RIVERS OF LIVING WATERS

WILL FLOW OUT OF YOU

By Dan Luehrs

 

 

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38 NKJV).

 

When I was first prayed for, to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit this verse was quoted to me. I was told that when I received the Holy Spirit, rivers of living water would flow from me as I spoke in other tongues. My mind could not quite understand how speaking in tongues would let rivers of water flow through me. We Pentecostal and Charismatic people love to use verses like this to help us explain our experience when we have received the in filling of the Spirit of God. And why not? “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life(Prov 4:23 NAS). How else can one explain such an awesome experience when the Holy Spirit comes upon us for the first time with such grace and transforming power?

 

Think about it, the same Holy Spirit that was over the face of the earth in creation is now living in our heart, and the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us! We are the carriers of God’s glory in this physical realm even as Jesus was and what comes out of our heart (mouth) should be the pure living waters of the Spirit that gives life to all who hear us. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (Matt 12:34-35 NKJV). We either have the good treasure of God’s word in our heart or an evil heart that brings forth death to all that hears us. If we have hidden God’s truth in our heart we have a vast supply of living waters to impart life to all who come and drink of His living waters. Jesus said that rivers of living water would flow from us, not just one river, but rivers. Why did He say rivers in the plural and what is He referring too? I believe that He is referring to four different rivers that God made in the beginning at the Garden of Eden and were flowing out from there. The garden and the tree of life are now in our heart and the living waters of the garden are to be flowing from us also. If we are going to have a flourishing garden we must have an abundant source of water from God.

 

“Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates(Gen 2:10-14 NKJV).

 

Notice that an unnamed river came out of Eden and watered the garden. I will call this river, The River of Life; it parted into four riverheads that gave life to the garden as well to other areas outside the garden. Just as Moses struck the rock by the word of the Lord in the wilderness and waters come forth to satisfy the thirsty people of Israel, now God has created rivers in us through His Spirit to satisfy our need of Him. “… And you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail” (Isa 58:11 NAS). It is interesting to note that the first river flowed through the land of gold and jewels! Lying deep within each of us, the land of our heart is the Ark of the Covenant, which is covered with pure gold, this is where the Holy Spirit abides and flows through us to give life to all we release Him into. We are the carriers of God’s glory, the glory dwelt upon the Ark in Moses’ Tabernacle that was covered with pure gold, but under the gold was wood, it is likened to our flesh. The Ark represents a chest that carried the presence of God even as we do!

 

When a natural river flows through gold it carries the gold to other areas just like the rivers of California still do to this day. Gold is the nature of God that is untarnished by sin and death. The gold of God’s glory dwells within our hearts as Christians and when we release the life of the Holy Spirit through us we impart gold (the nature of God) into the lives of other people to enrich them with His presence. Our heart is now a garden that the Holy Spirit is flowing out of as the river parts into four riverheads to water the land outside of us. Note this, the main river parted into four rivers to give its life away, this tells me that our own garden must first be well watered before we can water someone else’s. Our overflow will give life to others around us, so it is imperative for us to take time to soak in His presence daily and then give it away! “… And he who waters will himself be watered” (Prov 11:25 NAS). When we bless others with the waters from on high we get watered in return. That is because the river of God reciprocates just as all other rivers do in the earth. As the rain comes down from the clouds and flows into the rivers, then into the oceans to be circulated into the clouds once again. So does the river of God bless His people over and over again as we give it away freely. There is a reason why the Bible says that Jesus is coming in the clouds; because we are the cloud of witnesses that rain upon thirsty people of the earth, so that they too can drink from the river of God.

 

THE FOUR RIVERS

 

“Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 NKJV).

 

All four rivers of Eden imply that Christ is their main source of water (life) because He created all things and upholds them by the power of His word. The principal river that is flowing is the Word of God, Who is Jesus Christ. He is the life-giving river as He was to Israel in the wilderness when Moses struck the rock to satisfy the thirsty people. “And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:4-5 NKJV).

 

I have some questions about the four rivers, like, what do they spiritually represent for us and what is their function? We know that the river of God represents life to us, if there is no water, there is no life to sustain growth in Christ and spiritual death will prevail. As I see it, the rivers represent the four-fold gospel of Jesus Christ, which is, 1) Salvation, 2) The baptism of the Holy Spirit. 3) Growing in the knowledge of Jesus. 4) The soon return of Jesus Christ in and through His people, which is sonship fulfilled.

 

The first river was named Pishon, meaning, “Free-flowing” which shows us that Jesus is The Way to the Father for us, this is the FREE gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. The second river was named Gihon, meaning, “Gushing fountain” just as the river of the Holy Spirit gushes forth Truth in and through us. The third river is named Hiddekel, meaning, “A loud voice” “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thess 4:16 NKJV). This is when the church will obtain the resurrection Life of Jesus Christ and will be raised to new life in Him and will overcome death in the presence of the Father. The fourth river is named the Euphrates, meaning, “Breaking fourth” just as God’s sons break forth into their true calling to walk as the son’s of God in power and authority. “For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God's sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship]” (Rom 8:19 AMP). The Father has set in authority the Way, the Truth, and the Life through His Son, Who is the Prototype that helps us to understand what we are called to be as the son’s God, which is life givers just as He is!

 

GROW STRONG IN SPIRIT

 

“And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him(Luke 2:40 NKJV).

 

If God is going to release His River of life through us we must all learn how to grow strong in spirit as Jesus did.  Our mind and emotions cannot handle the pressures that will surely come from the masses of people when signs and wonders begin in great numbers. Look what happened to Jesus when He moved in great healings as the people pressed in on Him. “And He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while." (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)” (Mark 6:31 NAS). Our mind and emotions can only handle so much, then our spirit must bear under the load and if we are weak in spirit we will faultier. God gave the children of Israel what they wanted, but they did not grow strong in spirit through their trials. “And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul (Ps 106:15 NKJV). Our spirit man is who we really are, and if our spirit is weak we will not be able to stand under much pressure from the enemy or from man. It is said of Joseph in Ps 105:18-19, “They have afflicted with fetters his feet, Iron hath entered his soul, till the time of the coming of His word the saying of Jehovah hath tried him” (YLT). He went through trying and difficult times, but his soul became like iron through the trials so that he could be trusted with what God was preparing him for as he fed the nations their ration of food. Today we would say he became hardened like steel, rather than iron, because steel is iron tried by fire to make it much harder.

 

Life can become very difficult and unbearable for us all at times and we may wonder if we have the strength to get through the day. We may lose our job, spouse, child, home, and savings and feel like the bottom has been pulled out right from under us and we cry out, “Why God?” But no answer seems to come to satisfy our hurting heart and mind so then we can become offended at God. This is when we find out what we have built our lives on, the foundation of God’s word or sinking sand that crumbles when the storms of life come flooding in. If we have built our life on the Word of God we will become much stronger and not be embittered against God. But if we become angry and bitter it will show that our spirit man is weak and does not yet fully trust Him because we do not have the spiritual capacity to handle the trials of our life. Think about the Apostle Paul and all the difficulties that he faced and yet he could say that he trusted God and rejoiced in his sufferings. Are you there?

 

In order for us to become like Joseph and Paul, to have iron in our souls we are going to have to start handling our tribulations a lot differently than murmuring and complaining about them. How do we know where we are in our in our spiritual progression to Christ likeness? Are we walking in fear or faith, turmoil or rest, joy and peace in the presence of God? We must learn to rejoice and thank God in the midst of our fires in order for us to mature and to be entrusted with greater trials that will conform us more into the image of Jesus Christ.

 

A RIVER OF FIRE

 

“And a river of fire was pouring out, flowing from his presence…” (Dan 7:10 NLT).

 

When we think of the river of God we certainly do not think of fire, but then again, we are not talking about natural rivers. These things we speak of are types and shadows of the reality of who and what God is to us, and when we are in need of water for refreshing He is that to us. Or if we need the fire of God to strength and purifying us, He will give us whatever is needed in our life. He is everything to us and when we have a need, He gives it. Our God is a consuming fire and the fire of His life flows like a river from His throne to us, just as the waters of refreshing do.

 

As I was writing this article I felt the need to write about the fire of God in our lives, having forgotten about this verse in Daniel 7:10 in which he saw a river of fire flowing from the throne of God. This tells me several things; my first thought is that our God is a consuming fire! The second is, if we desire to get close to Him we are going to be a part of His mighty flames of fire that will consume all that is not of Him in us.

 

For some time now I had been asking the Lord about the life of Enoch and if there was anything more written about him so that I could learn of his life. I was then told that there was a book out called The Book of Enoch that is written by Him. We cannot receive this book as part of the cannon of scripture, even though it is older than most biblical writings and is quoted in the book of Jude. Yet I found it interesting because he wrote on the very things that I have been writing about on the river of fire. He saw the river of fire in a vision that has helped me to understand at the very time I felt led to write about the river of God’s fire. The excerpt below comes from his book.

 

“17:1 And they took and brought me to a place in which those who were there were like flaming fire,

2 and, when they wished, they appeared as men. And they brought me to the place of darkness, and to a mountain the point of whose summit reached to heaven. And I saw the places of the luminaries and the treasuries of the stars and of the thunder and in the uttermost depths, where were

4 a fiery bow and arrows and their quiver, and a fiery sword and all the lightning’s. And they took

5 me to the living waters, and to the fire of the west, which receives every setting of the sun. And I came to a river of fire in which the fire flows like water and discharges itself into the great sea towards

6 the west. I saw the great rivers and came to the great river and to the great darkness, and went

7 to the place where no flesh walks. I saw the mountains of the darkness of winter and the place

8 whence all the waters of the deep flow. I saw the mouths of all the rivers of the earth and the mouth of the deep.” (End of quote).

 

Notice how Enoch sees the ministers of fire coming, which he prophesied in Jude 14, “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints.” These men of fire are coming with the Lord of glory and the river of God’s fire will flow through His ministers to cleanse and purify His body first, than the nations. “And to you who are troubled — rest with us in the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven, with messengers of his power, in flaming fire, giving vengeance to those not knowing God, and to those not obeying the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess 1:7-8 YLT). If this is our desire to become a minister of flames of fire we must offer ourselves up as living sacrifices unto God and enter the fire of which He is.

 

I once had an experience with the fire of God in January of 2009 that has helped me to understand what I am trying to write about here. I sat on the side of the bed one morning and was a little overwhelmed with some things that were going on in my life and had just finished thanking God for my life and all the wonderful things He had done for me. I then felt what I thought was an angel in the room and then I saw that it was the Lord Himself standing before me in a raging flame of fire like found in Ezekiel 1:4. “Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire” At first I enjoyed the strength and joy from the presence of the Lord, but then a door opened in the fire and the Lord said to me, “Come into my glory.” My flesh wanted to run away, but my spirit wanted to run to the flame of fire and as I did the Lord said, “Give my life away.”

 

This was quite different from the time He appeared to me in May of 2000 when He asked me if I wanted to go higher in Him. And when I asked if there was more He said, “Yes my glory, but you will have to drink My cup.” Now nine years later He invites me to come into His glory, which is His fire! I can tell you that the last nine years of drinking His cup has been one trial of fire after another, but it has made a way into the glory.

 

God’s fire in this life is very real and He wants to give His glory to anyone that will pay the price to receive it. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see (Rev 3:18 NKJV). God wants us to see and understand His high and holy calling! Are you willing to become a vessel of God’s glory and are you willing to pay the price to come into His fire so that your flesh maybe burnt away?

 

AN OFFERING BY FIRE

 

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7 NKJV).

 

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-14 NKJV).

 

We all love to rejoice greatly when things are going our way and the river of God is flowing into our lives and we cannot imagine these good times to ever come to an end! But His fire must first test us all so that we will become a part of the fire that He is! In order for us to have the life giving waters of God flowing through us to the nations we must be purified by the fires of life. Even the great prophet Elijah had to stay in the wilderness for years before he was qualified to pray down the fire from heaven, and then he released the rain of God on the land. Our wilderness experiences are “The various fiery trials, which try us” and are preparing us for the coming of the Lord in and through us. Because of this, our trials are priceless and we should be thanking God for them and not wasting them by trying to get out of them too quickly! We become a living sacrifice unto God when our life is continually on the cross and our flesh and self-love is crucified.

 

If we read these verses above very carefully we can see that we all must be tried by fire, and then, only then, can we be ready for the full revelation of Jesus returning in fire. Then we will have exceedingly great joy!

 

But are we willing to pay the price to follow Him wherever He goes? We humans absolutely hate trials, sufferings, and tribulation in our life; we desire ease, comfort, and luxury. However, these things only make us spoiled brats! If we desire to have a high paying career we will pay a great price for our education and many long hours of hard work to see it’s fulfillment in our life. So also are the deeper things of God paid for through our sacrificial offering of self to follow the Lamb of God. We must be willing to pay the price of obedience and suffering as we follow the Lord wherever He wants to take us. And as we press into the deeper things of God the price seems so high for us at times because the flesh does not want to suffer at all. We can see this very clearly in the lives of the patriarchs in scripture and it is no different for us.

 

THE FIERY FEASTS OF LORD

 

“But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord for seven days” (Lev 23:8 NKJV).

 

“… For it is most holy to him from the offerings of the Lord made by fire, by a perpetual statute (Lev 24:14 NKJV).

 

In the book of Leviticus it says forty three times to make “Offerings made by fire to the Lord.” In chapter 23 alone it says eight times that there must be offerings made by fire, this must be something very important for us to learn if the Lord would say this so many times. This speaks about us becoming an offering by fire; we are the living sacrifice of Romans 12 in the midst of the flames of fire that are burning in our life. All three of the main feasts of Israel are for us today. They are, the Feast of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles which all have to do with offerings made by fire.

 

When I first got saved, which is the Passover feast in our life, some fires began to burn in my life. Then when I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is the feast of Pentecost, greater fires began to burn where I did not know if I could even make it from day to day. Now as I am seeking the fullness of God’s Spirit in this last feast of the Lord (Tabernacles) I seem to be living in continual fires until all that is of my self-life is burnt away. God wants us to be a sweet smelling sacrifice unto Him in the midst of our fires, this only comes about when we are thanking and worshipping God for and in our trials, even though our flesh maybe crying out for deliverance. There must be a fire for the sacrifice to be offered unto God and our trials are the best way for us to do this as the very core of who we are is offered up to Him.

 

"But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer to Me the fat and the blood," says the Lord God” (Ezek 44:15-16 NKJV).

 

The sons of Zadok were able to come near to God with the best part of the sacrifice because they were faithful to Him in the times of tribulation when everyone else was not. They were able to offer up the best part of the offering that the priests could not eat and was only meant for sacrifice to God alone, the fat and blood which are the most intimate parts of the body. Our inner heart and blood represent the life that is in us and are for God alone. Our fires (trials) consume our fleshly ways out of our heart like a sacrifice on the altar; our worship in the midst of it goes up to God as the smoke of the incense from the altar, because it is God’s bread. “In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh (the flesh not cut off), to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations” (Ezek 44:7 KJV). As spiritual son’s of Zadok our daily offering of self to God satisfies the hunger of God for fellowship and it is a sweet smelling savor unto Him in the midst of our fiery trials. Our life will then be poured out and burned up to Him through our trials and tribulations! Our heart is now the sanctuary of God that is not to be polluted by any of our left over fleshly ways, but is to be cut away.

 

Our God is a consuming fire and as we draw close to Him we will feel the fire that He is, and our fleshly ways will be consumed. So what does that make us if we will draw close to Him? Fire! When the sacrifice is fully consumed it is now a part of the fire and can no longer be harmed by the flames because there is nothing more to burn.

 

Silver and gold must be progressively heated at least seven times before it becomes pure. Psalms 12:6 says, “… As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times. If the gold master would try to refine the gold all at once by making the fire hotter, he would then destroy the gold and would cause a great waste! Our Lord will not ever over heat the fires in our life and waste His great work He has begun in us. Jesus is the Fire and the trusted Refiner in our life, "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like launderers' soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness (Mal 3:2-3 NKJV). As we are purged of our fleshly ways we are able to offer unto the Lord a pure offering of worship from the heart that is acceptable to Him.

 

Only pure gold and silver could be used in the Tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness and also in Solomon’s temple. Refining fire only makes pure gold and that is what the New Jerusalem is made with, for we, the body of Christ are the New Jerusalem that comes down out heaven. “The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass (Rev 21:18 NKJV). Jesus is returning for a pure spotless bride, who we will be one day if we do not lose heart. But we will have to do what Moses’ wife Zipporah did when she had to circumcise their son, because apparently Moses did not want to do it. The scriptures are very clear on this; God was going to kill Moses if this was not done. God is very serious about this subject of us getting the sin issue taken care of in the times that we are living in. We are called to be free, so that we can set others free!

 

THE ETERNAL RIVER

 

“And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (Rev 21:6-7 NKJV).

 

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. -- And 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” (Rev 22:1, 3 NKJV).

 

All things are finished in Jesus because He is the “Alpha and the Omega,” and because of this, all things began in and through Him and will end in Him! We know from the book of Genesis that He created the river of God in the Garden of Eden, but we may not have known that He is the River, the Tree of Life, and the Light of the world. He is the life of all living things; everything gets its life from Him, because He is the Eternal Life!

 

He gives us of the river that flows out of Himself! “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14 NKJV). As Jesus gives us the living waters of life, it becomes a fountainhead of gushing water from us. Now He is expecting us to give it away to others so that they too will have His life within themselves. This is what makes our life exciting as we see others come to life in Christ. I charge you by the word of the Lord to give His life away!

 

Dan Luehrs

1717 Conifer Ave

Kissimmee, FL 34758

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