Revelation 22:21

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Revelation 22:21

As a note, various manuscripts say –

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.

These are just a few of the variations. Also, the word “Amen” is not included in all manuscripts. With that noted, the Bible ends with these words. Jesus has spoken, and John completes the chapter, book, and canon of Scripture with the words, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Grace is unmerited favor. Grace cannot be earned. Grace is a gift.

Each of these explains God’s giving of Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ. We were set on a path to destruction with no hope of changing that, but God sent Jesus. We could never work our way out of this dilemma, but God sent Jesus. We could never pay our way out of the mess we are in, but God sent Jesus. Our situation was futile, but in the giving of Christ, the grace of God has changed all of that.

And this gift is universally offered. Regardless of the translation (as noted in the differences above), the offering of Jesus Christ is extended to all. The NKJV says, “be with you all.” Others say, “be with all.” Still others, “with all the saints.” The fact is that a saint is simply someone who was once “not” a saint. He heard the gospel, accepted its premise, called out for God’s saving provision, and was saved.

But the grace then extends beyond the salvation. There is the continued grace of God which is the assurance of that salvation. There is the instruction of God found in His word which guides us for sanctification.

There is the hope of glory, there is the fellowship of the saints, there is the joy of release from our debts, and so on. All of this is tied up in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. All of it exists because of what He has done, and none of it would exist without Him. The fulness of the grace of God is found in the giving of Christ to reconcile us to Himself. With that in mind, John completes Scripture with the word “Amen.” So be it. Yes, and may it be so.

Life application: With tears of joy and the eager expectation of the fulfillment of every promise God has spoken to His people, we have arrived at the last verse of His word. At this time, let us return to the first verse of the Bible, the last verse of the Old Testament, and the first verse of the New Testament. By doing so, let each of us call to remembrance in our own minds everything we can which has been given between these verses –

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

“And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:6

“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:” Matthew 1:1

The Bible begins under the assumption that God exists, that He is the Creator, and that the heavens and the earth are a part of what He has created and therefore they are both good and have an eternal purpose within His mind.

The Old Testament ends with the promise of a curse unless the people take to heart the warnings and admonitions given to them. A curse is obviously contrary to the original intent of the creation and therefore the warning is given – there is both a hope and the possibility of avoiding the curse.

The New Testament immediately enters into the subject of the Person of Jesus Christ. From then on, He takes center stage. The anticipation of Messiah, through the direction of Yehovah (the Lord) of the Old Testament, culminates in the unveiled and glorious Lord Jesus of the New.

There is no point that He isn’t the center and focus of what is being conveyed because “it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:19, 20).

The resounding and continuously noted concept of the grace of God is found throughout the pages of the Bible. From the covering of Adam and Eve after the fall, to Abraham’s declaration of righteousness for taking God at His word, to the choosing of a ruddy young shepherd boy from the hills of Bethlehem to lead the people of Israel – and in countless other stories of normal people who are given what they don’t deserve, simply because of the goodness of God. It is grace that draws these people near to Him.

This concept of God’s grace is then personalized in the New Testament. Jesus is the heart of what God is trying to tell us. If we will only listen. Nothing could be clearer, and yet it is completely missed by far too many. For every person who stands up and tells of God’s grace, there are a dozen behind him telling us that this grace only goes so far and that we need to step in and do something more to earn what is freely offered. How can we escape this trap?

First, we must understand what grace is. It is the unmerited divine assistance given to us for our redemption, justification, sanctification, and eventual glorification. It is a virtue coming from God, externally and without our assistance. It cannot be earned because it is unmerited. This is the heart of the gospel message. What we couldn’t do for ourselves, God did for us through the giving of His Son. To attempt to earn God’s grace through works then is an affront to God because it says to Him that what He has done is insufficient.

Second, once we know what grace is, we simply have to accept it; reach out, grab it, and then not waffle in our belief that what we have received will lead us throughout our lives and even through all eternity.

This is what John conveys one last time as he closes out the book of Revelation and the Bible – “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” In an amazing display of the very concept of grace, we see it in these words. Jesus, our Creator, left it to a man, His beloved apostle, to finalize His word to us.

Imagine the honor bestowed upon John to personally close out the Word of God. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, God has allowed him, a mere man, this eternal treasure. And for each of us who comes to know Jesus, we have a similar precious honor – that of telling others of the glorious Lord who came to walk among us, die on a cross for us, and then to resurrect to eternal life that we may, by grace through faith, be called children of God. Thank God for His provision. Thank God for JESUS!

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.



Revelation 22:20

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20

As a note, many manuscripts omit the word translated as “Even so.” With that understood, the verse is a follow-up to the warnings just cited in verses 18 and 19. It is a statement of surety, saying, “He who testifies to these things.” The verb is a present participle and is better translated as –

“he saith — who is testifying these things” (YLT)

It is the final witness of the book of Revelation, given by Christ Himself. What is stated about adding to or taking from the word is called forth to be considered. The words have come from Christ to show what is coming upon the world, and they are to be considered from that position of His authority. And His final words to His audience are, “Surely I am coming quickly.”

It is the same thought as verse 22:12, and it is a warning against slackness or doubt. It is a warning to those who would deride the thought of His ever coming again due to the passage of whatever length of time may pass. Christ Jesus has spoken, He has witnessed to the certainty of the matter, and those who hear are to be in constant vigilance as they await the promise of His return.

With that stated, the apostle follows up with his excited words of anticipation, beginning with, “Amen.” It is a confirmation of the words just expressed. The word itself means “a truth,” “so let it be,” “most assuredly,” and so on.  John is essentially saying, “As You have spoken, so may it be.” He then follows up with, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

As noted above, various manuscripts leave off the words, “Even so.” Either way, the expression directs the mind to the final words of petition. John, despite all of the many horrors that must come upon humanity as described in the book, still makes his appeal. Those who are unjust, will be unjust. Those who are filthy, will be filthy. Those who are righteous, will be righteous. And those who are holy, will be holy.

The masses of humanity will follow the course they choose, and delaying the inevitable beyond what the Lord determines would serve no purpose. And so, John calls for Him to come.

“Make haste, my beloved,
And be like a gazelle
Or a young stag
On the mountains of spices.” Song of Solomon 8:14

Life application: Based on the content, structure, intricacy, and continuity of this book in relation to the rest of the Bible, we have every confidence that Revelation is the authentic received word of God and the end of the official canon of the Bible. Jesus’ statement in this verse is the final note of authenticity given for our assurance of this.

It is important to consider that because Genesis shows us what was lost and the curse man could expect from His disobedience, and then immediately begins to show us what God is doing in and through history, that there must be a set and definite plan to return mankind to the paradise he had lost. There must be an end that will be revealed to show us what and how God would accomplish that goal. It would make no sense to show us the entrance of sin into the world and the consequences of that disobedience if nothing further was planned to resolve the breach, or if nothing else was expected for or of man after it occurred.

In other words, if man was fallen and separated from God, why would it matter what occurred or what man did after that point if the fall was irreconcilable? “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Corinthians 15:32).

The early Genesis account would simply be an executioner’s statement, lording the matter over the condemned. But right there at the fall, even during the sentencing of the crime, the plan of redemption was hinted at –

“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15

Every word of the Bible is given as a testament to the fact that man is worth redeeming and that God will redeem him. And so, the Bible unfolds in a manner that shows every imaginable permutation of how it could come about by our efforts and how at every turn we would fail in the task. But with each story, there remained the underlying hint that these failures were given to lead us to something better; to Someone far more capable. Like all of Scripture, the Law of Moses was to direct us to our utterly fallen state and to call our attention to God’s grace as the only possible way to be reconciled.

That grace of God is found in the Person of Jesus Christ, and it is He who testifies to us of the things set forth for us to consider. The reconciliation and restoration have been accomplished, and the eternal bliss that was intended for man has been restored through Him. And so, God – the Lord Jesus Christ – personally testifies that this is His plan and that it is true and reliable. It is important for us to realize that because all is accomplished with this verse, then nothing else can be added to it and nothing else can be considered in the plan.

This leads us to the assurance that any prophecy which somehow attempts to add to the Bible, or any book which has supposedly come after Revelation to reveal more of God’s will, cannot be true. In Revelation, Jesus Christ is revealed. In Revelation, Jesus’ plan is accomplished. In Revelation is the fulfillment of the ancient promise. And therefore, in Revelation is the completion of God’s prophetic word. Nothing is to be held as comparable and nothing is to be expected. Nothing from God will amend it, add to it, contradict it, or further clarify it.

Understanding this, we can reject any written utterance which claims to be authoritative concerning the redemption of man – either within or outside the confines of Christianity. No other religion is acceptable (John 14:6) and no other gospel can be considered (Galatians 1:6-9).

This is the warning and the admonition for those who look to God for restoration: stand firm on the Bible and nothing else. We cannot accept as inspired the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, the writings of Buddha, or any other religious or philosophical text which points to reunion with God outside of the confines of Christianity. And we also cannot accept as inspired supposedly “infallible” Papal utterances, the Book of Mormon, the “prophecies” of Ellen G. White, or any other writings or claims which come from within the context of the Christian world. The Bible stands alone and complete.

And then, after testifying to the received word, Jesus adds His final spoken reminder to the people of the world, Nai erchomai tachy, “Yes I am coming quickly.” The last words uttered by the Lord of Creation – our Redeemer, Savior, King, and God are an admonition and a warning. Be alert, be ready, and be vigilant with your life, your doctrine, and your conduct. The time is soon, meaning that the Lord’s return is imminent. We, therefore, need to have our eyes lifted and our lives in order.

In response, John jubilantly turns around and writes using the same expression used by Jesus – Amen. Nai ercho kurie Iesou. – Amen. Yes, come Lord Jesus. One can feel the anticipation in the flowing ink as he writes to his Lord, God, and Friend on behalf of all of those who, like him, so desperately look forward to the coming glories described in the book. The final prayer recorded in Scripture is given, and it is a prayer of acknowledgment that Jesus Is Lord, and it is a prayer of petition – “Amen. Even so, come, Lord JESUS!”

Lord God, my Lord God, how wonderfully great You are and how beautiful are the promises You have given us in Your precious word. Thank You, O God, for the surety that those things which have been promised will come to pass exactly as they have been spoken. Give us the presence of mind to stand fast on them as we await what is coming. Amen.





Revelation 22:19

Monday, 20 September 2021

and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelation 22:19

Two differences in source texts are found in this verse. The first is that rather than “God shall take away,” one text says, “may God take away.” Also, one says, “Book of Life” and all others say, “Tree of Life.”

With that noted, the words continue from the previous verse, saying, “and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy.” It is just as wrong to take away from the word of God as it is to add to it. Such a person would assume the place of God, knowing better than He does what should be conveyed to the hearers of the word. What this is surely referring to is an intentional striking out of words, thoughts, or verses with the intent of changing what is presented.

It is without a doubt that scribal errors will come into any text unintentionally. Further, things are lost in translation. A translation of a translation will only increase that error. This must be attributed to unintentional human error, but not intentional manipulation. For those who would willingly manipulate the word, “God shall take away his part from the Book of Life.”

As noted, the words here either read “Book of Life” or “Tree of Life.” The latter certainly seems more likely based on the fact that it has been mentioned in connection with New Jerusalem in verses 22:2 and 22:14. Either way, the meaning is basically the same. This brings in an obvious problem with the doctrine of eternal security – a doctrine clearly taught in Scripture.

One explanation is that based on the source text, the words (as noted above) correctly read, “may God take away.” If this is so, then it is an appeal by John for it to be so, but it does not logically follow that God will do so. The calling down of an imprecation by a human does not necessitate that God will respond accordingly. If one is eternally saved, only a loss of rewards would be the result.

Another option is that such a person was never saved and never will be saved. A person may intentionally change the word of God while thinking he is already secure, but who has been following a false gospel (see Galatians 1:6-8) all along. To follow a false gospel, such as Mormonism, is to never have been saved in the first place. A person who is saved, and who simply forgot that it is so (e.g., see 2 Peter 1:9), would have no reason to change the word of God. He isn’t even thinking on such things. A person who is truly saved would also have no intention of purposefully changing the word.

And finally, with the word now complete and in the canon of Scripture, the word is sealed. It cannot be changed. As the most published document in human history, there is always suitable evidence concerning its contents.

Despite being a difficult thing to pin down, the doctrine of eternal salvation is clearly defined elsewhere in Scripture, and it is that which must be considered first when then considering the intent of this warning. And the warning next continues with, “from the holy city.”

The promise of access to the Tree of Life presupposes access into New Jerusalem where the Tree of Life is. To be restricted from the city means that the Tree of Life is denied to that person. The verse then ends with, “and from the things which are written in this book.” This speaks of all the other blessings promised to those who “overcome,” and who are deemed as saved believers of the Lamb of God. Whatever sure and blessed promises are given to God’s people, they will be withheld from such a person being referred to now.

Life application: The promise of eternal life stands for those who call on Jesus, but for those who have hardened their hearts and falsely manipulate God’s word, there will only be death. Jesus is the One through whom eternal life is granted. It is the Bible that reveals Him to us. Should someone purposefully change the very word which reveals Him by adding to it or subtracting from it, then a faulty view of Jesus may be the result. Therefore, those who then receive what has been manipulated will call on a false Messiah through a false gospel. This is the severity of what may occur when God’s word is misused.

The consequences are immense, and the warning has been given. Let us always be careful how we handle this precious gift. May we never twist or manipulate what He has given to us. Let us live in His presence and cherish the beautiful word of God all of our days. It is the word that tells us of God in Christ. Yes! It tells us of JESUS!

Lord Jesus, Your word is glorious and it is what we need in order to know You and Your wonderful gospel message. Help us to hold fast to it and to stand firm upon its precepts. May we rightly handle it and carefully present it to others all our days. Thank You for Your precious and eternal word. Amen.



Revelation 22:18

Sunday, 19 September 2021

For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; Revelation 22:18

Strong and direct words now come forth. It is not certain who is the subject. Though possibly the angel, or even Jesus, it is just as likely that it is John who makes the proclamation. Either way, the words begin with, “For I testify.”

This is the rendering of the Textus Receptus, but others simply say, “I testify.” However, the “I” is in the emphatic position, making it the strongest possible attestation. Next, the words are “to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book.” The verb is a present participle – “everyone hearing.” In essence, “if you are hearing, you should be paying attention to what I say.”

The word “hearing” includes the thoughts of hearing with the ears. It can also signify both “understand” and “pay heed to.” It is a general word where the meaning has to be considered based on the intent of what is stated. In this case, John is referring to all who hear in the sense of “paying heed.” And so, it could be someone who reads them to himself as much as hearing someone else read. And the warning is, “If anyone adds to these things.”

The meaning here is adding in visions, instructions, warnings, and so on. What has been received by John is what is to be retransmitted as it was received, without any addition at all. Further, this is surely only speaking of the book of Revelation, even if the principle applies to all of Scripture.

At the time Revelation was written, it wasn’t taken to a scroll room that held the other books of the Bible and added to them. Rather, it was a stand-alone book that was only later accepted as a part of the canon of Scripture. Therefore, the words now are only referring to Revelation. It is a thought similar to Moses’ warning in Deuteronomy –

“You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” Deuteronomy 4:2

“Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” Deuteronomy 12:32

Later, it says this in Joshua –

“Then Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord.” Joshua 24:25

Joshua’s revelation did not violate the words of Moses but rather added to the revelation of God. This is seen later in the prophets when they are explicitly told to write words revealed to them for the people to see and understand the Lord’s intention for them. John’s words are the word of the Lord. As such, they would eventually be recognized as such and added to the canon of Scripture.

As for the warning from John, for those who fail to pay heed and who would presume to do so, it says, “God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book.”

The idea is that of deserved retribution. The plagues of Revelation are brought upon the people of the world because they deserve it. As it said in Revelation 16 –

“For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,
And You have given them blood to drink.
For it is their just due.” Revelation 16:6

Just as the world received its just due for rejecting Christ and rebelling against God, so will be the case for the one who presumes to add to the prophecies of Revelation.

Life application: Jesus’ warning is in contrast to verse 1:3 – “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” This blessing is restated and amended as was noted in 22:7. Those who “keep” the word that has been given will be blessed. Keeping then implies that it is received and held to without change or by misrepresentation. In 1 Chronicles 10:13, Saul, the first king of Israel discovered the consequences of not keeping God’s word –

“So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the word of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance.”

Time and again throughout the pages of Scripture, we are admonished to faithfully keep the word of the Lord. Jesus personally implored His audience to faithfully keep the words that have been given. He stood firm on the smallest letter or part of a letter as of absolute importance. In our hands as we read, or in our minds as we hear, come the very words of God that are recorded in the word of God. It is firm and fixed.

The only way to “keep” the word we have been given is to ensure that it is never changed, added to, taken from, or inappropriately manipulated. Because of this, the stern warning of this verse is given.

The Bible is God’s personal expression of Himself to us. He reveals Himself through nature, but that is only a general revelation. However, He reveals Himself specifically through Jesus Christ, who is discovered throughout the scriptures of the Bible. Seeing this logical connection, then we can grasp the importance of the Bible.

We could in no way change God, and attempting to do so would be both futile and stupid. In the same way, by changing God’s expression of Himself, we twist that which is otherwise perfect. Therefore, the words of Jesus make all the sense in the world. By adding to that which is God’s perfect intent, we rightfully receive the just punishment we are due.

It is important to note that varying translations of the Bible cannot be considered in this admonition. And yes, there is disagreement as to the source texts from which the Bible is translated, but it is the faithful translation, without manipulation, which is being considered here.

One cannot say, for example, that the King James Version of the Bible is the only valid translation and that all others are wrong. The Bible is given in three original languages – Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Any competent translator or group of translators will form a translation different than anyone else simply because of presuppositions, past experiences, understanding of the text, etc. What Jesus is speaking of is a direct and purposeful intent to change Scripture, not a willing desire to faithfully translate it.

Understanding this, it should be carefully considered that purposeful and willful misrepresentation of an analysis of the Bible is no less damaging than an addition to it. When someone knowingly takes verses – or parts of verses – out of context, it becomes a perversion of what was intended by God. In the end concerning this thought, the admonition of James is of immense importance – “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”

Let us each strive to carefully handle God’s word. Let us treat it as we would treat the holiness of God Himself because it is His personal and special revelation of Himself to us. Stand firm on the truth of the word and be ready to faithfully transmit it to others to the glory of God. In the end, this word reveals God’s plans to us, and how precious that plan is! It contains the promised coming, recorded coming, and anticipated return of our Lord, JESUS!

Lord God, Your word is precious and beyond compare. It is so rich, wonderful, and deep. Help us to handle it carefully and with the sense of awe and respect necessary to never diminish its value. Lord God, thank You for Your precious word which so beautifully reveals Your heart to us. Amen.



Revelation 22:17

Saturday, 18 September 2021

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. Revelation 22:17

With Jesus’ proclamation that He is “the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star,” several new voices are brought into the narrative. This is probably the words of the angel speaking for them, but it may be Jesus who speaks them out on their behalf. Or, it could even be John writing it out for the reader. No matter which way, the words now state, “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’”

The call of the Spirit probably encompasses more than just the thought of the Holy Spirit calling out to a person with a voice. Rather, this probably encompasses everything the Spirit has done to call out to humanity. In other words, the words of Scripture are given by inspiration of the Spirit to be heard by any who will receive them –

“knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20, 21

The Spirit also indwells those in the church who then preach and teach the word. And so on. Therefore, when it says, “the Spirit,” it is an all-encompassing thought of the work of the Spirit within creation to effectually woo a person to respond.

The call of the Bride is in harmony with that. Those who have the Spirit comprise the Bride. Any person who responds to the gospel is a part of the Bride. First is the response to the gospel and the sealing of the Spirit –

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13, 14

With that, there is the preparation of those so sealed for their position as the Bride –

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27

In this union, they together make the call, “Come.” It is the call to the unsaved to participate in what God is doing. Open the word! Read it and believe it! Hear the message and receive it! However, the word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ is brought to a person, the call is to Come!

With that understood, the next words say, “And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’” This refers to those in the church who have heard and accepted the gospel –

“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” Revelation 1:3

They have “heard” the voice of the Spirit and the Bride and have joined in union with them, now a part of them. Having joined, they now make the same call they responded to, “Come!” They have been saved by the Lamb and now want others to know and experience the life-giving truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Next, the words say, “And let him who thirsts come.” It is a reference to Isaiah 55:1 –

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.

The words are then fulfilled in the promise of Jesus to anyone who will believe in Him –

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37-39

This is a callout to all people of the world. It is the one (and only) gospel message. There is a fount of living water, the Holy Spirit, that will provide everlasting life to any who will simply respond to the call. And so, the call is made, “Let him who thirsts come and be a part of what God is doing in the world.”

The plan of the redemption of man has been in place since the fall of man. That plan is centered solely on the giving of His Son for the sins of the world. Everything else that has been done has been to either anticipate that, or to explain that. Therefore, the final words of the verse are given, “Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”

In John 4, Jesus made this offer to the Samaritans, but His words extend out even beyond them to any, without limitation saying, “whoever” –

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

The Spirit was given to Israel in Acts 2. It was given to these Samaritans in Acts 8, and the same Spirit was given to the Gentiles in Acts 10. And the same Spirit has been given to people around the world and through the expanse of the last two thousand years. The call to receive the gospel, the one and only saving message of God, is “Come.”

Life application: In Genesis chapter 24, Abraham sends his servant on a mission to procure a bride for his son Isaac. The entire chapter points to the work of the Holy Spirit in procuring a bride for Jesus. The servant in the account prefigures the work of the Spirit and Rebekah prefigures the church. It is a beautiful story that contains astonishing parallels which then permeate the rest of the Bible.

This verse in Revelation is the completion of this picture, and it is the last mention in the Bible concerning the Holy Spirit. With the work of biblical inspiration coming to a close, and with one final petition, the call goes forth to those who will simply hear and respond – “Come!” As noted above, in addition to calling the people of God to be a bride, the Holy Spirit’s role in redemptive history includes sealing those who have received the call for the day of redemption. He is the deposit and guarantee of the sure promises which come when one calls on Jesus.

The Holy Spirit also has had the role of giving to us the pages of the Bible through His divine inspiration. These and many other roles have been the work of the Holy Spirit, but one more needs to be mentioned. It is the testimony that He bears, and which brings into focus all of His other roles. The Spirit’s testimony is about Jesus Christ –

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”  John 16:13-15

Jesus is the One who reveals the unseen Father to us, and it is the overarching mission of the Holy Spirit to testify to the Person of Jesus. Thus, we can see that God is bringing glory to Himself through the incarnation and then illuminating Himself to us by focusing on this. This is why “the Spirit and the bride say, Come!” The Spirit is directing the attention to Christ. The bride, meaning those who have already called on Him, are calling for others to come as well – “Come to Christ and be reconciled to God.”

This water is available to all, and He is given freely to all. A gift is something that cannot be paid for. Rather, this gift is something that must be accepted, by faith. The call has been given and God’s offer stands. Now it is the job of the bride, the church, to get the message out. Let us be about the Lord’s business. For all people, eternity awaits. Where they will spend it may be up to you simply opening your mouth.

It is time to be a part of what God is doing in the world. It is time to open your mouth and speak out the words of the gospel of God’s Christ – JESUS!

Thank You, O God, for the beautiful words of the Bible which reveal to us the role of Your glorious Holy Spirit in the creation and all the way through to our eternal state. Thank You that You have given us all the details necessary to reveal Him to us so that we understand His glorious role within the Godhead. Amen.