Sabbath, April 27, 2013
“‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.’ Isaiah 55:1. And in the closing pages of the Sacred Word this invitation is echoed. The river of the water of life, ‘clear as crystal,’ proceeds from the throne of God and the Lamb; and the gracious call is ringing down through the ages, ‘Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’ Revelation 22:17.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 413.
The spring of pure water
1. What invitation did the Lord extend many years ago to those who are thirsty? Who is the true spring of pure water?
Isaiah 55:1, first part Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money;…
“As the weary traveler seeks the spring in the desert and, finding it, quenches his burning thirst, so will the Christian thirst for and obtain the pure water of life, of which Christ is the fountain….
“The words of God are the wellsprings of life. As you seek unto those living springs you will, through the Holy Spirit, be brought into communion with Christ. Familiar truths will present themselves to your mind in a new aspect, texts of Scripture will burst upon you with a new meaning as a flash of light, you will see the relation of other truths to the work of redemption, and you will know that Christ is leading you, a divine Teacher is at your side.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp. 19, 20.
2. What will this water become for everyone who drinks it, believing in the Lord?
John 4:13, 14 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 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.
“The divine grace which He alone can impart, is as living water, purifying, refreshing, and invigorating the soul.
“Jesus did not convey the idea that merely one draft of the water of life would suffice the receiver. He who tastes of the love of Christ will continually long for more; but he seeks for nothing else. The riches, honors, and pleasures of the world do not attract him. The constant cry of his heart is, More of Thee. And He who reveals to the soul its necessity is waiting to satisfy its hunger and thirst. Every human resource and dependence will fail. The cisterns will be emptied, the pools become dry; but our Redeemer is an inexhaustible fountain. We may drink, and drink again, and ever find a fresh supply. He in whom Christ dwells has within himself the fountain of blessing–‘a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’ From this source he may draw strength and grace sufficient for all his needs.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 187.
An open, cleansing fountain
3. What other prophet presented the great promise of cleansing and healing water, and what properties does it contain?
Zechariah 13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
“Christ came as the Great Physician to heal the wounds that sin has made in the human family; and His Spirit, working through His servants, imparts to sin-sick, suffering human beings a mighty healing power that is efficacious for the body and the soul. ‘In that day,’ says the Scriptures, ‘there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.’ Zechariah 13:1. The waters of this fountain contain medicinal properties that will heal both physical and spiritual infirmities.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 227.
4. On what occasion did Jesus recall this symbol of the living water?
John 7:37-39 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. (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.)
“The Saviour made use of this symbolic service to direct the minds of the people to the blessings that He had come to bring them. ‘In the last day, that great day of the feast,’ His voice was heard in tones that rang through the temple courts, ‘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.’ ‘This,’ said John, ‘spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive.’ John 7:37-39. The refreshing water, welling up in a parched and barren land, causing the desert place to blossom, and flowing out to give life to the perishing, is an emblem of the divine grace which Christ alone can bestow, and which is as the living water, purifying, refreshing, and invigorating the soul. He in whom Christ is abiding has within him a never-failing fountain of grace and strength. Jesus cheers the life and brightens the path of all who truly seek Him. His love, received into the heart, will spring up in good works unto eternal life. And not only does it bless the soul in which it springs, but the living stream will flow out in words and deeds of righteousness, to refresh the thirsting around him.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 412.
The world’s polluted water
5. What may sometimes attract God’s people? Are we advised to drink from the worldly fountains?
Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
“He who seeks to quench his thirst at the fountains of this world will drink only to thirst again. Everywhere men are unsatisfied. They long for something to supply the need of the soul. Only One can meet that want. The need of the world, ‘The Desire of all nations,’ is Christ.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 187.
“Those who drink from these polluted channels do not thirst for the waters of life; for they are satisfied with the broken cisterns of the world. They think they have the treasures of knowledge, when they are hoarding that which is but wood and hay and stubble, not worth gaining, not worth keeping.” –Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 168.
Calling to the thirsty soul
6. What invitation does Jesus address today to those who are thirsty? What risk is there for those who do not want to answer the call?
Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
John 6:35, last part … And he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Amos 8:11, 12 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.
“The cry of Christ to the thirsty soul is still going forth, and it appeals to us with even greater power than to those who heard it in the temple on that last day of the feast. The fountain is open for all. The weary and exhausted ones are offered the refreshing draught of eternal life. Jesus is still crying, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.’ ‘Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’ ‘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.’ Revelation 22:17; John 4:14.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 454.
Let us share the water we receive
7. For this water to flow abundantly in us, what do we need to do?
Isaiah 58:10, 11 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: 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.
John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
Proverbs 11:25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
“ ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you’ (Luke 6:38); for the word of God is ‘a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams of Lebanon’ (Song of Solomon 4:15). The heart that has once tasted the love of Christ, cries out continually for a deeper draft, and as you impart you will receive in richer and more abundant measure. Every revelation of God to the soul increases the capacity to know and to love. The continual cry of the heart is, ‘More of Thee….’” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 20.
“Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary. He who drinks of the living water becomes a fountain of life. The receiver becomes a giver. The grace of Christ in the soul is like a spring in the desert, welling up to refresh all, and making those who are ready to perish eager to drink of the water of life.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 195.
“The heart that receives the word of God is not as a pool that evaporates, not like a broken cistern that loses its treasure. It is like the mountain stream, fed by unfailing springs, whose cool, sparkling waters leap from rock to rock, refreshing the weary, the thirsty, the heavy-laden. It is like a river constantly flowing and, as it advances, becoming deeper and wider, until its life-giving waters are spread over all the earth. The stream that goes singing on its way leaves behind its gift of verdure and fruitfulness. The grass on its banks is a fresher green, the trees have a richer verdure, the flowers are more abundant. When the earth lies bare and brown under the summer’s scorching heat, a line of verdure marks the river’s course.
“So it is with the true child of God. The religion of Christ reveals itself as a vitalizing, pervading principle, a living, working, spiritual energy. When the heart is opened to the heavenly influence of truth and love, these principles will flow forth again like streams in the desert, causing fruitfulness to appear where now are barrenness and dearth.” –Prophets and Kings, pp. 233, 234.
For personal study
“The priest had that morning performed the ceremony which commemorated the smiting of the rock in the wilderness. That rock was a symbol of Him who by His death would cause living streams of salvation to flow to all who are athirst. Christ’s words were the water of life. There in the presence of the assembled multitude He set Himself apart to be smitten, that the water of life might flow to the world. In smiting Christ, Satan thought to destroy the Prince of life; but from the smitten rock there flowed living water. As Jesus thus spoke to the people, their hearts thrilled with a strange awe, and many were ready to exclaim, with the woman of Samaria, ‘Give me this water, that I thirst not.’ John 4:15.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 454.