The flowing of new life from God
Scripture: Ezekiel 47:1-23
Aim: To show the possibility of new life from God, in Jesus Christ, for all men. To give the symbolic teaching in this Scripture.
Golden Text: “And, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house (Temple) eastward” (Ezekiel 47:1a). “And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live” (Ezekiel 47:9a).
This prophecy in Ezekiel is one of the most interesting in the book. It is a vision given to the prophet to show the spread of the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, from the temple in Jerusalem to all people in all the corners of the earth.
There is a possibility for all men to have true life, eternal life, if they will only receive it as it comes from God through Jesus Christ by the messengers (His people) God has sent forth to tell the good news.
The vision itself is simple.
From the Holy of Holies, Jehovah’s abode among men in the Old Testament times, a life giving river has its beginnings.
God is the source (vs. 1). The stream flows from God out of the temple threshold toward the east. The prophet is escorted farther along the stream, which is broadening and deepening.
As he wades across the river, it is ankle deep (vs. 3). He is carried farther down stream and the waters are the depth of his loins (vs. 4). Farther down stream the waters are deep enough one needs to swim (vs. 5). That covers verses one through five.
The effects of the river is seen in verses six through 12. Wherever it goes it produces life in vegetation, animals and man (vs. 13-22).
It is a life-giving river flowing from Jehovah.
This is a picture of the Word of God, the Gospel of Christ is a part of it, as it flows from God to men, bringing life and blessing where ever it is received.
I. God is the source of all things. He is the source of life and all that is needed to sustain it. He is the creator of all things. He created and gave man the opportunity to choose to serve Him, but man chose to follow His arch enemy, Satan. God knew this would happen, therefore, He planned a way for man to be brought back to Himself in love and devotion through man’s own will and desire to serve and fellowship with Jehovah Himself. This plan is the Gospel.
All through the Old Testament period Jehovah worked in men, moving them forward in His plan of Salvation. He spoke to man: giving him the Law, the Prophets, the Psalms (the Old Testament), working through man to write as moved by God the Holy Spirit. In the New Testament man is brought face to face with Jesus Christ, the Savior. His life, death and resurrection is recorded for all men everywhere to know and receive. The Message of God goes forth to the world.
II. The Gospel of Christ: His death for our sins, His resurrection for our justification before God, and His ascension into Heaven to take up His rightful place at the right hand of the Father’s throne to intercede for those who will receive the message from God of salvation from sin by faith in Jesus Christ. This message goes out, bringing life to all who will receive it and believe.
III. The spread of the Gospel of Christ started small and increased until it is available all over the world in which we live. First, the waters of the river were “ankle” deep. That is the beginning of the Gospel in Jerusalem after the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. The apostles preached at Pentecost and the “river of life” started swelling. Thousands were saved and the Church of Jesus Christ was begun. Second, the Gospel was preached in all Judea, Samaria and the areas around Palestine. Third, the river swelled more through Paul, his companions and others as they moved into broad areas of the world. The result is that today the Gospel of Christ is preached in countries around the world.
May God help us to be a part of the “river of God” to get the message of salvation in Jesus Christ to “every creature” upon earth!