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07 July 20, 2014 Ezekiel Chapters 40-48 Hope of New Worship
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07 July 20, 2014 Ezekiel Chapters 40-48 Hope of New Worship

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  • 1. HOPE OF NEW WORSHIP EZEKIEL CHAPTERS 40-48 July 20, 2014 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI USA James 5:16 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. What’s the number one thing? The Glory of God! http://dynamiqueprofesseur.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/liftupthecross1c.jpg 1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
  • 2. What three things are going to Heaven from this earth? 1) All of God’s Word. Isaiah 40:8 2) Some people. 3) Some of our works. 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 Cathy Jeffcoats says that her goal is to have the two additional monitors in E423 by August 10. (Picture with the president 23 years ago.) In the lesson last week entitled Hope of New Life, Joe did such a great job of conveying the meaning of the Valley of the Dry Bones from Ezekiel chapter 37. TODAY HOPE OF NEW WORSHIP EZEKIEL CHAPTERS 40-48 JULY 20, 2014 Ezekiel 48:35 NKJV 35 All the way around shall be eighteen thousand cubits; and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE. Jehovah-shammah (SHAM-uh) is a Christian transliteration of the Hebrew ‫ה‬ ָ‫מ‬ ָ‫ש‬ ‫ָה‬‫ו‬‫ה‬ְ‫י‬ meaning “Jehovah is there”.
  • 3. Emmanuel – God with us! He is with us no matter what. God is omnipresent. Isaiah 49 NKJV 6 “I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.” 8 Thus says the Lord: “In an acceptable time I have heard You, And in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve you and give you as a covenant to the people, to restore the earth 14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, And my Lord has forgotten me.” 15 God said to Israel again, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. 16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands” 23 Then you will know that I am the Lord, For they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me.”
  • 4. 25 But thus says the Lord: “For I will contend with him who contends with you, And I will save your children. 26 All flesh shall know That I, the Lord, am your Savior, And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” Isaiah 49 NKJV (THE LORD IS THERE) Psalm 139:1-10 NKJV 1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether 5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:1-10 NKJV (THE LORD IS THERE) Psalm 139:17-18 NKJV 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139:17-18 NKJV (THE LORD IS THERE) No matter what we are going through, The LORD is There with us.
  • 5. Are you going through hard times? THE LORD IS THERE Is there a storm raging outside? THE LORD IS THERE Are you scared and alone? THE LORD IS THERE Are you going through good times? THE LORD IS THERE Are you facing a mountain that seems impossible for to climb? You are never alone in the endeavor; THE LORD IS THERE Are you surrounded by people that do not care for you, or for people abusing you in some manner, either physically, emotionally, or mentally? THE LORD IS THERE! HOPE OF NEW WORSHIP John 4:21-24 NKJV 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:21-24 NKJV 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV 19 Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit Who is in you, Whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV
  • 6. Today’s lesson 1) The River of Life (47) 2) Ezekiel’s Temple (40-48) 3) What’s going on in Israel right now? Ezekiel 47 http://christadelphianstudies.com/VistaII/Images/Ezekiels%20Temple%20Images/Temple-View.jpg EZEKIEL 47:1-6 NKJV 1 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; & there was water, running out on the right side. 3 And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles. 4 Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist. 5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. 6 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river. EZEKIEL 47:1-6 NKJV Notice the experience of the prophet as you read Ezekiel 47:1-6. He is led into this step-by-step; three times he says, "And He led me through."
  • 7. At first he's in just ankle deep and a lot of people stay there in the shallow. But then the prophet says, "He led me through, and it was knee deep." Here is a man who is not satisfied any more with just being saved. Have you begun to hunger and thirst and to pray and to seek the face of God? "And He led me through," he says, and the waters had come up to his waist. It is beginning to possess him; there is less of him now, and more of the grace of God. He has come to grasp the fact that it is "not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord" that the child of God is to live. Zechariah 4:6 Then he goes one step further and it had become a river to swim in. Here is someone who is utterly committed and is over his head. He is out there where he is swept along in the current of God's grace. http://hischarisisenough.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/jesusbaptism1.jpg Does that remind you of anything? Do you read in that and hear in that our Lord's words recorded in John 7 when he stood at the temple on the last day of the feast and said, "If any one thirst, let him come to Me and drink...Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water. Now this He said about the Spirit, which those who believed in Him were to receive..." (John 7:37-39).
  • 8. John sees the same river in Revelation 22 that Ezekiel saw. "Then He showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God...through the middle of the street of the city..." (Revelation 22:1, 2). Have you found the river of the Spirit yet? It is as we learn to live in the Spirit that the Christian life begins to make sense. Until then, life is nothing but a plodding, dogged, difficult path; a struggle to try to keep things straight. But when we begin to experience the mighty, gushing torrent of the rivers of living water---the flow of the Spirit of God right through the center of life--- everything begins to live, and life becomes significant and full for us. John 10:10b NKJV 10b I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. http://nephilim-hunters.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/time-line-1d.jpg
  • 9. Sixth Biblical Tetrad http://www.jesusonmymind.com/userfiles/0/2419/images/graph_6_israel1.jpg Seventh Biblical Tetrad http://www.jesusonmymind.com/userfiles/0/2419/images/graph_7_jerusalem.jpg
  • 10. Eighth Biblical Tetrad http://www.jesusonmymind.com/userfiles/0/2419/images/graph_8a.jpg Ezekiel chapters 1–24 are about the fall of Jerusalem http://makashfa.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/ashampoo_snap_2013-01-31_08h18m02s_010_.jpg
  • 11. In the second section, Ezekiel chapters 25–39, we find a series of oracles addressed to foreign nations and contrasted with those foreign nations is the restoration of Israel. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dmL9f4XCKQ0/TcKw_Amr5iI/AAAAAAAAAQ8/drO0MDRnfIg/s400/israel_1948.jpg Here, in the third section, chapters 40–48, Ezekiel presents a plan for rebuilding the Temple and reorganizing the restored state of Israel (during the end times). The theme of the book of Ezekiel is the final restoration of Israel. http://www.ldsces.org/inst_manuals/ot-ssg/images/167-1.gif http://www.westarkchurchofchrist.org/benjamin/2007/070506image2.jpg
  • 12. http://trumpetandtorch.org/images/squares/Bottom_Final_Rebuilding_the_Temple.jpg http://blondesearch.ru/img/9f/9f0/Understanding_Ezekiel_s_Temple.jpg http://www.anewheavenandearth.com/discription%20of%20Ezekiel%20Temple.jpg
  • 13. The First Temple was built in 957 BC by King Solomon and it was totally destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC when they sacked the city of Jerusalem. http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.608023217341140183&pid=1.7 According to the Book of Ezra, construction of the Second Temple was authorized by Cyrus the Great and began in 538 BC, after the fall of the Babylonian Empire. It was completed 23 years later, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the Great (12 March 515 BC), and was dedicated by the Jewish governor Zerubbabel. Despite the fact that the new temple was not as extravagant or imposing as its predecessor, it still dominated the Jerusalem skyline and remained an important structure throughout the time of the Persians (Iranians). http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cd/Second_Temple.jpg The sanctuary and the Holy of Holies were separated by a wall in the First Temple but by two curtains in the Second Temple.
  • 14. Antiochus IV Epiphanes succeeded his older brother to the Seleucid throne and immediately adopted his father's previous policy of universal Hellenisation. When Antiochus erected a statue of Zeus in their temple and Hellenic priests began sacrificing pigs (the usual sacrifice offered to the Greek gods in the Hellenic religion) the Jews anger began to spiral. Mattathias http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.608036613336795889&pid=1.7 In 167 BC the Jews rose up en masse behind Mattathias and his five sons to fight and win their freedom from Seleucid authority. Mattathias' son, Judas Maccabeus, now called "The Hammer", re-dedicated the temple in 165 BC and the Jews celebrate this event to this day as a major part of the festival of Hanukkah. Around 20 BC, the second temple building was renovated by Herod the Great, and became known as Herod's Temple. The Second Temple was later destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD during the Siege of Jerusalem. http://www.templeinstitute.org/gallery_images/destruction_temp_2_gallery.jpg
  • 15. After the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in the 7th century, Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan ordered the construction of an Islamic shrine (completed 691 AD) - the Dome of the Rock, on the site of the Temple. http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.608046680741449648&pid=1.7 Jewish sources identify Mount Moriah as the place mentioned in the Bible where Abraham fulfilled God's test to see if he would be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac. http://iamachild.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/abraham-sacrificing-isaac.jpg Genesis 22:2 NKJV 2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Genesis 22:2 NKJV
  • 16. Isaac carried the wood for the sacrificial fire just as Jesus carried His cross up Mount Calvary http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.608044881156443622&pid=1.7 Genesis 22:6-8 NKJV 6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. Genesis 22:6-8 NKJV Jehovah Jireh – the LORD will Provide. Pro = before Video = to see 2 Chronicles 3:1 NKJV 1 Now Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, Situated inside the Holy of Holies, this was the rock (Foundation Stone) upon which the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the First Temple. During the Second Temple period when the Ark of the Covenant was not present, the stone was used by the High Priest who offered up the incense and sprinkled the blood of the sacrifices on it during the Yom Kippur service.
  • 17. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RGuvsaHVyXg/USH8eBoeLAI/AAAAAAAAAwA/M9zhME-oGXs/s1600/dome-rock-interior- 500.jpg The Pierced Stone (Well of Souls) http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1356204/thumbs/o-DOME-OF-THE-ROCK-900.jpg?2 http://islamicartdb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/salaat-tahta-qubbat-as-sakhra1.jpg In Islam, the Foundation Stone is thought by commentators of the Qur'an to be the place to which the prophet Muhammad traveled in the Night Journey.
  • 18. Muhammad traveled on the steed Buraq (boROCK) to "the farthest mosque" where he leads other prophets in prayer. Buraq (boROCK) the legendary beast, a winged horse with the face of a woman and the tail of a peacock, on which Muhammad ascended to heaven from this site. Buraq http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?&id=HN.608026129325034667&w=325&h=366&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0 The Stone is considered the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam. Satan can’t create, he can only counterfeit. With the Persian (Iran) invasion in 614 followed by the Muslim Siege of Jerusalem in 637, the Temple Mount area came under Muslim control but for some time pilgrims still were able to come and experience the Temple Mount area. Increasing Muslim violence against these pilgrims to Jerusalem instigated the Crusades. The building over The Stone was repeatedly destroyed by earthquakes and rebuilt, until the reconstruction in 1033 by the Fatimid caliph Ali az-Zahir. In 1099 AD the Crusaders re-captured Jerusalem.
  • 19. http://s2.hubimg.com/u/428597_f520.jpg http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?&id=HN.608025927474350114&w=300&h=300&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0 Between 1992 and 1994, the Jordanian government undertook the unprecedented step of gilding the dome of the Dome of the Rock, covering it with 5000 gold plates, and restoring and reinforcing the structure. The project was paid for by King Hussein personally, at a cost of $8 million. The Temple Mount, along with the entire Old City of Jerusalem, was captured from Jordan by Israel in 1967 during the Six-Day War, allowing Jews once again to pray at the site. Israel officially unified East Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, with the rest of Jerusalem in 1980 under the Jerusalem Law, although United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 declared the Jerusalem Law to be in violation of international law.
  • 20. The Muslim Waqf, based in Jordan, has administrative control of the Temple Mount. Today, Palestinian authorities have begun excavations at the Temple Mount, damaging the structural integrity of the site and increasing tensions among the Jews. Location? There are three theories as to where the Temple stood; 1) where the Dome of the Rock is now located, 2) to the north of the Dome of the Rock (Prof. Asher Kaufman) and 3) to the east of the Dome of the Rock (Professor Joseph Patrich of the Hebrew University) http://www.linearconcepts.com/photos/2007-Israel/JerusalemTempleMap.gif  Why would God allow the Temple to be destroyed?  The Talmud (TALmood) provides theological reasons for the Temple destruction. The Talmud (TALmood): Which means "instruction, learning", is a central text of Rabbinic Judaism and is over 6,200 pages long.
  • 21. The Talmud contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects: law, Jewish ethics, philosophy, lore, customs, history and many other topics.  Originally, Jewish scholarship was only oral.  Rabbis expounded and debated the Torah (the five books of Moses) and discussed the Jewish Bible called Tanakh (tahNOKH) without the benefit of written works (other than the Biblical books themselves). However, this situation changed drastically, mainly as the result of the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 AD and the consequent upheaval of Jewish social and legal norms. http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?&id=HN.608038296975574890&w=300&h=300&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0 As the Rabbis were required to face a new reality—mainly Judaism without a Temple (to serve as the center of teaching and study), the old system of oral scholarship could not be maintained. It is during this period that Rabbinic discourse began to be recorded in writing (the Talmud). So the Talmud (Yoma 9b) provides theological reasons for the destruction: Why was the first Temple destroyed? Because the three cardinal sins were rampant in society: 1) idol worship, 2) licentiousness, and 3) murder
  • 22. And why then was the second Temple destroyed? http://www.templeinstitute.org/gallery_images/destruction_temp_2_gallery.jpg Because gratuitous hatred was rampant in society. This teaches that gratuitous hatred is equal in severity to the three cardinal sins. Last week Joe did such a great job of covering the meaning of the valley of the dry bones from Ezekiel chapter 37. Then in chapters 38 and 39, the prophet sees into the far distant future to the last attack upon Israel, when enemies of the land will be met by heavenly forces that will judge them upon the mountains of Israel and bury them there. But before the war prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39, there is another war against Israel that must take place according to Psalm 83. What is going on in Israel today? Psalm 83 War?
  • 23. http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/87/fb/9a/87fb9a9ed19ac3a0b0451d89d0a224bd.jpg Gaza http://globalsecurity.org/military/world/palestine/images/gaza-s-wst_bank_transportation.jpg http://www.idfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/HamasRocketRange-640x640.jpg
  • 24. http://corbisimages.com/images/Corbis-U1675867.jpg?size=67&uid=4aaabb1a-51ec-4ec2-9f29-d7a557b203cb http://www.preceptaustin.org/SixDayWar1967.jpg http://1389blog.com/pix/Israels-real-Iron-Dome.jpg
  • 25. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_n7RltmTdk-g/TKDK8hEoRCI/AAAAAAAAWTo/0IzprrmAEVQ/s1600/Iron+Dome.jpg http://images.derstandard.at/2014/03/14/1392793200500-iron-dome.jpg http://www.talkradionews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Iron_dome.jpg
  • 26. http://resources0.news.com.au/images/2012/11/16/1226517/966812-topshots-israel-palestinian-gaza-conflict.jpg Psalm 83 was authored by Asaph approximately 3000 years ago. Looking at the present world situation, the next major war of Israel against Arab nations could bring the fulfillment of the war of Psalm 83. Psalm 83:1-8 NKJV 1 Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, And do not be still, O God! 2 For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. 3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people (Israel), And consulted together against Your sheltered ones. 4 They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” 5 For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You: 6 The tents of Edom (Palestinians and Southern Jordanians) and the Ishmaelites (Saudis – Ishmael is the father of the Arabs); Moab (Palestinians and Central Jordanians) and the Hagrites (Egyptians); 7 Gebal (Hezbollah and North Lebanese), Ammon (Palestinians and North Jordanians), and Amalek (Arabs of the Sinai area); Philistia (Hamas [Iran] of the Gaza Strip) with the inhabitants of Tyre (Hezbollah [Iran] and the Southern Lebanese); 8 Assyria (Syrians and Northern Iraqi’s) has also joined with them; They have helped the children of Lot. (Moab and Ammon) Psalm 83:1-8 NKJV
  • 27. Psalm 83:16-18 NKJV 16 Fill their faces with shame, That they may seek Your name, O Lord. 17 Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish, 18 That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth. Psalm 83:16-18 NKJV http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ozlsCwnTla4/SWADZW2A-LI/AAAAAAAAAW0/zF8hgb9rtKg/s320/ps83mpb.JPG http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.608054665086765371&pid=1.7 Jordan (Ammon) and Saudi Arabia (Sheba and Dedan) appear to not be part of the Ezekiel 38/39 war. (They may not have recovered from the Psalm 83 War – nuclear?)
  • 28. http://images.sodahead.com/profiles/0/0/1/7/7/9/5/9/3/Ezekiel-38-65101430275.jpeg#Ezekiel%2038 http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UvcoLJxv0sc/TV9Hr3ULegI/AAAAAAAAAbQ/8LN9C2C3sbI/s400/ezekiel38.jpg http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/87/fb/9a/87fb9a9ed19ac3a0b0451d89d0a224bd.jpg
  • 29. Ray Stedman 1917-1992 http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4939299503409857&pid=1.7 Then, beginning in chapter 40, the restoration of the millennial temple is foreseen. In this great vision the prophet is shown the temple in precise detail: the glory of God returning to the Holy of Holies, the Shekinah reestablishing itself in the Holy of Holies. The book closes with the wonderful passage in chapter 47 that describes his vision of the throne of God. Underneath the throne comes the river of God, sweeping through the temple, out to the east, down across the land, and into the Dead Sea to heal its waters. It is a marvelous picture of the Spirit of God in the day of the millennial kingdom.  That is the literal interpretation of this book---a prophecy of the restoration of Israel.  But that does not by any means exhaust the meaning of this book. If we read this as referring only to that literal fulfillment, we will miss much of the value and all of the beauty of this book. This entire story can be applied to you as an individual. What God does on a large scale in the history of the world, He is ready to do on a smaller scale in the history of your life. As He is ready to call back out of death and to give life to a nation that turns to Him in the midst of its degradation and weakness---as He was ready to do for Israel---so He is ready to do with an individual.
  • 30. Here, then, is a beautiful picture of the saving grace of Jesus Christ, making us alive in Him, calling us back into the glory of the manhood and womanhood that God intends for us. Then follows a picture of the enemies we face, and how God goes before us and destroys them one by one as we walk by faith. Finally, there is the wonderful picture of the restored temple in man. Now what is the temple in man? In the New Testament. Paul says that we are the temple of the living God. (2 Cor. 6:16) 2 Corinthians 6:16 NKJV 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” But what in us is the temple in which God dwells? It is the human spirit. Our spirit was made to be a holy of holies in which the living God dwells. The secret, then, of a full human experience---an exciting life, a life of continuing significance and meaning---is a life in which the resources of the Holy Spirit are discovered. Now this is beautifully portrayed for us in this picture in the forty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel. This highlights the whole emphasis of the book: The Healing Waters and Trees
  • 31. EZEKIEL 47:1-12 NKJV 1 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; & there was water, running out on the right side. 3 And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles. 4 Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist. 5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. 6 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river. 7 When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. 8 Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. 9 And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. 10 It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. 11 But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt. 12 Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.” EZEKIEL 47:1-12 NKJV http://christadelphianstudies.com/VistaII/Images/Ezekiels%20Temple%20Images/Temple-View.jpg
  • 32. Does that remind you of anything? Do you read in that and hear in that our Lord's words recorded in John 7 when he stood at the temple on the last day of the feast and said, "If any one thirst, let him come to Me and drink...Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water. Now this He said about the Spirit, which those who believed in Him were to receive..." (John 7:37-39). This is the resource of the Christian life. Let’s look at the various aspects of this resource. First of all, there is the source of the river. Where does it come from? Ezekiel said, "I saw a throne and issuing out from under the throne came the river." The waters of the Spirit come from the very throne of God, from the supremacy of His authority, the highest point in the universe, the place where our Lord Jesus received the promised gift of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. As the prophet watches, he sees that it takes its way down past the altar, the place of sacrifice. And one of the great things that we have to learn as Christians is that we can never drink of the river of the Spirit unless we are willing to do so by means of the cross of Calvary. It is only as we are willing to accept the judgment of death upon the flesh---the natural man and his abilities, ambitions, and desires---that we can drink of the river of the Spirit of God. Then, notice the power of this river. It has quickly grown large enough to swim in, yet there is no other river adding to it. No tributary streams are coming in. It is a great, gushing, mighty torrent of life coming out from under the throne of God.
  • 33. As you read this, notice the experience of the prophet. He is led into this step-by-step; three times he says, "And He led me through."  Is God leading you through?  Have you ever had that experience?  The first step is to the place where the waters are ankle deep. Isn't that a picture of a man who has experienced only a shallow sense of God's grace and power in his life? He is a Christian but he is what the Scriptures call a carnal Christian---still filled with bickerings and fightings and inner turmoils.  He has not learned anything of the peace of God.  He is disobedient.  He fights against God's grace very time he turns around. He's in just ankle deep. And a lot of people stay there. But then the prophet says, "He led me through, and it was knee deep." The waters get hold of his knees. Have the waters gotten there with you yet?  Have you begun to hunger and thirst and to pray and to seek the face of God?  Here is a man who is not satisfied any more with just being born again. He is hungering after something. He is on his knees. He is crying out to God, yearning for more. "And He led me through," he says, and the waters come up to his waist. It is beginning to possess him. There is less of him now, and more of the grace of God.
  • 34. The loins are always the symbol of power and he has come, then, to the place where he has begun to grasp something of the power of God, to grasp the fact that it is "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord" that the Christian life is lived. (Zech 4:6) It is not his eager desire to do something for God, or his consecrated zeal to flow it through, but rather, his quiet dependence upon an indwelling Spirit that is the secret. Then he goes one step further and says, "He led me on and the water had risen and it had become a river to swim in." Here is someone who is utterly committed. He is over his head. He is out there where he is swept along in the current of God's grace. And what is the effect of this river on the land? As the prophet is led back along the banks he says, "I see trees on either side of it"---fruitfulness! The barrenness of the land has been healed. The river is fertile; everywhere the river flows, things begin to live.  Have you learned this yet?  All of this is written for us. John sees the same river, in Revelation. "Then He showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God...through the middle of the street of the city..." (Revelation 22:1, 2). It flows right through the middle of life. Have you found the river of the Spirit yet? It is as we learn these mighty truths that the Christian life begins to make sense. Until then, it is nothing but a plodding, dogged, difficult path, a struggle to try to keep things straight.
  • 35. But when we begin to experience the mighty, gushing torrent of the rivers of living water---the flow of the Spirit of God right through the center of life--- everything begins to live, and life becomes significant and full for us. C.S. LEWIS THE FOYER = SALVATION. DON’T GET STUCK THERE. He closes this beautiful book with a description of the temple (this is a picture of the resurrection body which is the new temple for God). Look at the last verse of the prophecy. EZEKIEL 48:35 NKJV 35 All the way around shall be eighteen thousand cubits; and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.”  That is what Ezekiel called it.  The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.  They did not call themselves Christians.  They were called Christians. Christian means "Christ-one"---one who belongs to Christ. And as the people in Antioch looked at these peculiar people, they called them "Christ-ones" because the Lord was there. May this be our experience, that we may see this mighty flow of the river of God in our lives and, discovering its power and its grace and its depth, commit ourselves to God so that there may be healing and fertility and escape from barrenness in our lives.  Thank God for this beautiful picture and for the truth that lies behind it.  Thank God that these things can be our experience right now through Jesus Christ our Lord, the One Who is the fulfillment of the image of God--- that as we look at Him, we are changed from glory to glory, even into the same image.
  • 36. The Plan of Hope & Salvation Romans 3:23 NKJV 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 6:23a NKJV 23a For the wages of sin is death, Death in this life (the first death) is 100%. Even Jesus, the only one who doesn’t deserve death, died in this life to pay the penalty for our sins. The death referred to in Romans 6:23a is the second death explained in Revelation 21:8. Revelation 21:8 NKJV 8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Romans 6:23b NKJV 23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 5:8 NKJV 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Revelation 21:7 NKJV 7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” Romans 10:9-10 explains to us how to accept Jesus as our Savior. Romans 10:9-10 NKJV 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:13 NKJV 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” If you have questions or would like to know more. Please, contact First Baptist Church Jackson at 601-979-1900 or http://firstbaptistjackson.org/contact/