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Revelation 22:16

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I Jesus - The Maker, the Redeemer, and Judge of all men.

Have sent mine angel - An especial messenger from heaven.

I am the root and the offspring of David - Christ is the root of David as to his Divine nature; for from that all the human race sprang, for he is the Creator of all things, and without him was nothing made which is made. And he is the offspring of David as to his human nature; for that he took of the stock of David, becoming thereby heir to the Jewish throne, and the only heir which then existed; and it is remarkable that the whole regal family terminated in Christ: and as He liveth for ever, he is the alone true David and everlasting King.

The bright and morning star - I am splendor and glory to my kingdom; as the morning star ushers in the sun, so shall I usher in the unclouded and eternal glories of the everlasting kingdom.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

I Jesus - Here the Saviour appears expressly as the speaker - ratifying and confirming all that had been communicated by the instrumentality of the angel.

Have sent mine angel - See the notes on Revelation 1:1.

To testify unto you - That is, to be a witness for me in communicating these things to you.

In the churches - Directly and immediately to the seven churches in Asia Minor Revelation 2:3; remotely and ultimately to all churches to the end of time. Compare the notes on Revelation 1:11.

I am the root - Not the root in the sense that David sprang from him, as a tree does from a root, but in the sense that he was the “root-shoot” of David, or that he himself sprang from him, as a sprout starts up from a decayed and fallen tree - as of the oak, the willow, the chestnut, etc. See this explained in the notes on Isaiah 11:1. The meaning then is, not that he was the ancestor of David, or that David sprang from him, but that he was the offspring of David, according to the promise in the Scripture, that the Messiah should be descended from him. No argument, then, can be derived from this passage in proof of the pre-existence, or the divinity of Christ.

And the offspring - The descendant; the progeny of David; “the seed of David according to the flesh.” See the notes on Romans 1:3. It is not unusual to employ two words in close connection to express the same idea with some slight shade of difference.

And the bright and morning star - See the notes on Revelation 2:28. It is not uncommon to compare a prince, a leader, a teacher, with that bright and beautiful star which at some seasons of the year precedes the rising of the sun, and leads on the day. Compare the notes on Isaiah 14:12. The reference here is to that star as the harbinger of day; and the meaning of the Saviour is, that he sustains a relation to a dark world similar to this beautiful star. At one time he is indeed compared with the sun itself in giving light to the world; here he is compared with that morning star rather with reference to its beauty than its light. May it not also have been one object in this comparison to lead us, when we look on that star, to think of the Saviour? It is perhaps the most beautiful object in nature; it succeeds the darkness of the night; it brings on the day - and as it mingles with the first rays of the morning, it seems to be so joyous, cheerful, exulting, bright, that nothing can be better adapted to remind us of Him who came to lead on eternal day. Its place - the first thing that arrests the eye in the morning - might serve to remind us that the Saviour should be the first object that should draw the eye and the heart on the return of each day. In each trial - each scene of sorrow - let us think of the bright star of the morning as it rises on the darkness of the night - emblem of the Saviour rising on our sorrow and our gloom.

Uriah Smith
Daniel and the Revelation, 722

Verse 16

Jesus testifies these things in the churches, showing that the whole book of Revelation is given to the seven churches, which is another incidental proof that the seven churches are representatives of the church through the entire gospel dispensation. Christ is the offspring of David, in that he appeared on earth in the line of David’s descendants. He is the root of David, inasmuch as he is the great prototype of David, and the maker and upholder of all things.DAR 722.4

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The Lord Jesus spake by the angel, solemnly confirming the contents of this book, particularly of this last vision. He is the Lord God faithful and true. Also by his messengers; the holy angels showed them to holy men of God. They are things that must shortly be done; Christ will come quickly, and put all things out of doubt. And by the integrity of that angel who had been the apostle's interpreter. He refused to accept religious worship from John, and reproved him for offering it. This presents another testimony against idolatrous worship of saints and angels. God calls every one to witness to the declarations here made. This book, thus kept open, will have effect upon men; the filthy and unjust will be more so, but it will confirm, strengthen, and further sanctify those who are upright with God. Never let us think that a dead or disobedient faith will save us, for the First and the Last has declared that those alone are blessed who do his commandments. It is a book that shuts out form heaven all wicked and unrighteous persons, particularly those who love and make lies, therefore cannot itself be a lie. There is no middle place or condition. Jesus, who is the Spirit of prophecy, has given his churches this morning-light of prophecy, to assure them of the light of the perfect day approaching. All is confirmed by an open and general invitation to mankind, to come and partake freely of the promises and of the privileges of the gospel. The Spirit, by the sacred word, and by convictions and influence in the sinner's conscience, says, Come to Christ for salvation; and the bride, or the whole church, on earth and in heaven, says, Come and share our happiness. Lest any should hesitate, it is added, Let whosoever will, or, is willing, come and take of the water of life freely. May every one who hears or reads these words, desire at once to accept the gracious invitation. All are condemned who should dare to corrupt or change the word of God, either by adding to it, or taking from it.
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 990

13. See EGW on 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45. 7BC 990.1

13-17 (ch. 1:8). The Alpha and Omega of Scripture—[Revelation 22:13-17 quoted.] Here we have the Alpha of Genesis and the Omega of Revelation. The blessing is promised to all those who keep the commandments of God, and who cooperate with Him in the proclamation of the third angel's message (The Review and Herald, June 8, 1897). 7BC 990.2

14 (ch. 20:12, 13; see EGW on Genesis 3:22-24; Romans 3:31; 2 Corinthians 3:7-11). City of God for Commandment Keepers—None who have had the light of truth will enter the city of God as commandment breakers. His law lies at the foundation of His government in earth and in heaven. If they have knowingly trampled upon and despised His law on the earth, they will not be taken to heaven to do the same work there; there is no change of character when Christ comes. The character building is to go on during the hours of probation. Day by day their actions are registered in the books of heaven, and they will, in the great day of God, be rewarded as their works have been. It will then be seen who receives the blessing. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (The Review and Herald, August 25, 1885). 7BC 990.3

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 52

What meaning then was attached to Christ's presentation! But the priest did not see through the veil; he did not read the mystery beyond. The presentation of infants was a common scene. Day after day the priest received the redemption money as the babes were presented to the Lord. Day after day he went through the routine of his work, giving little heed to the parents or children, unless he saw some indication of the wealth or high rank of the parents. Joseph and Mary were poor; and when they came with their child, the priests saw only a man and woman dressed as Galileans, and in the humblest garments. There was nothing in their appearance to attract attention, and they presented only the offering made by the poorer classes. DA 52.1

The priest went through the ceremony of his official work. He took the child in his arms, and held it up before the altar. After handing it back to its mother, he inscribed the name “Jesus” on the roll of the first-born. Little did he think, as the babe lay in his arms, that it was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. The priest did not think that this babe was the One of whom Moses had written, “A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you.” Acts 3:22. He did not think that this babe was He whose glory Moses had asked to see. But One greater than Moses lay in the priest's arms; and when he enrolled the child's name, he was enrolling the name of One who was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. That name was to be its death warrant; for the system of sacrifices and offerings was waxing old; the type had almost reached its antitype, the shadow its substance. DA 52.2

The Shekinah had departed from the sanctuary, but in the Child of Bethlehem was veiled the glory before which angels bow. This unconscious babe was the promised seed, to whom the first altar at the gate of Eden pointed. This was Shiloh, the peace giver. It was He who declared Himself to Moses as the I AM. It was He who in the pillar of cloud and of fire had been the guide of Israel. This was He whom seers had long foretold. He was the Desire of all nations, the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star. The name of that helpless little babe, inscribed in the roll of Israel, declaring Him our brother, was the hope of fallen humanity. The child for whom the redemption money had been paid was He who was to pay the ransom for the sins of the whole world. He was the true “high priest over the house of God,” the head of “an unchangeable priesthood,” the intercessor at “the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 10:21; 7:24; 1:3. DA 52.3

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 65

God's Hand on Wheel—Fearful perils are before those who bear responsibilities in the cause of God—perils the thought of which make me tremble. But the word comes, “My hand is upon the wheel, and I will not allow men to control My work for these last days. My hand is turning the wheel, and My providence will continue to work out the divine plans, irrespective of human inventions.”... Ev 65.1

In the great closing work we shall meet with perplexities that we know not how to deal with, but let us not forget that the three great powers of heaven are working, that a divine hand is on the wheel, and that God will bring His purposes to pass.—Manuscript 118, 1902. Ev 65.2

Favor Until the Work Is Done—A world is to be warned. Watch, wait, pray, work, and let nothing be done through strife and vainglory. Let nothing be done to increase prejudice, but everything possible to make prejudice less, by letting in light, the bright rays of the Sun of Righteousness amid the moral darkness. There is a great work to be done yet, and every effort possible must be made to reveal Christ as the sin-pardoning Saviour, Christ as the sin-bearer, Christ as the bright and morning star, and the Lord will give us favor before the world until our work is done.—Letter 35, 1895. Ev 65.3

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Ellen G. White
Maranatha, 23.1

I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. Revelation 22:16. Mar 23.1

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Ellen G. White
Medical Ministry, 109

Once I was called to see a young woman with whom I was well acquainted. She was sick, and was running down fast. Her mother wished me to pray for her. The mother stood there weeping and saying, “Poor child; she cannot live long.” I felt her pulse. I prayed with her, and then addressed her, “My sister, if you get up and dress and go to your usual work in the office, all this invalidism will pass away.” “Do you think this would pass away?” she said. “Certainly,” I said. “You have nearly smothered the life forces by invalidism.” I turned to the mother and told her that her daughter would have died of a diseased imagination if they had not been convinced of their error. She had been educating herself to invalidism. Now this is a very poor school. But I said to her, “Change this order; arise and dress.” She was obedient, and is alive today.—Letter 231, 1905. MM 109.1

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 136

Righteousness has its root in godliness. No man can steadily maintain before his fellow men a pure, forceful life unless his life is hid with Christ in God. The greater the activity among men, the closer must be the communion of the heart with heaven. MH 136.1

The more urgent his duties and the greater his responsibilities, the greater the physician's need of divine power. Time must be redeemed from things temporal, for meditation upon things eternal. He must resist an encroaching world, which would so press upon him as to separate him from the Source of strength. Above all other men should he, by prayer and the study of the Scriptures, place himself under the protecting shield of God. He is to live in hourly contact and conscious communion with the principles of truth, righteousness, and mercy that reveal God's attributes within the soul. MH 136.2

Just to the degree in which the word of God is received and obeyed will it impress with its potency and touch with its life every spring of action, every phase of character. It will purify every thought, regulate every desire. Those who make God's word their trust will quit themselves like men and be strong. They will rise above all baser things into an atmosphere free from defilement. MH 136.3

When man is in fellowship with God, that unswerving purpose which preserved Joseph and Daniel amidst the corruption of heathen courts will make his a life of unsullied purity. His robes of character will be spotless. In his life the light of Christ will be undimmed. The bright and morning Star will appear shining steadfastly above him in changeless glory. MH 136.4

Such a life will be an element of strength in the community. It will be a barrier against evil, a safeguard to the tempted, a guiding light to those who, amidst difficulties and discouragements, are seeking the right way. MH 136.5

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 231

It was impossible, however, for Adam, by his example and precepts, to stay the tide of woe which his transgression had brought upon men. Unbelief crept into the hearts of men. The children of Adam present the earliest example of the two different courses pursued by men with regard to the claims of God. Abel saw Christ figured in the sacrificial offerings. Cain was an unbeliever in regard to the necessity of sacrifices; he refused to discern that Christ was typified by the slain lamb; the blood of beasts appeared to him without virtue. The gospel was preached to Cain as well as to his brother; but it was to him a savor of death unto death, because he would not recognize, in the blood of the sacrificial lamb, Jesus Christ the only provision made for man's salvation. 1SM 231.1

Our Saviour, in His life and death, fulfilled all the prophecies pointing to Himself, and was the substance of all the types and shadows signified. He kept the moral law, and exalted it by answering its claims as man's representative. Those of Israel who turned to the Lord, and accepted Christ as the reality shadowed forth by the typical sacrifices, discerned the end of that which was to be abolished. The obscurity covering the Jewish system as a veil, was to them as the veil which covered the glory upon the face of Moses. The glory upon the face of Moses was the reflection of that light which Christ came into the world to bring for the benefit of man. 1SM 231.2

While Moses was shut in the mount with God, the plan of salvation, dating from the fall of Adam, was revealed to him in a most forcible manner. He then knew that the very angel who was conducting the travels of the children of Israel was to be revealed in the flesh. God's dear Son, who was one with the Father, was to make all men one with God who would believe on, and trust in Him. Moses saw the true significance of the sacrificial offerings. Christ taught the gospel plan to Moses, and the glory of the gospel, through Christ, illuminated the countenance of Moses so that the people could not look upon it. 1SM 231.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 58

Do not make prominent those features of the message which are a condemnation of the customs and practices of the people, until they have an opportunity to know that we are believers in Christ, that we believe in His divinity and in His pre-existence. Let the testimony of the world's Redeemer be dwelt upon. He says: “I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.” Revelation 22:16. 6T 58.1

*****

At the Queensland camp meeting in 1898, instruction was given me for our Bible workers. In the visions of the night, ministers and workers seemed to be in a meeting where Bible lessons were being given. We said, “We have the Great Teacher with us today,” and we listened with interest to His words. He said: There is a great work before you in this place. You will need to present truth in its simplicity. Bring the people to the waters of life. Speak to them the things which most concern their present and eternal good. Let not your study of the Scriptures be of a cheap or casual order. In all that you say, know that you have something which is worthy of the time you take to say it, and of the time of the hearers to hear. Speak of those things which are essential, those things which will instruct, bringing light with every word. 6T 58.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 62

In our camp meeting services there should be singing and instrumental music. Musical instruments were used in religious services in ancient times. The worshipers praise God upon the harp and cymbal, and music should have its place in our services. It will add to the interest. And every day a praise meeting should be held, a simple service of thanksgiving to God. There would be much more power in our camp meetings if we had a true sense of the goodness, mercy, and long-suffering of God, and if more praise flowed forth from our lips to the honor and glory of His name. We need to cultivate more fervor of soul. The Lord says: “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me.” Psalm 50:23. 6T 62.1

It is Satan's work to talk of that which concerns himself, and he is delighted to have human beings talk of his power, of his working through the children of men. Through indulgence in such conversation the mind becomes gloomy and sour and disagreeable. We may become channels of communication for Satan, through which flow words that bring no sunshine to any heart. But let us decide that this shall not be. Let us decide not to be channels through which Satan shall communicate gloomy, disagreeable thoughts. Let our words be not a savor of death unto death, but of life unto life. 6T 62.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 118

The perils of the last days are upon us, and in our work we are to warn the people of the danger they are in. Let not the solemn scenes which prophecy has revealed be left untouched. If our people were half awake, if they realized the nearness of the events portrayed in the Revelation, a reformation would be wrought in our churches, and many more would believe the message. We have no time to lose; God calls upon us to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Advance new principles, and crowd in the clear-cut truth. It will be as a sword cutting both ways. But be not too ready to take a controversial attitude. There will be times when we must stand still and see the salvation of God. Let Daniel speak, let the Revelation speak, and tell what is truth. But whatever phase of the subject is presented, uplift Jesus as the center of all hope, “the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star.” TM 118.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 253

If the Majesty of heaven guarded His every word lest He should stir up the spirit of Satan and the fallen angels, how much more careful should we be in all things! TM 253.1

I must speak to my brethren, nigh and afar off. I cannot hold my peace. They are not working on correct principles. Those who stand in responsible positions must not feel that their position of importance makes them men of infallible judgment. All the works of men are under the Lord's jurisdiction. It will be altogether safe for men to consider that there is knowledge with the Most High. Those who trust in God and His wisdom, and not in their own, are walking in safe paths. They will never feel that they are authorized to muzzle even the ox that treads out the grain; and how offensive it is for men to control the human agent who is in partnership with God and to whom the Lord Jesus has said: “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” “We are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” TM 253.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 305.5

It is in recognizing His light that you will conquer. You may increase in faith, by exercising the voice in speaking forth the praises of God. To the heart that recognizes Him is the promise, “I am ...the bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16). TDG 305.5

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 327.2

God calls upon all who have been drinking of the water of life to lead others to the fountain.... “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). Christ is to be your light. Christ is to be your sufficiency and power. Christ is the root, and He sustains every branch by His power.... TDG 327.2

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 437

From God, the fountain of wisdom, proceeds all the knowledge that is of value to man, all that the intellect can grasp or retain. The fruit of the tree representing good and evil is not to be eagerly plucked, because it is recommended by one who was once a bright angel in glory. He has said that if men eat thereof, they shall know good and evil. But let it alone. The true knowledge comes not from infidels or wicked men. The word of God is light and truth. The true light shines from Jesus Christ, who “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” From the Holy Spirit proceeds divine knowledge. He knows what humanity needs to promote peace, happiness, and restfulness here in this world, and secure eternal rest in the kingdom of God. FE 437.1

“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.”—Special Testimonies On Education, June 12, 1896. FE 437.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 20-1

*****

The truths of the third angel's message have been presented by some as a dry theory; but in this message is to be presented Christ the Living One. He is to be revealed as the first and the last, as the I AM, the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star. Through this message the character of God in Christ is to be manifested to the world. The call is to be sounded: “O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him: behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom.” Isaiah 40:9-11. 6T 20.1

Now, with John the Baptist, we are to point men to Jesus, saying: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. Now as never before is to be sounded the invitation: “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.” “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.” John 7:37; Revelation 22:17. 6T 20.2

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