Rivers of living water
Water is essential to life. It is 60% of the weight of the human body. Without it one day’s activity would raise our temperature 300 degrees. Most of blood and tree sap is water. 70% of the earth is covered with it. Food cannot be produced without water. The U.S. alone uses 100 billion gallons in irrigation each day. Food is made up of mostly water. We wash, cook, ship, and fight fires with it. All of the large population centers in the world are near water. We use it to heat and cool, to clean our streets, to operate machinery, and to generate electricity.
The earth was covered with water in the first day of creation (Gen 1:2). On the second day, God separated some of that water and made the atmosphere (firmament), without which the sun’s rays would kill us (Gen 1:6-8). The next day God gathered the water together, made the dry land appear, and caused the grass, herbs, and trees to come forth (Gen 1:9-13). On the fourth day the Lord placed the sun, moon and stars in the sky. On the fifth day God made fish in the waters and birds in the sky (Gen 1:20-23). All of these things had to do with “the firmament”. Then on the sixth day God made all of the land animals, and He made man out of the dust (Gen 1:24-31). The Lord gave man dominion over the fish, birds, and land animals; and He gave the herbs and fruit as food for man and beast.
There was no rain between the third and sixth days (Gen 2:4-6). There was a mist that rose and watered the ground. Some people say it never rained before the worldwide flood, but that is not actually what these verses say. There was a river which watered the garden of Eden (Gen 2:10-14). This river split into four. We do not know the precise location of the garden of Eden or these four rivers, but it was probably somewhere in the area of Iraq. This is based on the name of the Euphrates River and the later name of the area of Mesopotamia which means “land between the rivers”. However, the worldwide flood changed everything. Some people deny there was a worldwide flood (2Pet 3:1-13). They are actually fulfilling the scripture and showing that we are approaching the return of the Lord. Others say it was only a local flood. The Bible clearly says it was worldwide:
1. Noah was in the ark for over a year
2. the water went 15 cubits (about 22 feet) higher than the mountains
3. all that breathed air died
4. why would Noah and the animals need an ark?
5. God sent a rainbow and promised to never do it again. There have been many,
many local floods since Noah.
6. the fossil and sedimentary evidence indicate a worldwide flood. Fossils are
formed by flooding that causes creatures to be trapped quickly under sediment. In
order for local flooding to explain the fossil record, there would have to be
hundreds of perfectly synchronized local floods all over the world for hundreds of
millions of years. This does not explain:
a. fossil graveyards
b. polystrate fossils
c. out of order fossils
d. gaps in the record
e. unusual formations
7. all other Biblical references indicate a worldwide flood (Job 22:15-16, Ps 104:6-9, Is 54:9,
Mt 24:38-39, Lk 17:27, 2Pet 2:5, 2Pet 3:5-6)
The Bible talks about living water. Living here means moving, as opposed to stagnant. Anyone who has a fish tank knows the importance of keeping the water moving to aerate and filter it. Otherwise the water stagnates, its oxygen content goes down, algae grows quickly, and the water gets dirty. Eventually the fish will die. When God created the world, He made a worldwide and effective system for the water. He made the moon exactly the right size and placed it exactly the right distance from the earth to provide just the right amount of gravitational pull on the oceans to create just the right amount of tides to keep them moving without flooding the land twice each day. God also created the water cycle to keep the inland water moving (Ecc 1:7). Living water is symbolic of the Spirit of God. The Lord said He is the fountain of living water for us (Jer 2:13, Jer 17:13). When Israel was in the wilderness, He made water come out of a rock for them twice (Ex 17:1-7, Num 20:1-13). This was something for Israel to remember even hundreds of years later (Ps 78:16, Ps 105:41, Ps 114:8, Is 48:21). This was enough water for several million people and their animals. God also turned bitter water into sweet for them (Ex 15:22-25). God said He would make streams in the desert (Is 43:20), and He would lead us by rivers of waters (Jer 31:9, Rev 7:17). The Lord invites the thirsty to come and drink His living waters (Is 55:1, Is 58:11, Jn 4, Jn 6:35, Jn 7:37-38, Rev 21:6, Rev 22:17).
The prophet Ezekiel had a vision of a temple in Jerusalem (Eze 40-48). In Ezekiel 47:1-12, he saw water coming out from under the threshold of the door of this temple, flowing out of the east gate, and growing into a river. There are similar prophecies in Joel 3:18 and Zechariah 14:8. Every 1,500 feet an angel measured the water. At first it was up to the ankles, then the knees, then the thighs, and then over the head – waters to swim in that could not be passed over on foot.
On each side of this river Ezekiel saw trees whose leaves did not fade and had healing power. These trees produced fruit continually, and it was different each month. The waters flowed into the desert into the Dead Sea and healed and revived everything in its path. However, the miry places and marshes were not healed. Those are places of stagnant water. This vision was also seen by John in Revelation 22:1-2, the last chapter of the Bible. This shows us that this living water from God restores everything that man lost in the garden of Eden.
Water is part of the new birth, which Jesus said consisted of water and the Spirit (Jn 3:5):
1. Mk 16:15-17 – he that believeth and is baptized saved, speak in new tongues
2. Jn 3:1-8 – born of water and the Spirit, wind blows, so is everyone born of Spirit
3. Jn 20:22-23 – breathed on them, receive the Holy Ghost
4. Acts 1:5 – John baptized w. water, ye w. Holy Ghost
5. Acts 2:1-4 – rushing mighty wind, filled w. Holy Ghost
6. Acts 2:36-39 – be baptized, receive Holy Ghost
7. Acts 8:14-17 – baptized in the name of Jesus, received Holy Ghost
8. Acts 10:44-48 – Holy Ghost fell, baptized
9. Acts 19:1-6 – baptized in the name of Jesus, received Holy Ghost
10. Rom 6:1-4, 1Cor 15:1-4, Col 2:11-13 – death, burial, resurrection (Acts 2:38)
The water Jesus spoke of in John 3:5 is not natural childbirth compared to spiritual new birth. In John 3:3 Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus thought Jesus was talking about natural childbirth and asked Him how a man could be born again (vs 4). The first two words of John 3:5 are “Jesus answered”. The word “answered” means “to give an answer to a question proposed, to answer; to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded (either said or done) to which the remarks refer”. Jesus was answering Nicodemus’ question of how to be born again, and His answer was, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (Jn 3:5).” The above scriptures show this means water baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Then we are promised an abundant drink of the living water of His Spirit from which we will never thirst again.