Living Water Flowing Out unto Eternity!

John 7:38 records the Lord Jesus telling us, “He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” John explains in verse 39a, “But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive.” This promise is fulfilled now in our Christian life; since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, everyone who believes receives the Spirit who flows as living water.

In Revelation 22:1 the apostle John tells us “he [an angel] showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its [New Jerusalem’s] street.” This is the eternal fulfillment of John 7:38-39.

This post is the overflow of a recent morning’s singing of praise to the Triune God as the flowing eternal life. Verses 1 and 6 (below) speak of this flow unto and thru all eternity. This immediately reminded me of New Jerusalem and Revelation 22:1. Verse 7 (also below) speaks of our singing and ever praising the Triune God. This praising, like the flowing, is characteristic of New Jerusalem.

Hymn information: author Witness Lee, composer C. Hutcheson, words and music

New Jerusalem__O God, Thou art the source of life,
____Divine, and rich and free!
__As living water flowing out
____Unto eternity!

__The love of God, the grace of Christ,
____The Spirit’s flowing free,
__Enable us God’s wealth to share
____Thru all eternity.

__The Father, Son, and Spirit-one,
____So richly care for us;
__Thy love with one accord we sing
____And e’er would praise Thee thus.

The love of God, the grace of Christ, and the Spirit’s flowing free are with us to be appreciated by us both today (2 Cor. 13:14) and in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Nations around New Jerusalem (6)

The peoples, the nations, around New Jerusalem participate in the general blessings of the new earth. These nations (plural) are distinct from the people (singular) who live in Christ with the reality of God’s new creation; these are the constituents of New Jerusalem and partake of the special blessings in this city. Revelation 22:2 says,

He showed me a river of water of life….on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

John 6:56There are three provisions here: the water of the river of life, the fruits of the tree of life, and the leaves of the tree. The leaves are specifically designated for the healing of the nations around New Jerusalem. In contrast, the water and the fruit symbolize the supply of divine life to the people built into New Jerusalem.

The life supply of the water continues our drinking the Spirit in John 4 and 7. “Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink….This He said concerning the Spirit” (John 7:37-39).

The life supply of the fruit continues our eating Jesus as the bread of life in John 6. ” I am the living bread which came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever” (v. 51).

In John 6:56 the Lord tells us, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him.” In verse 63 He explains that this is not physical; instead, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” The mutual abiding requires our spiritual eating now and the fullest mutual abiding in New Jerusalem matches our spiritual eating of the fruit of the tree of life.

The River of New Jerusalem in Us

The apostle John told us, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:2). He also saw “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street” (Rev. 22:1). The river of life flows in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is not a physical city where we will drink of a physical river. Rather, New Jerusalem is a spiritual city—God dwelling in all His people, with the Spirit Himself (John 7:39) as the river flowing in us.

The river is in the city and in us. This inner flow is the continuation of what the Lord spoke in John 4:14 and 7:37-38.

“Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water gushing up into eternal life.”

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.”

These verses in John are about our believing into the Lord now and our drinking of Him day by day. The same fountain gushing up, the same river flowing, will continue into New Jerusalem.

The fountain of water in us is “gushing up into eternal life.” The Greek preposition translated into (or, unto) indicates a destination. The water of life which the Lord gives us satisfies our thirst and also brings us to His destination and ours—New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

God’s Fatness, Fountain, River, and Light

New Jerusalem is a city of light and life, we are children of light and life, and we walk in the light and in the fellowship of life. The past four posts have looked at light and life with New Testament verses.

New JerusalemPsalm 36:7-9 says, “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Thus the sons of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They are saturated with the fatness of Your house, and You cause them to drink of the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.

Here we have multiple aspects of the foretaste of life and light in New Jerusalem. “How precious” is God now! And how much more will God be to us then!

Perhaps now we only taste the fatness of His house, but in New Jerusalem certainly we will all be saturated with this fatness.

Today we drink of the river of His pleasures (the Spirit – John 7:37-39). This river will flow eternally from the throne of God and the Lamb (the fountain of life) in New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1). Both now and in eternity this river is our supply of divine life.

Today we walk in the light (1 John 1:7) and in New Jerusalem God’s light will be the only light! The city will have no need of natural light nor of man-made light. Lord, we thank You that You are our light of life now and in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem: Oneness in the Triune God

The prior post spoke of New Jerusalem as the ultimate answer to the Lord’s prayer for His glorification that He might glorify the Father (John 17:1-5). In John 17 the Lord also prayed for our oneness. New Jerusalem is also the ultimate answer to this aspect of the Lord’s prayer. He prayed:
• that they [all believers] may be one even as We [Triune God] are (v. 11)
• that they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us (v. 21)
• that they may be one, even as We are one (v. 22)
• I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one (v. 23)

New JerusalemThe Lord prayed for a perfected oneness, a oneness of the highest standard—the oneness of the Three of the Godhead. This is seen in the “even as” phrase of verses 11, 21, and 22 above. “They may be one even as We are.”

How is such oneness realized? The Lord’s prayer reveals how. This highest oneness is IN the Triune God—”they also may be in Us” (v. 21) and this highest oneness is by the Triune God IN us— “I in them, and You in Me” (v. 23).

New Jerusalem is the consummation of this oneness. The city has one river flowing in one street (Rev. 22:1) indicating one supply of life for walking in one way. This life supply is the Spirit (John 7:37-39) and Christ is the way (John 14:6).

New Jerusalem is one because the city is in the Triune God and the Triune God is in it. This is the enlargement of John 15:4, “Abide in Me and I in you.”
Where is New Jerusalem? The Triune God and New Jerusalem

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by Living Stream Ministry.

God’s Flow Brings Us to New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRecent posts were about our Christian journey to be in spirit on a mountain to see New Jerusalem. One post mentioned John 19:34: when Jesus died on the cross, “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.”

God’s flowing is unto eternity, unto New Jerusalem. This flowing, including John 19:34, is the subject of a song, which begins,
___A mighty flowing-out is God,
_____He flows throughout the ages.

This flow is to impart God into man so that man may have God’s life and become God’s expression which ultimately is New Jerusalem. We first see this flow in the garden of Eden. The song says,
___In the beginning we can see, God as a flowing river,
___The river to convey the tree, Himself as life deliver.

Although man sinned and was separated from God’s life, God came in Jesus to redeem and to impart His life.
___God flowed Himself into a man, The man we call Christ Jesus.
___He gave up His own life for man And God’s own life releases.
In John 10:10-11 He told us that in death He laid down His soul life for us that we may have eternal life abundantly.

Satan’s opposition backfired; Satan’s scheme failed:
___He [Satan] had Him crucified And cruelly pierced His side—
___But out came blood and water!
___The blood and water flowed from Him, In streams of pure salvation.
___The blood brings cleansing from all sin; Water, regeneration.

In resurrection the Spirit flowed, as promised in John 7:37-39.
___And now the Spirit flows, Brings God where’er He goes.
This flow enlivens all who receive and builds us together in the Body of Christ.

Ultimately, in New Jerusalem is the river of water of life and the tree of life (Rev. 22:1-2).
___And at the end the same, The river doth remain,
___God in the Lamb doth flow, The tree prevails to grow,
___And God flows on forever.

Photo courtesy of pdphoto.org.

Bread and Water Bring us to New Jerusalem

Israel’s journey in Exodus 12–19 is a picture of our Christian journey. Their journey brought them to Mt. Sinai to see the vision of the tabernacle. Our journey results in our being “carried away in spirit onto a great and high mountain” to see New Jerusalem.

Prior posts touched several steps preparatory to seeing New Jerusalem. Another step is to take Christ as our living bread, typified by manna (Exo. 16), every day. Jesus clearly told us “he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me” (John 6:57). Eating is a daily necessity; without spiritual eating we cannot have a proper Christian life and cannot journey onward to the mountain.

Eating the manna is by our living contact with the Word of God. Deuteronomy 8:3, quoted by the Lord in Matthew 4:4, says that God “fed you [Israel] the manna…so that He might make you know that man lives not by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that proceeds out from the mouth of Jehovah.”

One more step is to drink the living water which flows out of the smitten rock. When the Lord, pictured by the rock, was smitten on the cross, blood and water flowed out. The reality of this water is the Spirit, as presented in John 7:37-39. Eventually this will be the river of water of life in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemJohn 19:34: “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.”

A song about this flowing:
__The blood and water flowed from Him,
____In streams of pure salvation.
__The blood brings cleansing from all sin;
____Water, regeneration.
__And now the Spirit flows,
____Brings God where’er He goes.
__All he could do, the foe,
____Was just release the flow.
__And God just keeps on flowing.

God’s continual flow, beginning from the cross, carries us all the way to New Jerusalem.

Take Freely the Water of Life

New JerusalemRecent posts have looked at the river of life through the Old Testament, with support from a few New Testament verses. This series included more than I expected when it began. Thank the Lord for the riches in His Word.

Here are the posts in order, each with one Bible phrase that was a highlight to me. The first word of each line has a link to that post.

❉  Genesis 2:10 “a river went forth from Eden to water the garden.”
  Exodus 17:6 “strike the rock, and water will come out of it so that the people may drink.”
  Numbers 20:8 “speak to the rock before their eyes, so that it yields its water.”
  Psalm 78:15-16 God “split rocks in the wilderness and gave them abundant drink, as from the depths.”
  Psalm 36:8-9 “You [God] cause them [sons of men] to drink of the river of Your pleasures.”
  Psalm 46:4 “There is a river whose streams gladden the city of God.”
❉  One drink, many streams
  Isaiah 12:2-4 “draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation.”
  Isaiah 55:1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters.”
  Jeremiah 2:13 Our God “is the fountain of living waters.”
  Avoid broken cisterns
  Ezekiel 47:1 “water flowed down below the south side of the house, on the south of the altar.”
  Ezekiel 47:3-5 “the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be crossed.”
❉  Ezekiel 47:9 “everything shall live wherever the river comes.”
  Zechariah 14:8 “in that day living waters will go forth from Jerusalem.”

The reality of all these verses today is the Spirit (John 7:37-39; 1 Cor. 12:13). Heed the invitation in Revelation 22:17, “let him who wills take the water of life freely.” There will be more flowing in the coming age and the most abundant flow from the throne in New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:1-2), but come to Jesus and drink now. Here is a song in which Revelation 22:17 is the chorus; sing and draw water with rejoicing (Isaiah 12).

Related posts by Tom at Holding To Truth:
Come and Drink the Living Waters
Speak to Christ the Rock to Drink the Spirit as the Water of Life
Have You Applied the Blood, Are You Drinking the Water of Life
Plus a related post by Stefan at A God-Man in Christ:
The River of Water of Life: God Reaching Man

Photo by Dr. James P. McVey, courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Sea Grant Program.

Living Waters Go Forth

New JerusalemThis post concludes our Old Testament journey along the river of life. In the New Testament this life is the Spirit for us to drink (John 7:37-39). Eventually we arrive at the river of water of life in New Jerusalem.

When the Lord Jesus ascended, “while they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him away from their sight” (Acts 1:9). In Acts 1:12 we learn that His ascension was from the Mount of Olives.

When the Lord Jesus returns to stand on earth, His return will be to the place from which He ascended. Zechariah 14:4 says, “His feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives.” Zechariah 14:8 declares, “in that day living waters will go forth from Jerusalem.” This promise is like the blessing in Ezekiel 47, “everything shall live wherever the river comes.”

We look forward to that day with eagerness but let’s not wait passively. Remember the invitation in Revelation 22:17, “let him who wills take the water of life freely.” And remember Jesus’ cry in John 7:37-38, “If anyone thirsts, come to Me and drink….out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.”

We drink not only for our satisfaction but also for the flow of living waters to other people. This flow from our innermost being now will expand to a much greater distribution of living waters from Jerusalem when the Lord returns and to the ultimate flowing from the throne in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Drink to be Gladdened

New JerusalemThe river in the garden of Eden reappears in many verses through the Bible to be consummated in the river of water of life in New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:1-2). Psalm 46:4a says “There is a river whose streams gladden the city of God.”

When we drink of the river, we have the gladness of God. This river today is the Spirit, as in John 7:37-39: “…Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. But this He said concerning the Spirit…”

In John 7 the Lord did not tell us that the water we drink will be in us. Rather, He told us that the water we drink will flow out of us. This flow is both to other believers and as the gospel to unbelievers.

To drink the river and experience its flowing requires each of us individually to cooperate. Some verses that speak about this cooperation are here. On the other hand, to experience the flowing we need to flow to others and let others flow to us. This mutual flowing in our living is our dwelling in “the city of God” in Psalm 46. Eventually we will dwell in and have the richest flowing in New Jerusalem.

Photo by Louise Kane, courtesy of U.S. NOAA Restoration Center, Florida.

Drink the Spiritual Drink

New Jerusalem

The prior two posts were about God giving water to the children of Israel in the wilderness. In 1 Corinthians 10:4 we read that they “all drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank of a spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ.” Their drinking was a picture of our drinking the Spirit today (John 7:37-39) and of drinking of the river of water of life in New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:1).

Psalm 78:15-16 speaks about Israel’s time in the wilderness, saying, “He [God] split rocks in the wilderness and gave them abundant drink, as from the depths. He also brought forth streams from the rock and made water run down like rivers.” Sometimes in our daily life it seems we are walking through a wilderness. Here we should look and ask for the streams from God. His streams have water running down to the low place where we are.

Isaiah 48:21 says, “And they did not thirst when He led them through the dry places; He caused water to flow from the rock for them; and He split the rock, and the waters gushed out.” Outwardly we all go through dry places. We do not realize it, but God is leading us, and these are the places where we appreciate the waters gushing out.

The real satisfaction for us is God Himself, in Christ, flowing as the Spirit. This water is “abundant,” it “flows,” “runs down,” and “gushes out.” Ask the Lord to give you a drink of this living water, to refresh you with His streams. Then thank Him for the availability of this spiritual water. Thank Him for this little foretaste of New Jerusalem.

I Come to Drink

New JerusalemRevelation 22:1 says, “And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.” Past posts looked at the river in Revelation 22 with many New Testament verses on drinking the Spirit, and at the river in Genesis 2 as a picture of Revelation 22.

Let us begin looking at Old Testament verses after Genesis 2. In Exodus 17:6 God said to Moses, “I will be standing before you there upon the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it so that the people may drink.”

This account might seem like only a physical miracle to provide physical water for the Israelites to drink as they journeyed through the desert. However, the apostle Paul saw something more here. In 1 Corinthians 10:4 he said, “And all drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank of a spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ.”

A spiritual drink! A spiritual rock! Christ! Surely this is a picture of our coming to the Lord to drink, as in John 7:37-39, “Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. But this He said concerning the Spirit…”

The water flowing out of the smitten rock in Exodus 17 is a picture that God wants to flow to us to be our satisfaction. God desires to quench our spiritual thirst and our psychological thirst with Himself embodied in Christ and realized as the Spirit. We can experience this quenching now and will experience it to the fullest in New Jerusalem.

Lord, I come to You to drink. Quench all my thirst; be my satisfaction today.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Related posts on Rev. 22 and NT verses: Drink the Spirit
____The River of Water of Life is Flowing Today
____The Spirit, The Bountiful Supply, The River of Water of Life
____A River of Water of Life in the Middle of the Golden Street of New Jerusalem

Related posts on Gen. 2 and Rev. 22: The River of Life in the Garden and the City
____The River of Life Reaching Men

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