After having been shown some of the various aspects governing the general construction of the Temple, the duties of the Prince (the Ancient Worthies), the Levites (the Great Company class), and the Priest (the Little Flock) as well as the specific manner of worship required of mankind with regards to entrance into God’s Temple (Ezekiel Chapters 40- 46), the man (a.k.a. Pastor Russell, the Harvest Messenger) whose appearance was like that of bronze (copper: representing his justification) who held in his hand a line of flax (used to measure the progress of the life-giving River of Truth), and a measuring rod (representing the Word of God by and through which all things are to be measured), Ezek 40:3, he then proceeded to show Ezekiel the Healing waters and Trees.
“Our lesson deals particularly with one of Ezekiel’s visions, which predicted the springing into existence of a wonderful river whose waters would bring to the land of Palestine and to the Dead Sea verdure and life instead of drought, desolation and death. The ordinary interpretation of this lesson is that the Gospel is represented in this river, which now for a considerable time has been flowing onward and bringing life.
We cannot accept this interpretation, for several reasons: First, the description is in such close agreement with the millennial age blessings of Revelation 21 and 22 as to leave no doubt that the same thing is referred to. In Revelation we see that the Church is the Bride, and the Church glorified is symbolized by the heavenly Jerusalem and the river of the water of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations and whose fruit is for their sustenance and whose water is the water of life, living water. There can be no doubt that the two rivers are identical. And since the Church is not yet complete, and has therefore not yet been glorified, the river of life has not yet proceeded from the glorified Church, and hence the whole matter must be future.
The same thought is in this lesson as Ezekiel gives it. He first sees the Temple and then beholds the glory of the Lord entering the Temple through the eastern gate, and that gate closed after the Lord. This represents the closing of the door at the end of this age, as our Lord portrayed it in the parable of the ten virgins. The door will be shut; the glory of the Lord will have entered into the Temple. It is subsequent to this shutting of the door that the prophet is shown the issuing of the water from under the threshold. The lesson, therefore, is clear and explicit to the effects that not until the glory of the Lord shall have entered his Temple, not until the Church shall be glorified, not until that door shall be forever shut, will the water of life issue forth.” (R3625)
Ezekiel Chapter 47
VERSE 1 “Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.”
Then or afterwards (that is speaking typically), during the Millennial day after the completion of the Church, after the door to the high calling has been shut, as pictured in the closing of the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the east (Ezek 44:1, 2), through which the glory of the LORD had passed, that is the Body of Christ, the Church in whom God dwells, Ezekiel was then brought back to the door of the temple, which he had been shown earlier (Ezek 41: 1) here he noticed that water was flowing from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east, this water representing the blessings of truth (refreshment), and the restitution then to be offered the world. Its having originated from beneath the threshold of the temple reveals its source to be the temple itself, i.e. the Christ, head and body, the one true Church, the temple of the Lord. Those who will compose the body of Christ, the Church are scripturally referred to as wells or fountains, and 144,000 of these wells gathered together will constitute the source of this mighty river of blessing.
“He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)
“There is a river, the rivulets of which shall spring from the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.” (Psa 46:4)
“And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts, come. Whoever desires let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev 22:17)
“Therefore with joy will you draw water from the wells (plural) of salvation.” (Isa 12:3)
“The river flows from the right side of the temple, passing out of the sanctuary on the right side of the gate, the right side being the side of favor. This would appear to symbolize that the Little Flock will realize that the work of greatest importance during the millennial age will be the work of blessing mankind, i.e., this work will then have the favor of the Christ. Flowing eastward (toward the suns rising), the river will pass the altar on the south side, picturing that restitution blessings can only reach mankind (south side) as they recognize our Lord’s ransom sacrifice and the sin offering of the Christ (altar) and the resurrection of our Lord and his Bride (east).” Mal 4:2; John 3:16 Temple of Beauty Studies, page 79
VERSE 2 “He then brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.”
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Rev 22:1)
“The rivers of living waters flowing from Jerusalem, during the Millennial Day, the “day” in which Jehovah’s feet are re-established upon his footstool, his dominion in earth restored (Zech. 14:8,9), reminds us of the corresponding testimony of Ezekiel (47:1-12) and of John’s Revelation (22:1,2) which, under this same symbol of living waters proceeding from the throne of the Millennial Kingdom, show us the restitution blessings under the symbols of “waters of life,” to which whosoever will may come and drink freely…” (D655)
It will be noted here that the Pastor makes reference to the living waters as flowing from Jerusalem per the statement of Zech 14:8 this is because although all the various restoration and restitutional blessing will originate from the throne of God by and through the agency of the Temple class, the Christ, head and body, these blessings will only be available to such who are willing and obedient, who come into compliance with Word of the Lord (the New Covenant arrangement) as prescribed through God’s earthly representatives.
As it is written, “Out of Zion (the Heavenly phase of the kingdom) shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem (the earthly phase of the kingdom).” Isa 2:3
As you recall from our previous studies the “outer court” represents the plain of human perfection, from the on start the only ones who will occupy this plain of existence will be the Ancient Worthies. These “princes in all the earth” being especially chosen and proven in advance as God’s earthly representatives, representative of the earthly phase or government of the kingdom through whom he will communicate and instruct in righteousness the remainder of mankind.
Another way to look at this is in the division of the land, that is prior to mankind’s having received their inheritance at the end of the age.
Mankind at first will reside (symbolically) in what is deemed the “secular” land (Ezek 48:15) south of the “city” (The city represents the earthly government led by the Ancients, which God has arranged for the Millennium), mankind will remain in the secular land until they will have learned to distinguish between the holy (the consecrated), and the unholy (the unconsecrated), the clean and the unclean (Ezek 44:23), this “secular” land will likewise be separated from the city by the “common” land or (“open space” Rotherham version), which surrounds the city on all sides (Ezek 48:17), representative of the distinction or separation which exists between that which is holy and that which is not.
We will continue with our look at The Healing Waters and Trees beginning with Verse 3 in our next post.