Life-Study of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
At the beginning of this life-study of Song of Songs, I would like to offer a word of appreciation and memorial of and an expression of gratitude to Brother Watchman Nee. The outline with all the headings and subtitles and the interpretation of figures in this present life-study of Song of Songs are based on Brother Nee's particular study with a few co-workers in May 1935, in which I participated as one of not more than ten attendants, in a hotel on the shore of West Lake of the city of Hangchow, close to Shanghai.
The theme of Song of Songs is satisfaction of satisfactions. This book portrays the four stages in the experience of the lover of Christ and can be summarized by the following four sentences:
(1) A lover of Christ should be one who is attracted by His love and drawn by Him in His sweetness to pursue after Him for full satisfaction.
(2) A lover of Christ should be one who is called by Him to be delivered from the self through his oneness with the cross of Christ.
(3) A lover of Christ should be one who is called by Him to live in ascension as the new creation of God in the resurrection of Christ.
(4) A lover of Christ should be one who is called by Him more strongly to live within the veil through His cross after the lover's experience of His resurrection.
In the first stage the lover of Christ is attracted by Christ to follow Him. In the second stage the lover of Christ experiences the cross for the breaking of the self. The cross saves us from the self in order to get us out of ourselves. In the third stage the lover of Christ lives in ascension. To live in ascension is to experience the new creation of God in Christ's resurrection. In the fourth stage the lover of Christ lives within the veil, in the inner chamber of the whole universe, the Holy of Holies. In experience the cross comes first, followed by resurrection and ascension. Yet the experience of ascension is not sufficient. After ascension there is still the need of another following stageliving within the veil through further experience of the cross.
In Song of Songs, a book of poetry, we cannot find the words cross, resurrection, and ascension. Neither do we have the expressions new creation or within the veil. How, then, can we say that this book unveils different stages of the Christian life? If we would answer this question, we need to see that in Song of Songs the stages of the Christian life are revealed, or unveiled, through many different figures. The word cross is not used, but there are figures of the cross. In like manner, instead of the words resurrection and ascension, there are figures of resurrection and ascension. There are also figures signifying the new creation and the life within the veil. In reading this book, the hardest thing is to interpret the figures.
In this message we will first give an introductory word and then begin to consider the first stagethe stage of being drawn to pursue Christ for satisfaction.
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