The Woman at the Well
A Personal Note from the Author
The Bible is different from every other book in the world.
When energized by the Holy Spirit, it becomes living and active.
Jesus said, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.
The Bible is food for man's spirit.
Throughout the teaching, you will observe that many Scriptures from the Bible are used. They are written out in full with the appropriate references given.
The great benefit of this is that the Word of God is being assimilated into the reader's spirit. And it obviously does away with the need of looking up references in the Bible simultaneously. It is not for a moment inferred that the Bible should not be consulted. Indeed, the greatest compliment you could pay any teacher is to check up on him. I most assuredly invite this. Please pay me the greatest compliment possible. Check up on me.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.
This book should not be treated in a manner whereby it is read as quickly as possible and then discarded.
In several areas you will find Scriptures repeated. This is to reinforce a particular point.
The only method I am aware of sowing the seed of the Word of God into your life, of allowing the Holy Spirit to fuse it into your spirit, is by meditation and prayerful reflection. By meditation, I do not mean that you allow your mind to become blank, that you become vacant and stare off without purpose into outer space. Rather, meditation is simply thinking, reflecting, pawing over the word, musing.
Psalm 39:3 My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned; then spake I with my tongue,
By this means the Word is transferred from your mind to your spirit. It becomes part of you. From this database, the Holy Spirit can bring it to your remembrance.
Keep this principle embedded in your mind as you explore this material. You will receive the greatest possible assistance from God by doing this.
T he Woman at the Well
JOHN 4:5-24 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee LIVING WATER. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to DRAW with, and the well is DEEP: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh 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 saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, GO, CALL THY HUSBAND, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus saith unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman said unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers WORSHIPPED in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the TRUE WORSHIPPERS shall worship the Father in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. GOD IS A SPIRIT: and they that worship him MUST worship him in spirit and in truth.
Jesus sat on the well. He was weary. I'm so glad that Jesus got tired while He was executing His ministry here on earth. This reveals His humanity. Thank God that there is a man in heaven today, representing man to God. And yet, when He probed this woman's thinking with, "Go and get your husband", and "Thou hast had five husbands, and the man you are presently living with is not your husband", here was more than a man talking. Here we see expressed the divinity of the Son of God.
When Jesus lay asleep in the back of the boat in the centre of a raging sea, here was a man. However, when He spoke, "PEACE BE STILL!", here was more than a man!
When He cried upon receiving news that His friend Lazarus was dead, here was a man. However, when He screamed, "LAZARUS, COME FORTH!", here was more than a man.
When Jesus died in agony on the cross, here was a man. When he BURST FROM THE GRAVE on the third day, here was more than a man!
Jesus' thoughts no doubt turned to Jacob, his son Joseph and this parcel of ground as He sat on the well, as mine did, when I sat on the same spot in 1975. The dream of Joseph was one of leadership. This well was part of that blessing. Perhaps the Master's thoughts went back through time until He could hear the prophetic word given by Jacob.
Joseph had a dream.
Genesis 37:5-11 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obesiance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obesiance to me. And he told it to his father: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed com to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
Joseph subsequently was sold as a slave by his own brethren in Egypt. He spent fourteen long years in prison. And yet the betrayal and imprisonment were God's method of preparation for Joseph to become a great leader, and a provider of food for his family in the coming time of famine!
Genesis 49:22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
As our Lord pondered this mighty blessing, no doubt he gave thought as to how this prophecy was fulfilled. Fruitfulness, the bough planted by a well, the running of the branches over the wall. But alas! Some fourteen testing years must pass before the leadership dream is to be realised in the life of Joseph. He must experience BETRAYAL BY HIS BRETHREN, be SOLD as a slave; he must spend the majority of this time in PRISON. Oh, how like the pattern of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, Joseph is!
The dream of leadership must be fulfilled. The answer to this PARADOX, for it is indeed a paradox, a complete inversion of that which was spoken, can be found in the book of Psalms.
Psalm 105:17-19 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him.
Notice the phrase, "Until his TIME came, the WORD OF THE LORD TRIED HIM." There is a time and purpose for everything under heaven. There is a specific time for the word of the Lord to be fulfilled. When that time comes, there is no power in heaven or earth, or, under the earth, that can withold it from coming to pass. Be encouraged my Christian friend, when God's time for the prophetic word to be fulfilled in your life has arrived, it will surely comes to pass. There is nothing that can restrain it. Did you notice that until the time comes, the word of the Lord, the very dream of leadership that has preceded the current working of God in our lives, is the VERY WORD THAT WILL TEST, try and prove us!
In the midst of this heart searching meditation, a Samaritan woman approaches to draw water.
Jesus requests, "Give me a drink."
The woman is startled. How could a Jew, (the Jews despise the Samaritan people), ask something of a Samaritan? They do not acknowledge Samaritans. They conduct no dealings with them whatsoever.
The astonished woman is greeted with, "If you knew the gift of God, the One who made the request, you would have asked Him, and he would have granted LIVING WATER. ''
The gift of God is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift, For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
2 Corinthians 9: 15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
In response to living water, the woman of Samaria retorts, "You have nothing to DRAW with, and the well is DEEP."
Here is revealed a classic fault of human beings, even of those who have been born again and love the Lord Jesus Christ, namely, the confusing of spiritual truth due to a natural application of it.
Here is revealed one of the most powerful methods of teaching. This illustration serves to underline one of the most majestic principles of God.
l Corinthians 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural: and afterward that which is spiritual.
Reading the account of the Woman at the Well today poses no problem, for the reader understands that living or spiritual water speaks of the HOLY SPIRIT.
John 7:37-39 In the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.
Neither is this woman alone in her confusing of spiritual truth.
An eminent theologian confused the new birth.
John 3: 1-13 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do the miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE FLESH IS FLESH: AND THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS SPIRIT. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you EARTHLY things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of HEAVENLY things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
Nicodemus confuses natural birth for spiritual birth in our Lord's statement, 'Ye Must Be Born Again.' He applies that which is earthly, fleshly and natural, to that which is heavenly and spiritual.
F lesh and Blood
In a discourse on His flesh and blood by the Lord Jesus, the Jews thought it quite impossible to eat and drink them. They thought the idea repulsive: to them it smacked of cannibalism. 'How can he give his flesh to eat?', they reasoned. The answer can only be found when applying the spiritual aspect of this truth.
John 6:31-58 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert: as it is written. He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father GIVETH you the TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then they said unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. And all that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that all of which he hath given me I should loose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, is this not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the LIVING bread which came down from heaven: If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is the bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.
Even the closest to Him, the twelve apostles, had their moments of misunderstanding. They also knew what it was to confuse natural and spiritual truth.
Matthew 16:5-12 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, IT IS BECAUSE WE HAVE TAKEN NO BREAD. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets took ye up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets took ye up? How is it that you do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the DOCTRINE of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Their original concept of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees? They had forgotten to take the lunch! Nothing could be more natural than that. And these were the men the church was to be founded upon. Take heart my Christian brother and sister. All is not lost. Perhaps you can become a person that can instil spiritual principles in the lives of others in your local church.
In reference to water, it is only natural that one must drink and drink again. But here the Lord Jesus promises that drinking at the well that He shall give, the partaker should never thirst again.
Many years ago I found myself in conversation with a Seventh Day Adventist woman. She explained, "I have found the Saviour and I am still searching", to which I replied, "I have found the Saviour and my searching days are over!"
The water the Lord Jesus gives issues from an internal well. Here is a direct reference to the rivers of living water, (the Holy Ghost), flowing from the belly, identifying the location of the human spirit.
The SOLAR PLEXUS, the nerve centre of man, is what is called in the Bible, the heart. The heart is speaking of the human spirit.
Solar comes from the Latin, solaris, which means, belonging to the sun.
Plexus is derived from the Latin, plexus, which means twisted. It is used in anatomy to describe a network of vessels or nerves.
When a person rides a roller coaster, experiences a sensation in the stomach when the car in which they are travelling drops suddenly after an unsuspecting dip in the road, feels his feet leave the floor when a high speed elevator descends swiftly from the top floor of a building, plunges several feet towards the earth when the aeroplane in which he is travelling strikes an airpocket, and asserts that he has lost his stomach, this is NOT what literally happens. What is being referred to is the area in their person that houses their spirit. When a person who is to address a large audience relates that he has "butterflies in his stomach", this is NOT what literally happens. No surgeon's knife could ever reveal butterflies in any human stomach. No! In all these instances people are making reference to the human spirit. The Lord Jesus did the same. Every one of these examples prove that the human being has a spirit. This is the part of man that experiences the miracle of the new birth when he receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour.
The human spirit is also the realm of the sixth sense. Thousands of people have testified that when searching for an answer to a difficult problem, question or situation, when no longer struggling in their minds to solve the issue, and relax both physically and mentally: suddenly the answer appears, miraculously, as if from nowhere. When the mind lets go, the spirit has the opportunity of making its contribution.
This occurs in the Christian and non-Christian alike. It proves that there is such an existence as the human spirit.
1 Timothy 5:6 But she that liveth in pleasure is DEAD while she liveth.
Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins;
It is quite possible to be alive physically, yet at the, same time be dead spiritually. This is the reason why the new birth is absolutely imperative if a person is to receive eternal life and become a candidate for heaven.
A truth that needs to be universally understood is that death is just as much a state of life as life is! You see, in the Bible, death is spoken of, and is easier to understand, when it is associated with SEPARATION.
The Bible speaks of THREE TYPES OF DEATH. These are natural death, spiritual death and the second death.
NATURAL DEATH occurs when a person's spirit leaves his body.
SPIRITUAL DEATH, (the nature of Satan), dominates every person born into this world. Every human being who has never been born again by the Spirit of God, is spiritually dead. They are of their father, the devil. Hence the need to be born again.
The SECOND DEATH is the type of death where a human being's spirit is eternally separated from God.
It falls the lot of all who die unsaved, to spend an eternity without Christ. This is what is commonly known as hell.
Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
The classic example of the Lord Jesus, (it is NOT a parable), reveals that people dwelling in a Christless eternity have CONSCIOUSNESS, FEELING, THIRST, SIGHT, and above all, a concern that NO PERSON END UP where they have found themselves. These people possess unrivalled evangelistic fervour. Let them loose, and the world would be saved, by these unsaved, in no time at all! Please notice the emphasis of our Lord on the Word of God over that of the physical manifestation of the resurrection of the dead. NOTHING SUPERSEDES THE BIBLE!
Luke 16:19-31 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in HELL he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come to this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have MOSES AND THE PROPHETS; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, IF THEY HEAR NOT Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
The well of the human spirit, flowing with the mighty Spirit of God, will satisfy any and every human thirst and appetite. In a well, there is a constant supply of water. One of the primary lessons the Christian is to learn very early on in his experience, is to rely on this hidden source of life. This eliminates the tendency of living from Sunday to Sunday, getting filled with barely enough of the river of life to just get by. The promise of the Lord Jesus is that RIVERS of living water are available. Not trickles, not squirts, not streams, but rivers!
A friend of mine says, "Jesus satisfies us with a dissatisfying satisfaction." What he is saying is that there will always remain a small vacuum that He alone can satisfy, thus causing the Christian to rely wholly upon Him. That sufficiency can not be found in any human frame. The believer is to remain totally dependent upon the Lord. Our God is a God of abundance.
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Ezekiel 47:5 Afterward 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.
The release of the abundant waters of the Spirit of God flowing through the individual human vessel is the intended experience of God for every Christian. There are no exceptions. There is one initial baptism of the Holy Spirit, but there are many infillings.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. This experience came AFTER the initial descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
The Greek language records, "Be on being filled." That is, stay continually filled with the Spirit, at all times. Therefore, there is no need to run low on the waters of the Spirit. Have you checked your dipstick lately?
The Lord Jesus received the Holy Spirit without measure. He represents those who are to realise His statement of RIVERS of living water flowing through the human spirit. The terminology is directly related to the FEAST OF TABERNACLES, the third and final appointment the church is to yet keep before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in all His power and glory.
John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
John 7:2 Now the Jews feast of tabernacles was at hand.
This interview, from its inception, is designed to touch the Samaritan woman in the depths of her spirit. It was created to satisfy every longing in her soul. From Jesus' opening statement, "Give me to drink", through "living water", to this present expression, "give me this water", the intent is designed to awaken a spiritual hunger. The probe penetrates through the realms of the human mind, to the depths of the human spirit. It culminates with the interviewee arriving at the place, "I want it!"
Now our Lord directs the discussion to the very core of her being. The woman explains, "the well is deep". She, of course, is making reference to the natural well. The Master is now to unveil to this sincere seeker, the spiritual application of the very same truth - just how deep this well is. He is not referring to a hole in the ground but the concealed DEPTHS of the human soul. He is going to plummet these depths.
"Go call thy husband".
"I have no husband".
"Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly".
This is getting right to the heart of the matter. The woman has said the well is deep. Jesus is showing her just HOW DEEP!
If the seeker is to experience the abundant life of God, he must be honest. He must be honest both to himself and God. He may endeavour to deceive other people, but here are the two he can not deceive: God and himself. "To thine own self be true." The seeker must be honest. Above every other area in life he must be honest in the depths of his heart when seeking God.
Psalm 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
An alternative rendering for inward parts, is "covered thing." It is that part of our lives that we try so desperately to conceal from God, our family, our intimate friends. It is that part that is shielded, protected. It is that part that we seek earnestly to cover.
Honesty is the best policy? It is the only policy.
In the parable of the sower, the Lord spoke of four types of soil. Only one of those brought forth fruit. In an another expression, only 25% of the soil was productive. That means 75%, the majority of the sowing was counterproductive. This is an unproductivity factor of three to one. Three quarters of the seed is wasted! And when it is reflected that even in the productive 25%, only one third realises its full potential. This represents astonishing 8% of the combined total. It is tragic. But, it is tragically true.
What then, is the key to good ground?
Luke 8:11-15 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should BELIEVE AND BE SAVED. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in the time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard go forth, and are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring forth no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an HONEST AND GOOD HEART, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
The woman of Samaria was one of the last category. Irrespective of the cost, she was going to pay the price. Nothing would intercept the fulfilling of her soul's desire. Oh, how that must have hurt, having the inner secrets of her heart made known. But this could not deter her. It only made her more willing to face the facts.
The wonderful thing with God is that when the soul cries out to Him, He has a place in His massive heart to MEET that cry.
Psalm 42:7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
You see, before there ever was a cry in your life, or for that matter, any human soul, there existed in God a capacity to answer and satisfy that cry and longing.
Before there was a fish to swim in the sea, there had to first be a sea for the fish to swim in. Before there ever was a bird to fly in the sky, there had to first be a sky for the bird to fly in. Before there ever was a tiger in the jungle, there first had to be a jungle for the tiger to roam in. Yes, my precious friend, believe this with all your heart; BEFORE THERE EVER WAS A CRY IN YOUR HEART, THERE HAD TO BE A GOD SOMEWHERE TO ANSWER THAT CRY! Seek Him with all of your heart. He can and will be found of you, providing of course, that you are honest with both Him and yourself.
Oh, how DEEP that well is!
Another powerful illustration comes from the time of Noah. You see, not only did it rain forty days and forty nights to bring a flood upon the earth, but the Bible records that the FOUNTAINS OF THE GREAT DEEP were opened up.
Genesis 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Just 70 miles from where we pastored our second church in New Zealand, there is a magnificent sight. The Golden Bay Promotions Association list it the largest fresh water spring in the world. Named the Pupu Springs, it pumps a phenomenal 475,000,000 (imperial) gallons (1,798,065,000 litres) [1.8 billion] of water per day. At its mouth the water issues from the ground at such great pressure that it has defied lead-laden divers entry.
Driving beyond Motueka and ascending the Takaka Hill, the traveller is greeted near the summit with an unusual spectacle. Turning right and traversing a metal road across what is aptly named the Wilderness, one is met with a large expanse of a grassed open field appropriately named Canaan. Parking in the car park, a brisk walk through a bush track finally ends abruptly at its destination, Harwood's Hole. This is the deepest known Southern Hemisphere chasm, the twelfth deepest in the world, 370 meters. Its main entrance is surrounded by sheer 60m to 90m cliffs. Speleologists have found side passages, and a subterranean stream.
It is my considered opinion that this hole was one of those fountains of the great deep that ejected multiplied millions of gallons of water at the time of Noah's flood, when the entire earth became completely engulfed in water. The super-smooth stones in the Wilderness certainly leaves the impression that astronomical volumes of water have left their ageless mark. This has made them a much sought after treasure of the modern landscaper.
Certainly Jesus had here probed the inner depths of a human life. In responding, the woman discovered exactly how DEEP, and what the cost was to become a drinker at the well that never runs dry.
With the agility of a seasoned politician, feeling the heat of conviction and its accompanying embarrassment becoming too strong, she endeavoured to change the subject. The reader will kindly observe how politicians have the ability to transfer the heat from themselves, focusing it on an unsuspecting third party.
Said she, "Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain."
1 Corinthians 2:9-14 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
There would certainly be no point in Jesus telling me to go and get my husband. I don't have one. I have never had one. I'm sure that in the future I will never have one.
To the rich young ruler, Jesus never said, "Get your husband!" He didn't have one either. However, if this man would know the abundant waters from the well of life, Jesus, in consistency with his requirement of the Woman at the Well, must POINT to the individual depth within him.
Mark 10: 17-22 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these I have observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, ONE THING THOU LACKEST: go thy way, SELL WHATSOEVER THOU HAST, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: FOR HE HAD GREAT POSSESSIONS.
The young man turned down the offer of eternal life. To him the price was too steep. The cost was too great. Jesus loved him, but kindly observe that He allowed this young ruler to walk away. He did not follow him, pleading with him to change his mind. Each person must come the same way, counting the same cost. Only then can the waters of life flow through him. This candidate for the LIVING WATER was simply not hungry enough. How like many today.
Jesus knew where to point His finger precisely to activate the deep, in the spirit of the Woman at the Well. He knew exactly where to touch the rich young ruler. He has touched me where it was necessary for me. My precious friend, I know on the strength of these illustrations that He knows exactly where to place His finger on your life. I think you do also. If you are tired of your shallow, meaningless expression of Christianity, approach the Master as this woman did. He will receive you. Ask Him to show you what is required to enter another realm in Christian experience. Believe me, He will show you. Be prepared to count the cost, to pay the price. When you desire the waters of life more than any other interest, you will receive. But not until then! Allow Him to touch you. Allow Him to show you. Allow Him to unclog the hindrances to the well, and the abundance of living waters flowing from your innermost being will indeed be yours.
The mountain referred to in this section of Scripture is Mount Gerizim, the mountain upon which half the tribes of Israel recited the blessings. The other was Mount Ebal, the mount where the curses were recited. I could not help but notice and subsequently remark on the fact that when I was in the holy land in 1975, all the houses in the area were located on Mount Gerizim, the mount of blessing. In vivid contrast, none appeared on Mount Ebal! How true this is of man's nature. He will take good from God, but not bad. He accepts the positive and rejects the negative. He embraces the blessings and spurns the curses. Consider the popular promise boxes. All Scriptures found in them are of a positive nature. There is not one negative word from God to be found therein. How lopsided man is. In the natural realm, every school boy knows that positive and negative are required for the flow of electricity. Without this dual concept there can be no current! By all means accentuate the positive, but do not disregard the negative.
Matthew 16:21-27 From that time forth Jesus began to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall loose it: and whosoever will loose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and loose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
One is to recall that this rebuke immediately follows a revelation from the Holy Ghost that "thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!"
There is a serious challenge to all who would follow the Master: "Let him DENY HIMSELF, and TAKE UP HIS CROSS, and FOLLOW ME." This is the price. This is the cost. This is what it means to allow the Spirit of God to touch the deep within the human breast.
Luke 14:25-35 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he hath sufficient to finish it. Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, this man, began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war with another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Job 2:10 But he said unto her, Thou speaketh as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive GOOD at the hand of God, and shall we not receive EVIL? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
If Jesus is the Lily of the Valley, and He is, how can He be found on the top of a mountain?
Water finds its own level. It always runs to the lowest point. This speaks of the majestic quality of humility.
For every three mountain tops (experiences in God), there are FOUR VALLEYS! There are not many teachers who will point this out or even attempt to explain this.
1 2 3 [Three Mountain Tops]
1 2 3 4 [Four Valleys]
JESUS HUMBLED HIMSELF! Let the believer do likewise. Perhaps he should endeavour to fall on the rock in an effort to be broken, rather than have it fall on him and grind him to powder.
Matthew 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
God knows only too well how to humble a person.
Philippians 2:7-11 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Our Lord now proceeds to explain that the true worship of God knows no geographical limitation. One can be as close to God at the South Pole, or in the midst of an African jungle, as he can in a cathedral, church building, or the grave where the body of Jesus lay for three days and three nights.
People have said to me, "It must have been wonderful to see the place where Jesus lay."
I respond, "Yes it was." To think this is the very place where the dead body of Jesus lay for three days and three nights. I spoke in tongues at this site and prayed for all the people in the church I was then pastoring. Yet, in regard to all this, would you like to know something? You can worship God anywhere. Do you know that I feel as close to God right here, in Brisbane, Australia, as I did in the holy land? You see, God is omnipresent, that means He is all over the world at one time. He is a Spirit.
It is because this is so that He can be in all places throughout His mighty universe at the same time! Yes, I have been to Israel, and will probably go again. Do you understand that deep in the heart of man there exists a desire to make pilgrimages? There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Only please don't do it in an effort to get closer to God or to somehow seek His favour by this means. You cannot notch up points with Him in this manner. It simply doesn't work that way. My friend, believe this with all your heart.
The dialogue now centres on WORSHIP. Pray tell, what in the world has worship got to do with drawing water? Much in every way. You see, WORSHIP DRAWS GOD. It not only draws God externally, it also draws Him INTERNALLY.
Psalm 68:1 LET GOD ARISE, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.
Psalm 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
Psalm 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.
An alternative rendering to this verse is, "Whoso offereth praise and orders his conversation aright, MAKES A WAY FOR GOD TO WORK."
Nowhere in the Holy Scriptures can this principle be more readily seen than in the powerful illustration, of the magnificent king of Judah, Jehosophat.
2 Chronicles 20:20-30 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehosophat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that they should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went forth before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth forever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. And when Judah came toward the watchtower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. And when Jehosophat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days gathering the spoil, it was so much. And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the Lord: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day. Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehosophat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies. And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the Lord. And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the Lord fought against the enemies of Israel. So the realm of Jehosophat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.
The power of praise is classically illustrated in this section of Scripture. It must be remembered that the whole of Judah was completely surrounded by the opposing forces, yet in the words of the king, "O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us, neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee..." (verse 12)
Praise had indeed made a way for God to work.
Many of the great truths of God come in threes. Each successive application of the triune pattern is greater than its former. This is clearly seen in the teaching of the church, the house of God, in its three major stages of development, namely:
The Tabernacle (of Moses)
The Temple (of Solomon)
The Church (of the Lord Jesus Christ)
T he Tabernacle
Exodus 40:34,35 Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
These verses are recorded after the seventeen times (SPIRITUAL PERFECTION) statement, "made as the Lord commanded Moses."
When all the COMPONENTS of the tabernacle had been CRAFTED, and SET in their RIGHT PLACE in this portable building, the GLORY OF GOD FELL!
2 Chronicles 5 Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the Lord was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God. Then Solomon ASSEMBLED the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to BRING UP THE ARK OF THE COVENANT of the Lord out of the city of David, which is ZION. Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the FEAST which was in the SEVENTH MONTH. And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark. And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up. Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude. And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims: For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above. And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without. And there it is unto this day. There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course: Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having CYMBALS and PSALTERIES and HARPS, stood at the east end of the altar. and with them an HUNDRED AND TWENTY PRIESTS sounding with TRUMPETS:) It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make ONE SOUND to be heard in PRAISING and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth forever: that THEN the house was FILLED WITH A CLOUD, even the house of the Lord; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the GLORY OF THE LORD HAD FILLED THE HOUSE OF GOD.
Again, with all the COMPONENTS of the house assembled, and the voluminous oceans of PRAISE ascending to the Lord, the GLORY OF GOD FELL! Again PRAISE had PRECIPITATED THE PRESENCE OF GOD.
This is a powerful principle for every Christian to learn and incorporate in his growth and development, both corporately and individually.
In this third and most magnificent phase of the building of the house of God, we have both seen, and will see, the glory of God descend on the church in an unprecedented manner.
Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:12,14-21 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and harken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will show wonders in the heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
It is at once both interesting and vitally important to UNDERSTAND HOW this GLORY (the PRECIPITATION OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD, the mighty BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT) came upon the church.
Multitudes of explanations abound. But a careful study both of the events and Scriptures related to the birth of the Christian Church in glory, will surely clear this matter up.
There are well-meaning believers who tell us that all gathered were praying, both for God to do something, to and for one another in a bout of confession of sins, to prepare for the descent of the Comforter.
Peter apparently confesses to Thomas, "I denied the Lord. Please pray for me, brother." Thomas responds, "I used to be a doubter, pray for me that God will make me a shouter." And on it supposedly goes.
This may or may not have happened. We are not told of this belief in the Bible. Asserting that this event transpired in the upper room is mere speculation. This is NOT established fact. What is fact, however, is that these one hundred and twenty believers were PRAISING and WORSHIPPING God. Thus once again establishing the principle, praise precipitates the presence of God, or, WORSHIP DRAWS GOD.
Luke 24:49-53 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up His hands, and blessed them. And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were CONTINUALLY IN THE TEMPLE, PRAISING AND BLESSING GOD. Amen.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
There it is! They were constantly PRAISING God.
The Bible likens being filled with the Holy Spirit to being drunk on new wine.
Matthew 16:18 And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH; and the gates of hell shall nor prevail against it.
Ephesians 2:20-22 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building FITLY FRAMED TOGETHER groweth unto an HOLY TEMPLE in the Lord: In whom ye also are BUILDED TOGETHER for an HABITATION OF GOD THROUGH THE SPIRIT.
1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the TEMPLE of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a SPIRITUAL HOUSE, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:9-17 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, YE ARE GOD'S BUILDING. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man BUILD UPON THIS FOUNDATION, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that YE are the TEMPLE OF GOD, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Luke 6:47-49 Whosoever cometh unto me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which BUILT AN HOUSE, and digged deep, and LAID THE FOUNDATION ON A ROCK: and when the FLOOD arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and COULD NOT SHAKE IT: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man WITHOUT A FOUNDATION BUILT AN HOUSE upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it FELL; and the ruin of that house was great.
John 17:21-23 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE that thou hast sent me. And the GLORY which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be ONE, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Psalm 102:18-22 And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion and upon her assemblies, a cloud of smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the GLORY SHALL BE A DEFENCE. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from the storm and from rain.
Isaiah 40:3-5 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the GLORY OF THE LORD SHALL BE REVEALED, and ALL FLESH SHALL SEE IT TOGETHER: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the SUN, and the MOON under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve STARS:
As surely as the two former dwelling places of God on earth were filled with the glory of God as soon as the components were fashioned and set in their correct places, so also, when God's preparation of His people (building material), is completed, and they are set in the body of Christ where HE wants them, and are found so functioning, the GLORY OF GOD will again descend and inhabit His building.
That WORSHIP PRECEDES REVELATION there can be no doubt. The precedent is established in the Book of Revelation, immediately prior to the opening of the seven seals.
Revelation 5: 1-14 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, WORTHY IS THE LAMB that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, AMEN. And the four and twenty elders FELL DOWN and WORSHIPPED him that liveth forever and ever.
Ezra 3:1-13 And when the SEVENTH MONTH was come, and the children of Israel were in their cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem. Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the Lord, even burnt offerings morning and evening. They also kept the FEAST OF TABERNACLES, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every d y required; And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and f all the SET FEASTS OF THE LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the Lord. BUT THE FOUNDATION OF THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD WAS NOT YET LAID. They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the seal of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia. Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the Lord. Then stood Jeshua with his sons and brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites. And WHEN THE BUILDERS HAD LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD, they set their priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites and the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to PRAISE THE LORD, after the ordinance of DAVID king of Israel. And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, BECAUSE THE FOUNDATION OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD WAS LAID. But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.
Nehemiah 8 And all the people gathered themselves together as ONE MAN into the street that was before the WATER GATE; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the BOOK of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation of both men and women, and all that could HEAR WITH UNDERSTANDING, upon the FIRST DAY OF THE SEVENTH MONTH. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the MORNING UNTIL MIDDAY, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of the people were attentive to the book of the law. And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left, Pediah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshulam. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: and Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, AMEN, AMEN, with LIFTING UP THEIR HANDS: and they BOWED THEIR HEADS, and WORSHIPPED the Lord with their FACES TO THE GROUND. Also Jeshus, Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, CAUSED THE PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THE LAW: and the people stood in their place. So they read in the book of the law of God DISTINCTLY, and gave the SENSE, and caused them to UNDERSTAND the reading. And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Lord your God: mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. And he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry, for the JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH. So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy: neither be ye grieved. And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make GREAT MIRTH, BECAUSE THEY HAD UNDERSTOOD THE WORDS THAT WERE DECLARED UNTO THEM. And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to UNDERSTAND THE WORDS OF THE LAW. And they found written in the law which the Lord had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should DWELL IN BOOTHS in the FEAST OF THE SEVENTH MONTH: And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths as it is written. So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim. And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great GLADNESS. Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he READ IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW OF GOD. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according to the manner.
The following trilogy of Scriptures and the accompanying diagram illustrate the principle of PRAISE PRECIPITATING THE PRESENCE OF GOD, or WORSHIP DRAWS GOD, or GOD INHABITS THE PRAISES OF HIS PEOPLE.
Applying the natural principle of the creating of rain, it is clearly identifiable in its spiritual application as the POWER OF PRAISE. Where there is the ascension of water vapour, there will be clouds. When the clouds become full of rain they descend as showers of rain upon the earth. This parallels in like manner the presence of God.
There are occasions, when, as in the natural realm, the heat of the sun causes water vapours to ascend, so also, God will allow seasons of heat and pressure to cause the spiritual vapour, (PRAISE), to ascend from our lives.
Truly, we have seen that WORSHIP DRAWS GOD. But it not only draws God externally, it also draws Him INTERNALLY.
Psalm 68:1 Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.
Job 36:27 He maketh small the drops of water: they POUR DOWN RAIN ACCORDING TO THE VAPOUR THEREOF: Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.
Jeremiah 10:13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the VAPOURS TO ASCEND FROM THE ENDS OF THE EARTH; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
Ecclesiastes 11:3 If the CLOUDS BE FULL OF RAIN, THEY EMPTY THEMSELVES UPON THE EARTH: and if a tree falls toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there shall it be.
Hosea 6:3 Then we shall know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and HE SHALL COME UNTO US AS THE RAIN, as the LATTER AND FORMER RAIN unto the earth.
T he Creation of Rain
[Natural and Spiritual]
Ecclesiastes 11:3 Job 36:27
God longs to arise within us. He longs for you and me to stir Him. All too often, Christians fail to realise that God lives within them. As a parallel to the days of Noah, the waters fell in abundance from the heavens (EXTERNALLY), an in addition to this, the FOUNTAINS OF THE GREAT DEEP WERE BROKEN UP (INTERNALLY). This is the significant spiritual application of this truth, referring to the DEEP within the believer's spirit.
Seek God in all earnestness. Endeavour to BREAK UP THE FALLOW GROUND, and He will RAIN righteousness upon you. To explain that your heart is hard and that it can not be changed is not only incorrect, it is an excuse offered to refrain from seeking the face of the Lord. YOUR SPIRIT CAN BE CHANGED!
Hosea 10:11,12 And Ephraim is an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the corn; but I passed over upon her fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, and Jacob shall brake his clods. Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, TILL HE COME and RAIN righteousness upon you.
Matthew 8:23-27 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the SHIP WAS COVERED WITH THE WAVES: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he said unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he AROSE, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
Mark 4:35-41 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves BEAT INTO THE SHIP, so that is was NOW FULL. And HE WAS IN THE HINDER PART OF THE SHIP, ASLEEP ON A PILLOW: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he AROSE, and rebuked the Wind and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
Luke 8:22-25 Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, LET US GO OVER UNTO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LAKE. And they launched forth. But as they sailed HE FELL ASLEEP: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were FILLED WITH WATER, and were in JEOPARDY. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he AROSE, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and the water, and they obey him.
The focal point of this miracle has traditionally been the Lord Jesus speaking to the winds and the waves and those elements obeying Him. All three references in the Gospels are cited here that a compiling and blending of all the facts may be seen and clearly understood.
The main point that is so readily overlooked is the word of the Lord Jesus, the Son of the living God, "Let us go over unto the other side of the lake." The word has been spoken, yet, as with so many modern day disciples, as soon as the storm arises, the spoken word of God is forgotten. As far as Jesus was concerned, He was crossing over to the other side of the lake in this ship, and that's all there was to it! Upon the strength of that which was SPOKEN, Jesus went to the aft of the vessel, PUT HIS HEAD ON A PILLOW, AND WENT TO SLEEP. That was that! The rising of the storm was to Him, purely coincidental. Irrespective of how strong the wind blew, irrespective of how savage the seas became, irrespective of how full the boat became of water to the point of almost sinking, irrespective of the lives of the disciples being in jeopardy, JESUS REMAINED ASLEEP. HE WAS OBLIVIOUS TO IT ALL. Here is the epitome of peace. He was sleeping like a baby in the midst of a life-destroying storm. THIS is the major point of the miracle. JESUS HAD ABSOLUTE FAITH IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM THAT HE WAS GOING OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LAKE. It was a LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN HIS WORD that drew the statement from the master, "Where is your faith?" "Why are ye so fearful, O ye of little faith?", and, "How is it that ye have no faith?" He had not rebuked the wind and the raging sea at this specific point in time.
Though there is an exercise of faith in speaking to the wind and the sea, though the words are uttered, "What manner of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him", the focal point of the miracle is the ABSOLUTE FAITH JESUS SHOWS IN THE WORD!
This illustration shows the vital importance of believing and resting upon the Word of the Lord.
And what of us? Are we really any different from the disciples of old? We have the same spoken word of God - WE ARE GOING THROUGH. However, when the storms of life arise against us, it is all too common for our eyes and attention to fix our gaze upon this, and subsequently relegate the Word of the Lord to the background. But what is the Christian to do in real-life situations as this? He is to emulate the apostles before him. Call the Master! Stir the Master on the vessel. Wake the Master. Shake the Master. Our vessel is ourselves. Oh, how Jesus is waiting for His people to STIR HIM when they find themselves caught in the storms of life. Master, carest thou not? Master, do something! He will, if we will but wake Him, and stir Him into action.
T rue Worshippers Worship the Father in Spirit and Truth
THE FATHER SEEKETH SUCH TO WORSHIP HIM. GOD IS A SPIRIT, AND THEY THAT WORSHIP HIM MUST WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH!
We are not told of many things in the Bible that the Father (God), seeks. We know that the Good Shepherd will leave the ninety and nine in the safety of the fold, and go after that which is lost until He finds it. The stress upon the importance of Evangelism is here clearly seen.
Luke 15:3-7 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he loose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it. And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
God the Father clearly seeks WORSHIPPERS that will render TRUE WORSHIP. The only acceptable form is, worship in SPIRIT and TRUTH.
Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Ephesians 5:18-20 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
1 Corinthians 14:2,14-16 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
Jude 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.
To any open-minded, unprejudiced person, praying in the spirit, singing in the spirit, talking in the spirit, in the light of these verses of Holy Scripture, is doing so in TONGUES. It is virtually impossible to worship God in the spirit without being BAPTISED IN THE HOLY GHOST!
Acts 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
Galatians 3:1-3 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, RECEIVED YE THE SPIRIT by the works of the law, or by the HEARING OF FAITH? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Sincerity alone is not enough. You can be sincere, but be sincerely wrong!
1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness: but with the unleavened bread of SINCERITY and TRUTH.
What is TRUTH?
That question was asked the Saviour two thousand years ago. The answer?
John 18:38 Pilate saith unto him, WHAT IS TRUTH? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
John 17:17 Sanctify them they truth: THY WORD IS TRUTH.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I AM the way, the TRUTH, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, is come, he will guide you into ALL TRUTH: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and HE WILL SHOW YOU THINGS TO COME.
Worshipping in SPIRIT AND TRUTH is unveiled by our Lord in this deeply, personal interview with the Woman at the Well. The two dominant words that emerge from the dialogue, are: DRAW and DEEP. DRAWING is vitally connected with WORSHIP, for as we have seen in a most comprehensive manner, WORSHIP DRAWS GOD.
The word DEEP is inseparably connected to TRUTH. God desires that truth be found in the innermost recesses of the human spirit.
THE FATHER SEEKETH WORSHIPPERS. Worshippers in SPIRIT and TRUTH.
Determine that you will become a TRUE worshipper. Apart from love, it is the only thing a human being can offer to God. Be honest and sincere. Be true to yourself and to God. Seek the mighty baptism of the Holy Spirit, that you might truly bring an offering to the Lord Jesus Christ in Spirit and Truth.
S cripture Index
Exodus 40:34, 35
2 Chronicles 5
2 Chronicles 20:20-30
John 6:31 -58
John 10: 10
John 17:21 -23
Acts 2:12, 14-21
1 Corinthians 2:9-14
1 Corinthians 3:9-17
1 Corinthians 5:8
1 Corinthians 6:19
1 Corinthians 14:2, 14-16
1 Corinthians 15:46
2 Corinthians 9:15
1 Timothy 5:6
1 Peter 2:5