Today we’re going to study the Vision of Ezekiel as described in verses 47:1-4). In this vision he had a guide to lead him through it. This vision prophesies the beginning of the Church after the resurrection of Christ, and explains the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian that will determine our spiritual growth and our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I see New Christians every day anxious — even impatient to grow and receive all of God’s blessings. – If that’s you, or you’ve lost what you once had, listen to what I have to say next.
The Holy Spirit takes up residence within every believer at the moment they become born again. The growth process is greatly accelerated when a believer consciously yields himself to Christ and the filling and control of the Holy Spirit. A believer who is empowered by the Holy Spirit and is a faithful student of God’s Word, who has learned to trust and obey God, can pass through the various stages of spiritual growth and become a mature Christian within a short period of time. — Some Spirit-filled Christians demonstrate more of the fruit of the Spirit within one year than others who have been untaught, or are uncommitted believers for 50 years.
Ezekiel 47:1. — “Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house (the temple – Church); and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.” — The waters spoken of here is the Living Water – or the Holy Spirit.
We become more filled with the Holy Spirit as we learn and surrender to the Word of God. These waters came from God through the church and into the world. It is from Him those living waters flow.
Ezekiel 47:3 –“And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles.” — The water apparently emerged from under the Eastern Gate as a small stream that flowed a thousand cubits, a little less than one-third of a mile. Ezekiel then records: “The man… brought me through the waters,” and states that it was ankle-deep. (This symbolizes the area where the New Convert or Baby Christian walks)
Ezekiel 47:4 Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. (This symbolizes Spiritual growth and maturity as we walk deeper with the Holy Spirit).
The further this water flowed, the deeper it became. Among other things, it symbolizes our continued walk with the Lord for, as we walk through the Living Water experiencing more of the Holy Spirit, we come to realize that His supply of grace and love is abundant and unlimited.
THE ANKLE DEEP CHRISTIAN — This is the area where we build our foundation. This is also the reason my church conducts a special 13 week class that teaches the fundamentals of Christian living to the new converts. (Building a Firm Foundation).
At the moment of salvation we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. However it is up to each individual to determine much of the Holy Spirit we want to fill our lives.
Ezekiel 47:3 Symbolizes a New Christian stepping into the Living Water that is ankle deep. But you have to walk continually, and downstream, through this ankle deep water if you expect to grow to maturity. You will notice in verse 4 that as you walk downstream the water gets deeper.
However we see many Christians, new and old, walking across instead of downstream. They come on Sunday Morning, step from the shores of the world into the water, and then steps back onto the shores of the world as they leave church. We have well intended people start our Firm Foundations class, but they don’t attend regular. Some people never come to a Sunday School Class – and only come to Sunday morning service – never pray or read their Bible – and then wonder why they’re lives are a shambles, or not receiving all of God’s blessings. These people aren’t even ankle deep – They’re just barely putting a toe in the water. In order to grow they must walk downstream – searching beneath the surface.
We allow our trivial tribulations to grow into major problems through our “self centeredness”, and lack of faith in the Word of God,
We allow a “simple disagreement” to expand into a major confrontation that leads to broken friendships or even broken homes. – But if we had been walking in the Spirit and had a right relationship with God – It would have been just a “simple disagreement”.
Our faith grows by walking in the spirit, and receiving the Word. But how many of us even open our Bibles for just a few minutes a day to receive His glory?
We can have as much of the Holy Spirit as we want. All we have to do is step in the water and keep walking down stream.
The stream is available to each of us. It is your decision or choice to step into it and then have the wisdom and desire to walk down stream. Sometimes it will require sacrifice.
Spiritual maturity is always determined by our willingness to sacrifice our own desires for the interest of the Kingdom of God, or for the sake of others.
THE KNEE DEEP CHRISTIAN — Ezekiel 47:4 – “Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins.” (This symbolizes Spiritual growth and maturity as we walk deeper with the Holy Spirit).
This is what the Holy Spirit does in the lives of those who yield to Him. We begin to experience His gracious supply as a small stream which flows out from Christ — the Fountainhead, and it continues to increase in preciousness as we walk daily down stream in the light of His Word.
Ezekiel 47:7 “Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other”.
When Ezekiel stepped from the waist deep waters he was startled to see both sides of the river lined with strong healthy trees that were loaded down with rich fruit. (This symbolizes the masses of mature Christians in the church that were teaching the Word and bringing forth new fruit.) This is where the Church will be at some time before Christ comes.
Galatians 5:22,23 “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control”.
When we develop these fruits into Mature Christians — broken marriages are mended, — forgiveness comes easy, — telling others about Jesus is a joy (An obsession), — we have acquired the patience to stand still and let God move in our lives, — God’s love shows through us through our good deeds, — our self control is strengthened so that we receive the power to resist temptation, — we have a desire to serve God for his Glory, — and we have the strength to experience joy, peace, and contentment no matter what our situation. (How much better could life get?)
But to receive those things, we have to step into this river of “Living Water” that Ezekiel saw in his vision, and walk continually until all of those fruits flourish in our lives. When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, we crave the knowledge that is available to us through God’s Word. We raise our hands and voices in praise as we sing to Him in our Church services. We have a desire to become more like Jesus.
If you’re a Christian and your life is out of control, under stress, battling temptation. Or you’re under an addiction that you can’t break. If you’re not experiencing joy and peace, then maybe you’ve stepped out of the water, and you need to step back in. Or maybe it’s only ankle deep, (Some of you may have been there all your life), and the fruits can’t flourish. Then ask God to give you the strength to move ahead. We gotta keep walking until we receive enough of the Holy Spirit and the Word to grow those fruits. We can have as much of the Holy Spirit as we want. All we have to do is keep walking down stream.
Ezekiel 47:7 symbolizes the masses of mature Christians that were teaching the Word and bringing forth new fruit. Thousands are starting to bring others to Christ through “Bridge Ministries”.