Come - Come
“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely, . . . He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly, Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen” (Rev. 22:16-17, 20-21).
It is a comfort—a very great comfort from the Lord—that we are assured in His Word as to what the end of our earthly pilgrimage will be. He has told us, “Surely I come quickly.” He is coming. And what can sustain or cheer the heart like this?
Christ is coming for us, His bride, and the Holy Ghost is WITH us. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come.” The Holy Ghost came down at Pentecost, and He abides here still. He is dwelling in us individually, and abiding collectively in the church of God—in His assembly—and is leading on the saints to the moment which the Scripture keeps before us—the moment when the Lord Himself will come.
There is great beauty in the words of the Apostle John. They often come to my heart with great sweetness, “They shall see His face.” Beloved in the Lord, will not that make up for everything we have to suffer down here? “They shall see His face.” What will it be to be with Him; and then—to be like Him—all through grace? That is the end of our pilgrimage. Peter says, “Whom, having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” The Holy Ghost has linked and connected us with Him; and we have learned to trust His grace and appreciate His preciousness. In measure we can say we know the unspeakable joy of the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, the joy which the Holy Ghost gives the soul when Christ is the simple and only object. There is nothing like it. We have known it; we enjoy it, but cannot describe it. To present Christ to us thus is the normal work of the Spirit of God, and so to keep the heart full of the joy of the Lord. And, beloved, it is joy, and the joy of the Lord is your strength. When the soul is maintained by the Spirit of God in the enjoyment of Christ, there is strength. There is strength for the homeward path, and the path of testimony, no matter what the difficulties may be. God knows each of our paths. You have got to tread your path, and God is sufficient. You cannot tread my path; I cannot tread yours. Each has his own path with its peculiar difficulty and trial, and there are grades of strength vouchsafed by Him all along the way, and as the Holy Ghost fills your soul with a sense of the preciousness of Christ and the hope of His coming you will have joy all the way through in spite of every trial.
Christ is coming for you. What a cheer to the heart. The way in which it comes in is very beautiful. The curtain was about to fall in this wonderfully dramatic book—for we have scene after scene of the future unveiled, of God’s dealings with earth in the Revelation—and He comes out Himself. I AM JESUS. “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” The blessed Lord loves to remind us that He has not forgotten us. And although the night has been long, and although a thousand years have almost twice rolled by since this word was spoken by Him and penned by the Spirit of God, still says His word—I Jesus have sent to tell you, I come—I come quickly. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
I think it is so lovely to see the way in which the Spirit of God comes in here at the very closing of the Scriptures and identifies the church with Himself. There is a distinct interruption in these last words of the Lord to His saints. He presents Himself as the bright and morning star. He is interrupted, His words are broken in upon by the cry of the waiting Spirit and of the affectionate bride, “And the Spirit and the bride say COME.” Is not that lovely, beloved? That is the second time only in the whole book in which you get the voice of the church. In the first chapter of Revelation Christ is presented in His personal glory. There is grace from “JESUS CHRIST, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.” And there is an interruption in this revelation of His glory.
The Spirit of God leads the church upon the earth and it breaks out into an ascription of praise, “Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God, His Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen.” It is the voice of the church here upon earth. The moment He shows Himself the voice of the church itself is heard in the loving outflow and response of the heart to Him. “I am the bright and morning star.” And the Spirit says, “Come.” And the bride says, “Come.” Yes, He gets a responsive voice from earth. Is it wrong for us to say, “Come”? Nay; the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And does He not delight to hear that word of love from His ransomed bride? Ay, He delights to hear it.
This word “come” is a very thrilling little word. It means that our hearts will never be truly satisfied until He comes. For not till then shall we be with Him, and see Him. It is the language of the heart waiting in true affection—right, proper, divine affection produced by the Holy Ghost in the heart that is waiting simply for Christ.
But there is another “come.” “Let him that is athirst come.” And this is addressed to the unconverted. Nobody preaches the gospel so sweetly, earnestly or entirely, as the man who is waiting for the Lord.
Then the Lord Himself responds in a lovely way to the invitation sent up to Him from earth. The Spirit has said “Come,” and the bride has said “Come”; and He which testifies these things says “Surely I come quickly.” And who says “Amen”? Why, surely you and I—surely the church. “Amen” is our word—not His. As we read it in our Bible it may seem as if He said it. But it is really ours. It is not for us to say “quickly.” But when He says “quickly,” that exactly meets the longing condition of our hearts. We can acquiesce in that, for we long to gaze upon His blessed face. So we add our deep “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”
Until He does come what have we in the interval? Why, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” That is the thing. He is coming, and if He does not come until tomorrow—what? Troubles and trials? Not at all. But the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. That is where God’s Word ends.
I may say our last word is acquiescence with the truth He has brought out. It so suitably and beautifully meets the heart, this word of His, “I come quickly.” And this grace till He come, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” Oh, beloved friends, what debtors are we to that grace—the grace that brought Him down to bear our sin and woe, and the grace that keeps us now and will keep us until the end. How that grace should lead us to separation from the world today. How it should lead us to purity of heart, and impel us to cleave unto the Lord, and fill us with ever-growing longings to see His face.