The Church of Jesus Christ has been identified in Scripture, “A garden enclosed is …my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed” (Song of Solomon 4:12). Only the Holy Spirit could speak with such authority and grandeur. The world disclaims the church because it only sees the exterior of religious organizations. The Triune God looks inside and sees the Saints shut up in His cocoon of grace as beautiful as a cultivated garden. Christ’s true church has never been a mixed multitude but a Hidden Remnant.
The Bridegroom Himself declares our unseen beauty, “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, the kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). Our incredible beauty will not be seen until we arise to ascend the steepes of the sky. The Rapture will expose His grand and spotless jewels that are decked with grace, borne out of His mutilated flesh. Her beauty is not — now or then — of the tinsel from a dime store or the creation of lustful flesh.
The Psalmist got a glimmer of this company and was smitten with her aroma of beauty, “All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. Kings’ daughters were among thy honorable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir” (Psalm 45:8-9). These ointments are the other worldly ones and the “gold of Ophir” is priceless in its purity. The aroma and matchless beauty of the raptured spouse will precede her into the nuptial chamber of Heavenly Jerusalem, where the Bridegroom awaits her arrival. He could be standing in the foyer, even as we anticipate our leaving.
His Garden is enclosed. Let the church world brag about her right to live in their sins, but this Garden is not just one of the fields where many things grow. Malachi described this Garden as the Saints written in a Book of Remembrance. They had a beautiful reputation, “Then they that feared the LORD Spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name” (Malachi 3:16). The promise to them is one of the First Testament’s greatest mention of the Rapture, “And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him” (Malachi 3:17).
If you dare to doubt that this Garden of our Lord is only filled with plants of rare redeemed beauty, let the Holy Spirit speak to you, “Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon” (Song of Solomon 4:13-15).The Grace of Christ is not cheap. Its action is to beautify the ugly, to cleanse the defiled, and to redeem the lost and broken. His plants will not need the cheap work of religious psychologists. “For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4).
The Son of God spoke of this River of Living Waters, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). This reference from the Lord leaves no doubt that Solomon spoke of the Bridegroom and His Bride. Remember, Christ said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (John 15:16).A large multitude claims faith in Christ but know nothing of the transformed life. If anyone is not transformed, they are certainly not in His Watered Garden.
Life within this Garden is ultimate life right here on God’s earth, but the best is yet to come. This Garden is the Bridegroom’s espoused Bride. We are His charming lovers that await the finishing touches on our wedding garments. These garments are woven by the needlework of a divine seamstress. Saved by Grace — intricately seamed by the daily cleansing of Holy Scripture — the Holy Spirit draws us to Christ and loads us with His benefits.
The eyes of those that grow in this Watered Garden are trained on the sky. It’s impossible to live for the here and now when the garden we are planted in is but a foretaste of our future home. The world has lost its charm to the Saints living so close to eternity. The water in Christ’s Garden is divine life by the Holy Spirit. Every time we pray through it’s like drinking from the River of Life flowing out of God’s throne, “And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not” (Isaiah 58:11). The Garden of our Lord is a Garden enclosed, watered, and visited by the Garden Keeper.
Joseph R. Chambers