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Online Text Sermon - Survey of Ezekiel, Ezekiel ch.47 vv.1-23

Date19/04/2001
Time19:30
PreacherRev. Maurice Roberts, Inverness
Sermon TitleSurvey of Ezekiel
TextEzekiel ch.47 vv.1-23
Sermon ID284

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"Afterward he brought me again unto 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. Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. 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. 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. 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. And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward 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. And it shall come to pass, that every thing 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 every thing 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; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. 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 thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine. Thus saith the Lord God; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions. And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another: concerning the which I lifted up mine hand to give it unto your fathers: and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance. And this shall be the border of the land toward the north side, from the great sea, the way of Hethlon, as men go to Zedad; Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazar-hatticon, which is by the coast of Hauran. And the border from the sea shall be Hazar-enan, the border of Damascus, and the north northward, and the border of Hamath. And this is the north side. And the east side ye shall measure from Hauran, and from Damascus, and from Gilead, and from the land of Israel by Jordan, from the border unto the east sea. And this is the east side. And the south side southward, from Tamar even to the waters of strife in Kadesh, the river to the great sea. And this is the south side southward. The west side also shall be the great sea from the border, till a man come over against Hamath. This is the west side. So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord God" (Ezekiel 47, 1-23).

Tonight, as you see, we come to look at the work and ministry of this man Ezekiel. I am not quite sure if this ought to be called a sermon or simply a Bible Study; I think it is somewhere in between. The motive in speaking like this about the prophets is so that we might remind ourselves of the great riches which are to be found in these great prophetic books of the Old Testament. The danger is that we simply read those parts of the Bible which we are familiar with. We tend, naturally, to go back again and again to John's Gospel, Romans, Ephesians and Psalms. Let me quote McCheyne to you and also to myself: "We shall suffer spiritual loss if we are ignorant of any one part of the Bible." It is therefore a good thing to sit down from time to time and ask yourself which parts of the Bible you know least well and to read that, because we can't afford to be ignorant of any one portion of Scripture. Another good practice which I hope I have tried to do myself as well as encourage others to do, is to learn as much of the Bible as we can - to commit it to memory. It is worth spending ten minutes a day trying to learn one single text of Scripture. As I say, I do it myself - not every day, but regularly. It is a good thing to memorise the Scriptures as far as we can and as often as we can.

With all that behind us I want to come now to Ezekiel. I shall speak on Ezekiel's life and ministry as a whole first of all and then I shall concentrate on this particular section of chapter forty-seven, which we have read. Then I shall draw some practical lessons for us all.

We begin then by giving a kind of survey of Ezekiel as a whole.

He was not only a prophet but also a priest he tells us in the very first verse of this prophecy. He was the son of man called Buzi - we know nothing else about him; he must have been a priest like himself - and he ministered in Jerusalem. These are the things we are told. He lived in a very difficult time in the history of God's people of old; a time when many hundreds and thousands of Jews were taken away from their native country to Babylon for the seventy year exile. Ezekiel was one of those taken away with many others and he came to reside, he tells us, in a certain town somewhere near Babylon called Tel-abib. We must not confuse that with Tel-aviv which is a city and an airport in Israel today. It could be that the modern Tel-aviv is named after this old one from when the Jews resided in captivity but I can't say that for certain. We do know that his ministry lasted for just about twenty-two years. He lived at the same time as Daniel although Daniel outlived him - Daniel lived to be a very old man. But he refers to Daniel in his prophecy and says that the wrath of God was so stern against the Jews at this time of judgement and exile that even supposing the most spiritual men on earth were to be praying for the Jews they would not deliver any other than their own souls (14, 14). That tells us that Daniel's prayers were regarded as mighty prayers, not just ordinary prayers as mine would be or the prayers of some others, but mighty prayers! So he lived contemporarily with Daniel.

His ministry: what was he called on to do and to say? What was the burden of this man's prophetic work? Every minister has his own particular emphasis which is given to him by God. This comes to him not through his study in a college; it comes to him first of all through his own nature, his own temperament, his own mind and his own personality. A very famous description of preaching is - "Truth mediated through personality." That is a good description of preaching - "Truth mediated through human personality." No two preachers, of course, are the same. Their burden and emphasis is never quite the same as that of another. Ezekiel was blessed with an exceptionally rich and fertile imagination, so it would appear. There is no book of the bible to my knowledge which is so full of vivid, picturesque and striking imagery as is the book of Ezekiel. Gifted as he was in that way by God, in that vivid way of expressing himself, many of the chapters of his book are extremely memorable and gripping. His ministry then, in a word, was this: it was to explain to the Jews why God was carrying them away into captivity.

When judgement comes upon the people of God they ask the question, "Why should this be happening to us?" Indeed, even worldly people ask such questions as that when troubles come. The ministry then of Ezekiel was to explain to the people of God, and to the Jews as a whole, why God was allowing the Babylonian armies to come rumbling across the country, destroying the land, burning their temple, overthrowing their worship and carrying off in to captivity all the most talented and brilliant of their population. As you know, that meant he had to explain to the people that they were suffering exile for their sin. You may say that that was surely obvious; why did he need to have a ministry to explain such a simple point as that? The answer to that objection is that people are not at all ready to accept that trouble comes as a judgement from God. You can see within our nation - this once Christian nation, this nation of many Bibles and many churches and still many preachers - you see how very slow people are to accept the idea that, for example, the foot and mouth disease which is all over the country, could have anything whatever to do with a divine judgement. I was told just the other day by way of example that even the archbishop of Canterbury has said on the radio that you must not regard the foot and mouth disease as being a judgement from God: it is just one of those things that happens. Ezekiel's ministry was to counter and to counterbalance this scepticism, cynicism and unbelief of the people and to declare to them very roundly and clearly that this exile was a judgement from God. He does that from chapter two right the way through for many, many chapters of his prophecy. He puts it in various illustrations and pictures, every one of which is calculated to show them that the reason why they have to leave their country is because they have sinned against God - they have grieved God.

Indeed, there is a chapter which always tends to send a shiver down my spine when I read it - chapter eleven. Ezekiel in visionary form sees the cherubim - angelic beings - and they are beginning to rise up from the temple and they have God's chariot behind them. It is a picture of God being taken away as it were from the temple at Jerusalem - going away, away, away. It is very hard not to burst into terrible crying when you read that because God can do that and He sometimes does mount His chariot and bid His cherubim to carry His presence away. When the presence of God goes from any nation then you can write 'I-chabod' (1 Samuel 4, 21) across that nation and that is what the Jews were suffering. God was telling them that their sins had so incensed Him, so provoked Him, so vexed His glorious spirit that now the cherubim were mounting up from off the temple and going away - the presence of God was going away. Their sins had driven God away. He wouldn't dwell among such a loathsome and unclean people. That then is the burden of his ministry, or very much of it.

I want to comment briefly at this point to say how it shows that people today have not made any profit from their Bibles. These Bibles are accessible and easy to read, self-evidently clear and every one of these Bibles tells the people of this nation - if they want to hear it - that sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14, 34). Sin is the ruin of every nation; sin is the defilement of every generation. When sin becomes catastrophically serious then what you can expect is that the glorious God will go away - to China where people love Him, or to Africa where the people will read His Bible with more respect. This is what we see in Ezekiel and this is the lesson which comes home to us all today. There is no such thing as a judgement coming upon a nation without a reason; there is always a moral reason why God chastens and judges nations.

That is part of the burden but at the end of his book Ezekiel comforts the Lord's people. This is one of the wonderful things you get with the Lord's prophets: they begin by chastising and they end by comforting. They begin by exposing sin and they end their books normally by stretching out arms of love to those who will repent. As soon as we repent, God repents. As soon as we humble ourselves, God comes back. As soon as we smite on our breast, God will justify us and be angry with us no more. The great lesson to the Jews was that they ought to put their mouth in the dust and accuse themselves and blame themselves for their stupidity in annoying the holy God and driving Him away. The way of victory and the way of curing the evils that had come upon them was a spiritual way - a way of holiness, a way of repentance, the way of self-abasement and of turning afresh to God in faith. That undoubtedly is the only remedy for our country today. It does not matter what Prime Ministers, Cabinet Ministers or archbishops may say to the contrary. There is a Book standing on this table before me and before you. This Book is the infallible interpretation of all things in heaven and on earth of which it speaks. It tells us without any ambiguity that sin is the root of all our ruin and misery, and repentance and faith in the blessed Jesus is the hope and the cure of every malady and every disgrace that comes upon nations.

The very last words of Ezekiel are that the glory has come back again: "The Lord is there" (48, 35). It is the name of the place where God dwells, the sanctified temple where God dwells; Jehovah-shammah - "The Lord is there" (48, 35). That is the comfort we have concerning our nation that He will hear the prayers of dear men and women who love Him, like yourselves and many others like you up and own this country. It is the only hope and possibility that God will hear the prayers of His faithful people going up night and day. Our prayers as it were bind His hands so that He cannot and will not send the terrible judgements which He would otherwise do. Remember what God said to Abraham that if He found even ten righteous men in Sodom, He would not do it for the ten's sake. You see how precious a thing a prayer meeting is. Many people would say that you and I are cranks - crazy, coming to a small gathering like this to do nothing but pray and talk about the Word of God. My friends, if people had their eyes open they would see what you were doing is the salvation of our nation; it is holding back mountains and tons of divine wrath and judgement. If ever the day came when you were not here, and others like you not in their places, then that ton of wrath would come down like a volcanic eruption upon the heads of a nation or generation. It has done times without number in other places. In this way Ezekiel shows the importance of praying in faith to the great God.

There are three clear divisions of Ezekiel's book. Firstly, chapters one to twenty-four consist of the prophecies spoken before the overthrow of Jerusalem. Obviously that's the critical moment - the overthrow of Jerusalem in 586BC when many of the Jews were taken into exile. The second division consists of chapters twenty-five to thirty-two. That is a section of prophecies concerning heathen nations: Edom, Amon, Moab, Egypt and so on. The final section is chapters thirty-three to forty-eight. In that section we have wonderful encouragement - prophecies of restoration, prophecies of revival, prophecies of glory and prophecies of the coming of good days. It reminds us that God's Word never ends on a depressing note - neither should our preaching. Even though we might not see very much with our naked eye, yet, by faith, we know very well that God's purposes are going on and on. You and I may be in our graves and we may not see it but our children or our grandchildren will see it. "For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11, 9). There is never a place for becoming despondent in the Christian life. None of the prophets, ever, teach the people to be depressed about the situation no matter how bad it is. Indeed, what they do is they point out sin and urge repentance but the prophets always take account of the fact that where people are penitent and where the elect remnant are spiritual and keeping themselves from the filth of their generation, they are especially precious to God. Remember the way Malachi puts it: "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name" (Malachi 3, 16). God was listening in to the conversation - not indeed of Cabinet Ministers and those in high places, or those in the Scottish Executive or in Whitehall - He was listening to the godly who were talking to one another about Christ and about the purposes of the Lord. The Lord Himself came down as a silent and unobserved listener to their sacred conversation. He knew them, "And they shall be mine, said the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels" (Malachi 3, 17). That is the emphases in these prophets and you get similar things also right here in Ezekiel.

Let me just touch on some of the wonderful restoration visions that Ezekiel has in the last section of this prophecy - Ezekiel 33-48. A very famous prophecy is in chapter thirty-six where God rebukes the false prophets. I mentioned this chapter last week when we looked into a similar chapter - 23 - in Jeremiah. My friend, if there is one thing God exposes in the prophet, if there is one thing God denounces in the prophet, it is preachers who don't tell people the truth. These above all sinners are extremely wicked in the sight of God. There is nothing more perverse from the point of view of God and of the Bible than men telling lies in the name of the Lord: it is an exquisitely wicked sin. The Lord exposes it in Ezekiel thirty-six as He does in other places. God says that in spite of that, He will gather His true flock to Himself (36, 24); "I will increase them with men like a flock" (36, 37). He promises to make them His people and to give them a true Shepherd to look after them - meaning, of course, our blessed Saviour Himself Who is the good Shepherd over the flock.

In chapter thirty-seven, Ezekiel talks about the Valley of Dry Bones. That is a prophecy we all remember well. What was he talking about? It is a prophecy of the regeneration and spiritual resurrection of the people of God. The Jews had become as dry as dust - spirituality had vanished and the truth had almost been forgotten amongst them as it has in so many parts of Britain today. "Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live" (37, 5). Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester as it were, will all come alive again. London and all parts of the land will praise God again and we must never forget that. God is not dead! He may appear to be sleeping as it were in His wrath and judgement for a time but be sure of this, God's purposes are as alive today as ever. He is working in the world and He is going to bring life again. People today may despise Bibles and truth and they may think that you and I are foolish and old-fashioned to read the Bible but you mark my words, looking into the future, either our children, our grandchildren or a future generation will vindicate us. That is what Spurgeon used to say when the higher-critics criticised him and said he was old-fashioned. Spurgeon said, "I may be eaten of dogs for fifty years but a later generation will vindicate me." And it did do! Almost exactly fifty years after Spurgeon was buried, his books began to be reprinted by the Banner of Truth Trust and by other people indeed all over the world. Today Spurgeon is probably more well-known and well-read than ever he was. That is a typical parable of the way God works. You see, sin prevails for a time. People get tired of godliness for a time. They want to have a fling and let their hair down - going to their pubs and clubs where they want to enjoy life, but that is not life but death really, as you know. After a time God wakens up their children to see that that is the way of death: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14, 12). God's Spirit comes down again on a subsequent generation and that is what the Valley of Dry Bones is talking about.

There is a very difficult section - chapter thirty-eight and thirty-nine. Don't fail to read these two chapters; they are the picture of Gog and Magog. If you go to London you will see on one of the famous buildings there is a statue of Gog and Magog. It is, of course, only an artist's impression. What are these things - Gog and Magog? They are prophetic names for all the enemies of the Lord's people who are going to rise in the future; all those enemies of God and of His people who threaten to destroy the church by persecuting them, killing them, burning them alive and pursuing them to the death as they did in the days of the Reformation and at other times too. Those two chapters show that all the enemies of God at last will be overthrown. In the end of that vision the birds come and feed upon the carcases of the enemies of the people of God. That comes again into the book of Revelation 19 where the same imagery is used: the enemies of God's people will be fed upon by vultures and birds of the air. They will feed sweetly upon all those that hate God's people. All the enemies of righteousness in the end will be meat for the birds of the air.

Then there is an extremely detailed prophecy - chapters forty to forty-eight, right at the end - of the restoration of the temple. Those chapters are an extremely detailed description of the restored temple. The question is: what is that restored temple? It certainly is not the temple that was built under Zerubbabel seventy years later. It is a prophetic vision of the church of Jesus Christ. It is the church in a state of grace with all the wonderful operations of the Spirit working within it. And, as I said before, "The Lord is there" (48, 35); "Jehovah-shammah", is the very last statement he makes. God is in the church and with His people. My beloved, friends, that is the Good News still. No matter how wicked society becomes, no matter how perverse - God dwells still in the true church. He has not forsaken those who love Him; He will never forsake them, and the promise is good to this day.

I will speak a little of chapter forty-seven now. Verses one to twelve are a distinct vision and the vision consists of waters which come from under the threshold of this visionary temple. "Afterward he brought me again unto 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" (47, 1). The vision is of the threshold of this spiritual temple. It is like a sort of doorway and from the threshold, mysteriously - from somewhere inside - out come these waters. If you noticed in the reading, Christ, who was guiding Ezekiel in the vision, had a measuring line and He measured a thousand paces [a thousand paces is a Roman mile]. When He had measured a thousand paces He took Ezekiel through this little river or stream and Ezekiel said that the water was just up to his ankles. Then Christ took him another mile or thousand paces and measured again and the water was up to his loins. Then He took him a little further forward and Ezekiel couldn't get through this time. It was the sort of depth that a man cannot wade through. It was waters for man to swim in (47, 5).

What is this picture? What is this vision? What are these waters? It is the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Christ was showing to Ezekiel what would happen on and after the day of Pentecost. When that blessed Spirit was to be poured down upon the church then waters began to flow from Jerusalem, from out of the temple; Jerusalem being the symbol of the very presence of God. Those waters are the waters of life - it is the Gospel, the truth concerning Christ and His finished work, accompanied, of course, by the work of the Holy Spirit. The waters when they first come from under the threshold of the temple, they are very slender, very slight and very shallow. But as time goes on they grow and become deeper, wider and stronger. So the first thing to notice is it is a picture of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and after. The Gospel, my friends, came forth from Jerusalem. We must always remind ourselves of that; we must be careful of how we describe churches. There is no such thing really as a Church of England, or Church of Wales, or Church of Ireland, or Church of Scotland, or Free Church of Scotland. Those are just labels for convenience - for administrative purposes. We don't owe our allegiance to Edinburgh or to London - still less to Rome! We owe our allegiance to Jerusalem. That is where the waters have come from. It doesn't matter where a church is, be it New Zealand, Australia, America, these waters have gone everywhere. They are from Christ coming forth - the water of life - flowing freely throughout the world. When they first began to flow, they were very shallow; just a few converts and then more and more and more - three thousand on the day of Pentecost. Then they were added to and the Word of God went from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and then to the ends of the earth. Roman soldiers brought the Gospel to Scotland. Scotland was conquered for Christ before the Roman Empire conquered Scotland; that is a known fact. The Word of God came with Roman soldiers tramping up the roads in England, as we call it now - Britain as it was then. They were converted men and they brought the Word of God to the Picts who were covered over with their woad. Men were converted to Jesus of whom they had never heard - somebody who had died for sinners. The beauty of the Gospel came to these shores. Columba came from Ireland to Iona and he sent out his missionaries years later. They went all over the Highlands and Lowlands of this land and they brought the Word of God. They came even to Inverness and to King Brude who made a profession of faith of some kind. We can't say how genuine these things are because we don't have enough information, but the Gospel conquered. The workers were going everywhere - all over our country. They have been flowing here and there round our country every since - for the best part of two thousand years. They went to America with the Puritans and then to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India. The Empire took these influences everywhere. Now just about the whole earth is receiving these flood waters of blessing. Men and women are being blessed in Christ and calling Him blessed.

Then we are told, not only does the water get deeper and deeper as it progresses but something else happens. I hope you noticed this in the second part of the reading: "And he said unto me, [this is Christ speaking] Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other" (47, 6-7). You ask what these trees represent. They are Christians! Wherever the Water goes - converts, trees of righteousness, men who are planted beside the water courses whose delight is in the law of the Lord, holy people, godly people, Christ's people. That is what these trees are, springing up wherever the waters go. That is why we must do whatever we can to get the Gospel to people. You have no idea when somebody will be converted.

I was in Wales a few days ago and I met a lady who had a most interesting testimony. Let me illustrate my point by reference to her. She was telling me this. She was a young girl in Germany - many years ago now because she is a grandmother: her hair is grey. She said as a young girl she was laughing her head off in northern Germany with the other teenagers. They laughed about nothing; they were just stupid she said. Then she lifted up her eyes and through the leaves of the trees she saw the stars and it was as though God spoke to her there and then. She asked herself why she was laughing, what was she doing in this world and where was she going. Then she said to her father that she wanted to take up employment in England. He pooh-poohed it but she insisted. As a young girl of about seventeen she came all the way to - well, in fact, it wasn't England but Wales. She didn't know the difference; she had probably never heard of Wales. There she met Christians and was gloriously converted to faith in our Saviour Jesus Christ. For many years now she has been witnessing for Christ. You can still distinguish the German accent when she speaks. She speaks Welsh and English with a German accent. She praises God that the waters of blessing have flowed to her. When they come to a person you never know when they may become these trees of righteousness.

Another thing you should notice about this is in verse eight. "These waters," says Christ, "issue out toward 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. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live" (47, 8-9). What is He talking about? He means the influence of the Gospel - wherever the Gospel goes in the whole world it brings blessing with it, it purifies. Isn't that what water does, it cleanses. My friends, this world in the sight of God is very much like a public sewer, full of stench and filth and godlessness. That is the world we live in. the Gospel waters, wherever they go, they sweeten and cleanse and purify. That is the picture which is being given to us here.

There is a third thing in verse nine: "and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh" (47, 9). You see in verse ten: "And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many" (47, 10). What are these fish? They are Christians. It is just an illustration, nothing more than that. You mustn't take it literally. There are no literal fish. He means Christians - wherever these waters of blessing go there are sure to be converts, sure to be men and women who will love God and become true Christians. What did Jesus say to His disciples? "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4, 19). That is what ministers and others are - they are to be fishing for the souls of men. "Here's a tract and here's a leaflet; here's an invitation to come and hear the Gospel and here's a book to read." Be forever fishing for the souls of men. Tell them about the Good News of the Gospel. You never know who will believe.

"But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt" (47, 11). What does that mean? It means that where the Gospel does not penetrate, society becomes stagnant, putrid, fetid, dead.

"And by the river upon the bank thereof, 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 they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine" (47, 12). That is taken up almost word for word in Revelation 22 where we have the same picture: "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb" (Revelation 22, 1); "And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations" (Revelation 1, 2). It is the Gospel of Christ - the one and only medicine for sin; nothing else will cure it but this.

In conclusion, let us drink deeply of these Gospel rivers. Let us be men and women full of grace and truth.


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