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Foundation Truth, Number 8 (Spring 2003) | Timeless Truths Publications

Ezekiel 47:1-12

Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.

And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. 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. And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river.

Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.

And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

In Ezekiel’s vision, an illustration of spiritual truth is being given. He prophesied during the captivity, and the picture of the temple and the holy city that are described in the latter part of the book of Ezekiel were an allegory of “a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”* (Hebrews 8:6) These waters that “issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward” are the same as the “living water” Jesus speaks of in John 4:10-14.

Let us examine this illustration of the life that Jesus offers and learn. The waters start at the side of the altar, just as the life from Jesus starts at the cross, with His blood shed for us, the “blood and water”* (John 19:34) that came from His pierced side, from the side of “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”* (John 1:29) Except we recognize our sin and repent and turn from it, and receive and believe the blood is effectually shed for us, even us, we cannot be saved. Notice also that it flows out eastward, toward the rising sun. “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,”* (Proverbs 4:18) and again, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.”* (2 Peter 1:19) The light and life that Jesus gives is an increasing light, like the dawn.

As we walk with the Lord, we will find that the life He gives us goes deeper and deeper until we shall find that it is no longer a matter of walking, but of swimming—we can only continue by fully immersing ourselves in Him, trusting Him to carry us along. “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”* (Colossians 3:3) A person learning to swim must learn to trust the water’s buoyancy and cooperate with it, and be willing to take their feet off of the ground. So must we also learn to fully trust in God. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”* (Proverbs 3:5)

When Ezekiel was returned to the bank, he was put in a position to observe the effects of this life. See how life flourishes along its banks, and how it brings life to the desert! Consider this statement “every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live.” Those that had previously been alive only in a physical sense, now have new life, a spiritual life!

Then we are given a different illustration, that of fishers and fish. Jesus said to Simon and Andrew, “Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.”* (Mark 1:17) This fishing is being done where the Dead Sea was. Just as it would be useless for a commercial fisherman to try to catch anything in the Dead Sea unless an influx of fresh water brought new life to it, so unless we dwell hidden in Christ, and fish for men as the Lord is sending His living waters that way, it will be an unproductive exercise. And see yet further: “But the miry places thereof and the marishes [marshes] thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.” Life will not come by mixing spiritual life and truth with dead earth (human ideas and wisdom). Miry places and marshes are where water and earth attempt to “share” the same places. The mixing of God’s Truth with human wisdom doesn’t work, and neither does the mixing of spiritual life with the self-life. We must let the “water” have full sway.

Finally, see the fruitfulness of the lives that are drawn from the river. Both nourishment and healing come out of these lives. “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”* (Psalm 1:3) Oh, God’s way is best! God’s way gives life! Let us give ourselves wholeheartedly to God!