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The River of Life.

The River of Life.

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" Everything shall live whither the river cometh." —

EzEK. xlvii. 9.

" Everything shall live whither the river cometh." —

EzEK. xlvii. 9.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 06, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THE RIVER OF LIFE. BY REV. FREDERICK WHITFIELD, M.A. " Everything shall live whither the river cometh." — EzEK. xlvii. 9. The Book of Ezekiel is a prophetic Book shadowing forth the history of our dispensations, hoth Jewish and Gentile. In the first chapter we have in the wings and the wheels a picture of the future heavenly and earthly glory of the Church and the world, the living creatures being the symbols of the former, and the wheels those of the latter. The same spirit that moves the one moves the other. The earthly will be a reflection of the heavenly. The wheel, which is exclusively earthly, will move under the influence of the wing which is entirely heavenly. From the first chapter onwards to the fortieth we liave the destruction of the Jewish temple and nation, together with all the different forms of Gentile dominion — the complete obliteration of all Jewish and Gentile dominion and power. It is a graphic THE RIVER OF LIFE. 133 picture of the present and past history of our earth. It is a picture of idolatry and sin and wickedness, and God's consequent judgment upon it It is one dark scene, a black picture relieved only by the bright rays of a promised glorious future for God's ancient people the Jews, and all those who are His. In that chapter everything changes. There is a
new temple, new measurements, new sacrifices, a new land, and a new people. This is the earthly scene, and it corresponds with the " new name," the "new song,"- the "new Jerusalem," and the "all things made new " of the Book of Kevelation. The one is the picture of the future glory of the earthly people, and the other of the heavenly. The chapter from which I have taken my text brings before us that which will be the life of this future scene, that which is indeed the life of the kingdom of God now, the living water of the river of life, the streams of spiritual blessing which make glad the city of God. It is the living water flow- ing forth to bless the Church and the world from Him who died and rose again from the dead on this day. To this glorious resurrection morn we owe it alL It is the source and spring of all life, for "if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain ; ye are yet in your sins." These living waters flow forth from the sanctuary into our "desert" world, and into the "jiead sea" of human life within it, making everything alive 134 THE RIVER OF LIFE. and fruitf uL They create life in the dead sea, new fruits for meat, and healing leaves for medicine. It may be said it is a picture of the Gospel going forth to convert and bless the world. Be it so. Observe, however, it is not the conversion of the world he/are the Lord comes. When these living waters flow forth from the inner sanctuary the Lord Himself is there. It is a picture of the going f orth'of the Gospel after the Lord Himself, in our glorified human nature, has returned to this earth again;
for '' this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven" (Acts i. ii). Kotice how this is shown in the second and f ourtJi verses of the forty-third chapter : " Behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and His voice was like the noise of many waters : and the earth shined with His glory : " " and the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east." Here we have the true order of all future blessing and glory to our world. First, the Lord Himself returns, tJien the living waters go forth to bless a dead and dying world. Ko millennium till the Lord comes, but, on the contrary, everything " waxing worse and worse." From the first chapter of the Book of Genesis to the last chapter of the Book of Bevelation there is not a solitary passage to prove that the world will be converted before THE RIVER OF LIFE. 135 ibe Loid tetums from heaven. Then, and not till then, will the promise be fulfilled, " righteousness shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea." I do not for a moment ignore the great and blessed work of God now going on in the world; I thank God for the day in which we are livings I rejoice to know of the mighty work the Gospel of Christ i& doing on every side. But while it is the best day in which we ever lived in this respect, it ia the worst in another. Kever was there a day in the history of the world when the varied and multiform powers of evil were so busily at work. I'ever has crime and unblushing wickedness reared its head so high, l^ever has blasphemy, rapine, and murder,

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