2. A second Character and mark of a divine visitation, is joy, even a joy of a different kind and character from other joys; For this joy arises not originally from natural principles neither fastens itself on natural objects, but is supernatural in the root of it, and fixes itself on supernatural (/divine/Godly/moral excellencies of the nature of God.) Their joy is in God/Christ and obedience. It is no sanguine joy, neither made of humor and complexion, for it arises often in the midst of sadness within, and crosses without.
The Spiritual man therefore thus truly describes the manner of them, Psalm 94:19 “In the midst of the sorrows of my heart your comforts have refreshed me.” 2 Cor. 4:16, luke 24:15-17. Even when the outward man decays, and dies away, the inward man renews and rejoices: When the disciples are talking doubtfully and sorrowful; then Jesus appears to them, and warms their hearts with a heavenly sweet flame. When the wine of natural joy is spent, and there is nothing left but he waters of affliction, then Christ turns this water into wine. “You have turned ( says David) my mournings into dancing, you have put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.” Psalm 30:11
There is a river that makes glad the City of God, there is the new wine of the kingdom, that makes the heart merry; there is a heavenly oil that makes that face pleasant and joyful, which is the image of God; these flow forth from the True Vine, from the right olive, and that it may appear that they do so, they are commonly sent into thirsty, weary, mourning and almost despairing souls; that the excellency of them may appear to be of God and not of man: when the soul is parched with dryness, the sap of joy, can’t come naturally out of dryness, even Moses himself says, “Shall I fetch you water out of this rock?” Numbers 20:10
When there is no wine, and there appears nothing but water, even tears and sorrows, it must be a divine hand that turns this (bitter) water into wine. When the soul is oppressed with spiritual lack, and see’s nothing but grief within, and terrors without, it must be the work of God to make this oil to run, until the vessels be full.
Therefore Saint Paul rightly infers, that it is the right hand of the most high, even in a high degree, which makes this change. Yea there is in it more then a change, even a harmony and agreement between contraries; “Much affliction and joy in the Holy Ghost. And so Saint Peter, Yea greatly rejoices, though ye are in heaviness: Wherefore since to the Saints there arises a light in the midst of darkness, they could not bring this light, but He only who is the light of the world and by whom first the light came to shine out of darkness.
And as this joy is divine and heavenly, showing from a divine and heavenly fountain, so is it also divine and heavenly, because it fastens on divine heavenly objects. Things that love are like: the natural joy delights in natural objects, and a spiritual joy in spiritual objects. Accordingly while the natural joy looks out for corn and wine, the spiritual joy looks out for the countenance of God. God is a Spirit, and he delights in Spirit. (He delights in Himself, His Son) Because it is like Him. and the joy of the Spirit delights in God, yea delights in Him most, because he is the supreme Spirit, and consequently highest in this likeness. And because the union of our Spirits with this Spirit is only in Christ, with whom the soul becoming one spirit has union with the highest Spirit, therefore the soul having found Christ, rejoices in Him above all things, with a joy unspeakable and glorious. Phil. 3:8 She rejoices so in Him that she will sell all natural things, to buy the Spiritual happiness that is to be found in Him.
And thus by the absence, and by the contempt of natural things, this joy may be known to be supernatural. For as it does not faint nor fail when natural things are absent, so does it not fix or feed on them being present, If Jesus also be present with them. Yea if the soul may feel Jesus to be more present, because they are more absent, she enjoys that absence, by which the presence of her beloved is more enjoyed. Romans 5:3, She delights in the tribulations, whose abundance has caused in abundance of consolations: she so much loves Christ, that for his sake she loves things that are to nature most hateful, and rejoices in them. Romans 8:5 And thus while the soul rejoices in things contrary to nature, for the Love of things supernatural, this joy cannot be natural, and of the same kind that those things are which it despises, but must needs be supernatural, and of the same kind that those things are in which it especially delights.
3. Another property of these joys, by which they prove themselves to be truly spiritual, is this, that they are nutrimental to the very soul and Spirit of man. They feed, they satisfy, and in their measure fill the soul, and give her an inward thriving, and increase. Bodily joys are thick and gross, and by their grossness stick behind in the body, and pierce not to the soul; and if anything come to the soul from them, it is commonly but filth, dregs, guilt, vexation or shame. She may be more clouded by them, made more dull, by materiality, or filth, ……( bad printing, have no clue what it says here)…… rather than give her a real increase. As mud is to a thirsty bodies, so are these to thirsty souls, they can not sink them in, nor quench their souls thirst for it’s true good.
But the spiritual joys enter in, and enlarge the very soul of man; they make her who is spirit more spiritual, for she opens her mouth wide to them, and hen she is filled with that spiritual and divine sap, which accompanies them, and wherein they are founded. And then as she has heard, so she has seen and tasted, that an heavenly joy is to the soul a restorative medicine: and that when she enjoys her Saviour in the contemplations and tastes of his love, then is she filled with marrow and fatness. Psalm 63:5
4. But I hasten to another Mark of spiritual visitations, and that of holiness. (page 269) For when Christ visits the soul, as he does clarify her with light, and ravish her with joy, so he beautifies her with holiness. External joys, and joys of the body, have not this virtue, neither can they give it to the soul: but when Christ comes into the soul by his Spirit, the same Spirit that enlightens and gladdens her will also hallow her; yea as by the light she is directed to holiness, so by the gladness she is lifted up, encouraged, and actuated unto holiness.
In these accesses of Christ there are heights of union, and the increase of union brings with it increases of uniformity. The Spirit of union is fire, and fire turns that into itself to which it is united: and the fuller and closer this union is, the more is this turning. So Christ Jesus, the more he comes into a soul by his Spirit, the more spiritual he makes her; yea the more he melts a soul into himself; the more he turns her will into his will, and the more he increases his own image in her; and we know that his image is righteousness and true holiness. Eph. 4:24
He brings with Him those ointments for which the Virgins/upright love him, and those ointments also make them more lovely. Hence are they inwardly more glorious, (Song 1:9-14) and hence outwardly they smell more sweetly in their conversations. The Kings daughter is all glorious within Psalm 45:13 and her garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia. In these touches of Christ if in any other, there comes forth virtue from him: The Spirit of the lover passes into his beloved, and makes her of one heart and will with him, and this conformity of the will with Christ is true holiness.
The Spirit by which Christ visits His spouse is a Holy Spirit and a Spirit of powers; and accordingly when this Spirit is shed into the soul, there is power and holiness infused with him, and by him. And hence it is that they who receive the true ointments of the Spirit in true visitations, they pass beyond a speculative and discoursing holiness even beyond a form of godliness, and advance to the power of it, and to a fruitful expression of this power.
Yea I may say, that hereunto the very love of Christ constrains us. For in these visitations, and by them, the love of Christ is shed into our hearts. The Spirit of Power and Holiness, is the Spirit of love; and this love given by the Spirit may be called holiness, for it is the fulfilling of the Law. they that love Christ are certainly willing to please him and to keep His commandments; and they that have the Spirit of love cannot but love Him.
Yea they cannot but love him for the union they have with him, and the joys of this union: and loving him they will desire to bring forth fruit unto Him, and by Him, even fruit that may be like him. The pleasure of love and union in outward marriage, is a kind of hire of fruitfulness: and in the spiritual marriage, the joy of love and union is the height of a fruitful holiness. Wherefore those that truly enjoy Christ in these Spiritual accesses (I think he might mean “excesses”) both desire and obtain this Spiritual fruitfulness; for the spouse of Christ is most truly that vine, which is fruitful by the sides of the house, and whose children stand like olive plants: yea in old age is she full of fruit.
Wherefore if with light and joy, the soul does feel, that the Spirit of Christ, by spiritual heat, power, and love, have wrought a powerful, and fruitful holiness in her, let her know that Christ Jesus himself has been with her. Carnal and corporal things cannot do this, evil angels neither can nor will do it; good angels though they rejoice to see it done, yet they do it not, but that Spirit alone both can do it, and does it, which is the power and right hand of God; and which only writes the law of God in the hearts and souls of men. Ez. 11:19-20 2 Cor. 3:3.
He it is alone that gives the soul the new wine of the kingdom, wherewith the soul being once refreshed, she rejoices as a giant to run the race of holiness: it is the spirit of Christ alone that so anoints the soul, that she runs after Christ in the ways of righteousness. And as it was said to this Head and Husband of the Church, Psalm 45, ” Thou has loved righteousness, and hated iniquity, therefore God even thy God has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows: so it may be also said to the spouse, you have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity, therefore God even thy God has anointed you with the oil of gladness above all those that were thy fellows by carnal generation. For there is no oil of gladness, that has with it the love of righteousness, but that wherewith Christ Jesus the Head was principally anointed, and which dropping from Christ the Head to the members and spouse of Christ, makes her to excel the rest in virtue and holiness.
And as there was not any such spice, as the Queen of Sheba brought unto Solomon, so there are no such ointments of grace and gladness, as a greater than Solomon does give to His Queen. When she and He are met in the heats of a spiritual conjunction, and the excesses of a fruitive union.
Next Part of the Book Counsels and Direction for those in this Blessed Marriage
Saved in 2000 at age 27. Nearly immediately I fell in love with the Song and grew very fast the first two years memorizing large portions of scripture purifying my mind the started chewing on meat to soon and struggled for 12 years and Christ has me on track like always but I just took the long way around and now I love leading others closer to Christ by seeing His love reflected in Solomons love for an enemy slave girl.
I have experienced God's love to me in the Song in ways that words can't express. There are many portion of the Word where she experiences extra ordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God. If you have a burning desire for a close intimate relationship with God by experiencing His Love to you over and over again at greater and greater heights, depths, lengths and breaths then The Song of Songs is where you need to be.
I can help you with this process of Growing in the experience of God's love. As of 7-23-16 I have experienced everything prior to chapter 8. The Song of Song is progressive in experience. Meaning that if you are mature then you can experience the joys and extraordinary outpourings of God's Love shed abroad in your heart.
If you are not so mature then the delights in the first chapter of the Song will satisfy your thirst for experiencing the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Many Christian are living in sin because they do not know how to experience God's love and get hooked on Loving Him. It feels good to be loved and to love Him. His burden is not heavy and His yoke is light, Jesus said in Matt. 10:28
I believe God wants to use me to help beautify His Bride through the Song of Solomon.
If you see the book literally you will not understand nor grasp the Love God has for you. If you see the book and the verses in it relating to Christ's love to you then I would love to show you how to experience this Love to the fullest. I will pray for you daily and guide you every step of the way.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
I grew up going to church but was a hypocrite. I lived my life how I chose but went to church on Sunday because my family went.
Mom and Dad divorced when I was about 5.
About this time I was sexually abused by "Bob" a made up name. This incident changed my life for the worst. I had no clue how to deal with it.
As I got older I grew in my hatred for Bob. I didn't blame anyone of my family because I was to young to know any better. Some of what happened during the abuse was in a bathroom. So overtime I would use the bathroom and look at my private parts that night would replay in my mind. My hatred for Bob would continue to grow each time.
Now I know this only happened to me one night. I can't image the pain other's go through who have had this happen to them over and over. Even as I write this now I cry with many tears for those hurting. God love you even though you may not know it or feel it. Go to Him in your time of need.
I was a really bad teenager. I only cared about myself and not even my family. I always came first in my mind. Even at the expense of hurting others. I was growing in my hatred for God by now.
I was going to church and was learned that God was in control. I thought well, if God was in control then He must have let me be sexually abused. I didn't understand this, How could a good and loving God allow this. I hated Him for it. My hatred for Bob grew as well. I was still using the bathroom and memories kept coming back. My heart grew even harder for Bob and God. As far as I was concerned God would have nothing to do with my life so I lived even worse. I thought I would be in jail or dead and I really didn't care, I thought it could be much worse than reliving your painful past over and over again. Little did I know that God's plan later would be to use these events to give me a burning passion for the closest most intimate love relationship with Himself through Christ mainly through the love poem in the Song of Songs in the Bible.
I remember hating Bob so much that the only thing that would relieve my pain was actually thinking he would suffer forever for what he did. I grew so much in my hatred for him that I had to continue to think that he would get even worse than what I imaged before. After some time I would only be relieved of hatred for him unless I thought he would burn in a hotter and hotter hell for all the suffering he put me through.
I never told my mom or family what happened, although I think some of them knew something had happened.
I grew up quite rebellious and even went to jail at the age of 20. I was living the fast life pursuing all my sinful desires and wanting more. It never seemed to be enough. I was quite happy in my sin but I just wanted more of it.
I lived life thinking I would die at a young age, riding motorcycle and living on the edge put me in the hospital many times and I should have been dead.
California at age 26.
I moved to California for a job opportunity at the age of 27. While trying to figure out what radio stations to program in my car, I ran across a RC Sproul talking about "people who have the faith that saves and people who only say that have faith" only the people who have the faith that saves will go to heaven. I thought "I don't think I have the faith that saves because my life was so bad." I searched the scriptures to try to get this faith. I found a church and thought people there could help me get this faith that saves. All along God kept showing me how sinful I was and that I deserved punishment from Him for living my life hating Him.
One weekend I read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John desperately trying to find out how to get this faith that saves. By now I knew that if you had the faith that saves that Jesus would be saving you from a life of sin. I still liked my sin and Jesus sure wasn't saving me from a life of sin, so I rightly concluded that I didn't have the faith that saves.
By the time I got to John, I saw "believe" everywhere. John 3:16 and other verses and wow the whole book was written so that you may believe. John 20:31 "these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." So at night I would pray "I believe Jesus died for me, I believe, I believe. This was just an intellectual belief. I knew that in history and the Bible that Jesus died for everyone, so I believed it. But this belief did not change my life.
I would go on night after night saying the same prayer only to wake up the next day wanting to fulfill my sinful desires. The prayer wasn't working so I started to word it different each time hoping some prayer would work. After about 2 weeks of this I was fed up with it all, nothing was happening. I still was living in my sin and wanted more of it. A Christian hates their sin and does something about it, and certainly they don't continue to make plans to sin. The prayers weren't working so I gave up. I thought to myself "God, I tried with all my might, I searched the Scriptures, went to church, read the Bible and prayed all to no avail. If Im going to be saved your going to have to do it because I tried."
So I quit praying but still the Bible kept calling me so I read more. 3 Days later I was laying in a tanning bed and God convicted me really hard that I had offended Him by the life I was living. I was so scared of God, where could I run. You can't hide from God. It seemed like forever that I was under these terrors of being punished by a Holy Angry God. This lasted about 10 minutes then this is how I understood it. God let me understand that all that anger that He had for me for all my sin should come my way but He had poured that anger out on Jesus 2,000 years ago. I immediately started weeping an couldn't stop for about 20 minutes. All the sins that I could think of I confessed for that 20 minutes one after another after another, I was so sorrowful and grieved it physically hurt inside.
After I stopped crying I thought that was the weirdest thing that ever happened. I walked out of the tanning salon and stood outside and everything seemed so beautiful, the tree's, the birds, even the air seemed pleasant. Now I was really wondering what was going on.
I pondered all of this as I drove to work that day. I brought my Bible to work and was thinking what am I doing, I want to take my Bible to work so I can read it. As soon as I got to work I started reading my Bible. I couldn't believe what I was reading!! It all was so wonderful. It felt so good to just read my Bible. My client showed up and as I was training them the only thing I could think about was getting back to my Bible. I read all night and slept about 2 hours and was reading again.
I had sinful things in my apartment and I rounded everything evil up and threw it in the garbage. It was weird I was thinking but it felt good so I left it all in the garbage. I called my girlfriend to break it up and she thought I had another girl, I said no, I just think this is wrong we shouldn't be sleeping together. She didn't understand so I told her I was a Christian now and she still thought I had another girlfriend. She said "Im glad your a Christian, so am I" I thought to myself, "I have a strong conviction that sleeping together is wrong and she thought it was okay" I wondered how she could think that. Anyway we broke up.
I kept reading my bible and repenting, there was so much to repent of and I had lived a very sinful life. I was a thief for some part of my life and all the people I stole from kept coming to mind. I owed so much money. I was instantly in debt about $80,000. As I could I paid them back. As of 7-18-2016 I still owe about $25,000 but it sure is a joy to be paying them back.
The first week of being saved a car just about ran me over, they hit me but I wasn't hurt at all. The guy in the car felt so bad. I just looked at him and said "God bless you and have a great day, I am okay" smiled at him and moved on. Now I was really wondering what was going on because I normally would have cussed him out left and right and instead of cussing I blessed him. That was so weird. But again it felt good. I learned to do good by what my conscience told me was good and that it felt good. I got hooked on this feeling good by doing good and did it more often.
About two weeks after being saved I thought of Bob. I immediately prayed for him, something like "Lord help him.." then I stopped praying and said out loud "What am I doing?" I'm praying for a man that I hated my whole life, but it feels good and right, so I did it again. I stopped again midway in the prayer and started pacing around. I was trying to make sense of what was going on and couldn't figure it out. But again it made me happy to pray for him so I did. Bob would often come to mind when I went to the bathroom and each time I would pray for Him. The more I did this the less weird it got. And the greater my love grew for him.
I started memorizing large portions of scripture and this was wonderful because it felt like the words were cleaning my mind and as Proverbs 2:10 "For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul." I wanted more and more of this pleasantness. So I memorized even more and the joy got more and more.
Then this life changing advice came:
A friend from church told me to find a book of the Bible and really understand it. Read through the Bible and pick one and read it over and over and study it and really get it. So I started in Genesis and read through. When I got to Proverbs I really liked it so I thought that would be the book. I started by memorizing all of Proverbs chapter 3. After that I thought maybe there is a better book than Proverbs. So I read on. Then I came to Song of Solomon. I read it with quite some confusion. It wasn't as good as the other books, I didn't know why. So I bought a commentary on it. George Burrowes commentary on the Song of Solomon.
In the commentary I found that George and other saw the book as illustrating God's love to the Church. And not only illustrating it but displaying the Love of Christ better than any other book. This caught my attention big time, because I was having a burning desire for a closer relationship with God and desperately learning about His Love so that I could Love God. You see I had hated Him for so long that God used that old hard heart to spur me on in loving Him. I so much did not want to hate God anymore that I was on fire to learn to Love Him as much and as fast as possible. So here was a book that would help me do that. So I landed on the Song of Solomon. I committed to learning as much of this book as possible.
I memorized the first chapter and would repeat it often throughout the day. I didn't know much of what I was repeating but it sure made me happier and on fire for God. I grew so fast repeating the first chapter over and over again all day, like a dozen times a day at least. It felt so good and I never found any other book that caused me to weep so much. I would often weep everyday just reading it. I was to immature to know what was going on. Even though it hurt to weep so much, I felt like my heart was being cleansed from the filth that was in it by repeating it over and over again so I did. As I read the commentary I understood more and more. What God was doing in me through the Song was greater and faster than any other portion of Scripture so I tended to stay there often. I was so excited about God that I thought it funny that other's in church weren't the same way. Some where happy but it seemed most of them didn't seem to care much about God. They would talk about work, football the weather. The only thing I wanted to talk about was Jesus and God and how can I grow closer to Him.
About this time there was a mission trip to Ireland.
I started to have convictions that I should try to find Bob and witness to him. I kept praying for him but how could he be saved if he hadn't heard the Gospel that has power unto salvation. So I asked family if they had any information. Like me before, my family hated him and thought he deserved hell. After some time I got his name but no location or phone number. Either they didn't know where he was or didn't want to tell me. I prayed some more and then started to get stronger convictions to do something about finding Bob.
So I went on the internet and typed in "his name and child molestation sex offender court" thinking that some court record would have some info leading to where I may find him" I even talked to a private eye and he couldn't help. So I googled some key words and spent hours each day looking through each page. I believed it was God's will for me to witness to Bob. I wanted him to be saved. Really bad. So much so that I thought God would save Bob if I were to witness to him. So I didn't stop searching for him. I kept my computer on each day and went page by page. It took two years to go through about 15,000 pages but I found someone who matched his name in a prison for molesting his grandchildren. I wrote the prison and he wrote back. All kinds of emotions went through my body when I saw his letter from the jail. I didn't open it right away but two hours later God gave me enough courage to face my fears again and I opened the letter. He admitted to being the one who molested me. We wrote back and forth I told him I was angry before but now I was saved and that I loved him and believed God wanted me to talk to him. He read my letters over and over again. I shared the gospel in each one.
I got mad at Bob 2x. Once he said that he love me. I got really angry with him. He didn't love me. That night it was hard to love Bob, I had to call a friend to pray for me to repent, after he prayed I felt greater love for Bob. Then I wrote him back saying "I'm sorry but you can't say that you loved me. You did not love me you lusted after me." He admitted he didn't love as he should have and admitted that it was lust and sinful. Finally some conviction. Yet I only thought he was saying that because I was being nice to him. All his family had left him and he said I was the only "friend" he had.
Wether or not it was true Bob said that he had cancer in his arm and that the help the prison gives was not enough and if he had money he could see a different doctor and get help. I sent him some money and since I was in jail before I knew what it was like to be in there without money, so I sent him money.
About 4-5 months in the economy went down, it was 2008. Work was hard. I still sent him money and I had to work harder. This was a really good lesson for me because I had to "work hard for the benefit of someone who did not deserve it." This was one of the greatest blessing ever because I realized with great certainty that Jesus was in me. This is what Jesus did. Jesus worked his whole life for me and I didn't deserve it!! Christ was in me! This was one of the best feelings ever and it put me in worship for months.
Then a mission trip to Croatia.
Each time I had to leave my business and amazing as it is I was completely okay each time. I am a self employed personal trainer and it is normally absurd to just leave and start over, but each time I had enough work within 2 weeks of coming back. This is a flat out miracle. I trusted God to provide and he did. How many people can start up a business in 2 weeks. Only with the help of God. God was teaching me early on in my walk that as long as I did what He wanted me to do then I had nothing to worry about.
About 3 years saved now.
I Taught the 4 year old's at church Sunday morning for 10 years.
Left my business 2x for mission trips and God miraculously provided when I came back.
I taught 5 x a week plus held a job.
Sunday morning to the kids.
Sunday night with the 5th graders
Friday afternoons at Good News Clubs. Sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Friday Nights with the Kids teaching through Pilgrims Progress, I did this 2x
Teaching Monday afternoons at a nursing home. I taught through the Song of Songs once then John, then Romans then back to the Song again! I love the Song of Songs.
I grew up hating God for what happened to me, and now I love Him because He first loved me. My passion is for children to grow up loving God and not hating Him.
My other passion which has become ever greater is to help others see the Love of Christ to His Church in the Song of Songs!!
I would love to help you, just let me know and I will lead you and pray for you.
God demonstrates His love to us in sending His one and only Son to suffer in our place, taking our sins upon Himself so that whoever believes they get to heaven because of what He did for us will not perish but have everlasting life.