Rivers of Living Water

John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto 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.) 

‘The last day, that great day of the feast’ it was the eighth day, the great day of the feast because it was a day of great assembly and offering sacrifices for Israel. The first seven days they professed to offer sacrifices for other nations (Lev. 23:34-36). On this day a priest drew water from the pool of Siloam in a golden vessel and brought it to the temple. When the morning sacrifice was on the altar he poured this water mingled with wine upon it, while the people were singing with great joy. It was perhaps at this time that the Lord made His great prophecy of the fullness of the Holy Spirit in the life of each believer in Him.

The 20th New Testament prophecy that is being fulfilled for those who believe all that Jesus has done and commanded in that they will receive the Holy Spirit after the new birth. ‘Any man’ of every race and generation from the beginning of the fulfilment of this prophecy can experience the ‘rivers of living waters’ (Acts 2:38-39; 5:32; Gal. 3:14).

The conditions of receiving the Holy Spirit as given in verse 37, are first to ‘thirst’ which means the ardent, eager, famishing, keen, and all-consuming craving and passion of the soul for complete union with God and the fullness of the Spirit (Psa. 42:2; 63:1; 143:6; Isa. 41:17; 44:3). Secondly, to come unto Him meaning the complete surrender of the life to do the whole will of God as light (knowledge of the Word) is received (Isa. 55:1; Matt. 11:28-30; 1Jn. 1:7). Thirdly, to drink, which means the whole-hearted reception into one’s life of the gifts, the fruit, and operations of the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 12:4-13; Gal. 5:22-23). And lastly, it states in verse 38, to believe on Him which means to believe in and obey to the letter the whole gospel program (John 14:12-15; Matt. 28:20; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8; 5:32).

‘Out of his belly’ the Greek word for belly is koilia which refers to hollow, bowels, belly, the midst of a thing. Here it means the innermost being or part of man; the soul and spirit, as the seat of the intellect, emotions and desires (Psa. 31:9; Pro. 18:8; 20:27; John 7:38).  ‘Shall flow rivers of living water’ – out of the believer will flow unlimited power to do the works of Christ as John 14: 12 states. It will be a constant flow from the believer of the Spirit without measure – the measure Christ experienced.

Where I Am

John 7:32-36 The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him. Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. You shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither you cannot come. Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? What manner of saying is this that he said, You shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither you cannot come? 

The Pharisees heard that the people murmured about Jesus being the Christ and they and the chief priests sent officers to arrest Him. Jesus responded by giving the nineteenth New Testament prophecy which was fulfilled: that He will be with them only a little longer – He was crucified 7 months later at the next Passover when He becomes the Passover lamb for all men – and then He went back to the Father at the ascension. They shall seek Him, and not find Him was a prophetic reference to the nation seeking a deliverer in vain when the Romans would come and destroy their city in 70 AD.

And where He will be (in Heaven), they cannot come. One must meet certain conditions to go up to where He now is. If one is cut off in his sins he will never be able to go there, but if one is saved from them he will go there at death or after the rapture (2Cor. 5:8; Php. 1:21-24; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11).

The Jews thought that Jesus would go someplace else on earth and teach other nations (Gentiles simply means non-Israelites nations).  They did not comprehend that He would die for them and return to Heaven.

The Words of Eternal Life

John 6:60-63, 65 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Does this offend you? What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quicken; the flesh profit nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 

‘This is an hard saying; who can hear it?’ The Jews found Jesus’ message hard and they found it intolerable and impractical for they could not digest such a doctrine as this. People just want to hear of God’s grace and love and not of their role in the relationship. He must keep on giving and doing and they only want to receive (see 1Cor. 15:19).

Jesus knew by the gift of discernment and knowledge (Isa. 11:2; 1Cor. 12:4-11) that this time it was some disciples that were offended and that they murmured against Him.

He asked them that if the eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood offends them, what if He told them an even harder doctrine? Suppose you saw the Son of Man ascend up to heaven where He was before? This is the 18th New Testament prophecy that was fulfilled with the ascension (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:11; Eph. 4:8-10).

‘It is the spirit that quicken; the flesh profit nothing’ – Quickeneth must be understood figuratively of the benefits of His sacrifice. He will give this bread, which symbolizes His body given in death to save the world (1Pet. 2:24; Col. 1:20; 2:14-17). If they could literally eat His flesh and drink His blood, it would not save their souls. The words He spoke unto them were spirit, and are life – He spoke of spiritual and eternal life, not fleshly life (2Cor. 3:6; Heb. 4:12).

Bread of Life

John 6:47-59 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believe on me has everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which come 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 you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoso eat my flesh, and drink my blood, has 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 eat my flesh, and drink my blood, dwell in me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eat me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eat of this bread shall live forever. These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. 

‘Believe on me’ – expresses an act and a continued process. It could not be that one act of faith and no more will save the soul (Luke 8:13; 1Tim. 1:19; 4:1; 5:12; Heb. 3:12-14; 10:23-38). The faith that saves is an ever-present active one; it cannot cease and still produce results. Even Believers live by the faith of the Son of God and must always live by faith (Rom.1:17).

The manna of the wilderness (Deut. 8:3) was not the ‘meat which endureth unto everlasting life’ it was only the typology of the MAN that would have come in the flesh (John 1:1,14) which is the sixteenth New Testament prophecy fulfilled in Christ’s first advent. Any man that eats thereof will not die, refers to eternal life, not physical life which all men have (Heb. 9:27; 1Cor. 15:51-58; 1Thess. 4:16-17).

The fourth and last time in this chapter Christ claims to be the bread of life, this bread is His flesh which He gave for the life of the world (John 6:33, 51). Conditions must be met by the world in order to get this life, for example: ‘if any man eat of this bread’ is one of the first conditions one must meet to have everlasting life.  Christ is the life-producing bread, and eating of Christ simply means that man must accept by faith what Christ did for him and live by obedience to Him without sin so the penalty will not have to be paid again. We live when we accept Christ as our substitute and meet the Word’s conditions.

‘Eat my flesh, and drink my blood’ Eating and drinking is used figuratively of partaking of the benefits of the death of Christ. We partake by faith and enjoy the benefits because God gives them on the basis of what Christ did for us (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 3:24-25; 5:1-11; 10:9-10; Acts 3:16; 4:12; 15:9; 26:18; Gal. 2:16-20; 3:1-26; 1Pet. 1:5-13). Eating is used figuratively of partaking of spiritual food (1Cor. 10:1-3); of other benefits received (Psa. 69:9; Eze. 2:8; 3:1-3; Rev. 10:9); and even of the evil results of sin (Pro. 9:17; Hos. 10:13; Jas. 5:3). No figure of speech was more common to Jews at this time, so there was no excuse for them to misunderstand His words. By comparing John 6:47-48 with 6:53-54 we see that believing on Christ is the same as eating and drinking Him.

Three times Christ here claims to be sent from heaven (6:38, 41, 42) and five times He claims He was sent by the Father (6:38, 39, 40, 44, 57).

Seven times manna and the true bread are spoken of as coming from heaven (6:31, 32, 33, 50, 51, 58).

Six times here men are promised everlasting life if they meet certain conditions (6:40, 47, 50, 51, 54, 58).

Believe on Him

John 6:36-40 But I said unto you, That you also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father give me shall come to me; and him that come 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 of all which he hath given me I should lose 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 see the Son, and believe on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 

‘That you also have seen me, and believe not’ Jesus explains to the Jews that God, and not Moses, gave the bread to the Israelites, but the Jews have seen Him multiply bread and do all kinds of signs and they still refuse to believe (trust) in Him. They only followed Jesus from sensual motives (John 6:26-27).

The thirteenth New Testament prophecy is constantly being fulfilled in ‘All that the Father gives me shall come to me, and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out’ When one ‘comes to’ it means to come in faith, repenting and turning to Christ with a whole heart, giving up sin, and consecrating himself forever to God and His Word and His will (Rom. 10:9-10; 2Cor. 7:10; 1Jn. 1:9; Acts 2:38-39; 3:19).

The fourteenth New Testament prophecy – ‘And this is the Father’s will… that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day….that every one which sees the Son, and believes on Him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day’ – is being fulfilled and will be completely fulfilled in the resurrection (1Thess. 4:16-17; 1Cor. 15:23, 51-58).

The ‘last day’ is used six times of which five times refers to the last day of redemption of the righteous when their bodies will be fully redeemed (John 6:39-40, 44, 54; 11:24), and of the last day when the wicked will be resurrected and judged (John 12:48; Rev. 20:11-15).

I Am the Bread of Life

John 6:30-35 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? 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 said they 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. 

The Jews questioned Christ and asked Him to give them a sign to prove that He is the Messiah and the Son of God. To them, His multiplying of bread didn’t prove it, because Moses gave Israel bread for 40 years and He did not claim to be the Messiah or the Son of God.

Jesus answers them that Moses did not give them the true bread that feeds the soul and sustains eternal life, but mere temporal bread that feeds the body only (Exo. 16:15; Psa. 78:24). They still understood Him as speaking of temporal food.

John 6:35 is the twelfth New Testament prophecy in John that is being fulfilled. Jesus is described as seven typologies in John: “I am the Bread of Life” (John 6:35-51); “I am the Light of the World” (John 8:12; 9:5); “I am the Door of the Sheep” (John 10:7-9) “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11-14); “I am the Resurrection and Life” (John 11:25); “I am the Way, Truth, and Life” (John 14:6); “I am the True Vine” (John 15:1-6).

Will never thirst because he can have “rivers of living water” flowing out of his innermost being (John 7:37-39). The abundant fullness of the Holy Spirit will meet every need and solve every problem (Matt. 17:20; 21:22; John 14:12-17, 26; 15:7, 16, 26; 16:7-15; Acts 1:4-8; 8:26).

Search the Scriptures

John 5:39-47 Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that you have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that come from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuse you, even Moses, in whom you trust. For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? 

Jesus accused the Jews of searching the Scriptures because they think they can find eternal life therein, whereas the Scriptures testify of Jesus giving eternal life to those who believe He is from the Father, yet the Jews rejected Him and thus they searched in vain. ‘Testify of me’ – His “works” were only indirect testimonies; the Father Himself has given direct testimony concerning Jesus (John 5:30-37; Mat. 3:17; 17:5). That kind of testimony cannot be derived by the Jews, for they have never heard the Father’s voice; (John 5:37) neither do they have the direct witness of the Spirit as all believers have, for they do not have His Word in them and they refuse to believe in Christ whom the Father has sent (John 5:38, 40). Yet there is one form of direct testimony of Jesus that they (and all others) can know – that is, if you will search the Scriptures.

Christ has never sought men’s honour – Greek: doxa, meaning approval or praise. The eleventh New Testament prophecy in John that is unfulfilled: ‘I am come in my Father’s name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive.’ All Christ’s works were done in the name of His Father (John 10:25). The future Antichrist will be received by the Jews and they will make a seven-year covenant with him (Dan. 8:25; 9:27). Just as so many come today in Christ Jesus’ name as deceivers (Matt. 24:5, 11, 24) and they have so many followers, yet He will at the time of judgement send them away (Matt. 7:22-23) for misusing His name and His Word (2Tim. 4:2-4).

Christ warned the Jews that they must not think He will have to accuse them, they considered Him an enemy, but Moses whom they trusted as a friend will accuse and condemn them in the judgment day.

‘But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?’ Here Christ bears full testimony to the divine authorship and authority of the Pentateuch. He also affirms that no man can believe His words if he does not believe Moses’ writings, for they confirm each other.

Resurrection of Life

John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 

The ninth New Testament prophecy in John: ‘The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live’ are fulfilled and continuously being fulfilled as men turn to God for salvation. They that hear shall live (Acts 3:19; Rom. 10:9-17). ‘So hath He given to the Son to have life in himself’ – As God, this could not be true, but as the Son of man all life-giving powers and all authority to redeem and judge were given by the Father through the Holy Spirit (Isa. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1; Acts10:38; Mat. 12:28).

The tenth New Testament prophecy in John is unfulfilled ‘for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.’ Jesus is saying that we must not marvel at His power to resurrect souls from death in sin (John 5:25; Eph. 2:1-9) and that He will also resurrect dead bodies from the grave (John 5:28-29; 1Cor. 15:20-23; Rev. 20:4-15).

Only the bodies die at physical death (Jas. 2:26) and only the bodies go into the graves to await physical resurrection (John 5:28-29). All scriptures on the future resurrection of the dead refer to the bodies that sleep in the graves, not to the souls and spirits which are immortal and do not sleep in the graves. The righteous are in a conscious state in heaven (2Cor. 5:8; Eph. 4:8-10; Php. 1:21-24; Heb. 12:22-23; Rev. 6:9-11) and the wicked are conscious in hell (Luke 16:19-21; Isa. 14:9; Rev. 20:11-15). The souls and spirits of all men will be brought back from heaven or hell to the place where the bodies were buried and God will then resurrect them so that they will hear the voice of the Son of God and come forth to live forever in heaven or hell (Dan. 12:2; 1Thes. 4:13-18). The bodies cannot come forth out of the graves lifeless and dead, so when the souls and spirits reunite with the bodies in the resurrection they will come forth like Christ did when His soul and spirit came back from hell to the body in the tomb and He came out of the grave (Psa. 16:10; Mat. 12:40; 28:1-6; Eph. 4:8-10).

The righteous that ‘have done good’ (Greek: poieo, from which we get the word poem) refers not so much to individual acts of goodness as to character, nature, and conduct. The righteous that are ‘blessed and holy’ (Rev. 20:4-6); that ‘are Christ’s’ (1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; Gal. 5:24); that are ‘worthy’ (Luke 21:36); that are ‘in Christ’ (1Thes. 4:16-17; 2Cor. 5:17); that are in ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:1-6); that have purified themselves ‘even as He is pure’ (1Jn. 3:2-3); that are without spot or wrinkle and without blemish and are the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:27; 1Cor. 12:13; Col. 1:18, 24) – these will be resurrected to eternal life 1,000 years before the wicked (John 5:29; Dan. 12:2). The wicked will be resurrected to eternal punishment and damnation 1,000 years after the resurrection of the righteous (Dan. 12:2; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:4-6, 11-15; 21:8; 22:15).

The Authority of the Son

John 5:19-27 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what He see the Father do: for what things so ever He does, these also does the Son likewise. For the Father love the Son, and showed him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raise up the dead, and quicken them; even so the Son quicken whom he will. For the Father judge no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honour not the Son honour not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hear my word, and believe on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

The Son does the same works as the Father in perfect union with Him and His will. No person of the Trinity acts independently of the others. During His ‘self-emptying’ life He was an agent of the Father, who worked through Him by the Holy Spirit (Isa. 11:2; 61:1; Acts 10:38).

The Son was limited in knowledge and wisdom and power during the days of His flesh (Isa. 50:4; Luke 2:40, 52; Mat. 11:25-27; 24:36; Acts1:6-8). The eight New Testament prophecy in John ‘and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel’ was fulfilled in the increased works of Christ.

‘So the Son quicken whom He will.’ Jesus had unlimited and absolute authority from God by the fullness of the Spirit (John 3:34) to act as He willed in resurrecting men (John 5:28-29; 6:39; 11:25). The Father will judge the world by Jesus Christ (Acts 17:31; 12:1-25:48).

‘Even as they honour the Father’ This absolute equality with the Father in honour proves His deity and membership in the Trinity (1Jn. 5:7).

He that obeys God’s Word and believe (trust without doubt) in the Father, have everlasting (eternal) life and will not come to judgment before God, but as for all men the law of sowing and reaping is always in effect (Gal. 6:7-8) and anyone can still fall away from grace when they sin wilfully (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-31).

To pass from death unto life happens when 2 Corinthians 5:17 come to pass: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” See also 1 John 3:14 and Galatians 5:24.

The Hour Come

John 4:21-26 Jesus say unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour come, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour come, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seek such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman says unto him, I know that Messias come, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus say unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. 

Jesus answered the woman on her question from verse 20, the hour cometh when you shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father which is the sixth New Testament prophecy in John that is fulfilled. The answer embodies a great principle, that true worship is that of the heart and not of or at any particular place.

‘Father’ the Greek word is pater, and when used of God it expresses relationship and parentage to His “only begotten Son,” and to adopted sons (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5).

‘Salvation is of the Jews’ – the salvation predicted by the prophets was to come through the Messiah of the Jews (Luke 2:30; Rom. 3:1-2; 9:4-5; 1Pet. 1:10-12).

The hour is here now when true worshippers shall worship God in Truth, thus in Christ who is the Word (John 1:1,14,17; 14:6). ‘In spirit’ the area of the mind where our thoughts are produced and of which we are commanded to renew our minds (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23).

God is a Spirit Being, and must, therefore, be worshipped ‘in spirit,’ not the sun, moon, stars; nor an image of wood, stone, or metal; and not beast or man. He is not the air, wind, universal mind, love or some impersonal quality. He has a personal spirit (Psa. 143:10; Isa. 30:1) with a mind (Rom. 11:34), intelligence (Gen. 1:26; Rom. 11:33), will (Rom. 8:27; 9:19), power (Eph. 1:19; 3:7, 20; Heb. 1:3), truth (Psa. 91:4), faith and hope (Rom. 12:3; 1Cor. 13:13), righteousness (Psa. 45:4), faithfulness (1Cor. 10:13), knowledge and wisdom (Isa. 11:2; 1Tim. 1:17), reason (Isa. 1:18), discernment (Heb. 4:12), immutability (Heb. 6:17), and many other attributes, powers, and spirit faculties.