Shepherd’s Fire exists to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ through mass communications for the teaching ministry of Bible expositor David Harrell, with a special emphasis in encouraging and strengthening pastors and church leaders.

The Glorious Invitation – Part 1

Revelation 22:13–17
Dr. David Harrell | Bio
July, 04 2010

The Glorious Invitation – Part 1 Revelation 22:13–17

Description

This exposition continues to focus on the epilogue of the Apocalypse by examining the Spirit and the bride’s call for Jesus to come in the fullness of His glory, and Jesus’ call for sinners to come to Him in repentant faith.

The Glorious Invitation – Part 1

Each transcript is a rough approximation of the message preached and may occasionally misstate certain portions of the sermon and even misspell certain words. It should in no way be considered an edited document ready for print. Moreover, as in any transcription of the spoken word, the full intention and passion of the speaker cannot be fully captured and will in no way reflect the same style of a written document.

Will you join me this morning by taking the infallible record of the Word of God and turning to Revelation chapter 22?  We come, again, to the epilogue of the apocalypse. And this morning we will focus on verses 13 through 17, but only some of them because I want to be very careful in explaining them to you.

But let me read the section here beginning in verse 13 through verse 21. 

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."  Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.  Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.  "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star."  And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.  I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. 

He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.1

My text this morning is very precious to me.  I find myself struck with a strange silence as I ponder it.  To be sure, I could never enter in to the depths of its glory nor come close to expressing its sweetness. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit has compelled me to do my best and he will do the rest.

Those of you who know and love Christ will understand what I am about to say: the whole of our Christian life has been a coming to Christ.  At the first Spirit induced twinge of conviction we heard Jesus say, “Come.  Come unto me.  Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.  Come unto me. Deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me. If you thirst, come unto me.  If you want the water of life without cost, come unto me.  I will forgive your sins.”

And by grace we did. 

Then down through the years the good shepherd has led us all along, constantly bidding us to continue to come to him.  “Come.  Come unto me, dear Christian.” When life is overwhelming, when all seems lost, when friends and family forsake you, when the world hates you for his sake, when you want to drink of the river of the water of life and literally guzzle the life of communion with the Lord, we come to him.  We keep coming to the fountain of life.

And, you know, one day when we find ourselves on our death bed ready to draw our last breath and slip through the veil, we will still hear him say, “Come.  Come unto me. Come look upon my face.  Behold my glory. I have a place that I have prepared for you.  Come.  Leave your earthly tent.  Fly into my embrace and the place that I have prepared.”

But, dear Christian, there is a remarkable truth that we must not overlook: because he has called us to come unto him, we now cry out for him to come to us.  It is an amazing thought. Is this not the longing of your heart?  Do you not find yourself panting after the Lord?  Like the psalmist says, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God.”2  Is that not the cry of your heart?

Do we not say, “Lord, come and without rival, reign in my heart today?  Lord, come and rule in my marriage.  Rule in the hearts of my children. Rule in my family. Abide in me. Occupy my every thought and my desires. Lord, I want more of you. Come, Lord Jesus.  Establish your glorious kingdom. Glorify yourself. Take us home.”

Now, if you know nothing of what I say, I can’t explain it to you.  You must first come.  And once you do, you will not need an explanation. 

My friends, this is the theme of the text before us this morning in the epilogue of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.  One last time, Jesus bids sinners to come to him and all who do will join the Holy Spirit and all of the saints and say, “Lord, come to us.”

For this reason I have entitled my discourse to you this morning, “The Glorious Invitation.”

Now I know that within the sound of my voice and, indeed, within the realm of this sanctuary, there are those who need to come to Jesus. You know who you are.  And my heart yearns for you to do so today.  You who are wandering aimlessly through your life in a dry wasteland, going nowhere fast, thirsting for something that will satisfy your soul and finding things that really do not satisfy.  My friend, in Jesus you will find a fountain of life, a sacred fountain that flows freely, one that overflows with mercy, one that overflows with grace because the cross of Jesus Christ opened up that fountain. So today I bid you to come and receive pardon and forgiveness of sins and life, abundant life, eternal life.  Find the renewing of your soul by the washing with water through the Word of God. 

In Revelation chapter 22 verses six through 21 we have the epilogue of the revelation of Jesus Christ, God’s final word to man recorded in the canon of Scripture. And here we have a series of exchanges that we began to look at last week, exchanges between an angel and the apostle John and between Jesus and John. And last week we examined verses six through 12 where we discovered some very practical instructions that the Lord leaves with us in light of his immanent return.  We must sharpen our awareness, safeguard his Word, strengthen our worship, sound the warning and step up our service. 

But now in verses 13 through 21 the Lord reveals four truths that summarize the whole Bible.  In fact, these are the most profound truths in existence revealing matters of eternal life and eternal death. Dear friends, here the Lord reveals four things, a series of calls, a striking contrast, a sobering caution and a suitable conclusion. 

Now, these do not necessarily flow in order one verse to the next, but are rather divided within these final eight verses. And this morning we are just going to look at the first one, a series of calls beginning in verse 17. Now understand that we actually have two distinct calls in this verse.  One is the Holy Spirit and the Church calling for Christ to come, for him to return.  But then, secondly, the Lord calling sinners to come to Christ. 

Notice verse 17. “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”3 Now will you notice, first, that the Holy Spirit, the second member of the triune godhead and the bride, the Church, the bride of the Lamb as we read in Revelation 19:7, they say, “Come.”  We say with the Spirit, “Come,” calling for Christ to return in all of his glory.

Now let’s ponder for a moment why the Spirit would call for Jesus to come. Why would that be?

Well, the answer is because the primary work of the Holy Spirit since Pentecost when he came from the Father as promised by Christ, his primary role has been to convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment and to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by transforming believers into his image. It has been his role to initiate and complete the building up of the body of Christ which is his Church, which, in turn, glorifies the Lord Jesus. 

You see, by now in the chronology of Revelation his work is finished.  Think about it.  Since creation he has battled Satan’s deceptions and all of his destructions and now it is over.  For millennia he has sought to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son and when all of the blasphemies of men have reached their zenith on earth and all of the judgment is complete, now it is time for the celebration. So he says, “Come.  Lord, come.  Come and be glorified forever.”

Now why would the bridal Church ask the Lord to come?

Well, it is obvious. The bride wants to be rescued by her groom from all of the pains of this life and be taken to the place that he has prepared for her.  With every passing day we watch our world steadily descend into a moral and economic abyss.  Our lives are filled with disease, disabilities, with death.  They are filled with labor and pain and sorrow and tears and sin and violence and all manner of blasphemy and persecution. And the Church says, “Enough.  Lord, come. Maranatha.  Lord, come quickly.  Be glorified and take us into paradise.  We have had enough of it.”

Moreover, Jesus promised in John 16:13 that the Holy Spirit of truth will guide you into all the truth.  In other words, he is going to disclose, it says, to you, what is to come.  And so the Spirit of God is going to speak to his people, to his Church. So it is the Holy Spirit that has disclosed all of these magnificent truths to the saints down through the years and it has been his role to motivate us to constantly yearn for the Lord to come. 

In fact, it is interesting.  In Romans eight we read that even we ourselves having the first fruits of the Spirit, that we groan inwardly.  We are waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. We are longing for the Lord to return. And in verse 25 he says, “With  perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”4 Then it is interesting. In verse 26 we read. “And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness.”5 The idea there is that the Holy Spirit is groaning with us and he comes along beside us and together we groan for the glorious kingdom. We groan for Christ to be exalted.  We groan for the wonders of the eternal state.  And the text goes on to say, “For we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”6

Friends, I ask you.  Those of you that know and love Christ, do you groan for him to return?  Do you long for his appearing?

In 2 Timothy four and verse eight we learn that there is a future reward, the apostle Paul tells us, that is laid up for us.  It is the crown of righteousness and it is given to all who have loved his appearing, all genuine believers in whom the Spirit of God dwells and motivates.  So it is no surprise that the Spirit and the bride together say, “Come.”

But notice in verse 17 there is another call to come.  But here it is the Lord who is the one who addresses sinners to come to him. He says, “And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’”7 Now who are the ones who hear?  Well, those who truly hear the gospel message with a humble heart and respond in repentant faith. 

When on earth, Jesus repeatedly addressed those that were listening to him and he would say, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  In other words, if you are willing to believe, believe.  Don’t be like the hypocritical Pharisees in Mark eight who had hardened their heart and in verse 18 of that text he says, “HAVING EYES, DO YOU NOT SEE? AND HAVING EARS, DO YOU NOT HEAR?”8 The answer was basically no. 

All through Scripture, dear friends, the Lord has extended his mercy to those who will repent and who will believe.  But he has promised wrath to those who will not.  So he is now saying, “Listen with the ears of faith.  Stop abusing my free mercy which leads you to more sin and to eternal death.  Trust in me. I am your only hope.  Look at all of the judgments that I am telling you that are going to come upon the earth.  Be aware of my imminent return to judge the living and the dead.  I warn you to join the Spirit and the bride and say, “Come.”

But, of course, no one who rejects Christ will ever call for Christ to come without having first experienced the next phrase of the Lord’s invitation. Notice in verse 17.  At the end he says, “And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”9 Now here the Lord gives further insight into the heart attitude of those who have ears to hear.  They will be people that are thirsty for the water of life without cost. 

Now, the metaphor of thirst is used often in Scripture to denote one who is dying of spiritual dehydration and utterly craves salvation.  It describes the man who stands shivering in the presence of his maker, recognizing that he has no hope apart from undeserved mercy.  It depicts a man who knows that unless he is pardoned he will perish into the bowels of an eternal hell.  This is the man that cries, “Have mercy on me a sinner.”  This is the man who fears that he is beyond the reach of grace and yet never is a man closer to grace than when he is certain he cannot have it.  This is the man who thirsts.

Practically, this is not the man who thirsts for a purpose driven life. This is not the man who thirsts for a successful, healthy life, for a fatter bank account, for better self esteem, for a cure from loneliness or depression or some other felt need. This is not a man who thirsts for social justice.  This is not a man who thirsts for some community of faith that tolerates every man’s version of the truth, but utterly shuns the essential doctrines of the Bible.  That is the stuff of this amorphous monstrosity that is neo-Evangelicalism that preaches a gospel that bears absolutely no resemblance to the gospel of Christ. 

No, this man thirsts for one thing, for forgiveness of sins. That is what his heart craves.  He craves the water of life that is offered without cost because and he knows that he cannot attain it on his own through his good works.  He craves, as Paul tells us in Titus 3:5, “the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”10 His spiritually dehydrated soul craves to be reconciled to God.  He senses the enmity between him and God.  He recognizes this chasm and he longs to have communion with his maker. For this reason Jesus said in John 7:37, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.”11

Now most people today do not see this kind of spiritual need. They do not thirst.  They have been deceived into believing that because of their good deeds or because they belong to some religious or civic organization that they stand in good stead with God.  How many times I have heard people say, “Well, I am a good Mason or I am a good Catholic or I am a good person.  When God puts my deeds on the scales of justice, my good deeds are going to far outweigh my bad, so I am in.” That is a lie.  It is only the righteousness of Christ that will satisfy the wrath of God. 

Many Christian Americans today—and I use that term very loosely, ostensibly Christians—they live on spiritual junk food.  They fill themselves, gorge themselves with the cotton candy of sermonettes for Christianettes.  They guzzle in the sodas of tele- evangelists. They are constantly munching on the cheese puffs of Christian book best sellers, so they do not recognize their true spiritual need and unless they do one day when calamity comes upon them, they will collapse in a heap of despair. Then they will know what it means to thirst. 

So this calling is to those who recognize that their soul is parched, that they are in grave need of spiritual nourishment. Therefore in verse 17 Jesus says, “And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”12 Jesus said in Matthew five and verse six, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”13 And in John 6:35 the Lord said, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”14

Now, we have all been invited to some special event and usually when you get the cards it says, “honored guest,” and you feel kind of good.  “Oh, I am an honored guest.” And, typically, only selected guests are invited to grand events like maybe a presidential inaugural ball or something like that.  So you may ask, “Well, this invitation here to come, is this open to anyone or only a select few that are somehow worthy of such a special offer?”

Well, I have good news for you, dear friend.  Look closely at the invitation.  Read it closely.  It says, “And let the one who is thirsty come.”15

In the original language the word, ho thelon, is a phrase that could be translated, “Whosoever will.”  In fact the old King James translates it that way.  And so this invitation is made to anyone and to everyone.  There is not an A list or a B list. Whoever thirsts may come.  Every dying man can come to this fountain and drink fully, can drink freely. Whoever believes will never thirst again.

Now some might say, “But my sins are to great.  I am too vile.  And were I pardoned completely today, by tomorrow I am sure that I would continue in my sins and once again be guilty and eternally damned.” Dear sinner, please understand. The fountain of grace cleanses all sins no matter how vile, no matter how wretched.

Furthermore, the cleansing is so thorough that it will wash your very heart.  It is a renewing of the soul by the washing of water through the Word of God. And the water of life is so satisfying that it will quench your thirst for sin.  And it is so cleansing that it will transform you and make you a new creature in Christ.  And, as a result, you will no longer crave the kind of sins that have enslaved you.  So the question is not: Am I invited?  But rather, are you willing to come? 

“But I don’t fully understand all of the profound truths that you speak of.  I don’t fully understand the gospel.”  Ah, I have got good news again.  Look closely. It does not say, “Whosoever understands.”  It says, “Whosoever will, let him come.”  The point is do you thirst?  Then come.  More understanding will follow.

When I was nine years old by God’s grace and the power of the Spirit I began to thirst passionately.  I didn’t understand all of the truths of the gospel.  All I knew was that I was a sinner and that I needed to be saved.  And I cried out for God to save me. And understanding came increasingly more as the days went on.  So when we come to Jesus, dear friends, we come in child like faith. 

You say, “Well, there are too many hindrances for me to come, my past life, my life dominating sins, my habits.  Not only that, if I were to come, I would lose my family.  I would lose my spouse. I would probably lose my job.” Indeed some of you are saying, “I would probably lose my life. The obstacles to faith in Christ are just simply too great.”

Well, once again, I have wonderful news for you.  Look at your invitation again. It says, “And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”16 The little word “let.”  It means to remove a hindrance, to permit or to allow. We might say, “Sweetheart, open the window and let some air in.” That is the idea. 

So what we have here is the God of the universe saying, “Any man, any woman, any child who is thirsty, get everything out of the way. I will tend to that.  I will remove all the hindrances.  I will tear down all of the obstacles. And if you are willing, you can come.” 

Dear sinner, please hear me.  Neither man nor devil is hindering you. There is nothing standing in your way, though you might think there is.  The only thing that stands in your way is your own stubborn pride.  Might I add that no one will ever stand before God and say, “God, I wanted to come to you as you asked, but there were just so many hindrances that those things prevented me from doing so.” That will not fly because the Lord says, “And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”17 If you are willing, Christ is waiting.  It is as simple as that.  Do you thirst?  Then come.  Do you wish to take of the water of life without cost? Then come. 

In fact, the gospel itself will empower you to come.  That is why we read in Romans 1:16 that the gospel, “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”18

But there is something else in this merciful call for sinners to come that is utterly astounding.  Think about this. Whenever we receive an invitation in the mail to attend some event, we always look to see who it is from.  Don’t you do that?  You look up in the little corner to see, well, who sent me this?  And then you open up and you see if it was personalized and if the person is somebody that you want to see and be around and somebody that you respect and so forth.  If it was some great minister or some great head of state and they invited you to some special event, you would immediately say, “I am free that day and I will be there.” 

Well, I want you to notice who it is that is making this invitation.  In verse 13. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”19 Dear friends, the one who personally invites you is none other than the transcendent, infinitely holy, eternal, omnipotent creator and sustainer and consummator of all things.  It is almighty God.  It is inconceivable to think how a man’s pride could be so profound, that he could be so stubborn as to decline such an invitation and instead die in his sins and spend an eternity in hell. 

He also says here, as we break it apart, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.”20 That’s a curious phrase.  In Revelation 1:8 God the Father gives his signature saying, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’”21 Now here in verse 13 this same appellation is given to the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, the second member of the triune Godhead which is yet another irrefutable affirmation of his deity which, I might add, confirms Jesus’ testimony in John 10:30 when he said, “I and the Father are one.”22

That God is the Alpha and Omega underscores a profound truth, it is referring to his omniscience and his sovereignty.  Remember, Alpha and Omega are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet.  Letters can be mixed. They can be matched in an infinite number of ways to make words and concepts in language. And, even so, God is the one who created man in his image capable of communicating and understanding language. And, like letters of the alphabet that can express an infinite array of concepts, so, too, we see that God here now is the reservoir of all information. He is the source of all that can be known or revealed. He is the omniscient God. There is nothing that exists outside of his understanding, outside the realm of his knowledge and purpose and there is nothing that can thwart his purpose and his plans. So this is the one who extends the invitation. 

Not only is he the Alpha and Omega, but he says, “I am the first and the last.”23

This is interesting. This title applies only to Christ in Revelation chapter one and verse 17 and chapter two and verse eight. But in Isaiah 44:6 and 48 verse 12 it also refers to Yahweh, the Lord, the Lord God. So the force of this phrase is that Jesus Christ who is also God is the original cause and he is the ultimate purpose of all of history.  He is also the beginning and the end.  He is the first cause. He is the one from whom all things have proceeded. He is the one for whom all things exist.  And we might add that he is the rightful end of everything that he has created for his glory.  The apostle Paul rejoices over this in his great doxology in Romans 11 verse 36.  He says, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.”24

We find a similar description of him in Hebrews 12 and verse two where he is described as “the author and the finisher of our faith.”25 Indeed, whatever the Lord starts, he finishes.  Philippians 1:6.  “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”26

So the one who calls the thirsty to come is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.  These designations are found in other passages in the Word of God.  For example, Isaiah 41 verse four we read, “I, the LORD, am the first, and with the last. I am He.”27 Isaiah 43 verse 10 and 11 he says, “Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.  I, even I, am the LORD; And there is no savior besides Me.”28 And in Isaiah chapter 44 verse six we read, “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.’”29 Now I ask you.  Do you really think that when this God calls you to come that there is any obstacle that he is incapable of removing from your path?  Obviously not. 

But we learn more about him in verse 16.  He says, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches.”30 Again, this is the revelation of Jesus Christ.  He is the one who has produced this magnificent book.  The “I” is in the emphatic position in the original language which underscores his desire to make a passionate statement here. “I am the one who has revealed the contents of this apocalypse to you.” 

Notice he sent his angel to testify to John these things for the churches.  Why did he do that? That we might proclaim the gospel to the world and to make the call to everyone who thirsts to come, come to the sacred fount and drink freely and fully.  Now, once again, who is it that gives this testimony?  Who calls the thirsty to come?  “It is I, Jesus.”

And then notice the end of verse 16.  He says, “I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”31 This is one of the most magnificent statements in all of Scripture. And I confess I approach it with deepest reverence and awe.  Its significance is so profound to the redeemed that, frankly, it exceeds the power of language to even express it. And I am sure my feeble attempt to explain it will only allow us to wade around in the shallows of this ocean of divine wonder.

What does it mean when he says, “I am the root and the offspring of David”?32 Well, what is a root, rhiza (hrid’-zah) in Greek? It refers to what springs from and therefore what represents a root.  A root is that which gives or sustains life.  Life cannot exist apart from a root.  So the idea here is that Jesus is the root of David, making Jesus an ancestor of David. 

But then notice. He is not only the root, but also the offspring of David, the genos (ghen’-os).  He is part of the family. He is a descendant of David.  Jesus is from the race of David. Now I ask you. How can you be both the root and the offspring?  How can you be both the ancestor and a descendant? 

Beloved, the answer is staggering.  You must understand that here Jesus is attesting to both his deity and his humanity, that he was both God, very God and a man.  Jesus is saying, “As God I created David. I am the divine root that brought him forth. I am his ancestor, the original source of his family line.  But I am also his descendant, because in my incarnation I am the Son of David.  I am from the line of David.”

This is in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy in chapter 11 verse one where we read, “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.”33 Now, of course, Jesse was David’s father through whose line the Messiah was born.  In Jeremiah 36 and verse 30 the prophet speaks of the coming Savior saying that he would “sit upon the throne of David” and rule over his kingdom.  Now only a descendant of David that was both eternal God as well as man could possibly fulfill such a promise.  This, of course, is consistent with the prophecy in 2 Samuel seven and verse 12 where we read, “When your days are complete [the prophet now speaking to David] and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.”34

Now that was referring to Solomon. But as we read on in the prophesy we learn that it is ultimately referring to the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ who would establish David’s kingdom forever. In verse 16 it says, “And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”35

Now my point with all of this is simply to say the one who invites the thirsty to come further identifies himself here and says, “I am,” again, in the emphatic position.  “I am the root and the offspring of David.”36 Now why would the Lord identify himself in this way? 

Beloved, listen very carefully, because he wants us to be reminded that the work of redemption required a theanthropon.  It required a God-man, one who could supernaturally fuse the human nature with the divine and form an indissoluble bond.  A man had to bear the punishment for us all, but only God could drink the bitter cup. A perfect man had to die, but only God is perfect.  Only God is holy. 

You see, human flesh had to go to the grave, yet only God could overcome the grave and grant us salvation and impute to us his righteousness.  God had to make provision to become flesh that we might also be made partakers of the divine nature.  Both the human and divine natures had to be supernaturally woven together. The babe in the manger had to be born of a virgin in order for him to be both the Son of man and the Son of God, so that he could be Emmanuel, God with us.  You see, God’s holy justice had to be satisfied.  But it could not be satisfied apart from a holy, a perfect ransom.  And only by his own provision could such a remedy be accomplished. 

And here that sacred remedy says to you, “Come. Come unto me.  Come unto me all who thirst.  I have satisfied the wrath of God for your sins. Trust in me. Drink freely and fully from the water of life.  Remember.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. I am the root and the offspring of David.”

And then notice, finally, he adds, “the bright morning star.”37 Now here is one final claim to his deity. The Savior, the Messiah is the bright and morning star. This is emblematic of the exalted Christ, the Son of God, the radiance of the glory of God as we read in Hebrews one and verse three who said of himself in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world.”38

This title is fascinating. We find it mentioned all the way back in Numbers chapter 24:17 in a prophecy.  There we read, “A star shall come forth from Jacob, And a scepter shall rise from Israel.”39 A star in Hebrew, kochav (ko-kawb’).  It is a blazing forth.  “A [blazing forth] shall come forth from Jacob and a scepter shall rise from Israel.”40 That is a reference to the messianic ruler, Israel’s future deliverer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now we know that literally the morning star that we are aware of is the name that is given to the planet Venus when it appears in the eastern sky just before sunrise.  But here Jesus is the brightest star in all of the galaxy, the one who is going to blaze forth in his full shekinah just before the sunrise of the new creation and the dawning of the great day of God and all of the eternal glory that will light up the universe. 

So this is the morning star. This is the one who was promised to the overcomers in Revelation chapter 2:28, the blazing forth of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Peter spoke of that glorious time in 2 Peter one verse 19 when, “the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.”41

Dear sinner, this is the one who calls you to come.  After giving you all of these warnings of coming judgment, Jesus stands with his arms wide open and he says, “Come. Come unto me.  If you are thirsty, come.  If you want to drink freely of the water of the life without cost, come.  Come to me. Today is the day of salvation.  Come to me, lest I come to you in my wrath.”

My friend, how could you possibly reject so great a salvation?  Won’t you come today?  Commit your soul to the one who will never cast you out, the one who will forgive your sins, the one who will adopt you as a son, the one who will give you an inheritance in glory and eternal life.

Let’s pray together.

Father, I know nothing more to say.  I pray that by the power of your Spirit you will bring conviction. Cause those who will to believe. In the great mystery of regeneration, I pray, Lord, that you will overwhelm sinners, that they might see their sin.  I pray, Lord, that you will cause them to come and be saved for your glory. 

And, Lord, for the rest of us who know and love you.  Lord, we pray for more of you.  Continue to come to us with that fountain of life. May we continue to literally guzzle the waters of life that we might have a richer and more intimate communion with you until we see you face to face.  We ask this in the precious name of Jesus and for his glorious sake. Amen.

1 Revelation 22:13-21.

2 Psalm 42:1.

3 Revelation 22:17.

4 Romans 8:25.

5 Romans 8:25.

6 Romans 8:26.

7 Revelation 22:17.

8 Mark 8:18.

9 Revelation 22:17.

10 Titus 3:5.

11 John 7:37.

12 Revelation 22:17.

13 Matthew 5:6.

14 John 6:35.

15 Revelation 22:17.

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid.

18 Romans 1:16.

19 Revelation 22:13.

20 Ibid.

21 Revelation 1:8.

22 John 10:30.

23 Revelation 22:13.

24 Romans 11:36.

25 Hebrews 12:2.

26 Philippians 1:6.

27 Isaiah 41:4.

28 Isaiah 43:10-11.

29 Isaiah 44:6.

30 Revelation 22:16.

31 Ibid.

32 Ibid.

33 Isaiah 11:1.

34 2 Samuel 7:12.

35 2 Samuel 2:16.

36 Revelation 22:16.

37 Revelation 22:16.

38 John 8:12.

39 Numbers 24:17.

40 Ibid.

41 2 Peter 1:19.

Shepherd’s Fire exists to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ through mass communications for the teaching ministry of Bible expositor David Harrell, with a special emphasis in encouraging and strengthening pastors and church leaders.