The Spirit and the bride - All the prophets and all the apostles; the Church of God under the Old Testament, and the Church of Christ under the New.
Say, Come - Invite men to Jesus, that by him they may be saved and prepared for this kingdom.
Let him that heareth - Let all who are privileged with reading and hearing the word of God, join in the general invitation to sinners.
Him that is athirst - He who feels his need of salvation, and is longing to drink of the living fountain.
And whosoever will - No soul is excluded: Jesus died for every man; every man may be saved; therefore let him who wills, who wishes for salvation, come and take the water of life freely - without money or price!
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come - That is, come to the Saviour; come and partake of the blessings of the gospel; come and be saved. The construction demands this interpretation, as the latter part of the verse shows. The design of this whole verse is, evidently, to show the freeness of the offers of the gospel; to condense in a summary manner all the invitations of mercy to mankind; and to leave on the mind at the close of the book a deep impression of the ample provision which has been made for the salvation of a fallen race. Nothing, it is clear, could be more appropriate at the close of this book, and at the close of the whole volume of revealed truth, than to announce, in the most clear and attracting form, that salvation is free to all, and that whosoever will may be saved.
The Spirit - The Holy Spirit. He entreats all to come. This he does:
(a)in all the recorded invitations in the Bible - for it is by the inspiration of that Spirit that these invitations are recorded;
(b)by all his influences on the understandings, the consciences, and the hearts of people;
(c)by all the proclamations of mercy made by the preaching of the gospel, and by the appeal which friend makes to friend, and neighbor to neighbor, and stranger to stranger - for all these are methods in which the Spirit invites people to come to the Saviour.
(a)by its ministers, whose main business it is to extend this invitation to mankind;
(b)by its ordinances - constantly setting forth the freeness of the gospel;
(c)by the lives of its consistent members - showing the excellency and the desirableness of true religion;
(d)by all its efforts to do good in the world;
(e)by the example of those who are brought into the church - showing that all, whatever may have been their former character, may be saved; and,
(f)by the direct appeals of its individual members.
Thus a Christian parent invites his children; a brother invites a sister, and a sister invites a brother; a neighbor invites his neighbor, and a stranger a stranger; the master invites his servant, and the servant his master. The church on earth and the church in heaven unite in the invitation, saying, Come. The living father, pastor, friend, invites - and the voice of the departed father, pastor, friend, now in heaven, is heard re-echoing the invitation. The once-loved mother that has gone to the skies still invites her children to come; and the sweet-smiling babe that has been taken up to the Saviour stretches out its arms from heaven, and says to its mother - “Come.”
Say, Come - That is, come to the Saviour; come into the church; come to heaven.
And let him that heareth say, Come - Whoever hears the gospel, let him go and invite others to come. Nothing could more strikingly set forth the freeness of the invitation of the gospel than this. The authority to make the invitation is not limited to the ministers of religion; it is not even confined to those who accept it themselves. All persons, even though they should not accept of it, are authorized to tell others that they may be saved. One impenitent sinner may go and tell another impenitent sinner that if he will he may find mercy and enter heaven. How could the offer of salvation be made more freely to mankind?
And let him that is athirst come - Whoever desires salvation, as the weary pilgrim desires a cooling fountain to allay his thirst, let him come as freely to the gospel as that thirsty man would stoop down at the fountain and drink. See the notes on Isaiah 55:1. Compare the Matthew 5:6 note; John 7:37 note; Revelation 21:6 note.
And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely - Revelation 21:6. Every one that is disposed to come, that has any sincere wish to be saved, is assured that he may live. No matter how unworthy he is; no matter what his past life has been; no matter how old or how young, how rich or how poor; no matter whether sick or well, a freeman or a slave; no matter whether educated or ignorant; no matter whether clothed in purple or in rags - riding in state or laid at the gate of a rich man full of sores, the invitation is freely made to all to come and be saved. With what more appropriate truth could a revelation from heaven be closed?
Thus are all invited to come. The Lord's love for mankind would not be satisfied in merely preparing the blessings of eternal life, opening the way to them, and announcing that all might come who would; but he sends out an earnest invitation to come. He sets it forth as a favor done to himself if persons will come and partake of the infinite blessings provided by his infinite love. His invitation, how gracious! how full! how free! None of those who are finally lost will ever have occasion to complain that the provisions made for their salvation were not sufficiently ample. They can never reasonably object that the light given to show them the way of life was not sufficiently clear They can never excuse themselves on the ground that the invitations and entreaties that Mercy has given them to turn and live, were not sufficiently full and free. From the very beginning, there has been a power exerted as strong as could be exerted and still leave man his own free agent, â a power to draw him heavenward, and raise him from the abyss into which he has fallen. Come! has been the entreaty of the Spirit from the lips of God himself, from the lips of his prophets, from the lips of his apostles, and from the lips of his Son, even while, in his infinite compassion and humility, he was paying the debt of our transgression.DAR 722.6
The last message of mercy as it is now going forth, is another and final utterance of divine long-suffering and compassion. Come, is the invitation it gives. Come, for all things are ready. And the last sound that will fall from Mercy's lips on the ear of the sinner ere the thunders of vengeance burst upon him, will be the heavenly invitation, Come. So great is the loving-kindness of a merciful God to rebellious man. Yet they will not come. Acting independently and deliberately, they refuse to come. So when they shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of God, and themselves thrust out, they will have no one to accuse, no one to blame, but their own selves. They will be brought to feel this in all its bitterness; for the time will come when Pollok's thrilling description of the condemnation of the lost will be true to the letter: âDAR 723.1
âAnd evermore the thunders murmuring spoke
From out the darkness, uttering loud these words,
Which every guilty conscience echoed back:
âYe knew your duty, but ye did it not.'
Dread words! that barred excuse, and threw the weight
Of every man's perdition on himself
Directly home â
âYe knew your duty, but ye did it not.'âDAR 723.2
The bride also says, Come. But the bride is the city, and how does that say Come? If we could be strengthened to behold the living glories of that city and live, and should be permitted to gaze upon its dazzling beauty, and be assured that we had a perfect right to enter therein and bathe in that ocean of bliss and blessedness and revel in its glory forever and ever, would it not then say to us, Come, with a persuasion which no power could resist? Who of us, in view of this, could turn away, and say, I have no desire for an inheritance there?DAR 723.3
But though we cannot now look upon that city, the unfailing word of God has promised it, and that is sufficient to inspire us with implicit and living faith; and through the channel of that faith it says to us, Come. Come, if you would inherit mansions where sickness, sorrow, pain, and death can never enter; if you would have a right to the tree of life, and pluck its immortal fruit, and eat and live; if you would drink of the water of the river of life, that flows from the throne of God, clear as crystal. Come, if you would obtain through those glittering gates of pearl an abundant entrance into the eternal city; if you would walk its streets of transparent gold; if you would behold its glowing foundation stones; if you would see the King in his beauty on his azure throne. Come, if you would sing the jubilee song of millions, and share their joy. Come, if you would join the anthems of the redeemed with their melodious harps, and know that your exile is forever over, and this is your eternal home. Come, if you would receive a palm of victory and know that you are forever free. Come, if you would exchange the furrows of your care-worn brow for a jeweled crown. Come, if you would see the salvation of the ransomed myriads, the glorified throng which no man can number. Come, if you would drink from the pure fountain of celestial bliss, if you would shine as the stars forever in the firmament of glory, if you would share in the unutterable rapture that fills the triumphant hosts as they behold before them unending ages of glory ever brightening and joys ever new.DAR 724.1
The bride does say, Come. Who of us can resist the invitation? The word of truth is pledged to us that if we keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, we shall have right to the tree of life, we shall enter in through the gates into the city. And we shall feel that we are at home in our Father's house, the very mansions prepared for us, and realize the full truth of the cheering words, âBlessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.â Revelation 19:9.DAR 724.2
âLet him that heareth say, Come.â We have heard of the glory, of the beauty, of the blessings, of that goodly land, and we say, Come. We have heard of the river with its verdant banks, of the tree with its healing leaves, of the ambrosial bowers that bloom in the Paradise of God, and we say, Come. Whosoever will, let him come, and take of the water of life freely.DAR 725.1
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 990.3Read in context »
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 437.2Read in context »
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 20.2Read in context »