that faces east; and
behold, waters were running out in a trickle on the right side.
And when the man went on eastward with the line in his hand, he
measured a thousand cubits, and he caused me to pass through the waters,
waters that were ankle deep. Again
he measured a thousands cubits and caused me to pass through the waters,
waters that reached to the knees.
Again he measured a thousand cubits and caused me to pass through
the waters, waters that reached to the loins.
Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I
could not pass through, for the waters had risen, waters to swim in,
a river that could not be passed over or through. And he said to me, Son
of man, have you seen this? Then
he led me and caused me to return to the bank of the river.
Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river were very
many trees on the one side and on the other.
Then he said to me, These waters pour out toward the eastern region
and go down into the Arabah (the valley of the Jordan) and on into the
Dead Sea. And when they shall
enter into the sea of putrid waters the waters shall be healed and made
fresh. And wherever the river
shall go, every living creature which swarms shall live, and there shall
be a very great number of fish; because these waters go there that
the waters of the sea may be healed and made fresh, and every thing shall
live wherever the river goes. The
fishermen shall stand on the banks of the Dead Sea; from Engedi even to
Eneglaim shall be a place to spread nets; their fish shall be of
very many kinds, as the fish of the Great or Mediterranean Sea” (Eze.
What is the meaning of Ezekiels vision?
What is this rising river which flows from the Temple eastward to
the Dead Sea? The entire
scene is freighted with keen interest and deep significance when we
realize the river is a prophetic picture.
We are looking upon the stream of Divine Truth and Life.
I have stood on the Temple site on Mount Moriah and from Jerusalem
I have looked upon the same view which Ezekiel saw in his vision.
It is an incredibly dry, lifeless, barren desert area that
stretches down the Judean hills to the Jordan Valley and finally to the
Dead Sea where nothing lives. How
many times throughout the scripture God is spoken of as a flowing stream
I would draw your reverent attention to the source of this river
and how it increases as it flows. It
begins at the altar in the Sanctuary of the Temple where the presence and
glory of God is. It flows out
under the threshold of the door. The
source of the river is in the glory of the Lord in the heights of the
mountain of God. Sir Samuel
Baker, many years ago, was endeavoring to find the sources of the Nile.
Suddenly, while he was traveling up the bed of a tributary of the
Nile, he lost it completely. The
river disappeared. There was
no water. He kept on
traveling day after day, day after day, but there was no water.
It was simply a dry water bed – a water-course where water once
had been. Where were the
sources of the Nile? He was
talking with Lady Baker about it one night, camping in the bed of the dry
river, when suddenly in the middle of the night they heard a cry, “El
Atbara! El Atbara!” and someone pulling at the tent poles.
“Get out quick! The
river! The river!”
They all rushed up the banks, and scarcely had they gotten on high
ground before they heard the thundering noise of the river coming down the
dry bed in which they had camped. In
a moment there was a mighty river filling the dry water-course, giving in
a moment the answer to the question: Where are the sources of the Nile?
Away in the distant mountains where snow had melted and the water
came down in floods! In like
manner, the glorious River of God is first seen flowing out from the
heights of the Paradise of God.
I have shown that the River of Life is the stream of flowing of
God’s concentrated and channeled life through the
river-bed of the body of Christ.
The invisible, unapproachable and unknowable God is the eternal
spring, the source of the life; Jesus Christ, the first-born Son is the
fountain, the reservoir of this divine water; and the body of Christ is
the outflowing, the living stream, the river flowing all the time.
The pure river of water of
life proceeds as clear as crystal out of the throne of God and of the
Lamb. This stream originates
as unpolluted, incorruptible, and undefiled in all the power, all the
authority, and life of Christ. Carnal,
mand-made doctrines and teachings of religious
leaders and movements have tried to change this crystal River of Life and
Truth into a stream of human pollution and spiritual death. We have seen, as did Ezekiel in vision, that River flowing
out from the Sanctuary or Temple of God.
This is the Temple built of living stones, each son of God a
stone in that glorious house not made with hands, an habitation of God
through the Spirit. There is
but one Temple, one great High Priest, and one Priesthood.
The book of Revelation tells us that this stream of living water
flows from the New Jerusalem, out of the throne of God and the Lamb (Rev.
22:1-2). This is
another picture showing us the source of this living water and the channel
through which it flows. The
water (spirit) flows into us, through us, and out from us.
This Mount Zion, this New Jerusalem, this City of the living God,
this Temple of the Holy Spirit, this Kingdom of God is composed of MANY
SPIRITS who have been quickened by HIS SPIRIT merged into ONE GIGANTIC
WATERFALL – ONE GREAT RIVER OF LIFE!
Take the shoes from off your feet, oh saint of God, for the ground
on which we stand is holy ground.
Put away all lightness and foolishness that with heads bowed down
and hearts lifted up in worship God’s Holy Spirit may reveal how the
life of God flowing in Christ and the life of Christ flowing through His
body is ONE STREAM OF THE WATER OF LIFE. This is the River flowing out from under the threshold of the
Sanctuary and down into the desert and the sea.
But notice, my beloved, at the center the living waters begin to
rise and issue from “under the threshold” of the Sanctuary.
Not an overflow, but an underflow; an under-current,
deep, mighty, and strong, picturing the real power and depth of the Holy
Ghost within, as it surges upward from our innermost being to flow out to
the dry places. How silently
it rises under the threshold of the house, the stream unperceived at
first, but growing deeper and deeper as it flows on.
How imperceptively the spiritual
work of God begins in us! How
silently yet steadily it increases from realm to realm!
How deep Truth runs in its flow!
How mighty it becomes ere we are aware of its immensity!
As the River flows out under the threshold of the door, it isn’t
a very great flow to begin with, just a little trickle, though it comes
from a mighty depth within. There
was a man there with a measuring rod to measure this outflow of life and
he measured out a thousand cubits and brought Ezekiel through the waters.
They had increased but it still was not a great River, just ankle
deep. He measured another
thousand cubits and the waters were knee deep; they had increased more.
Again he measured a thousand cubits and the waters were to the
loins, up to the waist. “Afterward
he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over; for
the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed
over.” Each measure was a
thousand cubits. ONE THOUSAND
is the number of the Kingdom of God, the DOMINION OF THE DAY OF THE LORD.
The measure is the measure of the outflow of His life in respect to
the power and glory of the Kingdom, the rule of His Day.
As the grace of God flows through our lives it doesn’t decrease
with the flow, there is no loss or diminishing, it ever increases; the
more we allow it to flow the greater it becomes and the more grace there
is flowing. This is the law
of God. In God’s pouring
out there is no diminishing of Himself, He is increased and expanded, just
as parents are increased and expanded by the extention of their life into
their children. This is the
wonderful part of God’s great purpose.
There is never any diminishing, there is always an increase.
This is the law of the River of His grace, His love, His life and
His glory. We do not need to
have an abundance of grace in our hands at any particular moment so long
as we are connected with the source.
There isn’t a lake full of water in the faucet in your bathroom,
possibly just a cupful, but if you turn it on and keep it running you can
run a lake full through it.
Saints, Ezekiel was walking into the future – right into our
time! It is my deep
conviction, and I believe that I have the Spirit of God, that today we
live in the last one thousand cubits of this vision, the very last
measurement of water! Ezekiel stepped onto the edge of it but it was too deep for
him, too overwhelming! He
said, “I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim
in.” In essence he was
saying, “This is over my head!” Can’t
you imagine the prophet’s wonder, as he said to the Lord, “What is
this sea that has risen? If
this River is all about life and resurrection, who are the ones who
will be so blessed that they can swim in such power and glory?”
What Ezekiel is being shown is that the body of Jesus Christ, the
sons of God, in the very last days will be more glorious, more victorious,
than at any time in the history of the world.
The church age will end in a blaze of power and glory, birthing
sons of the Kingdom in the fullest revelation of Jesus Christ man has ever
fish of the sea shall be exceeding many” (Eze. 47:10).
Coming forth is a people who will be swimming in the rising waters
of the Lord’s power and life! Life
and immortality shall be revealed in power over sin and death, and it
shall come to pass that “everything that liveth, which moveth,
whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live!”
As God has moved by His Spirit in these days there has been a
tendency to look back to the early church and apostles as if those ancient
believers had a better revelation and a superior manifestation of what the
body of Christ should be! Many
have emphasized the recapturing or imitating of their ministry and
methods. Men have sought to
“restore” the order of the five-fold ministry and to reestablish the
so-called divine order of the early church.
Let me remind all those who yet cling to the notion that the
five-fold ministry will somehow bring the saints to the measure of the
stature of the fullness of Christ and bring in the Kingdom – the early
church had the five-fold ministry and they BROUGHT IN BABYLON THE
GREAT, AND THE DARK AGES! Make no mistake about it – the Lord does not want us to go
back to the early church! He
has planned something much better for this generation!
Why go back to a trickle of water when you can have “waters to
swim in”? Are you grasping
this yet? If this river of
living water is the Spirit and the Word, then the early church – with
all its glory and manifestation – was just the beginning trickle of
the flow out of the house!
What glorious prospects lie before us!
Very near the Temple is the desert and the Dead Sea – the rough,
jagged hills on which nothing grows and over which men stumble, and the
sea in whose waters no fish swims, and on whose surface no ship floats. Round about the City of God is a dreary desolation.
Is it not true, even today? The
stream that Ezekiel saw, as soon as it left the Temple, made straight for
the east, for the Dead Sea – for that was the region of death,, the
region that most needed life and blessing.
The River flows out toward the east country – the roots of
civiliation, the power of the flesh life.
It goes down into the desert – the land of drought where there is
a famine of hearing the Living Word of God.
It goes down into the sea – the raging, surging masses of
humanity, the restless agitated, ucontrollable emotions of the soul –
and everywhere it goes it brings healing and life.
Beloved, let us look to ourselves that we do not receive the grace
of God in vain, but be laborers together with God, letting the grace of
God flow, which is the River of all Divine goodness, life, love and power.
If we are to be a part of that River we must keep in contact with
the source and get into the flow of the River, the River that will flow to
the east country, go down into the desert, bringing life and health to
these regions, and continue to flow down into the sea bringing life and
blessing wherever it flows. All
glory be to God!
One cannot begin to tell the blessings to be revealed, the glory to
be seen throughout the earth, the release to be ministered to creation, as
God by His Spirit pours forth the eternal stream of the River of Life unto
all the fish in the sea in this, God’s NEW DAY.
I speak as a prophetic voice in the earth in this generation. The manifestation of the glory and power and righteousness
which will be manifested within our generation will eclipse all former
moves. Who can carry on with
the programs of man anymore, who can wade in the shallows of the trickle
of former visitations once they have received the vision of what shall be
realized as God’s people launch out into the deep.
The last or most recent “shower of blessing” came during the
great Latter Rain outpouring during the years 1948-1953.
The effect and blessing of that outpouring is with us still. But
the celestial deluge is yet to fall in GREAT POWER AND GLORY.
Glorious beyond words to describe was that wonderful outpouring of
God’s glory at Pentecost, but no language of men below nor of mighty
angels above can begin to describe the SURPASSING GLORY of the outpouring
in these last days. The
“waters to swim in” are coming, the manifestation of the fullness of
the spirit and life of the almighty Christ of God, and compared to these
waters the former outpourings were flickering candles before the burning
brilliance of the noonday sun, or trickling streams compared to the vast
ocean currents beyond the power of man to either produce or control.
Hear me now and believe me later – if you cannot believe me now
– soon, very soon, there will come the manifestaion of the sons of God,
for which all creation has groaned for long millenniums and ages.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed from the living,
completed temple of His body. His
glory shall flow out and fill the earth.
His power shall shake the nations and all nations shall come and
worship before Him. The
harvest of this age shall be gathered.
Everything shall live, whithersoever the River cometh.
As on the Dead Sea, where once reigned silence, are now boats and
fish and nets and fishermen, when its waters are touched by the Waters of
the River, so the church and the world shall be transformed, and this old
earth of ours shall become the Paradise of God.
I tell you the truth. I
lie not. The day is at hand!
Rejoice and arise, oh ye sons of the Most High!
The glorious dawn is now painting the eastern sky, and the River of
God is full of Water.
Thank God that this River now flows!
The life of Jesus Christ is flowing as a river from out of the throne of
God. "If any man thirst," saith Christ, "let him come unto
Me and drink." Because by His death eternal life was released to all,
therefore this River flows and shall flow out unto all earth and the tree
of life shall stand in the midst of the street of the New Jerusalem on
both sides of the River of Life, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing
of the nations in that blest dispensation of the fullness of times.
And there shall be no more curse, no more death, no more
pain, no more sorrow, and no more crying, because the former
things, which belonged to the realm of sin and death, are all passed away.
Because He lives, we also live by Him, and the hour is wonderfully near at
hand when even this corruptible shall put on incorruption and this mortal,
immortality. Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written – death
is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave,
where is thy victory? Thanks be unto God who always causeth us to triumph
in Christ Jesus, our Lord! "For He must reign, till He hath put all
enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is
death... and when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then
shall... God... be all in all" (I Cor. 15:25-28).
There is coming a time of unspeakable glory, plainly revealed in
God's Word as the tome when He shall MAKE ALL THINGS NEW (Rev. 21:5). This
renewal of all things is as certain as the rising of the sun and the going
down thereof. There is coming a blessed day when the River of Life shall
overflow so abundantly unto the whole creation that the glory of the Lord
shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. There is coming a day
when there shall be no more sin and no more curse and no more death
anywhere, for the former things have passed away, washed and quickened and
renewed and transformed in the life-giving powers of the River of Life.
The glorious New Jerusalem, the city foursquare, the government of God,
shall fill the earth with the light of the Lord. The people will walk in
the light of it and the nations shall bring their glory and honor into it.
These are the things which eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have
they entered the heart of man. These are the things God has revealed to
them that love Him. These are the unspeakable things, unlawful for
man to utter, the things that pertain to the Paradise of God which is the
realm of the Spirit. These are the things that shall be brought to pass in
the age to come and in the ages to come as the River of Life flows out
through the ministry of the sons of God.
It is an inescapable truth that the power and glory of this River
can flow through none but those who have first drunk deeply of its waters
and have been washed and made clean and whole in its flowing. Let us
heartily expect that as we personally and experientially enter more deeply
into the fountain, its cleansing, quickening, life-giving power, will be
revealed more blessedly. We know that in bathing we enter into the most
intimate relationship with the water, giving ourselves up to its cleansing
effects. The living blood of Jesus is described as a "fountain opened
for sin and uncleanness" (Zech. 13:1). By the power of the Holy
Spirit it streams through the heavenly Temple, which Temple ye are. By
faith I place myself in closest touch with this heavenly stream, I yield
myself to it. I let it cover me, penetrate into my innermost being, and go
through me. I bathe in the River. I cannot withhold its cleansing and
strengthening power. I must in simple faith turn away from what is seen,
even within soul and body, to plunge into that spiritual River, which is
the life of the Son of God, with the assurance that it will manifest its
blessed power in me.
Notice this beautiful passage: “There is a river, the streams
whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles
of the most High” (Ps. 46:4). The
word “tabernacles” is given in the plural to show that this is a
reference to individual believers. WE
are the tabernacles of God, according to the Word of the Lord.
The refreshing River of the life of Christ now flows throughout the
city of God. He flows
from tabernacle to tabernacle, from life to life, until all the
tabernacles, which we are, are filled with His transforming presence.
All who are the habitation of God through the Spirit are now
partaking of this river of life by which we are being delivered from the
vexation of the world, and being lifted from one realm to higher realms,
and from glory to glory by that same Spirit.
This is the fuller revelation of what it means to be "born of
the Spirit." As one holds forth his sins, weaknesses, fears,
carnality, earthiness, and death to the redeeming power of Christ's holy
life they are consumed, cleansed and swept away by the mighty quickening
of His power and one is free. Then it is that he is prepared to walk in
the life more abundant – even the incorruptible life, which Christ has
promised. This wonderful promise is fulfilled unto one as he goes down
into the waters of the great River of Life and is literally born of Waters
as he comes up out of them. This birth contains the great healing and the
full glorifying, restoring power of all perfection. All things are made
new and perfect and are exalted by it. All conditions are transformed and
readjusted and are completely transformed into the image of God which God
has purposed for man since the creation of the world. As one plunges fully
into these quickening Waters he is cleansed from all the power, effects,
and results of sin and death, becoming an entirely new person,
healed and restored to God's glory.
The symbology of Adam in the Garden declares it.
In that primordial beginning man’s mind, man’s life was like a
garden. Through this Garden
flowed the river of life. This
river of life represents, on the individual plane, the force of spiritual
thoughts flowing through the mind, and spiritual impulses
flowing through the life. As
this river flowed it produced the Edenic state in man’s experience. Later on he was cut off from this river and was only capable
of producing out of his earth thorns and thistles (expression of carnal
mind). This is why as we find
ourselves being restored into Christ again we receive the Spirit’s
admonition to… “be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that
ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and
true holiness” (Eph 4:23-24).
Sons of God! How we need this fuller measure of the birth of the
Spirit, how we need this mighty River of the Spirit to wash, cleanse and
fill our minds and hearts with the incorruptible water of Christ's life
and truth. We need the Water of Life to penetrate to the lowest parts of
our inner nature until all has been transmuted and become one in His
Spirit; until out of the heights and depths of our being there shall come
that undefiled living outflow of the Spirit of God, and our entire being
has become a well-watered garden. All the emotions, impulses, desires,
will, thoughts, attitudes, intents, actions, words and life-style – all
are to become expressions of HIS LIFE. This, the CHRIST LIFE, is what the
apostle meant when He prayed that the Ephesian believers might be
"filled with all the fullness of God" (Eph. 3:19).
However much other men have experienced the fullness of the Spirit of God
or however glorious was their baptism in the Holy Ghost, I feel they are
all terribly lacking when compared to CHRIST. He is the reservoir, the
fountainhead of the River of the Spirit, and all who make up the riverbed,
the banks, the CHANNEL of this wonderful River must receive of all the
fullness that proceeds from Him. Therefore, when I speak of the fullness
of the Spirit, I am not speaking of an initial experience of the
"baptism in the Holy Spirit" such as you may have received
thirty or forty or five years ago, but I am speaking of an ever
increasing fullness, working, and transforming
that gradually saturates and overwhelms your life, your being, and your
walk until all your thinking, your walking, your talking, and your doing
is done by the Holy Spirit Himself. Your whole life becomes a life lived
in a realm that is strange and ethereal to all other men because almost
all men live on a plane completely governed by the natural and the carnal
THE CONTENT OF THE RIVER
With all emphasis I must declare that sons of God only exist
because of their vital relationship to Jesus Christ. By this I mean
that Jesus Christ dwells in you as God Almighty dwelt in Him. If He does
not dwell in you, you are not a son. It is Christ in you
that is the hope of glory. Not Christ in heaven! Not Christ in the Father!
Not Christ in your brother! It is Christ in you! And it is Christ
manifested and flowing through the sons of God that is the hope of
all creation, the River prepared for the vast desert of earth, so arid and
barren, so parched and destitute.
It is absolutely certain that nothing can flow out through
this River except that which has first flowed into it. It is
equally certain that none shall ever know what it is to be part of God's
blessed RIVER OF LIFE PEOPLE until first the wondrous reality of the
Spirit's words have been fulfilled within them: "He that saith he
abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked. Again, a
new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in Him and in you"
(I Jn. 2:6,8).
When Paul wrote to the Ephesian Church, he spoke about "the
truth as it is in Jesus" (Eph. 4:21). Initially, the truth was in
God, because He is a God of truth. The truth was then recorded for us in
the holy scriptures: "Thy Word is truth" (Jn. 17:17). The truth
became embodied in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said: "I
am the way, the truth and the life" (Jn. 14:6). The truth
comes to us even by the Holy Spirit: "When He, the Spirit of truth is
come, He will guide into all truth" (Jn. 16:13). Finally, the truth
must find its embodiment and expression, its manifestation and revelation,
in and through the body of Jesus Christ: "Which thing is true,"
says John, not only in God, not only in the scriptures, not only in
Christ, not only in the Spirit, but also "in you." This is the
whole principle of God's Kingdom Economy: If you say you love God, but you
do not love your brother, there must be something wrong. The truth of love
must find its expression not only in that God loved the world and that
this love is revealed in the scriptures and manifested in Jesus Christ,
but this love of God must find its dwelling place, its home IN US.
Whatever is true in Jesus Christ must be true in us!
If light is the expression of God in Jesus Christ, who said:
"I am the light of the world" (Jn. 8:12); if "Thy Word is a
lamp unto my feet and a light unto my pathway" (Ps. 119:105), it must
be true in us: "YE are the light of the world, a city that is set on
a hill cannot be hid" (Mat. 5:14). If it is true in HIM, it must be
true in US. He was full of grace and truth (Jn. 1:14), so we read that
with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord
Jesus, "and great grace was upon them all" (Acts 4:33). If grace
is part of the expression of God in Jesus Christ , then it must be the
expression of God in us also. If truth is in Jesus Christ, then the truth
must find expression in us too. If love is the expression of God in
Christ, then love must be the expression of God also in us.
Why tell people things that
are true only in God, or in the scriptures, or in Christ, or in the
Spirit, but which do not work in us? No, if it is true in Him, it must be
true in us, for He is the Head of the whole body of sons. If it is
operating in His life, it must come to be operating in our lives. He is
come to not only be our Saviour, but our Lord and our Life. "Be ye
holy, as He which has called you is holy," is the command. If
holiness is true in Him, then holiness must be true in us. "Be ye
perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Mat. 5:48). If
perfection is true in God and in Jesus Christ, then perfection must be
true in us. Jesus said in His prayer in the 17th chapter of John:
"That the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them,
and I in them" (Jn. 17:26).
"God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship in
Spirit and in Truth" (Jn. 4:24). Jesus Christ worshipped the Father,
Jesus Christ loved the Father, Jesus Christ did the Father's will. Thank
God that He did find a man in whom His will, His love, His power, His
grace, His truth, His holiness and His life could find a dwelling place
and expression. But would it not be sad if there were not a people today,
the body of Christ, saved by His blood, cleansed by the washing water of
the Word, indwelt by the Spirit, in whom the same thing is true that is
true in Him? If He loves and we do not love, if He is in the light and we
are in darkness, if He is expressing the grace of God and we are
expressing malice, envy and strife, then He has not yet become our life
and we have not yet become His River.
"Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is
true in Him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true
light now shineth" (I Jn. 2:8). The commandment of loving one another
as He has loved us. Why a new commandment? Really it is not new, but it is
new in Jesus Christ. The old commandment is: "Thou shalt love thy
neighbor as thyself," but Jesus Christ says: "Love one another
as I have loved you!" In the old covenant you love your friend and
neighbor and you hate your enemy, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a
tooth," but under the new covenant Jesus says: "Love your
enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and
pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Mat.
5:44). The truth of love in Jesus Christ was that He loved without
retaliation for evil, a love that suffered long, even to the agonies of
the cross, and then was kind enough to pray: "Father, forgive them,
for they know not what they do" (Lk. 23:34). And I declare to you
that regardless of what other sins those wicked men may come into judgment
for, they will never stand in the judgment condemned for killing the Son
of God, for HE FORGAVE THEM! This truth of love of God in Jesus Christ
must also be true in us. Jesus did not love people because He loved
Himself, as it was under the law. It was the Father's all-surpassing love
flowing through Him, flowing as a mighty River out to humanity, so that He
could say: "Let your love for others not be based on love for
yourself, but on what was true in Me: If the Father could love Judas
through Me, and love Peter through Me, and the people that crucified Me,
then let the Father's love so find expression through you."
In years past we have sung a chorus that goes like this: "His
love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power no boundaries
known unto men, for out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and
giveth and giveth again." That is a lovely chorus and I love to sing
it and I say it is true. In Jesus Christ, there is NO LIMIT to His love,
NO MEASURE to His grace, and NO BOUNDARIES to His power for He is
omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and His mercy endureth FOREVER.
If I say that there is one sin, one condition, one creature, one place,
one age or group of ages to which His love and grace shall not reach then I
LIE and know not the truth. Jesus loved His friends, His enemies, the
man who betrayed Him, the man who denied Him, the men who nailed Him to
the cross. There just was no limit to His love! You could never find a
place where you could say: "So far would He love, but no
farther." Is that love true in us? Or do we say: "Well, I will
only stand so much, I will only forgive so long, I will only trust so far,
and that is the end of it." It is God's purpose that His love should
find no limit in us, His grace no measure in us and His power no boundary
God is preparing a people who, when they stand up and say:
"God is love," are not talking about God's love in heaven, or
God's love in Jesus, no, they will be expressing the love of God in their
own person. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only
begotten Son" (Jn. 3:16). Everyone likes a verse like that. But how
many would like a verse like this: "God still loves the world so much
that He would like to give His sons, right now." We do not like that.
We like to be sons if God will keep us, if He will bless us, if He will
take us to His bosom and not let us go. But what does God do with His
Sons? He gives them! Jesus said: "As the Father has sent Me,
even so send I you." What did Jesus also say? "This is My flesh,
My body, which I give for the life of the world." If we are His body,
then will He not give us for the life of the world? "Oh,"
someone says, "I do not like the kind of religion where I do not get
something." Well, my brother, my sister, that is how it starts, by
receiving, but it must not end there. We must come to the place where God
can give us, where we can lie down and become a channel, a river – the
River of Life poured out to humanity!
Whatever is true in Jesus, may God make it true in us! And not for
our sakes, but for other's sakes, that there shall be an out-flowing of
God into their lives. If you have been trying to prove something to
somebody out of the Bible, let it be proved out of your life instead. Let
us say: "Lord, let the Holy Spirit make it true in me and through
me." This is sonship! This, beloved, is the River of Life through
from Eden's lovely garden, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Christ in us,
living through us, working through us, loving through us, redeeming
through us – this is the stream of the flowing of God's CONCENTRATED and
CHANNELED LIFE, intensified and magnified through God's Christ, Head and
body; God Himself the wellspring of living water; Jesus, the first-born
son, the reservoir and fountain of this life-giving stream; and the rest
of God's sons constituting the mighty, abounding and endless River, the
eternal channel for the out flowing of God's light and life and love to
the whole creation.
How thankful we are for all of the in-flowing of God into our
lives, and with what anticipation do we await the blessed day of which the
prophet wrote: "And there shall be upon every high mountain (strong
kingdoms), and upon every high hill (lesser kingdoms), RIVERS AND STREAMS
OF WATERS in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers
(principalities and powers of darkness) fall. Moreover the light of the
moon (old-order Church) shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of
the sun (Jesus and His body) shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven
days" (Isa. 30:25-26). That there may be rivers and streams of waters
upon all the kingdoms of earth, the Lord is preparing a RIVER OF LIFE
COMPANY, a people who have come to live in the glorious and eternal
reality of the Spirit. No man can minister what he himself does not
possess, neither can he impart to others that which he has not himself
been partaker of.
Let us consider the source of this eternal Stream. "And He
showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out
of the throne of God and of the Lamb" (Rev. 22:1). On the highest
peak of the universe there is a throne, one throne, and on this throne the
blessed Lamb is sitting. Who is the Lamb? The Lamb is the crucified,
buried, resurrected and exalted Lord Jesus Christ. The Lamb is the
first-born son of the living God who stands on Zion's holy hill, followed
by 144,000 redeemed ones who have put on the MIND OF CHRIST and the NATURE
OF GOD. A Lamb is a very humble thing, and a throne is full authority. As
the Lamb slain, pouring out His life blood as a divine River of Life, the
crucified Jesus has now been exalted to the throne to have the full
authority of the universe. And it is "out of the throne of the
Lamb" that the River of Life proceeds.
Men have prophesied and sought to change the source of these great
headwaters, turning the vision toward self, toward external ministries and
movements, and natural places. The
great move of God, the glory of God, the Kingdom of God will center, they
say, in this or that group, in this or that ministry, or in this or that
place. Los Angeles will be
the origin of God’s great out-flowing, or Seattle, or Houston, or New
York, or Miami, etc. because that is where their special group-work is.
But it is all a lie. It
is out of the throne of God and of the Lamb that the blessed waters gush
forth. That throne is a
universal throne and the Lamb is the nature of God in the enChristed.
What is going to startle the world is that this manifestation of
God will be issuing forth from men and women right where they live – a
royal priesthood strategically placed in the midst of every tongue and
tribe and people and nation. Glory
Consider the situation of
the symbolic New Jerusalem and with this picture fresh in your mind
suppose that you are one who is coming into the city from the outside.
When you enter the gate, you immediately come upon the one street of the
city in which is flowing the River of Living Water. If you follow the
River, it will lead you to the source of the water. It will bring you to
the Lamb upon the throne. This means that the River will bring you into
contact with the Lord, this living stream of Water will cause you to know
something of Christ, to receive something of Christ, to experience
something of Christ. How can you experience and know Christ? In the River!
Here is the channel; here is the way; here is the means by which you can
touch Christ, by which you can experience Christ. The reality and power of
the living Christ, therefore, is within the very stream of divine Life.
Where the River of His Spirit flows, there is the LIFE OF THE SON OF GOD.
May we meditate deeply upon what is included in this wonderful
River. Since it flows out from the throne of the Lamb, then all that
Christ has obtained and attained, all that He has and all
that He is, must be included in it, for it is the flowing out of Himself.
In the flow of this River is all the love, joy, peace, power, victory,
righteousness, authority and life of SONSHIP. Everything of God is
included in it! From the throne where Christ is sitting, there flows out a
River of Water of Life, the contents of which can never be exhausted, the
power of which is omnipotent and transforms men into the image of God.
By the flowing of this River there are some precious materials:
gold, pearl, and onyx stone (Gen. 2:11-12). At the end of the scriptures,
we find the same materials again. In the last two chapters of Revelation
we see a city made of gold, pearls, and precious stones and there we also
see a River flowing. Out of the flowing of the River comes the gold of
God's divine nature, the pearls of God's incorruptible life, and the
precious stones of God's glory. These precious materials are for the
building of God's dwelling place.
Wherever the River flows, material will be found for the building
of God’s temple of living stones. These are the materials that
come out of the current of the flowing of the Holy Spirit. Where the
stream of the divine is, there some material, some precious material, for
the building up of the house of sons will come into view. You and I never
produce any material for this house of sons! Beloved, if you would be holy,
do not try to be holy. Christ is holy so let Him live in you. If
you long for righteousness, do not try to be righteous. Christ
is righteous, therefore let Him live in you. If you long for purity,
do not try to be pure. Seek to let HIM live in you for He is pure. Do you
yearn for sonship? Do not waste time seeking sonship. Let Him live
in you. He is God's Son. He that hath the Son hath wisdom, for in
Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom. He that hath the Son hath peace,
for He is the peace of God. He that hath the Son hath the mind of Christ,
and he that hath the Son hath purity, holiness, truth, longsuffering,
love, gentleness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance, judgment and
government! Oh! world of truth, IN HIM are all things! Christ is all in
all, and Christ in you is the hope of glory, and Christ flowing from you
is the hope of all creation.
You can never by any self-effort produce anything of Christ in your
life. Only the flowing of the divine life can do this. Beloved brother,
sister, we must continually be in this Stream! Is it flowing, surging,
pulsating within your life at this very moment?
"Whithersoever the River
Everything shall live,
God's great mercy, His grace and His love
Shall then make all of us one.
The River of God shall flow from the mount
Out ore the valley and plain,
Till everything flows in this great Stream of God,
Great numbers that no man can name."
Writings in This Series: