Revelation 22.16

Revelation 22.16 (and 2.24-28)

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In the book of Revelation John the Divine more clearly attributes the function of Lucifer to Jesus.  Actually, it is not so obvious in the first passage, because Jesus himself gives the Morning Star to the faithful.  John is relaying the message of the Son of Man to his followers in Thyatira, those who have not taken up the so-called deep things of Satan (see section 1 above).  He says:

 

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To everyone who conquers, and who continues to do my works to the end, I will give power (exousia) over the Nations, to rule them with an iron rod and shatter them like so many pots, as I received this power from my Father.  To the one who conquers I will also give the Morning Star (ho Aster ho Proinos).  (Rev. 2.26-28)

Some commentators assure us that the Morning Star is Christ himself, since later on in Revelation (as we will see), Jesus identifies himself as such.  But it may be that there is a different system at work there.  In the present passage, for the Morning Star to be Christ, we have to assume that Christ says “I, Jesus, give you Jesus.”  It would be more natural for him to say, “I give you myself as the Morning Star.”

An alternative explanation is to see the passage as in tune with the Last-Supper discourse of Jesus in John, where he says that he will send his Spirit—that is, the Spirit of Truth, the Advocate or Paraclete (see above, chap. 4.4).  In support of this latter interpretation, perhaps, is the fact that the Son of Man goes on in the Apocalpyse to mention the Spirit:  “Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches” (Rev. 2.29).  He is saying that his message is really the Spirit’s message, and that it is addressed not just to the Church of Thyatira, but to all the Churches.  He will repeat the same thing at the end of the messages to each of the three remaining Churches, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

At the end of Revelation, the book proper concludes with an account of the New Jerusalem, in which there will be no more night:  “They need no light of lamp or Sun, for the Lord God will be their Light, and they will reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 22.5).  Then John has an exchange with the Angel who has revealed these things to him, but the words of Jesus keep bursting in, unintroduced by narrative cues.  The third time this happens, Jesus says:

It is I, Jesus, who sent my Angel to you with this testimony for the Churches.  I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star (ho Aster, ho Lampos, ho Proinos).  (Rev. 22.16)

 

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This is equivalent to saying, “I, Jesus, am Lucifer.”  And since the Morning Star is designated as Bright (Lampos), it is not just the forerunner of the Light.  It is the Light itself.