This Water flows towards the Eastern Region
Ezekiel prophesies the outpouring of the Spirit of truth, the Promised Comforter in the last days.
In the past, some thought this passage described the spread of the gospel in the time of Christ. But there are five facts that point to the end time fulfillment of this prophecy:
- This passage is nestled within the end time prophecies of Ezekiel. In Chapter 34 we read of the regathering of Israel, fulfilled in 1947 (Ezekiel 34:13). In Chapters 36, and 37, God promised He would sprinkle clean water on them (through baptism), and put a new Spirit in them (Ezekiel 36:24-25). In Chapter 38, we read about the battle of Armageddon. And in Chapter 39, we read about the capture of the Beast, that is described in Revelation 19:20. Finally, in these last Chapters, we read about the promised “New Jerusalem,” and David, the Prince, who is described in Ezekiel 34:24, and Ezekiel 44:3.
- This is the third temple. The Jews are still waiting for the fulfillment of this prophecy. The second temple existed in the time of the Apostles.
- The Apostolic preaching was to the North and West, but the gospel here is spread in the East. (And since there were no independent, non-traditional churches, in the East, prior to 1900, there is no one who can say the true Church appeared anytime prior to 1900.)
- Revelation 11:1-2 tells us to leave out the Gentiles from the measurement of the temple, for the Gentiles will trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months. This prophecy cannot be fulfilled until the temple is cleansed, in the last days, see Daniel 8:14.
- In Revelation 8:8 we read about the end day “great mountain” burning with fire, that is thrown into the sea. This is the movement of the Spirit of God that enters the sea in Ezekiel 47:8.
there was water flowing toward the east – the movement of the Holy Spirit goes out to the East.
under the right side of the temple, south of the altar – as explained in verse 1 and 2, to the East on the right side, ie South East.
We have a general idea where the water is going, from the Temple at Jerusalem.
the man went out to the east with line in his hand – he keeps going farther, and farther east, and the water keeps getting deeper and deeper. The movement of the Spirit of God becomes stronger and stronger, telling us the most significant movement of the Spirit of God is found in the far east.
the water was too deep in which one must swim – as we get even farther east, the water becomes very deep. When we look the whole world from this perspective, we can understand where the Holy Spirit will become very “deep.”
on the bank there were many trees – this is a life giving water. The trees signify those in the kingdom of heaven, as we shall see clearly in Revelation 8:7.
this water goes toward the valley (Arabah) and enters the sea – the actual text says “Arabah” which literally means “desert and dry area,” the old meaning of which included the area of the Jordan river up to the Sea of Galilee, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabah. We can think about “desert and dry area” in spiritual terms. The “south eastern” part of the world, especially China and South East Asia, was the driest area of Christianity, which did not receive the Gospel until the late 19th century. But just as interesting is the meaning of “the sea.” The “sea” throughout the Book of Revelation represents salvation. The “sea” that the Holy Spirit enters in this passage is the “Dead Sea.” This can only refer to the impact of the Holy Spirit on the dead Christianity found in the Western World, where the Spirit of truth departed, nearly 2,000 years earlier – “after two days, He will revive us, and on the third day, He will raise us up,” (Hosea 6:2; 2 Peter 3:8).
when it enters the sea its waters will be healed – the entrance of the true Church “into the sea” is also described in Revelation 8:8; meaning the true Church has flourished in the East, and is now going to impact the salvation of the entire world, by restoring the true gospel.
there will be a great multitude of fish – meaning “men” as fish, who receive the Gospel, that accompanies the Holy Spirit, see Matthew 4:19.
En Gedi to En Eglaim – two places on the Dead Sea, fish cannot live there, but the water in the Dead Sea will now have the same fish as the Great Sea, the Mediterranean Sea.
Swamps and marshes will not be healed – these will not come to life. They will reject the true Gospel. The area to the south of the Dead Sea has swamps and marshes, and the figurative meaning is here.
their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing – these are the trees in the kingdom of heaven, as described in Revelation 8:7; 22:2. The good trees are those planted by the water (Psalms 1:3; Jeremiah 17:8). They bear fruit; the fruit of the Spirit.