KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
“Teaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God . ."
THE HEAVENS DECLARE
AQUARIUS—THE WATER POURER
Did you ever look up at night time and just gaze at the stars? I do; I am always enthralled by what I see. It was the Psalmist and King of Israel, David, who said, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge" (Ps. 19:1-2). A study of the incredible glory and dazzling splendor of the star-studded heavens will convince any unbiased mind of the fact of the Creator. One would indeed need to be a silver-tongued orator with a golden pen to even begin to describe the breathtaking grandeur of the vast universe of myriads of raging infernos and swirling nebulae that stretch outward into infinity. It was Abraham Lincoln, once walking with a friend in the late evening, who looking up, said, "I could understand anyone up there in the heavens, looking down on this earth, and not believing in God: but I cannot understand anyone looking up to the heavens and seeing the glory of the stars, not believing in God." The import of the Psalmist's words, however, are freighted with meaning far beyond the heavens evoking a mere belief in the existence of the Creator. Well may we hymn God's praise because of the glory of the constellations and galaxies, but know this, oh man: God had in mind and purpose realms much greater than an acknowledgement of His greatness in creation when He inspired David with those weighty words: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork." The more our hearts bow down in meditation upon the eternal and heavenly and spiritual things of Him the more we are brought face to face with the wonderful truth enunciated by the apostle Paul to the saints in Ephesus: "For WE ARE HIS HANDIWORK, created in Christ Jesus with a view to good works which God prepared beforehand. . . " (Eph. 2:10, Wuest). The Psalmist said, "The firmament showeth His handiwork." The apostle explained, "We are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus." Neither by the eloquence of words nor by the clarity of phrases can we say more plainly or more emphatically than this that the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows, reveals and demonstrates the nature and purpose of God's great creative work in and through His enChristed body, the elect saints, who are the new creation in Christ Jesus of which the natural creation is merely a faint shadow and a weak picture.
The Zodiac (Signs of the heavens) is the earliest revelation to mankind from his Creator. Each of the twelve Signs pictorially represents an aspect or the progressive unfolding of the dealings, plan and purpose of God in the grand scheme of creation and redemption. Each Sign portrays a dimension of SPIRITUAL REALTY wrought out, first of all, in the life of our blessed Forerunner and Head, Jesus Christ; and secondly in the life of each individual member of His body, the sons and daughters of God. The stars are distant lights. They shine in other spheres. There is no doubt that vast numbers of these stars are “suns” like unto our own, the centers of great solar systems, with heavenly bodies that revolve around them, perhaps populated by beings of which we know nothing at this present time. Thus will it be in the Kingdom of the Son, in the spiritual heavens of God's universal and eternal dominion. Each son of God will be a star, a sun, shining forth in living and everlasting luster. Each member of the elect will faithfully radiate his beams of life and light and love, shining in those spheres which the omniscient Father shall allot to them. Thus each shall become the central star of a spiritual solar system composed of myriads of creatures in God's glorious creation which revolve around them, unto whom they shine as the revelation of God's nature, glory, and power. These are the emanations of God Himself in whom the scripture is fulfilled: "Then shall the righteous SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the Kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Mat. 13:43). And again, “They that be wise shall SHINE AS THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE FIRMAMENT; and they that turn many to righteousness AS THE STARS FOR EVER AND EVER" (Dan. 12:3). What glorious and ineffable prospects lie before us!
From the time when the morning stars sang together and the sons of God first shouted for joy, this universe, this eternal spiritual universe, this higher-than-the-heavens universe, this Kingdom of Heaven, has been the home and heritage of every son of God. Each son belongs to it, and it belongs to him. He is in it, and it is in him. He holds himself in harmony with it, and it fills his soul with its song. He apprehends its truth, enjoys its beauties, and partakes of its holiness. There is no place in it where he has not a right to be; for it has been the Father's good pleasure to give him the Kingdom. His life is not measured by years, but by its possibilities and expansiveness. Divinity and eternity are born within him. The Signs of the natural heavens but picture the wonders of the spiritual heavens, the lights and configurations of which we are. Many saints wonder and stand in doubt of this message of sonship and the Kingdom of God, because they feel, Who are we that we should enter into such fullness, this measure of glory, grace and power that has not been known from the foundation of the world unto this day. But it is not a case of "Who are we?" It is a case of "How great thou art, O Lord!” God is the all-wise and almighty Creator, we are but His handiwork; He is doing this for His own glory and praise, and not because we have by our own wisdom chosen the glory or are anything of ourselves. Old creation or New Creation, "It is HE that hath made us, and not we ourselves..." (Ps. 100:3).
THE SIGN OF AQUARIUS
In our series of messages on the Zodiac we come now to the subject of AQUARIUS — THE WATER POURER. If you have a sky chart you will notice that the Sign of Aquarius is the figure of a mighty man holding a great urn upon his shoulder, from which comes a seemingly inexhaustible stream of water flowing downwards until finally it flows directly into the mouth of a great fish (Piscis Australis—the Southern Fish), which receives it and swallows it all. In the right shoulder of the Waterman is the star called SADELMELIK, which means The Record of the Pouring Out. The other shoulder bears the star SADALSUUD meaning He Who Pours Out. You have no doubt heard the song, "It is The Age Of Aquarius." What does that mean? Just as the stars have moved through the procession of the equinoxes, so we have moved in time and world history from one mansion of the Zodiac to another. Interestingly, about the time that Christ Jesus came into the world, we moved into the Sign of Pisces, which is the Sign of the Fish and a symbol of the people of God. That Sign has lasted for approximately two thousand years after which we are, even now, moving into the Sign of Aquarius, meaning a time of FULLNESS. There is no doubt whatsoever that the old age is ending and another more glorious age is dawning. The sacred knowledge of this fact burns brightly within the hearts of all Christians on all levels of spiritual development. The prophets of our generation have proclaimed it, and the constellations of the heavens declare it!
Aquarius means something far more than what the astrologers and others today think it means. As we have seen, Aquarius is the one who pours out the water upon Piscis Australis, the Southern Fish. Water, of course, is a great symbol of the Holy Spirit which God promised to pour out upon His people and the earth. It is a glorious symbol of life and one of the happiest in all of the world. Next to light, it is God's brightest element. Where waters come they bring gladness and rejuvenation, luxuriousness and plenty. Where they pour forth, sinking strength recovers, dying life rekindles, perishing nature revives, a thousand delights are awakened, and everything rejoices and sings with new-begotten vitality. In Aquarius that water is being poured out upon the figure of a fish. In the Sign Capricornus the dying goat is seen giving life to a fish emerging from its latter half. As Christ was the great sin-offering and through His death the Church or the fish was brought into life, we now see that fish sustained in life by the risen Christ, again in Aquarius, the Water-Bearer who is now pouring out the water of His Holy Spirit upon the living fish. This is a great picture of the outpouring of the fullness of the Spirit upon the sons and the daughters of God. The Lord Jesus said, "Whosever drinketh 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" (Jn. 4:14). Again and again the scriptures testify of this mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit into and out from the people of God. Through Isaiah He declares: "For I will POUR WATER upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will POUR OUT MY SPIRIT upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thy offspring: and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses" (Isa. 44:3-4). David prophesied in spirit of the coming of the Messiah and described His coming in these words: "HE shall come down like RAIN upon the mown grass: as SHOWERS that water the earth. In His days shall the righteous flourish" (Ps. 72:6-7). Joel prophesied: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will POUR OUT MY SPIRIT upon all flesh and also upon the servants and upon the handmaidens in those days will I POUR OUT MY SPIRIT" (Joel 2:28-29). That our Lord is coming in a great spiritual outpouring of Himself is made plain in Hos. 6:3: "Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and HE SHALL COME UNTO US AS THE RAIN, as the former and latter rain unto the earth." Hallelujah!
There is a most remarkable incident which took place in relation to the glory cloud when the children of Israel came out of Egypt. This incident is little known by God's people, but it happened to testify to us of the great purpose for which God has enveloped His presence in a cloud. "Behold, He cometh with clouds.....” It pointed forward to the great work of the Holy Spirit during this and subsequent ages. Paul refers to this event in I Cor. 10:1-2: "Moreover brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were UNDER THE CLOUD, and all passed through the sea; and were all BAPTIZED UNTO MOSES IN THE CLOUD and in the sea." Note that Paul says that the Israelites were "all BAPTIZED... IN THE CLOUD. And then in Exodus chapter fourteen it is repeated no less than four times, that they passed "on dry land" through the midst of the sea. Now, how can you pass through on dry ground and at the same time be BAPTIZED IN THE CLOUD AND IN THE SEA? The fact is, God baptized those Israelites on dry ground. The sea was indeed rolled back by a great wind and the ground became dry, but let us notice in Ps. 77:15-20 what else happened at that time. "When Thou with Thine arm redeemed Thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. The WATERS saw Thee, O God, the waters saw Thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled. The CLOUDS POURED OUT WATER: the skies sent out a sound: Thine arrows also went abroad. Thou leddest Thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron." The CLOUDS P-O-U-R-E-D O-U-T W-A-T-E-R when the children of Israel had crossed the Red Sea by the hand of Moses! How many of my readers ever heard of that storm? Israel was thus "baptized" IN THE CLOUD, as they had been "baptized" in the sea!
The above story has not been understood because multitudes of the Lord's people equate "baptism" only with immersion, or one being dipped into or put under water. They claim that in every case of scriptural baptism the person or thing baptized is moved or put into or under the baptizing element. The truth is, however, that in the vast majority of cases in scripture, if not in every case, the baptizing element or instrumentality is moved and put upon the person or thing baptized. Contrary to the teaching of many, and contrary even to certain scholars, "baptize" does not mean to "dip." Ultimately it is usage that determines the meaning of words in any language. In classic Greek the word baptizo is never used in the modern evangelical sense of putting a body into water and then immediately withdrawing it. It cannot be denied by those who know and love the truth that the Sign of Aquarius tells us far more about the true "baptism in the Spirit" than all the modern-day preachers have ever learned from the Word of God!
Now, what saith the Lord as to the mode of this real Spirit baptism, and this symbolical water baptism? Open your Bible and look into this matter very carefully, with humility and reverence, and you will find that never once is the person represented as being "dipped," "plunged" or "immersed" into the baptizing element or agency, but uniformly the baptizing element or agency is "poured out," or in some way comes upon the person baptized. The apostles were baptized with the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:5; 2:1-4), and the Spirit was "poured out" on them (Acts 2:16-33); they were baptized with fire (Mt. 3:7), and a tongue of fire come down from heaven and "sat upon each of them" (Acts 2:2-3). The children of Israel were baptized with or by or in the cloud, and the cloud "poured our water" upon them (Ps. 77:16-17; I Cor. 10:1-2). Noah and his family were baptized with the flood (I Pet. 3:20-21), and they rode safe and dry over its waves as it "rained" upon them for forty days and forty nights. Three thousand Jews received water baptism during the few closing hours of a single day, and in a city where there was no place the leaders and rulers would permit to be used for immersion. Paul was baptized in his own room (Acts 9:17-18). The inspired record says: "Anastas ebapisthe," that is, "having stood up, he was baptized." The jailer at Philippi was converted in the jail, at the midnight hour, and we are told that there "he was baptized, he and all his, straightway” (Acts 16:33). Cornelius and his household having had the Spirit fall on them and poured out upon them, water was brought and poured out on them, if the symbol is in any way to correspond to the reality (Acts 10:44-48). The Saviour was baptized with His sufferings (Lk. 12:50) and His sufferings were "laid upon Him" (Isa. 53:6). The Great Baptizer is Christ Himself, and He baptizes His people with the Holy Ghost when He "pours out His Spirit upon them (Tit. 3:5-6).
In Heb. 3:10, the inspired writer, speaking of the Old Testament rituals, ceremonies and ordinances, says, "Which stood only in meals and drinks, and divers washings imposed on them until the time of reformation." The word translated "washings" refers to the ceremonial purifications under the law and is from the Greek word BAPTISMOIS, that is, baptisms. Can we ascertain the mode of these baptisms? Yes, with infallible certainty. In the very same chapter the apostle refers to the mode of these ceremonial purifications no less than three times and declares that it was by sprinkling. "For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh. How much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:13). "For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people.... moreover he sprinkled.... both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry" (Heb. 9:19-21). In Num. 19:17-18 we read of a ceremonial purification, or "baptism," and we read: "A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels and upon the persons." In Lev. 14:5-7 we road how a leper was to be cleansed: "And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean." A leprous house was to be cleansed in the same manner, by sprinkling (Lev. 14:50-52). And so in the case of other ceremonial baptisms there is no case on record in which an Israelite administered any of the ceremonial baptisms by putting the person or thing under water. Not one! In every case the baptism or cleansing was by sprinkling or pouring out water. When the whole Israelitish nation entered into covenant with God at Sinai, Moses "sprinkled all the people" (Ex. 24:8; Heb 9:19). On the great day of atonement the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place, and sprinkled the Ark of the Covenant (Lev. 4:17; Heb 9:25). When the destroying angel passed over Egypt, only the blood-sprinkled were afforded protection (Ex. 12:7-13). When king David sinned he cried, "Purge me with hyssop," that is, sprinkle me with water or blood from the wetted hyssop, "and I shall be clean" (Ps. 51:7). When speaking of the spiritual cleansing effected by the blood of Christ, of which water baptism was the sign to believing Jews, Paul says, "the blood of sprinkling" (Heb 12:24); and Peter calls it "the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" (I Pet. 1:2). In all casts of the use of either water or blood in the Old Testament as a means of purification, sanctification or anointing sprinkling or pouring were the mode used. And in Heb 9:10 the apostle speaks of these ceremonial purifications, and calls them baptisms (baptismois). The Spirit's work is from Genesis to Revelation represented as a "pouring," a "sprinkling,” a "coming down," a "shedding forth," and coming as the "rain" and the "dew". In the New Testament the Spirit of God is represented as descending, pouring out, shedding forth, falling upon, coming upon, sent from on high, to be drunk as water, anointing, sealing, breathed upon them, ministered to them, given to them, and received by them.
It is not my purpose in this writing to provoke a debate concerning the mode of water baptism. What you may or may not believe about external rituals, outward ceremonies, and natural ordinances is, in my opinion, but a paltry side issue of no spiritual significance and no eternal import. All natural things are but types and shadows to our understanding of spiritual things. Properly understood they open the door of understanding to the sacred secrets of God. All natural things have their spiritual counterparts, but I have absolutely no interest at all in seeking to establish or promote any external ritual, outward ceremony or carnal ordinance, for I declare to you that in this day, for those who have left the Outer Court and the Holy Place to find an entrance into the glory of the Holiest of all, the shadows have all passed away and reality has dawned within our hearts. Turn! oh sons and daughters of the Most High, from all these religious vanities, for the true light now shineth and the physical ceremonies having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with water, or formulas, or bread, or wine, or hands, or fleshly ministrations make the recipients thereof perfect. Depart from the carnal realm of empty and lifeless forms and flee away to the celestial heights in the mountain of God from whence streams the quickening and transforming river of Life from the presence of the Lord. One wonderful day, the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles in old Jerusalem, Jesus our Lord stood up and cried aloud to the people: "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" (Jn. 7:37-38). That, oh child of God, is the secret to eternal blessedness. Not only does He pour the water upon us, but our faith and union with the living Christ of God makes us the source of rivers of living waters, ceaseless in their abundant flow forever and ever and ever.
As Aquarius pours his water out from his urn, so the heavens pour down water upon the earth. When a cloud becomes so heavy with droplets that it can no longer hold them, it spills over, and we have rain. O Lord my God, thou art very great. . . who layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters: who maketh the CLOUD HIS CHARIOT: HE WATERETH the hills FROM HIS CHAMBERS" (Ps.104:3, 13). The clouds are the chambers of God containing the water of life. A cloud is full of water and water speaks to us of life. Water typifies the Word of God and the Spirit of God (Eph 5:26; Jn. 7:37-38). A cloud speaks to us of a vessel, as an urn, which contains water or contains life. Even so, God by His Spirit gives living water to refresh and impart life unto His creation. It is the nature of a cloud to empty itself. "If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth" (Eccl. ll:3). When the cloud gets filled up, it rains. That is the nature of the clouds — rain pours out. All that God is was emptied into Jesus Christ. All that God is was poured into Him, He became a receptacle, a vehicle for all the fullness of God (Col. 1:19; 2:9). He was filled up with the life-giving properties of God. Now, all that Jesus Christ is, is being emptied into His body until we are filled with all the fullness of God—having all the life-giving properties of God. HE IS FILLING THE CLOUDS! The nature of each son will be to pour out that life just as God poured it into Jesus and Jesus poured it into us. If the saints be full of God they will pour Him out upon the earthy-natured, unspiritual ones. A true ministry has life to give, and is willing to empty himself in order to be a blessing to a dry and thirsty people. Pour out His life for others—that's what Jesus did! We must empty out that same life on a groaning creation and break the bondage. The whole creation is awaiting this son company of people who will be the clouds of glory, the strong man of Aquarius with the water jar. Their life giving waters will be emptied upon a dry and cursed earth just as the waters were first emptied upon them—creation itself will be released into the liberty of the glory of the sons of God.
I mentioned that water is the symbol for both the Word and the Spirit (Eph 5:26; Jn. 7:37-39). The mystery of God is not far off in heaven somewhere. GOD IS THE WORD AND THE WORD IS GOD. Furthermore, THE WORD IS THE SPIRIT AND THE SPIRIT IS THE WORD. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life" (Jn 6.63). Words are the most powerful thing in creation. All visible things were created by God's Word. "And God said, let there be. . . " (Gen. 1:3). “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made" (Jn.1:1,3). Let all men know that creation was not brought forth merely by the spoken word. The power of God's Word lies not in the act of speaking, but in the fact that it is a LIVING WORD. "For the Word of God is living and powerful" (Heb. 4:12). The Word is living because it is energized by the Spirit. "It is the spirit that quickeneth (makes alive).. the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." The creation was not formed by the spoken word, but by the Living Word. "And the Spirit of God moved . . . and God said." The Word spoken emanated out of the Spirit—it was the Living Word. The scriptures state that we are born again by the Spirit and we are born again by the Word. Does that mean that we are born again twice, or on two levels? Not at all! It indicates that the Spirit and the Word are SO ONE that the Word is a LIVING WORD. The Spirit and the Word united are the Living Word. We are not born again by the spoken word—we are born again by the Word which is energized by the Spirit, the Spirit and the Word in union—the LIVING WORD. "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever" (I Pet. 1:23). The spoken word is not Christ, and the scriptures are not the Living Word. The people of Israel had the scriptures from the very mouth of God and thought that in that written word, in the mystery and magic of the word communicated in the Hebrew characters, they had life. They were wrong. Dead wrong. The word received at Sinai was THE MINISTRATION OF DEATH! There was no life in it! "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter: but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious...how shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious" (II Cor 3:6-8). Consider how plainly and powerfully Jesus rebuked the Jews who trusted in the mystery and magic within the written word communicated to them in Hebrew characters. "And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him. . . .but Jesus answered them, search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life" (Jn. 5:15-16, 39-40). The Living Word is the LIVING CHRIST! And He always was the Living Word. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. IN HIM WAS L-I-F-E; and the LIFE was the light of men" (Jn. 1:1,4). I have witnessed many men speak and preach the word with great persuasion and nothing happened. There is no "magic" or "mystical power" in the words of the scriptures. The only power they have is that they testify of CHRIST THE LIVING WORD, they point to HIM WHO IS THE LIFE. One can preach great sermons and die! One can expound the sacred secrets and die! One can teach the deepest mysteries and die! But when men are ministered the DYNAMIC REALITY OF THE LIVING WORD transformation takes place. The same Living Word that by its almighty power brought creation into existence was made flesh and dwelt among us. The Word was not made an alphabet. The Word was not made a book. The Word was not made a teaching or a doctrine. The Word was made flesh, divine substance in human form, the Son of God. We are born of that very same Living Word, the Christ; that Living Word is being poured out upon us and poured into us, we are drinking deeply of that Word and experiencing the living reality of the Christ within. The same Word that conquered sin and death in the person of Jesus Christ is being raised up in you and me in these days. Hallelujah!
There are many wonderful truths to embrace, endless revelations to inspire and thrill the heart of man, but you will never be gripped in your spirit by any more inspiring and encouraging than that penned long centuries ago by the prophet Isaiah. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto ME void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isa. 55:8-11). Now, to what is God comparing His Word! To the rain and snow that fall upon the earth to water it, to give life and increase. God is saying that is just exactly what HIS WORD is sent to do. God's Word! God's Word coming down from heaven! God's Word is not letters of the alphabet. God's Word is the EMANATION OF HIMSELF. God's Word will come down in power from His high road, falling upon this lower road of the flesh realm. God's Word, or the Lord Jesus Christ, the Logos, the Living Word of God, will come as the former and latter rain unto His earth, or His people. He shall come upon those who are walking this lower road of the flesh. He will come upon our earth, and He will cause to spring up in our earth the seed of life that He has planted there. We are in the way or road of flesh, but down from that realm of SPIRIT, from God's way, God's state of being, He is pouring forth HIS VERY SELF upon humanity. God declared that His Word should not return unto Him void. Just as the rain and snow accomplish their purpose in the earth with unfailing certainty, so shall God's Word, His emanation, His anointing, His Christ not return unto Him void, but it SHALL ACCOMPLISH HIS PURPOSE. There is a people in the earth in this hour that is letting that LIVING WORD rain down from above, and the New Creation is formed in them. And, sadly, there are those who are trusting in the "magic" within the written word or the spoken word, but are not touching the Living Word, and they shall die as men in spite of all their "deep sayings.
I hear a voice which we know well, speaking from the well of Sychar, and saying, "The water that I shall give thee shall be in thee, springing up unto everlasting life." It is the life of God in the Living Word; it is Christ Himself; and He has come to be in us, like a perennial spring, unstanched in drought, unfrozen in frost, leaping up, in fresh and invigorating beauty, like the cold refreshing spring that flows deliciously out of the earth into the desert heat. This is the picture presented to us by Aquarius, the Water-Bearer. It is the picture of a supply from a source so high, so abundant and unceasing, that it denotes FULLNESS. Our experience has been well expressed in the words of Paul, "for we know in part, and we prophesy in part... " (I Cor. 13:9). Throughout the past two thousand years of the age of Pisces, the age of the Fish, God has formed and fashioned His body, but it has been a thirsty fish. How we desire HIS FULLNESS! Yet we also praise God for those "times of refreshing that come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19). If it is a long time between "showers," we get very dry. How we need that water that becomes an eternal and unfailing fountain within that springs up unto eternal life! That vital, essential work of imperative need is WITHIN—conforming us into His image, imparting to us His mind, developing His character, enriching us with the very nature of His peace, righteousness, joy and strength—then the more we shall become " a spring whose waters fail not."
I am saying all these things because I know that millions of believers have contentedly settled for the showers of blessings, knowing not that this state lies far beneath the provision of God for His people. Truly, "Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance. . ." (Eph. 1:13-14). God's people are yet lacking in understanding. The Holy Spirit, Paul says, is the earnest of our inheritance in Christ. The Greek word translated "earnest" (ARRABON) means merely a pledge or first installment, a down payment, money deposited by a purchaser to guarantee that he will pay for an item in full when it is delivered. The balance must follow. The fullness is guaranteed by the earnest. In modern Greek the word is used for an engagement ring, the idea being that he who gives a girl such a ring will complete his agreement to marry her— the wedding band will surely follow! When this word is used in scripture it speaks of the gift of the Holy Spirit as God's "earnest" or "engagement ring." In other words, the seal of the indwelling Holy Spirit is therefore an earnest or advance pledge from God Himself that those who are apprehended and receive THE PROMISE will one day receive their inheritance IN FULL. The spirit-filled believer anticipates the fullness of God on the basis of this humble beginning. The "firstfruits" of the Spirit is at once a possession, a rich, blessed, and unquestionable reality, an initial endowment. As an initial gift, it stands in direct line to the expectation. The very fact of its reality is "the guarantee of our full inheritance." “Who hath sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts" (II Cor. 1:22). This scripture tells us that a down payment has been made to us by God. When we put something in layaway at a store, we have to put down a certain percentage of money on the purchase. That money is the same thing as an earnest. Partial payment is given in anticipation of the complete fulfillment of the transaction. We have earnest expectations or foretastes of the Kingdom as we see it now within us on its very smallest scale.
Let us illustrate another way. In eastern lands it ever has been, and is, customary for there to be an intermediary in arranging a marriage. The Bible picture of this is in Genesis 24, where Abraham's servant Eliezer, goes on a long journey to find a wife for Isaac. He takes with him a good report of his master's son, and tells how that his father has made him heir of all his vast possessions, and he then shows the damsel and her friends samples of this wealth in camels and jewelry, and gives them some of the latter. Thus allured, Rebecca left her known circle and took a long, desert journey to become Isaac's wife, though she had never seen him. Thus did Paul the apostle speak to the saints: "I have espoused you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ" (II Cor. 11:2). Fulfilling the role of Abraham's servant, Eliezer, the apostle bestowed upon those who heeded his words a FORETASTE of the vast and unmeasurable wealth of the Kingdom of God, by imparting to them the gift and gifts of the Holy Spirit with its attending love, joy, peace, righteousness and power in the measure known by our present experience. How bountifully the table has been spread before us with His presence and divers gifts of the Holy Ghost! How rich and wonderful, beyond explanation, has been the blessing and glory so lavishly bestowed! And yet, precious friend of mine, all that we have received to this present time is but the "earnest" of the full inheritance which will be received when we have sufficiently matured to be entrusted with the balance of our inheritance—ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD! The earnest pertains to the age of Pisces—the church age. The fullness belongs to the age of Aquarius—the Kingdom age. And, bless your hearts, dear ones—THIS IS THE DAWNING OF THE AGE OF AQUARIUS!
Oh, what a grand and glorious realm lies before us in this expectation of the FULL INHERITANCE! The day of the full fruit of the Spirit! The day of Perfection! The hour of full and complete Redemption, spirit, soul, and body! The full and complete experiencing of HIMSELF! The fullness of Strength, Wisdom, Power and Glory! The Feast of Feasts! The strange part of the whole thing is this, that the whole purpose and plan of God for this day and hour is completely obscured and lost amidst the shout and euphoria over the "earnest," the "firstfruits," the "down payment," and most of the Lord's people have no idea or conception of what the full inheritance is all about. If they have any thought at all it is the foolish notion that the full inheritance is a mansion over the hilltop, or a cabin in the corner of gloryland. They can see the healings, deliverances, miracles, prophecies, worship, etc., and they understand not that it is God in His great mercy inviting His people to enter on in to their full inheritance. They do not realize that all this is not the end—it is merely the foretaste, the earnest of their inheritance, and that God bids them after sampling of His glory to arise and come away with Him to the Great Wedding Feast that lies before!
Completeness, perfection and fullness, however much desired, are not obtainable through an "in part" possession. Once we understand this one important principle, it becomes clear that we cannot reach the fullness in one grand leap. It would be like giving a farmer a pound of seed and a bag of fertilizer and then expect him to raise enough food in one short season to satisfy the starving millions of Africa. A partial supply cannot produce a full result. What I am saying is that the glory of God's fullness cannot be ministered unto us out of the ministry of the earnest. It must come from a realm BEYOND what we have received, even out of the Christ who has received the Spirit without measure. As children of God the Spirit of Christ dwells within us, we have received the earnest of our inheritance, but we are earnestly exhorted to "Gird up the loins of your mind, and be sober, and hope to the end for the GRACE THAT IS TO BE BROUGHT UNTO YOU AT THE REVELATION (FULL UNVEILING) OF JESUS CHRIST” (I Pet. 1:13). Christ ascended into the heavens and returned to indwell His body in a "firstfruits" measure of Himself. He came into us as it were in the limitation of infancy, just as a baby born into this world comes helpless, innocent and undeveloped, though containing the full potential of human life. The fullness of Christ remains locked up, as it were, in the unseen realm, locked up in His unappropriated, undeveloped, unexperienced life within ourselves. Thus, we must GROW IN GRACE AND IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, the process of the unfolding of Himself out of Himself within us. Hallelujah! In spite of all the revivals, soul-saving crusades, the signs and wonders and miracles wrought through the ages, we are yet to see the revelation of HIS FULLNESS. But the hour is wonderfully nigh at hand, praise His name. Truly, this is the dawning of the age of Aquarius!
I want to take you back to that scene which transpired twenty centuries ago on the last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Let me briefly describe for you how that "last great day" was conducted. Early, early on the morning of that day a million people and more, who had been dwelling in tents and booths all around Jerusalem, arose, on the Last Great Day of the Feast. Early in the morning, Priests and Levites, singers and players on instruments, those that sounded silver trumpets, those that played on the golden harps, the tabrets, viols, wind and stringed instruments, the great orchestra of the great Temple, all gathered with the magnificent Temple Guard, with all the pomp and display of that splendid, most inspiring, most touching, and Divinely-appointed ceremonial. What was the scene! From the Temple there issued forth the High Priest, bearing in his hand the Sacred Golden Vessel. With him were all the attendant priests of the Sanhedrin, and all the pageantry and flourish of the Temple Guards. With the Urim and Thummim on his breast, and all his attendants following in train, he passed through the Temple and walked slowly and solemnly down the Temple Mount. The beautiful music that had come down through the ages swelled forth in mighty volume. The sweet singers sang this song with joy, "With joy shall ye draw Water out of the Wells of Salvation," as they went down the Temple Mount to the sweet, sweet stream of Siloam, that Sacred Stream which flowed out of the earth under the Temple Mount, and went away around Moriah and Zion, and then was lost in the gardens of Ophil—a strange river. They went down to Siloam and the High Priest dipped the Golden Vessel into the clear, pure water. Then having taken the Sacred Water, he reversed the procession, and passed up with the water in his hand, while the choir sang, the instruments played, and the people chanted the great song, the twelfth chapter of Isaiah: "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and song; and He is become my Salvation; THEREFORE WITH JOY SHALL YE DRAW WATER OUT OF THE WELLS OF SALVATION." They swept upward to the Temple amid the hush of the multitude, whose hearts were moved by the inspiring scene. Then came the last great ceremonial on that Last Great Day of the Feast, when the High Priest, in the presence of all the people, took the Water he had taken from the Sacred Stream, and poured it out upon the Altar, while a great shout went up from the people, "With joy shall ye draw Water out of the Wells of Salvation."
Just at that moment a young Man, humble, an untitled Rabbi, unexpectedly stood forth before the multitude. Stepping forward He took the place, doubtless, of the High Priest. Standing there beside the Sacred Altar, He lifted up His hands to the multitudes on Mount Moriah, Mount Zion, and Mount Olivet, and cried with a Voice that echoed and re-echoed down the Valley of Hinnom: "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! What a hush fell upon the people! What a wonder that any man should be so daring as to step forward and take the High Priest's place and declare that He Himself was the Sacred Fountain opened in Judah for sin and all uncleanness! There is a thirst in the heart of every man for the Fountains of Living Water. The vast majority of mankind has mistaken the thirst they have for Living Water to be a thirst for some temporal thing. Vainly they imagine that their thirst can be quenched by partaking of the stagnant waters of earth's cisterns. Like lost sheep they wander through the wilderness of life seeking satisfaction and finding none. Place after place they roam in their pitiful search for the Fountain that satisfies, but find it they never can until at last they come to the Living Christ. “If any man thirst,” says Christ, “let him come unto Me and drink!” He becomes all in all to every searching heart. When Jesus comes, the thirsty soul finds the Fountain of Living Waters. There his thirst is slaked forever. Henceforth the River is in him, a literal Niagara of Living Water springing up unto eternal life. "The River of God is full of Water.”
With reverent heart and bowed head I now direct you to the wonderful truth that it was on this Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, at the ceremony known as "The Pouring Out of the Water," that Jesus stood and cried, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth on Me. . . out of his belly shall now Rivers of Living Water." This He spake of the Spirit which they should receive. The time would come when men would no longer draw their experience from wells of Divine provision, but an artesian fountain of Living Water would rise up in the soul, and flow forth unto humanity in mighty Rivers of Blessing and Life. The Jewish people have always believed that their Messiah would appear on this last, Great Day of the Feast. In fact, they still believe it. This is why Jesus had to be there on that Day. He had an appointment to reveal Himself to Israel on that literal, typical Day and He did. He was right on schedule. We must keep in mind that when Jesus appeared in Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles two thousand years ago, He appeared as a physical man at a symbolic ceremony, and that ceremony was not the Feast of Pentecost, but the Feast of Tabernacles. It was at the Feast of Tabernacles that Jesus presented Himself as the Giver, by the will of the Father, of the Holy Spirit as Rivers of Living Water. And yet, is it not true that we have always associated the Rivers of Living Water with the gift of the Holy Spirit received at the Feast of Pentecost? How dull of hearing and understanding is the carnal mind! We have looked to Pentecost as the source of the Rivers of Living Water, and in so doing have misappropriated the symbol entirely, and missed the larger fulfillment of the type! We have wondered why, with such a fullness of life, we have continued to be weak, limited, sick, oppressed, imperfect and dying. The answer is, of course, that we have tried to live an abundant life out of a trickling stream! I would not belittle or depreciate in any measure the wonderful life of the Spirit we have received; but at best it is merely the earnest, the sample, the foretaste, the pledge, the down payment, the first installment, the guarantee of the FULL INHERITANCE!
Let men now cast aside their pride of attainment. Pentecost is not the fullness. Pentecostal people love to call themselves "Full Gospel." There are people right here in El Paso who say, "We're a FULL GOSPEL Church!” No they’re not! I am asked the question some times: What is the difference between what the Pentecostals and Charismatics preach and what you teach? Indeed, there are vast and varied differences! But fundamental to them all is the fact that they preach TWO FEASTS, while we proclaim THREE. They preach two Feasts and call them “FULL GOSPEL." The truth is, they are but two-thirds of the Gospel, at best! Passover is not the fullness! It is but the beginning— the appetizer before the meal. Pentecost is not the fullness—it is merely the introductory salad. There is yet another Feast, the Feast of Tabernacles, the Feast of the FULL HARVEST AT THE END OF THE YEAR—the balance of the meal! Pentecost is the Firstfruits of the Spirit and the earnest of our inheritance. The Feast of Tabernacles, on the other hand, is the Feast of ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD at the end of the year, at the conclusion of the age, at the consummation of God's dealings with His body—all the power and wisdom and glory and majesty of God to be manifested in the sons of God. This Feast will bring the fullness, and release to creation, and salvation to all the nations. The glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea! There will be a MIGHTY OUTPOURING! Praise God for the earnest—but let us follow on to receive the FULLNESS! Tabernacles is the Feast of fullness in the age of Aquarius.
God gave Ezekiel a prophetic vision of the glory of the Lord to be revealed at the end of the age. This vision revealed what the body of Christ would become as the Church age ends and the glorious age of the Kingdom comes in. It is so mighty, so overwhelming in scope, that at the time Ezekiel could neither comprehend it nor explain its meaning. In fact half way in to this prophetic vision the Lord stops, turns to Ezekiel, and asks, "Have you seen this? (Eze. 47:6). It is as though the Lord is saying to him, "Do you comprehend the magnitude of what you see? Are you able to grasp the prophetic power of this vision? Do you yet see what the rising of the waters speaks of—how it is going to end? Do you see His glory coming, and the immensity of it? It is so awesome, so mind-boggling that I don't want you to miss the true significance of this revelation!" The Holy Spirit was shown to him as a small stream which periodically increased and continued to rise until it became a mighty river. In this vision the prophet was conducted along the river by the angel of the Lord—in the form of a man. Hear now the beautiful description of the River of God in the words of the prophet himself. "Then my guide brought me again to the door of the house of the Lord—the temple; and behold, water issued out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple was toward the east; and waters came down from under, from the right side of the temple, on the north side of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around outside to the outer gate by the way that faces east; and behold, waters were running out in a trickle on the right side. And when the man went on eastward with the line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he caused to pass through the water, waters that were ankle deep. Again he measured a thousand cubits and caused me to pass through the waters, waters that reached to the knees. Again he measured a thousand cubits and caused me to pass through the waters, waters that reached to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the waters had risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over or through. And he said to me, Son of man, have you seen this? Then he led me and caused me to return to the bank of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then he said to me, These waters pour out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah (the valley of the Jordan) and on into the Dead Sea. And when they shall enter into the sea of putrid waters the waters shall be healed and made fresh. And wherever the river shall go, every living creature which swarms shall live, and there shall be a very great number of fish; because these waters go there that the waters of the sea may be healed and made fresh, and every thing shall live wherever the river goes. The fishermen shall stand on the banks of the Dead Sea; from Engedi even to Eneglaim shall be a place to spread nets; their fish shall be of very many kinds, as the fish of the Great or Mediterranean Sea" (Eze. 47:1-10, Amplified).
What is the meaning of Ezekiel’s vision? What is this rising river which flows from the Temple eastward to the Dead Sea? The entire scene is freighted with keen interest and deep significance when we realize the river is a prophetic picture. We are looking upon the stream of Divine Truth and Life. I have stood on the Temple site on Mount Moriah and from Jerusalem I have looked upon the same view which Ezekiel saw in his vision. It is an incredibly dry, lifeless, barren desert area that stretches down the Judean hills to the Jordan Valley and finally to the Dead Sea where nothing lives. How many times throughout the scripture God is spoken of as a flowing stream of water! "How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men. . . shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the rivers of Thy pleasures. For with Thee is the fountain of life" (Ps. 36:7-9). These words relate to one thing—that God Himself has flowed out and is still flowing on this earth into humanity AS LIFE. We may ask, in what form has God flowed out? He has flowed out first in His Son, in Jesus Christ; and then He has flowed out as the Holy Spirit. Let us see God's order: God Himself is the spring, the very source of the water of life; Jesus Christ, the first-born Son, is the fountain, the reservoir of this divine water; and the Holy Spirit, flowing through the body of Christ, the corporate son, is the living stream, the river flowing all the time. A river is a large stream of water that flows downhill through a channel, within banks. The water is the life, the outflowing of the Spirit. The banks are the earthen channel, the limits or direction of the flowing. The earth of your body, precious friend of mine, is the channel through which the stream of God's life flows. In nature there is water in every part of the atmosphere and in bodies of different magnitudes upon the earth, but a river is a concentrated and channeled current or stream of water. While God's love, and life, and light enfold and embrace all things, and all people, the River of Life is that River, that special provision and flowing of GOD'S CONCENTRATED and CHANNELED LIFE, intensified and magnified in its movement and power. These currents of God's Spirit which flow out through the people of God are the powers of heaven’s own Divine Life and have the wondrous ability to wash away the very power and effects and results of sin and death! Every saint of God should seek that the Lord would open his eyes to show him that those who drink deeply of Him become the channel by which God flows out to humanity.
I would draw your reverent attention to the source of this river and how it increases as it flows. It begins at the altar in the Sanctuary of the Temple where the presence and glory of God is. It flows out under the threshold of the door. The source of the river is in the glory of the Lord in the heights of the mountain of God. Sir Samuel Baker, many years ago, was endeavoring to find the sources of the Nile. Suddenly, while he was traveling up the bed of a tributary of the Nile, he lost it completely. The river disappeared. There was no water. He kept on traveling day after day, day after day, but there was no water. It was simply a dry water bed—a water course where the water once had been. Where were the sources of the Nile? He was talking with Lady Baker about it one night, camping in the bed of the dry river, when suddenly in the middle of the night they heard a cry, "EI Atbara! El Atbara!” and someone pulling at the tent poles. "Get out quick! The river! The river!" They all rushed up the banks, and scarcely had they gotten on high ground before they heard the thundering noise of the river coming down the dry bed in which they had camped. In a moment there was a mighty river filling the dry water- course, giving in a moment the answer to the question: Where are the sources of the Nile? Away in the distant mountains where snow had melted the water came down in floods!
In like manner, the glorious River of God is first seen flowing out from the heights of the Paradise of God. Since all rivers flow downhill until they reach the sea, Eden would necessarily have been located at a high altitude, in the mountains or on a plateau. This high altitude or "higher realm" of the Garden of Eden typifies the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. This Garden is Canaan, the Promised Land. "A land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: a land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year” (Deut. 11:11-12). God placed Adam the first in the Garden of Eden, or the Kingdom of Heaven, a place of light and beauty, from whence flowed the springs of the fountain of the River of Life, the source of Living Water. Without the Garden lies the "lower realm" of earth, bespeaking the human condition apart from God, the whole dreadful realm of darkness and death in which is contained every sin, sorrow, tragedy, pain, trouble, sickness, heartache, fear and torment known to man. The higher realm of Eden extends upward into infinitude, glory ascending above and beyond glory, for Eden is the gate to the unbounded and inexhaustible heavens. The lower realm includes this world and everything that is beneath it. It descends into the lowest realms of the bottomless and embraces the outer realms of darkness. And flowing from the highest realm of the Kingdom of Heaven to the lower realms of the Kingdom of Darkness is THE BLESSED RIVER OF LIFE. Its incorruptible waters of Spirit and Truth are more real and sparkling and alive than any river of earth. It pulsates with righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost and vibrates with the sheer, exquisite beauty of the divine nature of our great and glorious God and His Christ that is impossible for my poor pen to describe. Its glory surpasses the shining of a million diamonds in the sun, for it is the glory of the Lord God Almighty.
I have shown that the River of Life is the stream of flowing of God's concentrated and channeled life through the river-bed of the body of Christ. The invisible, unapproachable and unknowable God is the eternal spring, the source of the life; Jesus Christ, the first-born Son is the fountain, the reservoir of this divine water; and the body of Christ is the outflowing, the living stream, the river flowing all the time. We have seen, as did Ezekiel in vision, that River flowing out from the Sanctuary or Temple of God. This is the Temple built of living stones, each son of God a stone in that glorious house not made with hands, an habitation of God through the Spirit. There is but one Temple, one great High Priest, and one Priesthood. The book of Revelation tells us that this stream of living water flows from the New Jerusalem, out of the throne of God and the Lamb (Rev. 22:1-2). This is another picture showing us the source of this living water and the channel through which it flows. The water (spirit) flows into us, through us, and out from us. This Mount Zion, this New Jerusalem, this City of the living God, this Temple of the Holy Spirit, this Kingdom of God is composed of MANY SPIRITS who have been quickened by HIS SPIRIT merged into ONE GIGANTIC WATERFALL—ONE GREAT RIVER OF LIFE! Take the shoes from off your feet, oh saint of God, for the ground on which we stand is holy ground. Put away all lightness and foolishness that with heads bowed down and hearts lifted up in worship God's Holy Spirit may reveal how the life of God flowing in Christ and the life of Christ flowing through His body is ONE STREAM OF THE WATER OF LIFE. This is the River flowing out from under the threshold of the Sanctuary and down into the desert and the sea. But notice, my beloved, at the center the living waters begin to rise and issue from "under the threshold" of the Sanctuary. Not an overflow, but an underflow: an under-current, deep, mighty, and strong, picturing the real power and depth of the Holy Ghost within, as it surges upward from our innermost being to flow out to the dry places. How silently it rises under the threshold of the house, the stream unperceived at first, but growing deeper and deeper as it flows on. How imperceptively the work of God begins in us! How silently yet steadily it increases from realm to realm! How mighty it becomes ere we are aware of its immensity!
As the River flows out under the threshold of the door, it isn't a very great flow to begin with, just a little trickle, though it comes from a mighty depth within. There was a man there with a measuring rod to measure this outflow of life and he measured out a thousand cubits and brought Ezekiel through the waters. They had increased but it still was not a great River, just ankle deep. He measured another thousand cubits and the waters were knee deep; they had increased more. Again he measured a thousand cubits and the waters were to the loins, up to the waist. "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." Each measure was a thousand cubits. ONE THOUSAND is the number of the Kingdom of God, the DOMINION OF THE DAY OF THE LORD. The measure is the measure of the outflow of His life in respect to the power and glory of the Kingdom, the rule of His Day. As the grace of God flows through our lives it doesn't decrease with the flow, there is no loss or diminishing, it ever increases; the more we allow it to flow the greater it becomes and the more grace there is flowing. This is the law of God. In God's pouring out there is no diminishing of Himself, He is increased and expanded, just as parents are increased and expanded by the extension of their life into their children. This is the wonderful part of God's great purpose. There is never any diminishing, there is always an increase. This is the law of the River of His grace, His love, His life and His glory. We do not need to have an abundance of grace in our hands at any particular moment so long as we are connected with the source. There isn't a lake full of water in the faucet in your bathroom, possibly just a cupful, but if you turn it on and keep it running you can run a lake full through it.
Saints, Ezekiel was walking into the future—right into our time! It is my deep conviction, and I believe that I have the Spirit of God, that today we live in the last one thousand cubits of this vision, the very last measurement of water! Ezekiel stepped to the edge of it but it was too deep for him, too overwhelming! He said, "I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in." In essence he was saying, "This is over my head!" Can't you imagine the prophet's wonder, as he said to the Lord, "What is this sea that has risen? If this River is all about life and resurrection, who are the ones who will be so blessed that they can swim in such power and glory?" What Ezekiel is being shown is that the body of Jesus Christ, the sons of God, in the very last days will be more glorious, more victorious, than at any time in the history of the world. The church age will end in a blaze of power and glory, birthing sons of the Kingdom in the fullest revelation of Jesus Christ man has ever known! "The fish of the sea shall be exceeding many" (Eze. 47:10). Coming forth is a people who will be swimming in the rising waters of the Lord's power and life! Life and immortality shall be revealed in power over sin and death, and it shall come to pass that "everything that liveth, which moveth, withersoever the rivers shall come, shall live!"
As God has moved by His Spirit in these latter days there has been a tendency to look back to the early church and apostles as if those ancient believers had a better revelation and a superior manifestation of what the body of Christ should be! Many have emphasized the recapturing or imitating of their ministry and methods. Men have sought to "restore" the order of the five-fold ministry and to reestablish the so-called divine order of the early church. Let me remind all those who yet cling to the notion that the five-fold ministry will somehow bring the saints to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ and bring in the Kingdom—the early church had the five-fold ministry and they BROUGHT IN BABYLON THE GREAT AND THE DARK AGES! Make no mistake about it—the Lord does not want us to go back to the early church! He has planned something much better for this generation! Why go back to a trickle of water when you can have "waters to swim in?” Are you grasping this yet? If this river of living water is the Spirit and the Word, then the early church — with all its glory and manifestation—was just the beginning trickle of the flow out of the house!
What glorious prospects lie before us! Very near the Temple is the desert and the Dead Sea — the rough, jagged hills on which nothing grows and over which men stumble, and the sea in whose waters no fish swims, and on whose surface no ship floats. Round about the City of God is a dreary desolation. Is it not true, even today? The stream that Ezekiel saw, as soon as it left the Temple, made straight for the east, for the Dead Sea — for that was the region of death, the region that most needed life and blessing. The River flows out toward the east country — the roots of civilization, the power of the flesh life. It goes down into the desert — the land of drought where there is a famine of hearing the Living Word of God. It goes down into the sea — the raging, surging masses of humanity, and the restless, agitated, uncontrollable emotions of the soul — and everywhere it goes it brings healing and life. Beloved, let us look to ourselves that we do not receive the grace of God in vain, but be laborers together with God, letting the grace of God flow, which is the River of all Divine goodness, life, love and power. If we are to be a part of that River we must keep in contact with the source and get into the flow of the River, the River that will flow to the east country, go down into the desert, bringing life and health to these regions and continue to flow down into the sea bringing life and blessing wherever it flows. All glory be to God!
One cannot begin to tell the blessings to be revealed, the glory to be seen throughout the earth, the release to be ministered to creation, as Aquarius, the Water-Pourer, pours forth the eternal stream of the River of Life unto all the fish in the sea in this, God's NEW DAY. I speak as a prophetic voice in the earth in this generation. The manifestation of glory and power and righteousness which will be manifested within our generation will eclipse all former moves. Who can carry on with the programs of man anymore, who can wade in the shallows of the trickle of former visitations once they have received the vision of what shall be realized as God's people launch out into the deep. The last or most recent "shower of blessing" came during the great Latter Rain outpouring during the years 1948-1953. The effect and blessing of that outpouring is with us still. But the celestial deluge is yet to fall in GREAT POWER AND GLORY. Glorious beyond words to describe was that wonderful outpouring of God's glory at Pentecost, but no language of men below nor of mighty angels above can begin to describe the SURPASSING GLORY of the outpouring in these last days. The "waters to swim in" are coming, the manifestation of the fullness of the spirit and life of the almighty Christ of God, and compared to these waters the former outpourings were flickering candles before the burning brilliance of the noonday sun, or trickling streams compared to the vast ocean currents beyond the power of man to either produce or control. Hear me now and believe me later — if you cannot believe me now — soon, very soon, there will come the manifestation of the sons of God, for which all creation has groaned for long millenniums and ages. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed from the living, completed temple of His body. His glory shall flow out and fill the earth. His power shall shake the nations and all nations shall come and worship before Him. The harvest of this age shall be gathered. Everything shall live, whithersoever the River cometh. As on the Dead Sea, where once reigned silence, are now boats and fish and nets and fishermen, when its waters are touched by the Waters of the River, so the church and the world shall be transformed, and this old earth of ours shall become the Paradise of God. I tell you the truth. I lie not. The day is at hand! Rejoice and arise, oh ye sons of the Most High! The glorious dawn is now painting the eastern sky, and the River of God is full of Water.
To be continued.