Fragment on Revelation 22:16-17

Revelation 22:16‑17  •  9 min. read  •  grade level: 5
The Morning Star is the place Christ has taken so as to have the church with Him in that character. Christ is the subject of prophecy as regards the earth, and then disappearing and going up: never the subject of prophecy as hid in God.
Chapter 1: 5. Earthly association with Him is spoken of first. The church has her own proper place, and says, " To him who loveth us, and hath washed," etc., and then turns round to speak of His manifestation on earth. His earthly work for me was when He washed me from my sins. He is not only the " Faithful Witness " for me, but the faithful worker. In every sense He was a faithful witness for God. But we begin not with that, but, " He loveth us, and hath washed us from our sins in his own blood "; we look back, too, and see He has all the rest. He has put us in the same official nearness with Himself to God-" king and priests, unto God and his Father."
In chapter 4 we see the church now in heaven. The judgment of the churches down here in chapters 2 and 3; judgment of the world afterward; and then, at the close, a description of the heavenly city: " Behold, I come quickly," etc. All is closed: just as revealed at the beginning, so it is at the close. " I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches "-a personal word after the book is closed. The beginning of the book opened also with what He was.
Chapter 22: 16, being in contrast with what had been said for the world, draws out the expression from the saints of verse 17; this shows our position till He comes. "The Root and the Offspring of David " is the Source of all, and the Heir of all-the holder, or vessel, in which all the blessing is set. This does not draw out the peculiar feelings of the church; but when He says, " I am the Bright and Morning Star," it calls out the expression from the church, showing her secret or private knowledge of His own personal value. In rejection while in the world, Christ was keeping up connection with it. Death comes in: the witness closed. Then redemption's history begins-" Except the corn of wheat fall into the ground and die," etc. Moreover, when He is manifested to earth, we shall be manifested with Him. The Bright and Morning Star stands contrasted with the blessing the earth will get. Then comes the invitation of the Spirit and the church; it is Himself she wants, and, until then, she is the full vessel of the grace of God, and says, " Come." Israel is not that. They do not know relationship and deliverance in consequence of that, but they wait for deliverance out of the sorrow-" out of the depths." They groan for deliverance, that is, the coming in of power to set them free.
The hope of the church is by the power of the relationship. She is the bride, she has the Spirit, and does not wait for it. Israel says, " Thou to whom vengeance belongeth, show thyself." Does the bride say that? Does she call for vengeance? No; she is waiting for the Bridegroom. It was that which closed the relationship with the world, that began our relationship with Christ. His death was the ending of that in which God could have anything to say to man as man. As connected with Him in manifestation (not union-never that), all closed at His death. I can say, I am dead, crucified with Christ, my life is hid with Christ in God. The center and root, too, of all our relationship to God is Christ's death. Sins are gone, not existing any more: the being is gone in which they were, that is, I. We begin by death, and we are never clear unless we see that. It is not by His death I am put into union with Him, but by the Holy Ghost come down from heaven. They would not hear, killed Stephen, and the like; and then comes out this position-exclusively a heavenly Christ; and then we get the Morning Star. He is not only a Christ in heaven, but He has associated believers with Him while He does not come to the earth: His blood-shedding is the ground of it all. The revelation to Paul after this is " I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." Paul got the teaching of the church, and said afterward, " I know no man after the flesh "-I know no such people as Israel on the earth-no such Head as the Messiah. My connection is with Christ risen and glorified on high. In John 14 He says, " I go to prepare a place for you." He does not say, I will prepare a place for Israel. We are going to the Father's house. We are connected with the Father and the Son by faith while waiting for Him, and we shall be with the Father and the Son by-and-by. Christ, the hope of the glory to be revealed, is the foundation of that, and therefore it is said, " Christ in you, the hope of glory." How can we tell that? We know it, for He " shall be in you." The Holy Ghost is an unseen Spirit in the world, but He is linking you with an unseen Savior in heaven. This is our proper hope, as being of the bride through the Holy Ghost dwelling in her.
What is the Morning Star? The revelation of Christ to the church when He is not seen by the world-the completion of present privilege. In 2 Peter 1:1919We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (2 Peter 1:19) Christ is the " day star." The allusion in this passage is to the transfiguration, recorded in the three Gospels. The kingdom is the earthly glory spoken of. The heavenly thing is the hidden part. " They feared as they entered the cloud." It was not a common cloud, but significant of the presence of God-the Shekinah, where God dwelt in connection with Israel. They did not see from without what was WITHIN. The Shekinah frightened those in the wilderness. Moses and Elias went into the cloud: the others did not see them then. The word of prophecy is confirmed by the glory revealed-a candle that shineth in a dark place. The Father was in the cloud. Moses and Elias went in, and the others could not see in. Paul only knew afterward what was within.
There is to be something besides broad day. This is the night; but the Morning Star is to be seen by those watching through the night. Prophecy tells you of the day, but not of this Star. Prophecy could not tell you of the hidden Christ, " until the day dawn." Those who are waiting for the day see the dawn, and watch for the day. They do not belong to the earth (as in darkness of night), because the spared remnant on the earth are that; but they belong to heaven as well as to the power of the day before the day comes. We get Christ Himself as He will never be seen in the day. Hence in Rev. 2:2828And I will give him the morning star. (Revelation 2:28) the address to Thyatira says, " I will give him "the overcomer, not only the glory of the kingdom, as revealed to Peter, but that within the cloud not revealed to him-" the Morning Star." Here the bride responds to Him-the Morning Star. Now I shall have my proper place. He has washed me from my sins long ago. The relationship is understood, and enjoyed-no need of explaining it. Did you ever hear a person explaining to a child what its mother is? The relationship is there. There is no explanation when He says, " I am the Bright and Morning Star." Those who have got hold of the relationship say directly " Come." They know Him as the One who has loved them, and washed them from their sins, etc., and they are within the veil. The Spirit leads the chant, " Come." The church has the consciousness in herself of the relationship, and the coming of Christ to receive the church could not be a matter of indifference; it could not be understood by a person who has not the living relationship. If I have the relationship, and He knocks, do I want an explanation of who He is before I open the door? Does the wife wait before she opens to her husband, when she knows his knock? " The Spirit and the bride say, " Come." Are all Christians saying, Come? No! Then what is to be done? The church is corrupt: there is the great house. But there are individual hearers; let them say, " Come." The first desire is to have Christ, and to Him she says, " Come "; the next, that all who hear should have right affections towards Christ, and say, " Come." You that hear, do you join, and say, " Come."
You get the whole circle of right affections in this verse: first, that arising from the consciousness of being the bride; secondly, desire for all the saints. Why are you lingering outside Christ? Are you waiting for judgments on the earth? There is a desire that the saints should have no hindrance to the single eye, and readiness to say, " Come," knowing the heart is not right if not saying, " Come." Then is that all? No; there is a third thing-the gracious perception, that there are thirsty souls wanting to be refreshed. She says to them, ' I have the Spirit, I have been refreshed.' The church does not say, ' Come to me '-the false church says that-but says, " Come." I have not got the pure flowing of the river yet (Rev. 22), but you come. The next thing to the supply of our own need is the discernment of the wants of these thirsty ones. We can say, I have part in the Bridegroom-I have rivers of living water. We ought to be able to say, I have got the river. Anyone can say, There are rivers; but we ought to be able to say, We have them. If our hearts are in the circle of these affections, we shall say to others, Come, and have them too. Is that all? No; there are yet others invited: " Whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely." Thus the church is seen, first, in its full bridal place and desire for Christ's coming without a question of judgment; and so in the individual that hears His voice; then follow the invitations of grace.
"He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."