Rabbi Schneider - The Church, The Bride of Christ
How many of you want to be baptized by the Spirit of the Lord in the love of God in a deeper way? I know I do. We're gonna be looking today in the Song of Songs. Now some of you have been following my ministry for a while. You know that several years ago I preached 50 messages on the Song of Songs. But in this series called A Baptism of Love, I'm gonna greatly condense it to just capture the main themes in this book which begins with the Shulamite bride, that's a shadow of the Church, calling out to Father God to kiss her with the kisses of his Word. And it ends with her being baptized in the fiery love of Jesus as she understands that she is his bride. You see, one thing that you and I need to think about for a second, God wants to capture our hearts with this, that he didn't send his Son, Jesus, just to die for our sins. Of course it begins there.
Jesus, hallelujah we love you, Jesus died on the cross for our sins. But it doesn't end there. Where it ends, beloved, is in Revelation, 19, verse 7-9, where we sit down across the table with Jesus at the marriage supper of the Lamb. So it begins, beloved ones, with him dying on the cross for our sins, but it ends with our marriage to him. You see, Jesus didn't just die to forgive you, but he died to marry you. And this is the great theme and the revelation of Scripture, that God loves you and I so much that he ends his climactic salvation experience for us in once again what the Bible calls the marriage supper of the Lamb. You see, Paul tells us in the Book of Ephesians, chapter 5, that a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one. And then Paul says, and I'm speaking to you of a mystery; the mystery between Christ and his church. Paul says, I betrothed you as a spotless virgin to Jesus, to Yeshua HaMashiach. We are, beloved ones, the Scripture tells us the wife of the Lamb.
Now I know as I begin to talk like this, especially for our men, this is a really hard message to digest. I mean, we're talking about being the bride of Jesus. We think of this as a feminine thing, a bride, we think of as feminine. But I want you to know, beloved ones, I'm speaking to men right now, that Scripture uses this language. It's anthropomorphic language. In other words, God condescends to human terms so that we can relate to him. But it is not about, beloved, sexuality. It's way beyond male or female. When the Lord calls the Church his bride, when we're referred to, beloved one, as the bride of Christ, this is not about gender. Get this now, men, it's about intimacy because the most intimate experience on earth between human beings is a marriage relationship. And since God is the Creator, he is portrayed as the male. We are first receivers, right. The Bible says concerning Jesus to as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become the children of God.
And so Jesus stands at the door of our heart and knocks. We have to open up and receive him. And so in that sense the Church is referred to as the Bride because she is the one that's receiving from Creator God. But men please hear me, you need to hear this message. This is not about gender. This is about intimacy of relationship. This is about how close God has designed for us to be in with him. In other words, this is about the fact that God wants to be in union with you. He wants oneness with us. So don't let the terms throw you off. Open your heart because the Father, Jesus, wants to baptize you in his fiery love. I know that sometimes I'm speaking of the Father, sometimes I'm speaking of Jesus, just roll with me. Remember, Jesus said, if you've seen me, you've seen the Father, and that in Jesus, the Scripture says, the fullness of the God hath dwelt.
And so we're gonna be looking in this series called A Baptism of Love, we're gonna be looking at it from the perspective of the Song of Songs. Did you know that the ancient rabbis considered the Song of Songs the most sacred book in the Tanakh in the Hebrew Bible? They referred to it as the Holy of Holies in the Tanakh, or the Old Testament because the Song of Songs reveals to us more than any other book in the Bible, in the Old Testament, how God feels about us. It reveals to us the emotional side of God, the beautiful side of God, and it reveals to us, beloved, what I'm calling the bridal paradigm, which is the paradigm that our salvation culminates in in Revelation, 19, where we're invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And so there is a prophetic shadow in the Song of Songs of where our salvation experience climaxes.
Remember, Jesus taught that every book in the Old Testament was about him. On the road to Emmaus we read in the Book of Luke, chapter 24, Jesus brought his disciples through a journey through the entire Old Testament and he showed them how every book in the Old Testament was about him. Remember, Jesus said, do not think I've come to abolish the law and the prophets. I've not come to abolish, Jesus said, but to fulfill or to fill them up with meaning. And so the Song of Songs is about Jesus. It was written by men that were moved by the Holy Spirit. And the primary role of the Holy Spirit is first of all to reveal Jesus to us. So with that understanding, we're gonna begin to journey together in this baptism of love as we see the heart of Jesus revealed to us in this book. Now there are three primary characters in the Song of Songs that we need to understand so that we can relate to it and receive it into our life. Right now I just want to speak to your heart.
Father, I speak right now to every heart under the sound of my voice, and I command every heart to open wide to the Holy Spirit to receive the love of God.
Again, there are three primary characters here. There is the king, King Solomon, and King Solomon here, beloved, is a shadow of Jesus. Then there's the Shulamite bride. And the Shulamite bride, beloved ones, is a shadow or a type of you and I. And then there's the daughters of Jerusalem, and this is a shadow of the Church that doesn't have the fullness of the revelation of the love of God in their life. So with that said, let's begin. Verse number 1, it begins by saying: The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.
Notice many people refer to this book as the Song of Solomon. But notice that the book actually identifies itself in the first verse by its title, the Song of Songs. And so we're gonna be referring to what many people refer to as the Song of Solomon, to what I believe is proper name is, the Song of Songs. It's the same book. We're just, there is different names. Some people call it, you know by different titles. We're gonna call it the Song of Songs. The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's. It begins with the Shulamite bride calling out. She says: May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! Now this reminds us of what Jesus said. Jesus said, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word, Jesus said, that proceeds from the mouth of God. Jesus lived by the Word of God. His food was God's Word.
And so the Shulamite bride here, which is a shadow of you and I, she is calling out, oh Father God, kiss me with your Word. May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth. The ancient rabbis called it the kisses of the Torah. You see, the Word of God, get this now, is the expression of God. The Bible says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word, get it now Church, was God. And so when the Shulamite bride here is calling out to be kissed by the kisses of his Word, she's literally calling out to be kissed by God himself. Her journey, beloved, get this now, into the baptism of love, which is the journey that you and I are taking, her journey began with a yearning, with an intense desire. May he kiss me, she said, with the kisses of his mouth. The journey began with an intense desire. And this is where our journey begins too, with intense desire. Now let me say that even our desire, even the desire that we have for God, is a gift for us. The Bible says we love him because he first loved us. So even desire is a gift.
Father, right now we ask you to kiss us, Father God, with the kisses of your mouth. Father, we ask you to kiss us with divine love; Father, that you would pour forth your love in our hearts that desire for you would build and grow, that it would become a towering inferno, a towering inferno of fire, that our desire for you, Abba, would become so intense that, Father, you wouldn't be able to hold back from us. You would release, Lord, the treasures of heaven into our life because of our intense desire for you. And yet, Father, we recognize that even desiring you is a gift of God, that we love you because you first loved us. And so Father, we come before you with a bended knee and we ask you, Father God, to release within us the love of Jesus for you that we would desire you more than all else.
You see, Jesus said, blessed are those that hunger and thirst after righteousness. In other words, you're gonna be happy when you desire God. This is where the journey begins and we see this reflected in the heart of the Shulamite bride who is a shadow of you and I. May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth. And then she says in verse number 4: Draw me after you. She says, oh Father God, oh Jesus, draw me to yourself. I desire you, she said, in verse number 2, and she worshipped him, you're so beautiful. And then she said, draw me to yourself. Listen, verse number 4: Draw me after you, she said. Did you know that Jesus spoke to us in the Gospel of John, chapter 6? Here's what Jesus said there, he said, no man comes to me unless the Father draws him.
Listen again. John, 6, Jesus said, no man comes to me unless the Father draws. In other words, beloved, the Lord has to open up a portal in the spirit and he has to supernaturally draw us to himself because the Bible says the natural man has no desire for the things of God. And so in order for us to desire God, and come to God, and enter into the realm of eternal life, the Father has to do something supernatural by the Spirit, the Ruach HaKodesh which is the Hebrew name for the Holy Spirit. He has to draw us to himself.
And so Father, Jesus, we humbly bow our knee to you, recognizing the sovereignty of God that must be at work in our life for us to desire you and to come to you. And we ask you now that you would draw us to yourself. Amen.
You know, when you pray that prayer from a sincere heart, God will always answer it, because when we ask him anything according to his will, he hears us and answers. Father, draw us to you, we pray. And then she says: and let us run together. So listen, verse number 4, again, there's two parts. The first is, draw me to you, bring me to yourself, bring me near. I want to experience you. And then she says, and let us run together. In other words, she's saying, I want to journey through life in partnership with you. Let us run together. She doesn't want to live life on her own. She doesn't want to be doing her thing while God, while Father, while Jesus are doing their thing. She wants to partner together with God in life. She said, draw me to yourself and let us run, get this now, together. She's making a declaration, beloved one, of her purpose in life. She is declaring her destiny and she's declaring her heart's desire. She's declaring her purpose for living. She said, draw me to you and let us run life together.
Let me ask right now, what about you? Do you want more than all else in your life, beloved one, to know God, to experience him, and to partner with him in life, to run the race of life together? Not just you doing your will and trying to drag him along, but finding out what his will is and then running with him? Jesus said, not my will, but thy will be done. He partnered with Father God. He partnered with God, and then he ran his race with God. Jesus said, I have food that you know not of. Jesus said, my food, Jesus said, is to do the will of him who sent me. So I want to ask you right now, beloved child of God, do you desire more than everything else in life to know God, to be drawn into the depths of his Spirit, and to live your life in partnership with him? If you do, beloved one, I want to just pray for us together right now.
Father God, King Jesus, we worship you today. And this is not just a message for us, Jesus, this is life for us. This is something, Jesus, that we crave in our heart, in our inner man. We're asking you, Jesus, to draw us to you. Draw us into you. Draw us into your Spirit, into the depths of eternal life. And Jesus, we desire to live our lives in partnership with you, in partnership with the Father, arm in arm, hand in hand, running life together. And we say, Jesus, as you said, not my will, but thy will be done. Father, align us, we pray, with your Son, in Jesus's name, and for Yeshua's fame. And all God's people that are in agreement with this spoke Hebrew and said, Amen, Amen, Amen, and Amen.
Let's continue on, beloved, as we travel down the road to a baptism of love. This book, again, began with her calling out, kiss me with the kisses of your mouth. It ends, beloved with the fiery baptism of God's heart sealing her life. And I want you to know, beloved, this is real and it's for you. She continues on in verse number 5 as she's journeying and progressing into this journey of divine love. She says, I am black but lovely. What is going on here, beloved ones, is she's feeling a sense of shame. She's feeling a sense of insecurity. She's feeling a sense of insufficiency and inadequacy. She's seeing herself and she's seeing things in herself that make her feel a bit ashamed. She says there, don't stare at me. She said, don't, my mother's sons were angry with me. They made me caretakers of the vineyard.
And then she says, do not stare at me, in verse number 6, because I'm swarthy. In other words, she feels self- conscious. This is what happened, beloved, as a result of sin. The first thing that happened when Adam and Eve sinned was they became self-conscious. Suddenly, we read, they realized, in the Book of Genesis, in the Book of Bereshit, we say in Hebrew, Adam and Eve realized, get this now, as soon as they sinned they realized they were naked. In other words, they went from being God-conscious to being self-conscious. They were naked before they sinned, but as soon as they sinned, they went from being God-conscious and love-conscious to being self-conscious. This Shulamite bride, because of sin in the world, had a sense of self-consciousness. The blackness here represents sin in her life. She said, I am black, but get this now, but lovely. She realized that even though there were still things about herself that needed washed, even though there were still things about herself that needed cleansed, she recognized, beloved ones, that Jesus, get this now, still loved her. She said, I'm black, get it now Church, but lovely.
I want you to know tonight, I know, God knows, you know there are still things about your life that aren't yet perfected. You're still cooking. But I want you to know even right where you're at, you are beautiful, and you are lovely, get this now child of God, you're lovely at beautiful to God right where you're at, right now, today. This is what the Shulamite bride realized. I am black, she said, get it, but lovely. I want you to know, God loves you and he washes you with the riches of his love, with the waves and the waters of his love. He created you in his own image. You are beautiful because the one that created you sees you as beautiful, and Jesus took away your sin. God loves you, my child, right where you're at. And he'll never love you any more or any less than he does right now.