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.