Separated Especially for the Gospel of Life
Week 15 --- The Waters that Come out of the Temple
Monday --- Scripture Reading: Gen. 2:10-12; John 3:3-5; 6:63; 1 Cor. 3:10-12; 2 Cor 3:18; 1 Pet. 1:2, 6-7, 19; Rev. 21:19-21
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7)
As we have seen in previous messages, a river went out from the garden of Eden that divided into four branches. The main course of this river is called Pishon, which “ is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there” (Gen. 2:11-12). The flow of this river represents the work of the all-inclusive Spirit.
Gold represents the divine nature, which we received when we believed in the Lord Jesus. In spite of this we still have many impurities in our soul. For this reason we feel heavily bothered every time we are enlightened about behaving in our natural being, and this produces repentance in us. This inward suffering is part of a necessary process to purify our soul and is similar to the process gold needs to go through to be refined by fire.
The apostle Peter made this comparison in his first letter, saying, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:6-7). The various trials are the various opportunities to get rid of the impurities of our soul in the fire of the Spirit.
Besides the good gold in the land of Havilah where the river Pishon goes, there is also bdellium, which is a kind of vegetable pearl resulting from the abundant sap that breaks open the bark of certain trees there. Bdellium represents the work of the Son, which appears in Genesis 2:12 before the fall of man. Silver is present in the building of the tabernacle in the Old Testament and represents the redemption of Christ (Exo. 26:19-25; 30:12-16). In the New Testament Paul also speaks of sliver in the building of the church (1 Cor. 3:10-12). Eventually, through the flow of this river, the work of the Son is represented in the New Jerusalem by pearl (Rev. 21:21).
For example, a pearl can be formed when a grain of sand gets into an oyster. When it comes into the oyster, the grain of sand makes it uncomfortable, the way dust does when it gets into our eyes. The oyster spontaneously produces a secretion, which is its richest part. This secretion surrounds the sand to cause the oyster less suffering. This slow, painful process ends up transforming the grain of sand into a beautiful pearl. This is similar to the labour of the Lord Jesus when He died on the cross for each one of us to redeem us and produce the church. The twelve gates in the New Jerusalem are twelve pearls, and each one of these gates is of one pearl (Rev. 21:21). These gates, which are entrances into the holy city, were produced through the suffering of Christ, who loved us without measure and gave Himself for us.
A precious stone is also found in the land of Havilah, where the river Pishon goes—the onyx stone—which is a red colour. Precious stones can also be seen at the end of the New Testament in the New Jerusalem. Their shining will be similar to a very precious stone, like crystal clear jasper stone.
We know that the foundations of the wall of the New Jerusalem are adorned with every kind of precious stone (Rev. 21:11, 19-20). Each stone has a colour that represents a characteristic of God’s work on us. Red refers to redemption; green is related to life and the variation in its shade represents the different levels of spiritual maturity. For instance, when a plant in the vegetable life begins to sprout, it is a light green. As the life grows, this green gets darker and is deeper. Among the twelve precious stones there are some with three different shades of green. The most intense is the jasper stone, representing the maturity of life.
Thank the Lord that through the work of the Spirit we are led to obey and receive the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus, believe in Him for our regeneration and be transformed for growth and maturity in the divine life (John 3:3-5; 6:63; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Pet. 1:2).
Beloved, purified and transformed.
What is the spiritual significance of each material found in the river Pishon?