Bible Study Commentary on Jesus the Great I AM
I AM the Bright Morning Star - Hope for the coming new day!
by I Gordon
We have come now to the last I AM in the Bible and the last I AM in this series. Not surprisingly, this I AM is found in the last page in your Bible. Well, actually, that's probably a lovely colourful map or a concordance list of all the words starting with Z in the Bible so forget that! But it is found on the last page of the last book of the Bible - Revelation. Before I mention what it is (don't peak at the title!), let me ask you a question - What is the very last statement Jesus made in the Bible? It is this:
"Yes, I am coming quickly."
The last statement Jesus made is about His return. He is coming quickly. So if that is the last statement, what is the second to last? It is the last title that Jesus speaks of Himself and our last I AM. Here it is:
'I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.'
Now I could have focused on this statement 'I am the root and the descendant of David' but I decided not to as I have written about that before when we looked at the Messianic Psalms. You may remember that in the gospels it says:
Matthew 22:41-46 while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, (42) 'What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he? "The son of David," they replied. (43) He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says, (44) 'The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." '(45) If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?" (46) No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Jesus trapped the Pharisees! Yes, the Messiah would be the son of David in that He would be born as a descendant of David. Yet He wasn't just the descendant for He was also David's Lord! That puzzle was too much for the Pharisees and from that day they didn't ask Jesus any more questions! So that is what we see here in Revelation - Jesus says He is both the root (ie source) and the descendant of David. He came both before and after King David!
But what I want to focus on for this last message is the second part of this statement - 'I AM... the bright morning star'. Here is what we will look at:
1. We'll begin by looking at what the morning star is in the heavens around us.
2. We'll complete an overview of Bible history in relation to this theme of the morning star. (So you should finished reading in about 4 days time).
3. We'll examine why Jesus is the bright morning star
4. We'll jump forward to a coming day when that morning star shall rise (spiritually speaking) within us.
"Ok, enough intro... will you tell me what the morning star is please!'
Sure. Happy to oblige. In astronomy the term "morning star" is most commonly used as a reference to the planet Venus as it rises in the east. So before dawn, before the sun rises, first there is the rising of what we call 'the morning star'. It is a pointer to the new day that is about to unfold. Outside of the sun and the moon, Venus is the brightest object in the night sky. You probably have all seen the morning star rise (unless you enjoy your sleep so much that you have never got out of bed early enough!) But I came across this beautiful video shot in a time lapse down in Otago, New Zealand which captures it really well. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so what about a video!
Now, if you were to ask for one word that sums up what the morning star speaks of it is this: HOPE. In the natural it is a pointer to the dawn of a new day. In the spiritual it also speaks of the sure and confident hope that we have of the dawn of a coming new day. Now before diving into what that means for Jesus and His return, let's just look at a few verses that give a wee Bible history on this particular phrase.
Bible star history - Let's go back... all the way back!
So we have seen that this phrase was used by Jesus, of Himself, in the last book of the Bible. But did you know that it is also used in arguably the oldest book in the Bible? That is, the book of Job. God, when speaking to Job, gives us a glimpse of one of the very first scenes after He created the earth. Speaking to Job He says:
"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? "On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7)
When it speaks of the morning stars and the sons of God in this passage it is speaking of the angelic realm. Angels are often symbolized by stars especially in the book of Revelation. In Revelation 1:20 Jesus says that the seven stars that John saw are seven angels. In Revelation 12 it speaks of Satan being cast out of heaven and taking a third of the stars with him (Rev 12:4). So in Job, it gives us a beautiful picture of these angels, called the morning stars, singing, rejoicing and shouting for joy over what God had made. Sometimes we hear singing that we describe as angelic. 'Oh what angelic voices!' 'What an angelic choir'. Well, these angels, these morning stars, literally did form an angelic choir right at the dawn of creation and they couldn't help themselves. The beauty of the dawn of the new day that was coming and they had to sing and rejoice!
And yet there was one angelic being that wasn't singing. There was one morning star that wasn't happy at all. In fact he hated what He saw.
How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. (Isa 14:12-15)
You see here the one who didn't sing at creation. His name is Lucifer or, literally, light bearer, He had been God's anointed cherub, the highest order of angelic being. He WAS a beautiful morning star, a son of the dawn. Yet enamored with his own beauty (Ezek 28:12-14) and proud desire to be like the Most High (Isa 14:13)... he fell. And great was that fall. Now we know the rest of the story. He set about to deceive and destroy God's creation and all that was dear to God's heart. Primarily that meant deceiving and drawing away that which God had said was 'very good' - the pinnacle of Yahweh's creation - mankind. And you only have to take a look at the 6 o'clock news to see what a mess humanity was left in.
Yet hope rises for a new star is seen!
As we move forward with this Bible star history, we see that God had a plan! Hope was seen in a new star rising. Here is a quiz starter for you. Who said this 'I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near.' Oooh... could be a toughie I know1. Here is part of the prophecy:
The oracle of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the sons of Sheth. (Num 24:16-17)
Yes! It comes from the infamous prophet Balaam. Balaam heard the words of God and saw a vision of the coming King. He saw Him, but knew it wasn't for his time He beheld Him, but knew His coming wasn't near. And yet look at how He described Him: 'There is a star coming out of Jacob. A scepter will rise out of Israel.' He knew this was the King and a great light... a ray of vast hope was coming from out of Israel!
Following this star onwards you will no doubt remember that when the wise men came to Herod they said "Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him?" (Mat 2:2) They had followed His star which led them to Jerusalem, and then it appeared again to lead them to the specific house in Bethlehem.2
Back to Revelation - Why is Jesus the Bright Morning Star?
"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star." The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. (Rev 22:16-17)
So what do we see from this passage concerning the bright morning star? What is the context of this title? It is to do with His return. We have seen that the bright morning star rises while it is still dark, before the sun dawns, to give the hope of a coming new day. That is what this title means for us. Let's explore this:
We are currently in the night.
Paul wrote: Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Rom 13:11-12)
The Bible says to know the time. The night is almost gone and the day is near. If it was important for Paul's age how so much more today? The night seems quite dark at the moment - There is a lot of tension in the air. There is a feeling that something soon has to give. There is financial tension. Political tension. Middle East tension. The players are aligning as the Bible says they will. But the darkness of the hour is a pointer that the morning star is close!
We know a new day is coming.
The new day is the return of Jesus Christ to setup His Kingdom on this planet. We know this new day will see everything put right and back how it was designed to be from the beginning of time. Just as the last chapter of the last New Testament book speaks of Jesus as the morning star, so the last chapter of the last book of the Old Testament speaks of Jesus as the sun of righteousness (signifying the dawning of a new day.)
But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves. (Mal 4:2)
The sun of righteousness is also the Son of righteousness. And He is coming with healing in His wings. This is healing for all of creation. Mankind, the animal kingdom, the vegetable kingdom... creation itself cries out in bondage scripture tells us awaiting this day. (Rom 8:19-22) But things must first get darker before this day dawns.
Before the new day comes we'll see the morning star in the Heavens
However, for believers, our hope is in a different coming. Even before this new day of the kingdom age arrives, our hope is in another coming - the rising of the morning star even while it is still night. Put another way, we await the return of the Lord Jesus for His bride at the rapture! Just as the morning star comes before the day so the Lord shall come for His people before the day of the Lord. And just as the morning star is seen in the heavens, so we, believers, shall meet our King and Saviour there! (1 Thes 4:16-17)
Ok, so what should we do then?
What we do is what Peter, in the Bible, told us to do. Did you know that he spoke of the morning star as well? Here is the passage:
We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2Pe 1:16-19)
Where it says 'we have the word of the prophets made more certain' it can also be translated (as in the NKJV) 'we have the prophetic word confirmed'. In other words, Peter is saying that you should pay attention to prophecy and especially when you see the prophetic word being confirmed. It is like a light shining in a dark place giving hope for what is about to occur. And our generation, this generation, has seen more prophecies fulfilled since the time of Jesus. For example:
God said He would restore the Jews to the land of Israel from all the nations - This year is Israel's 70th anniversary! (Deut 30:3, Ezek 36:24)
The desolate land of Israel would again blossom and be fruitful in the last days. (Zechariah 7:14, Isaiah 27:6)
God Himself would defend Israel amongst many enemies and cause Israel to be mighty in battle (Zech 12:8)
In the last days, Jerusalem would be a burden, a stumbling stone, to the entire world. (Zech 12:2-3)
An increase in disasters, earthquakes, plagues and wars (Matt 24:3-7)
A rise in false religious leaders, deception and those claiming to be Christ (leading to a falling away from the faith) (Matt 24:4-5)
An explosion in knowledge and travel. (Dan 12:4)
Increase in wickedness and a decrease in morals (days of Noah). (Matt 24:12,37)
God's people will be persecuted, hated and killed. (Matt 24:9)
We also see prophetic themes in the pipeline emerging...
The coming destruction of Damascus (Isa 17:1-2)
The rise of Gog and the alliance of Russia, Turkey and Iran (along with others) to come against Israel in the last days (Ezek 38.39)
A Middle-East 7 year covenant or peace treaty with 'the many' (Dan 9:27)
The establishment of a third temple in Jerusalem (2 Thes 2:4, Rev 11:1-2)
The emergence of a world government, world religion and eventual one world leader (Rev 13:3-8)
A global financial system and the mark of the beast (Rev 13:16-17)
All of these things, and more, give light to what time it is on God's calendar. Paul said (as mentioned earlier) that we should 'know the time' (Rom 13:11) Peter says 'you do well to pay attention to it (the prophetic word in general and especially that which is fulfilled). It is not doom and gloom - it is light and hope. A new day is coming and all these things point to that. Yes it is dark. Yes it will get darker. The picture of Christ as the morning star gives the promise of great hope for the future.3
So how will the rising of morning star affect us?
You will note that Peter emphasizes something different in relation to the rising of the morning star. He says we would do well to pay attention to the words of the prophets confirmed until 'the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts'. Peter says that at the coming of Christ the morning star will arise in your hearts. So what does that mean? At the moment Peter says we are in a dark place. But we have a light which is the prophetic word. But one day the morning star, with all it's light will arise in our hearts. Remember - Jesus is the morning star! He gave a promise to the true church was that He would give them 'the morning star' (Rev 2:28) To me this speaks of full realisation (of hope), full illumination and full transformation.
Full realisation (of hope) - the rising of the morning star speaks of hope as we have said. It is hope for the coming new day. When the Lord returns to take His people to their new home all of our greatest hope will be realised!
Full illumination - currently we see through a glass dimly (1 Cor 13:12). We are in a dark world. We have a light (His word) that illuminates our path. But when the morning star arises in our hearts at His return we will have full light! Then we will know even as we are known. (1 Cor 13:12)
Full transformation - The rising of the morning star in our hearts will change us from within. When we see Him we will be transformed to be like Him (1 John 3:2). The Apostle Paul often spoke about this. He would talk about the glory to be revealed IN US. Note the following well know scripture:
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. (Rom 8:18-19)
At the dawn of the first creation the morning stars (the angelic realm) sang and rejoiced. It was a new day and there was joy over God's new creation. Yet it was marred by the one that had once been a light bearer, a morning star himself - Lucifer. Yet we've seen how God promised hope through Balaam's prophecy that "a star will arise from Jacob, a scepter out of Israel'.
And this star is the Lord Jesus. He said I am the bright morning star. And as that star He gives hope for the future, today. What is coming will not only cause the angels to sing once more but will cause all of creation to rejoice. Even the trees in the field will clap their hands! The groaning of creation will be replaced with rejoicing. And, as we have seen, this rising of the morning star will have a pretty profound effect on us as believers as well! It will mean full realisation of hope, full illumination and revelation, and full transformation!
It seems like a fitting place to end this I AM series!