The Book of Ezekiel prophesies that a river would burst forth from the Temple in Jerusalem. He says that it would gush out ankle deep at the Temple gate, get knee deep about five hundred yards out, waist deep at another five hundred yards, and still further out it would become so deep it would be over your head. The Prophet declares that it would bring life everywhere it went, fish would thrive in it and trees would grow along the banks, producing much fruit and leaves that bring healing (Ezekiel 47:12).
The fulfillment of this prophecy started in 29 AD when about 120 people gathered at the Temple, God’s house, on the feast day of Pentecost (modern Shavuot). God’s presence swept in and filled them with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and they all began worshipping God in languages they had never learned before.
Did Pentecost happen at the Temple?
Traditionally, people have believed that this happened in an “upper room” where Peter and the apostles were staying in the city (Acts 1:13). However, many believe the scriptures indicate they received the Holy Spirit in the Temple for these reasons:
- After Jesus ascended, they “were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God” (Luke 24:53) until the Promise came.
- Any Jew (as these Christians were) would have been in the Temple precincts for this special festival.
- They were sitting in “The House” (Acts 2:2; 7:47) which was a term for the Temple and its surrounding porches. The term “The House” was used extensively in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 47:1) and in the New (Matthew 12:4; 21:13).
- After the Spirit came, these Jewish Christians returned daily to this same location (Acts 2:46; 3:1; 5:42) to worship and grow.
The Holy Spirit is like a river
God’s temple today is His true believers. Those who know the Lord in truth are His Temple and from this church flows out a spiritual river that brings life to our world. You and I need to be involved in a church where the Spirit of God flows in a powerful way.
“Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).
Jesus invited us to enter this Holy River. Will you step in? Don’t wade in just to your ankles. Jump in and swim! You’ll soon be in “over your head” with a life those on the bank can only imagine.