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The Shepherd's Rod vol. 2


THE RIVER OF EZEKIELíS VISION

   It was previously explained that Zechariah's prophecy is applicable to the church in the time of the "Loud Cry."  Thus it becomes present truth.  We quote from Zechariah 12:8.  "In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them" -- before the great multitude of Revelation 7:9.

   The church in her purity is called by these Scriptures, "The house of David."  Therefore, this term becomes one of the names of the church in the time of the "Loud Cry."  Thus the church under this name shall be as God before the people.  The meaning here is the same as in Exodus 7:1, "And the Lord said unto Moses See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet" (servant).  That is, "Thou shalt represent My person, and act like God by requiring obedience to thy commands, and by punishing disobedience with such punishment as none but God can inflict; to which end thou shalt have My omnipotent assistance."  This is the commission to the church in the time of the harvest.  The apostle Peter was vested with such divine power when he said: "Thou has not lied unto men, but unto God.  And Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and gave up the ghost.... And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.  Then Peter said unto her.... behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.  Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband." (The Acts 5:4, 5, 7, 9, 10.)

   "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanliness." (Zech. 13:1.)  Note that this fountain is able to wash away two things; first sin, and second uncleanness.  What is the difference between the one and the other?  "Sin is the transgression of the law." (1 John 3:4.)  And the result of sin is the decay of the body.  "Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them, When any man hath a running issue out of his flesh, because of his issue he is unclean." (Lev. 15:2.)  The Biblical term for sickness is, "Uncleanness."  Also, taking

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into the body in the form of food of that which is forbidden by the Word of God, is transgression of the law, and corruption of the body (uncleanness).

   "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." (2 Cor. 6:17.)  "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.  Be not ye therefore partakers with them.  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.... And have no fellowship with the unfruitful workers of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Eph. 5:5-8, 11.)  God is able to heal the soul and the body; but He will not heal the latter before He has healed the former -- "sin" first, then "uncleanness."  "I will also save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you." (Ezek. 36:29.)  The power that is able to wash away the filthiness of any man, is "opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem" and is represented by the "fountain" of Zechariah's prophecy.

   Says Ezekiel: "In the five and twentieth year of our captivity," and "in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the Lord was upon me, and brought me thither." (Ezek. 40:1.)  As recorded in the forty-seventh chapter, Ezekiel was shown in vision certain particulars of the temple building some years before the Israelites were made free from Babylonian captivity.  It has been previously explained that the Temple erected after their captivity was a type of this particular church in the time of the "loud cry" -- "house of David."  Therefore, the river coming out from the temple according to Ezekiel's vision is applicable at this time, and is but the expansion of this "fountain" that is to be in the "house of Davld" the church.  "From this fountain flows the mighty river seen in Ezekiel's vision." -- Counsels on Health," p. 210.  Thus far we have explained the application of this "fountain," the place and the time; also that the mighty river seen in Ezekiel's vision flows from it.  Now we shall study the meaning of this mighty river.

Ezekiel 47

   Ezek. 47:1: "Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood

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toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar."  As the waters came from the south side of the altar, and then went toward the east, it shows clearly that they proceeded from the north, which symbolically denotes that whatever the meaning of the "waters" may be, they come from the throne of God, for It is "in the sides of the north." (Isa. 14:14; Psa. 48:2; 75:6.)

   While Ezekiel's attention was turned to the interior where he first saw the waters, he says: "Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.  And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters, the waters were to the ankles.  Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees.  Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins.  Afterward he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.  And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river.  Now when I had returned, behold at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other.  Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: Which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.  And it shall come to pass, that everything that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither; for they shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh.  And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim, they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.  But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.  And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine." (Ezekiel 47:2-12.)

   It will be noticed that as Ezekiel first saw the waters by the side of the altar, they were of little significance in comparison

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with that which he saw outside the gate.  As the tiny rivulet immediately swells into a mighty river, it represents something of very rapid growth.  These waters denote the same as the waters in Revelation 17:15, "Peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues."  For the angel said to Ezekiel: "Which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed." (Ezek. 47:8.)  Therefore, these waters represent a very great multitude "which no man could number" that shall be healed from sin and disease, saved in the time of the "loud cry" through the ministry of the "house of David" (the church).  As Ezekiel could not swim this river, the symbol is in perfect harmony with Revelation 7:9, "A great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues... clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands."

   Note that the reason the waters are healed, is because they are "brought forth into the sea."  If the mighty river represents the saints from the earth, then the sea must be a symbol of the sinless worlds (inhabitants) in the universe of God.  As the river is brought into the sea, it denotes that the saints shall come in contact with the eternal nations who know not sin, and being "brought forth," we must be "healed" before we meet each other!  The facts of this symbol prove that this is the last section of God's church -- the church that shall be translated without tasting death!  Get ready, get ready, get ready, we are now standing on the winds of eternity -- life that shall never cease.

   The waters that make up this mighty river represents a multitude of saints endowed with healing power from the throne of God; for the Word says, "And everything shall live whither the river cometh." (Ezek. 47:9, last part.)  This healing is not indefinite, but permanent; for we read: "And it shall come to pass, that everything that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the river shall come, shall live" (eternally).

   After the angel had measured three times a thousand cubits, says Ezekiel: "And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this?  Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river.  Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other.  And by the river upon the bank thereof," said the angel, "on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine." (Ezek. 47:6, 7, 12.)

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   The value of the leaves and the fruit of these trees is identically the same as the tree of life according to Revelation 22:2, "And on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bear twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."  The significance is that the church of God (house of David) is endowed with power from the throne to offer life eternal with no taste of death to those who accept the truth, and are willing to become a part of this mighty river.  As this is the only section of God's church that has been granted the authoritative gospel of permanent healing and life everlasting the Word declares: "He that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them." (Zech. 12:8.)

   "And there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither.... And it shall come to pass that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim.... Their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many." (Ezek. 47:9, 10.)  The fish represent those who are to be converted to the church -- "river."  "And everything shall live whither the river cometh." (Ezek. 47:9.)  The ministry is symbolized as the fishers.  "And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men." (Mark 1:17.)  The apostles at one time left the gospel net and ceased to be fishers of men, as they went fishing for gain, "and that night they caught nothing.  But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore.... then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat?  They answered Him, No.  And He said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.  They cast therefore and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes." (John 21:3-6.)  Success never fails when the command of the Master is obeyed.  If the ministry had been constantly inquiring of Jesus where and how to cast the net, there would have been a multitude of "fish" -- converts -- and never a lack of "meat" -- means.

   "For the forefront of the house stood towards the east." (Ezek. 47:1.)  The position of the house proves that it represents a true worship, for thus God's chosen people were instructed to build their temples.  Israel worshipped God with their backs toward the east to remind them that they should have no respect for sun worship and idolatry.

   "Then said he unto me, These waters issue out towards the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea." (Ezek. 47:8.)  It is remarkable to note how perfect these symbols

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are in each instance.  This direction of the compass denotes that the message of the "loud cry" is to start eastward when it is first revealed.  The church membership being largely east of California and across the Atlantic, naturally the message must start toward the east.  This symbolical prophecy reveals that the message of the "loud cry" is to originate in California.  Thus fulfilling the prophetic words of the "Spirit of Prophecy" in a letter to Elder E. E. Andross: "I feel confident Elder Andross, that the brethren in Southern California will find a blessing in reviewing the teachings of the Scripture concerning the 144,000 and bringing to bear upon these teachings whatever light there may be in the published writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, and as prayerful consideration is given the matter in all its bearings, I believe that God will make the truth sufficiently clear to make possible the avoidance of needless and unprofitable questions not vital to the salvation of precious souls."

   East being the Biblical direction of idolatry, it also signifies that the message is headed toward the conversion of sinners and destruction of idolatry.  "And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirits to pass out of the land." (Zech. 13:2.)

   The angel measured four times a thousand cubits eastward (a thousand -- "ten" times one hundred).  Why four times a thousand?  Why not more or less?  It has been previously explained that number "ten" is a symbol of universal, and the number four completeness of the earth or the four points of the compass.  Thus it symbolically denotes that the message is world wide; and while it starts toward the east, it spreads from pole to pole, and encircles the earth completely (10 x 100 = 1,000 -- four times.)  In perfect harmony with the words of Christ: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matt. 24:14.)

   "But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt." (Ezek. 47:11.)  The "marishes" and the "miry places" represent denominations and sects separate of the "mighty river," and that they shall not be saved, or healed.  "Turned to salt," means eternally lost, as was Lot's wife.  "And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.... Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot.... Remember Lot's wife." (Luke 17:26, 28, 32.)

   "And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon

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it from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim; they [the two cities] shall be a place to spread forth nets." (Ezek. 47:10.)  These two cities reveal that the fish are caught in two places, En-gedi (S.D.A. church)  where the 144,000 are gathered -- the first fruits.  En-eglaim (Babylon or the world) where the great multitude of Revelation 7:9 are gathered.  The diagram on the chart, page 294, represents the S.D.A. church (En-gedi) as it becomes the "House of David," and the place of the river (En-eglaim) denotes the world.  The stream from the fountain where it first starts to the east gate, represents the 144,000, and the river stands for the great multitude.  "There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early." (Psa. 46:4, 5.)