Living Water, Living God


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John 7:37-39 (KJV)  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.  [38]  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  [39]  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

As we come to John 7 we see it is the time for the Jewish Feast of Booths – also called Tabernacles or Sukkot. Tabernacles was an important and joyous time for the Jews. The Feast was when Solomon’s Temple was dedicated to the Lord (1 Kings 8:2). When that Temple was destroyed and the people came to rebuild they gathered to heard the Word of God at Booths (Nehemiah 8).

During Booths or Tabernacles Jewish males were to go to Jerusalem, and take with them their tithes and offerings (Deuteronomy 16:16). It was a time of celebration and thanksgiving to God. During the eight days of the Feast the Israelites were to dwell in booths or tabernacles (tents) made from branches of trees (Leviticus 23:40-42).

Booths symbolized God’s provision for wandering Israel.
Booths symbolized that God is faithful to His people.
God comes to His people and leads them.

As Israel left Egypt and headed toward the Promised Land God promised to be with them, and to be in their midst. Though wanderers, God met their every need.
God promised one day to come to His people and tabernacle with them forever.

Jesus Revealed Himself As God Tabernacling With Man

In John 6 Jesus fed 5000 men with a child’s lunch.
Jesus walked on water in the midst of a storm.
Then in Capernaum, Jesus taught that He was the Manna of God
Sent to give eternal life to all who believed on Him.

This was too much for the Pharisees. They didn’t want Him stirring up trouble – PARTICULARLY at the Feast of Tabernacles. So they plotted Jesus’ death. They weren’t secretive about it either, and Jesus knew what they plotted. The Pharisees didn’t believe in Jesus.

And neither did Jesus’ brothers!

His brothers told Him:

John 7:3, 5 (KJV)  His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. … [5] For neither did his brethren believe in him.

Jesus told His brothers:

John 7:6-8 (KJV) …. My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.  [7]  The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.  [8]  Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up YET unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.

Jesus was going to the Feast, but not yet. If He went too soon He would be a target of the worldly self righteous Pharisees. He would go, but only at the best time. Jesus knew He was going to die for our sins, but only at the appointed time of the Father. He would not go with the crowd. So Jesus tarried while His unbelieving brothers went on ahead. When He later went to Jerusalem for the Feast He went to the Temple about the third day of the Feast to teach.

John 7:14 (KJV)  Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

There were large crowds gathered in the Temple, and this protected Him from the assassins who would try and kill Him. As Jesus taught people were amazed at the knowledge He had. Was this not the Carpenter’s son? A common Man? How could such a person know so many things? He never went to Seminary, Bible College, or even sat at the Rabbi Gamaliel’s feet! Jesus told them:

John 7:16-17 (KJV) … My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.  [17]  If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

Jesus spoke the words of God. He came doing the Father’s business. He is the Christ, the Messiah foreseen by the Prophets, promised by God. The source of what He said was not human opinion nor of man’s learning, but it came from God.

John 7:28-29 (KJV)  Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.  [29]  But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.

The Pharisees and Chief Priests sent soldiers to take Jesus captive (verse 32). They were too cowardly to step up and do it themselves, so they hired it done. But they could not take Jesus. Why? Because His time had not yet come. The Messiah had to be fully presented to the people. As the Apostle said:

Galatians 4:4-5 (KJV)  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,  [5]  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Until God’s time was right Christ would not be killed. Then He would not be murdered, but sacrificed as the Lamb of God to pay for our sins of Calvary.

Only Christ Can Satisfy Our Thirst

John 7:37 (KJV)  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. 

Jesus taught in the Temple for about three days during the Feast. For each of the first seven days of the Feast the priests would go to the Pool of Siloam and there draw water into jugs.

That water was taken back to the Temple and poured on the altar as the Israelites sang Psalm 118, praising God for His provision. The site notes:

On the Eighth day, the last day, called “the great day of the feast” the priests made no procession and poured no water onto the pavement and this too was very significant, because it symbolized the fact that God had fulfilled the promise to their fathers, He had now brought them into this land that was well watered, flowing with milk and honey, they no longer needed the miraculous supply out of the Rock.

It was on this day the last day that Jesus stood and cried out: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

It is interesting to note that it was on this day that they sang the marvelous “hallel psalms” of praise, which conclude with this passage Ps. 118:22 “.. and You have become my salvation, the Stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone .. and blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

The Messiah is in the midst of the people. He is the One Who will provide Living Water to those who believe. There is salvation in no other but in Christ. Jesus went on to say:

John 7:38 (KJV)  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the promise God made in …

Isaiah 44:3 (KJV)  For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:

During the Feast the people lived in temporary tents, receiving sustenance from the Lord. But Jesus promised something greater to those who believed in Him. He promised that once we believed on Him we would become tabernacles in which God’s Holy Spirit would live. God would place wells – not in the ground where we lived, but in our bellies or within our bodies. This would not be a limited supply, not a trickle, but …

RIVERS of living water

Not a little bit, but a lot. To those who give themselves to Christ there is the satisfied life. He meets our needs. He slakes our thirst. And the Spirit indwells us. He flows through us. The Bible tells us:

John 7:39 (KJV)  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy {Spirit} was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

In the Old Testament era the Holy Spirit was active among the people of God. Yet the Spirit did not indwell people to stay. The Spirit came upon people, and then after they accomplished their mission the Spirit left. Charles Ryrie noted:

The Spirit “came upon” such Old Testament people as Joshua (Numbers 27:18), David (1 Samuel 16:12-13) and even Saul (1 Samuel 10:10). In the book of Judges, we see the Spirit “coming upon” the various judges whom God raised up to deliver Israel from their oppressors. The Holy Spirit came upon these individuals for specific tasks. The indwelling was a sign of God’s favor upon that individual (in the case of David), and if God’s favor left an individual, the Spirit would depart (e.g., in Saul’s case in 1 Samuel 16:14). Finally, the Spirit “coming upon” an individual doesn’t always indicate that person’s spiritual condition (e.g., Saul, Samson, and many of the judges). So, while in the New Testament the Spirit only indwells believers and that indwelling is permanent, the Spirit came upon certain Old Testament individuals for a specific task, irrespective of their spiritual condition. Once the task was completed, the Spirit presumably departed from that person.”

With the death and resurrection of Jesus – His glorification – the Spirit would take on a new role for every believer. He would come to stay in us. He would flow through us. He would live in us. We are told in …

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (KJV)  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  [17]  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

With the indwelling of the Spirit comes a graver and greater responsibility for every believer. We are to be aware that the Spirit indwells us, and are not to defile our temple. We are not to fall into and remain in sin. Sexual sin defiles the body. The Apostle wrote:

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (KJV)  Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.  [19]  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  [20]  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We are to glorify God in our body – and in our spirit – which belong to God. We are not our own. We are His, and He is ours. The Spirit of God indwells the Christian (Ephesians 1:13-14), and will not tolerate unrepentant sin in that which He indwells. We can let Him flow through our lives like living water. This is the way we are to go. We are to walk in the Spirit:

Galatians 5:16 (KJV)  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

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A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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