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Going to the Source

“O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together” Psalm 34:3.

“And a River went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads” Gen. 2:10.

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb. In the midst of the street [the Way] of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves were for the healing of the nations” Rev. 22:1,2.

Did we mention that there was a [pure river of water of life] that went out of [proceeded from] Eden to water the garden? (and the Tree of Life was there also?)

We shall attempt as such, a metaphorical presentation focusing primarily on Christ, the Source of Living Water. Here is a brief description of the four scenes of which it will be comprised. Scene one: Heaven itself; the Father and Son enthroned; the river of life proceeding out of the throne. Scene two: the Son condescending to earth; not as the river that finds its Source in Him, but unto the thirsty soul a Well, a Fountain of living water. Scene three: His ascension back to Heaven; He is God and Man, the Fountain and the River from which come the mercies and grace of God the Father through the Son. Scene four: the second advent, in great power and glory. This coming, metaphorically both as the Fountain opened to the house of David and as the pure River, clear as crystal, descending from God out of Heaven. But this presentation is without end; that is, it ‘ends’ with new beginnings; a new heaven and new earth; old things being passed away. . .

Scene One. Creation: Going to the Source.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” Gen. 1:1. Many people make reference to ‘the end of the world,’ but saith the scriptures: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” Isa. 65:17. “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” II Peter 3:12,13.

The Throne of Grace: Going to the Source.

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb” Rev. 22:1. Here is God’s Provision; the pure water of life.

“I AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I WILL give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely” Rev. 21:6. Here is God’s Provider: I AM and I WILL give of the fountain of the water of life freely.

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely” Rev. 22:17. And where is he that is thirsty to proceed? Why, to the Throne of Grace; from whence proceeds the pure river of the water of life! And let him take it; let him lay hold upon it; let him cleave to it, let him cherish it; let him drink deeply of its life sustaining refreshment: it is Living Water.

If one searched long enough and hard enough, he m i g h t be able to locate the beginning and the subsequent ending of any given river. But what of a River that is so vast as to be without beginning or end? What of an Eternal River - one that proceeds from the Eternal God? If one were to stand on the banks of a great river looking at the waters before him; then look to the east as far as the eye could see; then to the west also. He can see the river before him, but the two extremities as it were, seem to disappear into the distance; to fade into eternity. . .

Scene Two. The Condescending Christ: Going to the Source

“Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. . .” Phil. 2:6,7. Metaphorically speaking, the Son laid aside the image; the River proceeding from the throne of God, and took upon Himself the ‘image’ of a Well of living water. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” vs. 8. Though He was the Well of Living Water, in the midst of His own thirst He could not (would not) draw drink from within Himself. The ‘Water’ (blood) of this well was drained; a propitiation. It was reserved for, given in behalf of “him that is athirst. . .and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” Rev. 22:17.

The Well that sat upon the well: Going to the Source.

Think that strange? What about, The Well that conversed with the woman? “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. . .the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water. . .The woman then left her waterpot, [who needs a waterpot when you have the Source of living water flowing through you!] Come see a man. . .is not this the Christ? This water was springing up - and out! But from whence was the Source of this water? Is it not from the ‘pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb?’

Let’s expand upon the picture before us. We understand that a well does not produce water of itself; that it draws from an underground river or spring. Being underground it is not seen by the natural eye. Neither the direction of its flow; nor the vastness of the water beneath is known to us. This water is unpolluted from the filth of the world above it. If that unseen Source remains constant, the well will never run dry; one may draw from it indefinitely. Christ, coming in the likeness of man, is from without, beheld only as the Well of water; but within, underneath, He is the pure River of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. This is consistent with the words of our Lord: “Then answered Jesus. . .I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things he doeth, these also doeth the Son. . .I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” John 5:19,30b. Jesus, made known as the Well, and though unseen, was [is] the River of living water proceeding from the throne! The woman had drawn from Jacob’s well for years, without considering any of the above; and so, when she met the Christ, she was unaware that the water which she had been drinking was, in a way, like Him! (Jacob’s well is still 75 feet deep! and the water is still good water!) [Verified by a friend who has personally drunk from it].

‘Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink’ Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Simon Peter, sinking into a sea of certain death, cried ‘Lord, save me!’ whereupon the Fountain, springing up; the pure River of Water of Life reached forth and lifted him up. And I would suppose that Peter became even as Jacob as he held fast unto the Lord: “I will not let thee go!”

When the rich man would desire that Lazarus touch his parched tongue with a drop of water: only the living water flowing from the river which proceeds from the throne could have granted any lasting relief. Though Lazarus have access abundantly to that water, he could in no wise be a vessel through which it might flow unto him that was now in torment. Have you that water? Then may it be found flowing through you unto the rich man, to the poor, to the up and in, to the down and out. May we, by the grace of God, be not merely containers, but channels to others who may “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” Isa. 55:6. Is not this the very thing that Nicodemus did? Seek the Lord while He was near - even though it was at night! What if Jesus had said, Nicodemus, come back in the morning! Is God to be compared with man: to limit Himself to ‘office hours, nine to five?’ But it was to be morning in the heart of Nicodemus, for he had come to the Light of the world! The operation of God far exceeds time; it is an Eternal Work!

A Cup of Cold Water: Going to the Source.

“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water. . .he shall in no wise lose his reward” Matt. 10:42. If I am going to the Source, the pure river of living water: shall I withhold a cup of cold water from my neighbor who is thirsty? Should I not give him the cup - and then lead him to the Fountain of Living Water? And sing along the way, ‘Shall we gather at the river. . .that flows by [proceeds from] the throne of God!’

God forbid that we are as the Laodiceans; having hoarded up the blessings of God; saying I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing: that we should find ourselves as containers of stagnant water to be spewed out of the mouth of God! If one would be an open channel through which living water is flowing: it is he that is increased; finding his sufficiency in Christ to be all he needs! The Laodiceans would do well to read Isaiah 55: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters. . .Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not. . .Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live. . .”

Scene Three. The Ascension: Going to the Source.

“Father the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee” John 17:1. How exactly did the Father answer the petition of the Son! “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. . .that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father!” Phil 2:9,11. Metaphorically may we say that Christ is again identified with the pure river of water of life, and is indeed its Source!

Help in Time of Need: Going to the Source

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. . .Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” Heb. 4:14,16. “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb.” “I AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the water of life freely.” Why are we to come boldly, confidently, with great expectation, to the Throne of Grace? What token has God provided to assure us that we shall obtain His mercy and grace? What if His resources are in short supply? God? In short supply? Perish the thought! From the throne there flows a River of mercies and grace; a Blessed Source, an Abundant Source, freely given, to help in time of need! “Every good and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” James 1:17.

New - every morning: Going to the Source.

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” Lam. 3:22,23.

A small boy who lived in a large city went to spend the summer with his grandfather, who owned a farm in the Midwest. His property bordered a river. Of course, this was the first place he wanted to see, for his mother had spoken many times of this river and of the years spent here in her youth. The grandson was quite taken with the swirling waters as he watched them flow over and around several sizable rocks. Hours passed; dusk fell upon the land, and as it began to get dark, the boy wondered to himself : God is turning out the lights; it’s time for bed. Is He turning off the water of the river too? The next morning God once again turned on the lights; the sun rose, beaming across the fields of Grandpa’s farm. Did God turn on the water also? Sure enough, as he ran down to the river, the waters flowed swiftly as before: God HAD turned on the water!

We smile at such a story! But what is our view of the scripture: The Lord’s mercies; His compassions. . .they are new every morning. Does God ‘turn on” His mercies and compassions at the rising of the sun? Of course not! It is in the eye of the beholder. We as the young grandson awake to the newness of the river of Divine mercies. Do we not know that they flow continually, all the day long and all through the night? Sleep well, dear believer; knowing that a pure river of water, clear as crystal, proceeds out of the throne of God and the Lamb! Rejoice in it as it comes by you; as it passes through your life. Where does it go from here? It is an Eternal River. Its ultimate destination(s) are in the mind of the Sovereign God of heaven: it flows as faithfully as the faithful God in whom it finds its source. The little grandson is sure to share his river with others, even as his mother shared her river with him. Are you sharing your own river of blessings, of the compassionate mercies of God and the Lamb as they flow continually through you from the throne of Grace?

“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” John 7:37.38.

You can see God using some lives, but into your life an obstacle has come and you do not seem to be of any use. . .however small the visible measure of our lives, out of us will flow the rivers that will bless to the uttermost parts of the earth. We have nothing to do with the outflow - “This is the work of God that ye believe. . .” God rarely allows a soul to see how great a blessing he is. . . We are to be centres through which Jesus can flow as rivers of living water in blessing. . .and the sweetness of vital relationship to Jesus will flow out of the saint as lavishly as it was imparted to him. . .Keep right at the Source, and - you will be blessed personally? No, out of you will flow rivers of living water, irrepressible life.

Oswald Chambers

Scene Four. The Return of Christ in Glory: Going to the Source.

“And he shewed me a pure river of water, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb. In the midst of the street [the Way] of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: the leaves were for the healing of the nations” Rev. 22:1,2.

Remember what we said at the beginning; the [pure river of water of life] that went out of [proceeded from] Eden to water the garden; the Tree of Life being there also?

“behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward. . .These waters issue out towards 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. . .everything 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 everything shall live whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim [these cities bordering the Dead Sea]; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds; as the fish of the great [Dead] sea, exceeding many” Ezek. 47:1b,8-10.

The ’Dead Sea’ becomes the ‘Living Sea’ abounding with fish (the dead, dry, lifeless souls of men being quickened as they receive of the Water of Life.) “And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. . .They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes” Mark 1:17, John 21:6

“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 shall be for meat, and the leaves thereof for medicine” Ezek. 47:1,12.

“Abide in me, and I in you. . .He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit. . .that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain” John 15:4a,5b,16b.

“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh. . .And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives [it is from the Mount of Olives that He ascended. Acts 1:12.] which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west. . .And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder” Zec. 14;1a,4,8.

“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” Luke 24:47. Herein is pictured living waters going out from Jerusalem, carrying the Gospel of Jesus Christ from sea to sea. . .

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