The Organic Ministry of John
|Week 2 --- The Ministry of the Twelve Apostles|
|Tuesday --- Scripture Reading: Gen. 2:11-13; Col. 2:9; Rev. 4:3; 21:18; Eph. 3:20; 5:26-27; John 14:27; 15:11; Jonah 1:2; Josh. 24:2|
“And a river went forth from Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided and became four branches.” (Genesis 2:10)
The Pishon, Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
In the flow of the Pishon river there is gold, bdelium and onyx stone (Genesis 2:11-12). This means that the more we remain in this flow, the more we receive the divine nature. God is embodied in Christ. Christ is the divine fullness because it pleased God that in Christ all the fullness of the Godhead should dwell bodily (Col. 2:9). The more we are in this flow, the more we are transformed into precious material for God’s building. Eventually we will be the New Jerusalem, a city filled with precious material that has been built up because it has become fully grown in life.
God has the appearance of jasper (Rev. 4:3) and we will also have this appearance because we will be the New Jerusalem, the structure of whose wall is jasper (21:18). We are all in the flow of this river and are being satisfied because Christ supplies everything we need. He supplies us beyond what we ask or think (Eph. 3:20). In the flow of this river we are filled with joy because He has given us His joy that our joy might be made full (John 15:11). In this flow the Lord Himself is our protection and thus we have peace (14:27). This is the river Pishon that flows unto the New Jerusalem.
There are still three other branches of the river that flow out of Eden. The purpose of these rivers is to reach people who have fallen into the world in its three aspects. Some have fallen into the world of their livelihood, typified by Egypt. But thank the Lord, there is the river Gihon that goes around the whole land of Cush (Gen. 2:13). This is the river that seeks those who have gone down to Egypt because of their livelihood. The purpose of the Gihon river, which has more riches than Egypt and than the products around the Nile river, is to bring people who have fallen into the world of their livelihood back to the Pishon river.
Other people have fallen into the sinful world, typified by Assyria, whose capital was Nineveh, a very sinful city (Jonah 1:2). The Tigris river goes there. The name of this river in Hebrew is Hiddekel, which means “rapid.” The Tigris is a very fast river. Its waters have a current that is rapid and very strong. The waters of this fast and strong river help the people who have fallen into sin to be freed from sin until they are washed clean, without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5:26-27), and it brings them back to the Pishon river.
Others have fallen into religion, or rather, into religious traditions and customs. There is also a way out for them, which is the fourth branch, the Euphrates river that goes through Mesopotamia, the land Abraham came from, a land of idols (Josh. 24:2). The flow of this river is sweet and peaceful. Its purpose is to bring those who have fallen into the religious world back to the course of the Pishon river.
Preaching the gospel is simply to let these wonderful rivers flow from us to reach people wherever they are and bring them back to God’s original purpose. As we exercise our spirit and let the rivers of living water flow from us, we will be able to reach all the people around us!
Exercise the spirit in order to reach everyone
Your Key Point:
Name the four rivers and their respective functions.