UNVEILED SPLENDOR

Jn7:38,39 – Believe in me so that rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!”

Jesus was prophesying about the Holy Spirit that believers were being prepared to receive. But the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out upon them, because Jesus had not yet been unveiled in his full splendor.

This is a classic passage of scripture that took on a whole new life to all of us effected by the River Outpouring in the 1990’s. This verses came alive to us as we found ourselves overwhelmed by the River that flows from the throne of God. Today’s verses are quoted from the Passion Translation. Here are some comments from the Passion Notes.

“This splendor included the splendor of the cross, the splendor of his resurrection, and the glory of his ascension into heaven. Just as water poured out of the rock that was struck by Moses, so from the wounded side of Jesus living water poured out to heal, save, and bring life to everyone who believes. The Holy Spirit poured out of Christ and into the church at Pentecost.”

The unveiling of Christ began in His work from the cross to the throne. The Glory of God was poured out on whosoever will as a result of His death, resurrection, and glorification in heaven. This passage calls it God’s splendor. Splendor means magnificent and splendid appearance, grandeur. The magnificence of God was released through the humiliating death Jesus experienced on the cross. His humility released the glory of God. The creator was cloaked in the form of a man and was executed by the Roman soldiers to fulfill the redemptive plan of God. Christ died to save sinners, even those who nailed Him to the cross. This was the beginning of the release of God’s splendor. After three days in a tomb Jesus was raised from the dead. Man’s greatest enemy, death, was conquered. The glory of God was displayed in God’s resurrection power. Then there is the glorification of the man, Jesus of Nazareth. From the humility of His arrest, trial, and death on a cross to the astounding splendor of Christ being glorified on the throne. This humble carpenter from Nazareth in Galilee is now ruling all things by His word. One glimpse of His splendor and we find ourselves in His glorious river.

“Sing to your Well”

MERRY MONDAY- By Parris

 They went on to Beer (The Well), where God said to Moses, “Gather the people; I’ll give them water.” That’s where Israel sang this song:

    Erupt, Well!

Sing the Song of the Well,

    the well sunk by princes,

Dug out by the peoples’ leaders

    digging with their scepters and staffs.

Numbers 21:16-18

“And there this glorious fountain forever flows forth in streams, yea, in rivers of love and delight, and these rivers swell, as it were, to an ocean of love, in which the souls of the ransomed may bathe with the sweetest enjoyment, and their hearts, as it were, be deluged with love.”– Jonathan Edwards

I have always loved this passage. God promised that he would always give us water. Our part is to sing to the well in expectation. We stay forever thirsty and God keeps the supply going. Back when Issac was around he had the ministry of rediscovering the wells his father Abraham dug. Issac became a well digger and I wonder too if he did a little singing/laughing? Maybe your well needs a little erupting? Get out your staves and re-dig the wonderful truths that have been placed in you! Re- dig his promises and re-dig the times he touched you! Maybe your a little crusty, grumpy and not so full of faith. The bad news of the day has an engulfing aroma that suffocates us. His supply is always there and he has provided hidden springs all around us. Jesus cried with a loud voice! “If any man is thirsty, come to me!”

Maybe you have become a broken cistern in which you allowed all your hope vision and Christ’s victories to be taken from you. Again there is water enough for you and it is an inexhaustible fountain of supply. He provides a way of escape from the heat of the day. He will give us water. He is the flinty rock that breaks forth from its banks, he is the flask of water that Hagar found when she was near death, He is our Jacob that will uncover the stone from the well when we can’t lift it ourselves, He will meet us at the well at noon day and we will not leave as the same person. His ministry is to come and give us drink out of his divine supply!

 “Spring up, O well; Sing ye unto it.” Sing before the well begins to spring. Sing confidently, sing in expectation for we know His promises are yes and yes and yes! “Flow on, flow on, perennial fount! Spurgeon says, Flow on, thou wondrous stream divinely given!”

“Thy place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: thy bread shall be given thee, and thy water shall be sure.”

“Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also fills the pools.”

THE ROCK WAS CHRIST

1 Cor.10:4 – and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

Every season of God is special and unique. The things we often take for granted are amazing daily blessings that come from the Lord. In the case of the Israelites they had daily miracles right in front of them. From the day that they passed through the Red Sea there was a cloud literally guiding them along the way. This cloud covered them from the heat, directed their paths, and had a fire in it for warmth at night. They also had forty years of daily provision of food. Manna from heaven formed on the ground and sustained them for an entire generation. In today’s verse Paul spoke of the Rock that followed them and provided water for them every day. Whether the Rock literally followed them is debatable. The fact remains, over a million people were supplied with water for forty years in a desert. Here is how Adam Clarke describes this miracle.

“How could the rock follow them? It does not appear that the rock ever moved from the place where Moses struck it. But to solve this difficulty, it is said that rock here is put, by metonymy, for the water of the rock; and that this water did follow them through the wilderness. This is more likely; but we have not direct proof of it. The ancient Jews, however, were of this opinion, and state that the streams followed them in all their journeyings, up the mountains, down the valleys, and that when they came to encamp, the waters formed themselves into cisterns and pools; and that the rulers of the people guided them, by their staves, in rivulets to the different tribes and families.”

How about us today? I have daily bread that comes down from heaven. Every time I open my Bible I feast on the Living Bread. The Cloud of Glory also falls on me everyday. Do I see a cloud like the Israelites did? Maybe, sometimes. Regardless I have the anointing of His presence falling on me everyday. The water from the Rock is also with us everyday. If anyone is thirsty He is right there to give us drink. So everyday our world is full of miracles. Maybe everyone isn’t aware of them but they are here nonetheless.

LESSONS FROM A HARLOT

Jn. 4:13,14 – Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Jesus loved to shock people into reality. This story in John 4 is an example of Jesus and His tendency toward shocking and borderline scandalous behavior. For us twenty first century readers we may not catch the radical nature of this story at first glance. Jesus is stepping on centuries of racial tension by going to Samaria, engaging a questionable woman in conversation, and actually asking her for a drink of water. This is unthinkable to Jesus’s disciples and unthinkable to the Samaritans living in this village. What was Jesus after? What He is always after, He was looking for worshippers. So What does He do? He decides to find a woman of the night to teach the world a lesson about worship. Here is a description from John Piper.

“Sometimes casual sleepers need to be shocked. If you want them to hear what you have to say, you might even need to scandalize them. Jesus is especially good at this. When He wants to teach us something about worship, He uses a whore!

“Go call your husband,” he says to the Samaritan woman.

“I don’t have a husband,” she answers.

“That’s right,” Jesus says. “But you’ve had five, and the man you sleep with now is not your husband.”

She is shocked. We’re shocked! But Jesus simply sits there on the edge of the well with His hands folded, looking at the woman with razors in His eyes, ready to teach us about worship.”

So what was the Lord’s point? Worship is closely associated with pleasure and satisfaction; this woman was in search of both and had found neither. So the Lord offers her what she was looking for in all of the wrong places. He told her that if she would come to Him and ask, He would give her living water that would satisfy her thirst for the rest of her life. He was offering her forgiveness for her past and a solution for her future. He is offering us the same thing today. What well are you drinking from? Is it sexual sin, or alcohol, or maybe even a career, or even something as wholesome as your family? It’s all the same and none of those wells can quench our thirst. Just leave your bucket by that worldly well and ask the Lord for a drink, like He promised, you will never thirst again.

THE DRINK THAT LASTS FOREVER

Rev.22:17 – The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

The fact that humans get thirsty proves there must be something somewhere that will quench our thirst. Thirst is basic to being human and water is the basic substance that quenches that thirst. Is it possible that there is a spiritual parallel? I believe there is. The fact that our soul gets thirsty shows that there has to be something to quench our soul thirst. You may not identify the correct substance to satisfy your thirsting but our thirst for God is basic to our human condition. To those who meet Christ there is a taste of this living water but this taste is more of a tease than a completion. The times we encounter living water in this world points to something greater, a completion or fulfillment that awaits in the life to come. The world offers only substitutes, Christ offers a drink that is a foretaste of life to come. Here is how C.S. Lewis describes it.

“What would it be to taste at the fountainhead that stream of which even these lower reaches prove so intoxicating? Yet that, I believe, is what lies before us. The whole man is to drink joy from the fountain of joy. As St. Augustine said, the rapture of the saved soul will “flow over” into the glorified body. In the light of our present specialized and depraved appetites, we cannot imagine this torrens voluptatis, and I warn everyone most seriously not to try. But it must be mentioned, to drive out thoughts even more misleading—thoughts that what is saved is a mere ghost, or that the risen body lives in numb insensibility. The body was made for the Lord, and these dismal fancies are wide of the mark.”

I have to admit I have been quite surprised at the abundance and power these tastes often provide for sons and daughters in this world. I can only imagine the immensity of what these moments point to. To see Christ for myself and drink at His fountain in eternity is beyond my ability to comprehend. So the conflict still goes on inside of me, I thirst and drink and I am grateful. I know what I taste now is just a drop of the ocean of love that waits in His kingdom come.

THE UNLIKELY EVANGELIST

Jn.4:39 – And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.

The woman at the well in Samaria seemed the least likely candidate to be an evangelist. She was more likely to die an early, soon to be forgotten death. She was far too well known amongst the men of that village, she was especially hated by the women. Who knows the damage this home-wrecker had inflicted on her home town. A preacher, an evangelist, unthinkable. That all changed the day Jesus stopped for a drink at Jacob’s well. All it took was one conversation and this woman’s life was unalterably changed. Jesus had operated on her soul, the results were undeniable. Rather than hiding in the shadows, this woman of Samaria began to share the story of her life change to whoever would listen. She had drunk the living water Jesus had spoken of, the results were undeniable. Here are some thoughts from Barclay on this unlikely evangelist.

“There was introduction. The Samaritans were introduced to Christ by the woman….

It is at once our precious privilege and our terrible responsibility to bring men to Christ. The introduction cannot be made unless there is a man to make it.

Further, that introduction is made on the strength of personal witness. The cry of the Samaritan woman was: ‘Look what he has done for me and to me.’ It was not to a theory that she called her neighbors; it was to a dynamic and changing power. The church can expand until the kingdoms of the world become the kingdoms of the Lord only when men and women themselves experience the power of Christ, and then transmit that experience to others.”

So maybe she was the unlikely evangelist to people who knew her, she was the perfect choice for the Lord. Why would He trust His most precious message to unscrupulous people like this former adulteress? Surely He could have found a better choice. No this was His choice because He was all about His glory, imperfect vessels carrying the most precious substance, this is how God glorifies His grace. Those who knew the woman knew her imperfections, now they saw the power of the gospel displayed in her life. Maybe you will be the next unlikely evangelist.

DOUBLY BLESSED

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said,

streams of living water will flow from within him.

Jn. 7:38

The promise given by the Lord about living water is one of the greatest promises in the Bible. First He said that if we would drink this living water we would never thirst. That in itself is really over the top. Jesus is describing utter and total satisfaction that only comes from the Lord. Nothing from His glorious creation could ever make that boast, total satisfaction. What is different about this living water? It is actually a reference to the Holy Spirit Who is not created at all, He is the glorious third person in the deity that makes the satisfying life of intimacy with God a reality. The second promise associated with living water is in today’s verse. The living water would flow out of our innermost being, that place of intimate fellowship, to minister to others. This is the second blessing of living water. Here is Andrew Murray’s description.

“Jesus said in his conversation with the Samaritan woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst”. In today’s text the promise is even greater: Rivers of living water will flow from his heart, bringing life and blessing to others. John says that this refers to the Holy Spirit who, while Christ lived, had not yet been poured out. Christ first had to be sacrificed to God by the eternal Spirit and, by virtue of the resurrection, be declared by the Holy Spirit as the Son of God. Then only would the Son of God receive power from the Father to pour out the Holy Spirit, for the children of God to be able to declare, “The Holy Spirit of Christ lives in me.” What does one need to be able to experience the promise of the streams of living water? Only one thing: an intimate clinging to Christ—an undivided submission to Him and the assurance that His Spirit will do the work within you that you yourself cannot do. You need a faith which trusts Him from day to day to let the living water flow from you.”

That is a great description of our Christian life. We drink this water, we are satisfied, and it flows out to meet the needs of others all around us. So are you thirsty today? Go ahead and have a drink, soon streams of living water will be flowing out from you.

DOUBLY BLESSED

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said,

streams of living water will flow from within him.

Jn. 7:38

The promise given by the Lord about living water is one of the greatest promises in the Bible. First He said that if we would drink this living water we would never thirst. That in itself is really over the top. Jesus is describing utter and total satisfaction that only comes from the Lord. Nothing from His glorious creation could ever make that boast, total satisfaction. What is different about this living water? It is actually a reference to the Holy Spirit Who is not created at all. He is the glorious third person in the deity that makes the satisfying life of intimacy with God a reality. The second promise associated with living water is in today’s verse. The living water would flow out of our innermost being, that place of intimate fellowship, to minister to others. This is the second blessing of living water. Here is Andrew Murray’s description.

“Jesus said in his conversation with the Samaritan woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst”. In today’s text the promise is even greater: Rivers of living water will flow from his heart, bringing life and blessing to others. John says that this refers to the Holy Spirit who, while Christ lived, had not yet been poured out. Christ first had to be sacrificed to God by the eternal Spirit and, by virtue of the resurrection, be declared by the Holy Spirit as the Son of God. Then only would the Son of God receive power from the Father to pour out the Holy Spirit, for the children of God to be able to declare, “The Holy Spirit of Christ lives in me.” What does one need to be able to experience the promise of the streams of living water? Only one thing: an intimate clinging to Christ—an undivided submission to Him and the assurance that His Spirit will do the work within you that you yourself cannot do. You need a faith which trusts Him from day to day to let the living water flow from you.”

That is a great description of our Christian life. We drink this water, we are satisfied, and it flows out to meet the needs of others all around us. So are you thirsty today? Go ahead and have a drink, soon streams of living water will be flowing out from you.

FALLEN PREACHERS AND OTHER EMBARRASSMENTS

Jn4:13,14- Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.

You ever get tired of hearing stories about fallen ministers? It really brings a reproach on the gospel and is quite an embarrassment to Christians. The reasoning goes something like this, “if it doesn’t work for this great man of God how can I stay pure?” Or maybe like this “Christians are just a bunch of hypocrites. Everyone sins.” Just recently another major minister resigned from his ministry with a string of indiscretions following after him. What is the reason for these renowned ministers not being able to live the basics as a Christian?

I have pastored almost 40 years now and I think I can answer that question. Preachers are human too. All of us can get off track if……. if what? If we are finding our happiness and worth in our accomplishments. Today’s verse says it all, our joy comes from intimacy with Christ alone, nothing else can satisfy. If you are a minister looking for contentment in the greatness of your ministry it’s only time until you too are another sorry statistic. Here is a famous quote from Augustine that will help answer this dilemma.

“During all those years [of rebellion], where was my free will? What was the hidden, secret place from which it was summoned in a moment, so that I might bend my neck to your easy yoke? . . . How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose! . . . You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. [There’s the key phrase and the key reality for understanding the heart of Augustinianism.] You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure , though not to flesh and blood, you who outshine all light, yet are hidden deeper than any secret in our hearts, you who surpass all honor, though not in the eyes of men who see all honor in themselves. . . .O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation.”

So this is a word for ministers as well as mature Christians, look to Christ alone for satisfaction. Learn how to drink deeply of this living water. If you do Jesus says you will never thirst for satisfaction anywhere else.

HAVE A DRINK WITH ME

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

(Is 12:3 KJV)

When I was touched with joy in 1994 and begin to experience the new wine outpouring of the Holy Spirit, I had no idea that this type of outpouring had been happening since the earliest days of the church. From the Day of Pentecost to Azusa Street, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is very similar. Recently I was reading through prophesies and testimonies I had received from Dick Mills over the years. I was struck with the testimony of how his grandmother had been baptized in the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the outpouring at Azusa Street. Here is part of her testimony.

“1906 started a revival at Azusa St. in Los Angeles that now totals 600 million believers worldwide. In 1908 a couple came to our town and ministered to a prayer group that Sally Mills (Dick Mills Grandma) was heading up in the local Methodist Church. Sally told me that when she heard the couple sharing their experience she said to herself, “I always felt there was something more for all of us than what we currently experience.” She went forward for prayer and had a dynamic encounter with her Saviour and Lord. He imparted to her the infilling and indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit. It satisfied her spiritual thirst immensely. She and several other newly filled Methodists went to the Pastor and asked him if they could start a skid-row mission. He not only gave them permission but offered his services in locating a facility. The only building available was a saloon whose owner was retiring. His last night of business was Saturday. After he closed down a dozen people went in a changed a saloon into a place of worship. Their first service was Sunday afternoon. They sang over and over- “You ask me why I’m happy? You ask me why I’m free? I’ve been drinking from the wells of full salvation. Won’t you come and have a drink with me?” A lot of local winos didn’t know the saloon was gone and came in hearing a gospel song… won’t you come and have a drink with me?”

So maybe you are like Sally Mills and you recognize your need for more of God. You can see in this short testimony that the Holy Spirit satisfies and anoints for ministry. So if you are thirsty for the new wine of the Spirit, don’t be surprised when you receive the double blessing, plenty for you and enough to pour out on others. So come on, come have a drink with me.