THE RIVER OF WATER OF LIFE
THE RIVER OF WATER OF LIFE
Sunday, May 7, 2023, the Year of our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
In Revelation 22, John saw by vision the paradise garden restored with its crystal river and perennial Tree of Life. Earth’s two holiest spots, Eden and Jerusalem are revealed in their heavenly counterpart resplendent with eternal radiance.
Revelation 22: 1-3: He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
John sees the crystal river rising from the foot of the Throne of God! This forms one of the great elements of joy to the ransomed saints, tracing our wealth of bliss and glory to its origin in the free sovereign grace and love of Jehovah.
The River Out of Eden
Genesis 2:10: And a river went out of Eden to water the Garden; and from thence it was parted and became into four heads.
“If you follow the “River”, it will lead you to the SOURCE. The Old Testament source is Eden, the Garden of God. The New Testament source is the THRONE of God and the Lamb (Rev. 22:1). Both are in an elevated place (ZION). For the River flows down from the heavenlies, the “River” will lead you to the Lamb upon the Throne.” (P.P.T.K.V.)
This same River flows throughout the Word of God. The River of Ezekiel 47 speaks of the life-giving flow of the Holy Spirit from the New Testament Church. Ps. 46:4: There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God… Isa. 66:12: Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Jer. 17:8: He shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear…
The primary principle is the out-flowing of God, the Living Word.
Psalm 36:8-9: They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and you shall make them drink of the river of your pleasure. For with you is the fountain of life:
John 4:14: But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman said unto him, Sir give me this water.
Jesus Christ, the Firstborn Son among many brethren, is the reservoir of this divine water. And the Holy Spirit flowing through the Body of Christ, the corporate Son, is the living stream, flowing all the time.
The Tree of Life speaks of the partaking or receiving of divine life, while the River of Life speaks of the out flowing and giving forth of divine life.
The River speaks of a concentrated and channeled current or stream of Life. Nothing can flow out through this River except that which has first flowed into it. We can only minister that which is flowing in us.
In the description of New Jerusalem in Rev. 21: 11-21, John describes the precious stones (gold bdellium (dellium), onyx) reveals God’s Nature, Life and Glory. These precious materials are for the building of God’s dwelling-place. (1 Cor. 3: 1-15). Wherever the River flows, materials will be found for the building of God’s Temple of Living Stones (1 Peter 2: 1-10). Men cannot produce these materials. Only the flowing of the “River” can bring forth the Christ in us and others. God Himself will be and is the exceeding joy of the ransomed.
Along this River in Eden grows the Tree of Life. There is a Tree of Life Kind of people who are partaking of Christ who is our Life. These are also a River of Life Company, a people out of whom the Life flows. A river is a large stream of water that follows downhill through a channel, within banks. The earth of Our Body and the substance of Our Life is the channel through which the stream of the Spirit of God’s Life flows. The glorious LORD will be unto us in the place of broad rivers and streams (Isa. 33:21).
As natural water is made of two nature elements (H20 = two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen), so the Water of Life is made up of two Spiritual elements: the SPIRIT and the WORD. (Eph. 5: 25-26); Jn. 15:3; 6:63) His flesh is His Word, and His Blood is His Spirit (Jn. 6:54). The Spirit and the Word joined together as Life. Man cannot drink hydrogen or oxygen alone, and man cannot receive either the Spirit or the Word independent of the other and have spiritual life. The Word without the spirit leads to legalism and the Spirit without the Word leads to fanaticism.
The River of Life flows out of our Belly. Jn. 7:37-3: If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. The word Belly means “a hollow cavity, the abdomen, or matrix; the heart; belly or womb; the innermost parts of a man. This points back to the smitten rock in the desert. “There shall come water out of it.” (Ex. 17:6). The original reads, “There shall come water from within him.” The Him is Christ, Head and Body, for that rock is Christ (1 Cor. 10:4). “Out of his belly shall flow…” From within God’s elect flows the speaking waters of life. The pure river of Rev. 22:1 is the pure language of Zep. 3:9:
Rev. 22:1: And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Zeph. 3:9: For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.
Inside the Garden of Eden, the River is One. Only after leaving Paradise is, it divided into four heads. This denotes Unity and Primacy. The number one, being the prime number, signifies beginning. It stands for source, Unity, or Sovereignty, and above all, God. There can be no flowing out of God as Life from anyone who is not walking in union with Him. (Jn. 15: 5-10). This reveals the principle of the single eye or single mind (Mat. 6:22-23; Col. 3:1-3)
From the garden the river parted and became four rivers. Four is the number of creations.
- Pison: This means “dispersion; to spread or overflow.” It encompasses the land of Havilah which means circular; to twist or whirl in a circular or spiral manner; to writhe in pain or fall grievously in pain or fear. Havilah also means sandy, and its people were desert nomads and wilderness wanderers. The whole land of death shall overflow with this river.
- Gihon: “streams to gush forth, to issue, to break forth, it compassed the whole land of Ethiopia and means Cush: (black or terror.” The land of blackness shall be brought into His Life. There shall be no more night there. The people of Light shall speak a Word that shall compass the whole land of darkness.
- Hiddekel: and means Tigris, rapid or swift flowing. It goes toward the east of Assyria, which means “successful.” It flowed along the border of Babylon and Assyria. The river shall bring Divine life and release to the captives of spiritual Babylon, the Great Harlot (Rev. 17-18); Nahum 3), the religious systems who have been successful when measured in terms of members, wealth, buildings, rituals, ceremonies, pomp, and worldly honor.
- Euphrates – means to break forth, rushing, fruitfulness, or sweet water; to bear fruit, to bring forth; to make fruitful, grown, increase,” All the beauty, fragrance, and fruitfulness of Eden’s Garden is abundantly bestowed upon the earth by the “River.” All this fullness of Him is described in Isaiah. 35.
These four rivers can describe the ministry of the Sons of God as they are the outpouring of the Life of God in the earth. It is the flow of the Holy Ghost through the Bride of Christ. The “River” flows from the temple and the sanctuary to bring His Life to the creation.
Ezek 47:5-12: He measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over…it shall come to pass that everything that lives and moves whither soever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed;’ and everything shall live where ever the river comes…by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.
THE GARDEN OF EDEN
River flowing out of Eden (Gen. 2:10).
Gold in the land (Gen. 2:12).
Tree of Life in the midst of the garden (Gen. 2:9).
Bdellium and the onyx stone (Gen. 2:12).
God walking in the garden (Gen. 3:8).
THE CITY OF GOD
River flowing from God’s throne (Rev. 22:1).
Gold in the City (Rev. 21:21).
Tree of Life throughout the City (Rev. 22:2).
All manner of precious stones (Rev. 21:19).
God dwelling in the city (Rev. 21:3).
In Eden there is a serpent, and through the cunning of that serpent man was cast out. In the City there is no serpent, for through the dominion of Jesus Christ, the serpent is cast out. In Eden there is the Tree of Life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In the City there is only the Tree of Life. Eden is man on trial. The City is man purified and perfected.
ISAIAH 51:3 tells us there is a people who are being comforted and brought back to a life or existence known as Eden, the Garden of God. For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
The Garden of God is the Kingdom of God (Heaven) on earth. (Matt. 6:10) – Joel 2:3: A fire devours before them; and behind them a flame burns; the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea and nothing shall escape them.
It is the fullness of righteousness, and Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost. It is the Holy of Holies, Zion, the realm of His absolute Lordship (Ro. 14:17).
Man began in a Garden. He sinned in a Garden. He died in a Garden. He was driven forth from the Garden. Jesus came. He passed through two Gardens. He opened the Third Garden and restored Adam to the first Garden. This third Garden is the same principle as the land of Canaan, the promised Land (Deut. 11: 11-12). The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. It is within our reach now. The veil is rent and Paradise has been restored to man.
Bro. Bill Britton shares his thoughts about this river of life:
- The river flows from the Temple which we are (Ez. 47:2).
- The river heals as it flows.
- The water to the ankles deals with our walk on earth among men. Our relationship with others (Ez. 47:3).
- The water to the knees deals with our walk before the Lord, our relationship with God (Ez. 47:4).
- The water to the loins speaks of our new life in Christ. It takes two to produce, so we need one another. We must gird up the loins of our mind and receive only the life and the thoughts of God (Ez. 47:4).
- The waters to swim in speak of a realm of no limitation, which cannot be passed over. We are cut loose from the earth and cannot touch bottom. There is no longer the support of earthly things, and we will be totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit. This is the “Plan” and “Vision” for Eastgate Ministries Church.
Note The Pattern:
- The River out of the Belly – The Prophet (Jn. 7: 37-39)
- The River out of the Temple – The Priest (Ezekiel 47)
- The River out of the Throne – the King (Rev. 22)
I have had two visions of this River of Life.
1. In the vision of New Jerusalem, I saw a golden river flowing out of the City.
2. In Another vision, a few years later, I was swimming in this golden river. I was holding onto one small twig on the riverbank. When I let go, I was swimming in the river.
The concept of the River of Life speaks of the dispensing of His Life. The concept of the Tree of Life speaks of the appropriation of His Life.
There were three kinds of trees in the Garden.
- The Tree of Life – Spirit
- All the Trees which were food for Adam – Body.
- The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – Soul.
Two of these trees were in the middle or midst of the Garden:
- The Tree of Life was in the midst of the garden. (Gen. 2:9)
- The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat of it. (Gen. 2:17)
Jesus the Tree becomes a timber or a forest of life, confirming the sight that Ezekiel saw in the many trees (many sons). (V. 7) “There were many trees on the one side and on the other”.
The flaming sword no longer guards the way to the garden on Eden, the glory of God on earth as it is in heaven. The Tree of Life stands in the open street, free to every glorified citizen---the pledge and guarantee of our immortal joy. In Jesus, the ever-living tree, there is found every kind of exalted happiness. “there is a river, the streams of which make glad the city of God.”
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away; and there was no more sea. And I, John, saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with man and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their
1. Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?
Yes, we’ll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.
- On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will talk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day.
- Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown.
- At the smiling of the river,
Mirror of the Savior’s face,
Saints, whom death will never sever,
Lift their songs of saving grace.
- Soon we’ll reach the silver river,
Soon our pilgrimage will cease;
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace (Robert Lowry 1864).
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries Church, 10155 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX.
I entered the labors of Study Guide, Genesis, P.P.T., Kelly Varner; The River-Garden-Trees of the Garden-Paradise, by Carolyn Sissom 7/22/2007; The River from the Sanctuary, by Carolyn Sissom, 6/3/2008; quotes from Bill Britton.
K.J.B. and N.K.J.B.