This Is My Beloved, My Friend
By Andy Zoppelt
The five wise virgins - they are asleep, but their
heart (spirit) is awake.
We live in a time when many are asleep, but what is
the difference among those who are asleep? All Israel came out of
Egypt, but why so few entered into the Land? Listen to the message of
the five wise virgins to the foolish virgins: "…go rather to those who
sell, and buy for yourselves." (Matt 25:9)
With all this talk of salvation being free, how is
it the exhortation of the five wise virgins is "buy?" But then that
should not be of any surprise to some. The message to the man who
found a precious pearl, or the treasure hidden in the field was sell
all that he had and "buy."
What cost accompanies true salvation that we have
ignored? The rich young ruler was unable to dodge the issue of cost
when he met the Author of salvation. Jesus did not give him a doctrine
or a prayer to pray, but a price to pay.
Concerning the five foolish virgins, "And while
they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went
in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other
virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' But he answered
and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch
therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son
of Man is coming."
Today's gospel has no price, no responsibility, no
work, no effort, everything is free. When people find trouble and
trials knocking at the door (Jesus) they don't know how to respond to
it (Him). They cry for deliverance, rather than having their faith
deepened in trusting in Him. We have missed the personal
responsibility as being true saints in our relationship to Him. We
treat trials as an unwanted commodity, where in truth, they are the
path to deeper fellowship with Him. Trials and faith are partners to
purify our faith (1Pet.1:7).
To those who continually resist and complain during
testing, Jesus is viewed only as a means to their own personal selfish
ends. deliverance is their only pursuit and not a savior to love and
to give their life. To many, receiving Jesus is no different than the
Christmas bonus, the windfall on some investment or some relief in a
financial crunch. Their happiness is dependant on happenings or
friends. But when Jesus has worth-ship, He is the most precious person
and no price it too great to pay. Nothing else is important, His Word
is the foundation for which we live. No friend, no position, no
situation will ever take His place. It is true that the pursuit of
such will draw persecution and often leave us to stand alone, but He
is worth it all to the one in love with Him
Consider with me, the first message that came to
the beloved apostle Paul upon his conversion, "tell him how much he
must suffer for my name sake."
Paul's own testimony bore testimony to the reality
of persecution and rejection.
Phil 3:10-11, "That I may know Him and the power of
His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being
conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the
resurrection from the dead."
Paul suffered rejection from his own brethren like
Jesus Himself among his own brethren and family. Paul cried out for
the "fellowship of His suffering." He who rejects His suffering,
rejects brokenness and the release of their our spirit from its
bondage to the carnal man. True, we all want to know Him and to know
the power of His resurrection, but few are willing to know and embrace
the fellowship of His suffering, the rejection, the misunderstanding,
the accusations and the betrayal. We need to reach beyond the
horrifying circumstances and embrace Him until He has finished His
work in us.
"The Holy Spirit has only one goal in all of His
disciplining work: To break and dismantle the outer man so that the
inner man can break forth. But the trouble with us is that we murmur
as soon as we suffer a little hardship, and we complain as soon as we
suffer a little defeat." Watchman Nee, Release of the Spirit.
We must see, everything we do as true believers is
for His name's sake. We, willing lose our lives for His precious
name's sake. We live for His name's sake, and in so doing it will free
us from the real enemy.....us. The core and heart of the carnal nature
is selfishness. Sin is described as missing the mark; that mark is
Jesus. When we sin, we set ourselves as the mark and we see ourselves
as more valuable and precious than Jesus. But Jesus will not play
second to anything. Either He is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all.
Jesus is the greatest lover one can ever know, but
He hides behind the door of suffering and few therefore find Him.
Selfish reasoning cannot deal with a God who doesn't meet its
self-centered expectations. To the self-centered person, God must
perpetually jump through hoops to "prove" Himself and His love. In
many, trials brings us to the place where we put demands on God,
rather than an outflow of worship.
Are you asleep or in a coma?
There is a difference between the sleep of one at
night and the sleep of another in a coma. There are saints today who
cannot be awakened. No matter what you say to them, they embrace their
little pet doctrines. They find security in their emotions and their
beliefs. nothing is going to shake them and awaken them to the
seriousness of these last days. Their pastors tell jokes and funny
stories to entertain them.
Isa 50:11, "Look, all you who kindle a fire, who
encircle yourselves with sparks: walk in the light of your
fire and in the sparks you have kindled-- this you
shall have from My hand: you shall lie down in torment."
"It is evident, from the connection of these words
in the chapter, that the prophet was addressing those who professed to
be religious, and who flattered themselves that they were in
a state of salvation, but in fact their hope was a fire of their
own kindling, and sparks created by themselves." Charles
Finney, True and False Conversion
The song of songs
The Song of Solomon tells of the beloved (Jesus)
coming to the door, His head is covered with dew, He has been walking
in the night (the picture of suffering) and the bride is in bed (the
picture of ease and sleep). She delays and gives an excuse. She then
is moved and shaken in the spirit and goes to the door, but it's too
late. He is gone. Because of her great love for Him, she begins a
frantic search for Him, and later the beloved finds Him, but only
after describing to her friends His majesty and excellence.
God will come to us and ask us to bear our cross,
as He bore His. He calls us in the night and in the seasons of
suffering, he wants our quick response to see how much we love Him. If
we delay, it indicates we are being drawn into and distracted by our
own interest. We are holding on to other things at the time and hold
them more valuable than our love for Him. We will find He will come
time and time again until we leap and leave our slumbering to open the
door for fellowship with Him in his suffering. The falling into varies
trials must be met with the joy of surrender to His filling us in our
Jesus is burdened with the church and He finds few
with whom He can share. Jesus finds few who love Him in all things...
1 Peter 4:1, " Therefore, since Christ suffered for
us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who
has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin."
Phil 1:29, "For to you it has been granted on
behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for
Let's us now turn our attention to the sequence of
events in the Song of Songs. I believe it is the cry of the remnant,
those whose spirit is awake and unwilling to compromise His purposes.
This is a crucial in understanding the ten virgins.
The cry of the bridegroom (Jesus) to a sleeping,
complacent and contented bride (The Saint) who find they "have need of
Song 5:2-16, "I sleep, but my heart is awake; it is
the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, 'Open for me, my sister,
my love, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is covered with dew, my
locks with the drops of the night.'"
Few carry the burden of Jesus, many are too
occupied with their own burdens and getting free from them. We do not
prepare our hearts for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to operate in
and through us as His body … the anointing oil. Trials reveal the real
concerns of our heart. Trials are meant to break us from those
concerns, and, ultimately, ourselves.
Her excuse, she wants both ease and Jesus. Listen
to her self-centered excuse.
3 "I have taken off my robe; how can
I put it on again? I have washed my feet;
how can I defile them? "
Four times makes references to herself. Two times
the bride tells what she has done to make herself comfortable and
twice she questions how she could commit herself to something that
would be inconvenient for her. Her view of relationships at this point
is convenience not sacrifice. Her attitude is, "I am content, why
should I follow you and suffer?"
The spirit moves within her as He draws near to
4 "My beloved put his hand by the latch of the
door, and my heart yearned for him."
Though asleep, the true saint's heart (spirit) is
awake. God's absence will cause the true believer to pursue Him….
yes…. in the night.
Her actions are too late, He withdraws. God often
withdraws Himself to draw us to Himself.
5, 6 "I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands
dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of
the lock. (myrrh is a type of death. Her hesitation brought death to
her hands.... work.) I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had
turned away and was gone."
"God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that
He might know all that was in his heart." (2 Chron 32:31)
"And when He hides His face, who then can see Him."
"Truly, You are a God who hides Himself…" (Isa
"And I will wait on the LORD, Who hides His face
from the house of Jacob; And I will hope in Him." (Isa 8:17)
The work of our hands has no meaning or value if
they are not the fruit of obedience and dedication to our Lord and
Master in love. There is a time when God comes to us as He did to the
rich young ruler. He comes for everything and we can hold back
nothing. Many, at this point, will "walk with Him no more."
In many cases many walk away when He hides His
face. The price of pursuing Him is a cost many are not willing to pay.
They would rather side with their reasoning than pursue Him. God hides
himself to put an end to our reasoning and to reveal the fruitlessness
of our reasoning. Often we get up and pursue Him, we don't know why we
are going on, we only know we must.
She desperately searches for Him
6b "….My heart leaped up when he spoke. I sought
him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no
When God leaves, there are two conditions which
describe His absence: we find no real rest in our present spiritual
condition and we hear no voice to direct us. If we fail to move by His
prompting, He leaves us to our reasoning and our excuses. He will
never return until we are willing to give in to His love.
We don't want to give up our secure church life,
our secure family or our secure job which we have nestled in. We are
content and we have hidden in our comfortable "form" of religious
activity. We are unwilling to pursue Him with sacrifice and devotion.
We are not concerned about what is true, we are concerned about what
is comfortable. Once we create a comfortable religion, we get settled
in and we feel all is fine, but that my dear friend is when He leaves.
The question is, are we willing to leave our comfort to find Him?
Persecution - the trial now awaits her.
Verse 7, "The watchmen (represents elder in the
church) who went about the city found me. They struck me, they wounded
Often the first group to oppose us when we desire
to fully follow the Lord and enter in to the realities of the Kingdom…
is religious leadership. Leadership tends to conform people to their
ideas and ideals. They maintain a form of godliness with a set of
principles. When someone steps outside their expectations, conflict
Jesus spoke to those who live in the gray area,
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the
kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor
do you allow those who are entering to go in. " (Matt 23:13)
They uncovered her and exposed her.
7b "…The keepers of the walls took my veil away
The "keepers of the walls" have the ministry of the
deacon. They are to protect us from the enemy coming in. But when the
true bride (real church with walls) comes to the last days, the
religious leaders will be threatened by her and will use every means
to uncover her weaknesses. Accusations will fly from every corner,
persecution and twisting of words will fly like darts. Make no
mistake, this last day shall not only awaken the bride, but it will
also awaken the sleeping giant of man's religion.
Men hate the truth. They quickly get offended and
spread their discontent with one another. They hate those who uncover
their lies of hypocrisy. "In the last days …. many will be offended,
and will betray one another." Matthew 24:10
A.W. Tozer said in "Unknown Saints,"
"Strange as it may be, the holiest souls who have
ever lived have earned the reputation for being pessimistic:
Their smiling indifference to the world's attractions and their steady
resistance to its temptations have been misunderstood by shallow
thinkers and attributed to an unsocial spirit and a lack of love for
mankind: What the world failed to see was that these peculiar men and
women were beholding a city invisible; they were walking day by day in
the light of another and eternal kingdom: They were already tasting
the powers of the world to come and enjoying afar the triumph of
Christ and the glories of the new creation…. he (the unknown saints)
will serve his generation in the will of God: If he should be
overlooked in the religious popularity contests he will give it but
small attention: He knows whom he is trying to please and he is
willing to let the world think what it will of him: "
The cry to the true body of Christ for help
8 "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem
(the remnant), if you find my beloved, that you tell him
I am lovesick!"
She has found those whom she can fellowship in her
pursuit of love. For the daughters of Jerusalem to tell Jesus that the
beloved loves Him, is the intercessory prayer of the remnant…. its all
After being beat up and accused by leadership, she
now turns to the people (the remnant). She tells of her love for her
Beloved and her search for Him. Listen to their response in verse 9
and their desire to know Him more.
The church has lost the true value of Christ
9 "What is your beloved more than another beloved,
O fairest among women? What is your beloved more than another
beloved, that you so charge us?"
The daughters of Jerusalem have fallen asleep in
religion, and the beloved is pointing to them to His love. She charges
them to speak in her favor of her love for Him. She then responds to
their query by magnifying His beauty and majesty. It is there she (and
them) find Him. Her love drives her to Him.
10 - 16 "My beloved is white and ruddy,
chief among ten thousand. His head is like the finest gold;
His locks are wavy, And black as a raven. His eyes are like
doves by the rivers of waters, Washed with milk, and fitly set. His
cheeks are like a bed of spices, Banks of scented herbs. His
lips are lilies, Dripping liquid myrrh. His hands are rods of
gold Set with beryl. His body is carved ivory Inlaid with
sapphires. His legs are pillars of marble Set on bases of fine
gold. His countenance is like Lebanon, Excellent as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet, yes, he is altogether
How did she come to this conclusion? Where did she
get this revelation? In a bible study? In a sermon? From a friend? No,
she found it in obedience and in death.
There are those who talk of the truth, and those
who dare to live it. They refuse to follow the path of religion for a
even a day. They will search the wilderness if need be because they
belong to Him, and no cost will be withheld to be with Him.
She finds real friendship in her relationship.
16b "This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O
daughters of Jerusalem!"
It is not until we come to elevate the beauty of
Jesus that our trials become a stepping stone to a higher and closer
walk with Him. Only those who long for Him will find Him. Only those
who appreciate His value will understand their own purpose. Only those
who are willing to seek Him beyond their trials will find Him as their
Oh, let Him break your expectations, your agendas,
your wants…. and your life. Break it and break it until there is
nothing left in you but Him. Let Him destroy the death and sin of your
"self" life. Hold on to the hunger to have more of Him. Cling to the
faith that all will be well and He will restore you to the innocence
and intimacy for which He made us before the fall.
Let passion, longing and love move you relentlessly
to holding and embracing Him, until He pours His love in you. Hold on;
He is more valuable than anything you will ever find. Dig deep,
agonize, sell all that you possess to buy what money can never
Others will remove your veil, but He will cover you
in righteousness and shower you with His friendship. "For your love is
better than wine."
Many try to find God by being significant, being
noticed, having a place of recognition, being successful, secure and
at ease. But there are those who will give up all that they have in
order to die for Him. You will never know Him until you have trusted
Him in your darkest trial. Until you have surrendered the concern for
yourself in exchange for the eternal value of a deeper relationship
with Him alone. Though we walk in the light, we find love at night.
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