BEYOND THE BANQUETING HOUSE

     "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. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love"(Song of Sol. 2:3-4).  The elect of God have experienced the "shadow of the Almighty" and with great delight have tasted His unconditional love! Although many claim to have had this encounter, we know truthfully "many are called but few are chosen". This genuine experience opens our spiritual eyes and causes us to "remember" a glimpse into the "foundation of the world" and our unique calling: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:"(Eph. 1:4) We are acceptable in the Beloved!

     It's vitally important that we remember this and for that reason He brings us into the "banqueting house"! Translated in Hebrew it's called "the house of wine" we go from our initial "emphatic first love" to a much greater experience where we are invited to become one with the Holy Ghost! This is why the 120 believers on the day of Pentecost were accused of being drunken with "new wine". In the "house of wine", or if you allow me I'll call it the upper room experience our memory becomes more clear and I know who I am. Here's the revelation: As He raises His banner over us, it is a public announcement of Love I am His and He is mine! The infilling of the Holy Ghost sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts!

     If you haven't noticed by now, let me tell you the heart of the matter is His undeniable love to us when we were so unlovable! Truly Love Never Fails! "Stay me with flagons (raisin cakes) , comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love"(Song of Sol. 2:5)  In looking at this verse, the word stay along with the phrase "sick of love", indicates an even greater experience beyond the shadow of the apple tree and beyond the banqueting house! To stay means to steady and "sick of love" indicates an overwhelming to the point of fainting. As we go forward striving for deeper relationship with Jesus we must be sustained by grapes and apples which represents the true evidence of God's Spirit, His Fruit!
 
     "His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me. I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please (or until he's ready)".(Song of Sol.2:6-7) To charge indicates a strong command and this is certainly for the Bride today! The embrace of the Lord is a call for an intimate relationship beyond institutionalized church! Here's the revelation: the roe is the male while the hind is the female. When nature stirs their feelings they are bound to mate! Jesus who is always ready to take his Bride to deeper depths by total commitment. He is saying if you're ready I'm ready! "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, (present tense) and his wife has made herself ready"(Rev.19:7).

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