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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."


Part 207





            “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.  And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God” (Rev. 19:7-9).


            I have heard great stress laid upon the fact that the bride of Christ consists of a body corporate, not of the individual; and therefore that we cannot, without irreverence and impropriety, personally experience Jesus Christ as the spiritual Husband of the individual soul.  I readily admit the fact, but I demur to the inference.  It should be obvious that the church, though a body, is made up of individuals; and it is as an aggregation of individualities, each containing its own individuality, and not a unit — in which individuality is sunk and the individual absorbed — that the church is to be presented to Christ.  We no more believe in the absorption of the individual in the church than we entertain the notion espoused by the eastern religions  of the absorption of all things into God in such a way that all personal identity is lost.


            The body of Christ is now multiplied by thousands, tens of thousands, yea untold millions,  and it is not just one little girl that Christ receives but a corporate bride composed of a vast multitude of individual members.  The point is just this: all that happens to the corporate body must be experienced by each member — it is first and foremost the experience of each member that finally constitutes the experience of the whole.  By way of example, in school each year you have a graduating class.  The “class” is a corporate  body, but the corporate expression can only exist when each member of that body has completed the same courses with essentially the same grades.  Each individual member must have had a like relationship with the school, the teacher, and the work required.  Thus, it is the corresponding experience of each member that finally constitutes the experience of the whole.  In just that way, if I do not know the Christ personally as my Bridegroom, it is impossible for me to be a part of that corporate body which is joined into experiential union with Him.  Let us by all means remember that we are to be perfected in One; but let not this check the outflow of our individual affection to Him with whom, in some strange way, we are to be thus closely related.  The thought of this most intimate relationship loses all its warmth, and even its reality, when we miss or eliminate the personal element in it.  We teach the sinner to see in “God so loved the world,” that God loved ME.  Surely we can’t be wrong in seeing in “Christ so loved the church,” that Christ loved ME!


            It is a precious experience when any child of God begins to understand personally something of the import of these prophetic words: “In that day thou shalt call me no more Baali (that is, my lord, master); but thou shalt call me Ishi (my husband)” (Hos. 2:16).  The grammar of that prophecy is both singular and personal.  And there are moments when His voice seems to sound in our ears, as though we heard Him say personally to each of us,  “Hearken, O daughter, and consider…forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; so shall the King have pleasure in thy beauty: for He is thy Lord God; and worship thou Him.”  He is the Bridegroom of the corporate bride, but our love and relation to Him is to be as gloriously personal as though to each of us He had made this revelation of Himself, and to no other.  Let it be the one work of our lives to fit ourselves for the enjoyment of this wondrously close relationship with Him.  Let all lower affections be dominated by this one, and all that is unworthy of this be renounced.  We are espoused to Christ!  We are called and chosen and separated to be presented as a chaste virgin to Him!  Oh, let us be true to His claims upon us, for with His own blood He has paid the dowry for us!  Let us gladly sacrifice all that keeps us back from full self-surrender to Him!  So shall the King of glory have pleasure in us, and we shall find our crown of eternal fulfillment in HIM! 


            In our text the cry is, “…the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready!”  This addresses the heart.  It is not an historical event.  Nor is it merely a future dispensational event.  It is a spiritual experience!  The marriage of the Lamb is that revelation of the Christ that causes us to know that we are united to Him; it is the conscious knowledge and the experiential reality.  We cannot understand the relationship of the bride with the Lamb Bridegroom until we know UNION. We cannot be in that particular concert with Christ which the name bride or wife expresses until we yield ourselves to be made ONE IN HIM.  And that is not something which happens someday when Jesus comes crashing down through the clouds.  Oh, no!  This is a present reality!  When I know that I am united with the Christ I am so identified with His name, His person, His presence, His life, and His interests that they are paramount with me.  Few know it!  A wife is one who has reached maturity, fully developed in mind and body, her hormones have kicked in, and she has given herself in a mature relationship completely and unreservedly for her lover; one who has lost her own name, residence, and self-identity to take his.  She has left all to follow him!  The result of such a union is described by the inspired apostle in these words: “…that we should be married to another, even to HIM who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Rom. 7:4).    


            It was to the church which is His body that Paul wrote, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning CHRIST AND THE CHURCH” (Eph. 5:31-32).  It was also to the saints that Paul addressed these significant words, “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to HIM…” (Rom. 7:4).   Again it was to the elect of the Lord that Paul explained, “For 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” (II Cor. 11:2).


            In our consideration of the Bridegroom and the bride we need to remember that first of all these precious realities are fulfilled within each of us personally!  Christ is not just in some far-off heaven somewhere; for us He is our life, our reality, and our only hope of glory; and that hope of glory is neither Christ in heaven nor Christ coming again — it is CHRIST IN YOU!  This is a phrase of inexhaustible wonder — “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but CHRIST LIVETH IN ME” (Gal. 2:20).  “For He abideth with you, and SHALL BE IN YOU” (Jn. 14:17).  “He shall be IN you.”  In these simple words our Lord announces the wonderful mystery of His indwelling which was to be the fruit and the crown of His redeeming work.  It was for this that man had been created!  It was for this, God’s incarnation in flesh, that the Spirit had revealed God unto men!  It was for this that Jesus had lived and was about to die.  Dwelling in them, He would prepare them to receive Himself as their true life and identity — as Bridegroom!  We can never understand the deep mystery of the Bridegroom and the bride until we know that Christ is the Bridegroom and that Christ lives in us.  All who give godly consideration to these simple truths cannot avoid the conclusion that the BRIDEGROOM IS WITHIN OURSELVES.  There is deep within  the inner sanctum of each of us a place where the Bridegroom dwells and He comes out of that place and woos us into intimacy of fellowship and vital union with Himself!  Isn’t it wonderful!


            Suppose someone wants to visit me.  He must first find where I live!  If he cannot locate my home, he will have to forfeit his visit.  Some years ago a precious brother from Kenya, East Africa was on a mission to the United Nations in New York.  While here in our country he boarded a bus and traveled from New York City to El Paso, Texas to visit us.  He failed, however, to contact us ahead of time and make the necessary arrangements to see us.  When he arrived  in El Paso he was unable to locate us and had to get back on a bus and make the long journey back to New York.  Although there is much talk about Christ living in us, the vast majority of Christians have absolutely no idea where it is that He dwells in us!  They are searching, looking for the Christ, and cannot find Him because they do not know His address.  We can never know Christ the Bridegroom, or union with Him, until first we know where He dwells!  A wonderful clue is found in these words: “The Spirit of God dwelleth in you…and if Christ be in you, the body is dead…but the spirit is life” (Rom. 8:9-10).  Roman 8:9 refers without doubt to the Holy Spirit of God, but verse 10 refers to the human spirit.  “The body is dead…but the spirit is life.”  Of course, the Holy Spirit cannot be compared with our body.  The contrast is between what is true in OUR BODY and what is true in OUR SPIRIT.  If Christ is in us our body (the earth man) is dead, but our spirit (the new man) is life, quickened and energized by HIS INDWELLING LIFE!


            Ah — Christ is in us, but where within us is He?  In what part?  What is His address?  Is He in our brain?  Is He in our liver?  Is He in our solar plexus?  Is He in our bloodstream?  It is abundantly clear — Christ today is in our spirit!  There is no need to be vague like many who say, “Oh, the Lord is in you and the Lord is in me.”  The Holy Spirit has definitely revealed that Christ is in our spirit.  “The Lord be with thy spirit” (II Tim. 4:22).  The preposition “with” is from the Greek sun which denotes “union.”  The Lord is in union with our spirit!  There is a mighty working taking place within God’s elect — no more to have that duality — our spirit, His Spirit, but to be so fully merged into one with Him that HIS Spirit is mine, and MY spirit is swallowed up into His.  “There is but ONE SPIRIT,” says the apostle.  And the great truth is that that one spirit is neither the Holy Spirit nor our spirit — it is His Spirit joined to our spirit — for the testimony of scripture  is irrefutable and immutable: “He that is joined to the Lord I-S  O-N-E      S-P-I-R-I-T!”


            It is a blessed day for any man when he makes the amazing discovery that Christ Himself is the Bridegroom; that this Christ is in our spirit; that the Bridegroom (the Lamb) is thus in our spirit, His place of residence; that the coming of the Bridegroom is WITHIN!  It should be obvious to every spiritually thinking mind that if the Bridegroom is within, the bride is likewise to be found within!  Marriage is the conjunction to two into one.  When these two enter into union, they are called one.  It is no longer Miss Jones and Mr. Brown; it is Mr. and Mrs. Brown.  There is, therefore, a part of our being which must be wooed by Christ in our spirit and brought into relationship and  oneness in Him.  Bride in Hebrew is kallah meaning “the completed one” or “the perfected one.”  It reveals the concept of a woman being completed once she is married to her husband — and, as Paul so beautifully expresses it, “YE are complete IN HIM!”  In order to identify this bride within we must understand what part of us it is that must be completed and perfected.  The bride is a woman, a female.  THE BRIDE IS THE FEMALE PART OF YOU!  Your soul is the female part of your being; therefore your soul is the woman or the bride of the Lamb who is in your spirit.  For a clear picture of this truth I now call your attention to the awe-inspiring words of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden!


            The story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden is the greatest parable in the Bible.  I do not mean by that that there was no literalness to the garden or to Adam and Eve in it, for literal things always serve as parables of spiritual realities!  The record of Adam and Eve in the Garden is supremely important because it explains the real nature of life here on earth.  It tells us about ourselves, it portrays in vivid imagery our true state of being, our testings, our fall and redemption, and our destiny in God.  It is the blueprint of spiritual anatomy.  Once we thoroughly understand Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden we then understand the nature of God, the nature of man, and the ground-plan for the outworking of the purposes of God through the ages.  There is one thing about which the Lord’s people must be perfectly clear.  The Bible is not primarily intended to teach history, or biography, or geography, or natural science.  It is intended to teach divine principles and  spiritual realities!


            On a day in  the long ago the inspired apostle Paul penned these telling words: “For 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” (II Cor. 11:2-3).  In this significant passage Eve in the garden of Eden is contrasted with two things: the bride of Christ and the mind.  The mind is a function of the soul!  In fact, the Greek word psuche is often used interchangeably for both mind and soul.  In a broader sense the four-fold function  of the soul as revealed in scripture is the mind, the will, the emotion, and the desire.  It was in the soul that Eve was beguiled!  It was in her mind, in her will, in her emotions, and in her desires.  The vision of the bride of Christ pervades the whole of scripture, from Eden onward, with ever-increasing clearness.  Eve, the mother of the human family, is the first type of this great mystery.  Let us not underestimate this remarkable woman from whom the whole human race has sprung!


            In that ancient shadow Adam stands as a type of the spirit, Eve is a type of the soul, and the garden of Eden serves as a type of the body where both dwell, which Adam was to “dress and keep.”  Thus we see our tri-partite being symbolically portrayed in the Adam-Eve-Garden story!  The Garden was the earth, the land, the locale; and Adam and Eve were its inhabitants, in the same way that our spirit and soul are the inhabitants of the physical body.  It is through our “Eve,” our soulical faculties of mind, will, emotion, and desire, that we who have been espoused to Christ the Bridegroom in our spirit, can be “beguiled” and turned from our single and pure devotion to Christ, entering instead  into intimate but illicit associations with the flesh, and the fleshly systems of the world and religious Babylon, thus disqualifying ourselves from being presented to Christ as a pure and holy virgin.  Paul speaks of the “simplicity” that is in Christ; that is how the King James Bible renders it.  The Greek word denotes not simplicity but singleness.  A bride is to have a singleness of eye, of desire, of heart, of love for her husband.  Paul shows that just as Eve was beguiled from her singleness to God and her husband, so those espoused to Christ can be corrupted in their minds or in their souls from their singleness to Christ in our spirit!


            “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.”  When God created man in His own image he was ONE, not separated in the beginning into two persons.  This reveals to us the nature of God Himself who is both male and female, both Father and Mother, both Begetter and Nurturer, both the Propagater of sons and the Mother Hen who gathers her chicks under her wings (Mat. 23:37).  Thus Adam remained until the Lord separated the feminine from the masculine, making Adam and Eve, man and woman, to exist separately.  Within the one man’s nature were both masculine and feminine characteristics, all the possibilities of both male and female, all the potential  of fruit and power, wisdom and love, strength and nurture.  The spiritual man, being a son of God, possessed that perfect chaste virgin within himself and could have replenished the whole earth with his kind in God’s image and likeness simply by a word of power!


            It was not the burning self-desire of Adam that caused Eve to come forth, but the purpose of God!  It was God Himself who initiated the whole process, for the record states, “And the LORD GOD said, It is not good for the man to be alone; I WILL MAKE him an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18).  Eve was God’s idea!  “Meet” in the expression “help meet” is an old English word meaning “suitable, fit, proper, corresponding.”  The whole flavor of the word “meet” is to fit, join, agree, be compatible, be in union, be together.  No hostility here!  No war between the sexes!  No men from Mars and no women from Venus!  And no division.  God made a helper to properly and suitably and equally fit, join, combine, agree, be in union with, yes, to be ONE with Adam, and he ONE with her!


            When Eve had been built by the skillful hand of the Creator we read that He “brought her unto the man” (Gen. 2:22).  I cannot conceive of anything more exquisite and meaningful than that beautiful type!  I say to every soul reading these lines, Have you been brought to Christ where Christ is?  If you do not know union with Christ in  your spirit, you will never know union with Him in the sky nor in any heaven anywhere in all God’s vast universe.  And know this, oh man; you cannot become “spiritual” by any self-effort!  Many seek to be spiritual by doing something: by prayer, reading the Word, devotedness, keeping the commandments, paying tithe, doing good works, keeping the traditions, attending meetings; but spirituality is not found in any of those things!  The only pathway to spirituality is to be brought by the Spirit to realize union with Christ!  One can only be spirit-ual by union with spirit!  Union!  What was Eve’s thought when her eyes first rested upon Adam?  Do you suppose she immediately questioned within herself if somewhere there might just be another man even more handsome and desirable than he?  Perhaps she should wait a while?  Ah, I doubt not that she was immediately and completely overwhelmed, truly fell in love at first sight, was at once drawn by irresistible cords of love and passionate desire to find union with him!


            Let us meditate deeply upon the soul-bride that Eve reveals to us.  I must remind every reader of these lines that there is an essential and radical distinction between the spirit and the soul.  God is the Father of spirits, but He is the Former or Builder of souls.  “And the rib (Hebrew: side, chamber), which the Lord God had taken from man, built He a woman…” (Gen. 2:22).  I know not why this has been forgotten by the church world, and I know not why men claiming to be Christian scholars have never told you that the soul is not the spirit, and the spirit is not the soul.  It seems to me a remarkable thing, that that which God has so clearly revealed, the distinction between the soul and the spirit, men have, through their ignorance and devotion to a false platonic philosophy, been unable to see.  If you read your Bible carefully, starting with the first chapter of Genesis, you will find that what the apostle says in the epistle to the Hebrews is true; that the word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, dividing asunder, separating soul and spirit.  It is not the philosophy of Socrates or Plato that does this!  They confound soul and spirit, not recognizing any difference.  It is not the philosophy of Kant or Hegel or Strauss that does this!  It is not the philosophy of the Hindu or the Buddhist or the Transcendentalist that does this — but it is  the Word of God that separates between soul and spirit!  What a marvelous thing!  In the same way that God separated Eve from Adam, the Spirit of God separates between the soul and the spirit of man.


            What is this thing called spirit?  How can we know the spirit?  How can we touch the spirit?  To speak of the body is very easy, because we can see it and touch it.  To speak of the soul is also not difficult because we can discern it, feel it, and know it by its functions and actions, such as thinking, reasoning, determining, being pleased, angry, fearful, seductive, vindictive, sorrowful, or joyful.  But it is not as easy to understand and speak of the spirit.   


            Romans chapter eight speaks of the spirit and gives us a  wonderful clue.  In verse two the apostle refers to “the spirit of life.”  In verse six he says, “to be spiritually minded is life.”  In verse ten he adds, “the spirit is life…”  In these three statements he shows us that the spirit is the spirit of life, the spirit is related to life, contains life, and belongs to life.  If we desire to have true spiritual growth in life we must be able to discern what is the spirit and what is the soul, and what is spiritual and what is soulish.  Paul has declared without equivocation, “For we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit  which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God…but the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Cor. 2:12,14).  These inspired words speak of two classes of men: one is the soulish man (the Greek words for “natural man” are “soulish man”), and the other is the spiritual man.  This reveals to us the great truth that man can live by and belong to either of these two distinct realms, the soul or the spirit.  Man can either live by the soul, thereby becoming a soulish man; or he can live by the spirit, thereby becoming a spiritual man.    


            The soul is our individual human personality, our natural consciousness, our ego; therefore the soul is our natural Self.  That which is included in the soul, analytically speaking, is the mind, the will, the emotion, and the desire — these four parts.  The mind is the organ of man’s consciousness and thinking.  It is what we usually think of as the brain; physiologically it is the brain, but psychologically it is the mind.  It is the dominant aspect of the soul.  Man’s thinking, reasoning, memorizing, are all functions of the mind in the soul.  The will in the soul is the organ of man’s conscious, deliberate decision making and action as well as the process of exercising this power or faculty of choice, volition, judgment, acceptance, rejection, determination, and self-control.  These are all functions of the will in man’s soul.  The emotion in the soul is the organ of man’s love, hatred, sorrow, joy, fear, contentment, etc.  Man rejoices, mourns, is excited or depressed — these are all functions of the emotion in man’s soul.  There are many people who are emotional, easily stirred to be ecstatic or sad, animated or depressed.  They often deal with matters by their emotion rather than by knowledge or careful deliberation.   The desire in man’s soul is the organ of man’s wishing for, longing for, craving, wanting, and coveting of things either tangible or intangible.  The desire in man’s soul is both his biological and psychological appetite of various kinds.  These four parts are present in every man, for every man possesses the quality of soul.


            Regardless of whether a man is functioning in the mind, the will, the emotion, or his desire, he is soulish.  Every man that lives only by these natural senses apart from the spirit, is a soulish man.  Therefore it is very easy to discern whether a man is soulish!  I would be remiss if I did not point out that the soul can be moved upon to act religiously — and what a fine act it is able to perform!  But forget not for one moment, precious friend of mine, that in spite of its “religious” appearance, it is still the soul!  The soul can be taken into a meeting where a religious atmosphere is created by a man at the podium; with a suave and dynamic personality he directs you to stand, sing, clap your hands, raise your hands, praise the Lord, say Amen, etc.  Often with peppy choruses, hand clapping, and rhythm your soul is stirred and takes on the appearance of spirituality.  Now, there is nothing wrong with standing, clapping, singing, raising the hands and praising the Lord.  The real issue, however, is the source of these things!  Are they instigated by the spontaneous outflow of HIS LIFE IN THE SPIRIT, or are they merely contrived actions of the soul?  If the soul is responding only to the command of man, there is nothing of the spirit or spiritual about it.  I know many people who prefer peppy songs and clapping because it creates a good feeling.  These often don’t appreciate a slow, worshipful chorus, because this doesn’t stir their soul.  They are not worshipping in spirit and in reality — they are merely praising the Lord in the soul.  Ah, better that the soul praises the Lord than that it becomes upset or angry and utters vulgarities!  Better that it sings the songs of Zion, than the perverted music of the world!  But we do not want to mistake that which is soulish for that which is spiritual.  If none of these “good” things are motivated from within by the spirit, it is still naught but the vanity of the flesh!


            If we can recognize what kind of person is soulish, it is not difficult to realize what kind of person is spiritual.  Since a soulish person lives by the mind, will, emotion, and desire, a spiritual person is one who does not live by these.  A spiritual person must live in the spirit, act by the spirit, speak out of the spirit and not the soul.  These allow the spirit, the power of the inward spiritual mind, will, emotion, and desire of the indwelling Christ, to be the master and source of all their action and behavior.  The spirit, the living presence of Christ, in them occupies the pre-eminent position;  it is the source of their behavior and the starting point of their action.  The soul in them is in the position of submission, under the government of the spirit and controlled by the spirit.  They are not like soulish persons, who let the soul be master in everything; they deny the pre-eminence of their own mind, will, emotion, and desire.  They do not stand, sing, clap, speak, praise, or do anything simply at the command of man or their own volition; they do any or all of these things and more  only when the command comes from within, out of the moving of the spirit deep within themselves.  They allow the spirit to BE LORD in them!  They allow the spirit to direct their whole being so that they become the expression of the spirit.  Whenever they encounter a situation they do not draw from their mind, will, emotion, or desire to deal with it; rather they draw from the divine wisdom and power in their spirit first to understand and comprehend it, seeking first in the spirit for the Lord’s mind and purpose in the matter.  THESE ARE SPIRITUAL, living by the life of the spirit, and the soul is but a vehicle of expression for the spirit.  Praise God!  It is the ONE SPIRIT that becomes the Bridegroom within which ultimately is fully joined to the bride-soul within — the spirit becomes the master of the soul and receives the soul into union with itself.  This is the marriage of the Lamb and His wife within ourselves — and that is the mystery!


            The allegory of lover and beloved, bride and groom, marriage and union, gives to us the highest example of the oneness which we desire to share with Christ, which we seek within ourselves, the union of our soul with our spirit.  We are weary of the sense of duality and separation!  We are frustrated with the unending warfare between the flesh and the spirit!  We are tired of speaking in tongues one minute and flying off the handle the next!  From the time we were awakened to Christ in our spirit we have struggled with this dualness — our mind often pulled in the direction of the flesh, while yet our soul truly yearns for that life from above which alone would satisfy.  Thank God!  The spirit of Christ within is gaining the ascendancy as He woos the soul and the soul becomes more and more subdued.  But the prayer remains, “that they all may be ONE…”


            Long millenniums ago the aged prophet-king of Israel articulated the deepest cry of the soul-bride for her Beloved, saying, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God.  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God…” (Ps. 42:1-2).  As a woman yearns for union with her husband, so the soul longs for union with Christ.  The natural mind cannot comprehend what fearful loss befell the man in Eden when the woman was severed from him.  All the female qualities of tenderness, patience, long-suffering, intuition, nurturing, gentleness, submissiveness, and succor were separated from his bosom and embodied in Eve.  But consider also what the woman lost in strength, wisdom, courage, bravery, energy, stamina, and much more.  Nature has created the fundamental urge of every human being for re-union with its counterpart — to find itself again  in WHOLENESS.  This complement of the sexes one with the other, and the need for union to find wholeness and experience fulfillment — and the ecstasy that brings — is the greatest proof that the Genesis record of how the woman was taken out of the man is absolutely true and reliable!  Just as there is the natural drive for union with the opposite sex, there is also within the soul the intense thirsting for union with God!  The truth is, this urge exists not only within the soul — it is just as powerful in the spirit!  This is the meaning of the mystery of “the way of a man with a maid,” the mystery that every human being, male and female, goes through a “mating season.”  We call it dating, courtship, and engagement!  In the natural, it is the man who courts the woman and is the aggressor.  It is most often the boy who chases the girl!  The bride of Christ (the soul) has now entered a great “mating season” of reunion with God.  In His appointed times the Christ within our spirit initiates the courting in His own subtle yet divine way as He woos the soul, drawing our desires and affections unto Himself.  There is to be a unification within, so that all  our soul realm is swallowed up into the life of the indwelling spirit of Christ, bringing us eventually into the personal experience of THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB!  


            Nowhere is this beautiful truth presented more clearly and powerfully than in the Song of Solomon. Nowhere in scripture does the unspiritual mind tread upon ground more mysterious and incomprehensible as in this book, while the saintliest men and women of the ages have found it a source of pure and exquisite delight.  The story is written as a dramatic play having six distinct scenes.  Hear now a sample of the interplay between the Bridegroom and His bride…


            “My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.  Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine” (S. of S. 2:10; 1:2).


            “Behold, thou art fair, my love: behold, thou art fair…thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart…how fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine!” (S. of S. 4:1,9,10).


            In the Song of Solomon you have two key symbols: a male and a female.  And it is a story that depicts the way by which the two are brought to each other in the union of love.  What is significant for us to understand is that the story is as important for her as it is for him.  The young maiden, the Shulamite, is a type of many things — not the least of which is that this story is a picture of heaven being joined to earth.  It is also a picture of Yahweh and Israel under the Old Covenant.  It is furthermore a picture of Christ and the church.  And most importantly for us today, on the individual plane, it is a picture of how the spirit is wedding your soul.  And why is that important?  Because the soul is what you are in your human consciousness.  The soul is more than something you have, the soul is you in all your earthly identity.  When God breathed into Adam the breath of life, man became a living soul.  When that fact is repeated in the New Testament the term “living soul” is expressed in the Greek as zoe psuche.  Zoe is the word always used in the New Testament for the divine, incorruptible life  of God.  Psuche, on the other hand, is the word for the human soul.  The great truth the Holy Spirit would make real to us here  is just this — man is both divine and human, zoe and psuche, spirit and soul — truly a LIVING SOUL!  There can’t be anything more outstanding than being a living soul!


            The story of the Song of Solomon is the story of how she, the soul, comes to know Him, the spirit, and how He comes to know her.  Few of the Lord’s people have this kind of experience with God!  We have a religious experience where we learn of God and worship God along with others in the group in an external kind of way.  THAT’S NOT THE SONG OF SOLOMON!  Solomon’s Song bespeaks a personal and intimate encounter.  Solomon’s Song is a personal awakening and personal journey into God.  And the thing we are awakening to is not God out there someplace, but God in you, one with your soul, joined as one spirit, God in you as you!  We must awaken to the value that God is in us, and God in us is part of us.  You can never truly serve someone out of obligation — but out of love and respect you can serve.  You cannot serve anybody out of laws.  God does not want you to serve Him faithfully out of obligation — He desires you to rise to your true nature, dignity, and stature.  He wants you to become equal to Him so He will have a counterpart, a help meet, a help equal to Him — a bride!  Can you not see the mystery?  To accomplish this God has devised a very special plan that revolves around His firstborn Son, Jesus the Christ.  That plan is revealed again and again through the various dynamics of scripture, but ultimately it is no more beautifully portrayed anywhere than in the mystery of this divine romance between the “Shulamite” and her “Beloved.”  For in this drama we have a clear representation of how the invisible, holy God is pursuing us, awakening us, and wooing us to Himself by bringing us into His own high places where we may experience Him as He is.

            The Song of Solomon begins for you when you find your personal love for God not merely as Saviour, Healer, Baptizer, and Blesser, but as the Lover of your soul, your Beloved, your Bridegroom.  The Song of  Solomon begins for you when you have experienced Christ enough to know that’s what I want to explore and experience in the most personal,  intimate, complete, and  powerful way!  “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after…that I may dwell in the house of the Lord…to behold the beauty of the Lord…when Thou saidest, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord will I seek” (Ps. 27:4,8).  You aren’t in the Song  of Solomon until you have zeroed in on THE ONE.  If you’re still skipping about from revival to revival, from preacher to preacher, from movement to movement, from group to group, from church to church looking for “the One” — that’s not the Song!  But the day will come when you, too, will exclaim, “Oh! the Song of Songs! Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth: for Thy love is better than wine — I’ve found Him!  Now that I’ve found Him I can’t live without Him — I want Him!”  I don’t know where you are today, my friend, but He’s calling you to come out of that place and “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away with me!”  Oh, yes!


            Do you know what the Song of Solomon is all about?  It is called “The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.”  Just as the “holy of holies” was the holiest of all places, just as the “heaven of heavens” is the highest heaven of all the heavens, so the “Song of Songs” is above and beyond all the songs that have ever poured from the human heart and human lips.  This is the Song that is above all other songs, a Song sent down from the courts of heaven, from the throne of God and of the Lamb, a strain from the celestial choir.  “Song” in the symbology of scripture means “a message.”  So the Song of Songs is the Message of Messages, the Word of Words, indeed, the Revelation of Revelations!  Yet, I could teach you every single verse in this Song and if your soul is not awakened you would miss the point.  The awakening of the soul is your most precious experience in life!  The only time the Song of Songs can become the Message of Messages is in your heart of hearts.  “The voice of my Beloved! behold, He cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills” (S. of S. 2:8). 


            Ah, the voice of my Beloved upon the mountains and upon the hills, out of the high places of God in the spirit!  “My Beloved is like a roe or a young hart” (S. of S. 2:9).  He is like a warrior, powerful, quick, strong, fast, and furious. The voice was leaping, the voice was skipping, experiences were occurring, remembrances of previous blessings and dealings, of past revelations and unfoldings of Himself, the voice of the Lord coming and breaking through — ah, and suddenly she hears a new sound, a fresh word, “My beloved spake, and said unto me…”  As you learn to remember your experiences in God, with all His divine interventions in your life, and the levels of growth and development He has led you through, the voice of the Lord will come leaping and skipping upon the hills, and suddenly the voice of the Beloved will speak, and say, “Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away!”  Have you reached a plateau, have you been in a place where nothing much is happening in your experience?  The word of the Lord  is for you today, “Come away my love, come on…I want to lift you up, I want to take you away, I want to bring you into new and greater and higher dimensions in me!”  Release yourself, trust the word of God, and take a journey.  For those of us who have walked with God for a while the voice of the Lord still comes leaping upon the mountains and skipping upon the hills, entreating, “Come away, my love!”


            “My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.  For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come…”  The winter is past, the season when the heavens appeared as brass and the voice of the Lord seemed a million miles away, is ending, the dark ages are over, and a new season has dawned.  Sure, you have problems and face challenges and difficulties, but the real winter is past, the real night of darkness when you could not sense His presence or His unfailing love, is gone, and His love has appeared and remains and abides still and shall shine brighter and brighter with radiant beauty unto the ages of the ages in a people whom He has called unto Himself, unto union with Him in the high places of His Spirit; yes, rise up and come away, for the winter is truly past, saith the Lord!    


            “The rain is over and gone…”  The seasons of showers of blessings have ended, and the great “Latter Rain” of the Spirit has also come to an end.  Looking back at the “glory days” of the great movings of the Spirit of the Lord, there is no need to mourn their departure, nor any need to pray, “Lord, do it again!” because God is not going to repeat the former visitations — THE RAIN IS OVER AND GONE.  “The flowers appear on the earth.”  Don’t you see the flowers appearing?  There have been flowers for ages and ages.  Peter the apostle was a flower.  Paul was a flower.  All through history the flowers do appear — these new manifestations of His life, these fresh forms of His beauty,  these pristine expressions of the indwelling Christ do appear.   His Spirit, His life is in the earth, and now His voice is heard, saying, “Rise up my love and come away, for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone: the flowers appear on the earth!”  We have seen flowers appear, we have seen saints of the most high, we have seen the goodness of God, we have beheld the beauty of the Lord, He has shined the glory of His grace and power through many vessels down through the ages, but now the winter is past, the seasons of refreshing have gone, the voice of the Lord is heard anew from out of the high places  of the spirit, the virgin bride is called to arise and ascend into the deepest and fullest union with her Beloved, proclaiming that this marriage of the Lamb unfolds THE SEASON OF THE FLOWERS; the earth shall break forth with beauty and glory everywhere as the glorious  company of God’s sons appear in the earth!  Oh, yes!  The sons of God are the flowers appearing on the earth, appearing out  of our union with Christ!  Great is the mystery!


            The following words from Joyce Morris give precious insight into God’s great purpose in our union with the Lamb. 


            She writes, “The Father has shown me in glimpses that He has an order in which the marriage of the Lamb must take place.  He also spoke very clearly and said, ‘My sons must become the Lamb.’  To become the Lamb, you must first marry and have a union with the Lamb!  As God swallows up your soul to where all that is left is Him, you become the Lamb because you are one.  In order for you to become the Lamb, you must also eat ALL the parts of the Lamb.  Just as with Israel before leaving Egypt, they had to consume the whole lamb and nothing could remain uneaten.  You have to eat the hind parts.  You have to eat the head.  You have to eat the inward parts.  You have to eat all the uncomely parts of the Lamb.  In  other words, you have to eat the Word, and the Word is the Lamb!


            “John 1:14 says, ‘And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…’  Then in chapter six we read, ‘Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.  Whosoever eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.  As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by my Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.  This is the bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever…it is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: THE WORDS THAT I SPEAK UNTO YOU, THEY ARE SPIRIT, AND THEY ARE LIFE.’


            ‘These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth…’ (Rev. 14:4).  In other words, THEY LIVE BY THE WORD!  But there are many parts of the Word that your flesh doesn’t want to eat — so your self-will pops up its head and says, ‘Well, that part is not for me.  I don’t need to walk that out.  That part isn’t for me, it’s for that person over there — look at what they’re doing.  I don’t have to eat that.  I can do what I want, say what I want, and think what I want.  Nobody is going to tell me what I can or can’t do.  I don’t want to love that person.  I don’t want to forgive that person.  God, I’ll give you this part of my life, but I want to keep that part for myself.’  The reason so many parts of the Word are uncomely and displeasing to the flesh, is because if you eat and digest those parts of the Word, then your soul will have to change and die out to its self-will!  The more you eat of the Lamb, the more your soul will be swallowed up.  And when God has swallowed up everything in you that is not like Him, you will have become the Lamb.  You will be totally one!  You will have entered into a place in Him where you will go out no more, and He will be all-in-all in every area of your life.  There will be no more temple within, because God will have filled the whole house, ‘…for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.’


            “The marriage of the Lamb is all about God’s sons (and eventually all creation) becoming the Lamb, or taking on the nature of the Lamb through union with Christ.  It is all about two becoming one, and as you continue to go deeper and deeper in your relationship with Christ — your union is producing a Son.  As you walk in oneness with the Lamb, He is causing you to BECOME THE LAMB.  In Isaiah 4:2 we read, ‘In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious.’  Why shall the branch be beautiful and glorious?  Because the branch abides in the vine and from their union they bear the nature of God!  The branch has been thoroughly purged, or pruned, and now yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.   In this way the bride of the Lamb has been clothed in the glory of the Son.  She has been arrayed in fine linen, clean and white.  She has put on the new man which is Christ and has come into the nature of the Lamb!  This is the way it is when you are married to the Lord!  When you keep your relationship with Him first, and take time each day to go within and commune with Him, people actually see the glory of the Lord upon you!”   — end quote.


            It is a great blessing to our hearts to understand the true order of union in the kingdom of God.  “God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:27-28).  My reader will observe the change from “him” to “them.”  We are not presented with the actual fact of the formation of the woman until chapter two; but even here we find God blessing “them,” and giving “them” JOINTLY THE POSITION OF UNIVERSAL GOVERNMENT.  All the inferior orders of creation were set under their JOINT DOMINION.  As Andrew Jukes has somewhere pointed out, Eve received all her blessings in Adam: in him, too, she got her dignity and position and power.  Though not yet called into her individual identity, she was, in the purpose of God, looked at as part of the man.  Universal dominion was not given to the male characteristics of Adam alone; it was not said, “let him have dominion,” but “let them have dominion!”  There was  no other creature so near to Adam and Eve, because no  other creature was part of himself.  What affection Eve had for Adam!  What nearness she enjoyed!  What intimacy of communion!  What full participation in his thoughts and in all his powers!  In all his dignity, and in all his glory, wisdom, and authority, she was entirely one!  He did not rule over her, but with her.  He was lord of the whole creation, and she was ONE WITH HIM!  They were the king and queen of the universe!


            There is neither time nor space to consider the myriad ghastly consequences of the fall of man, but I would draw your attention to one disastrous result.  The curses reaped caused the inequality between the sexes so prominent in the human family.  “Unto the woman He said…thy desire shall be (subject to) thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Gen. 3:16).  Can we not see by this that the headship of man over woman was not God’s intention for them, but is an integral part of the curse of sin and death!  The primeval beauty and equality of man and woman in the garden of Eden disappeared in their sense of separation.  Strife, guilt, shame, discord, competition, and pain took over — the way of the flesh held sway!  This bespeaks of the separation of soul and spirit within ourselves, making every man indeed bi-polar!  And this is the re-union God is effecting through redemption and restoration in the experience of every son of God!  The wonderful goal is not just our mind, our will, our emotions, and our desires submitted to Christ in  our Spirit, but for our mind, our will, our emotions, and our desires to be so MADE ONE IN HIM until there is only ONE MIND, ONE WILL, ONE EMOTION, ONE DESIRE — the marriage union of the Lamb and His wife restoring one new creature — Christ and us, spirit and soul — UNITED IN ONE!  It is not His mind “controlling” our mind, but just ONE NEW MIND!  It is more than a “fill me” with more of God, but a being swallowed up into Him, that henceforth it is only the GOD-MAN!  This is perfect man, the image of God, male and female, spirit and soul dwelling in unity and oneness in the Garden of a redeemed body, united in one, given dominion over all things.  “Let us be glad and rejoice…for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.”  Oh, the mystery of it!



To be continued…      J. PRESTON EBY



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Updated by Sharon Eby 11/02/2017 11:13:36 PM