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25. Water II

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fountain of life

Water—Part II



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Water is essential inside and outside

Before the days of medical prescription of antibiotics, a physician was performing an autopsy on an infant to verify the cause of death. After locating a pocket of pus in the dead child, the physician was sewing up the incision when he accidentally punctured his own finger through his rubber glove with the contaminated needle. Among doctors it is proverbial that some pathologists have missing fingers from just such happenings.


Within a few hours his finger became red and swollen, and the infection threatened to advance up his hand and arm. Without delay he began water treatments: three minutes in hot water, followed by twenty seconds in ice water. He continued to alternate hot and cold for fifteen minutes at a time and repeated the treatment five times a day.


Within a couple of days, the infection was gone. Why? Because hot water dilates the blood vessels and attracts the white blood cells. These include neutrophils and natural killer cells, which “shake hands” with the invaders to identify whether they are “for us or against us.” Then they plant a time bomb, exploding and destroying them. The ice water then drives this blood away, and the next hot water draws new natural killer-cell soldiers to the battle zone. These types of treatments are called hydrotherapy.


This is a way of using the body’s natural immunity to fight disease. Hydrotherapy treatments may be used when a physician is not available. In case of a non-responding infection, see your health-care professional as soon as possible. Hydrotherapy is also great for neuropathy and circulation problems of the legs. Take precaution that the water is not too hot for extremities with decreased sensation.


During the 1918 flu pandemic, in many instances doctors and medical staff used hydrotherapy treatments of alternating hot and cold water and saved the lives of their patients.Traditional medicine had little to offer against the virus, and thousands died. A medical doctor compared the survival rate of flu victims treated with hydrotherapy with flu victims treated with conventional medicine. The result was a five-times-higher survival rate in the hydrotherapy treatment group.[i]


A banker in Lodi, California, was distraught when his five-year old daughter succumbed to the flu and became deathly ill.The father discovered a teenager skilled in hydrotherapy.This young student applied hydrotherapy treatments around the clock and was successful in restoring the banker’s daughter to health.[ii]


Dr. Mary Paulsen, the nursing director at Hinsdale Sanitarium in a Chicago suburb, received an urgent request from the US Army during World War I. She called an eighteen-year-old nursing student, Virginia, into her office and sent her on a secret mission to Lake Winona, Indiana, to treat flu cases. Since she had caught the flu and recovered, she was immune to further illness from the flu. A gentleman met Virginia at the train station and took her to the military barracks. Two other weary nurses from the Hinsdale Sanitarium were already on site. Virginia grabbed towels and buckets of hot water and supervised orderlies in applying hot packs to the chests of the patients. Many survived and demanded to shake her hand. One said, “You looked like [expletive of the hot place deleted] while walking down the halls with the hot steaming buckets, but you saved my life.”


During the 1919 influenza epidemic, the hospital in Eureka, California, was overflowing with patients. The head physician arranged tents with hot water bottles at the patients’ feet. No patients in the tents died, while in the hospital rooms there were fatalities. In response, the heat in the hospital was turned down and windows raised and patients given warm underwear.


A hospital in Yucaipa, California, was overwhelmed with flu cases.The beds containing the patients who were deemed the most severely ill were moved to the “backyard” of the hospital. Since they had the least chance of surviving their flu illness, their nurses treated them outside in the California sunshine and rain. However, instead of dying, these patients survived, while the less ill patients inside the hospital continued todie in record numbers. The nurses observed these developments and quickly threw open the windows of the hospital and tied back the curtains, permitting the air to flow freely and the sunshine to blaze inside. The patients inside began to recover also, in spite of the flu being considered a death penalty.[iii]



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·    Alternate hot and cold can fight infection and increase circulation.





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·    Ice packs to the forehead & armpits can lower high temperatures.



At 1:00 a.m. one morning, John awoke Millie when he sensed she had a fever. He found she had a temperature above 105° F and was sweating profusely. He rushed to the freezer and retrieved ice cubes. Using ice and ice water, he gave her cold fomentations—ice-cold washcloths to the forehead and temples, changing the cloth as soon as it warmed up. He placed plastic bags of ice cubes, wrapped in a cloth, under Millie’s armpits. At the same time he gave her cool water to sip. It was a battle and hard work, but by 4:00 a.m. Millie’s temperature was almost normal, and she fell asleep.


Temperatures of 106° F can be damaging to the brain. Immediate action for Millie had to be taken. Why does this treatment work? Water has unusual properties to transfer heat. Water and ice literally drew the excessive heat right out of Millie’s body, protecting her brain and vital organs. Meanwhile the water she constantly sipped helped cool her off inside and replenished the water her body was losing through perspiration. At 6:00 a.m. John called the physician, who ordered a hospital stay and intravenous antibiotics. Lab test reports were not good, showing three simultaneous bacterial infections. The hydrotherapy that night had been extremely important.


Hydrotherapy is a science employing water at different temperatures and in different forms, including ice, steam, and water vapor. Jacuzzis and home spas can be utilized as well as massage therapy and exercise therapy. Hydrotherapy should be used judiciously. If the patient has numbness in the limbs, care should be taken not to have the water too hot. Test the temperature of the water on your wrist before applying it to another.


Hydrotherapy’s effectiveness stems from its ability to move blood from one area to another. Hot water dilates the blood vessels 40 percent, pulling blood from congested organs to the surface. The alternate ice water drives this sluggish blood away, and a fresh hot fomentation brings in new, nutritious, oxygenated blood. When wrongly used, hydrotherapy may do more harm than good. Hydrotherapy is a natural remedy that is free and can save lives. For further information on hydrotherapy, see the follow-up tables below.



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Water is the vehicle for body defenses and immunity




Cleanliness and hygiene

Wash your hands carefully with soap long enough—about the time it would take to sing the song, “Happy Birthday to You.” Hand washing should be one of the early hygiene lessons for young children to use after going to the toilet, after being out in public, and before eating a meal. For young and old, hand washing is a first line of defense against catching colds and not falling victim to epidemics. It not only helps prevent influenza (flu) germs from entering the body, but also prevents hundreds of other life-threatening diseases. Children and adults need to avoid touching their eyes and nose and putting their fingers into the mouth as this can spread disease. If we could actually see the germs on many things we touch, most of us would wash our hands more often.


Interestingly, it is only in the last 150 years that doctors and surgeons learned the importance of hand washing. It was first advocated in 1847 by Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian physician practicing in Vienna.He proved that deadly infections which were common in mothers after childbirth could be prevented by the scrupulous hand washing of medical attendants. In those days of limited plumbing, this was inconvenient.There was great resistance to Dr. Semmelweis’s insistence on hand washing.His professional colleagues heaped ridicule on him, which ultimately drove him insane.But by the end of nineteenth century his recommendations were generally accepted.


Water will clean us up on the outside. Water will clean us up on the inside.


The Water of Life



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Jesus’ Calls Us to Have New Life

Water will clean us up on the outside. Water will clean us up on the inside.



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In the days of Jesus and His disciples, the Greek word for dipping, immersing in the water and bathing was baptizo which is translated baptize.



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Today there are various modes of “baptism,” but there is only one way that Jesus taught. Matthew 3:16 says, “Jesus came up immediately from the water.” Jesus was baptized by immersion.



As this chapter concludes, it would not be complete without a spiritual touch. Many stories in the Bible are related to water, like the storm on the Sea of Galilee, the healing of Naaman the leper, and others. But we’ll start with the story of Jesus going to the Jordan River. Multitudes have arrived in curiosity to see what is going on. There is John the Baptist, baptizing many people in the Jordan River and proclaiming the message, “Repent! Be baptized and wash away your sins!”


One day John is preaching and baptizing when unexpectedly he sees Someone on the bank who steps into the water and wades toward him. John is awed as he senses a holy presence. Although he has never met Him before, he recognizes that he is looking on the face of Jesus of Nazareth. He has heard of the spotless life of the One who is now approaching him. Jesus asks for baptism of John, who is astonished by the request. John remonstrates and with him,saysing that Jesus should baptize him. But Jesus insists, not because He needed spiritual cleansing but because He desired to leave an example for all of us who want our sins to be washed away.


It is a sacred moment between heaven and earth. A white dove descends from above in a heavenly radiance and hovers over the head of Jesus, and a voice thunders from heaven, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” When we are baptized, if we are truly repentant, we may also sense the divine presence and hear the Father whisper to us in our heart, “You are My beloved son, My beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased.”


In the days of Jesus and His disciples, the Greek word for dipping, immersing in the water, and bathing was baptizo, which is translated baptize. Today there are various modes of “baptism,” but there is only one way that the Bible teaches. The Bible says, “Jesus came up immediately from the water.”[iv] Jesus was baptized by immersion. Today those who accept Jesus and renounce their past life of sin have the privilege of following the example that Jesus left for us all by being baptized.



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And Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38



Paul says baptism is a symbol showing that we have accepted the death of Christ and have risen in newness of life, even as Christ did on the resurrection morning.[v] Peter also speaks to us about baptism. He says to his hearers on the Day of Pentecost, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”[vi]


The pretty woman at the well



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Christ—The Living Water

·    The story of the Samaritan Woman --John 4




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Like the woman of Samaria, do you long for Living Water? Is there a desert in your life?




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“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters . . . let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live” Isaiah 55:1-3.



The pretty cover-girl face with the covered-up life, as Dwight Nelson puts it,[vii] approaches the ancient well with her water pot. All the other women come on this errand in the early morning or evening, but the cover-girl face with the covered-up life comes at scorching midday to avoid distdaining glances and unkind jabs from the neighborhood gossips. A Stranger is sitting on the mossy lip of the well. She acts as if she is unaware He is there. After all, isn’t it a rule that Jewish men don’t talk to women on the street, especially if she is from a despised race like the Samaritans?


As her goat-hair rope draws up the water pot to the top of the hundred-foot-deep well, she retrieves it and is about to leave when the Stranger surprises her by asking, “Would you be so kind as to give me a drink?” Her curiosity is aroused that He would ask a favor from a disgraced woman of a despised race. She asks, “How is it that you, a Jew, is asking a drink of me, a Samaritan woman?” He replies, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”


Jesus continues, as He points to the well, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” Thinking that He referred to physical water, she said: “Sir, give me this water so I won’t ever get thirsty, won’t ever have to come back to this well again!”[viii]


Jesus gazes into the pretty face and knows that behind her pleasant mask is a woman with desperate spiritual needs. And so He looks into her eyes and says, “I desire to give you living water. In fact, I want to provide it to you and your husband, so go home and bring him to Me.” This woman at the well is being led to face up to her past and the amazing fact that in spite of that past, God is still willing to give her living water.


Jesus, who knows every detail of our lives, does not reproach her immoral conduct of having lived with five different men plus living with another one now. Instead, He offers her something better. The woman recognizes her spiritual need and, that day, accepts Jesus as the Water of Life. Here is water—pure, refreshing, artesian, and eternal.


“Living as you and I do in a world of parched, painful dreams and brittle, broken lives, wouldn’t it be the height of insanity for us to cling to our cracked cisterns and broken water jars while Jesus stands before us, beckoning us to a gushing spring of living water? His offer isn’t only for her!”[ix] Jesus also calls us to that gushing spring of living water. He says, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me.”


James Wilson of Kent, Washington, needed more water for his five-acre tract of land. He hired a professional well digger, and they chose a spot behind the Wilson home where they hoped to find water. They began to sink a steel shaft into the earth. Slowly the work continued. Fifty feet, a hundred feet, a hundred and fifty feet through earth and then rock. No water! “Shall I continue?” the well digger asked. “Yes!” replied Mr. Wilson.“We must have water.” As the drill crunched its way to 210 feet, they heard a faint and distant sound from far below. It quickly became a gurgling sound of rushing water. The two men stepped back just in time as a geyser shot up with unbelievable force into the sky.


Neighbors with shovels were called to dig drainage ditches, but that was not enough. Someone brought a backhoe, but that was not enough. The next day, heavy equipment from the county road department arrived to try to channel the flood. Ditches were dug that could bring irrigation to the entire valley. Geologists arrived and estimated that water was spouting out of the ground at a rate of 1,600 gallons per minute. That was enough water to supply the needs of a city of 46,000 people! They had struck an artesian well that was ever flowing![x]


Are you thirsty?



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Are you thirsty? 

God promises you,“They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;




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For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters”  (Revelation 7:16, 17).





The Bible prophet Isaiah invites us, “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters . . . let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live.”[xi] God will bring water to the desert of your life. He will bring the water of life to the desert of your heartache, whatever parched land you’re journeying through. Come to the Living Water. God promises you water that will quench the thirst of your true desire.


God promises you, “They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.”[xii]Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”[xiii] His invitation to us is recorded in one of the last verses of the Bible, “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come! And let him who hears say, ‘Come! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”[xiv]


Are you thirsty? Do you want to drink from the well that will never run dry? If you want to say, “Yes!” to the heavenly invitation to enjoy the never-failing fountain of the River of Life, would you like to pray this prayer?




Lord, I want to come, for I thirst for better things—a better life guided by You. I desire to be totally cleansed from my mistakes of the past and to enjoy the water of life. Make me clean on the outside and clean on the inside. Give me that ever-flowing artesian fountain that will wash away my sins and purify my mind, heart, and soul. Amen.



1. Jesus knew all the sins of the woman at the well, yet He did not recount them or shame her. How do you feel about this? What if it were a church member or friend of yours?


Personal Reflections

1. What spiritual lessons did I learn from the story of the woman at the well?


Family Reflection

1.How important is it to teach our children of all ages about water? Discuss with your family this water topic and its importance to them.


Following is some additional information on the water topic.





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Are you thirsty?

Collage of people in many lands coming to the watersWATER IS ESSENTIAL INSIDE AND OUTSIDE




How Water Can Help Make You Well


The art of treating health problems with hot and cold water is called hydrotherapy. In our day of high-tech medical treatment, hydrotherapy is much neglected. Yet it still remains one of the most effective ways to treat basic body ills. Here are some of its benefits:

1. Ice water immersion is effective as immediate treatment for superficial burns, but not for broken, charred skin.

2. A tepid or warm (not hot) bath is sedative, promoting sleep.

3. A hot shower followed by a cold rinse invigorates you in the morning and improves circulation.

4. Pool therapy hastens venous return of blood and lymph.

5. Pool exercises build strength and endurance.

6. Alternate hot and cold relieves congestion and pain in sprained ankle or bruise.

7. Alternate hot and cold footbaths and a cold cloth to the forehead oftentimes will relieve headaches.

8. Ice-cold washcloths on head and under arms help reduce fever.

9. For relaxation try one cup Epsom salts in moderately hot bath water plus a few drops of lavender oil fragrance. Play relaxing music. Light a candle, hop in the tub, and think positive thoughts. Enjoy! Crawl into bed for a good night of rest.


For additional information on hydrotherapy, visit




For Parents

What you have learned about the importance of water for family health can be taught to your children. The earlier they learn it, the more likely they will be to follow these health practices as they become adults. It is a matter of a healthy future. Here are some basic suggestions for teaching children more about water:

  1. Teach children to wash hands before meals, for illness prevention.
  2. Wash hands after going to the bathroom, and when coming home from school or any public gathering.
  3. Give each child his own small water bottle with lid. Encourage drinking five to six or more glasses a day, depending on weight. Make a chart of glasses drunk. In hot weather, more is required.
  4. Drink water, not soda pop. Pop may contribute to hyperactivity and diabetes.
  5. Take swimming lessons and enjoy outdoor pools in the summer.
  6. Read about the storms on the sea in Bible times. Have themchildren tell the story, draw it, or act it out (Mark 4:36-41).
  7. Discuss why one should not be in water when there is an electric storm.
  8. Don’t drink water from dirty places. Have your family learn how to purify water for drinking.




[i]. Baldwin, B. Health & Healing 28(2): 19-21, 2009. Citing W. A. Ruble, W.A. Sanitarium Treatment of Influenza, Life and Health 34, no. (5 (May 1919)): 114-115, 1919.


[ii]. Story told by Dr. Burnell Baldwin of Wildwood Sanitarium and Lifestyle Center, Wildwood, GA.

[iii]. John M. Barry, The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest PlaguePandemic in History. New York: Penguin Books, 2004-2005.

[iv]. Matthew 3:16.

[v]. Romans 6:3-4.

[vi]. Acts 2:38.

[vii]. Dwight K. Nelson, The Claim: Nine Radical Claims of Jesus That Can Revolutionize Your Life. (NampaBoise, IdahoID: Pacific Press, 1994), 12.

[viii]. John 4:13-15, The Message, the Bible in Contemporary Language by Eugene H. Peterson.

[ix]. Dwight K. Nelson, The Claim, 17.

[x]. Dwight K. NelsonIbid., 22, 23.

[xi]. Isaiah 55:1-3.

[xii]. Revelation 7:16, 17.

[xiii]. John 4:14, The Message, the Bible in Contemporary Language by Eugene H. Peterson.

[xiv]. Revelation 22:17.


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