The Rivers

The Rivers

In Genesis 2:10-14, a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it encompasses the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it encompasses the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris; it goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. M149

One river branched out and became four rivers. The river of Eden branched out into these four rivers:

  • River of Pishon
  • River of Gihon
  • River of Tigris
  • River of Euphrates

If we were to visually illustrate a river flowing out of Eden to water the garden, and from there parting and becoming four rivers, it that would look something like this.

To understand what the river of Eden is, we first need to look at John 4:1-14 where Jesus talks about the water.

Now when the Lord learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.

Now it was necessary that He go through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, therefore, being exhausted from His journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

A woman of Samaria came there to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, along with his sons and his livestock?”

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water that I shall give him will become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life.” M150

Jesus said that everyone who drinks of the water He gives will become a well of water springing into eternal life. We need to dig a bit deeper if we are going to understand what was meant by the words “well of water” spoken of by Jesus. We can get some insight into this by reading John 7:37-39.

On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.” By this, He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believe in Him would receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. M151

Now if we continue to search the scripture to find what Jesus is talking about; we arrive first at Jeremiah 2:9-13.

Therefore, I will yet contend with you, says the Lord, and with your sons’ sons, I will contend.

For pass over the coastlands of Cyprus and see, and send to Kedar and consider diligently, and see if there is such a thing.

Has a nation changed their gods, though they are not gods?

But My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.

Be astonished at this, O heavens, and be horribly afraid, be very desolate, says the Lord.

For My people have committed two evils.

They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. M152

Let’s break down what’s written in Jerimiah so we can grasp what’s being said.

In Jerimiah 2:9 it says. Therefore, I will yet contend with you, says the Lord, and with your sons’ sons, I will contend. M153

The word contend is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

  • to argue or state (something) in a strong and definite way
  • to compete with someone or for something MW25

The reason for the argument against the generation of sons can be found in Number 14:18.

‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation.’ M154

What is the iniquity that the Lord is in contention with that needs to be settled?

This is stated in Jeremiah 2:10-11.

For pass over the coastlands of Cyprus and see, and send to Kedar and consider diligently, and see if there is such a thing.

Has a nation changed their gods, though they are not gods?

But My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. M155

The answer is in the last verse where it says His people have changed their glory for that which does not profit them. To understand this, we need to first understand what are the things of profit that Jesus is talking about. Hidden in the words of Mark 8:34-38 Jesus shares a bit of insight.

When He had called the people to Him, with His disciples, He said to them, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it. But whoever would lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Whoever therefore is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” M156

His people have exchanged their glory for the profit of gaining the whole world. They have sold their soul to the gods of Cyprus and Kedar.

Jesus says something very important, in Mark 8:38.

Whoever therefore is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” M157

Jesus told us something about this adulterous generation in Matthew 16:2-4, when He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky, is red,’ and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and overcast.’ O you, hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” So He left them and departed. M158

The adulterous generation which is seeking after a sign is also the same generation that is ashamed of Jesus and His words. The generation of adults that are ashamed of standing for Jesus and the gospel. They are not willing to deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Him. A generation of adults that are looking to save their life by gaining the whole world; a world they think they know, from that which they do not know. They have exchanged the treasures in the kingdom of heaven for this world. What profit will this bring them?

To understand the meaning of the words adulterous generation, we first need to look into the meaning of adulterous; which is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

  • relating to, characterized by, or given to adultery MW26

Now we need to see how adultery is as defined by Merriam-Webster:

  • voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband MW27

Adultery is something that is voluntary. Something that is not forced upon someone, but it is something that people choose to do by their own free will.

Now the generation that is seeking a sign is a generation of people that are engaging in voluntary activities. They are ashamed of Jesus, His words, and the gospel. Who are these people?

Who is this adulterous generation?

His people!

His people that engage in adultery is the adulterous generation that Jesus Christ is speaking about. Let me explain.

In Mark 8:27-30 Jesus and His disciples went out into the towns of Caesarea Philippi. On the way, He asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”

They answered, “John the Baptist, but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter answered Him, “You are the Christ.”

He warned them that they should tell no one about Him. M159

Jesus is the Christ and in 2 Chronicles 7:14 it says, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. M160

Whose people needs to turn from their wicked ways of adultery?

His people who are called by His name. What is His name?

Christ.

What are His people called?

Christians.

A Christian is defined in Merriam-Webster as:

  • one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ
  • a disciple
  • a member of one of the Churches of Christ separating from the Disciples of Christ in 1906
  • a member of the Christian denomination having part in the union of the United Church of Christ concluded in 1961 MW28

In short anyone who believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ is a Christian. Let us now go to an insightful passage in John 9:13:28.

They brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Therefore, the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”

Some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath day.”

Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” So there was division among them.

Then they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?”

He said, “He is a prophet.”

But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of the one who had received his sight. They asked them, “Is this your son, whom you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”

His parents answered them, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now sees, we do not know, or who opened his eyes, we do not know. He is of age. Ask him. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this, because they feared the Jews. For the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed that He was the Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore, his parents said, “He is of age. Ask him.”

So again they called the man who was blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this Man is a sinner.”

He said, “I do not know if He is a sinner. I know one thing: I was blind, but now I see.”

Then they said to him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”

He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?”

Then they insulted him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. M161

In this passage of scripture, we first see that the parents of the blind man were afraid of confessing that He was Christ. When they were asked who healed their son, in John 9:20-23; his parents answered them, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now sees, we do not know, or who opened his eyes, we do not know. He is of age. Ask him. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this, because they feared the Jews. For the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed that He was the Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore, his parents said, “He is of age. Ask him.”M162

The most amazing answer given by the once blind man were these word in John 9:27-28, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?”

Then they insulted him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. M163

This blind man was His disciple, because he believed in Jesus the Christ and it was his faith in Christ that had him cast out of the synagogue.

In John 9:35-41 Jesus says something very important and beautiful.

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when He found him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”

Jesus said to him, “You have seen Him, and it is He who speaks with you.”

Then he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped Him.

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”

Some Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we also blind?”

Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore, your sin remains. M164

The first beautiful thing said was by this blind man. When he answered Jesus and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” is that he called Jesus, Lord.

In Philippians 2:9-11 it says:

Therefore, God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. M165

He confessed with his tongue that Jesus is Lord, he believed and worshiped him. Jesus said something in John 9:39 that we need to pay very close attention to. Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” M166

Why is that statement very important?

Because He came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.

If we keep aside the fact that those that those that do not see may see, the fact that those who see may become blind is of utmost importance.

This is a bit tricky to understand, but all we have to do is remember this:

  • He came into this world so that:
    • those that do not see Him, will see Him
    • and that those how see Him may be made blind.

Why is this so very important to understand?

Because once those that did not see Him and then were able to see him, will be made blind.

Let me explain. Jesus came into this world for judgment. He came to judge sin. All those that are not blind, and say that they see their sin remain. But those that see Him, He came to make them blind so that they would have no sin.

This is why Jesus said in John 9:39-41, “I came into this world for judgment, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”

Some Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we also blind?”

Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore, your sin remains. M167

Now for the tricky part that we need to understand.

We need to understand the difference between:

  • Those that can see and are born spiritually blind
  • Form those that are made spiritually blind and can see

Those that are spiritually blind are those that have their sin with them. Those that are made spiritually blind have their sin removed.

Who are these that are born spiritually blind?

Revelation 3:14-22 has the answer.

“To the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write:

“The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says these things: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of My mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich, and have stored up goods, and have need of nothing,’ yet do not realize that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments, that you may be dressed, that the shame of your nakedness may not appear, and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

“Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore, be zealous and repent. Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me.

“To him who overcomes will I grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” M168

His people that say ‘I am rich, and have stored up goods, and have need of nothing,’ yet do not realize that they are wretched, miserable, poor, born spiritually blind, and naked.

For the rich do not realize what Jesus said in John 9:41, “If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore, your sin remains. M169

The rich after storing up their treasures, search for eternal life, so they can add to their riches. But eternal life is for the rich of heart, those that have given up everything and follow Jesus. Those that have seen and are made blind, and had their sin removed. In Mark 10:17-25 Jesus shares His views on the rich.

When He set out on His way, a man came running and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good, except God alone. You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.”

He answered Him, “Teacher, all these have I observed from my youth.”

Then Jesus, looking upon him, loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. And come, take up the cross and follow Me.”

He was saddened by that word, and he went away grieving. For he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”

The disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” M170

One of the commandments Jesus always seems to talk about is adultery, and He even mentioned it to the rich man. In Mark 10:1-11 Jesus explains adultery for us so we can understand it from His point of view.

He arose and went from there to the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan, and the people came to Him again. And again, as was His custom, He taught them.

The Pharisees came to test Him, asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

He answered them, “What did Moses command you?”

They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and to divorce her.”

Jesus answered them, “Due to the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.’ So then they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”

In the house, His disciples asked Him concerning this matter again. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” M171

From Jesus’s perspective even though Moses permitted it into law, it was not the will or law of God. These words that Jesus spoke about provides us another clue about Genesis 1:27.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. M172

I will explain this clue with greater detail in another chapter, but now we need to go back to Jerimiah 2:12-13 where the Lord says:

Be astonished at this, O heavens, and be horribly afraid, be very desolate, says the Lord.

For My people have committed two evils.

They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. M173

Those are some shocking words, to say the least. The word desolate was a very interesting choice of word to use. In Merriam-Webster desolate means:

  • devoid of inhabitants and visitors
  • joyless, disconsolate, and sorrowful through or as if through separation from a loved one
  • showing the effects of abandonment and neglect
  • lacking the people, plants, animals, etc., that make people feel welcome in a place
  • very sad and lonely especially because someone you love has died or left
  • devoid of warmth, comfort, or hope
  • barren
  • lifeless MW29

I can now see why Jesus would say be astonished at this O heavens, and why He would tell them to be horribly afraid. He going to make the heavens desolate, barren, devoid of warmth, comfort, or hope. It will become joyless, and sorrowful because of the separation of the ones that Jesus loves; His people who committed two evils.

This is all spoken about by Jesus in Mark 10:24-25.

“But in those days, after that distress, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers that are in heaven will be shaken.’ M174

We will not be able to feel the warmth of the sun when it will be darkened or the comfort of having the moonlight in the night. How much hope will we have when the stars of heaven fall and make the heavens desolate and barren.

Why will all this happen?

Because His people have committed two evils. They have forsaken Him, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

To understand what Jesus is saying we need to understand two more words. The first is forsaken; in Merriam-Webster forsake is defined as:

  • to give up or leave (someone or something) entirely
  • to renounce or turn away from entirely MW30

The first evil is that His people have forsaken, given up entirely and have renounced Jesus. His people are those that are called by His name.

This first evil that they will commit is known to God for it has already been prophesied about in scripture. This is spoken about by Jesus in Matthew 10:32-33.

“Whoever will confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father, who is in heaven. But whoever will deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father, who is in heaven. M175

This explains the first evil, but why did the Lord say these words in Jeremiah 2:12?

Be astonished at this, O heavens, and be horribly afraid, be very desolate, says the Lord. M176

Heaven is afraid because they know why Jesus came to the earth. The question is, do we?

Jesus tells us why He came to the earth in Matthew 10:34-39.

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s foes will be those of his own household.’

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. M177

Jesus did not come to bring peace as we so often believe, but the word of God, which will cause a man enemies to be within his own household.

But do not despair and remember the reward that is also spoken about by Jesus in Matthew 10:40-42

“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, truly I tell you, he shall in no way lose his reward.” M178

The first is the forsaking of who Jesus is and after people deny Jesus, the great falling away which is written about in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 will come to pass.

Do not let anyone deceive you in any way. For that Day will not come unless a falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself as God. M179

These people have denied Jesus and the living water that is spoken about in John 4:13-14 when Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water that I shall give him will become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life.” M180

The second is in understanding what Jesus meant by hewed out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

In Merriam-Webster hewed or hew is defined as:

  • to shape (something) by cutting with a sharp tool (such as an ax)
  • to cut with blows of a heavy cutting instrument
  • to give form or shape to with or as if with heavy cutting blows MW31

The next clue is in the meaning of the word cistern which is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

  • an underground container that is used for collecting and storing rainwater
  • a tank that holds the water for a toilet
  • a tank on the roof of a building that holds water for the building
  • a large usually silver vessel formerly used (as in cooling wine) at the dining table MW32

We already spoke about the first evil, but how can the second evil be something that is hewed; shaped with sharp tool?

A tool that is used with force to make a shape like a container that can be used to store water like a large silver vessel.

When I read that a large silver vessel was formerly used (as in cooling wine) at the dining table, it reminded me of Revelation 18:3.

For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality, the kings of the earth have committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury. M181

In Jerimiah 51:7 it says, Babylon has been a golden cup in the hand of the Lord, that made all the earth drunk.

The nations have drunk of her wine; therefore, the nations are mad. M182

Christians have carved out for themselves golden cups and have drunk her wine, her wine of sexual immorality of which the kings of the earth have committed adultery with her, and the merchants have become rich.

This speaks to those cisterns that can hold water but instead hold wine. But Jesus also speaks of cisterns that are broken and hold no water. This is spoken about in Psalms 135:15-21

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.

They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear; neither is there any breath in their mouths.

Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them.

Bless the Lord, O house of Israel; bless the Lord, O house of Aaron.

Bless the Lord, O house of Levi; you who fear the Lord, bless the Lord.

Blessed be the Lord from Zion, who dwells at Jerusalem.

Praise you the Lord! M183

Now that we understand that the broken cisterns that hold no water are idols of silver and gold, made in the image of the gods they worshipped. We can start to understand the words written in 1 Kings 11:29-39.

At that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him along the way, and he had dressed himself in a new garment, and the two of them were alone in the field. Ahijah took off the new garment that he wore and tore it into twelve pieces, and he said to Jeroboam: Take ten pieces, for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “See, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you (but he shall have one tribe for My servant David’s sake and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel), because they have forsaken Me and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molek the god of the children of Ammon and have not walked in My ways and have not done that which is right in My eyes, to keep My statutes and judgments, as his father David had done.

“However, I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David My servant’s sake, whom I chose, because he kept My commandments and My statutes. But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand and will give ten tribes to you. To his son will I give one tribe, so that My servant David will always have a light before Me in Jerusalem, the city in which I have chosen to put My name. I will take you, and you shall reign according to all that your soul desires and shall be king over Israel. It shall be, if you will listen to all that I command you and will walk in My ways and do what is right in My sight to keep My statutes and My commandments, as David My servant did, I will be with you and build you a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you. I will thus afflict the seed of David, but not forever.” M184

That passage holds the key to understanding what is written in Revelation 7:1-17.

Then I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind would not blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. He cried out with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” Then I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand out of every tribe of the children of Israel:

Twelve thousand from the tribe of Judah were sealed,

twelve thousand from the tribe of Reuben were sealed,

twelve thousand from the tribe of Gad were sealed,

twelve thousand from the tribe of Asher were sealed,

twelve thousand from the tribe of Naphtali were sealed,

twelve thousand from the tribe of Manasseh were sealed,

twelve thousand from the tribe of Simeon were sealed,

twelve thousand from the tribe of Levi were sealed,

twelve thousand from the tribe of Issachar were sealed,

twelve thousand from the tribe of Zebulun were sealed,

twelve thousand from the tribe of Joseph were sealed,

and twelve thousand from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.

Then I looked. And there was a great multitude which no one could count, from all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out with a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying:

“Amen!

Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever!

Amen.”

Then one of the elders asked me, “Who are these clothed in white robes, and where did they come from?”

I said to him, “Sir, you know.”

He said to me, “These are those who came out of great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Therefore, they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.

‘They shall neither hunger any more, nor shall they thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them,’ nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and ‘He will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” M185

The springs of living waters will quench their thirst, and they will be thirsty no more. There is also one more thing that will be no more when the heavens and the earth pass away; I touched upon it on an earlier chapter but will expand on it here.

In Genesis 1:10 God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. Then God saw that it was good. M186

It isn’t the water that God called the seas. It is the gathering together of the waters that He called Seas. This is the key to understanding Revelation 21:1-8 when there is no more sea.

Then 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. I, John, saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven, saying, “Look! The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them. They shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. ‘God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. There shall be no more death.’ Neither shall there be any more sorrow nor crying nor pain, for the former things, have passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making all things new.” Then He said to me, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the spring of the water of life to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the abominable, the murderers, the sexually immoral, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars shall have their portion in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. This is the second death.” M187

There is no more sea, because there is no more gathering. For the first heaven and the first earth has passed away. Do not forget what is said in Revelation 21:6.

He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the spring of the water of life to him who thirsts. M188

For if you missed what was said there, you will miss out on becoming the that which is promised to those that stand and overcome as written in Revelation 21:7

He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. M189

We that overcome shall become the sons of the living God and we shall be given the spring of the water of life. For the river is a stream of water and in Ecclesiastes 1:7 we know.

All the streams flow into the sea, and the sea is never filled up.

And to the place where the streams flow, there they continually return to flow. M190

The streams of water will one-day return to where they flow and everything of this earth will be judged that is why it is written in Revelation 7:1.

Then I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind would not blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. M191

For judgment cannot come to pass until what is spoken about in Revelation 7:2-3 is complete.

And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. He cried out with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”M192

This is the key to understanding Revelation 22:1-5 and also the key to understanding the source of the rivers.

Then he showed me a pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street. On each side of the river was the tree of life, which bore twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There shall be no more curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. Night shall be no more. They need no lamp nor the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. M193

What we learn first from this passage is that the water of life is a pure river. It is one river of water that has two branches from the throne of God and the Lamb.

We know that in John 1:29, John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. M194

When we understand the source of these rivers and read Genesis 2:10-14 again we begin to understand what is being said.

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it encompasses the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it encompasses the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris; it goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. M195

This is what the passage says about each river:

  1. The name of the first is Pishon.
  2. The name of the second river is Gihon.
  3. The name of the third river is Tigris.
  4. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

It’s difficult to spot at first but what we will notice is that that three of the rivers have been given names, only the fourth river was already named.

The name of the first is Pishon, the name of the second is Gihon, the name of the third is Tigris, but the fourth is the Euphrates.

This would mean that if the fourth river is the Euphrates, the other three are not rivers that we can see, but are spiritual rivers of living waters which are encompassing or surrounding the land of Havilah and Cush.

Why are these two lands surrounded by the river of the water of life?

To understand that we first need to remember what is said in Isaiah 46:9-11.

Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My good pleasure,” calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man who executes My counsel from a far country.

Indeed, I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. M196

In the beginning God has the water of life encompassing the lands of Havilah and Cush so that what is reserved for the end can take place and we can see that being spoken about by Jesus in Matthew 24:14

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.M197

The lands of Havilah and Cush is that of Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia.

When the gospel of the kingdom is preached in these two nations, then the end will come.

God has reserved this for the end, so that in Matthew 24:15, when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand. M198

What does the reader need to understand?

The holy place that is being spoken about.

Jesus never said when you see standing in My Holy Place. He said in the holy place. It is the holy place that belongs to the person of abomination.

To understand the abomination that will cause desolation, we first need to understand the meaning of the word desolation as defined in Merriam-Webster.

  • extreme sadness caused by loss or loneliness
  • the condition of a place or thing that has been damaged in such a way that it is no longer suitable for people to live in MW33

The abomination will cause extreme sadness and loneliness, may result in a place or thing being damaged in such a way it is no longer suitable to live in.