The Bright and Morning Star
“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.”—Revelation 22:16.
In this passage of Holy Writ there is a threefold presentation of Christ, a presentation which reveals the glorious titles of our Lord in relation to the world, Israel, and the Church.
He is presented as Jesus to the world; a name that holds the blessing of eternal salvation to all, for it means Saviour (Matt. 1:21). How the world today needs the value of this name, for “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.”
He is presented as The Root and Offspring of David to Israel, the One Who as David’s Lord and David’s Son (Psa. 110:1) will bring to fruition all the covenant promises of God to Israel. He alone will establish the godly remnant of Israel in the perpetual glory of their King and kingdom.
He is presented as The Bright Morning Star to the Church. His blood bought Bride. This is a title of special affection for the saints today, cheering our hearts and encouraging our spirits while the shadows of moral and spiritual apostasy deepen around us. There are three Scriptures that alone give reference to this special title of our Lord, and they are worthy of our earnest consideration:
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). Two facts herein are revealed: First, the prophetic word is like a lamp which lightens the moral and spiritual darkness of earth, exposing its corruption of evil everywhere. Yet all prophecy points to the dawn of a new day for the earth, when our Lord Jesus Christ will appear in great power and glory. In second place, the Day Star (Morning Star) is revealed, telling us much more; it tells the heart that the day of glory is nearing. This Morning Star is the harbinger of a new day. As the morning star shines in the darkness just before the dawning of the day, so the word of prophecy brightly shines its message of hope in our hearts in spite of the increasing gloom of this godless age. The Lord is coming soon! Hallelujah! If the prophetic word fixes our hopes and affections upon Christ alone, rather than the dawn of the new day, then the Day Star has truly arisen in our hearts.
“And I will give to him the bright and morning star” (Rev. 2:28). In the letter to the Church of Thyatira, the Lord reveals that the sad condition of spiritual evil is of such a character that no promise is given for recovery before the Lord comes. To the overcomer is promised glorious rewards, authority and power over the nations of the world with Christ in His coming reign. Yet the Lord supplements even this with an additional honour, saying, “And I will give him the Morning Star.”
The glory and honour of the coming kingdom is not the complete satisfaction for the believer’s heart, for there is a greater satisfaction than even the Kingdom of Glory, The Morning Star, Christ Himself. What a blessed incentive kingdom truth is for the believer, but greater than that in the midst of ecclesiastical and moral darkness today, is the glory of what Christ Himself is to the overcomer’s heart. The person of Christ alone fully can satisfy the heart. Let us now consider the verse which appears at the head of this article.
The Old Testament closes by presenting Christ as “The Sun of Righteousness” Who will rise “with healing in His wings” (Mal. 4:2), chasing away the darkness, sorrow, pain, sickness, and death; the world yet will see that day. The New Testament closes by presenting Christ as “The Bright and Morning Star” (Rev. 22:16), but the world will be asleep and never will see this Star (1 Thess. 5:5-6). It is the Church alone, His Bride, that can know Him as the Bright and Morning Star. He is to be known by us as such first, before He shines as the Sun of Righteousness, for when the sun arises the stars go out. “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober”, (1 Thess. 5:6).
Beloved, do you and I see Him as the Bright and Morning Star? Are our hearts in the midst of this world’s darkness fixed upon Him alone? Dearer than all the glory of His coming kingdom, is the blessed and lovely person of Christ Himself; and if our hope and affections are upon Him alone, then the Day Star has arisen in our own hearts.
Before the shadows of the great tribulation deepen in their intense blackness upon the nations of this world, with the out-pouring of God’s wrath on this Christ-rejecting scene, you and I, beloved, will have heard His glad shout (1 Thess. 4:3-18), and shall meet Him in the skies to be forever with Him and like Him.
How satisfied we shall be! “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Psa. 17:15). Yet do not forget that also in that same moment, the Spirit of God will present to Christ an object suitable and worthy of His love forever, the Church, His Bride, the perfect satisfaction of His heart.
Surely then, we rejoice that for the world, for Israel, and especially for the Church, Christ Himself is the hope alone to set all things right at His blessed return. May our hearts gladly give Him the place of the Bright and Morning Star in our affections, enabling us to say, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”