Large numbers of creatures will live where the river flows. It will have huge numbers of fish. This water flows there and makes the salt water fresh. So where the river flows everything will live.
~Ezekiel 47:9, NIRV
Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end and everything in between.
I finished the NIRV Thursday and my last book was Ezekiel. The Revelation and Ezekiel are hard for me to understand and Ezekiel 40-46 may as well be Greek. Perhaps an engineer could understand Ezekiel’s specks for the new temple but I don’t. Then you get to chapter 47 and the RIVER OF LIFE that flows from the foundation of the Temple and underneath the EASTERN GATE and you get refreshed. The river begins as a spring; its water is crystal clear and fresh. The further the river goes, the deeper and wider it becomes until it becomes unfathomable and too wide to cross. The banks of the river are lined with people fishing and with fruit trees that bear fruit 12 months a year. The River brings life to everything it touches. When the river reaches the salty waters of the Dead Sea, it purifies the mineral water and makes it fresh so that fish can live in the Dead Sea. It transforms the Dead Sea into a Living Sea.
Well it doesn’t take a Michael Scofield to figure this one out: Jesus is the Temple and the River of life. Not only is every day with Jesus sweeter than the day before but every day with Jesus our relationship with Him gets deeper and wider. The more we learn about our wonderful Savior, the more there is to learn. His truth and grace are unfathomable. We plunge into His grace and we can’t find bottom. We strive to know Him but He is a River too wide to cross. Deep and wide, deep and wide, there is a Fountain flowing deep and wide: Jesus is that fountain. I’m telling you: Jesus is the Temple, the Fountain, the Water, the River of Life and the Tree which bears fruit every day. Jesus is everything! Hallelujah, what a Savior!
By the way, this River flows from the Temple but by way of the EASTERN GATE. Jesus used the Eastern Gate because it was near the entrance of the Temple but this gate was sealed shut in AD 1540–41 by order of Suleiman the Magnificent, a sultan of the Ottoman Empire. It’s believed that the reason for the closing of the Eastern Gate was to prevent the Messiah from gaining entrance to Jerusalem. Prophecy states that the Messiah will pass through the Eastern Gate when He comes to rule. The Muslim Suleiman was attempting to thwart the Messiah’s plans with sixteen feet of cement. The Eastern Gate has remained sealed for nearly the past 500 years.
The sealing of Jerusalem’s Eastern Gate has caused many students of prophecy to sit up and take notice. The book of Ezekiel contains several references to a gate that faces east. In Ezekiel 10:18–19, the prophet sees the glory of the Lord leave the temple through “the entrance of the east gate of the Lord’s house”; the glory then moves east of the city to the Mount of Olives (Ezekiel 11:23). Later, Ezekiel sees the glory of the Lord return to the temple via “the gate facing east” (Ezekiel 43:1–5).
Then, in Ezekiel 44:1–2, we read of the gate being closed: “The man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, and it was shut. The Lord said to me, ‘This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it.’” Finally, in Ezekiel 46:12 we read that there is one person, the “Prince,” who may enter via the eastern gate: “When the prince provides a freewill offering to the LORD . . . the gate facing east is to be opened for Him. . . . Then He shall go out, and after He has gone out, the gate will be shut.”
June and I had the privilege of visiting Jerusalem in 1990 and the Eastern Gate was sealed shut. The first thing I noticed was that the Islamic Temple was not in line with the Eastern Gate. It is several hundred yards out of line. When I mentioned this to our guide, he went ballistic, literally. Arabs have a short fuse. Doug Seaver, Junior Hill, Jack Freeman and my wife all walked on while this mad Arab was in my face. Months later, Junior sent me a card and addressed...Dr. Jack, President of Eastern Gate Ministries. The chances of me getting to go back to Israel are slim but if I do, I will not have an Arab guide. I don’t really need to go but we need to send Joe David. I do appreciate DBC paying our way: we could not have gone otherwise.
Battling a tooth ache. I have an abscess and a root canal is scheduled for next Wednesday. Doc Holladay patched it up the first of the year but she told me to go ahead and get the root canal. I said, “I will when it started hurting.” It is hurting.
A lot on my plate today and I don’t mind you reminding me, especially about the Baptistery. I need to run fresh water and cut the heater on around 9:00 pm. Also remind Joe or myself to check it first thing Sunday morning. GOLDEN GIRLS this morning. Then I have to get my trailer ready for VBS and fix a leak at the Pavilion. Then Keri wedding in the Rocket City.
REMEMBER: Krispy Kremes throughout the month of June.