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River of Life

Ezekiel 47-48; Luke 2   “The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east…now it was a river that I could not cross…He asked me, ‘Son of man, do you see this?’…so where the river flows everything will live.” Ezekiel 47:1, 5, 6, 9 This river of life is also described in Revelation 22 as being the source of life for the residents of the New Jerusalem. The river of the water of life is God’s Spirit which Jesus promised would flow from the inner beings of those who would later believe in him. Our bodies, rather like a brick and mortar building, have become the temples of God’s presence. Out of our lives will (should) flow the river of God’s Spirit. Wherever the Spirit of God flows, there is life - life in relationships, life-giving vision, and life-filled families and communities. Beside the river of life grows the tree of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. Those filled to overflowin

Prepare the Way

  Ezekiel 45-46; Luke 1   “…for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace!” Luke 1:76-79 Those who are like John the Baptist, anointed with the Holy Spirit, give others the knowledge of salvation, pointing them to the light of God’s presence. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to bring conviction of sin, righteousness (in Christ), and judgment, so that people can leave the way of destruction and begin living on God’s pathway of peace. Like John the Baptist, we too are preparing the way of the Lord for his second coming. We too are called to preach the gospel of the kingdom and the message of repentance. We too must be willing to lay down our lives as overcomers for the sake of this gospel. “

Through the Gates

Ezekiel 42-44; Revelations 22   “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14 There is no more beautiful, more glorious, and more peaceful place than the city of God, the New Jerusalem. Its residents live forever, with access to the tree of life. The river of life flows through the center of the city. Most importantly, the Lord God Almighty will be in the city, filling the city with the light and glory of his presence. The only way through the gates to this city is for our robes to be clean. These robes symbolize our lives and the state of our hearts. God offers us clean, new robes of righteousness. His righteousness is a gift we receive in response to our repentance for sin and our prayer of faith. No one will be in this city who does not choose to be there, nor whom the King does not choose to be there. Our retirement plans are incomplete if they don’t factor in eternity. The cit

The Gate

  Ezekiel 40-41; Psalms 128; Revelations 21 “Then he measured the length and width of the gate facing north, leading into the outer court…It was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide.” [75 feet x 37.5 feet] Ezekiel 40:20, 21 The gates of the new temple were designed to be very large in order to facilitate the passage of many worshippers. God’s purpose for the place was that people from many nations would learn of his ways and experience the forgiveness of their sins. God’s salvation purposes still include the nations, and his gates are still large and open. The transition from that which is unclear to that which is sacred occurred through those gates as worshippers entered the courts of the Lord. We enter God’s presence today through the blood of Christ. Jesus is the gate to the Father. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus was clear when he said, “I am the gate!” (John 10:9). His salvation is for all nations; there is room for whoever will come. “Lord Jesus, thank y

Hallowed be Thy Name

Ezekiel 38-39; Psalms 145; Revelations 20   “…In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes…I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my Holy Name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One of Israel…This is the day I have spoken of.” Ezekiel 38:16; 39:7, 8 “Hallowed be thy name!” we pray in the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples. God declared through Ezekiel that he would bring the nation of Russia against Israel to reveal his Holy Name. God used the nations of the world to reveal the holiness of his name, his nature, and his character. Israel and the Church have been the two great covenants that God made with peoples throughout history. The consummation of God’s salvation plan for the world could bring together these two covenant peoples into a confrontation with the powers of darkness (Ezekiel 39, Revelation 20), so that

What are we Shouting Now?

  Ezekiel 36-37; Psalms 110; Revelations 19   “After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments…He has avenged on her the blood of his servants…Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever!” Revelation 19:1-3 Heaven will be an expression of what is true in our hearts now. The zealous, ‘full-throttle’ worship of God for his judgments on earth will only be shouted in eternity by servants who have lived for God’s glory and kingdom mission while on earth.   Have we so identified with God’s kingdom, his mission, and his glory, that we can declare God’s judgments are true and just on earth today? Or have we created a god in our image? - A god whose name is blasphemed with impunity, whose kingdom is secondary to our national flags and triumphs.   Those who shout, “Hallelujah” in eternity are shouting it now. Those who shout, “just and true are his

“Watchmen”

  Ezekiel 33-35, Revelations 18   “…he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people…I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me…I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn!...” Ezekiel 33:3, 7, 11   What distinguishes watchmen from others? They are willing to see and to hear what God is doing and saying, and then share that with whomever God directs them to warn or alert, regardless of the cost. Watchmen are more concerned with the urgency of the message than with their own personal safety or comfort. They recognize the eternal consequences of sin and God’s prescribed path to freedom from sin through repentance and the cross. To turn is to repent. Watchmen call people to turn around and go to a better way in life. Watchmen are alert, they are courageous, and they communicate the Word of the Lord. We need watchmen in our families,