Rivers of Living Water

In this teaching series, we have allowed God to teach us His requirements for worship through
His Old Testament examples of the earthly tabernacle and temple.  Below is a drawing of the
first temple, built by King Solomon, and a description of our worship experience as it relates to
the process of entering into the temple (read from down up).  There are other temples
mentioned in the Bible, however.  One of great significance to us as believers in Yeshua
(Jesus’ name in the original Hebrew) is the temple revealed in the Spirit to Ezekiel and
prophetically described in Ezekiel chapters 40 through 47.  This temple is also an excellent
example of ADONAI’s (the LORD’s) requirements for worship.  One of the most astounding
features of this temple is the river that flows from it.  This river increases in size as it flows,
turns salt water into fresh, abounds in fish, and it has fruit trees growing on its banks (with
leaves for healing).  
Ezekiel’s revelation of the temple came at a time when God’s people were in exile in Babylon.
This prophecy was not given as the first word to the people; instead we find that Ezekiel’s first
description of the temple comes in chapters 8 through 10, in which the people’s idolatry and
departure from God is described, their punishment revealed and the glory of God leaves the
temple.  The religious leaders of God’s people (priests, prophets and teachers) were found in
the greatest idolatry and were teaching that to the people.  They were practicing religions the
nations around them practiced and neglecting God’s law.  For this reason, God began His
judgment (in chapter 9) at the sanctuary.  After the period of exile in Babylon , Ezekiel
prophesied that God will return His people to their land, which we know He did.  The prophecy
about the temple with the life-giving river follows the prophecy of their return to the land and to
right relationship with God.

Ezekiel’s revelations are wonderful examples for us of God’s requirements in worship.  As His
people, we must be committed to worship Him in His ways.  When the Messiah rose from the
dead and gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, we became God’s temples (see 1 Cor. 3:16)—the
place where He dwells and communes with mankind.  He dwells in us and communes with the
world through us.  John 7:38-39 teaches us that the Holy Spirit causes springs of living water
to flow from us to give life to the world around us.  So when we are rebellious toward God or
create covenants with the world (see James 4:4), we pollute the living water that should flow
from us into the world around us.  Proverbs 25:26 reads, “Like a muddied spring or a polluted
well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked.”  Hence, our living water becomes muddy
water and brings death to everything around us when we make idolatrous covenants.

Many of us know that is the condition of our communities.  The Body of the Messiah should
affect every aspect of community life around us:  in our cities, states and nations.  When we
fail to do so, we give way to the wicked.  Our complacency becomes consent, and we muddy
our communities by becoming as greedy and selfish as the businesses and other
organizations in the community.  Rather than pouring resources into the community around
us, we take and take by building human empires rather than the Kingdom of God.  God’s way
is different; He wants us to invest in the community:  the poor, homeless and needy.  He wants
the communities around us to be transformed by our presence.  This is not a passive
occurrence.  We must consciously decide to make a difference in the world around us.  We
must be willing to get our hands dirty and sacrifice.  Anything less is displeasing to God and
does not reflect His glorious presence.  Wherever you are, whatever your ministry, it is
essential that you allow God to speak to you about working with other believers to make
dramatic changes in your area.  When we pray the Lord’s Prayer and get to the part stating
“your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we must remember that
God breaks through to earth from heaven through us—His people; His will is done on earth
through the Body of His Son, the Ecclesia (assembly of the called out ones).  WE must insure
that rivers of living water flow from the place of God’s presence—US.  If we fail to do so, death
will flow from us instead of life and He will hold us to account.