Revelation 22:17 and 20

 •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Does Christ find your thoughts in unison with the word put forth by "the Spirit and the bride," because you really want Him to come? Not only, as like Stephen, wanting to get away from the stoning into His presence, but the bride wanting the Bridegroom—passing through a dark night, keeping her affections fixed on Him, not by saying, "When Thou comest there will be no more sorrow, no dark shades of night—Thou wilt come to take us home to the Father's house, it is true, but it is Thyself I want; I am the bride and Thou the Bridegroom."
Are you wanting Him to come according to that character of love—not from mere selfishness, but as having such a taste of His glory as the bright and morning Star, and because of being the complement of His joy in the Father's house?
Do you ever yearn for ability to enter into His fuller glory? Is He saying, I cannot take My glory without you to sit down with Me? Ah! am I saying, "It is not the crown, not the glory; it is Thyself, Lord, whom I want"?
The bright and morning Star is an entirely new glory. There were hearts bound to Him when down here, which traced Him up into heaven; and ever since then a people's eyes have looked up, and their hearts have been expecting Him. It is a title of glory connected with the hearts of His people. How blessed for any to say, "I have watched through the night to get the first glimpse of Him; my heart is so attached to the Lord, and all my blessedness so connected with Him, that I cannot help being constantly on the lookout for the first glimpse of Him as He descends from heaven into the air."
If there are people down here, waiting, knowing that Christ is coming to take up the Church, they must be longing for Him to come; otherwise they do not know the position of the bride and the Spirit saying, "Come." The bride is the vessel in which the closest relationship of the Lord Jesus is formed. The child of God has the affections of Christ in his soul, and can only turn from being occupied with Christ in heaven to be occupied with whatever the Lord is occupied with down here. We get our rest amid all things in knowing that He is coming. The Spirit reveals Christ, and speaks of the glory to come. He is the great power for everything in the assembly.
When the light of a returning Lord breaks in upon the soul, how many a want is felt that the heart never knew before! If you could know that the Lord were coming tomorrow, would there not be a thousand thoughts of need in your mind; a looking to see also if there were withal to meet the need of the thirsty. "Let him that is athirst come." This word brings before the soul the thought of need, of parchedness, before that need is felt. It tells thirsty ones that they can come to this Rock which was smitten that the waters might flow forever in order to meet every need. This gushing stream tells of the readiness of Him from whom it flows to fill the thirsting soul.
"Even so, come, Lord Jesus." There is exquisite beauty in His word, "Surely I come quickly," being thus immediately taken up by the Spirit and the bride, and answered in language known to faith. (See Rev. 22:1717And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17).) Often the very duties of the servant may be allowed to interfere with the bright burning of this hope in a heart where yet it is burning. It ever burns brightly in the heart of Christ; and as soon as the last members of His body are gathered in, that promise will be fulfilled. If the light only burns with a flickering gleam in my heart, there is ever, in all brightness, in His, the thought of coming quickly. The heart of the individual believer gets its power in the hope of His coming being ever present. We have to judge our ways, our whole course, in the light of it. This (Rev. 22:1717And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17)) is the only passage in which the Spirit is presented with the bride—very touching it is, connected with wilderness circumstances, the Spirit in that character speaking thus, saying, "Come." What has the bride to do with the wilderness, save as Rebecca passing through it?
It will be a marvelous scene when Christ presents the Church to Himself—when the last Adam takes that bride of His to share His glory. Ah! not only that, but it is oneness with Himself that characterizes us. What the heart feels is the being looked at as belonging to Himself, formed out of Himself, as Eve out of Adam. That the Father sees us not only in a relationship that links us up with the Son of His love in the glory, but in such a relationship that the Lord Jesus could not do without us. The Bridegroom must have the bride up there.
If you follow Him in His course down here from the babe in the manger to the cross, and see Him in resurrection on the throne of God, the circumstances are very different, but ah! it is the same Lord Jesus. It is Himself; He Himself is the object of love, and we know that we are for His own self in the glory. What is the most distinct thing on which the heart rests? It may be the earth-side now which one may see, but when we behold Christ Himself it will be the heaven-side in the full unhindered energy of the Holy Spirit, having hearts responsive to that blessed grace which brought us there.
Ought He not to be jealous if He is not the only object before our souls? He not only says He is "the bright and morning star," but, "Surely I come quickly," presenting Himself with all the savor, all the attractiveness of what He is. Have any of us known Him for years, and have we not found the attractiveness of His beauty deepening in us? What is all we have learned of Him here compared with what it will be to behold Himself, to look on His face—the One who died for us, the One who loved and watched over us from our infancy. Ah, with what tender gentleness He watched over us. Is there not the consciousness in each of our hearts, how often He has given the grace we felt we were standing in need of? But besides that we are to have with His mind in all that meets us in the wilderness, there is another sort of communion—communion with the desire of His heart going forth in "Even so, come, Lord Jesus"! At times our hearts are drooping, we are weary; but what is all we can pass through here if we are consciously able to respond to Him, "Even so, come"! having really communion with that heart of His whose every thought is the Father's will, and who has been waiting over eighteen hundred years to come and take up the people given Him by His Father—He the Bridegroom, they the bride? How blessed to be able to enter into the desire of His heart to the utmost, responding in communion with it, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus"!
The Lord in all His dealing now is forming a vessel in which His glory is to be displayed hereafter. Is He able to turn a Saul of Tarsus into a vessel to display His glory? Do I know Him as the One who has picked up me also to mold and fashion me, not for the scene I am now in, but for that scene to which all is now leading us on; for that time when all the saints will be gathered up to form part of that scene in which the glory of God and of the Lamb will be displayed; gathered up there by Christ Himself and put into full association with God! If asked, What am I wanted for in that scene of glory? the answer is, To be a medium through which that glory is to be displayed.
Will there be any fitness for it in you or me? Yes, surely, but all of Him who is leading a people there, is leading them as overcomers.