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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New Living Water and the Water Pouring Ceremony in the Older Testament

         Samaritan Woman at the Well – John 4
     Before anything was created, God, the Word and the Holy Spirit existed. (see Genesis 1:1-3) The Word of God (voice of God) and the Holy Spirit were also with God when they created the first holy Man/Adam. (see Genesis 1:26) Nothing can be created without the full Godhead because they are One and act in perfect harmony and truth. God wills a thing and the Word/Jesus and the Holy Spirit carry out the Father’s will.
     In the New Testament, the Word was planted by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary. The Holy Spirit hovered over Mary just as the Holy Spirit hovered over the darkness before the original creation. God will birth a “new” thing in Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. The Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit took on flesh through this virgin, Jewish young woman until Jesus was shaped and formed in this faithful, obedient woman, and then birthed through her. A new Divine Man – Jesus – is born on earth. The Word and the Holy Spirit work the same way in the “new creation” of believers in Christ. The Word of God empowered by the Holy Spirit is shaping and forming Jesus in us making us new, spiritual creations. The Word by the power of the Holy Spirit still takes on our flesh and its ways and recreates us into the image and likeness of God as the original Man was created in the beginning -- without sin and holy.
     Jesus is not like every man. He is God in the flesh. He is both fully God and fully Man as God intended man to be from the beginning. Jesus is fully Man because He has no sin to interfere with God’s perfect creation. God wants every human to walk in the fullness of all that Jesus’ shed blood purchased for us. God cannot restore us to holiness without our cooperation. He needs willing hearts who want to do His will. The Lord of glory emptied Himself of all glory and came as a Perfect Jewish man to fulfill the Law God had given to the Jews, and to save the whole world. Jesus did both of these things perfectly once-for-all. Then He returned to His former glory with the Father.
     At the end of Revelation, the Godhead is still working together in harmony and agreement. The river of life – the Holy Spirit – flows from the Father and the Lamb (see Revelation 22:1) satisfying the spiritual thirst of those in the Heavenly Garden of God. God’s ways do not change. If the Godhead worked together to create the first holy Man, they also worked together to birth the Second and Last Adam – Jesus Christ, as well as the new, spiritual birth of believers of Jesus.  As all was holy and peaceful and without sin in God’s Garden before sin entered, all will be holy and peaceful in the New spiritual Jerusalem in heaven. The Word of God goes full circle. From the beginning of scripture to the end of scripture, God is revealing His Son who is all Truth. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
“Behold, I Make All Things New.”
     When Jesus came to earth the first time, He came not only to save but to also make all things new. He was the new Divine Man who called and chose new disciples. Jesus changed the water into new wine at the wedding at Cana. He is the new Eternal Passover Lamb who will spiritually baptize with the new living water (Holy Spirit). He is the new Temple of God who was with man. Jesus is the new Divine teacher and the new authority over the Temple. He revealed the new spiritual birth to Nicodemus, a Jewish Rabbi, Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin Council. He revealed the new, living water to the Samaritan woman (gentile) at the well. He is the new Supreme Prophet, Shepherd, Evangelist, Teacher and Apostle who will build the Lord’s temple in the hearts of humanity. Jesus not only made all things “new” in the gospels, He will complete the making of all things new at the end of time when all things are restored to their original condition in Genesis. Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5
Natural and Supernatural
     The Godhead uses the “natural” things of the earth to teach “supernatural” truth. Why? He created it all so all of creation has a message from Him. God throughout the Older Testament used earthly people, places and things to paint a picture of His "spiritual" Son who is all Truth and will redeem mankind. Jesus too used the things of the earth to teach supernatural truths in the Gospels. Jesus in His encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well used the “natural” water in Jacob’s well to teach this sinful woman about spiritual “living water” (Holy Spirit) that He would give her if she believes in Him. Jesus will progressively reveal His Truth to her as God did throughout the Scriptures. The whole Bible is a progressive revelation of God’s redemptive plan through His Chosen and Precious Son.
Samaritan Woman at the Well – John 4 – Living Water
     Jesus, who is God, has revealed the “new birth” to the Jewish Rabbi Nicodemus. Nicodemus like the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well  was also looking with “natural” eyes. How on earth can a man be born again when he is a full-grown man? Jesus who knows the heart of man, knew that Nicodemus was placing his salvation on the fact that he was a descendant of Abraham. Jesus wants to show Nicodemus that his natural heritage and his religious life cannot save him. Next Jesus will reveal His “living water” to this adulterous Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. It is not surprising that Jesus would choose a well to meet with this woman since He is the well of salvation for all. Jesus' desire was that all would be saved and receive His living, eternal water. He cared as much for Nicodemus who had tried to live a godly life through the Law and the Prophets and was respected and honored by others as He did this sinful Samaritan woman who had a less than stellar reputation and was rejected and shamed by others. Nicodemus came to Jesus in the darkness, but this Samaritan came to Jesus in the light of day.
            Jesus gave revelation knowledge to both the Jewish Nicodemus and the Gentile woman at the well. Jesus cared about both of their souls. Jesus doesn’t give the fullness of Truth to any one person. He gives it to both males and females, Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free and wants His people to share their God-given revelation with others. It took the religious Nicodemus longer to come to believe in the Messiah Jesus, but the sinful woman came to Jesus quickly. Every person’s experience with their salvation is done on God’s timing, not ours.
            Jesus, who is all-knowing as God, knows there is a woman in Samaria who needs salvation. Jesus will walk right in to what is considered enemy territory to save one sinner! I am sure that if this adulterous woman had known a Jew would be sitting at Jacob’s well, she would have avoided the place and come at another time. But God was at work! God had planned this encounter and prepared the woman’s heart to receive Jesus. Jesus and the Father are no respecter of persons. This sinful Samaritan woman was as important to Jesus as the religious Jewish leader Nicodemus.  
            This adulterous Samaritan woman recognized that a Jew was sitting at Jacob’s well by Jesus’ garments. Because God had prepared this woman's heart to receive Jesus, she does not run from Jesus. Jesus asks this woman for a drink. In other words, He asked her to serve Him. The woman reminds Jesus of the hostility between the Jews and the Samaritans. “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus responded, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10 This sinful woman has no clue what Jesus meant by this. She is still talking about “natural” water. “Sir, the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds? John 4:11 This woman sees a problem. Jesus had nothing with which to draw water so how is He going to give her this “living water.” What she does not see is the invisible Holy Spirit within Jesus that He will pour out upon all flesh after He has shed His blood to fulfill all righteousness. Once the atonement for all sin is completed on the cross, the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon His followers. Jesus, the Living Word and the Living Holy Spirit within Him are drawing this sinful Samaritan woman to the well of salvation – Jesus. Anyone without Jesus and the Holy Spirit will be spiritually thirsting and hungering. Jesus said in Matthew 5:12, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” It is the work of the Word and the Holy Spirit to bring us to His righteousness. As our “natural” body needs water and food daily to maintain life, our spirit also needs the spiritual water of the Holy Spirit and Word daily to maintain our “spiritual” life.
     Jesus will use the earthly water in Jacob’s well to teach this Samaritan woman about His living, spiritual, eternal water – the Holy Spirit. The prophet Isaiah prophesied that God would pour out His Spirit upon His people. Isaiah connected natural water to the spiritual water of the Holy Spirit. “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessings on your descendants.” Isaiah 44:3  God was saying that He would water both the ground with natural water, and His people with the spiritual water of the Holy Spirit. He is the Provider of both. The prophet Zechariah prophesied that “living water will flow out of Jerusalem.” 14:8 Jesus is the fulfillment of these scriptures. Jesus sent forth His Anointed Word from Jerusalem. Then Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit upon His followers at Pentecost from Jerusalem. Jesus is the smitten Rock that gave the Israelites earthly water to quench their physical thirst in the wilderness. (see Exodus 17:6; 1 Corinthians 10:4) Jesus had to be smitten on the cross so He could pour out the living water of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh. Sin had to be dealt with first. The blood of Jesus made us holy so the Holy Spirit could be poured into us.
            Jesus may not have had anything with which to draw this natural water at Jacob’s well, but He is the well of salvation that will draw this sinful Samaritan woman to Himself and His deep spiritual water. This sinful woman will use her cup to give Jesus a drink. Normally a Jewish Rabbi would never drink from the cup of a Samaritan. If he did, he would be considered unclean and would have to go through a ceremonial cleansing process.  A Jewish Rabbi also would not normally talk with a woman in public, let alone one of ill-repute for fear that they would be accused of doing something immoral. But Jesus was willing to meet this adulterous woman, teach her and drink from her cup. Eventually on the cross, He will drink her cup of rejection and shame for her sins. He will drink the cup of this adulterous bride and make her His Bride!
            Those who love and follow Jesus are the cups into which Jesus pours the living water of His Holy Spirit and Truth. We are His Body of flesh now, who are to be filled with the Holy Spirit and Truth. Then we are to share His Truth and love with others by the revelation knowledge and power of the Holy Spirit.  We too had nothing with which to draw His spiritual water until He saved us and poured the water of the Holy Spirit within us. Jesus is the wellspring that feeds the well of salvation and eternal life to His flock. As Jesus was the walking Truth, the walking Spirit and the walking Temple of God when He walked on earth, believers in Christ are to also be these things for Christ. Jesus is now the Eternal Temple of God in heaven and all who follow Him will join Him.
            Using His grace and His truth, Jesus awakened this sinful Samaritan woman’s spiritual thirst and hunger. His well of living water never runs dry and satisfies our spiritual thirst forever, and His Truth within us is also eternal. In order to drink from His well, Jesus and the Holy Spirit must abide in us, and we must thirst for it. If we don’t continue to hunger and thirst for His Living Water and Living Bread, our soul will sink back into the mire and spirit of the world.
Jacob’s Well
         Jacob’s well also has a spiritual message. Jacob had dug this well in Sychar and drank from it as well as his sons, flocks and herds. In other words, all Israel had drunk from this well. Jacob’s twelve sons were the beginning of the nation of Israel. Now Jesus is about to drink from this well also. Israel means “one who strives with God” or “Prince with God.” Jesus is the One who strives with God to establish His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. He is also the Prince of peace. Jesus is in essence the spiritual Israel who strives with God and gives peace. Jesus brings the “natural” into the “spiritual.” Jesus’ sons and daughters and flock will all drink from the same spiritual well – the well of the Holy Spirit and Truth. We are Jesus’ people who strive with Him in establishing God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. His Word is established in us when we do it -- live it! There are both Jews and Gentiles in the Heavenly New Jerusalem and they are one with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are also One. All will be harmonious and at peace in the New Jerusalem because all will become One there. Only the Father’s will is done in the New Heavenly Jerusalem.  While followers of Christ live on earth, we are to also be about doing Our Heavenly Father's will since it will be what we will be doing in heaven!

Water Pouring Ceremony at the Feast of Tabernacles

     The living water that Jesus gives was foreshadowed in the water pouring ceremony of the Feast of Tabernacles in the Older Testament. The high priest and a procession of priests would go to the pool of Siloam to gather water in a golden pitcher. Jews considered moving, running water as “living water.” This pool was fed by a spring of moving water. After gathering the golden pitcher of water, the high priest and the priests would ascend up the hill to the temple mount rejoicing and enter the temple through the Water Gate. There they would walk around the brazen altar of sacrifice once daily. The brazen altar had the shed blood of the innocent sacrificial lamb splattered at the base. On the last and 7th day of the Feast, they would walk around the altar seven times indicating completion. It is finished! The High Priest would then ascend up the ramp to the top of the brazen altar where two silver bowls were on the right hand side. The high priest would pour the “living” water from the pool of Siloam into one of the basins and wine in the other. The wine and the water would trickle down to the base and mix with the blood making them one.

            Jesus is the fulfillment of all that took place in this water pouring ceremony. He is the Eternal Sacrificial Lamb. His water and blood were poured out of the wound in His side birthing His Body of believers. He is the Divine (golden) Vessel that pours out the living water of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished.” What was finished? His Father’s business in atoning for the sins of the world out of His grace and love, and then pouring out the living water of the Holy Spirit and Word to help us maintain our spiritual walk.  He is now seated at the right hand of the Father -- the place of authority and strength. Jesus is God’s drink offering (wine).  Silver is the metal of atonement. Every Jewish male over the age of 20 had to pay a 1/2 shekel of silver as a ransom for his life. Jesus is God’s Divine Atonement (symbolized by the gold and silver), and our Great High Priest who makes us priests and kings. God indeed used the Older Testament scriptures to paint a picture of His redemption plan through His chosen and precious Son Jesus.
            As God, the Word (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit were in the beginning before anything was created, they are at the end of scripture. God's ways don't change. In Revelation 22:1, the river of life (Holy Spirit) flows from the Father and the Lamb watering the spiritual land and spiritual people. And right up to the end, the Godhead is inviting those who are thirsty to come to the river of life and drink.  “To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.” Revelation 21:6 
            The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17 This spiritual water is available to everyone who will “come” to the Provider of this living, spiritual water.












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