Tuesday, February 10, 2009

AN EVER-INCREASING OUTPOURING

In chapter 47 of Ezekiel, the prophet was being shown the following: In the very last days, the church of Jesus Christ will be more glorious, more victorious, than in its entire history. The Lord’s true body isn’t going to weaken and sputter. It’s not going to dwindle in numbers, or decrease in power or spiritual authority. No, his church will go out in a blaze of power and glory. And it will enjoy the fullest revelation of Jesus that anyone has ever known.

Ezekiel writes, “The fish of the great sea [shall be] exceeding many” (Ezekiel 47:10). There is coming forth a body of believers who will swim in the rising waters of the Lord’s presence.

This is what God is showing us in Ezekiel’s vision of the rising waters (see Ezekiel 47:3–4).

Ezekiel is speaking here of an increase of the Holy Spirit. In the latter days, there will be an increase of God’s presence among his people.

The very spring and foundation of this river is the cross. We see a literal image of this in the following verse; “One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water” (John 19:34).

This growing flow of water is the image of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost was given to the disciples. Along with this gift of the Spirit, Christ’s followers were given a promise that he would be a river of life springing up within them. And that river would flow out into all the world (see John 7:38–39).

The river of life will crest just prior to the Lord’s coming. This is foretold in the vision given to Ezekiel. God took the prophet on an amazing trip. Carrying a measuring rod, the Lord paced off 1,000 cubits, about one-third of a mile. At that distance, the Lord and Ezekiel began walking in the water which at this point was ankle high.

Ezekiel testifies, “He brought me through the waters” (Ezekiel 47:3). And the Lord just kept urging the prophet onward, deeper and farther into the water. After another 1,000 cubits, the water came up to their knees. And it was still rising.

Do you see what was happening here? Ezekiel was walking into the future, right into our time. Christians today live in the final 1,000 cubits of the river in this vision. We’re in the very last measurement of water. And Ezekiel says that when he stepped to the edge of this measure, the water was too deep for him, too overwhelming. “I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in” (47:5).

I can only imagine this man’s wonder as the Lord asked him, “Ezekiel, what is this sea that has risen? If this river is all about life and resurrection power, who are the ones who’ll be so blessed to swim in such glory?” He could only envision what we now enjoy.

Maybe you’ve experienced the presence of Jesus abundantly. You may be thrilled by your present revelation of him. Yet, I tell you, you haven’t seen anything in comparison to the increase that’s coming to the righteous. Christ is going to open our eyes and wonderfully appear in our midst. He’ll reveal himself to us, pouring out on us as much of his life as we can possibly stand without already being in glorified bodies.