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
In the second stage (S. S. 2:8—3:5) the lover of Christ learned three basic lessons: the power of resurrection, the riches of resurrection, and the life of the cross. The power of Christ’s resurrection is signified by Christ as a gazelle and a hart leaping upon the mountains and skipping upon the hills (2:8-9). The riches of Christ’s resurrection are signified by the plants, the voice of the turtledove, and the various fragrances in the spring (vv. 12-13a). The life of the cross is signified by the clefts of the rock and the covert of the precipice (v. 14). The life of the cross is lived by the power of resurrection and is encouraged by the riches of resurrection.
In the next stage—the call to live in ascension as the new creation in resurrection (3:6—5:1)—we need to learn the lesson of discerning the spirit from the soul (Heb. 4:12). Few of today’s Christians are able to discern the spirit from the soul. Many actually believe that in the Bible the words spirit and soul are synonyms, even though 1 Thessalonians 5:23 speaks of “spirit and soul and body.” If we do not realize that the spirit is different from the soul, we cannot reach the stage of being called to live in ascension as the new creation in resurrection.
Ascension is in the heavens. Although we are on earth, as believers in Christ our regenerated spirit is joined to God the Spirit in the heavens. These two spirits are one. This is like electricity: It is in the power plant and also in our room, yet there is one current. When we are in our spirit, we are joined to the ascended Christ in the heavens.
To live in ascension means to have a Christian life all the time in our spirit. This requires that we discern our spirit from our soul. If we love others by our soul, we are on the earth, not in ascension. But if we love by our spirit, we are in ascension. We have been seated in the heavens with Christ (Eph. 2:6). Positionally, we are seated there, but we need to live in ascension. After calling us to the cross, Christ calls us further to live in ascension as the new creation in resurrection.
Song of Songs 3:6—4:6 is concerned with the new creation.
The lover of Christ becomes a new creation by her complete union with Christ (3:6-11). We were united with Adam, which made us the old creation. Now we are in union with Christ, so we are a new creation. Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”
“Who is she who comes up from the wilderness / Like pillars of smoke, / Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, / With all the fragrant powders of the merchant?” (S. S. 3:6). She (as an overcoming representative of God’s elect) comes from Egypt (wilderness) like persons in the unshakable power of the Spirit (Exo. 14:19-20), perfumed with the sweet death and fragrant resurrection of Christ and with all the fragrant riches of Christ as a merchant. The Lord needs the overcoming ones, those who are perfumed, permeated, with the fragrance of Christ’s riches.
“There is his bed, Solomon’s— / Sixty mighty men surround it, / Of the mighty men of Israel. / All of them wield the sword and are expert in war; / Each man has his sword at his thigh / Because of the night alarms” (S. S. 3:7-8). She is the victory (bed for rest and victory in the night) of the victorious Christ, full of the power of the overcomers among God’s elect which carries Christ even in times of difficulties, and these overcomers are experts in war, fighting with their weapons at the time of alarms.
“King Solomon made himself a palanquin / Of the wood of Lebanon. / Its posts he made of silver, / Its bottom, of gold; / Its seat, of purple; / Its midst was inlaid with love / From the daughters of Jerusalem” (vv. 9-10). She is a palanquin (for the day) as a carriage of Christ, made by Christ Himself of the resurrected, uplifted, and noble humanity (the wood of Lebanon), having God’s nature (gold) as its base, Christ’s redemption (silver) as its supports, the royal (purple) throne as its seat, and the love of the believers covering the inside.
“Go forth, O daughters of Zion, / And see King Solomon with the crown / With which his mother crowned him / On the day of his espousals, / Yes, on the day of the gladness of his heart” (v. 11). Here the Spirit bids the overcoming believers to look away from themselves unto Christ in His humanity of incarnation as a crown of His boast, at the time of the believers’ betrothal to Christ, a day of the gladness of His heart.
If Christ did not have humanity, He could not marry us. Because we are human, we could not be betrothed to Him unless He also had humanity. Thus, our betrothal to Christ depends on His humanity, which is His crown. The humanity which Christ put on in His incarnation and uplifted in His resurrection is His crown. We need to look away to Christ in His humanity.
At this juncture we should note that the union of the bed with its sleeper, the union of the palanquin with its rider, and the union of the bride with her bridegroom, indicated in the three items above, all signify the complete union of the lover with Christ. Because we have been united to Christ, we have become the new creation.
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