LIVING WATERS THAT FLOW, #577
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.) (JOH 7:38-39)
Our text speaks of living waters, and as we hold it in context, our Saviour "stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." (verse 37). We want to see the living waters that He is inviting us unto. I want to draw your attention to how He stood and cried, saying: "If any man thirst." We want to notice the setting in which this took place. He has been at the feast, and here we are on the last day of the feast. During this time at the feast, he said: "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God."
He pointed out: If you are willing to do the pleasure of God you will know His doctrine. And what was the response? The response we see in verse 20: "The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil." I want you to see the opposition the Lord Jesus Christ was encountering at this feast and at the ministry that He was bringing forth at the feast. They were trying to take Him. Look at verse 32: "The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him." What was that? Many people believed on Him. "And the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him." They had murder in their hearts.
We want to understand whom this is that He is talking to. "He stood and cried saying: If any man thirst." He had told them, "If any man will, if any man is willing to do the pleasure of God, to do His will, he would know the doctrine." And they said, "He has a devil." They sent the officers to take him. They had murder in their hearts. And here He is on the last day of the feast. He is still crying in the Temple: "If any man thirst." He understood the mixed multitude. He understood that in this mixed multitude were some filled with murder and hatred, yet stop and think of the condescending love: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink."
And then our text follows: "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
When God created man in His own image--he was a stranger to thirst! Man was created for God's glory, and God was the sole source of man's enjoyment. Man knew nothing of thirst. God, Himself was the sole source of his enjoyment, and his sole ambition and affection was to glorify God.
Look at GEN 1:31: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." The creation was perfect. Man was created in perfection. He knew nothing of thirst. Man was created in a state of perfect peace and comfort, he drank freely form that river of living water which flowed through the Garden of Eden to water the garden. He had full access to a river of living water that flowed through the Garden of Eden.
We see in GEN 2:10: "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads." There was a river of living water flowing through the Garden of Eden. There was no thirst. Sin has removed man from that river of living water, and Scripture clearly tells us why he was driven out of that beautiful Garden of Eden
Look at GEN 3:22-24: "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."
In the Garden, there was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but there was also the tree of life. And after man had sinned, now there is a flaming sword that bars them from that tree of life. They were outside of Christ, they had sinned. And now, what do we see? We see that this tree of life stands in their midst and rebellion has so filled the heart of man that the invitation now comes: Is there any man? "If any man thirsts, let him come." The missing element is the thirst after righteousness - i.e., their affection for God. Fallen man are no longer willing to do that which is pleasing unto their Creator. "If any man will do his will, then he will know of the doctrine." See theres the missing element. Thats why we need this river of living water, that is the Holy Spirit of God to come with a divine influence upon the heart and to quicken our hunger and thirst after righteousness.
It is in this deplorable condition that our Saviour finds mankind - hungering and thirsting after the things that please the flesh instead of God. As I have pointed out before, their was a vacuum created in the human heart by the lose of the image of God - and it can never be fully satisfied by anything beside the image of God. Men will try to fill that vacuum with pleasure. They will try to fill it with the abundance of this world, with honor and pride. And the more they get the further they go into despair. There is no satisfaction of that empty place except by being renewed and restored into the image of God. That thirsting, that desire, that emptiness, can only be satisfied with the Person of Christ.
We were visiting this morning about Gideon and how he took an ephod and made an image of an ephod. We can so often make an idol of one of the ordinances of God. We can make an idol of a pastor. We can make an idol of anything within the church, and we can make an idol of our experience. We can make idols of all these things, and come short of the Person of Christ. What the Lord Jesus Christ is saying, "If any man thirst"for what? For the filling of that empty place that was created by the fallHe says, "Come unto me."
You dont have to come unto Mother Mary. You dont have to come unto John Calvin. You dont have to come unto Joseph Smith. You have to come unto the Lord Jesus Christ. "Come unto me." Thats where there is a fountain of living watersin the Person of Christ.
Oh what a wonderful declaration we find in the gospel message our Saviour sends forth in JOH 7:37-38: "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."
Now, wherein is salvation limited? Where are the limitations of salvation? Is it in the election of God? Is salvation limited in the atonement? No. The only limitation that we find is in our text! Our Saviour gives two descriptions in our text of who this blessed consolation is for: "If any man thirst." It is for those who have a desire for the Person of Christ; and "He that believeth on me." Those are the limitations. "God so loved the world that whosoever believeth on him should not perish." Where is the limitation? It is limited to those who believe, those who thirst after righteousness.
What must we believe concerning Him? Much is said about: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." What must we believe concerning Him? Look at HEB 11:6: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God [the Lord Jesus Christ says: "Whosoever thirsts, let him come unto me." And here it says, He that cometh to God] must believe that he is [in other words, they must believe who He is. They must believe in the Person of Christ], and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." We must also believe, we must also trust, we must also have unshaken confidence in the reward. Thats what it means to believe on Him.
Our Saviour says: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me." He is not calling for those who have no desire after Him. He is not calling for those who see no beauty in Him. It is the work of grace. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that quickens our affections to understand our need of Him. And what He is saying is: "Let those who are athirst, come." He wasnt saying that to these officers that were sent by the Pharisees to take Him so they could kill Him! They didnt have the thirst. "All whom the Father hath given me will come unto me." And who are those? They are those whom the Holy Spirit renews "by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." (TIT 3:5)
The Holy Spirit gives them new affections and a new desire. If you believe "that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him," "as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
Now, this gift of the Spirit is acquired by faith!!! It says: "But without faith it is impossible to please him." Can you disassociate faith from obedience? JAM 2:14-17 says, "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."
It is the obedience of faith that the Lord is looking for. So, what does He say? "Come unto me." As we obey, the miracle is performed. As we obey Christs invitation Christ says, "Whosoever thirsts, let him come, and he that believeth, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." You cannot disassociate the gift from obedience of faith. "Coming" is "believing." As we obey the miracle of grace is performed!
Our Saviour stood and cried saying, If any man thirst, let him come. Let him obey. If any man will do the will of Him that sent me, then he will understand the doctrine. It is in the willbeing willing. It is by faith that we do, and as we do, grace is bestowed upon us. He that believeth on me, is where the secret lies.
This was not spoken in private. This word cried comes from the Greek word krazo (krad'-zo), which means "to `croak' (as a raven), or to scream, i.e., to call aloud (shriek, exclaim, entreat): cry (out). In other words, He was crying with a loud voice, "Whosoever thirsts, let him come." He has been told that He has a devil. They were coming to take Him to kill Him. And yet see His love for any man ("let him that is athirst come"). He shows where the distinction is.
Such a revelation of the earnest call of our Saviour is synonymous with the condescension found in 2CO 5:20: "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." I have illustrated before but I want to do it again. What is the function of a mediator? Christ is our Mediator.
Let me illustrate by looking at the example of a union and an employer who are at loggerheads. A mediator is sent in to find out what is it that the employer must have? Then he mediates by going to the workers to inform them, "Well, this the employer must have! - Then he inquires of labour what it is they must have. Then he strives to establish how these demands may be met to establish harmony"
Christ is our mediator. He comes in to mediate between an offended God and us. He comes to the Father for terms of reconciliation. The Father demands perfect obedience to His law in our human nature - and that He must have perfect payment in full of the penalty. How does Christ reconcile fallen man unto a holy and righteous God? He came in the likeness man in our human nature - and assumes our debt of perfect obedience to the law - and pays the penalty to the last jot and title! Thus reconciliation is in place from Gods side!
Now, He comes back to you and me as wretched sinners. Now what is there on your side that is yet lacking? 2CO 5:20 says, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." What condescension of our blessed Jehovah! After He has given His own Son to bowed low as to satisfy our debt in full - to now send His ambassadors to plead with such rebels to break their enmity and come back into His service. See the grounds upon which He pleads! V:21 says, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Theres one condition that must be unconditionally met before we can have peace with the Father. And what is that? "Be ye reconciled with God."
The atonement has been made. Reconciliation from Gods side is in place, but if there are two offended parties, then it must be reconciliation from both sides. And now the message is, "We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." In other words, that your rebellion might be broken, that you might will to do His pleasure. Those are the unconditional terms of peace. And thats why now, the responsibility lies with each and every one of us. Why is it if we stand separated from Christ, it is because our will and our rebellion must be broken, and we must come into unconditional surrender to the will of God.
As we hear our Saviour's voice crying unto us through His ambassadors, "If any man thirst," in other words, has your will and your rebellion been broken? Do you thirst to be restored into that image of Christ? Do you thirst for that Spirit of Christ? Jesus says, let him come unto me, and drink." We are not barred by God's secret will. We are not barred by His election. The only thing which stands in the way is our own rebellion. "we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." Come under the terms of salvation that your stubborn will and your rebellion might be broken, and that you might come unconditionally to seek and to delight in doing the pleasure of God.
To believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is to come to unconditional surrender to His will. "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (JOH 7:38). We are identifying the person that has this call, which has this invitation. We are identifying the person who has this promise. As the scriptures have said: "Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
Christ who gives this living water which quenches our spiritual thirst, invites us to come unto Him Personally!! This is so important. Satan will try to sidetrack us with any kind of an idol, or any kind of an obstacle or any type of a distraction. He will try convince us of our inability, or that we are unworthy, or whatever it may be that he can use as an obstacle. His whole design is to keep us away from the Person of Christ. All that a sinner wants is found in the Person of Christ, He is able to save and He is worthy!
Jesus does not have a verity of substances that can constitute these living waters--the thirst of the soul is not like the thirst of the body, which can be satisfied with any of a verity of liquids. If you are suffering from thirst, a drink of water will do it, or a drink of fruit juice. A variety of liquids will quench your thirst. But in a spiritual sense, this is not true. I want you to see that the Spirit of Christ, is the one and only living water that can satisfy a spiritual thirst.
Those "rivers of living water," which originate in the Lord Jesus Christ, are the only satisfaction for our thirst. If you are thirsting for peace there are so many things that can distract us in this life. We may be seeking peace in our heart, peace in our mind, peace in the turmoils of this life. Only one thing can quince that thirst, and that is the Spirit of Christ. When you have a thirst for cleansing from the pollution and the power of sin, there is no other substance than the living waters that flow from Christ as, the Spirit of Christ. There is nothing else that can cleanse from the pollution of sin, but that which flows from the Lord Jesus Christ.
The blood of Christ applied to the soul by His Spirit is the only way to quench the thirst for a pardon from the penalty of sin than. If we have convictions of sin, and the consequences of sin are laying heavy upon our heart, there is nothing, there is no other form that we can find outside the application of the blood of Christ by the Spirit of Christ. All flows unto us from Christ and His Person. His atonement, it is His sacrifice. It is His blood. It is all found in the Person of Christ. If you are looking for growth in grace, there is only one place where you fill find growth in grace, and that is as you become more and more conformed to the blessed image of Christ. If you are looking for power in prayer, for perseverance in the faith; all these supplies are to be found in Christ alone. Thats where He differs from natural thirst.
Our Saviour "stood and cried." He cried from the bottom of His heart. He called unto the sons of men, saying, "If any man thirst." Is there that vacuum in your soul that can be satisfied with nothing short of the Lord Jesus Christ, He says, "Come unto me and drink." We dont want to come unto Him and fail to drink. We must then appropriate Christ to ourselves by faith, and He becomes our Personal Saviour. He didn't mention any kind of merit. Theres nothing we have to do to earn salvation or to earn this living water. He didnt mention any kind of merit. The only qualification was, "If any man thirst."
Now look at ISA 55:1-3: "Ho, every one that thirsteth [see where the qualification is], come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money [it isnt any merit. It is nothing we have to do to merit. We must unconditionally surrender to Christs terms in order to become the recipients]; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness . . ."
Where do we find satisfaction for an empty soul? "Come unto me." Come unto Christ, unto the Person of Christ. " . . . Incline your ear [in other words, pay attention to what I am saying], and come unto me: [incline your ear. He is crying with a screeching, crying voice, saying, "Come unto me." He asks: "Are you listening? Incline your ear and come unto me] hear [even today as Jesus' ambassadors stand and cry saying "If any man thirst, let him come unto Jesus Christ," Hear. Listen to what you are hearing. Apply it and appropriate it. Come unto me and drink. That word drink means appropriate it to yourself. Dont just picture that blessing for another thinking , well that is good for that person and that person and that person, but make it personal] and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."
Our text says in JOH 7:38-39: "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said [see where the authority lies], out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." I want you to see scriptural references to which Christ was referring.
ISA 58:11: "And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." Your soul will be watered. How? With that living water, that Spirit of Christ.
These Scriptures are equally applicable to our present generation--we are not only to be as a sponge taking in water, but also "like a spring of water, whose waters fail not," ever fresh and giving forth. A sponge will take on water. But we are not to be only like a sponge. We are also to be like a spring of living water. Not only do we come to Him and drink, and become satisfied, and we, like a sponge, drink in the water, but we must also be like a living spring from which this water flows.
Our text says: "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly [i.e., out of the believer's belly] shall flow rivers of living water." Not only do we take it in, but it flows from us to our fellow man. When our hearts become saturated and overflowing with the love and the Spirit of Christ, then that love of Christ flows forth. And then out of our belly, that is out of the heart, will flow forth, these rivers of living water.
As we are born of the Spirit we are first like a sponge satisfying our hunger and thirst from the body and blood of Christ. We are first like a sponge that drinks it in. Look at JOH 6:53: "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, ye have no life in you." You and I must first become filled. We come unto Him if we thirst, and we drink. We come to where we can by faith appropriate Christ to ourselves, and then we go forth and proclaim Christ to our fellow man.
After our emptiness has been filed from His fullness with grace for grace as we read in JOH 1:16, then our belly becomes "like a spring of water, whose waters fail not," ever fresh and giving forth."
Water symbolizes both the Word of God, and also the Spirit of God. Many people say, "The Word is symbolized by water." This is true. Many people will tell you, "The Holy Spirit is symbolized by water." This is true. But you cannot separate the Word and Spirit. And it is the Word and Spirit that flow forth. I want you to see something: "Out of his belly flows forth this living water." Water symbolizes both the Word of God and the Spirit. These are inseparable--without the Spirit, the Word is a sealed Book, but without the Word the Spirit has no commission.
Do you know what the mission of the Spirit is? Take those precious things of Christ and show them unto you. The commission of the Holy Spirit is to convince you of sin. (JOH 16:8) And wherein is sin? Sin is the transgression of the law. (1JO 3:4) And wherein would the Holy Spirit have a commission outside of the Word? How could the Holy Spirit convince you of transgressing the law, outside of the Word? I want you to see that the Word and the Spirit cannot be separated. Water symbolizes both the Word of God and also the Spirit.
Scripture refers to the Word as water for sanctification in EPH 5:26: "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word." The Word is for washing and for cleansing, for sanctifying. Salvation comes through the "sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." (2TH 2:13) It is by believing in the Word, that the Holy Spirit works sanctification. The Word alone has no affect on the human heart. It is the Word and Spirit coming jointly together. They work in perfect harmony, and thereby they work sanctification.
Look at 2TH 2:13: "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." See, God has chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. You see how they are joined together. So, this water that flows from the belly of the believer, what is it? It is the Word and Spirit of Christ.
Rain, the dew, and the showers upon the grass symbolize the Word and Spirit. I want you to see the perfect harmony now in the Word and Spirit, how that the dew of the Spirit symbolizes them. Showers symbolize it. A rain symbolizes it. I have pointed out once before but I want to do it again. You can walk through the grass before daylight, and you can get dew on your shoes. It is dew. It is genuine dew. Your shoes get totally wet. Two hours later, the sun comes up, that grass is dry and dusty. And you might say, "Well, was it wet?" Yes, thats how it is with the dew of the Spirit. The dew of the Spirit comes upon the soul, and you can have a refreshing moment, but when the sun comes up it is gone.
But you can also have showers that have a more lasting effect. There is also the former and the latter rain, which has that durable effect. And, how does the Spirit do this? With the Word. Let me show you how the Holy Spirit takes the Word of God and lays it upon your heart, and instills it into your heart.
Look at DEU 32:1-2: "Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. [Is that a reference to the Word? Certainly.] My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass." The Word will come down with the dew of the Holy Spirit, and it will be distilled in your heart, and it will refresh your soul. And it is that water, that living water, that we receive when we come to Christ. It is that living water that fills that sponge, and it is that living water which again becomes a living spring in our soul and flows forth unto our fellow man.
Now, our text says "as the scripture hath said [in other words, the Lord Jesus Christ is showing], out of [the believer's] belly shall flow rivers of living water." Can you be filled with the Word and Spirit and have it that your heart is overflowing with the love of God and hold your peace? No, I know what it is. I had some people come and stay with me, and I felt that his own brother, had betrayed me, not slightly. And I told my wife before they came, "Ill tell you what, when that man gets here, we are going to talk about the material things and thats it. I will not lay my pearls before that man."
He wasnt there two hours, he wasnt there a half an hour when he asked a question that I had to either glorify God by giving God the glory, or I had to make that I was somebody. And I had to confess what God had done. Before that evening was over, those rivers of living water flowed to the overwhelming of the soul. The next morning I thought, Well now, do I have to do all the talking? After all there are five people who are sitting there. Now, maybe they can talk a little. And so I was going to hold my peace, and you know, when we finished eating breakfast that morning, I read PSA 71 and V:8 was distilled into my soul, "Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day." I could not hold my peace throughout the whole day as those living waters flowed! I have never lived another day like it in my life. That whole day, the living waters flowed. There was nothing that could stop it, absolutely nothing. My heart was so full.
When we come to Christ and drink, we begin to overflow, then our belly flows with living water. When the believer has come unto Christ that he might live, not only is his thirst satisfied, but those living waters "satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." (ISA 58:11).
Our Saviour told the woman of Samaria, as we read in JOH 4:14: "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." After her thirst was satisfied, see how those living waters began to flow! Look at JOH 4:28-30: "The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him." The whole city was moved. Her heart so overflowed with that living water as Christ had told her, and her heart so overflowed that the whole city was moved. And what was her message? "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did." She came to confess her sins. She didnt come there as a hypocrite to make herself something big and preach down to the people. She was down and preached up to the people. And the waters flowed, and the city was moved.
Our text says, "out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." What does that word "belly" mean? The word in the original is translated as the inner crevice, or the heart. In other words, it comes from the heart, and thats an amazing thing. When the waters flow from the heart, then they are received by your fellow man.
In our fallen condition the belly is where the god of self is set up. Thats the condition of our fallen nature. Look at PHI 3:18-19: "(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)" In other words, their hearts are filled with earthly things. When you hear the conversation of a man, you can tell where his heart is, because where his conversation is, his heart is. Where his heart is, his conversation is. And this is what the apostle is telling us here. He says: "Their end is destruction. Their god is their belly." In other words, they mind earthly things. Their hearts are so set on the things of this world.
The belly is that part of a man that is never satisfied. It is constantly crying for something else to appease it cravings. See, that is why it says, "From the belly shall flow." When the Lord says, "Come to me and drink," and that image of Christ is satisfied--that desire of the heart-- and we become so full that it flows over, and now it flows to our fellow man. That is the only thing that will ever so satisfy the cravings of the belly or the cravings of the heart to the extent that we have enough and more to spare.
I want you to think of the wonder of grace of our Saviour, see how He "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." Is there a possibility to find a grace that is more attractive to a hungry soul?
The believer who comes to Christ shall not only have his thirst fully satisfied, but his belly shall overflow with living water as he goes out to share with his fellow man.
Our text also says in JOH 7:39: "(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.)." I want you to understand that the source and fountain of these living waters comes from a resurrected Christ. He was not yet glorified, and therefore that Spirit was not yet given.
And this points us to the day of Pentecost. The disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ did not rightly understand His first coming until the day of Pentecost. It was on that day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit began to flow, when those wells of living water began to overflow that the disciples of Christ rightly understood His first coming.
In ACT 2:4 we read: "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak [did you ever know that when our hearts are filled with the Holy Spirit, there is nothing that can prevent us from speaking. They were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak] with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." We start speaking a different language. We are no longer talking about the things of this life. We are no longer talking about dollars and talking about people and talking about honor. We are speaking a different language. What we are talking about and speaking about is those things that pertain to the glory of Christ.
What does it mean that they "began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance"? There is a lot of confusion about this. What does that mean? Look at ACT 2:6-8: "Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded [now I want you to see something. So many people want to confuse this as though the apostles were speaking in a multitude or a variety of languages. Thats not what it says. They were speaking in their own language. They were speaking in the Hebrew language. The Scriptures carry this out very clearly when you search it out. Now watch this: Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded] because that every man heard them speak in his own language. The great wonder of Pentecost was in the hearing. Every man heard each in his own language.] "And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" The wonder was in the ear being opened to hear.
Now this word tongue used in verse 8 comes from the Greek word dialektos (dee-al'-ek-tos), which means "dialect or language." It has nothing to do will all this vibrating that goes on that is Satans imitation or counterfeit, speaking in tongues. Weve got to follow this out and understand what this is telling us. It means that every man heard, each in his own dialect. Now, in Holland they have what they call the Holland language. And every different province has its own dialect. And each in their own dialect they understand more intimately what the man is saying. Every man heard, in other words, in such a way that they fully understood. Thats what this is saying.
The root word for dialektos (dee-al'-ek-tos) is dialegomai (dee-al-eg'-om-ahee)" which means "to say thoroughly." What does it mean to speak in tongues? It means that they were speaking in such a manner that every person perfectly understood what they were saying. It means "to say thoroughly, to discuss (in argument or exhortation), to dispute, to preach unto, to reason with, to speak with." It doesnt have one thing to do with this counterfeit that Satan is offering for speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues as it is brought forth on the day of Pentecost means they were speaking thoroughly or so clearly that every person heard, each in their own dialect. Not only in their own language but in the dialect which they were brought up in that language.
So, how shall I illustrate that? When the Lord Jesus Christ was talking to shepherds, he used sheep to illustrate his point. He talked to them in their own language. When he talked to farmers, he used grain and tares to illustrate His point. In other words, so they would intimately understand exactly what He was saying. When He was talking to merchant men, He used merchandise to illustrate His point. Can you see why there is no human being who has a commission to ad his private interpretation to the Word of God. The Word of God means just exactly what it says, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit spake it so clearly, so thoroughly, so intimately in your very language that on the Day of Judgment no man will ever have excuse to say, "Well, I didnt realize," or "I didnt understand." When the apostles were speaking in tongues, what they were doing is they were saying it so thoroughly and so perfectly that every man heard each in his own dialect.
Now, this is the fulfilling of what Christ is telling us in our text, from their belly, from their heart would flow forth these rivers of living waters, and what were they telling these people, each in their own dialect? The wonderful works of God. They werent glorifying themselves. They werent glorifying the Spirit of God. They were speaking of a resurrected Christ. It all draws us to one place, and that is to the Person of Christ.
Now, when we have come to Christ, and our thirst is fully satisfied, then "as the Scriptures hath said," out of our bellies will flow these living waters. When the Holy Spirit has so filled your soul and your heart, with the wonders of salvation, if they should hold their peace, the stones would cry out. (LUK 19:40)
Then that blessed doctrine of Christ (JOH 7:17), "shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass," as we read in DEU 32:2. That precious doctrine of Christ, and what is that? "If any man will do the will of the Father, then he will understand the doctrine." If our will has been broken, and if we have been made willing in the day of His power, and if we are willing to do His will, we will understand that doctrine that shall distil as the rain. Do you know why? Then there is perfect fellowship among the brethren. Now we can come together and fellowship in those things of Christ. Then we can talk about how the Holy Spirit took that Word of God and distilled it in our souls.
Our text says, "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.)" (JOH 7:38-39)
Lets look at the phrase, "as the scripture hath said." I want you to see that Christ is not referring to any particular scripture. Look at PRO 18:4: "The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook." In other words, as a man receives, he speaks forth.
Look at ISA 44:3: "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring." See, the word and the Spirit can never be separated.
Look at JOH 4:14: "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." Many people rightly understand the literal meaning of the Word, but to them it is no more than a literal book, and if you talk to them about the application of the Holy Spirit applying the Word to your heart, they mock you to your face.
"As the Scripture hath said," ISA 12:2-5: "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say [I want you to see how these living waters will flow from your soul, from the crevice of your heart, and flow unto your fellow man], Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings [that doesnt mean that we keep our mouths shut. No, we declare his doings] among the people, [and we] make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout [thats what our Saviour did. He stood and cried saying, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me." Cry out and shout], thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee."
When we get a taste of that, then we are not able to remain silent. Then the stones would cry out before we would ever be able to remain silent, because we become so filled with His fullness out of His fullness. We are not able to hold our peace, and "out of his belly shall flow rivers," not just a word or two, not just a thought or two, but we shall sing unto the Lord, we will declare his doings. We will make mention of his name, we will exalt the name of the Lord, because of his wonderful works. Amen.
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