This prophecy is complex -- It's written to be spoken aloud…
Not lightly skimmed.
An old woman from Sacramento traveled north into our mountains - she came to our congregation, drawn by the Lord, and laying hands on this Little Book, prophesied, This book will bring great lamentation to churches across this land
Lamentation? Is this a Good Thing, bringing Lamentation to many churches?
Let me describe this Coming Lament - it's the Lament of the Bride found in the Song of Songs, 6.2-8.
In these verses, the Bride longs for Her Beloved, but has fallen into a profound slumber. She has showered and removed Her undergarment to lie warmly in her bed - but then She hears Her Lover at the door of Her bedchamber - He tries to reach the latch to open the door and enter the room of His Beloved but He cannot. But does the Bride rouse Herself from Her sleep, rush and unlatch the door? Not at all! She has fallen into a slumber and, though stirred, finds the thought of putting Her robe on overwhelming and getting her newly washed feet dirty on the floor distasteful... So She delays, finally arises only to discover Her Beloved has gone! Sickened for the Love that She's lost, She rushes out into the streets to find Him - but all She finds is abuse at the hands of the city watchmen who beat Her viciously, bruising Her tender flesh and tearing away her veil to leave her wretched and dishonored.
All She has is sadness and lamentation
The Song of Songs portrays to us the Great Love of Jesus Christ for His Bride, the Church - His Love for us! But amidst romantic passages about the fragrance of God's Spirit sweeping through the Secret Garden of our Romance with the King, there comes this dark passage of Love Lost and the bloodying of the Bride Why? Where does this come into Our Heavenly Romance?
In Her sleep - Her slothful and numbing sleep - the Bride rejected Jesus' Love. She lay in bed, having laid aside Her robe of righteousness and yet self-satisfied that at least her feet were clean...In order to open the door, She had to don the Robe of His Righteousness and “dirty her feet”* - but instead, the Bride rejected His Love.
Jesus says, in John 15, that we are to abide in His Love, even as He abides in His Father's Love. Does Jesus mean we are to somehow keep" Him "loving us and thus abide in His Love?
Not at all - there's nothing that can separate us from the Love of God. But we can separate ourselves from the Love of Jesus. We can refuse to allow His Love to enter into the bedchamber of our spiritual lethargy.
What is this refusal to allow the Love of Jesus to enter into our bedchamber? Jesus tells us exactly what "receiving His Love" means. He says we are to "abide in His Love" (John 15.10) and that therefore we are to love one another (John 15. 12, 17)
To abide in Jesus' Love is to love the brethren.
To abide in Jesus' Love is to love the brethren!
But the Visible Church does not love the brethren. Instead, it is filled with schism, accusation, betrayal between christians, backstabbing, disdain and mockery of other brethren, religious pride and dishonor of others and manifold divisions amongst God's children into congregations, denominations, theologies and litergies. The Children of God - being existentially united and one in Christ are not manifesting that oneness (which is, in fact, the same Oneness of Jesus and His Father - John 17).
Are the Watchmen a blessing to the city? Not at all. Where the spiritual watchmen of the Kingdom of God should be ministering to the Bride in Her search for Her Beloved, they instead attack Her They attack the Body, arrogantly claiming their wounding of the Bride somehow helps Her become more holy or ensures that Her doctrine is more correct. Where a minister in the Body urges schism in the Body instead of Oneness, where a pastor mocks the Christians and congregations in his area or feels he must compete against them, where christians condemn christians and stand in judgment against them - here, the Bride, desperately sick for the unifying Love she's unwisely rejected, is mauled by malice, bruised by blame, destroyed by division and dishonored by dissection.
In the Song of Songs, the Bride numbly lay in a satisfied sleep, dreaming of Her Beloved but in fact refusing entry to His Love.
Here it is in a nut-shell:
The Church, the Body of Christ, has rejected Jesus' Love...
...the very Love into which He calls us as in Eph. 4.1-2: Paul says to us to...
Live and act as is appropriate
to those who have received the Call
that you have received...
That with all humility and unselfishness, and with patience,
Bear with one another lovingly, and, in the uniting bond of peace, you
Make every effort to maintain the unity given by the Spirit"
Paul warned the Corinthians that because they had also kept the Door closed on the Love of Jesus Christ and the Oneness of His Body, many of them were sick, and weak, and some even had died.
In the Song of Songs, the Bride weeps in deep Lament for Her Beloved, sickened at having turned away His Love As the Bride of Christ begins to discern the Love she's groggily rejected and the Oneness She's dishonored, She Laments for the Love of Jesus even as She begins to make every effort to manifest His Love in the Oneness of all who call upon the Lord Jesus and are One with Him.
The Lament of the Bride, finally becomes the Song of All Songs.
And to this effect, this Little Book has been written.
* What is this, the Bride not wanting to "dirty her feet"? Simply put -- this refers to Religious Pride. When people set about to "cleanse" themselves, the result is inadequate -- but the religious take great pride in that "self-cleansing". There's an entire body that needs "cleansing", but the religious take a swipe here and there with the cloth of the Law until they feel that they've cleaned themselves up sufficiently. The Bride lay in self-satisfied slumber, having removed Her Robe of Righteousness and having "cleansed" the bottom of Her feet with a "swipe here and there". [BACK]
A comment on the Preparation of the Bride and Faithfulness in today's ministries.
Copyright © 2008, by Emil B. Swift