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January 2, 2022 1:12 pm
Carter, from the historic Times Square Church in New York City doing what you're doing. I want to be part of the story of John upon her beloved, thank you for being with us for a call to the nation with Carter come from Times Square Church in New York City. In today's message Carter will take us to the song of Solomon chapter 8 the beautiful story of the bridegroom and his bride, and the love they have for one another. Let's find out how this story encompasses your life to.
As we join Carter for will soon come out of the wilderness this week to the song of Solomon right after Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, then you have the song of Solomon.
I want to redo one half of verse five in chapter 8 of the song of Solomon and it it's a question and it's it's coming to the end of this particular beautiful. It is one of the most love stories in the sense and in the entire Bible song of Solomon's the story of bridegroom and his bride in the dutiful love that they have one for another. If you haven't read it yet. It's one of the most phenomenal books ever written as a commentary on the song of Solomon as written by the missionary Hudson Taylor. He wrote a book on this book. It is literally riveting. If you can get a hold of that.
I strongly recommended. I was reading it.
One night I literally couldn't put it down until I finished it. One of the most stirring expository commentaries on this entire eight chapters of the song of Solomon looking at it as a type of Christ in his church, and you be greatly blessed to get a hold of it by Hudson Taylor great great missionary to China. Now in chapter 8 and verse five is this one half of this verse says these words.
Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved. This is an incredible picture of of a bride, leaning upon her bridegroom and she's been in the wilderness, and whether she found them. There are right I would.
I would venture to guess that he found her there. She's leaving upon him which which reminds me of the fact that Jesus Christ is touched with the feelings of our infirmities.
He was tested and all points like we are the Scripture says, yet without sin, so we can exit boldly come to the throne of grace to find help in our time of need is not aloof from us is not indifferent to us is not angry with us in our struggles, calling upon him, even in a wilderness experience.
We know that he will not accommodate us but he will give us the strength we need and guide us out of the place where we are to where we need to go.
So Solomon is a beautiful story of a bride and she describes in the sense that this incredible relationship she's had with her bridegroom similar in a sense exposed to many of us when we first came to Christ in you. Remember those days when you found out that he died for your sins and the open your heart you gave him your life and and and and nothing else mattered but him. I don't know if anybody here can remember that but I remember the days when I first came to church as a new believer in Christ and I used to wonder why so many of God's people were so dull in his presence did they not have the same salvation that I had the did not understand what God had given them, were they not filled with joy at this this this love relationship with God I meet is the concept of it was just absolutely amazing to me that God love Mama redwood I would stand in the and that we would do a test treatment with the usually going to the balcony in the church we were first saved and discipled and I would open the hymnbook and sing and tears would come down my face as there is a read words.
I guess that many people there were really familiar with, but I was not was raised in singing the songs and and everyone was theologically correct and that souls third. My heart sounds like it is well with my soul and when I survey the wondrous Cross and there at Calvary. There were just so many songs that are used to sing and I would I would stand there and I would cry because it was it was all washing over my heart and over my spirit and I I just remember those days and that's what this book is about and then one day something she just made his bride recognizes something's happened is this is missing her bridegroom is missing. Is she feels it is near, but you can't see him and she heads out to find hidden searches throughout the city and you know so there are some people there that try to take away her sense of being desired by him and her loveliness that eventually she finds him and he comes to actually get her this is my belief in the wilderness she leans upon him. This is who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved, now a lot more of God's people are in the wilderness and actually realize that they are there to let me explain what I mean by this.
In the book of Luke, Jesus Christ, at the age of 30, began his public ministry that was going to take him to a cross and for the ministry that God the father had given him God's Holy Spirit had to come upon and he had to walk in obedience to the will of his father and in Luke chapter 3 in verse 21 Scripture says it came to pass that Jesus was baptized and while he prayed, heaven was opened. The Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven with said you are my beloved son member who is this coming out of the wilderness, leaning on who, on her beloved. The voice from heaven said, you are my beloved son in the new.
I am well pleased. Now you would think honestly Jesus would have left that baptism of John gone straight to the temple and open the book of the prophet Isaiah, where he read the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives in the recovery of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and he closed the book he gave the attendance and he said today. The Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing of being the son of God, we would assume that naturally we would assume if we were in charge of the script that he would come out of the waters of baptism the Holy Spirit is come in bodily form upon him that his father has is vocally said you are my beloved son and I'm well pleased if you and I were writing the script. We would go right from there right into the temple open the scroll and declare I've been sent by God for that. The spirit of the Lord is upon me, for this reason, now in between the river of John and Luke chapter 418 there is a wilderness in the Scripture says in chapter 4 and verse one then Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan where he had just been baptized and was led by the Spirit, not by the devil, led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
Now Jesus said of his cross. If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me and I spoke on this a few weeks back as well. A similar theme to this that it is reasonable to conclude that if if we are going to follow in the footsteps of the one who went to a cross and bring that incredible message of salvation to this one of you to take up our cross and follow Christ. There is going to be a wilderness moment for us as well. We're going to be tested. He was taken by the Spirit into the wilderness to tested to test him in a sense, to see if he was going to fulfill it was it was going to be tested to see if he was willing to fulfill the ministry that God actually had given him. And don't forget it was a ministry of suffering and he knew it was a ministry of suffering. It was a ministry where he was going to be given for the needs of others. It was going to be a pouring out of his life it was going to be pouring out of his last drop of strength even to his last drops of blood and water that came out of his side when he was pierced the spirit of the soldier it was going to be a difficult ministry number and also to us. Jesus Christ told us as the church in this world you shall have tribulation you will have trouble. You not going to escape trouble. Trouble is going to be difficulties going to be part of this journey, but they've good curious as for I have overcome. I've given you the victory already. I've already made a way for you to come through. Not in your strength, but in my strength. It's going to be resident in you as the Holy Spirit was resident of course in Christ as well. From the moment of the bet blood from his conceptually but particularly for his ministry. When he was again touched by the spirit of God and confirmed by the father God in the baptism of Jordan now was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Just as I believe that this is my opinion so you can take it for what it's worth, but this is in reading this and in looking at the trajectory of the church of Jesus Christ.
What often befalls her eye I see a pattern here something looked at the Scripture is a pattern. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested in the wilderness of the first test that came to him. The devil said if you're the son of God command this stone to become bread. Now it is a picture the church of Jesus Christ going through the same wilderness testing the devil calms and it comes with a theological test in the said if you are in proximity to God. If God is your father. If God loves you. If God cares for you then command this stone to be made bread another to use your proximity to the father.
Use your relationship with God for yourself. Use it to satisfy your own hunger. Use it to turn it. Another type could be use it to turn every hard place in your life into a soft place in many many many of God's people have fallen into this theological trap to the they settle in searches where you know what I know what that theology is just you name it and claim it, it's all yours. You turn every hard place into soft places and use the power of God to fill your belly and the whole purpose of God is to make you bigger and better and stronger and nicer and wiser and all of these things. It's all just remember the ministry of Jesus was about others. His ministry was to be given. For others it was for the poor.
It was for the addicted was for the imprisoned, it was to going to be poured out as our lives are also to be, but the temptation of the devil was to use your relationship with God for yourself.
Remember the parable of the prodigal son. He took the inheritance that his father had given them to anyone far away from the heart of his father and spent this inheritance of his father had given on himself. That's what the Scripture is on self consumption. One of the translations actually says it that way. It was on his own self.
This is the temptation of the devil. No people fall into this theological trap of using our relationship with God.
Just for one's self actually think they're in the promised land, but in reality there in the wilderness. They stop there there in between.
This place of new relationship with God or calling of God and the actual beginning of the fulfillment of the ministry there their stock in this place and under constantly try to convince themselves that there there in the promised land of the not there in the wilderness and this is strange dryness the comes of it is an entire country right now that this been in touch with us and some of the leaders of the country are asking if we would go there and talk to the leaders the spiritual leaders of the country and on the theme of returning to biblical Christianity because they fell into this wilderness trap of trying to turn every stone into bread and because of that the church is weak and impotent and the society is becoming more militantly godless and they seemingly have no power to force this darkness back in the leaders, even the political leaders of the nation at this time. Know this.
The second temptation is with the devil took him and shown to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and he said I will give all this to you, and it's given to me and I give it to whomever I wish. If you will worship me all will be yours knows a field if you'll just do it my way visit is a quicker way you can have the kingdom now. My point is that what you don't have to go through suffering. You don't have to be rejected don't have to go to a cross. You don't have to trust that your father is going to raise you from the dead, you know, you don't have to be given or poured out for people you can have it all now member Paul the apostle wrote to the Corinthian church, and he said you're all raining now that you're all kings and these that I wish it.
Indeed, you were renting and I would reign with you in your own mind during this place of majesty and you're sitting in ruling and reigning in your all in authority, but he said we the apostles like the scarring of the earth is that we are buffeted we we are struggling we have to do is scrape in the sense that for the strength to go forward but you are all raining and you're all written. You're all socially accepted now and this is but this is not who we are and this is not where we are. And this is another temptation is that we we can just skip the hardship and glory to the victory and just live in this. This constant victory stay this constant mountaintop that we try to convince ourselves of this place is actually the promised land, but it is in fact the wilderness that is a temptation that many people fallen into and the they spend their whole existence coming to church this tell me I'm I'm a priest and I'm a king, and I'm unruly and I'm writing him all the stuff there's nothing really in it about sacrifice than about giving and about suffering and about yielding and about whatever it is that God has for my life for the sake of others. It's all about me it's about my authority first ones about my bread.
It's about my belly being full of segments about my power and influence over other people and in the third things he brought him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said if you're the son of God, throw yourself down. For it's written to give his angels charge over you to keep you and in their hands they bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone and Jesus answered and said to him, it is been said, you shall not tempt the Lord your God, and I see this is the group of people who gather in the name of Christ.
Deep down right at the core of their heart. They they have a difficulty believing that God is a difficulty believing that God is faithful to God speaks the truth that he cannot lie that his word can be trusted, and there always needing a sign to belief they have to have dust in the air when they worship there needs to be lights.
There needs to be all kinds of distraction they need is sensory experience to believe that God is in their midst. There always testing every time a trial comes they don't believe they believe on Sunday the don't believe on Monday. They can't go through difficulty. There there always doubting the word of God and always wanted to put God to a test to prove that he can be trusted. But Jesus said it this way you don't tempt or test God when he speaks, he speaks the truth what he says he does what he says he means what he says he will do he will do is not to be tested. You don't need to test God you member the temptation was throw yourself down to prove video capture and remember to shortly after that Jesus resists this goes into the temple, and he declares himself in a sense to be the Messiah, the fulfillment of the promise of God to congresspeople and the moment he does. Whether they try to do.
They tried to throw him off the crest of the hill, but the Scripture says he walked through the midst of them. Why did he walk through the midst of them, because it says he will give his angels charge over you to keep you and in their hands the bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone guy I can I can to see Angels coming the crowd imparting the people in Jesus's walked right through the midst of them, because the word of God is true. The word of God can be trusted.
The word of God.
We do not have to test her tempt God to prove that he is and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.
And so some people think that because they got this incredible sensory experience there always proving God that somehow there in the promised land. But the reality is that there in the wilderness still. When he came out of the wilderness. That is when Jesus it's as he came out of the wilderness by the spirit. Then Jesus returned in the power of the spirit to Galilee and news of them went all throughout the surrounding regions to begin then to teach in their synagogues, being glorified of all, and this is when he came in to the synagogue on the Sabbath. They found the place in the book of Isaiah and began to read the spirit of the Lord is upon me is anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted proclaim liberty to the captives, the recovery of sight to the blind's and to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord not put it this way.
If I could paraphrase what Jesus would say the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because I've been anointed to go to the cross and going to the cross and yielding my life as an atonement for sin.
The poor will have the treasure of heaven opened them the broken hearted will be healed. The liberty the captives will be set free the blind will see a way forward. The oppressed will be given new freedom, a new life and everyone will know that this is the day of their salvation.
This is the day they can be free and so the point that I'm trying to make is that many many of God's people are in the wilderness. Many of God's people are in these places of of trying to confess away the hard places are filled use the gospel to fill her own bellies, many are in this place of wanting to ruling right now.
Not wanting the road of suffering. Others are in the place of never really trusted her believing in God and their whole worship of God has to be if if if he didn't prove himself again this week. You can't worship him on Sunday because they need this continual proof that God can be trusted and this is all the church in the wilderness and the mercy of God member in the parable of the prodigal son.
The Scriptures is a famine came into that land and there was nowhere we could find comfort and I'm feeling in my heart's there many people listening to meet the listing in the future that there is a sudden hunger.
As with the bride in the song of Solomon is a is a sudden yearning for that relationship is that there is a longing. This is a knowledge that something is missing the there's more for me than what I'm living. I don't want to live with just a memory of what it was in the past. I don't want to live with just a shadow of his presence. No tangible no tangible presence of the bridegroom. II don't want to live my life trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing when God is already decreed a plan for my life is greater than anything that I will ever know or understand a plan that was decreed for me. From the moment I was conceived in my mother's room. God knows what I'm supposed to be doing and where I'm supposed to be going on tired. I don't want to live this Christian life just to preserve my own comfort number she left her bed.
This bridegroom and went out into the streets. I'm going to find him and I don't care what it takes. I'm going to go where he is and that it was that yearning in her heart. It's that yearning in the hearts of the bride, the true bride of Jesus Christ.
This is why this young lady that rode in from Alabama. I have drifted away. Heavenly father, and I'm not really sure when it happened but please help me to get back on the right road and thank you for your love. He's coming to you and telling you that Rachel is coming to you is coming to get to it is going to take you by the hand and you're going to lean on him, and in this generation are going to come out of the wilderness. It's not just you but many others are going to come with you. Many who just I'm not living in this dry place on tired of pretending like I'm raining when I'm not tied on tired of not trusting God. I want to trust you, Lord, I want to trust you if if it whether instant pleasure and pain. Whether my life it, whether you leave me in places of of that are of great joy or you walk me through the valley of the shadow of death, God, I don't care. I'm going with you. I'm going where you're going I want to be doing what you're doing. You are the bridegroom and I'm the bride and I don't want to be apart from you. I don't want to be living in some other place I want to be stuck in the wilderness when you are in the synagogue, opening the word of God and making the definitive declaration of the ministry that the father is placed upon you by the Holy Spirit. I want to walk with you where you're walking and I want to be doing what you're doing. I want to be part of that bride that comes out of the wilderness.
In this last hour of time, leaning upon her beloved in the good news that I have for many were listing to be online is Jesus coming to get you this coming you are only required to lean upon him you let him take you by the hand and you let him guide you, he will guide you through the pages of this books the Bible people so you truth it will lead you into righteousness and he will lead you into what the purpose and plan, is that he has for your life in the future and he will do the miracles that he said he will do as you begin to walk with him. You don't have to prove it and you don't have to worry about what to fill your belly and don't worry about rolling and raining, you will be doing that one day in the not-too-distant future was God himself will be sitting with him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus forever and ever and ever. Until that day, God calls you and God calls me to be willing to be poured out for the sake of others.
We teach that here in our Bible school Summit International school of ministry in Grantville Pennsylvania that the truest expression of Christianity is found in living for the benefit of others. That's where the life of God is not living for ourselves not looking to be king aborted over other people not constantly testing and proving God so that we can believe him and worship him. But trusting him through float through fire through trials or difficulty, through joy, through sorrow, whatever it is we live our lives for the sake of others that they may find Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is the ministry of God. This is the work of God. This is why we are still on this earth, we are called to call people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ were not call deliver ourselves or fill our bellies as good as those things might seem as attractive as they might be. There's a higher calling on every life that all of these things, so there is a bride that's going to come out of the wilderness as a bride. This going to leave it the name it and claim the churches as a bride that's going to come out of the places it's just sensory worship with almost nothing of the word of God is a bride that's that's going to stop trying to rule and reign over everybody and start serving because Jesus said the greatest among you shall be the servant of all. This is the bride of Jesus Christ that is going to come out of the wilderness, leaving on her beloved and yes my friend, it's you. The God's talking about. It's you service you man, it's you, young person you are the one that God is coming to get because he's going to have a bride in this last hour of time. He's going to have a victorious church. He's going to have a testimony on the earth. The prophet Isaiah talked about in the midst of the fires that are going to come to this world is going to be a songster of praise and glory to the righteous one, there is going to be a victorious church. In this last hour of time. A church that is given for the sake of other people. A church that is willing to follow in the footsteps of her bridegroom. A church is not delivered to preserve herself in the longer it is to live for the sake of others finding Christ as Lord and Savior. By God's grace. The church is soon coming out of the wilderness. May God give you grace my friend you been listening to Carter Conlon from Times Square Church in New York City. For more information and resources to help you in your walk in Christ. Log on to TSC, not NYC TSC not NYC. Be sure to be with us next week for a call to the nation with 100,