Rev. 22:16 is in red letters because Jesus is speaking. He calls Himself “the bright and morning star.” The Greek word for morning star (orthrinos) is Strong’s G3720 and refers to Venus, especially brilliant in the early day.
In ancient literature and to this day, the planet Venus has been called “the morning star.” While Jupiter, Mars and other planets can appear in the morning sky, Venus is more consistent, appearing as a morning star in a sequence of nine months out of 19 (evening star nine months and not visible one month). Venus is way brighter than the others, and on some moonless nights it casts shadows. Only the sun and moon are brighter.
On a long dark night, the appearance of the morning star means daybreak is soon to occur. Jesus as the morning star gives hope and promise in this long dark night of suffering that eternal morning in God’s Kingdom is about to dawn!
In Isa. 14:12 Lucifer who became Satan is called “O morning star, son of the dawn!” (King James Version). The Hebrew word heylel occurs once in the Hebrew Bible and Strong’s says it means “shining one, light-bearer.” Tragically, Lucifer became proud and rebellious, and his names are now Satan (Adversary) and Abaddon and Apollyon (Destroyer) (1 Pet. 5:8) and his game is deception (Rev. 12:9).
That both Jesus and Satan are referred to as a morning star obviously does not equate the two. The idea of a morning star is the one that outshines the rest. Jesus is called the bright and morning star. He is the one who created Lucifer with the amount of light he had. Jesus is the “the light of the world” (John 9:5). It’s interesting that the Septuagint’s Greek word for morning star in Isa. 14:12 (heosphoros) is not the same Greek word as in Rev. 22:16 (orthrinos).
It’s fitting that the lesser morning star who is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4) and the chief ruler “of the darkness of this age” (Eph. 6:12) will be replaced by Jesus Christ who is the Eternal Bright and Morning Star of the Family and Kingdom of God.
If you are reading this, and especially if you are understanding this, you have been called by God the Father to be in the first superior resurrection (Dan. 12:2). “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever” (verse 3). In the Millennium and Great White Judgment, we will serve with Jesus Christ in bringing salvation to all who have ever lived.
To be there as one of the firstfruits, God requires us to “become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life” (Php. 2:15-16).
We must NOW be God’s “light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16).
Let me share a fitting concluding comment from Robin Webber, United Church of God southwest regional director: “It is Jesus Christ who will appear in our lives when it is ‘darkest and coldest’ and illuminate our lives and invite us to continue to ‘follow Me’ even when there are no human answers in the moment—for after all—He said, ‘I am the path, the way, the life’ (John 14:6). Perhaps someone right now is knocking at our door (Rev. 3:20). Perhaps its time to open the door even though it is cold and dark.”