The Threefold Cry of the Spirit

"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you theses things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star. And the Spirit and bride say, Come. And let him that hearth say, Come and let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:16).

Here we have the last mention of the Holy Spirit in the Bible, and it is a wonderful revelation to us of His unwearied activities. It shows us, too, what "the unity of the Spirit" is in practical expression, manifested in a threefold cry through the hearts and mouths of those whom He indwells, and whom He brings into unison with Himself.

The first cry is directed to Jesus our Lord. He shines in the heavens as the bright and morning Star. And to Him, when His glory breaks upon the soul, "The Spirit and the bride say, Come." The second is to those whom Jesus loves, His own, for whose love He yearns, but whose hearts are sleeping; to them the cry is, "Let him that heareth say, Come." The third is to the great outer circle of a needy world. To it the heart of God is full of compassion, and this is expressed in this last evangelical appeal in the Bible: "Let him that is athirst come: and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

To Jesus Our Lord

The Spirit of Truth, the Comforter, is come to show the things of Christ to us, and to glorify Him, and He is successful in His work and Christ is glorified when the hearts of His redeemed people are so enraptured with Him that other things lose their attraction and they want only Himself, and are bound together in one great desire for His coming. When the hearts of the saints of God say, Come, there is no discord and no clash between the Spirit's desire and the desire of those whom He indwells. This is the Spirit's unity.

The Spirit has always desired that Christ should come, and He has laboured for this unceasingly since Pentecost, yet the centuries have rolled by and Christ has not yet come, and men deride the blessed hope; but the Spirit is not discouraged because the time is long, but continues to labour, and will until His labours are crowned with final and eternal success. And this last mention of His activities in the Word brings this day of glory clearly into view.

The reason why Christ has not yet come is because the first and chief reason of His coming will be to claim His bride. He will in due course have the kingdoms, and the glory and universal adoration, but He must first have His bride, a complete and glorious church. Hitherto this has not been possible for the church is not yet completed, but the Spirit will not falter in His labours until it is complete and ready to be presented to Christ, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Then there will be no more delay, the Lord will answer the cry of the Spirit and the bride with a shout of joy and triumph that will raise the dead saints and change the living and assemble them, the whole undivided church, to meet Him in the air. That that day must be drawing near is evinced, we believe, by the fact that the desire for the coming of the Lord is growing, and more hearts than ever are saying, "Come, Lord Jesus." The Spirit is gathering up the affections of the church and making them flow together in this one blessed unity of which He is the Originator and Sustainer. And He will continue His work until,

By the Spirit all pervading
  Hosts unnumbered round the Lamb —
Crowned with joy and light unfading-
  Hail Him as the great I AM."

To Those Whom He Loves

It is impossible that the Spirit should rest from His labours while so many of those for whom Christ died, and whom He loves with a love that can never die, are indifferent to Him and His coming; He must work to stir up the hearts of the indifferent to join in this cry to the Lord. And those who are in tune with the Spirit will say, "Come." The Spirit worketh hitherto and we must work also; we cannot rest until all that have ears to hear have been brought into this same unity of heart and voice and are saying, "Come, Lord Jesus."

How strange is that state of mind which we sometimes meet with, that is indifferent as to how one's fellow Christians are affected towards Christ, and how completely outside the practical unity of the Spirit must those be who would discourage the servants of the Lord from going forth, north, south, east and west, everywhere, in fact, with the cry, "Behold the Bridegroom, go ye out to meet Him." Such indifference to that which must be of supreme importance indicates a heart out of tune with the Spirit, and with a very small conception of the desire of the Lord for all saints. May the writer and reader alike be preserved from it in the great mercy of God.

Let us hear and rejoice in the truth, "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in ONE HOPE OF YOUR CALLING.' The church of God is one church, one Spirit dwells in it, and the Lamb who died to redeem it is its one glorious Hope. May these great facts seize upon our hearts, and have their true place in our lives; then shall we labour for the revival of the Spirit's cry in the hearts of all the saints.

To a Needy World

The heart that is in unison with the Spirit will not only be true to Christ and desire His coming, and be solicitous for one's brethren, that they may not sleep as do others, but it will be evangelistic also, it will have an earnest invitation to give to a needy world. It has been said that, "the greatest churchman was the greatest evangelist," and this is true. Nobody ever entered into the unity of the Spirit more than Paul the apostle, nobody ever lived who laboured with greater zeal to have the saints of the Lord in trim for His coming than he. From what a warm, full and yet anxious heart this appeal must have come: "I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."

And yet this was the man who pressed from city to city and from country to country, enduring almost incredible hardships, that he might proclaim the glad tidings to every creature under heaven. His Saviour and Lord had yearned for souls when He was here, and Paul yearned for them also, for the life of Jesus was manifested in his mortal flesh, and the compassions of God filled his soul. He was a wholly-surrendered vessel to his Lord, through whom the Spirit could speak and work; he was a Holy Ghost-filled man.

Nearly two thousand years have passed since the Spirit poured the message of grace into the ears of a needy world through that one vessel, and He is still looking for vessels in tune with Himself through whom He can cry, "Let him that is athirst come, and let whosoever will take of the water of life freely." The heart of God is not satisfied with blessing, the fountain of the water of life springs up as fresh and free as ever it did. Until the Lord answers the cry of Spirit and bride, this great sphere of labour lies open to all those who are endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit. Indeed, there are these two spheres, the church and the world, and blessed will that servant be whom his Lord when He cometh shall find caring for His interests in these spheres.