The virgins signify the chaste believers (2 Cor. 11:2), who love Christ because of His cheering love (1 Pet. 1:8a).
The virgins signify the chaste believers (2 Cor. 11:2), who love Christ because of His cheering love (1 Pet. 1:8a).
The kisses of the mouth are the most intimate kisses. This yearning to be kissed by Christ is a response to Christ’s cheering love, which is better than wine (v. 2b), and to His charming name (equivalent to His person), which is like ointment (the all-inclusive, compound, life-giving Spirit as the realization of Christ’s person — 1 Cor. 15:45; Exo. 30:23-25 and note Exo. 30:251) poured forth with the pleasant fragrance of the anointing oils (v. 3a). No one can resist Christ’s cheering love and His charming person (cf. Matt. 4:18-20).
According to vv. 2-3, the lover of Christ has obtained a part of Christ’s love, but now she yearns for something more intimate. This indicates that the very Christ in whom we believe is personal and affectionate toward us, and that every believer’s relationship with Christ must be personal and affectionate (Mark 16:7 and note Mark 16:71; John 13:23; 20:1-17; Gal. 2:20b). After believing in Christ to receive Him as the divine life (John 1:4, 12), we need to love Christ in a personal and affectionate way that we may pursue Him and enjoy Him as our satisfaction (1 Cor. 2:9 and note 1 Cor. 2:93d; 1 Tim. 1:14 and note 1 Tim. 1:142c).
Song of Songs is a history of love in an excellent marriage, a story of the love between the wise King Solomon, the writer of this book, and the Shulammite (S.S. 6:13), a girl of the countryside. As such, this book is a marvelous and vivid portrait, in poetic form, of the bridal love between Christ as the Bridegroom and His lovers as His bride (John 3:29-30; Rev. 19:7) in their mutual enjoyment in the mingling of His divine attributes with the human virtues of His lovers. Song of Songs stresses not the Body of Christ corporately but the believer in Christ individually, unveiling the progressive experience of an individual believer’s loving fellowship with Christ in four stages, as shown in points I through IV of the outline of this book. The correspondence between the progression in the poem and the progression in the experience of Christ’s lovers is the intrinsic revelation of the holy Word of the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God. The stages of such a progression should be landmarks to us in the course of our pursuing of Christ for His and our mutual satisfaction.
In the romance between the great King Solomon and the girl from the countryside (cf. vv. 5-8), because the two did not match each other, the king became a “country man” in order to go to her village to court her, to gain her love. On the one hand, he made himself the same as the country girl; on the other hand, he made the country girl a queen. This is a type of the story of God’s romance with man. God as the Husband is divine, and the wife He desires to marry is human; the two do not match each other. To fulfill His heart’s desire God became a lowly man with humanity in incarnation, and He contacted man by the way of a romance. Then in His resurrection He uplifted His humanity into His divinity in the divine power according to the Spirit of holiness, and He was designated the Son of God in His humanity (Rom. 1:3-4 and notes). Today He as the universal Bridegroom is the God-man, having both divinity and humanity. In order to make His bride, His wife, the same as He is, He regenerates His human elect, putting His divinity into their humanity and uplifting their humanity to the standard of divinity (1 Pet. 1:3, 23; John 3:6). After regenerating them, He then transforms His loving seekers gradually in their soul, and ultimately He transfigures them in their body, until in their entire being they are the same as He is in life, in nature, in image, and in function, but not in His Godhead (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2). The romance in Song of Songs portrays the process through which the seeker of Christ passes in order to become the Shulammite, a duplication of Solomon and a figure of the New Jerusalem. See note S.S. 6:131.
In her fellowship with her Beloved, the Beloved tells her to go forth from the place where she is kept away from the proper church life and to follow Him on the footsteps of the church (flock) and pasture her spiritual children (young goats) at the local churches (the shepherds’ tents), where He pastures His church. To follow on the footsteps of the flock is to follow the church, to follow the footsteps of all the faithful seekers of Christ throughout the centuries. As we follow the church, we are led into Christ’s presence, and we bring all the younger ones (young goats) to the church as well. The church is the place where Christ’s presence is and where He pastures, shepherds and feeds, His saints (John 10:11, 16; Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2-4).
The Lord’s lover has been seeking Him for her own satisfaction, but the Lord’s concern is for God’s satisfaction realized by the accomplishing of His eternal economy. God’s economy is to save sinners in order to gain the proper local churches, so that the essence of these churches can become the organic Body of Christ, which consummates the New Jerusalem as the consummation of God’s economy. Hence, in His answer to His lover, Christ instructs her to enter into the church life and also charges her to take care of her spiritual children, the members of the Body of Christ.
The time when the sun is at its highest, signifying the time of hardships.
The seeker realizes that she has been kept away from Christ’s presence and separated from Christ’s flock — the church in the proper sense according to the apostles’ teaching (John 10:16; Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2) — and that she needs Christ’s feeding and rest with satisfaction.
Others translate, looked upon me.
In her fellowship with the Lord the lover of Christ is enlightened to see that she is a sinner in Adam (black like the tents of Kedar), but she has been justified in Christ (lovely like the curtains of Solomon).
See note S.S. 1:111, par. 2.
Here the Beloved appreciates the seeker’s loveliness in her submission to Him (cheeks lovely with plaits of ornaments) and her beauty in her obedience to the transforming Spirit (neck with strings of jewels).
Initially, the lover of Christ is a strong natural person (a mare — v. 9) living in the world, the satanic chaos (Egypt), and enslaved by Satan for his worldly purpose (Pharaoh’s chariots — see note Exo. 1:12). But in the church life she is transformed (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 3:18) into a person who lives not by her natural life in relying on her natural strength but by the divine life in trusting in God (a lily — S.S. 2:1-2; Matt. 6:28) and looking to Him with a single eye (eyes like doves — v. 15b; Matt. 10:16).
Always in this book Solomon refers to the Shulammite in this way, whereas she refers to him as “my beloved” (e.g., v. 13).
The fellowship of Christ and His lover in her mingled spirit is in the joy of Christ’s lover with her companions (“we”), in their extolling of His unrivaled love.
In her pursuing of Christ the seeker is brought by Him into her regenerated spirit as the Holiest of all (his chambers) to have fellowship with Him (2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:1). Our regenerated spirit (John 3:6) as Christ’s dwelling place, which is mingled with and indwelt by Christ as the life-dispensing Spirit (1 Cor. 6:17; 2 Tim. 4:22), becomes His inner chambers, His practical Holy of Holies (Heb. 4:16; 10:19), for our participation in and enjoyment of Him as the consummated Triune God.
Through His death and resurrection Christ, as the last Adam, a man in the flesh, became the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45; 2 Cor. 3:17). As the all-inclusive consummated Spirit He visits us in our spirit privately, coming to us in a spiritual way, not in a physical way.
In her pursuing of Christ for satisfaction, the lover of Christ asks Him to draw her that she and her companions (“we”) may run after Him. For the accomplishing of His eternal economy, God created man in His own image so that man may express Him (Gen. 1:26). He also created man with a spirit so that man may receive Him and contain Him (Gen. 2:7; Zech. 12:1), and with a heart that seeks God Himself so that God can be man’s satisfaction (Eccl. 3:11). Although man fell away from God, and sin through Satan came in to frustrate man from receiving God for his satisfaction, the desire for God, the seeking for God, still remains in man’s heart. This book tells us the unique way to be properly satisfied with God — to pursue and gain Christ (Phil. 3:7-14), who as the very embodiment and reality of God (Col. 2:9; John 1:18) came to earth that man might receive Him for satisfaction. Cf. Eccl. 1:2 and note Eccl. 1:22.
We here indicates that in the church life the transforming of Christ’s lover is carried out by the transforming Spirit as the consummation of the processed Triune God (2 Cor. 3:18) with the coordination of the lover’s companions, the gifted members in the Body of Christ who do the work of perfecting the saints (Eph. 4:11-12). The transforming Spirit and the lover’s companions adorn her with the constitution of the life of God (plaits of gold) by the redeeming work of Christ (studs of silver). See note S.S. 1:112.
Gold refers to God the Father in His divine nature; silver, to Christ the Son in His all-inclusive judicial redemption; and strings of jewels (precious stones put together as one in strings — v. 10), to God the Spirit in His transforming work (cf. note 1 Cor. 3:122, par. 1). In the proper church life the lover’s companions, the perfected believers, coordinate with the transforming Spirit to perfect the lover by ministering the Triune God to her for her transformation by the Triune God’s attributes being wrought into her to become her virtues. This is for the building up of the church as the organic Body of Christ to consummate the New Jerusalem (cf. 1 Cor. 3:12; Rev. 21:18-21) for the accomplishing of God’s eternal economy.
The seeker’s hair is bound into plaits of gold, indicating her submission (bound hair) to God through the transformation of the Spirit with the divine nature of God (gold). The plaits of gold are fastened with studs of silver, signifying the redeeming Christ.
At the table where Christ is feasting with His lover and her companions (the king at his table), her love (spikenard) toward Him spreads forth its fragrance (cf. John 12:1-3). Here the lover of Christ is brought by Him into a feast as the expression of the initial result of the mutual gain and enjoyment of Christ and His lover in the churches. This shows the mutual enjoyment and satisfaction of Christ and His lover in the churches.
The lover gains Christ (Phil. 3:8) and enjoys Him privately (at night) in His death (a bundle of myrrh) in her embracing Him with love and faith (breasts — 1 Tim. 1:14; 1 Thes. 5:8). She also gains and enjoys Him publicly in His resurrection (a cluster of henna flowers — v. 14) in the churches of Christ (vineyards) built on the fountain of His redemption (En-gedi — see note S.S. 1:141b), which fountain is the Spirit.
All our experiences of Christ are related to His death, His resurrection, and His Spirit. The death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, and the Spirit of Christ always go together (John 19:34; 1 Cor. 15:45; Rom. 8:9, 11, 13). His death goes along with His resurrection, and His Spirit is the realization of His resurrection. The way to gain Christ and enjoy Him is to experience Him in His death and in His resurrection and to remain in His Spirit, who is in our spirit (Rom. 8:16).
Exo. 30:23; Psa. 45:8; S.S. 3:6; 4:6, 14; 5:1, 5, 13; John 19:39
Meaning the fountain of the kid.
Christ appreciates her beauty in looking to Him with a single eye by the Spirit (eyes like doves — Matt. 3:16 and note Matt. 3:164b). She appreciates His beauty in His pleasantness (v. 16).
S.S. 5:12; cf. Matt. 3:16
The lover is satisfied with her rest in Christ’s feeding life (green, signifying the Spirit of life — Rom. 8:2) as the resting place in the night (couch) in His embracing (S.S. 2:6). Further, she is satisfied with her rest in Christ’s death (cypresses) and His resurrection (cedars) as the shelter (beams and rafters — v. 17). The lover gains Christ and enjoys Him as her Husband (implied in the couch) in the divine life as the couch of green, in Christ in His resurrection as the beams, and in Christ in His death as the rafters for her shelter. Cf. note S.S. 1:131.
Speaking the Truth in Love
This is how denominations are formed.
The main direction is to come out of the system; it cannot change.
"I began to realize that our practices have differed and deviated from our vision. Our vision was the same, our teaching was mostly the same, the truth is always the same, but our practice has really differed."