Volume 15


F. E. Raven

Page: 480

Revelation 22:16, 17

It is important to see the light in which Jesus presents Himself in this passage. It contains His last words to us, spoken when in heaven. He speaks of what He is, and not of what He was, "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star;" nothing can be more important than to have Jesus before us as a living Person in heaven, as Peter says, "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him". When He says, "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star", it is to attract our hearts. There are many men in the world who are attractive, and who draw attention, some in one way and some in another; but here we get the attraction of Jesus. Remember He is coming; if He stayed in heaven men would not care, but He is coming, and that in response to a call; "The Spirit and the bride say, Come", and it is because they say "Come" that He comes. This is wonderful language, "I am the root ... of David". If it were only the offspring, Solomon might have been that, but here is the root of David. A root is the spring or source. Things in the world spring from a root, but Christ says, "I am the root ... of David". It might indeed be said with equal truth that He was the root of Abraham, "Before Abraham was I am". He was the root of every saint we read of in Hebrews 11. There we get many different saints, but each drew from the root. Abel was an offerer; Enoch was a walker, he walked with God; Noah was a preacher and a builder; Abraham was a pilgrim and stranger; Moses was a deliverer; David was a shepherd and warrior, he fed God's people and fought against God's enemies; all these drew from the root; whatever was of value in any

But He is also the offspring of David, and that brings in the thought of the kingdom, because the kingdom was to be established in the Son of David; He is God's King. Two things marked David as a king; he was a pastor of the sheep, and he exposed himself to danger on their behalf. He it was who went against Goliath and slew him. He exposed himself, and he fed the sheep, and had the kingdom. Jesus is the Offspring of David; He is the blessed Root of all that is according to God, and the One who is to take the kingdom, and He will reign for ever and ever. It is important to think of Him as coming to take the kingdom, and it will not pass out of His hand.

But more, He is the bright and morning Star. In the Old Testament He is spoken of prophetically as the Sun of righteousness ... "Shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings". No one can doubt the reference to Jesus. He is the Sun of the whole moral system. The system of this world is all in confusion, but there is a moral system which at present is hidden; but God will put aside the veil of providence, and will make Himself known in a universe of bliss; the Sun of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. The morning Star is the herald of the day when the Sun of righteousness will arise. When the sun has risen the day has come, but before then the morning star is seen as the herald of the day. Jesus is the Bridegroom who will take up everything for God. God has rights, the earth belongs to Him and all that dwell therein; Israel is His people, and Christ will take up all for God, and that is all bound up with the rising of the Sun of righteousness.

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But we have the herald of the day, the bright and morning Star. The secret lies in the name of Jesus, "I Jesus". He is in heaven, and yet He speaks to us on earth, and we have the light of Him in heaven. We see the brightness of the morning Star in Jesus. He has accomplished righteousness and is therefore the Sun of righteousness. We could not stand before God if He had not done that. He has taken up all that lay upon man, and in the cross accomplished righteousness, and now His bright light shines upon us. We could not have borne the true light if God had not already set us in relation to the Sun of righteousness. We are in the light of His death, and He will arise with healing in His wings, and the morning Star is the herald to us of that day. Men are in need of healing; they are evil and corrupted, and there is healing for them because Christ has accomplished righteousness in His death.

Jesus is the Root of all that is for God, but He works everything in man by His Spirit, He bore all that was due to man that He might give us living water. Fruit is the evidence of life and health, and Christ gives the Spirit that we may bring forth fruit; He accomplished righteousness to that end, and in Galatians we find what are the fruits of the Spirit, they are brought forth in us if we are rooted in Christ, otherwise there is no fruit; there may be works, but not life or fruits. If we have living water from Christ, knowing that He has accomplished righteousness that we might have it, then we can say to Him, Come! Christ presents all His attractions to us to woo our hearts -- how do we answer? We say, Come! He is coming to dispel the darkness, to establish the kingdom, to bring in the light of God, so that there may be fruit for God. Are we saying, Come? Things in this world are disappointing enough: we brought nothing into this world and can carry nothing out; a man cannot carry his riches or glory or reputation with him, he goes into a scene where they have no place, where he will stand before God naked. But Christ can give us of

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His Spirit; we can ask for and get living water, and then we say, Come! He appeals to us, "I am the bright and morning star", and we appeal to Him, we say, Come! When He comes all will be blessing; He comes as the Sun of righteousness, and men will be blessed in Him.

There is another appeal: Jesus says, "Let him that is athirst come". Is there anyone not satisfied? The best things of this world are only husks, they do not contain real food. Man needs to be satisfied with divine goodness; Christ is bread out of heaven, and so He says to any one who is not satisfied, "Let him come". There is no man in the world to whom Jesus does not appeal; He gave Himself a ransom for all, and therefore He has the right to appeal to every man, whoever he may be, "Let him take the water of life freely". Whoever will may come and drink of living water without money and without price.

There is no living to God unless a man has drunk of living water, unless Jesus has satisfied the heart. There is no more wonderful word than "the bread of God out of heaven". If Christ had not come we should not have known the goodness of God; Christ gives living water, He is bread out of heaven, in Him are unsearchable riches. He gives us the Spirit that we may live in the presence of divine love. There is no other place where a christian can really now live except in the light of the love of God revealed in His beloved Son.