Zechariah 14 – Jesus and the River of Life
Zechariah 14 foretold the time when living waters would flow from Jerusalem to the world. This is the same prophecy as in Ezekiel, and other fascinating prophecies. Our Dispensational friends say this has never been fulfilled. However, Jesus had a different view!
Jesus came to confirm the promises made to the Fathers (Romans 15:8). His promises are not new ones severed from Israel’s promises. When Jesus therefore promised living waters he was promising to fulfill Joel, Isaiah, and Zechariah.
In John 4 Jesus promised the Samaritan woman: “The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (4:14); he promised “living water” (4:10).
Zechariah 14 predicted the coming of living waters. Jesus offered living waters. Was the “living water” Jesus offered the woman at Sychar different from what the prophets of Old anticipated- different from Zechariah 14? Hardly! But, since Jesus is the living water foretold by those OT prophecies, it shows the “spiritual” nature of those prophecies. This falsifies the literalistic approach to OT prophecy.
Zechariah 14, The Spirit and the Living Waters
At the feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem: “On the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out saying, `If a man thirsts let him come to me and drink. He who believes on me, as the scriptures has said, `out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'” John 7:37-39.
The miraculous outpouring of the Spirit was to be a “last days” work (Joel 2:28-32) to bring Israel back from the dead (Ezekiel 37:14). See my book, Into All The World, Then Comes The End, for a study of the Last Days work of the Spirit. It is an eye-opener to be sure!
In Acts 2 Israel stood before God “dead” in her sin (Romans 7:7-14) under the curse (Galatians 3:10f). The Holy Spirit appeared on the Apostles and they in turn preached Jesus and him crucified. They promised the forgiveness of sin in Jesus’ name upon repentance and baptism (2:38). They then promised that the obedient- the ones YHVH would choose– could receive the promise of the Spirit (2:39). That day three thousand of Israel responded to the Messiah. Were they raised from the dead?
In Romans 11, Paul said the remnant had received “that for which Israel seeks” (11:7). This is quite and astounding statement! In a word, Israel sought “resurrection”; this was the hope of Israel (Acts 24-26). Further, Paul said that while Israel had not yet attained to her hope and the remnant had, when Israel would turn this would be “life from the dead” (11:15). Biological death and life is clearly not the focus here. It is life and fellowship with God. See my audio series: “Israel Has Not Obtained That Which She Sought, But The Elect Has Obtained It” This is very important study! You can contact me for ordering details.
Paul spoke of this miraculous work of the Spirit as “the Earnest (arrabon) of the inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Ephesians 1:13-14). The miraculous mission of the Spirit was the Earnest of resurrection life (2 Corinthians 5:5).
One cannot divorce the ministry of the Spirit from Israel’s last days resurrection hope. Nor can one protract the miraculous ministry beyond that time of fulfillment. The Spirit’s miraculous ministry was limited to the last days. The life resulting from the Spirit’s work would flow forever. In our next installment, we will look at Jesus, the Water of Life.