Important Distinctions That Make a Difference
Wade E Taylor
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if anyone
voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will
with him, and he with Me.” Rev 3:20.
The certainty that all Christians experience the indwelling,
abiding presence of the Holy Spirit is absolute. There are
no conditions to meet, apart from receiving Jesus as Saviour.
For all who are redeemed, this is a reality that can be depended
upon. The Holy Spirit is always faithful in His ministry of
maintaining our redemption, and of making Jesus known to us.
However, the possibility of our experiencing the manifest
presence of the Lord is conditional. For this experience to
become a part of us, we must have the desire and ability to
recognize His presence, and then be willing to turn aside
from all activity in order to wait upon Him.
This ability to recognize and rightly respond to His manifest
presence is dependent upon our having cultivated a spiritual
sensitivity, and our obedience in turning aside in response
to His presence, whenever He may desire to visit us.
We must learn how to open the “door” of our inner
ear to Jesus when He personally comes and seeks to reveal
His presence to us. This means that those who desire to have
this experience of intimate communion with the Lord must respond
to any indication of His manifest presence, and then promptly
turn aside from whatever they are involved in, and wait in
In the Song of Solomon, the Lord purposely attempted to visit
His bride at a time when it was not convenient for her to
respond, and she failed the test. This exposed her spiritual
need, and caused her to see what her interests truly were.
Through this, the Lord was able to teach her concerning the
value and the purpose of His “manifest presence.”
When the Lord came and knocked on the door of her heart in
order to accomplish this, she heard His knock and acknowledged
it; “I sleep, but my heart wakes. It is the voice of
my beloved that knocks, saying, Open to Me, my sister, my
love, my dove, my undefiled.” SS 5:2a.
She was comfortably resting in bed and made an excuse as
to why she could not respond. “I have put off my coat;
how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I
defile them?” SS 5:3. Reluctantly, He departed because
of her failure to open the doorway that would lead into a
time of intimate communion with Him, even though her excuse
During the time in which the bride lived, the latch on the
door of entrance into a home was located on the inside of
the door. It could only be unlatched by reaching through a
small hole in the door and unlatching it from within. This
provided a limited means of security and protection.
The Lord so desired to visit with His bride that He pushed
His hand through this opening in the door, but He did not
open it, as the door of our heart is always in our control
and can only be opened by us. This action by the Lord deeply
stirred the bride toward Him. Later, she testified concerning
this, “My beloved put in His hand by the hole of the
door, and my bowels were moved for Him.” SS 5:4.
The Lord will never invade or violate our privacy. We must
open the door, He never will. This principle is established
in Scripture. “If any man hear My voice, and open the
door, I will come in to him.” Rev 3:20b. An action is
required on our part before the Lord will manifest, or reveal
His presence to us.
When she realized that His hand reaching through the latch
was an expression of desire toward her, she (finally) responded
and opened the door to Him.
“I rose up to open to my Beloved; and my hands dropped
myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the
handles of the lock. I opened to my Beloved; but my Beloved
had withdrawn Himself, and was gone: my soul failed when
He spoke: I sought Him, but I could not find Him; I called
Him, but He gave me no answer.” SS 5:5-6.
Now, the Lord will allow her to experience the essential
difference between the gifts and blessings that He is able
to leave behind for her to find, and the tremendous value
of His “manifest presence.” He longs for us to
come into the understanding of knowing Him as a person, rather
than allowing us to continue knowing Him solely for all of
the things that He can provide.
He had reluctantly withdrawn His “manifest presence”
from the door of entrance into her spirit. However, the result
of His presence had remained upon the lock. When she touched
the lock, all of this anointing came upon her. She had a handful
of the gifts and blessings that He left for her, when He departed.
Previously, she would have been content to have these apart
from Him, but now she panicked and longed for the personal
presence of the Bridegroom Himself.
Many are not able to differentiate between these two aspects
of His presence:
First, there is the general sense of His divine presence
that relates to our salvation and to its outworking within
our lives. This speaks of the unconditional “abiding
presence” of the Holy Spirit within us.
Second, there is the coming of the Lord to personally reveal
Himself to us, and to share Himself with us in fellowship
and communion. This speaks of a conditional visitation from
the Lord, and is referred to as His “manifest presence.”
The first aspect of His presence is general, and relates
to His enabling grace and power.
“Do not I fill heaven and earth? says the Lord.”
The second aspect of His presence is specific and personal,
and relates to His person.
“He stands behind our wall, He looks forth at the
showing Himself through the lattice.” SS 2:9b.
Previously, the bride had vividly expressed a characteristic
of the Bridegroom; the sensitiveness of His “manifest
presence.” She had said,
“My Beloved is like a roe or a young heart.”
She knew that His manifest presence was delicate, and that
it could be easily grieved. Therefore, she should have known
that He would leave when she delayed her response to Him.
“I opened to my Beloved; but my Beloved had withdrawn
Himself, and was gone … I called Him, but He gave me
answer.” SS 5:6.
We should carefully consider these things, and then learn
from her mistake. We must be diligent in becoming increasingly
more perceptive in discerning His presence. Whenever the Lord
comes to reveal Himself to us, we should promptly acknowledge
His presence. Then, we should quickly turn aside from whatever
we are involved in, and in a spirit of anticipation, invite
Him to come within the “room” of our spirit to
commune with us.
After she realized that He was gone, she turned to those
who should have been seeking Him with her, and said to them,
“I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find
that you tell Him, that I am sick of love.” SS 5:8.
There are two different categories of Christians within the
Church. This is clearly brought out in the Song of Solomon.
“My dove, My undefiled is but one: she is the only
her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The
daughters saw her, and blessed her.” SS 6:9-10a.
The first group is the “Bride.” She has captured
the singular attention and interest of the Bridegroom, as
she had said to the Lord,
“Tell me, O You whom my soul loves, where You feed,
make Your flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one
turns aside by the flocks of Your companions?” SS 1:7.
She seeks to go beyond others, to the Lord Himself.
The second group are the daughters of Jerusalem. These are
saved and have some understanding of the things of God. They
regularly attend Church and become involved to a certain extent.
Their testimony is quite different:
“What is your Beloved more than another beloved,
that you do so charge us?” SS 5:9b.
They are saying, “We have gone far enough, we will
stay here. Besides, we do not see why we need to go through
all these dealings, or continually anticipate His presence.”
The Lord had withdrawn His “manifest presence”
from the bride. However, she was not satisfied with simply
attending Church, apart from the presence of the Lord in the
program. Therefore, she spoke to the Church visible, portrayed
here as the daughters of Jerusalem, and said to them,
“I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find
that you tell Him, that I am sick of love.” SS 5:8.
The daughters of Jerusalem answered her and said, “What
is your Beloved more than another beloved.” They only
saw the benefits of being a Christian. To them, going to Church
represented the doing of their “duty.” Also, it
provided them with a time for social fellowship and activities.
The thought of fellowship and communion with the Lord Himself
was far from their minds or interest.
The daughters of Jerusalem could only say to the bride, “What
is He more than a good job, a nice home, or security? What
is He more than all of the good things that we have? We are
satisfied and content. We ARE the daughters of Jerusalem,
and it is enough; do not bother us with your seeking of the
Lord. Besides, you are trying to be too spiritual.”
But something had happened within the spirit of the bride.
She had experienced the joy and the satisfaction of communion
with the Lord. She had been within “the garden enclosed”
with Him. Now, she longed for the continuing experience of
His personal presence, and felt incomplete when she was apart
When the daughters of Jerusalem said to the bride, “What
is He more than another,” she did not tell them about
all of the blessings that she had received from Him. Rather,
she began to tell them about the Bridegroom Himself.
“My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among
thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, His locks
are bushy, and black as a raven. His eyes are as the eyes
of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and
fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers:
His lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. His
hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: His belly is
as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. His legs are as
pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: His
countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet: yea, He is altogether lovely.
This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend, O daughters
of Jerusalem.” SS 5:10-16.
She gave an intimate, personal description of her beloved,
the Lord Jesus Christ. She was able to clearly describe His
Person because she had been spending time alone with Him,
and had a single eye towards Him. She intimately knew Him,
and could give clear expression to His beauty and desirability.
The daughters of Jerusalem had said, “What is your
beloved more than another beloved, that you do so charge us?”
The bride exalted the Lord Jesus and set Him forth as the
answer to the inner cry of every heart. This brought a response
from the daughters of Jerusalem that is so needed in our day
of special gimmicks and programs to build up the Church.
“Whither is your Beloved gone, O you fairest among
whither is your Beloved turned aside? that we may seek Him
with you?” SS 6:1.
Their hearts were stirred by the testimony that flowed out
from of her, as she expressed her love for Him. The bride
set forth the Lord Himself, in evident view for the daughters
of Jerusalem to behold.
In Acts 1:8 the Lord said, “But you shall receive power,
after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses
to Me ...” As we set our gaze upon Him and “witness
to Him,” His beauty is reflected through us for others
The enemy of our spiritual life will seek to turn us aside
from this, and will try to deceive us by saying: “It
is selfish to seek to become personally spiritual. Do not
waste your time alone in fellowship with Jesus. Rather, go
out and witness. Get so busy working for the Lord that you
have no time to meet with the Lord in your own devotional
The enemy knows the power that can flow through the life
of one who has been alone with the Lord in His chambers. He
knows the heart cry of those who will eagerly respond when
they witness the beauty of Jesus being expressed through the
life of one who truly knows Him.
We must be willing to set apart time to wait upon the Lord
in His presence, whenever He comes to us for this purpose.
As we do this, we will fall so completely in love with Jesus
that we will be changed and become like Him.
Then, the “result” of His manifest presence,
which we have experienced in our times of intimate communion
with Him, will cut through the bondages in those who are witnessing
His life in us and they will respond, “Whither is your
Beloved turned aside that we may seek Him with you?”
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matt
The “many” refers to the daughters of Jerusalem.
The “few” refers to the bride. Another way to
say this is: “The daughters of Jerusalem are called,
but those who are willing to respond to His presence and come
apart to seek Him, are being chosen out from among them.”
Here again, two different categories are expressed. The called,
and the chosen. The “called” includes all Christians.
The “chosen” refers those who are pressing on
to know the Lord Himself, and are obediently turning aside
to spend time with Him alone, even when it is not convenient
for them to do so.
The Lord is calling a bride out from among those who are
still saying, “I have gone to bed, how shall I get up?”
These “daughters of Jerusalem” know the voice
of the Lord to a degree, but they are not committed. They
have a limited involvement in the Church, and are willing
to go only “so far.” They draw a line and refuse
to go further, saying, “I will not become one of those
fanatics.” The price for going on to truly know His
manifest presence is very high, and they are not willing to
pay this price.
“The daughters saw her, and blessed her.” SS
The daughters of Jerusalem have enough spiritual capacity
that they see the bride, and enough spiritual sense to bless
her. However, they can only know the Lord through the description
that the bride gives, when she with a glow within her spirit,
says to them, “This is my beloved, and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem.”
May each of us arise from our beds of indifference, and respond
to His knocking on the door of our heart, and invite Him to
come within. Those who do this will never again be content
with merely knowing about Him through the knowledge of His
“omnipresence” within the Church.
These will be progressively drawn upward into the place where
they will come to truly and intimately know Jesus through
the ongoing revelation of His “manifest” presence.