Revival Through Bloodstained Soil
Revival through Bloodstained Soil
Text: Ezekiel 47:1-12: “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. 2 He 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. 3 Then, when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles. 4 Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist. 5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. 6 He said to me ‘Son of man, have you seen this?’ Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river. 7 When I returned, thee, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. 8 Then he said to me: ‘This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea, its waters are healed. 9 And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. 10
This text prophesies a rebuilt temple in the nation of Israel. From beneath the temple a river will flow which will heal the waters of the Dead Sea. This text also gives a picture of Revival. Consider four things our text reveals about God-sent revivals.
1.) True revival comes from the presence of God
2.) True revival must pass through the blood stained soil.
3.) True revival is the flow of the Holy Spirit carrying and applying the blood of the Lamb.
4.) True revivals may start small but become a mighty River that brings healing to the land.
In the first place, a true revival only comes from the presence of God. East of Jerusalem lies mountainous barren land and the Dead Sea. Our text shows a river flowing from the Temple of God toward the Dead Sea. Wherever this river flows it gives life to what is dead and barren. But it comes from the place where God abides. It comes from the sanctuary of God. Revelation 22:1 says of the heavenly river: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” God alone is the source of revival. God desires to bring revival and healing to the nations. He desires to bring life-giving water to His church. He desires it to touch you and I. Men can drum up things that look like revival, but they can’t drum up a true move of God. We don’t need more religion. We need something from the throne of God. If your life and your church are dead and barren, the only source that can bring life comes from God. What this nation needs must come from above. You will not find in the methods or the entertainment of the world. It only comes from God.
Secondly, a genuine move of God must pass through the bloodstained soil. The Contemporary English Version of Ezekiel chapter 47 verse1 reads this way “The man took me back to the temple, where I saw a stream flowing from under the entrance. It began in the south part of the temple, where it ran past the altar and continued east through the courtyard.” This life-giving water must flow past the blood-stained soil of the altar. We know from Leviticus chapter 4 that the priest was to bring the sacrifices and lay them upon this altar and burn the sacrifice to God. But the priest was also to take a bowl filled with the blood of the sacrifice and carry it to the veil of the sanctuary where he would sprinkle it seven times. He then was to proceed to the altar of incense where he would put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar. He would then carry the remaining blood and pour it at the base of the altar of sacrifice where the sacrifice was burned. The CEV tells us that this river came past the blood-stained soil of the altar of sacrifice. This altar is a type of the cross of Calvary. There can be no true revival if it does not come through the blood-stained soil of the cross of Calvary where Jesus died. Hebrews 9:22 tells us “Without shedding of blood there is no remission.” This life-giving river came by the blood-stained soil. Hear the Word of God carefully. There are many things being passed off as a true revival. But if it does not pass through the blood-stained soil of the cross it is not a revival from the one true God. If they do not preach salvation through the blood of Christ Jesus alone, it is not a revival sent from God. I don’t care how popular the person is that preaches it, teaches it or sings it; if it is not filled with the preaching of the cross of Christ Jesus, it is not a move of God. God has ordained that the water that will bring life to the barren and the dead must be touched by the blood. If we want revival in our lives and in our churches we cannot by-pass the cross. The cross deals with the sin issue. It is amazing people want to claim that they are the people of God but they don’t want God to deal with the sin in their lives. They want the healing of the river of God but they don’t want to deal with the sin issue. Some churches want to look like revival but without the blood. We remove the crosses from our steeples! We remove the altar rails in the churches. We don’t want to preach sermons that offend anybody. We cannot have the river of life without the blood. You cannot have the Spirit of God without the blood of Christ Jesus. This entire river in this passage that brings life has been touched by the blood. As Robert Lowry said in his wonderful hymn: WHAT CAN WASH AWAY MY SIN? NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS. WHAT CAN MAKE ME WHOLE AGAIN? NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS. O PRECIOUS IS THE FLOW THAT MAKES ME WHITE AS SNOW! NO OTHER FOUNT I KNOW, NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS.
Do not be deceived. Do not be led astray. I don’t care how high they hop or how hard they laugh. I don’t care how popular the movement may be; if it is not filled with the blood stained soil of the cross, then it is not the river of God. I don’t care how good the personal prophecies may sound, if they are not touched by the blood-stained soil, it is not the river of God. The cross requires the death of our sin nature. It requires that I must die to myself that He may live in me.
Thirdly, true revival is the flow of the Holy Spirit carrying and applying the blood. We have already made much of the fact that the river passes through the blood. But what is the river? Jesus said, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 8:38-39). Jesus had not yet died for the sins of the world, therefore the Holy Spirit could not yet apply the blood. But here we see that the flowing river represents the flowing of the Holy Spirit. The Word and the Spirit always work together to bring life to where there is darkness and death. In Genesis 1 we read: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said ‘Let there be light.’” (Genesis 1:1-3). Before God ever spoke His word to bring life to the dark and dead world, God’s Spirit was already brooding over the situation. It is into this Holy Spirit filled atmosphere that God sends His word. The Spirit and the Word, not one but both were needed. Water represents the Holy Spirit. The blood in the soil represents the blood of Christ Jesus, who is the living Word of God. It is the Holy Spirit that carries and applies the blood of Christ Jesus to that which is dead and barren. So important is the Holy Spirit to revival that Jesus commanded His disciples “not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4) which was the Holy Spirit. They knew that Jesus had died. They knew that He had risen from the dead. But without the Holy Spirit their testimony would not have the power to give life. It takes both, the Holy Spirit and the word about Christ. A revival without the Holy Spirit is not a revival. The Old time preachers use to pray not for revival, but for God to send the Holy Spirit. But that brings us back to the sin question. Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit was come “He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” (John 16:8-11). You don’t believe in Jesus because you don’t want to deal with the sin issue. In revival the Holy Spirit will convict you of sin. You don’t want to surrender your life to Him. In revival, the Holy Spirit will apply the blood. If you reject the sacrifice of Christ, then it will be on your own head. Because Christ is no longer living in this world visibly, the Holy Spirit will convict us of the Holy Righteousness of God which is in Christ Jesus. He is the pure and spotless Lamb of God. Without the gift of the righteousness of Christ Jesus, the demands of the righteousness of the law will come crashing down on your head. The Holy Spirit will also convict us the judgment of God because the prince of the world, Satan is judged. If you do not belong to Christ then you belong to Satan and his judgment will be yours. There is no revival without the blood of Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Finally, a God-sent revival, can start small but become a mighty river that brings healing to the land. Ezekiel 47 2 says: “He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.” The Holman Christian Standard Bible reads this way: “Next he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate that faced east; there the water was trickling from the south side.” It was trickling but it does not remain a trickle. Ezekiel 47:3 reads: “And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles.” Ezekiel was led for a thousand cubits (about 1/3rd mile) from the temple and then asked to cross the water. The water there was only ankle deep. This was repeated three times, each time the water became deeper. At the end of the process the water was so deep Ezekiel could not cross it. What started out as a trickle became a mighty river. However it is at this that something interesting happens. Notice Ezekiel 47:5-7 from The New Living Translation: “Then he measured another 1’750 feet, and the river was too deep to cross without swimming. He told me to keep in mind what I had seen; then he led me back along the river bank. Suddenly, to my surprise, many trees were now growing on both sides of the river.” Dropping down to verse 9: “Everything that touches the water of this river will live.” Drop down to verse 12: “All kinds of fruit trees will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, without fail! For they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.” In Revelation 22:2 is a similar scene which adds the phrase: “And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Ezekiel and the angel have been proceeding further and further down the river. The farther they go, the deeper the water becomes. It seems that they had been traveling along the river bank before each crossing. Ezekiel had not noticed anything unusual along the river bank. However, when they came to the last place along the river something changed. They were no longer able to cross the river. It is at this point that the angel says to him: ‘Keep in mind what you have seen’. What you have seen is important. They then start to head back along the river bank when Ezekiel sees something he had not seen as they were traveling down the river toward the Dead Sea. SUDDENLY, he sees trees all along the river bank on both sides of the river. These trees are teeming with life. Everywhere that the river touched by the blood-stained soil went things were springing to life. It is only when the river is at its deepest that the revelation comes that things will spring to life. Hear me carefully. Sometimes what we want is an ankle deep revival. It will bring refreshing. But it is only when the river is so deep that you are not in control of it; it is only when the Spirit of God is applying the waters of the blood-stained soil in such depth that neither you nor I can conquer it; it is only then that the revelation comes that life is springing forth in the desert. Do you want ankle deep revival, waist deep revival or a revival so deep that you can’t conquer it, you can’t master it? It is then that there are leaves for the healing of the nations, including ours.
WHY DO THE NATIONS NEED HEALED?
The Bible is clear: Sin and rebellion of God’s people brings God’s judgments on the land and on the people themselves. The Old Testament is filled with the things which God says will bring His curse upon a land.
Beginning at Dt. 27:11 going through Dt.28: 68 we read the cursing and the blessing. But we will focus on the curses.
GOD PLACES A CURSE ON:
1.) Those who worship anything (one) but Him (Dt. 27:15).
2.) Those who treat their parents with contempt (Dt. 27:16)
3.) Those who steal a neighbors property given to him by God (Dt. 27:17)
4.) Those who deliberately mislead a blind person (handicapped people (Dt.27:18)
5.) Those who pervert justice for strangers, the fatherless and the widow (Dt. 27:19)
6.) Those who have sex with their fathers’ wife (Dt. 27:20)
7.) Those who have sex with animals (Dt. 27:21)
8.) Those who have sex with their sister (Deut. 27:22)
9.) Leviticus 19:10 adds those who have sex with their son’s or daughter’s daughter.
10.) Leviticus 19:20 adds those who have sex with their neighbor’s wife.
11.) Homosexuality (Lev. 19:22 & Romans 1 26-27).
12.) Those who have sex with a mother-in-law (Dt. 27:23)
13.) Those who take bribes to pervert justice (Dt. 27:25)
14.) This list is not exhaustive, but gives the idea.
NOTICE WHERE THE CURSES COME: Cursed shall you be:
1.) Everywhere: In the city, in the country (Dt. 28:16)
2.) Food Chain: basket & kneading bowl (Dt. 28:17 & 38-40)
3.) Your productivity & your economy: The fruit of your body, the produce of your land, your cattle & flocks (Dt. 28:18)
4.) Wherever you go: Going out and coming in (Dt. 28:19)
5.) Confusion in all your plans (Dt. 28:20)
6.) Plagues, consumption, fever, mildew, enemy overtaking you (Dt. 28:21-22
7.) Drought until you breathe dust (Dt. 28:23-24
8.) Utter defeat by your enemies. Your dead bodies will lie in the open. No one will chase the vultures away (Dt. 28:25-26).
9.) Struck with illnesses that have no cure (Dt. 28:27 & 35)
10.) Your family & possessions will be taken by another (Dt.28: 28-33).
11.) The alien in your land will become more powerful than you (Dt. 28:43-44)
12.) A nation from afar will attack you. They will be fierce with no respect for the young or the old. Your defenses will not withhold against their continual onslaught. Your enemies’ military assault will be so successful they will bring your economy to a halt and you will turn to cannibalism to feed yourself (Dt. 28:49-57). Dt. 32:28-30 gives this further warning to Israel if they should abandon God: “For they are a nation void of counsel, nor is there any understanding in them.” That means they do not understand the ways of God. “In other-words: Consider the consequences of your choice to rebel against God. Do you want proof that God is judging you? He continues “How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had surrendered them?” The point being made is that when God quits defending His nation or any nation because they have rejected Him then one soldier of the enemy will be able to put a thousand to flight and two put ten thousand to flight. One of the enemy will cause great fear among the many of your army.
The land and all in it will become cursed. Now lest anyone say “But that’s Old Testament”. In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul warns the Church at Corinth that what happened to the Israelites because of their rebellion against God “became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.”
So the barren land in Ezekiel 47 is the actual land of Israel but it stands for that which is under God’s curse and is a warning to us.
DO WE WANT REVIVAL? HOW DEEP OF A REVIAL DO WE WANT? REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN DRAWS NIGH!!!! IT WILL EITHER DRAW NIGH IN RESTORING REVIVAL POWER OR IT WILL DRAW NIGH IN JUDGMENT FOR OUR SINS AGAINST A HOLY GOD. IT MIGHT ALSO DO BOTH BECAUSE THINGS HAVE GONE TO FAR.