The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!"

Revelation 22:17 reads:

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
Especially among the newer, younger churches, there seems to be an emphasis on these words of Jesus to all who would come to Him and seek the gift of His transformative love. I find it amazing that in this Scripture text it mentions those who give the earnest, profound invitation: both the Spirit and the "bride". Where else does a wounded sinner belong but in the arms of Christ, and by extension, in the arms of His bride, the church, where can be found a company of the redeemed? But among the redeemed there can be found also the company of the seeking-sinner, who has not yet glimpsed the redeeming grace, who has not yet tasted the water of life. And therein lies the problem. Consider a recent post by Ben Witherington:

I once had an odd experience while staying in Atlanta some years ago. I had run into a man in the hotel where I was staying who said he wanted to go to church with me in the morning. Said he was a regular attender back home in Kansas. I thought, well sure-- sounds fine. He then proceeded to tell me he was in counseling for child porn and for fondling children and was doing better. He was a doctor who had lost his job. At that juncture I had a dilemma on my hands. I didn't think I could decide for the church in question whether he ought to be there or not. I honestly didn't know what to say or do. The next morning I got up and went on to church early , and this man showed up as well. Well, I sat with him. We sang the hymns together, but I have to tell you I was more than a little distracted. I was watching him closely more than I was paying attention to the service. I am still not sure what I should have done, if anything.
And here we have the classic conundrum for the church. Should this man be welcomed into the fellowship of the church? At first, the answer appears to be yes, especially in light of the text that we looked at above. Where else could this man find the healing grace of unconditional love if not the church? Where else could he be known for who he is and not despised? Where else could he find the loving care and call to discipleship that could lead to authentic transformation?

But at what cost? If the church is filled with people less than fully formed into the likeness of Jesus, what effect will his presence have on their faith walk? Certainly, a Christian leader in the church, full of the Holy Spirit, could take advantage of this vivid opportunity to call others to be like Christ and accept him. But what of the family with small children, loving, yes, but deeply concerned about the consequences of a single episode of backsliding? That is to say nothing of the unchurched family whose mother brought them to seek Jesus precisely because as a child she was abused at the hands of a similar person. Again, a vivid opportunity for her to learn about the need for unconditional forgiveness.

But will she stay long enough to meet Jesus? Or will she run in fear from this group of (in her mind) fools who are too naive to know the corrupting power which has soiled this man's soul?

This story hit me hard as I find myself wondering how I would approach this man and how I would shepherd the faith community for which God has given me responsibility. My heart would go out to him, eager to show him the transforming love which I have experienced at the feet of my Savior. I would challenge others to do the same, to reach out to him and become for him a community of friends in which he could grow and heal while confronting the sinful nature which had driven him to such acts.

But what of the five families who would leave because they cannot bear that call to discipleship (at least not yet)? Is their fellowship and journey of faith worth less than his?

We make choices with every person we invite alongside us on the journey of faith. We cannot be all for the sake of all, as much as great men like Paul have tried. In the end, he was called to take the gospel to the gentile churches, leaving the Jews to others. I hope and pray that should God call us to such a radical opportunity to show His love, that He guide us as we seek a way to honor Him and His sending purpose.


Anonymous said...

Great thoughts. Thank you for the challenge.

Anonymous said...

Good Day and God bless you

Let us have a closer look at the scripture in Revelation 22:17
Revelation 22:17 [The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" and let him who hear say, “Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes let him take the free gift of the water life.]
Yes, the Spirit and the bride are calling to all to receive the water of life.
There are clearly two parties at work here.
The church cannot give eternal life as the church are made up of people, people cannot give eternal life either as only God can give eternal life.

So as far as scripture is concerned the bride refers to something other than the church or a church which is made up of mere mortal humans.
If you look in the book of Jeremiah 2:13 it is written: My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of living water...” Here in the age of the Father Jehovah (YHWH) is the source of eternal life namely God.

Then in the age of the Son Jesus (Yehoshua) is the source of the water of life (eternal life) as it is written in John 4:13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

So from these two scriptures amongst others it is easy to discern that only God can give eternal life and so doing ruling out the bride as the church, for the bride along with the Spirit in Revelation is giving and not delivering the water of life.

Anonymous said...

Yes the church is compared to the church in regards to Ephesians 5:22 "Wives submit to your husband’s as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."
Basically Christ here is being compared to the husband
The church is being compared to the wife.

So just as a wife should be faithful to her husband in the same way we, the church (believers) should be faithful to Christ.
When reading the bible we must understand that one word has more than one meaning depending on the context thereof.
In Ephesians the church is being compared to as a wife/woman mainly to portray how we as followers of Christ should be faithful towards Him.
If we look at the book of John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, "Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!"
Here the Jesus is referred to as the lamb as only God can give man the forgiveness of sins. [Matthew 9:1-8 and Mark 2:1-2]
Jesus = lamb
However in the book of John 21:15 "When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, " You know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs"
Does the lamb here refer to Jesus?
Depending on the context we can understand that the lamb here refers to Jesus' followers otherwise Jesus are saying that Simon should feed or in other words look after Jesus, which does not make sense at all.
so if we insist that one word in the bible has only one meaning we will be distorting what the word of God is really saying and so doing being robbed of salvation.

Anonymous said...

So once again if we look at the context of the scripture the bride in Revelation 22:17 simply cannot be the church as the bride along with the Spirit is giving the water of life (eternal life) which no mortal man, church or pastor can give but God.
As it is written: "The Spirit and the bride....." and not The Spirit through the bride....

Please note that I am not arguing but simply ruling out the gray areas.
We are clearly living in the last days and we need to know who we need to go to in order for us to receive eternal life and according to Revelations 22:17 The Spirit and the bride is calling to give the water of life.

The bride here in Revelation 22:17 is described has the Holy City Jerusalem in Revelation 21:9-10 when it was revealed to John whilst he was on the island of Patmos. John being one of the faithful servants of Christ even till the point of death did not know who the bride was and the angel showed him, as it is written: Revelation 21:9-10 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, " Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb". And then he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
22. I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

So here the bride is described as Jerusalem that is coming out of heaven, this however is not a physical city but a spiritual city as you can see in verse 22 of chapter 21.

Anonymous said...

Bride = Jerusalem the Holy City

Apostle Paul wrote about this Jerusalem in Galatians 4:26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free and she is our mother.

Where was Paul? He was on this earth and he clearly states that the Jerusalem that is above and the Jerusalem in Revelation 21:9-10 this Jerusalem is coming down out of heaven (above)

Bride = Jerusalem = Mother
Genesis 1:26 Then God said;" Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over all the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

God is referred to in Gen 1:26 as plural and then God created man Gen 1:27 so God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

First of all, Who spoke accordance to Genesis 1:26?
God spoke and said; let us make man...

Two images were created in the image of God.
This simply means God has two images in accordance to the bible.
1. A Male image of God
2. A Female image of God

Male = God the Father
Female = God the Mother

Father, Jehovah = Male
Son, Jesus = Male
Holy Spirit = Male (John 14:17, John 16:7-8, 12-14) [he, him indicates male gender]
Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the male image of God

Anonymous said...

God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit are one God even though the three are different in name and role.
Revelation 22:17 The Spirit (Father) and the bride (Mother) say;"Come!" and let him who hear say, “Come!" Whoever is thirsty; let him take the free gift of the water of life.
In John 14:6 Jesus says that he is the way and the truth and the life....)
Revelation 14:6 ....They follow the lamb (Jesus) wherever he goes.
Revelation 7:17 it is written that Jesus, the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he (Jesus) will lead them to springs of living water (eternal life)
Zachariah 14:8 On that day (last days) living water (eternal life) will flow out from Jerusalem.
For our salvation we should follow the Lamb (2nd coming Christ) who is the way [John 14:6] and follow him as He will lead us to springs of living water/eternal life [Rev7:17] that will flow out of Jerusalem [Zachariah 14:8]
Jerusalem is our Mother [Gal 4:26]
For us to enter the kingdom of heaven we must believe not just in God the Father but also In God the Mother who gives us the water of life in the last days.
Failing to believe we will never enter Heaven just like the Israelites because of their unbelief who disobeyed did not enter Canaan. (Hebrews 3:19)
Therefore let us make every effort to enter that rest (heavenly kingdom), so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
(Hebrews 4:11)
World Mission Society Church of God believes in God the Mother whom the bible testifies about.

Anonymous said...

The church established by second coming Christ Ahnsahnghong (new name of Christ Revelation 2:17 and 3:12) whom the bible testify about according to the parable of the fig tree (Mathew 24:32 that represents Israel the fig tree nation Jeremiah 24:4) who came in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5,6,7 and 9:28) and blessed us with eternal life (salvation) by restoring the truth of the Passover of the new covenant with the bread and wine (Isaiah 25 :6-9). Restored the entire feast (Leviticus 23, the seven feasts in three times) that was abolished by satan in the dark ages which God Himself said He will restore according to the prophecy of Psalms 87:5 and 102:16. God said He will restore Zion which is the city of God's religious festivals (Isaiah 33:20).
Christ Ahnsahnghong who reigns on David’s throne, Just as physical king David captured Zion (2 Samuel 5:7), so prophetical David (second coming Christ is the root of David [Rev 22:16]) is to establish spiritual Zion which is the city of God appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies we are to proclaim at their appointed times. (Read Leviticus 23)

Believe in Father Christ Ahnsahnghong and Heavenly Mother The New Jerusalem and receive the water of life of which only God can give.

Let us all return to our home town Heavenly Kingdom