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The Waters of the Sanctuary
By Chris Josephson, Editor

"And by the river upon its banks, on this side and on that side, shall grow up all kinds of trees for food, the leaves of which shall not fade, and the fruit of which shall not come to an end, every month shall they bring forth new ripe fruit; because its water is that which issueth out of the sanctuary; and their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for remedies" (Ezekiel 47:12 – Isaac Lesser translation).

We’ve heard recently that water is flowing from the rock on the Temple Mount. Presently, the Mosque of Omar is built over this rock. For this reason it is often called "the Dome of the Rock". It is generally believed that upon this rock Abraham offered Isaac. Moslem tradition says Abraham offered Ishmael there.

This water-flowing bit of millennial news has caused a great deal of excitement as some Bible believers relate it to the river spoken of by Ezekiel in chapter 47.

Open your Bibles and stay with us as we do a bit of exploring to find answers to these questions: 1) When will this river flow? 2) Where will it go? 3) And most importantly, what will it do?

The Book of Ezekiel contains many strange visions. Like Daniel, some refer only to the ending days of this present age. Significantly, the term "…shall know that I am the Lord" occurs 150 times in the Bible and 77 of these are found in Ezekiel.

When Will it Flow?

After reading through these end-time prophecies in Ezekiel (such as the valley of dry bones) we come to a refreshing vision of a River of Life in chapter 47. The chapter begins, "Afterward he brought me. . ." which indicates the chronological order. That would put the opening of these waters at the culmination of previous visions of the Prophet Ezekiel concerning the restoration.

One has to be blind as a bat not to see now the beginning of these great changes – and one has to be completely ignorant, or deliberately hardened not to hear the huge footsteps of the Almighty upon the earth, bringing mankind to the end of his own selfish-motivated ways and finally bowing to "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

So is there anything to the reported news of water coming out from the rock on the Temple Mount now? A report from the Bridges for Peace publication, Dispatch from Jerusalem, indicated the story was blown all out of proportion by millennial-madness. To search further for truth regarding this "water flowing", I faxed our friend, Sam Peak who publishes Prophetic Round-Up and received the following reply:

"There was something to the water issue – I believe it has now stopped or slowed to a very small amount. I had e-mails from individual Israelis who saw the Arabs install pumps at the Eastern Gate for a couple of weeks. Personally, I think the Arabs damaged one of the huge underground cisterns in all the illegal construction they were carrying on this summer – most of it in the ancient Hulda tunnels where they were trying to make mosque #4. The water problem was not that big of a deal, but to the Arabs – well, it scared them to death and they stopped most of the under-<->the<->mount construction."

Dome of the Rock - The stunning shrine is one of the world's most
beautiful examples of Islamic art. Built in the seventh century to honor
Muhammad, it stands on the site of the original First and Second Hebrew temples.

Where Does it Go?

V.2, "Then he brought me . . . unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side."

The prophet goes on to describe the continued advances of the waters flowing eastward until it was a river too deep to wade, you’d have to swim. The waters kept on coming and could not be stopped. This water continues through the wilderness of Judea to the Dead Sea. Joining with the waters of the Jordan, "whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live" (Vs. 8, 9). From the Prophet Zechariah we learn these waters from the Temple Mount run toward the west as well: "And it shall be in that day Living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea [eastern – the Dead Sea] and half of them toward the hinder sea [Mediterranean]; in summer and in winter shall it be" (14:8). Is this a God-built Mediterranean-Dead Sea Canal?

At this point you may be wondering "What about all those rich minerals that are in the Dead Sea?" Ezekiel answers, "The miry places thereof shall not healed; they shall be given to salt." (Rich minerals accumulated because there is no southern outlet to the Dead Sea.)

What Does it Do?

The purpose of this river of life is clear: "…there shall be a great multitude of fish because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh…by the river [on both banks] shall grow all trees for food…BECAUSE the waters issue out of the sanctuary; and the fruit thereof shall be for food and the leaf thereof for medicine" (Vs. 9-13. The Apostle John echoes this truth in Rev. 22:1 & 2. So is this vision of the river of life spiritual or literal? Our faith embraces both!

View of a highway going down to the Dead Sea, the destination of the Temple water.

It is very significant that the remainder of this chapter in Ezekiel gives instructions for the inheritance according to the 12 tribes of Israel, and also for the "strangers that sojourn among you". Please continue to read the following article for more on this subject.