"Rivers of Living Water

We've been looking at this wonderful, wonderful truth. Bringing it to our heart that this is what is in us. This is what we must believe in. This is how if we do the will of God we will be able to do it. I'll read again in John chapter 7 beginning with verse 37 through 39. "In the last day, that great day of the feast Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me as the scripture has said out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." This is God's intention for his people. That is rivers of living water. John's comment on these words with all the full long experience of the Apostle, behind the comment was this: "This spake he of the spirit. Which they believed on him were to receive." Now, the first part of that comment gives the key to the meaning of rivers in all the scripture. It is the Holy Spirit. Now when you read the Bible and you know these kinds of truths that when this Bible is talking about a river it is talking about the Holy Spirit. Unless it is talking about Jordan or the Euphrates. But rivers, if we take all the references to rivers and wells and springs and flowing water as symbolic of the Holy Spirit, then we have a certain quite simple and clearly defined thoughts of God right here in all of this. This is God's mind for his people. God's intention is that the Holy Spirit should be in us as rivers of living water. Anything other than that is either short of or contrary to the mind of God. God is set forth as one who desires to give, and give abundantly. That is the simple basic fact about God to be taken hold of by faith. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Whatever is not of faith is sin. It is this fact. It is the very principle and nature of God to give and to give abundantly. Rivers of living water. The Lord leaves his mark in that way. That is his disposition, his very character. God's mind for the individual believer is this, if any man thirst, he that believeth, out of him shall flow rivers of living water. That is in the singular. This is God's thought for the church also. What is true of the church as a whole, universally, of course, intended to be true of every local expression of that church. The local church is to be a total representation of Christ. So, this picture of these rivers of living water flowing out of it is God's mind for that local assembly. God's ideas for every company of his people, wherever they may be, is that out of them shall flow rivers of living water. Out of the outflow, the outflow of this river is the secret of the inflow. That is another principle. The inflow is always governed by the outflow. That is the reason Jesus said it is more blessed for you to give than to receive. Because you can only receive in proportion to how you give. If you allow this river to flow unhindered, then the inflow will be enlarged more and more. If we individually, collectively, locally, or universally lose our outflow then we lose the justification of our existence. There is absolutely no reason for us to be here, when we lose that outflow. The peril is to draw in. To draw toward ourselves. Not only individually, but collectively. God's way is this, pour out and you will get. It will come back. If you will pour out enough, in great enough volume, in great strength, it will come back and it will all come back in overflowing waves. Let me ask you, do you want to receive? Do you want fullness? Do you want enlargement? Do you want all that this means; rivers of living water? It will only come by giving. God knows nothing of selfishness. This the Lord's mind, this is the real nature of service. It is the secret of life. If we draw toward ourselves we become an end in ourselves. You see from the day when the river opened up in Jerusalem, the day of Pentecost, the givingness that characterized everybody. It is a disposition that characterized the church at the beginning. Because the river had broken out. It is the effect of the outgoing. Not just selfish gratification of the incoming. That is the real secret of the life in service. The giving. "It is more blessed to give than to receive. Give and it shall be given unto you." If God can find the vessel, there is no limit to what God Almighty will pour through you. But if there is no outflow then there is no reason for God to give to you. Now we look at some of the characteristics of living water. What we've been saying has all to do with

the function, the function of the Spirit, the function of the church, the function of the individual, to be poured out for the fullness of God. And the definition of it all is that of living water. The effect of the life of the believer and of the church locally and world wide is to create conditions of life. To make for living, and that is always the test of values. Do we create conditions of life? Is our church such a church? Do we individually, wherever we are, create conditions of life? The ultimate proof of truth is not rational. That is we cannot argue it out, and by an argument bring somebody to be convinced that we are right. The ultimate proof of truth is vitality. Not just what it is in itself, even though it may be true, but its effect is the ultimate proof. The proof everything is in the living conditions, which may result, can result, and if given the opportunity will result. The Lord's intention then, is that our presence, wherever that is, should mean that others live and the living conditions have been created. Now that is the first evidence of living water. It creates living conditions. This is the evidence of it. You see churches thirty to forty people, been that way for ten years. People living next door to it really don't know what it is all about. There is really no effectiveness of it. There is no livingness about it. It is a total misrepresentation of God. If we are the recipients of this living water, and its flowing out of us, the very condition of living water creates livingness. It creates conditions of life. Another evidence of the river is fertility. Now fertility is an essential feature characteristic of living water. Living water means fertility, it mean productivity, it means reproductiveness, it means abundance. Fertility, that is you see life. There is a reproduction of itself. This is always the test of value. Life begats life, and if that living water is there, then that church will continually be reproducing itself in others. It is fertile, it is living, it is there it creates conditions of life. And the reproductiveness of it will be evident if it is the place where this river of living water is truly flowing. Then further, living water is fresh water. The water of the Dead Sea, is not fresh water. That is the reason they call it the Dead Sea. There is no outlet. There is an inlet, but no outlet and the water is brine. But living water is fresh. The fruit of the tree that we talked about in another lesson born every month declares freshness, does it not? Said every month it brings forth new fruit. You don't have to wait till September off of that Pentecostal tree. If it is truly a church individually and collectively that the river is flowing out of, there will never be a lack of fruit. Nothing will be stale. It will be a living thing, new fruit every month. Not a boring religious program. But a living moving thing producing new fruit all of the time. There is other illustrations and metaphors in the scripture of this principle of newness and renewing. You read about mounting up as wings of eagles, you read about running and not being weary, walking and not fainting. But then there is this characteristic of persistence. The word is rivers of living water. There is a tremendous persistence about a great river. Now when we transfer this from the symbol to what it symbolizes then we can understand the Holy Ghost being like this. Amen. Rivers of living water that will go on, and on, and on again. The persistence. You know in the book of Ezekiel when he gives the symbols of all of this, that creature with four faces of a man, an ox and a lion. That face of a lion. You know Solomon says about that lion when he starts he never turns back. That is the Holy Spirit. he persistence. Remember what we are really called to realize is that this has to be in us and then has to go out from within us. That is our purpose for being here. That is the reason and what you are to produce as a minister of God is a church where this is livingly true in. It is not enough just to be doctrinally straight. Of course, you have to be doctrinally straight, but it is not enough just a letter of things. The letter of the law will only kill. It is this living Holy Spirit and what we are called upon by God to produce is a church where this river flows. Out of it creating these conditions, persistently flowing. Not just a little upheaval and falling apart but a persistent flowing and moving. Thank God for the repeated renewings of the Holy Ghost to keep us going. But note another thing, the presence of the help giving trees by the river. Here is living water with help giving properties. Oh Hallelujah! The Holy Spirit will, if he has his way, always bring about healthy conditions. In the book of Isaiah chapter 58 beginning with verse 1 down through verse 5, the people are talking with the Prophets and there is this great thing about we've sought God, we've fasted and He hasn't heard us. The Prophet answered and said the reason is you are seeking the wrong direction. You are trying to get your own voice heard. But then he says, "Is not this

the fast that I have chosen to break the bands of wickedness, to loose the bands of wickedness, and to let the oppressed go free and that you break every yoke?" And then in the seventh verse he talks about dealing your bread to the hungry. It all boils down to this, Hide not yourself from your own flesh. All of it has to deal with the fast to break this yoke, this terrible thing of the flesh so that this Spiritual man can be free and this river can flow. He said this is what the fast is all about to deal with all the hindrances to this river. Because without the flowing of this river we are totally, absolutely useless to God. And so we must deal with those things that hinder the flow of the river and that is what Isaiah, or God is saying through Isaiah that the fast is for. And when we do that and break that. We are talking about these living waters as health giving waters. They heal. Here he says, "Then," verse 8, "Then," that means after, after we through fasting have dispensed that spiritual cholesterol that has clogged up the channel and has kept that river from flowing. After, then shall your light break through as the morning. Now light is life. That is the Holy Spirit. That is the river. You see, once you have removed the hindrances the river breaks forth. Oh Hallelujah! Your light shall break forth as the morning. Light is life. John 1 and 4 said in Him, Jesus, was life and that life was the light of men. That life is God's life. God's life in us is the Holy Spirit in us. That is the river of living water. And when we remove the hindrance then He said, your light, the river will break forth. And then he said, when that river breaks forth your health will spring forth as the morning. Divine healing, that is the physical healing of the human body and is a great truth of the Bible. But I want you to notice here, he is not talking here about in this particular instance about the healing of the individual. He is talking about the healing of that church. You heal the church and that church will heal everything that is sick. Jesus healed every one. The church as his body will heal every one if you heal the church. To heal the church, this living water with its health giving qualities must flow. All the evil maladies and diseases of a spiritual kind which afflict the church will be carried away when the Spirit has free course. Unhealthy conditions only say that the Holy Spirit is being hindered somewhere. The wind blows to deal with these unhealthy conditions or rather to deal with those things that hinder the flowing of that river. Because when that river begins to flow, Ezekiel said, it healed everything that it touched. So, as we deal with those things in life through fasting, remove that which clogs up the arteries and the river begins to flow then those healthy conditions begin to appear. You are not going to heal the church with a new program. Sin, worldliness, unbelief, and hell are guaranteed against everything and anything but divine fire. Let the river flow and it will heal all the unhealthy conditions. Then we have the challenge. This is what the Lord wants. And this is what the Lord does when he has his way. I refer to you the Lord's own words, "If any man..." He that believeth. It is the challenge of faith. That is what I've been saying to you through it all. It is the challenge to faith. To believe that this river is in us, and if it is not flowing, then something in us incorrect. There is nothing wrong with God. No need in beating at an altar, screaming at God to do something. He wants you to let that Spirit to reveal to you what is hindering him from doing something. This is a challenge to faith. When Israel was going into the Promised Land God said to them the land you're going to is not like the land I've brought you from, Egypt. It's not like Egypt where you watered it with your feet. No, no. Not a man made deal now. He said you are going into a land full of valleys and mountains. He said you are going into this land full of valleys and mountains that is watered with the rains from Heaven. Listen to this, he said, "If you will keep my commandments and obey my statutes, I will give you the rain in due season." That is He said to them, when it comes time for the rain and it is not raining don't bother me with it. You're the problem, you're the culprit. Every man ever studying those early and latter rains of Israel know they have to do Spiritually with the Holy Spirit. And if that river is not flowing then you need to look no further than yourself and that church. Nothing dies without sin, nothing comes alive until you deal with what killed it. When you deal with that then the river will flow. Further the challenge is this: If this is not true of us, that is the river flowing, as the Lord's people individually and collectively the justification for our claiming to be the Lord's people is not there. And I know you say that is a very harsh statement. I am just the author of this. And if this is not true of us, if this river is not flowing out of us, touching and ministering to people out there and conditions out

there, then there's no justification for us being called the people of God. The Lord desires the recovery of this in his people, in a new way. The Lord has shown that he is a God of givingness. In no mean or small degree. And that he wants to pour himself through us. I want our hearts to be impressed with this. I want us to be impressed with this truth. You see this rivers of living water, that's God, that's the character of God. He desires to give and to give abundantly. And that he, God, wants to pour himself through us. Now when I put all of that together, God wants to give. And God wants to give in a big way, and he wants to do that through me. Oh, I tell you that is a challenge to my heart. That is a challenge for me to get before God. To let him search me deeply, honestly and thoroughly. If there be anything at all that would in any wise hinder or restrict the flow of this river of God, then I want the Lord to reveal that to my spirit now. I want to be purged and cleansed. I was in a church many years ago, once had been a great revival church, now there was only forty people left in it. It was sad. Death was everywhere. I preached a week, I've never preached so hard. This is way back in the 50's. And I preached against things that you find in the 90's. In that church of forty people, I couldn't believe sometimes the things I was saying, while I was saying it. But for one whole week I preached and dealt, they never moved. They just came and went. But on that Sunday morning after a week, I preached that judgment must begin at the house of God. As I again, I couldn't believe what I was saying. It seemed like I was standing over here looking at myself proclaiming this truth. It was communion morning. And when we got finished with the message, I had preached for an hour and twenty minutes, just like you had turned on a hydrant. But when it was over, it was over. The Pastor said don't call me, just call them to communion. I did. They never moved. I asked again, and they never moved. I didn't know what to do. I turned around to the Pastor and he was laying on the floor weeping. And I said to him, "What is wrong with these people?" And he said, "You have killed everyone of us." That was his exact words. What are we going to do? He said, "I am not going to do anything." I got up and I thought one more time I am going to invite them to this communion altar, and if they don't come on, I am going to take my wife and my babies and leave. I said, "It's time for the communion. Ushers and people come." Nobody moved. But as I started to move around the pulpit to get my wife, there was a scream come from an old man in the back. I think you would have to go to hell to hear anything any worse. He come running down that aisle and he threw a handful of $10 dollar bills at the altar laying on that floor. "God forgive me, I said I would starve you out." And he fell to the floor and began to writhe and weep and groan and then whole thing broke out. They put hundreds of dollars on that altar. They repented of every kind of a sin. All the things that I had been preached boiled out of them in repentance. They came to me, they came to the pastor. Two o'clock, I stood there until two o'clock watching an awesome scene of repentance, brokenness. We left, and we came back that night for the evening service and the house was full. Not an advertisement on radio or newspaper. But the sickness has been purged. Everything had been removed and people had come. We began to sing, as we began to worship God a cloud came down out of that roof. I don't know if anybody saw that but me. It stopped just short out of the reach of a man's hand. And everything in that house was filled. You see it is God's nature to give, in no small or mean degree. And he wants to pour himself in that way through you. To do that he has to deal with all that hinders.

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