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THE RIVER OF LIFE

    Bible Symbolism

John 7:38 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

 

     This river of life that heals the nations is one of the clearest illustrations about the New Jerusalem. God the Holy Spirit who dwells in his people flowing through them to heal the nations. It is hard to imagine the fundamental and rather carnal misunderstanding of scripture and Christian experience that takes the power of the Holy Spirit that works through so many millions of believers to save, heal, deliver and transform and turns Him into a mythical physical river that will come to the earth some day. Yet Jesus said he spoke in parables for a reason: Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said to him, Why speak you to them in parables? 11 He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that he has. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. AKJV Apparently,  to those who refuse to grow in the grace of God, to this day, these symbolic illustrations are meant to deceive them. The next story is a very good example of a carnal\unspiritual mind wrestling with the meaning of the same  illustrative language.

     John 4:7 There comes a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus said to her, Give me to drink. 8 (For his disciples were gone away to the city to buy meat.) 9 Then said the woman of Samaria to him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that said to you, Give me to drink; you would have asked of him, and he would have given you living water. 11 The woman said to him, Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from where then have you that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said to her, Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 15 The woman said to him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come here to draw. 16 Jesus said to her, Go, call your husband, and come here. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have well said, I have no husband: 18 For you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband: in that said you truly. 19 The woman said to him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and you say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus said to her, Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman said to him, I know that Messiah comes, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus said to her, I that speak to you am he. AKJV

     Compare this woman to today's pop culture teachings about end time prophecy and the New Jerusalem.  Notice how the focus of both this woman and thousands of todays popular teachers is on the physical illustrations yet they completely miss the actual meaning of them. The woman confused by Jesus's words takes them to mean some kind of magical physical water that would satisfy her flesh and bone bodies need for water. The proud Biblical "literalist" takes the exact same position with the river of living water entirely missing the actual meaning of verses about the Holy Spirit healing, saving, transforming the nations through Gods people. The woman also looks at the OT writings about the physical city of Jerusalem as being the focus of its teachings. (This even though her own religion disputes those claims.) Jesus corrects her by telling her neither Jerusalem or Samaria are the focus of Gods purposes on the earth but rather on people worshiping with their spirit and the truth.  This coincides exactly with what we see today. Rather than grasping the actual meaning of very common Biblical illustrations and symbolism about both the physical city of Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem. Mainstream Christian's teachings focus is on the physical city of Jerusalem in the Middle East and a new supposed physical city called the New Jerusalem. Just like the Samaritan woman totally missing the actual meaning of the verses as illustrations and in prophecy. This aught to frighten the reader as to what they are propagating in the world through their prayer and financial support of ministries who's understandings mirror that of the Samaritan woman with a magical physical water or river rather than the actual meaning of these illustrations Jesus puts forth.

      Psalm 46: Selah. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. NAS

     Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

     The next paragraph is from Ezekiel's vision of the New Jerusalem already comparatively written about to Johns vision here.

     Ezekiel 47: 1 Afterward he brought me again to 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. 2 Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without to the utter gate by the way that looks eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. 3 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. 4 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. 5 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. Perhaps the only thing to be noted is what the meaning of the river growing larger would be; that as time goes on and more and more people become believers. The river would grow larger because it is flowing from or through more people.  More will be said about this in the next verse.

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© Daniel Martinovich 2002-2016