“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.)” (John 7:38-39)
After His resurrection, Jesus told His disciples to “tarry” or wait in Jerusalem until they would be endued with power from on high.
“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
Jesus knew that in order for the disciples to do the work that He had called them to do, there had to be a supernatural change take place in their lives.
Until now, they had walked in a similar anointing as did the prophets of old. The Bible teaches us that everything that happened in the Old Testament was a “type” or a “shadow” of better things to come, and that these things happened as an example for us.
The old prophets were a type of Jesus disciples. Just as the anointing of the Holy Ghost would come upon the prophets for a particular job or mission from God and then depart, Jesus had anointed His disciples at various times and sent them forth to do miraculous works.
But the Bible tells us that this occasional anointing of power only caused the prophets to yearn for something permanent and life changing.
“Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:” (1Peter 1:10)
“Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1Peter 1:11)
In the same way, although Jesus had anointed the disciples to cast out devils and heal the sick, and they had returned rejoicing that the devils were subject to His name, there was still no power to change from within, as evidenced by their abandonment of Jesus at the time of His crucifixion.
In John 7: 38 & 39, Jesus described the Holy Spirit which the disciples would receive as rivers of living waters flowing out from them. This river of the Holy Spirit is prophesied in the Book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament.
“And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles.” (Eze. 47:3)
“Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins.” (Eze. 47:4)
“Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.” (Eze. 47:5)
The prophet shows us that the further along the river we go, the deeper the water gets, until finally the river is so deep that it sweeps us away. We go the way of the river, and not the way of ourselves. Jesus revealed that the river of the prophet is the river of the Holy Spirit.
This progression into the depth of the Holy Spirit is the key to walking in the power of God.