1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. 6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.” 7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.” 8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9 But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!” 10 Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.” 12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[fn] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
We are familiar with the prayer 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” But let us look at this verse in its context
erchomai meaning to come
Outline of Biblical Usage:
- to come
- of persons
- to come from one place to another, and used both of persons arriving and of those returning
- to appear, make one’s appearance, come before the public
- to come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence
- be established, become known, to come (fall) into or unto
- to go, to follow one
This word appears seven times in the last chapter of revelation. In fact the very last prayer, is how the Bible ends saying
Revelation 22:20 (NKJV) He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
It is interesting to note the different voices that speak at various times throughout the book of revelation. We have God the Father and Jesus both speaking in the initial chapters up to chapter 4 which makes the transition from “that which is now” to that “which is yet to come”. Then from chapters 4 into 19 the narrative which is depicting the sequence of final events of the seven seals trumpets and bowls, has no explicit reference to the Lords voice, but rather it is the angels who are speaking to John in the telling of things to come.
But from chapters 19 to 22 we have the greatest, clearest, most glorious and highest revelation given to man unveiling the Mystery of God’s heart. That which had been kept hidden in Christ, and now in full display, the bride. But also, notice how also is the full unveiling the apocalypse of Christ himself in full view as the bridegroom, King.
It is here that God the Father breaks into the conversation
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.
7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. [bold mine]
After this John is carried away by the Spirit to a great and high mountain where he is shown the bride, the wife of the Lamb. It is a beautiful bride one which human language is not able to fully convey yet even so John gives many interesting and significant details about the bride, the New Jerusalem both externally and that which is within. These are covered in another teaching. The point I’m making is how the sequence of revelations and those speaking all lead to this final climax and summation in chapter 22 where it is now Jesus himself who takes centre stage in the closing sequence.
7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.
15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[fn] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
- Jesus repeats twice that he is coming soon.
- He encourages people to keep the words of this prophecy, (the earlier references to overcome) saying that they will be blessed, but also that his reward is with him and will give to each according to what they have done.
- His declaration of ultimate divinity.
I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last, the Beginning and the End v13
Significant that this is exactly the same declaration by the Father in the preceding chapter, signifying the absolute Oneness, nature and supremacy with the Father, but now the fulness of God and exact representation of his being expressed in the Son.
Heb 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
Col 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form
- Now he reveals not only that He is fully God, but also that He is the fulfilment of all prophecy and therefore the One that is expected to rightfully take his place to rule and to reign. Jesus makes this amazing final statement about himself
Rev 22:16 ” I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
- Jesus is the root of David. Jesus was before David. He is the King who existed before David and through which David received his throne and Kingdom temporarily upon the earth. Jesus is the source of David’s anointing to be king. This is Jesus the pre-existent king, showing His deity.
- Jesus is the offspring of David. This is Jesus as the messianic king, revealing his humanity. The prophecies detail that He will sit on David’s throne to rule the nations in an eternal Kingdom.
Jer 23:5 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Saviour.
Jer 33:15 ” ‘In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Saviour .’ 17 For this is what the LORD says: ‘David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel,
2 Sam 7 :12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’ “
- Jesus is the “Bright Morning Star”
This is a remarkable statement that Jesus makes about himself. Within this declaration are both the promise of victory over the enemy and the promise of the new day or millennial age.
As the planet Venus
- As a planet within the orbit of the earth around the sun it is never more than 47 degrees away from the sun.
- Apart from the sun and the moon It is the brightest object in the sky by far, bright enough to be seen in midday
- It overtakes earth every 584 days as it orbits the sun, as it does so, it changes from the ‘evening star’ visible after sunset, to the ‘morning star’ visible before sunrise in the East.
- It was known in ancient times and often part of mythology
Notice particularly that the morning star represented
- Brilliance, it was the greatest light, the most powerful object, able to overcome darkness.
- A new day. Or a new era. Jesus first coming was attended by a star from the East, but apparently only witnesses by a very limited minority of star gazers. Jesus second coming also involves a star only this time He is that star, and it will be seen by everyone
The brilliance will overcome.
Numbers 24:17 “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a sceptre will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the people of Sheth.
2 Thes 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour (or brightness) of his coming.
Isa 60: 1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. 3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4 “Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. 5 Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.
This well known passage in Isaiah is specifically referring to the last days and in particular the Day of the Lord.
The Spirit and the Bride say come
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
- The true and only response to Jesus and the fullest revelation of his identity can only be made
- In agreement with the Holy Spirit
- By the bride
- This verse is a response to the preceding verses and declaration of Jesus
- It symbolises
- absolute agreement between heaven and earth
- That the bride is getting ready.
- No bride will call for the bridegroom unless she herself is getting ready. Note here, that we have come to believe, the Bride must call upon the Bridegroom, which positions her correctly to begin to get ready. This is an important point, for the Bride to get ready, she will take on her bridal identity, and the Bride knows that she needs the Bridegroom to help her to get dressed. He does this by sending the Holy Spirit. (See the teaching on Lessons from Isaac and Rebekah)
- The bride is prepared upon the earth
- It is only the Spirit and the Bride who can pray this prayer.
- This is the prayer of bridal love and longing
- It is the prayer of immense importance that will literally change everything
Preparation of the bride
- Upon the earth
Rev 19: 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
Eph 4: 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
- We all reach unity in
- The faith
- The knowledge of the Son of God
- Not only amongst denomination but also Jew and Gentile
- There is only one bride
- We attain to become the fulness of Christ
- Compatibility for union
So to a degree this prayer can only be prayed to its fullest extent by the bride in agreement with the Holy Spirit. Yet I am challenged and stirred because of the cry within my own heart and the Spirit within me, I am calling Jesus to come. I believe there is another side to this preparation, and am reminded by the prayer of salvation when we ask the Lord to come into our hearts. In this case, there is the typical human reluctance of shame and tendency to want to improve before we can become a Christian, yet this is impossible, and the Lord is accepting of us whilst we are still sinners, the work of redemption and recreation is one that occurs when we surrender and allow the Holy Spirit into our lives.
So the question remains : Can we pray this prayer today? And if we can then are we praying this prayer in a way that which actually release something in the spiritual realm that will accelerate the Lords coming and will make a difference in my personal life and that of those around me? To help answer this question, we can look at the rest of this call to come in verse 17 as there are other elements
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
Let the one who who hears say come
There is a change in the underlying tension within this statement. We move from a universal portrayal of the ultimate agreement between heaven and earth when the Spirit and the Bride say come, but there is no explicit instruction just a statement of what will happen. But now there is an instruction in these following words that can either be seen as a command or at the very least an invitation for those who have ears to hear to say “Come”.
This partly answers the question raised earlier: can we pray this prayer today? Clearly, we can not only pray this prayer, but we are also instructed to do so. With this then comes a new mandate, a new responsibility upon the individual who hears to respond back to the Lord with the plea of a longing heart “Come Lord Jesus”. We discover that the response He is looking for when we learn more of who He is, is to ask Him to come. Why would we pray anything else, when He has shown us that He is the One who will make everything new, who will destroy the enemy and overthrow the reign of evil and darkness and usher in a new Kingdom of pure love and triumph? All other human endeavour is simply swallowed up and diminished by the One who is Alpha and Omega, who invites us to Holy union in a marriage that is the ultimate love story in which we shall reign together with the Lord for all eternity.
By asking the Lord to come, we activate something within our own hearts. It is releasing that which is present already within the believer’s heart because it is embedded within every child of God by the Holy Spirit who has always been saying come. When we pray Come, we are aligning ourselves with the Holy Spirit and positioning ourselves before the bridegroom in a way that cannot happen any other way. By doing so we are allowing the Holy Spirit greater access to the inner most parts of our being, where He fashions our hearts as that of a bride in readiness for the bridegroom.
And so in answering our question, yes we must pray this prayer now, for it is not only evidence that we are becoming part of His bride, but also a necessary process in the bridal preparation.
But there is more to this verse : 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
There is both an upward response from earth to heaven, from bride to bridegroom, from beloved to lover, but also now the invitation is to those who themselves are thirsty and have not yet taken the free gift of the water of life. So the call to come can also be applied in a missional context. In fact when the church is living out from her bridal identity, that is to say, adorned in the beauty that comes from pure devotion to her Lord and a unity between its members demonstrated by the love they have for one another, and clothed in pure garments of righteousness, then there is a powerful attraction to those who are thirsty, because they see in her that which is instinctively home, because it is the very place that God created them to belong, and one in which disarms the usual objections, because they know that she is not counterfeit, but a reality that can only be made possible because God himself is real.
And so we have a seven fold sequence about the Lords coming: Firstly, the Lord himself encourages us that He is coming soon, that he will bring his reward with him, and the final revelation of his identity as the root and offspring of David and the bright morning star. This is welcomed by the agreement prayer between the Holy Spirit and the Bride, but then also an instruction to those who have heard to say come, this is both an upward call to the Lord, but also a missional call to those who are thirsty.
Then finally in verse 20 the seventh use of this word erchomai
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
In conclusion then, there is a prayer that only the bride can make, which has both a future context as the signifying of the brides readiness, but also a present application that we who have heard and understood the unveiling of who Jesus really is, should be praying this prayer now, and that in doing so are actually participating in the bridal preparation both in terms of her own heart and spirituality, but also in those who are yet to be included. This is therefore both a prayer and a call, and as we understand it more fully is not an option but a necessity. O the wondrous mystery indeed, that which Paul knew as he pens the letter to the Ephesians, for this reason a man will leave his father’s house and go and be United with his wife as speaking of Christ and his church, that which John the Baptist knew as he witnessed to the coming of the bridegroom, and that which John the beloved knew in this totally overwhelming and beautiful revelation of Jesus Christ, that leaves him with the closing words in all scripture
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. Rev 22:20,21