Summary: Great Sermon for the New Year.
New Fruit for the New Year
Text: Ezekiel 47:1-12
As we find ourselves in the early days of another New Year many of us have been thinking for several days now about the concept of “New.” Yet on the other hand we can be reminded of King Solomon’s pessimistic statement in Ecclesiastes 1:8-10 which declares, “All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.  The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.  Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.” On the other hand the concept of “new” isn’t something we just think about only once a year. Every month is a new month. Every week is a new week. Every day is a new day. Every hour is a new hour. Every minute is a new minute. And every second is a new second. One of my favorite scriptures of all time is found in Jeremiah’s Lamentations 3:19-23 which says, “Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.  My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.  This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
Actually it is a good thing for all children of God to look ahead with expectation and hope. Let us call to remembrance the words of the scriptures contained in Philippians 3:13-14 which say, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. “ Even Isaiah declared in Isaiah 43:15-20, “I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.  Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;  Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.  Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.  The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.”
Let us now focus our attention on the vision and prophecy of Ezekiel 47. This passage contains a promise in verse 12 that there will be “new fruit.” I would like to proclaim this message for each of us and for this church. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every one of us had that promise fulfilled this year-an abundance of new fruit? But understand we are not referring to material possessions. Remember the Bible declares in Luke 12:15, “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” So let us examine the text of Ezekiel 47:1-12 so that we may understand all of the events that precede this “new fruit.” There are some areas with which we must align ourselves before that before this promise of new fruit can be fulfilled in our lives.
I. A life giving river came from the temple, from under the threshold (v. 1)
A. Temple at Jerusalem was built upon the highest portion of a mountain.
B. No natural running water at the top of the mountain, yet the priests and Levites needed water for their ritual cleansing prior to their service in the temple.
1. When King Solomon built the temple he piped water into the temple so
the brazen laver could be filled with water for the priests and the Levites.
2. The water came from underneath the temple within the mountain.
C. Jesus referred to the same concept in John 7:37-39 which declares, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, 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.  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”