The Song of Songs—God’s Greatest Love Song
The King James Bible calls it the Song of Solomon, but that is not really the name of the book. The name should be Song of Songs. That gives you some idea of how little most “authorities” understand the Bible. It’s God’s song—not Solomon’s.
The Song of Songs is probably the “sexiest” book in the Bible—but it’s not about sex. It’s also about one of the most beautiful women God has ever created—yet it’s not about physical beauty.
It is a fascinating book that I believe God has given me the understanding of for the first time ever—and for a very special reason.
A Jewish man by the name of Laadia wrote a commentary about this book. He noted how wildly different people’s interpretations of it are, and compared it to somebody giving you a lock and then throwing away the key.
Now God has given us the key to unlock this book that is so terribly confusing to this world!
This world simply cannot figure out the Song of Songs. It is a difficult book to understand. Part of the reason is that the translators were so confused about it that they really jumbled things up. You almost have to re-translate this book before you can understand it.
What is it really about?
Solomon was used by God to write this book. The way God views it, it really is the Song of Songs—like the King of kings or the holy of holies. It is the greatest love song ever written! There is something truly special about this song, and God wants us to know that!
But who is God serenading in this song? Why is God so concerned about singing this song, or getting this message across, at this time?
I want to show you that this is actually a beautiful, stirring love song from God—particularly intended for those of His Spirit-begotten people who have grown lukewarm in this end time, just before they are plunged into the worst time of suffering ever.
The woman spoken of in the Song of Songs is a type of God’s Church.
The Soncino Commentary understands that this book is about Israel forsaking God. That is right—except that it is really about spiritual Israel forsaking God!
The Bible prophesies that the last era of God’s Church before Jesus Christ’s Second Coming would become lukewarm (Revelation 3:14-16). Still, the Laodiceans are His spiritual Family, and He is intensely concerned with trying to save them spiritually as long as there is hope.
These Laodiceans are rich and increased with goods (verse 17). If any one man who ever lived on Earth personifies that problem, it would have to be King Solomon. He had tremendous wealth, and it laid claim to his heart and caused his love for God to wax cold. Solomon and the Laodiceans loved riches and physical things more than they loved God.
How much do you love God? Could anything turn you away from Him? The deeper your love grows and the more a part of you it is, the harder it becomes for Satan to turn you away from God.
Let’s get a little background to better understand what God is communicating in this song.
My booklet on the epistle of James is a strong message from God to the Laodiceans. It discusses some stunning miracles that have happened recently! It has direct ties to the Song of Songs message.
The book of James is a message to the people of God who have been scattered in this end time. The first verse talks about Israelites who have been “scattered abroad.” The Companion Bible and the Revised Standard Version translate that “in the Dispersion,” which refers to the Diaspora, or the people of Israel being scattered among the Gentiles. That is exactly what has happened spiritually in our day. This is about the exiles from all 12 tribes of Israel, so this is a massive turning away from God; Lange’s Commentary says James 1:1 is “indicative of a reconstruction of the Church.” The vast majority of God’s people have been exiled from the inner court. Revelation 11:1-2 show who exiled them, or cast them out: It was God.
But God hasn’t forgotten those Spirit-begotten people. He still loves them in a way that will probably cause you to love God a lot more when you come to understand the message of the Song of Songs, and view it in the context of the evil they have committed.
Verses 6-8 of James 1 warn against faithlessness. In the end time, there will be serious storms, and we must have faith to weather them. The Laodiceans are dangerously weak in faith. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways,” James says. This is precisely the trap so many Church leaders fell into: trying to please the world and God at the same time. They are double-minded and unstable. God tells us we must keep our focus—seeing with clear spiritual vision, so vivid and powerful that we would die for it! If we lack that, we will be unstable and won’t look to God as we should! The only hope at that point is for God to plunge us into the Great Tribulation to get our focused attention. Sadly, that is what it will take for many Laodiceans to get their focus right.
This is the scene God conveys in the Song of Songs.
The Song of Songs is also a counterpart to my booklet Lamentations: The Point of No Return, which graphically depicts how the Laodiceans are going to suffer horrendously in the Great Tribulation. The Song of Songs message shows that this punishment is motivated by the depth of God’s love.
An Adulterous Woman
This book begins, “The song of songs, which is Solomon’s. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee” (Song of Songs 1:1-3).
This is talking about the Laodiceans. These people are married to Jesus Christ—yet they love Solomon’s way. They adore the wealth and the riches of this world, and that turns their hearts away from God.
Notice their confused thinking: “Draw me, we will run after thee [that is, after God]: the king [King Solomon] hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee [God]” (verse 4). This lady is mixing up the love for God and the love for Solomon or Solomon’s sinful way of life! The king brought her into his chambers, and she speaks as if there was nothing she could do about that, and that she can continue worshiping God in spite of this grievous sin. She justifies herself and acts as though she has done nothing wrong. But God finds her behavior unlawful and extremely offensive, and He won’t tolerate it!
Tragically, the Laodiceans don’t even comprehend how they failed to love God. They talk about love, but they are too double-minded to deeply love God! After all, if God’s wife is in Solomon’s chamber, that is serious adultery! How does God view His Bride when she is in Solomon’s chamber? That should be easy for a spiritual son of God to answer. But somehow that is okay with the Laodiceans. They can perceive that Christ isn’t doing a powerful work through them and that they’re not really accomplishing anything—but they act like that is Christ’s fault, not their own!
If God lives in us, we had better be producing fruits, or we are kidding ourselves. That is true of each member individually and of the Church as a whole. We must be producing powerful spiritual fruits if we are going to be in God’s Family!
Keep in mind that this was God’s own true Church at one time.
Verse 5 talks about the curtains of Solomon, another symbol of the Laodiceans being rich and increased with goods. They know all about Solomon’s way of life, and they followed his way of thinking when he turned away from God.
“Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards [should be vineyard, singular]; but mine own vineyard have I not kept” (verse 6). The phrase “my mother’s children”—or sons, it should read—is talking about those saints who remained loyal to God (about 5 percent of them). They are angry with this adulterous woman.
The translators did a terrible job of translating this verse.
God calls all of His sons to work in His vineyard (Matthew 20:1-8). This woman called God’s vineyard her own, but later she rebelled—“mine own vineyard have I not kept.” She once worked in God’s own vineyard and considered it her own—she was at one with God. But she didn’t keep that spiritual job! She rebelled against her Father and left His vineyard.
Now she no longer is a part of God’s Work.
“Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?” (Song of Songs 1:7). This adulterous wife does have troubling thoughts about turning aside. There is good reason for that, considering what she has done!
She never actually names God at any time in this book, which would seem to symbolize that she has no future with God unless she deeply repents. However, she is talking to God, her Husband, at least half the time; the rest of the time she is talking to Solomon. She is double-minded and lukewarm spiritually. She is still concerned about God and remembers those wonderful times in the past when God blessed her profusely.
“If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents” (verse 8). This is Christ speaking. He is telling His Laodicean bride to follow in the “footsteps of the flock, and feed your kids beside the shepherds’ tents.” It is implied that she knows where to find God’s very elect, His only true Church. Deep down, this woman knows that she is rebelling against God! The Laodicean kids are commanded to be fed by “the shepherds” of God with His truth.
The word “kids” means female goats. The Laodiceans are like hard-headed goats. They need to be fed by the true shepherds of God. Then they will again become God’s obedient sheep.
Christ continues His thought in the next two verses. “I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots. Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold. We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver” (verses 9-11). The Laodiceans’ minds are focused on the temporary riches of this world. Their Husband is pointing them to the golden riches that last forever.
Christ is referring to her as a mare “in Pharaoh’s chariots.” She is double-minded and is involved in two opposing wars (God’s and Satan’s).
Verse 9 uses the phrase “my love,” which everywhere else is Christ speaking to the woman (“my love” is a feminine noun in Hebrew). She uses the term “beloved” (a masculine noun) when speaking to Him.
“While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof” (verse 12). The Laodicean woman desires the wealth of the king’s table as opposed to God’s table. Again, you can see the double-minded attitude, which makes her “unstable in all [her] ways” (James 1:8).
Come Away From Babylon!
Speaking in this book, Christ’s Laodicean wife does understand her past. “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys,” she says in the first verse of chapter 2. She knows how special she is to God—but she doesn’t recognize how rebellious she is!
Think about how Christ responds to her in verse 2: “As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” In spite of her rebellion, Christ still views her as altogether unique and special compared to the worldly churches! Why? Because she has known the almighty, loving God. Tragically, though, she went back to an evil world that has never known God! Peter says that is like a dog returning to his vomit.
“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste” (verse 3). This Laodicean woman knows she is unique and different. She recognizes that she has known God, and she still has some knowledge of God. She sees that she was set apart, that God was doing wonderful things in her life. But there is a lot she refuses to understand.
“The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills” (verse 8). She is talking about Jesus Christ. He is there, and she knows that.
Look at what Christ is doing here: “My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice. My beloved spoke, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away” (verses 9-10). Christ is appealing to her, saying, Come away from the world! Come away from what you’re a part of! Come with Me! But she still refuses to heed God’s appeal.
Christ is on the outside looking in. He keeps knocking on her door, but she won’t let Him in. Spiritually Christ is not living in her (Revelation 3:20).
“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away” (Song of Songs 2:11-13). God keeps asking her to come away from Babylon. He describes the beauty of His way of life, with which she is familiar. But words are not producing results. We can see why God must plunge the Laodiceans into the Great Tribulation!
Let Me See Your Face
Now we come to verse 14, which is one of the most fascinating verses in the Bible. This is Christ talking. The King James reads, “O my dove, that art ….” Those last two words are in italics and shouldn’t be there. The Revised Standard Version is much better: “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is comely.”
God is seeing the place of safety in a vision here.
The imagery here sounds a lot like Petra, Jordan, doesn’t it? The “secret places of the stairs” (kjv) referred to in this verse actually means the hiding places of the cliff. Gesenius‘ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon also says that the places of refuge in the rocks are perhaps dwellings carved in the rocks. That certainly sounds to me to be describing Petra, or certainly a place very much like Petra. (But where is there another place like Petra?) Lange’s Commentary says these “clefts” are amid wide mountains; rough, craggy and difficult to cross; in a region cut up or divided by mountains and valleys. Petra is certainly that way. I remember one trip we took to this famous tourist attraction, where we got a four-wheel drive vehicle to go in the back way, and it was so rough we ended up breaking a transmission!
God sees this place in vision—but something is wrong. Remember, God calls things that are not as though they were (Romans 4:17). God is looking at the fruits of this Laodicean bride and noting the urgency of the time. He calls her His “dove,” and is expressing deep love for her—but He says, Let me see your face, let me hear your voice! Looking at the place of safety in vision, He doesn’t see her face or hear her voice there!
It’s as if God has a video clip of that place of protection during the Great Tribulation—and He is deeply concerned! This lady should be there! But she is not. This is a spiritual crisis of the greatest magnitude!
This has to be one of the strongest warnings in the Bible.
Does the place of safety seem like a fantasy to you? If so, you had better start studying the Word of God and world news! Events are hurtling forward, and there are at least a dozen ways that the United States, Britain and the Jewish nation could be brought down suddenly! The Bible prophesies that it will happen suddenly! All three nations will fall together (Hosea 5:5).
Then what will you do? You will experience the worst time of suffering ever on this planet, unless God protects you in a safe place!
Gesenius‘ Lexicon translates the Hebrew word for clefts in Song of Songs 2:14 from a different root that means the refugees. I thought that was interesting; some translators sense that this is talking about refugees. I don’t believe you’d ever understand that until this end time, but it’s true: This is speaking of refugees who are being protected from the horrors of World War iii.
In a way, this really dates the Song of Songs. God is saying that the place of safety is upon us! It’s here, and it’s real!
But how real is it to you? Do we dare doubt God as we are facing a worldwide catastrophe?
We have been thinking about this for years and years in God’s Church. We have all talked about it, but we have had to caution people to keep their balance and not to talk about it too much. But I think now we’re going to have to talk about it more because it’s so close. We must be getting awfully close to going there, because God is revealing some spectacular new revelation about the place of safety!
Years ago, one of our ministers (who has since died in the faith) said he believed that when God reveals the Song of Songs, we must be very close to the end. I think that’s right. We are very close, and God is saying, Let’s talk about the place of safety.
This message is for God’s faithful people as well, but He is mainly addressing the Laodiceans who won’t be in the place of safety. He is giving them this love song so they will understand why they’re not there! And also know how profoundly He loves them.
You can be sure that in the midst of the Great Tribulation, they will really want to hear this love song. I hope many of them will hear and heed it before that time.
God is sending this love song to His beloved. He is talking about His dove!
The dove is mentioned often in this book. “The dove is the lovebird par excellence …” (Anchor Bible). Doves sit and stare at each other. They coo and coo to each other with a soft, murmuring sound.
The Anchor Bible states: “The gentleness and amativeness [amorous or disposed to love] of the dove make it a fitting universal symbol of love and peace” (emphasis added throughout).
God uses this unique bird to illustrate the depth of His love. God’s love for us is beyond anything we can imagine without His Holy Spirit!
He wants the Laodiceans to see His love for them in spite of what they have done, and time is running out. The place of safety is upon us, and God wants to talk about it. Let’s talk about the place of protection, He says. You think you’re going to be protected, but you’re not!
The Laodiceans have a fantasy that they will have God’s protection in the Tribulation. In Jeremiah 49:16, God tells these lukewarm saints, “Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord.” In their mind, they are dwelling right there in the place of protection, and they think they are safe. But it’s a fantasy. Here God exposes their pride and tries to help them see reality. (You can read more about this in our free booklet Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible.)
Right now, the Laodicean leaders are telling their people that they are going to be protected. They believe they’re doing God’s Work. But their spiritual fruits just aren’t there! God’s Church must be diligently pouring whatever resources God gives into fulfilling its twofold commission—publishing God’s message to the world through every possible quality means, and feeding the people of God. This commission-centered orientation produces wonderful results: a strong presence on television, in print and on the Internet; outreach through humanitarian programs; schools and other robust educational activities, all grounded in the truth of God. A lack of such a work indicates a lack of God’s presence!
If you have the Spirit of God, you must produce fruits! If you don’t overcome and produce spiritual fruits, you are going no place!
Still, the depth of God’s love for His people is truly incredible. This is worth devoting serious thought to. After all the Laodiceans have done in rebellion against God, God still speaks to them as my dove and my love! He’s revealing how He sees them—after they have repented, of course. He does spew them out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16), so obviously they are going to have to repent.
The Song of Songs is specifically directed to the Jacobite Laodiceans (Malachi 1:1-4), who will repent during the Great Tribulation. Scripture shows that will be half of the Laodiceans; the other half will not repent, and they will go into the lake of fire (request our free booklet Obadiah). Those “Edomite” Laodiceans are not even mentioned in this book! Why? Is it because it is already all over for them?
Edomites—The Silent Warning
The unrepentant Laodiceans, or Edomites (Malachi 1:1-4), are addressed, not in the Song of Songs, but in the book of Obadiah.
The Prophet Obadiah surely has the most terrifying message in the Bible: His prophecy reveals that 50 percent of God’s rebellious people are going to lose everything!
The name Edom means dwells in the clefts of the rocks. The Gesenius‘ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon defines clefts as places of refuge in the rocks.
God’s indictment of those individuals is similar to the one directed to the “Jacobite” Laodiceans, or those who repent—but it is clear that they are even more proud: “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?” (Obadiah 3). What arrogance! They have become antichrist.
Isaiah 22:16 describes an end-time Shebna who thinks the same way: He believes he has a place of protection in the rock, but God tells him, All you’re doing is carving yourself an eternal tomb!
How could God address these rebellious people in the Song of Songs? I don’t think He could, and I don’t think He is.
That is an ominous sign, because this is about eternal life! Among those whom God has called today, eternal life is at stake. You either obey God today and let Him take you to a place of safety, or you will be plunged into a nuclear World War iii. At that point, if you have any faith left, you will have to trust God and then be martyred as a witness for God to qualify for the Kingdom—or die forever!
Those who are plunged into the Tribulation are going to have to prove their love for God by dying for God! As the Song of Songs goes on to say, “[L]ove is strong as death” (Song of Songs 8:6). With that love of God, they will have the strength to stand up in the midst of that nightmare and say, Go ahead. If you want to kill me, kill me. I’m not recanting anything spiritually in my life. That is the state they will have to reach.
But Edom, or Esau, represents those who refuse to repent—even when they are corrected in the chamber of horrors that is the Great Tribulation. Because of their incorrigible attitude, God has “indignation for ever” (Malachi 1:4) against the Edomite rebels, and says that every one of them will die: “[E]very one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter”—and “cut off for ever” (Obadiah 9-10). This is talking about eternal spiritual destruction!
This Laodicean woman does not mention God by name at any time in this book. I believe this is for an extremely important reason. God doesn’t even mention the antichrist Edomites in this book. They have no future with God and neither do the Jacobite Laodiceans unless they repent.
Surely this is the reason this church, or Laodicean woman, doesn’t name God at any time in this book! That makes her not naming God a deadly warning for all of God’s people—even those who are loyal to Him today!
Truly, this is dangerous knowledge. God is holding us eternally responsible for what we know! God must always be number one in our lives or we are in serious trouble.
Obadiah 15 establishes the time frame of this terrifying prophecy: “For the day of the Lord is near ….” We are dangerously close to the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. Thankfully it is all concluded by Christ’s Second Coming.
“For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain,” verse 16 says. Who could that be? These people have actually drunk wonderful, precious truth on God’s holy mountain. What a noble beginning! But they have departed from that. They had a special birthright, and—like Esau anciently—they sold it for a mere bowl of soup! What contempt God has for people who do that. He asks, Do you mean you would throw all this away? All this eternal glory as the wife of Jesus Christ? God hates what they have done, and has indignation forever against them! Verse 18 says “there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau.” None left forever!
These people think that God is going to protect them somehow. But as far as I can tell, they are not even being wooed in the Song of Songs—and I think there is only one reason: A lot of them are antichrists! How could God rule people like that? Have most of them already reached the point of no return spiritually? That certainly appears to be the way it is. They are not even mentioned in the Song of Songs!
The fact that they are not even mentioned is a monstrous warning in itself!
In The Last Hour booklet I talk about the antichrists inside God’s Church being a sign that we are in the last hour of the age of man (1 John 2:18; rsv). Now it looks like they are not even mentioned in the Song of Songs, which would indicate, I believe, that for about half of God’s rebellious church, it is already over.
I don’t think God would ever address the Edomites as “my dove.” God is no longer trying to romance them. It seems that the silence here is very loud. God doesn’t say anything about them at all. It appears He is saying, It‘s time to move on. We have things to do.
God has great plans. If we decide not to support what God is doing, and we drag our feet, there comes a point when God will leave us behind. The Work must move forward! We have been called to do a work!
Those who are doing that Work today must deliver God’s love song to those who can still be reached. These Jacobite Laodiceans have to struggle to keep from sliding into the Edomite spiritual condition.
God’s Deep, Deep Love
When I say that this book is a “love song,” I mean that it conveys the depth of God’s love. Here God is saying, I want you to know how much I love you—in spite of what you’ve done, and even though you are unfit to go to a place of safety. I want you to see the depth of my love for you!
The power of God’s love truly is astounding. And consider: If He loves the Laodiceans that much, how much does He love His faithful Philadelphians? How much does He love the people who deliver this message?
If God says, My dove, my beloved, to His lukewarm saints, then what does He say to His faithful saints, the very elect?
If you think you are unimportant, or unloved, then you are very, very mistaken. The people doing this Work are greatly loved by God!
God owns everything—and He withholds nothing from His people. That is the quality of His love! Now, He wants us to return that wholehearted love to Him. He wants you to love Him exactly the same way.
In the Song of Songs God is talking to His dove—the one who will go into the Great Tribulation. He is warning her about what is going to happen. He wants to give those saints this message so when they experience the nightmares that are prophesied to descend on this world, they will know He is with them! You can be sure they will be reading this Song, and somebody will probably be singing it to them. They will need to know deeply how God loves them in order to endure such suffering!
We must have a strong vision of the Great Tribulation to comprehend how vital the Song of Songs message is. We hear and see stories of horrible suffering in the past, but none of it compares to what is about to come upon the nations of Israel! It doesn’t even come close!
How many of the Laodiceans would give up if they didn’t read or hear this Song in the Tribulation? Without imagining the Tribulation and its horrendous affliction, we can’t appreciate the value of this message. The Laodiceans knew the Tribulation was coming and that they could have gone to a place of safety. That knowledge makes it much harder to endure. This book might influence them more than any other, and help them to see how God still really does love them.
The Song of Songs talks about the place of safety because it is addressing people who are about to go there—or not go there! It is a potent warning to all of God’s people!
This book, along with Lamentations, states that the Laodicean churches or institutions have reached the point of no return. They are destined to go into the Great Tribulation. Only individuals in those organizations can still repent and be protected.
Conditions in this world are so bad that America and Britain could collapse virtually overnight! Only God is holding things together until His Work is finished. There is no escaping the gigantic terrors that are about to unfold. So if you don’t strongly believe in a place of safety, what will you do? You can’t afford to be mistaken on this point! Yet the vast majority of God’s people are. They are kidding themselves, and are about to be jolted into reality as no people ever have been before!
You and I must not be double-minded. Get your focus on God and leave everything else behind! Make this your passion and your life. Be willing to give up anything. That is what God is teaching us. If you don’t get focused now, it will take World War iii—plus a lot of help from God to get that focus!
It is interesting that God inspired me to first speak about the Song of Songs on the day of Pentecost, a holy day that points us to that royal marriage. The marriage of the Lamb will occur right after God’s people spend 3½ years in the place of safety. That is the phenomenal and wonderful reality—wondrous beyond words! How great God is, and how loving He is!
The inspiring thing is, if the place of safety is almost here, that means our marriage to Jesus Christ is also almost here! Dangerous world conditions are a sign that wedding bells are about to ring for Christ’s Bride!
Clearly, God first reveals the Song of Songs to people who are going to a place of safety. Then He tells them, Now, if you really want to go there, you had better deliver this message to my dove—the Laodiceans, your sister, your family! What a grave responsibility!
Christ is about to marry all of us—including the repentant Laodiceans! At this time, though, the Laodiceans are not ready. So God must do something to get them—as well as us—ready!
Prophecy tells us that half of the Laodiceans will make it. But how many of them would make it if God didn’t reveal the Song of Songs to them? Maybe only 25 percent or less?
This message, added to my book Malachi’s Message and booklets on James and Lamentations, should drive home the ultimate message of God’s love for the Laodicean Church. God keeps sending His love to His sinning wife. But now the Song of Songs is probably the last major message because time is running out.
God is love. The Laodiceans and the world must learn that foundational truth.
Also, the Philadelphians need to learn it a lot more deeply. We must be filled with God’s love!
It is time for the Laodiceans to see and understand how deeply God loves them. Anyone who doesn’t understand that is certain to have a lot of problems. We must have this love so deeply etched in our minds that NOTHING can take us from God! “Love … endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7, rsv).
The Tribulation is going to be a time when there is no love, and no mercy. Oppressors will treat people as less than dogs! They will be full of hate, eager to abuse people in every way possible. They will get perverse glee from punishing and torturing. Sadly, that is what the Laodiceans are going to have to experience.
This is why God is reaching out to them with this inspiring truth. He gave them the little book—Malachi’s Message to God’s Church Today—to reveal and expose the truth about the Laodicean era. He is trying to woo them through the work of the Philadelphia Church of God, through literature, television programs, the college, the house for God—all signs of where He is working.
And now, He is giving them this love song from their Creator! To let them know how precious they are to Him! To show them how He sees real potential beauty in them—in spite of their rebellion! To remind them and encourage them that they are still going to become a part of the Bride of Jesus Christ!
This is so exciting and important to God! This is about thousands and thousands of people who are going to become God’s sons—and then marry Jesus Christ! That is thrilling and wonderful to the Husband and to the Father! We can hardly imagine how wonderful it will be when all of those human beings are transformed—and a nation of Gods suddenly bursts on the scene!
What is that worth to us? How much do we think like God?
This is a book about God’s love for His sinning wife.
The Laodiceans have had the greatest opportunity of any human beings ever on Earth, and so have the Philadelphians. Time and again, we have been given so much wonderful truth; God keeps revealing more and more. Yet there are still many of His people who—despite having been given everything—will have to be plunged into the Tribulation before they get the message. Look at the history of God’s Church, and down through the centuries you see many people who made it with so much less than we have!
This is the final love song, the only love song God has for the Laodiceans. This is the most inspiring, hope-filled love song in the Bible! God is bursting with hope that this will help them to open their eyes!
What is it worth to marry Jesus Christ? God is calling us to be His Bride! Nothing in this world remotely compares with the majesty of that calling! It surpasses everything any human has experienced or ever will! We should be ecstatic with anticipation. We get excited for physical marriages—but what about this marriage? It should stir powerful emotion in us, and move us to work extremely hard to qualify and prepare for it!
Such a reward comes with great responsibility. Giving this message to the Laodiceans is part of that. It is all about God trying to draw His dove, His beloved, back to Himself—in this case, through mind-inspiring, wonderful encouragement—a fabulous song that she can hear throughout the Tribulation. The greatest need during that weighty nightmare will be God’s loving encouragement!
True Spiritual Beauty
Song of Songs 3:1 says, “By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.” This is not something that happened on one particular night. Night after night after night the Laodicean woman sought after Christ, but she couldn’t find Him. Verse 2 shows her roving the city streets searching for Him and failing to find Him. Clearly she was still rebelling against Him, otherwise He would be close at hand.
Despite that rebellion, however, this spiritual woman still has profound spiritual potential, from Christ’s perspective.
In chapter 4, Christ speaks to her. “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead” (verse 1). He is talking about how beautiful His wife is! She is still His wife in embryo.
“Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them. Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks. Thy neck is like the tower of David built for an armory, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men” (verses 2-4). Christ is describing His lovely wife in the most glowing terms.
Amid all this praise, here is perhaps the most stunning statement: “Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee” (verses 6-7).
What remarkable testimony! This is Christ’s goal! This is the way He views His Laodicean wife—as spotless, perfect! Though she is not in that state today, in the end that is what she will be! God views things that are not yet as though they already are.
“Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse [or my Bride], with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards. Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my [Bride]; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, my sister, my [Bride]! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!” (verses 8-10).
This is a fascinating statement. God is using this beautiful woman—probably one of the most beautiful who has ever lived—to illustrate how enraptured He is with our spiritual beauty! God is not concerned about physical beauty here—He is simply using that to exemplify spiritual beauty.
The Laodiceans’ main interest is physical beauty—physical things. God is just the opposite. An eternal Family of spiritual beauty is His number one passion. He even gave His only begotten Son to achieve that goal.
Spiritually, God illustrates here what real beauty is. It is beauty that lasts forever! God uses the Song of Songs to teach all of us the depth of His love for spiritual beauty! What an inspiring future God has planned for each one of us.
How can you compare God’s eternal love with physical beauty or things? God is love—His love is everything. Nothing remotely compares to God’s love!
We must see the marriage of the Lamb and the Bride of Christ as God does! This is talking about true spiritual beauty—beauty more exquisite than we can even describe!
God keeps praising this wife for how beautiful she is. He is encouraging His people to do everything we can to love Christ and our Father in return. It is deeply moving and beautiful to God when His people overcome and build holy, righteous spiritual character. Please recognize, He is saying, that when you add to that beautiful character, you become absolutely, fabulously beautiful to me! Considering what the Bride of Christ will be doing for all eternity, these are not exaggerations. God is telling us what real, eternal beauty is—and that is what God is working to build in His people.
My Sister, My Bride!
Something else in these verses is stunningly wonderful.
Look again at Song of Songs 4:9-10, where Christ says, “my sister, my [Bride].” Isn’t that a strange statement? My sister, my Bride. He uses the same expression in verse 12, and again in the first verse of chapter 5. In Song of Songs 5:2 He says, “my sister, my love,” which conveys the same idea.
Why is Christ saying “my sister”? He is a Husband—but He also views this spiritual woman as His sister. In fact, He always puts “sister” first!
This gives us a beautiful perspective of the God Family that we must always remember.
God’s Family is bigger than just Husband and wife. It is about sisters and brothers, as well as Husband, wife and Father.
In Malachi 1:6, God asks the Laodiceans, If I am a father, where is my honor? You’re insulting your Father! You don’t have this Family vision!
Think about this. What Jesus Christ is saying really represents the attitude a man needs in looking for a physical bride! He should be looking at the woman he is considering for marriage and saying, My sister, my bride. First of all, she’s a sister—a member of the Family of God! The Family of God comes first! The man who finds a bride who has already filled her role within that Family configuration has truly found something breathtakingly wonderful!
My sister, my bride. Do you fellows look upon the woman you want to marry as a sister? Is she really like a sister to you, spiritually? Or do you just skip over that part? First you should determine that she is a solid member in God’s Family before you choose her to help you build a physical family! “My sister, my Bride” has real depth that we need to pray God would help us to see. Only God’s Holy Spirit can reveal that profound and inspiring statement to us. And it takes time to understand it, even with God’s Holy Spirit.
We must work to build God’s deep, deep love while there is time!
Deceived Christians in this world incessantly talk about God’s love. But they only have a shallow concept of what God’s love really is. God’s love is so profound that we have to continually and fervently pray for His love to grow in our minds and our character.
The Laodiceans’ love has waxed cold (Matthew 24:12). That is the greatest crisis of all! They no longer have God’s love in them. Instead, they now mostly have the world’s shallow love. They must build God’s love in their lives again to ever be born into God’s Family of love.
The love of God takes on a far deeper meaning in the Song of Songs!
The Ten Thousand
Song of Songs 4:16 talks about the garden of God. God is growing something in His garden. What is it? A north wind is blowing from God’s throne in the northern heavens. He is growing character in His Bride—in His spiritual garden.
God’s garden illustrates that we must grow in character. You have to work hard to grow a productive garden. God demands growth! There is no garden like God’s garden! How blessed we are if we are in it.
“I am come into my garden, my sister, my [Bride],” He says in Song of Songs 5:1.
In verse 2, the Laodicean wife talks about her Husband: “I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.”
God is knocking and expressing His love with strong words! He is doing so through His very elect today. The Laodicean wife hears the knocking, but she is not getting to the door to open up for Him (Revelation 3:20).
The Laodiceans hear the knock but don’t quickly respond. We must be speedy doers and not hearers only. Not just doers, but speedy doers!
We must deliver this message speedily to the Laodiceans—knock on their door. God commands it! We too must love our Laodicean sister, Christ’s potential bride, and our Family members as God does. God’s love requires that we give loving sacrifices for our own Family!
God reveals this loving message and we must do more than just discuss it. That is only a dead love. God’s sacrificing, living love means we must have deeds. That means we must get this message to the Laodiceans and the world as fast as we can.
Our godly love demands that we do it!
The dewdrops and the night water are all a type of the Holy Spirit of God. That is the source from which the love of God comes. Human endeavor cannot even begin to achieve such deep love.
If God loves the one hearing the knocking, how much more does He love the one doing the knocking?
In Song of Songs 5:3, this woman makes trivial excuses for her failure to respond: “I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?” There are no excuses for failing to respond to God’s knocking!
By the time she is moved to respond (verses 4-5), it is too late physically: “I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer” (verse 6). Here we see that God has withdrawn Himself. That is a colossal disaster! This fearsome moment is rapidly approaching for the Laodiceans, when it will be too late physically for any individual to escape the Tribulation.
This woman goes out searching for her Husband, and the watchmen of the city find her and beat her (verse 7). This is a very rough situation. It is getting very close to the Great Tribulation. We are already in the preliminary stages.
Verse 9 simply says that the world really can’t understand our zeal for God.
Verse 10 states: “My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.” Ten thousand is an interesting figure. Prophecy shows that when Christ returns, He will come with ten thousand saints from the place of safety (Deuteronomy 33:1-2). Habakkuk 3:3 says God will bring these people from “Mount Paran,” which is where Petra is. Jude 14 also talks about “ten thousands of saints,” which should read 10,000 saints. (You can read more about these prophecies in my booklet No Freedom Without Law.)
This lukewarm lady has deceived herself into thinking she is a part of the elite 10,000 saints who will be in a place of safety.
God continues in this book to tell her where she is wrong. However, most of the Laodiceans won’t get the message until the horrid Tribulation strikes. Then they will all know who God protected and who will comprise the 10,000 saints. It will be clear at that time.
It is emphatically implied here who will go to a place of safety—the members who deliver this Song of Songs message! This message would be totally unknown to the Laodiceans and the world if not for us. God has promised to bless and protect the saints who follow Jesus Christ and do His Work.
Here God puts the headquarters bride in the spotlight. The Laodicean Church has lost that magnificent headquarters reward! God has a special love for the members who deliver this song of love. Delivering God’s message to the Laodiceans is how we prove our love for them!
The 10,000 people are clearly tied to the place of safety. Christ will take them from there to join His army. His army (including the repentant Laodiceans) will help conquer and destroy all armies on this Earth and establish Christ’s rule. Shortly after that war, those spiritual warriors will marry Jesus Christ!
We should be hearing the wedding bells even now! This knowledge ought to send shivers up our spines. We are about to receive our mind-staggering reward!
Humanity’s long, black nightmare of man ruling over man is about to end forever. And the firstfruits are about to play the key role in helping the Father and Christ build the God Family!
That understanding ought to make us want to stand up and shout! All of these events are tied directly to the imminent return of Jesus Christ.
The Song of Songs has a heavy emphasis on the time leading into our wedding to Christ. Expectations of that wedding ought to take us to a greater high spiritually and emotionally—especially since it is extremely near!
Why even mention that Christ is “chiefest among ten thousand”? Because they are the saints who are alive when He returns. They are about to become a part of the headquarters bride forever!
The remaining verses of this chapter continue the subject of verse 10.
Verse 15 discusses “the preeminence of the cedars [of Lebanon] above all other trees” (Lange’s Commentary). Those trees are a type of the exalted positions that God’s 10,000 saints, who are called and tested today, will have in God’s Family.
The word “excellent” also means “chosen.” The Father has called and chosen us to receive the exalted positions of Christ’s headquarters bride forever!
The Company of Two Armies
Chapter 6 addresses a “Shulamite” woman. This, again, is a type of the Laodicean wife. “Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies” (verse 13).
This lady knew and loved the true, all-powerful God and then forsook Him. Now God is pleading for her to return. The word return is used four times!
This woman is trying to be part of two different armies, fighting two different wars! Again you see her double-mindedness and confusion. You can see why she will not be a part of the 10,000 saints.
She wants to be part of God’s army and Satan’s army—two armies at war with each other—double-minded indeed! God demands total loyalty to His army. It’s the only way we can win.
Consider this: Roughly 50 percent of God’s people are not even mentioned in this book. They are lost forever. It’s as if they never even lived!
Why? Because they have been conquered by Satan and are in an antichrist spirit.
Casualties in this war are the strongest warning of all! We must be focused like a laser on supporting God’s army. Eternal life hangs in the balance.
The word “company” means military company or military camp. We must become totally dedicated to God’s camp or lose everything.
Jesus Christ is our Commander. He conquered Satan and so must we (Revelation 3:21). And if we follow Him, He will lead us to the same victory.
Revelation 12:12 reveals that Satan has been cast down and is more wrathful than ever before. Why? Because he knows his time is short. You hear more and more commentators in the news saying that this is a troubling time unlike any they have ever seen, and they don’t quite know how to explain it. But this truth in Revelation explains it perfectly! We are in a war like there never has been! We must recognize that—and put all of our resources into one army, and fight there and no place else!
The word Shulamite means “perfect without spot.” Christ views the Laodiceans the way they are about to become. But they aren’t there yet.
Christ Our Brother
Song of Songs 8 provides an interesting corollary to the earlier truth about my sister, my Bride.
Here the Laodicean bride says to Christ, “O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised” (verse 1).
The Bible does reveal that Christ is “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). He is the “elder Brother” of the people of God. But this verse in the Song of Songs reveals a major Laodicean problem: O that thou WERE as my brother, she says. Christ is not as this woman’s brother! She has a lukewarm love for Him, but she doesn’t have the depth of the God Family love. She has lost the understanding of the Father and the Brother. If you’ve lost that, you’ve lost everything!
Christ called her sister four times in Song of Songs chapters four and five. We really are God’s Family in embryo. What depth there is in this spiritually rich understanding!
In a good, strong physical family, brothers and sisters love each other. They talk intimately at times with each other about the family, they uphold each other, they fight for each other, they have reunions, and there is harmony among them. A sister and brother certainly should love each other and look after one another.
That also must be true within God’s spiritual Family. When we marry Jesus Christ, we are going to help the Father expand His Family! Brotherly and sisterly love will abound. That is exactly the love we need within the congregations in God’s Church today! As in a good physical family, when problems arise we have to look out for each other and help each other. My sister—my brother! We have to build the love of our elder Brother—for each other. We must love as Christ does. If we don’t look after each other, we are neglecting the very Body of Christ, of which He is the Head!
In Matthew 12:50, Christ says that “whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Hebrews 2:11 says that Jesus Christ is not ashamed to call the people of God brethren, or brothers. Christ is not ashamed to call you brother! He certainly looks after you. And the lesson is, we must follow His spectacular example. It’s all about family, and learning to love the way Christ does. We are brothers and sisters! If there are problems, we must look after our brothers and sisters.
The Bride of Christ should be saying, My Brother, my Husband! If you love Christ, the Head of the Body, as a brother, then you love all the members as brothers.
I have never seen the depth of God’s love in quite this way before! When you truly understand these verses, they are some of the most beautiful scriptures you have ever read! Here is some of the deepest love expressed in the Bible.
The people of God must love each other. When the love of God builds there, it enables those people to then go out and love those saints who are rebelling against God—who, right now, even hate those who are faithful! And then that love extends even to the unconverted in the world, who also so often hate God’s people.
That is what Jesus Christ did. He died out of love for a world that hated Him! We all need more of that love. Only God’s love motivates a person to die for people who hate him!
Everyone in this world is a potential brother or sister in the Family of God. We need that expansive family perspective in order to love them the way Christ does!
Christ even said that if we go to a prison and visit a criminal who wants to be led to conversion, we have visited Christ Himself! (Matthew 25:34-40). That is hard for a carnal mind to understand—it takes the Spirit of God. Jesus Christ died for that individual and He is beginning to live in that prisoner!
My brother, my husband—my sister, my bride—my beloved, my dove. It’s all about family. That’s what this book is really about: the Family of God. This book teaches all of us how to deepen our love for God and each other. It is some of the most inspiring thinking I have ever read, and it challenges us to grow in and to nurture the love of God in our lives.
In Song of Songs 8, you see this bride’s attitude coming around: “I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother’s house, who would instruct me,” she says (verse 2). She wants to be instructed. Finally she realizes what a terrible sin she has committed and repents. Once again, she is thrilled to be taught by God. She wants Christ to come in and sup with her! What a beautiful conclusion. There is good news here at the end.
Verse 5 talks about her repenting. In the Revised Standard Version, Christ says, “Under the apple tree I awakened you. There your mother was in travail with you, there she who bore you was in travail.” He brings her back to the place of her birth, and wakes her up!
Here is how she responds: “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death …” (verse 6).
This is truly inspiring. It staggers the mind. There is coming a time when this repentant Bride of Christ will become a courageous witness for her Husband in the face of death, amid the nightmares of the Tribulation. She will look her persecutors squarely in the face, and say, Love is strong as death! I can love God and I can die for Him because I love Him so much!
The verse concludes: “the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” This is speaking of the flame of God. Soncino and Lange’s actually include “the flame of God” in their translations, and that is accurate. This is about the flame of God! God is a consuming fire, and His face shines like the sun in its full strength! That is the radiant, majestic future for all those saints who endure to the end. “[W]e know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him …” (1 John 3:2)—we will be God as God is God!
Many Christians of this world call that teaching blasphemy. That just illustrates how ignorant they are of their own Bibles!
Even those Laodiceans—who today are ensnared in self-delusion and fantasy—are going to reawaken to this reality. They are going to prove themselves by surrendering their lives for God, and then will inherit that wonderful reward! That is very good news.
“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned” (Song of Songs 8:7). What a breathtaking scripture. If we are loyal to God, nothing can destroy true love—NOTHING! Not even death.
The passage continues to depict this woman’s repentance. When this woman is grown up spiritually, it asks in verse 8, what will happen? “If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar” (verse 9). This woman has finally learned that there is only one door that opens to God, and that’s the door that is Jesus Christ (e.g. John 10:9). If another door presents itself, then board it up! Don’t let anybody take you away from God’s open door. Only one door will lead us into the Kingdom of God—there is no other! Maintain a laser focus on it!
We must never let Satan seduce us into trying another door. If he opens another door even only slightly, then board it up immediately—it is an eternal death trap! We must leave no openings for the devil.
Verse 10 of Song of Songs 8 shows how this Bride becomes the perfect beauty to God: She says, “[T]hen was I in his eyes as one that found favour.” In these verses God again uses physical beauty to illustrate this woman’s stunning spiritual beauty. This is the beauty that the Song of Songs is all about. This is the only beauty that really matters. It is the ultimate beauty—and it lasts forever!
In verses 11-13 you see this woman hearing God’s voice and simply walking away from the spirit of King Solomon. She has ended that grotesque spiritual adultery; she no longer wants anything the king has to offer. She asked God for strength to hear His voice. And He gave it.
“Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices” (verse 14). She has set her heart wholly upon the sweet-smelling mountains of God and the eternal glory that awaits her.
What a beautiful love song this is. I have no doubt that this message will do much to help those beloved people of God take heart in the midst of their worst suffering, and to turn utterly back to their Husband, who is waiting for them with open arms.
This could be the message that really grips the Laodiceans during the Great Tribulation (and some of them before that time). They will finally see how completely God loves them—in spite of their rebellion.
When the Laodiceans see this aspect of God’s love, it will trigger many wonderful memories of the past, when they were receiving God’s blessings.
Another Note of Great Hope!
In conclusion, I believe there is some more really good news here.
Remember that God told Solomon, If you forsake me, I will cast you off forever (1 Chronicles 28:9). From everything we can tell historically, Solomon certainly did forsake God for a significant period in his life—just as the Laodiceans have done.
However, Solomon also wrote this book, the Song of Songs. Most authorities agree that he probably did so in his old age.
I believe it was written by a repentant Solomon. Otherwise, how could he have written the Song of Songs?
This king really puts himself in a bad light in this song. I believe this shows that he did recognize that he had allowed all the physical things he possessed—the goods, the wealth, the women, anything you could imagine—to waste him spiritually. There must have come a point when he was so thankful to repent that he put his repentance out there where everybody could see it! He wanted to reveal to everybody just how barbaric that kind of life is compared to what God is giving us.
I think Solomon made himself look very bad here because he had become truly contrite, humble and repentant before God. This certainly looks like a book of repentance to me.
If this is true—and I honestly believe it is—then you can imagine what it will mean to King David!
I believe that Solomon himself is a symbol of those 50 percent of the Laodiceans who will repent. These lukewarm saints can study the example of Solomon and say, Look at all the terrible things that man did. If Solomon can repent and make it into the Kingdom of God, I can, too.
Why is God giving this message to us today? He is testing our love. To those involved in the Work of God today, God issues this challenge: Do you love the Laodiceans the way I do? Would you call them “my dove, my love, my sister, my bride”? Would you talk to them that way while there is time to get this message out before the Great Tribulation? Do you have enough love to do that?
Now the responsibility is on our shoulders to visit God’s lukewarm saints and give them this love song from God!