Zechariah 14 and The River of Life Today!
Be sure to read our previous articles on Zechariah 14 and the River of Life, beginning here.
Among futurist eschatologies, it is almost universally affirmed that we are waiting on the fulfillment of Revelation 22, the arrival of the New Jerusalem, the enthronement of YHVH, and the flowing of the River of Life— i.e. resurrection life.
Then, however, since Christ said, “I am the water of life (John 4), and he claimed that if we believe in him, “living waters” would flow from us (John 7) that even today, those who are in Christ partake of that living water.
There is an inherent contradiction in this view. After all, how can you drink from the River of Life, if the River of Life is not now flowing from the Throne, and available to drink from?
At the close of his Apocalypse the Lord caused these wonderful words to be penned: “The Spirit and the Bride say `Come!’ And let him who hears say `Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. And let whoever desires, let him take of the water of life freely.”
Is this a “not-yet” invitation? Or is the invitation real, truly available for those who believe in Jesus as Lord?
The River of Life and Modern Eschatologies
As I just noted, it is common for evangelical Christians to say that today, believers in Christ drink of the Living Waters that “are” Christ. And yet, Revelation is supposedly not fulfilled!We are told that we must await the destruction of the papacy (the view of my youth). We are told that we must wait for the destruction of some future “anti-christ” even though John said the prophesied antichrists were already present in the first century, and proved that “it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). We are told that we must await the end of the current Christian age to fully drink of the River of Life. Yet, Zechariah clearly has nothing to do with the end of the Christian age. It is about the coming of the Lord in judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem.
So, we are told that Zechariah 14, that serves as the source of Revelation 22, is supposedly not fulfilled. But how in the name of reason can it be true that we today can “drink water from the well of salvation” (cf. Isaiah 26:1) if that River of Life is not flowing rich, full and deep?
Must we wait who knows how much longer, per all futurist views of eschatology, to truly drink from the River of Life? This flies in the face of the Spirit’s declaration that fulfillment of Revelation was at hand, and coming quickly. The appointed time for fulfillment had arrived. See my book, Who Is This Babylon? for a full discussion of this River of Life foretold in Zechariah, and its imminent fulfillment when John wrote.
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Or is that invitation truly applicable today? We firmly and gladly believe so. The atoning fountain was “created” at the Cross, guaranteed by the Spirit, and fully opened to all at the parousia (Hebrews 9:24-28).
Christ is on the Throne and the River of Life flowing from it is pure, sweet, satisfying and abundant–open to all. Let him who is athirst come! There is no more waiting.