The Process of Sanctification
The Song of Songs is a story of
Most people feel intimidated by the concept of surrendering to the mercy of another but here in the Song of Songs the King of Glory the One who is our Maker who was seen in the Old Testament as Great and Terrible and Severe and doling out swift seemingly merciless judgment to His People when they stirred up His wrath. But here in the very midst of all the power and majesty and glory and fire of the Living God we find a romantic hear stopping breath taking journey of a lowly Shulamite and the King of the land. Yet hidden in the language of intimate even sensual love and romance is deep and meaty truth. The God of the “shock and awe” whose glorious might was unstoppable save by His equally powerful resolve to be gracious to His own whilst not compromise His standard of truth and justice actually has a tender passionate loving gracious side that tactilely reaches out into the human spirit soul and body and causes a deep and lasting impression of Himself to remain in the one He has loved.
I wan you all who read this that the manifestation of this reality is in the first place the norm for all believers as it is the process by which we enter into the Kingdom and without there is no entering, the process of sanctification or the death of self. However if the Bridegroom ever choose to grace your life with the romance of the ages it will cost you more than you can pay but once you have tasted you will never want to go back and you will find yourself satisfied with nothing less!
In the opening line we see the initial act of saving grace as a kiss that turns on all the lights and makes for the exclamation of wanting another kiss. For in the first kiss is the revelation of who He is. But He is such that one revelation is never enough.
Hence she is brought to His chamber where unhindered He may reveal more of
Himself to her. But of these lets talk a moment. He
is the giver of all things Life Law Love Leadership ever loyal to His own and
she is the Grand Dame the Great and Elect Lady corporately seen as the church
for so long but is individually seen as the one who will surrender all for Him.
Thus “she” is the recipient of all that He has to give. Now setting the characters
of the Song of Songs up for the chorus and all others are but the surroundings
that dress up each scene, we return to the path. Once she has come to His chambers
she is both made to see herself as she is without Him and hear what she can be
IN Him. Her assessment of self is sobering and accurate dark and damaged and
trembling she comes to One whose resplendency is renown over awed that she should
even be PERMITTED much less INVITED to His private presence away from prying
eyes. In this place of seclusion
Here then all the lies and self delusions are stripped away and she gives her excuses for her state to the King. But these excuses will not fly in the face of His glory, thus the excuses for the state of our appearing after we are first saved are the first thing to be surrendered
Next we see a complex little piece. There is this question asked about where He goes with His flock to feed them and she asks because she wants to see Him again. This is a “dangle” here for want of a better term. He is leading her to her next step which will be huge, by telling her to pasture or tend her goats her things near where His associates tend theirs. But the reality of the hope is that she will leave her goats there and come to Him again where His sheep are. And she does! She returns of her own volition and He knows He has a willing one to sway to His desire. Remember please this is all about the intimate and pleasurable side of the wooing process in sanctification. The result is that she has brought her pet sins her troubles her rebellions to the associates tents but in the next place they go those goats are not with her. She has left it all behind, for Him. Thus she is being set apart to Him and cleansed of iniquity and unrighteousness. For in each new setting we find a deeper level of surrender and a deeper level of cleansing until she is in the end not only totally His and all she has is totally given over to Him but she is profitable to His own. But we haven’t gotten there yet! Goats in the Old Testament represent the sins of the people. She is His “people” and thus her common transgression and trespasses and sinfulness and iniquities and unrighteousness, these things she has held onto dearly in ways of thinking and lifestyle are left behind. This the second surrender from excuses to changes has been made as she seeks Him where He can be found.
Now we find her at The King’s table where in His presence the fragrance of worship is let loose. Before the King comes to her with His hosts she has surrendered voluntarily. This is the first time she has something positive to give in this relationship for previously she gave up the right to have excuses and the right to have her own way which causes her to be in sin. Now she begins to offer HERSELF up. He also tells her more of what He sees in her or sees her to be thus she is encouraged to go “deeper”. Most Christians are comfortable right here they have cleaned up their act and have begun to change their habits and attitudes to the most part or to whatever standard their church leadership tells them God holds Christendom to. In His grace He extends His vision of who they are in His eyes and will be in time but for the most part this is the end of the story and most believers feel that at this point they are sanctified and in some sort of spiritual flight holding pattern until the mysterious day of the rapture. The reality couldn’t be farther from the truth as we will see for our Shulamite has a long way to go. She has now given up the right to herself to her own private life and personal space.
Now we see the comments on what night be called The
King’s tabernacle or quiet nook. The setting seems to be a mix of nature like
in the forest and the actual lumber of the
The banqueting table spelled wine house is a major mile stone in the Shulamite’s journey. Here in the wine house is the sampling of all the King’s vintages. We have gone from Passover season into Pentecost and the filling of the Holy Spirit for His wine is comprised of His own breath. The results are quite dramatic for she is overwhelmed by the “new things” and actually need foundation to support her and give her stability in it all, which He happily supplies. These vintages are translated in the New Testament as the Gifts or graces of the Holy Spirit. The total banner of which over arching the whole of the nine is LOVE. For without THIS Love the graces or gifts are useless. These graces cause an effect to begin to be seen in her and they are the fruit of the Spirit. Here she discovers that she cannot contain or achieve or attain to this glory and so she must rely on Him completely in order to go on and go on she does.
Now comes the warning to not arouse her or her love or even love itself to her until its time in the passions in the Great Lady. It is something the church today needs to heed! This warning will be repeated over and over again through out the text. For it is the Lord who will decide when He chooses to move and the lady who will decide if she will receive each new level or not. Unfortunately to many ministries and churches touch what they should not because they may deem it inappropriate for the mixed congregation or for the agenda of the moment or what they may well have heard the Lord calling the set time to gather to do or to be. However beyond making sure that this IS the Lord which requires discernment another lacking quality in the church at large, it should be noted that God is the SOVERIGN the SUZEREIGN and as such should be left to do as he pleases over individuals or even whole churches as He pleases when He pleases.
All this that has passed is the initial stages of the process of sanctification the discovery of Him, in the Gospel kiss, the saving grace enacted in His “chambers”. Leaving off of sins and iniquities or change of habits as she gives up what defiles her for Himself. The two further levels of surrender of self will and self rights to her own personal space and self image to finally even her self reliance in the Wine house. Yet here we find her in a domestic setting. For this time when He comes to her He looks in on her desirous to have her come out and come away with Him but she has found a “Comfort Zone” out in that “house” those fragrant rafters now enclose her and cut her off from Him. She has found religion and traded relationship for it with out even realizing it. Here in this place she feels that she is His and is secure in but also that He is hers as if He could be owned. This the night falls on her and in the night the dark night of the soul she rolls over in the bed or divan, the place of her rest and repose which is now her prison and slumber, and she finds whereas He was apparently once there He has now gone. Up she goes and out of the comfort zone into the “city” the city is metaphoric for the “church” as the city set on the hill. There she encounters the watchmen who are of no help there but at least they did nothing to her either way. But this time He returns to her there. She has sinned and come back again it is not easy as staying related but she can come back. At this stage she understands Him as Shepherd and provider and hers. Her thinking is still in grave need of change! The great tragedy is that even the more spiritual Christians will come to this house and the wine house and they will live here never going further into Him never growing more and believe they “have arrived”. Sadly even today most American Christian leaderships are in this “house” and not growing and unaware of His call to come out from among them. Furthermore because she did not go out she began to miss Him in her place of repose so she went and had to seek Him. Most believers even leaders never realize that He is not there in their dark night of the soul for indeed another has come in His absence. But the few who do miss Him find they begin to make noises and cry out for Him and the city has no answers. Those watchmen who are prophetic have no answer for the seeker and often these must leave the city to find Him in the desolate wilderness.
Find Him She does but now she will hold Him and not let go for fear He will
leave her. This is the stage where “Jesus loves me” and “provides for me” and
“cares for me”! If I let go He will leave me, and she is not ready for this yet
so He lets her bring Him into her life into her beginnings into the place where
her mother gave her instruction. “
Thus it is not enough to be chosen but to choose to be chosen and allow for Him to be whatever and however He will be in her!
Right on the heels of this we find a discourse on Solomon’s couch and one thinks
why this makes no sense why is this here until we see that the couch is the sanctified
one and HE rides upon it. The purple the royal and priestly seat where His hinder
parts meets the seat face. Moses was tucked into the rock as God passed by and
so His face saw God’s hinder parts as he passed by. Moses is the example of priestly
duty and His example id remodeled in perfection in Jesus Himself! The covering
the drape of her flesh hides the intimacy within as does the cloak of our everyday-ness
hide the ecstatic beauty of the living pulsing throbbing relationship of mutual
love and adoration within. We don’t go around showing it but “it” has a way of
showing up in us! And the guards the men of renown the
armed and dangerous legion surrounding this blessed
To this we turn the page and He is speaking of her as he sees her and begins the analogy of the garden. This garden has its root and stock in the redemptive work of the cross and from this work flows all else. The various elements of the garden speak to the inner character of the believer and the inner life of the sanctified one who is both sanctified and being sanctified. Thus we have the bridal heart being prepared for in the opening of this garden we find it all in potentiality for no water has as yet flowed. But once it doe the characteristics spring to life and having taken root in her they grow up quickly. In fact the very next lines are about the King’s entrance into this garden to partake and harvest and He the KING invites “lovers” to come into her garden as well. Tis is the bridal heart revealed and shared both with the desire of her heart and with those who are OF LIKEMIND! I warn you all be careful before whom you share for we don’t throw the Pearl of great price before swine minded folk who will trample Him to kill us!
However right on the heels of this we again find her in HER CONFORT ZONE. Now she has bathed she has stripped and she is in repose and He comes calling at the door her response is classic Laodicean. But I am all ready for you can you not come into me must I get up and open to you? His whole being is dew damped with the Holy Spirit in order that He might bring her into a deeper walk but she slow to open finds Him gone and her whole being is churned like butter! Thus she puts on what will suffice and once again she is in the city but this time the watchmen are less than accommodating and they neat her soundly! In the first disobedience grace was accorded for we knew not what He wanted or were immature but now we have purposely played with Him in disobedience and so now He lets us deal with the consequences and thus attacked we cry out for deliverance and see what is described by her in this chapter (five) as to who she sees Him to be. For a God is sculpted of her words! A God who is also KING!!
Over the next two chapters we find her being described and believe me when She finally realizes Him in a mature manner the UNION gives way from sanctification to glorification. She goes from the obscurity of the dark and sorrowed soul trembling in the Glorious presence of her Sovereign to the radiant transformed soul empowered and illumined in the Light of His glory. Thus as a certain point there is the discussion of the nut garden and the garden of the heart. And while inspecting aid gardens the soul is suddenly set above others as in leadership among princes or other matured saints. The comment of who is this is made about this newly matured soul. She is radiant like the sun in the noon time strength yet as the full moon she reflects fully the Sun which is Himself and in this her power which is Him in her the glory’s hope fulfilled is seen as the vastness of a great army with multiple banners., Now a army in the day understood and counted the strength of opposing forces by banner or torch light. A banner and torch to rally by would represent a set number of soldiers thus the multiplication is easy so many banners or torches means so many men in rank and file. Such is the abruptness of her transforming and where she is set that the people call for her return and the Kings last word of this whole issue if to chide them for wanting to look into for the sake of looking at the intimate queen He has made of her. This is like Jesus chided the people for coming to Him for the miracle and the food but not for Him Himself!
This is followed by her mature response to His final assessment of her royal and regal radiance. He mentions that her mouth or speech is like the best wine. This speaks to her utterances of adoration of worship freely, abandonedly and passionately given to Him. Her response is teasing. She knows who she is and is secure enough to give of herself to Him and to others. Now she invites Him to go into His places of desire and into her bridal heart. To go into the vineyards is metaphoric for the people of God in the midst of God! There in this place she will give Him HER LOVE! This is a very provocative statement arousing all kinds of images from the religious to the outright sexual. Yet the sharing of passion either way is INTIMATE UNION at its highest. From this point on we see a radical change in her. For now the process of sanctification has actually completed and given way to glorification. Or the sinner has become the saint. But in this process she has had to lose all she was all she had and all she could claim to her own even the right to have Him exclusively with no sharing. No she has found GRACE and rests in the absolute assurety that He loves her always an she will believer want for Him. Now she can be productive for Him, and as the chapter closes we see the house from chapter two no longer the prison or the forest haven but the Sukkah or Tabernacle in which they may “come together” in private in deed it is even the sedan chair by metaphoric applications. It is herself who is both sedan and house and in the doorway are the old and the new things. All which He has sanctified and blessed hangs for al to see as a witness and a display exteriorly.
Now for the final chapter of the new beginning.
Here it opens with a bizarre statement as she acknowledges His kinship to her and calls Him back to her beginnings to give Him her spiced wine or the juice of her pomegranates or the outflow of her thoughts and worship and love. Her mental processes and the speech they give out is the wine she would have Him drink in. There in her mother’s house He will be sought to take her into His arms and engulf her in the mighty embrace of Love. This is the language of the most intimate where there are not protocols for the soul has come to know what please and displeases the One it adores and reveres. For the Maker has become the husband.
So radical is the transformation that as they come up out the wilderness where indeed she has given her all her everything in the offering of love to Him and He as received it the comments fly and no longer is it who is that grow up like the rising sun? but who is who is this who comes leaning on HER BELOVED. Now when they see her they see Him WITH HER. She is fully identified as His and as He is. But He adds a cryptic statement to her invitation to come to her mother’s house. He s her under the tree where her mother gave birth to her the same mother who ill treated her and brethren who despised her and abused her. Again we have the image of “mother church” where she was “born again” for it is likely that under the tree she slumbered in her mothers arms being but born. But still as yet un-awakened. Under the tree then is where He first kissed her into LIFE! For indeed we find this tree mentioned before, and at that time the same apple tree was her description of HIM! Indeed it is the same tree the same life giving tree that is His Spirit nurturing that the King the Son of Glory came and kissed to life the “sleeping beauty”.
Her reply is to be bound upon His arm His strong right arm or to be bound unto the Son of the right hand in jealous love in zeal I fire in glory and thus transformed she is now a permanent estate of grace completed and glorified into Hs image of redemptive power. Indeed after the description of this love and its passions she is confronted with one who is flat undeveloped immature and “they” ask her what shall be done? Her response is to state that she was once as the this new saint in the making is now but she found grace in Him. Or as one who found favor with Him or in His sight or eyes. Thus she points to herself and the completed work and testifies to what He can do.
The closing is this Solomon or the Peace of Him which is Jesus has a vineyard a people in whom fruit unto wine might be made in Baal Hamon or master or possessor of abundance. The place is now rented out to caretakers for He is the master of Abundance and its possessor. Its produce is a thousand shekels which is a rather large sum of silver. And it is to be supplied by each of the caretakers of the vineyard. Now this is significant. One thousand is tend time one hundred which is ten times ten. Ten is the number of completion. Ten times ten is the number of a completed completion and ten times that we are approaching such an excellence that words do not exist for it. And the coin is silver. Silver is the work of grace in the cross of Christ. Thus we find ten the saved ten times ten the sanctified and ten times one hundred the glorified saint. The thirty, sixty, and one hundred fold or the blade the ear or grin head and the corn in the ear or grain in the head. This is the required remuneration of all who tend the vineyard and its produce must be easily able to give it and still retain enough for their personal use. For the rules say the workman is worthy of his hire and the ox is not muzzled while treading and the farmer partakes of the crop.
But the shulamite the soul glorified compares her personal vineyard of her life to this vineyard at Baal Hamon. She is not yielding a mere one thousand which is for Solomon but TWELVE HUNDRED. Now stop and think. Twelve disciples and Elisha plowed with twelve yoke of oxen. Twelve is seen as the number of government or rule. Indeed the glorified saint does have rule in the kingdom to come. But the thousand the glorified work of the cross is exclusively for her Solomon or for the Lord. This is the fruit of the worship of the life poured out to Him ALONE. But she goes beyond that and give an extra two hundred. Two times one hundred or twice ten times tenor two times sanctification. This is for those who care fro the fruit of HER Vineyard! This means she OWNS her OWN VINEYARD. Yes indeed for she is the mistress of her own vineyard and those who care or bishop over the fruits there of are paid in salvations silver a set fee for all of them or for each of them the text doesn’t specify. Either way we are now seeing her produce of herself giving out to others and the bulk of it is given alone to Him!
The last lines are about the companions and the call for His return to come. And the Spirit and the BRIDE say COME… or MARANTHA KUORIOS CHRISTOS. Come Lord Jesus and also Come to the Lord Jesus. For she both calls for Him and calls to Him. She is His reflection his beacon His vintage given out the place where others may hear and see Him!
In short she is no longer but only He. This is the message of the passage of the Song that in all that she has undergone and in all the paces she has gone she has died the death a little deeper each time until there is no more to die but she lives nevertheless He is the life she lives!
So ends the path of the Song. The Shulamite’s journey. The process of sanctification.