Music and Singing in New Jerusalem?

Will there be music and singing in New Jerusalem? Revelation 21–22 does not answer this question, but a broad view of the Bible says YES. The conclusion of the Psalms, Psalm 150, urges us to praise God and to praise Him with many musical instruments, even with loud music and dancing. The conclusion of the Bible should be the same.

New JerusalemPsalm 150 begins, “Hallelujah! Praise God in His sanctuary.” God’s eternal sanctuary, His eternal tabernacle and temple, is New Jerusalem.

Hebrews 2:12, quoting Psalm 22, is a declaration of the resurrected Lord Jesus, “I will declare Your [the Father’s] name to My brothers; in the midst of the church I will sing hymns of praise to You.”

The Lord sings praise to God the Father now in and through the church and we expect this to continue eternally in New Jerusalem. Romans 15:9 is similar; the Lord says, “I will sing praise to Your name.”

Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 present the proper Christian life, including “singing and psalming with your heart to the Lord” and “singing with grace in your hearts to God.” Will this not continue eternally?

Revelation 5:8-9, 14:2-3, and 15:2-3 describe heavenly music, singing, praising God for His person and for His accomplishments. All the music and singing in New Jerusalem will be heavenly. None will be of the earthly nature common in today’s concerts. And all the music will glorify God. Praise Him!

New Jerusalem’s Glory: Now or Later?

Revelation 21 describes New Jerusalem as “having the glory of God.” God, in His divinity, has this glory from eternity past. The glory of this divinity was hidden in the humanity of Jesus and revealed briefly on the mountain (Matt. 17:1-2). This glory will be revealed openly and permanently when the Lord returns.

New JerusalemToday we are members of the Body of Christ, and in eternity we will be constituents of New Jerusalem, sharing in the glory of the city. When do we partake of this glory?

On one hand, in Romans 8:29-30 Paul writes to us that God foreknew, predestinated, called, justified, and glorified us. All these are past tense verbs. We easily agree with most of these, but has God actually glorified us already? We need to believe God’s word!

On the other hand, Hebrews 2:10 tells us that God is “leading many sons into glory.” And Romans 8:17 says, “we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified with Him.” These verses indicate that our partaking of glory is coming, not yet present. Again, we need to believe God’s word!

God is eternal, outside the limits of time. Here we have been glorified. God, through incarnation, entered into time. Here our glorification is a process that is in progress. We cooperate by turning our heart to Him so that the Spirit can transform us from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18), step by step bringing us onward to the glory of New Jerusalem.

Our human cooperation is in the realm of time but in God’s eternal view we are already in the glory of New Jerusalem.

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Earth to New Earth with New Jerusalem (2)

Genesis 1:1 records the creation of the earth and Revelation 21:1 records the coming of the new earth. Between these two milestones are many downward turns from Satan’s and man’s rejection of God, but God is not defeated. He will gain the new heaven and new earth with New Jerusalem to fulfill His desire.

Psalm 8 begins and ends, “O Jehovah our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth.” Humanly we don’t yet see this. However,New Jerusalem the psalmist, inspired by the Spirit, looked forward to the outcome of all that Christ would accomplish. Verses 4-6 of the Psalm are quoted in Hebrews 2:6-8 in regard to Jesus Christ.

“We do not yet see all things subjected to Him, but we see Jesus.” Although we do not yet see all things subjected to God, we do see the incarnated, crucified, and resurrected Jesus (Heb. 2:8-10). He is now one with all His believers, His brothers, and is sanctifying us inwardly to match Him (v. 11).

He is also singing praise to God our Father in the church (v. 12). The path to new earth and New Jerusalem is not only through incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, but is also through the church.

The path in Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2 corresponds with Ephesians 3:8-11: God created all things so that, according to His eternal purpose, through grace the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known to the heavenly rulers. This requires that Christ make home in our hearts through faith, resulting in further growth in us (3:16-19). This is His heading up of the church, which is the first step of heading up all things in the heavens and on earth in Christ (1:10).

By heading us up, God will gain glory in the church (3:20-21). The further heading up of all things will bring us to the new earth and New Jerusalem.

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No Flesh in New Jerusalem

When God created man (Gen. 1:26-27), He blessed man (v. 28) and said that everything was very good (v. 31). In Genesis 2 God’s desire was that man take God, portrayed by the tree of life, as his life. However, in Genesis 3 man fell and was shut away from the tree of life. In Genesis 6 God declared that man is flesh.

Romans 3:20, “Out of the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” This is in contrast to Peter’s statement that righteousness dwells in the new heavens and new earth. Romans 7:5, “When we were in the flesh, the passions for sins, which acted through the law, operated in our members to bear fruit to death.” This is in contrast to New Jerusalem and the new creation which have nothing of death.

New JerusalemFirst Corinthians 15:50, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” This is in contrast to New Jerusalem which is the ultimate stage of God’s kingdom. Hence, flesh cannot and does not have any place in New Jerusalem.

The flesh is the result of Satan as sin entering into man. The termination of the flesh is through the cross of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 2:14: “He also Himself in like manner partook of the same [blood and flesh], that through death He might destroy him who has the might of death, that is, the devil.”
Romans 8:3b: “God, sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”

His accomplishments on the cross are gradually applied in our being. The final step is Philippians 3:21, “Who will transfigure the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory, according to His operation by which He is able even to subject all things to Himself.” The result: no flesh in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

On the Throne in New Jerusalem (2)

Revelation 22:3 says concerning New Jerusalem:

New Jerusalem

Here are more verses about the exalted and enthroned Lamb.

Philippians 2:9-11, “God highly exalted Him [Christ Jesus] and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should openly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” We confess Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God now and in New Jerusalem.

Hebrews 2:7b-8a, “You [God] have crowned Him [Jesus] with glory and honor and have set Him over the works of Your hands; You have subjected all things under His feet. For in subjecting all things to Him, He left nothing unsubject to Him.”

Revelation 1:5, “Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth.” If we look at today’s situation with our human understanding, we doubt. But, we should say “amen” to God’s word. Jesus Christ is the Ruler today as He will be in New Jerusalem.

Revelation 17:14, “…the Lamb…is Lord of lords and King of kings…” Revelation 19:16, “He has on His garment and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings And Lord of Lords.”

This wonderful One is on the throne now and will be on the throne in New Jerusalem. In Revelation 22:1 John saw “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” This river flows to keep us under His authority and is flowing now as the Spirit which we have received (John 7:37-39). To drink the Spirit now (1 Cor. 12:13) is to have a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

More about the redeeming and enthroned Lamb: Behold the Lamb (1), (2), (3), (4)

No Devil In or Near New Jerusalem

The devil is not in New Jerusalem and has no way to bother us in New Jerusalem nor to bother the nations around New Jerusalem.

First John 3:8 tells us “the devil has sinned from the beginning.” The devil is the source of sin which brought in death. John 8:44 tells us that the devil is a murderer from the beginning and that he is the father, the source, of lies.  The nature of the devil is a lie because truth is not in him. This is the exact opposite of New Jerusalem in which Christ is the life and reality and where there is no lie.

New JerusalemJesus has overcome the devil. In John 14:30 He told us that the ruler of this world (the devil) “has nothing in Me.” Hebrews 2:14 says, “Since therefore the children have shared in blood and flesh, He also Himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death He might destroy him who has the might of death, that is, the devil.”

It seems to us today that the devil is still active. The reason is that the judgment accomplished on the cross has not fully been carried out. Therefore, Ephesians 4:25-27 warns us to put away lies and anger so that we give no place to the devil. We wage this battle continually by applying the law of the Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2) to overcome the law of sin in our flesh (Rom. 7:20).

In Revelation 12:9 the devil is cast down and in 20:2 he is bound for a thousand years, and in 20:10 he is cast into the lake of fire. This is the final step of the judgment accomplished on the cross. As a result, the devil will never bother New Jerusalem nor the entire new creation.

And, since the devil is Satan, New Jerusalem has Neither Sin nor Satan.
Here is a summary of all posts about what is NOT in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of NASA and JPL.

According to God’s Purpose, Grace, Mercy

New JerusalemThis post has more verses with the pattern according to God’s…everything. God’s ways and His acts are marvelous and culminate in New Jerusalem.

Colossians 1:29: “For which also I labor, struggling according to His operation which operates in me in power.” Paul labored much, but not by his own effort. His labor was according to the Lord’s operation in him. This is the Lord Jesus, carrying out, through faithful believers, His declaration in Matthew 16, “I will build My church.”

2 Timothy 1:9: “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the times of the ages.” God’s calling of us, like so many other steps He takes, is according to His own purpose. This calling is also according to His grace, His coming to us to be experienced by us.

Titus 3:5: “Not out of works in righteousness which we did but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:3 describes us as “…once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving as slaves various lusts and pleasures…” As such we were not qualified for God’s purpose and had no share in New Jerusalem. But when the kindness and love of God appeared (Titus 3:4), He saved us according to His mercy.

Hebrews 2:4: “…distributions of the Holy Spirit according to His will.” Likewise, we were not qualified to receive the Holy Spirit, but, based on His mercy, God gave the Spirit according to His will. In ourselves we are not suitable for New Jerusalem because of God’s mercy the Spirit will constitute us for this city.

Thanks be to our God and Father for His rich provision.

Neither Sin nor Satan in New Jerusalem

This continues a prior post in response to a question, will there be any sin in New Jerusalem? No!

Sin and death are bound together. Although the Bible does not say in plain words that sin will not be in New Jerusalem, it does say that death will be in the lake of fire. Since there will be no death, there also cannot be any sin.

New JerusalemFurthermore, the devil* is the source of sin. First John 3:5, “He [Christ] was manifested that He might take away sins.” First John 3:8 says, “the devil has sinned from the beginning.” This verse continues, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

In addition, Hebrews 2:14 says that Jesus Christ partook of humanity “that through death He might destroy him who has the might of death, that is, the devil.”

Christ has destroyed, nullified, both the devil and the works of the devil. This judgement is gradually being carried out in this age and the next. The final outcome is in Revelation 20:10, “the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where also the beast and the false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Since the devil, satan, will not be in New Jerusalem, neither will sin be in New Jerusalem.

* The devil and satan are the same creature; Rev. 12:9 and 20:2.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Versionpublished and © by Living Stream MinistryAnaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, is at online.recoveryversion.orgthis too is © by LSM.
Besides this New Testament, many books published by Living Stream may be read online.

Photo by Ian Overton, courtesy of CSIRO Australia.

God’s Great Salvation unto New Jerusalem

Here is more about New Jerusalem from Affirmation & Critique,* The New Jerusalem—The Consummation of God’s Work in Humanity (by David Yoon):

New JerusalemThroughout church history, the mystery of God’s purpose and that of man’s destiny have been a continuous source for debate and discussion among Christians. According to the divine revelation in the Holy Scriptures, the ultimate answer to these two mysteries is presented in the final vision of the Bible—the vision of the New Jerusalem, the holy city. This vision, described in Revelation 21 and 22, concludes the entire Scriptures and completes the progression of the divine revelation concerning God and His interaction with humankind. As the consummating vision in the Bible, the New Jerusalem unveils the ultimate issue of God’s work upon His elect, the final state of their perfection through their participation in His great salvation (Heb. 2:3). The accomplishment of God’s purpose and the fulfillment of humanity’s destiny culminate and converge in the New Jerusalem.

As stated here, New Jerusalem is the ultimate issue of God’s work in His people. This work includes His foreknowledge, selection, and predestination in eternity past; the creation of man; redemption by Jesus Christ; proclaiming of the gospel; our regeneration, transformation, and glorification; and the building up of the Body of Christ which is the house of the living God, the forerunner of New Jerusalem.

All the steps from eternity through redemption are outside of us. Beginning from regeneration, the Triune God’s work upon us is His work in us: the Father— “it is God who operates in you” (Phil. 2:13), the Son— “Christ may make His home in your hearts” (Eph. 3:17), and the Spirit—He gives life “through His Spirit who indwells you” (Rom. 8:11).

Also, the building up of the Body of Christ is by our growth in life—the life which is Christ in us. Our growth is His increase within us. Eventually, Christ will come “to be glorified in His saints” (2 Thes. 1:10). This completes the Triune God’s work in us and causes us to match New Jerusalem, “having the glory of God.”

* Affirmation & Critique is a Christian Journal published twice a year and available online. It presents Bible truths in a scholarly manner, with references to and citations from a variety of publications by authors over the entire Christian era. Affirmation & Critique exhibits much appreciation for the person and work of Jesus Christ and our life with Him. The Fall 2012 issue (Vol. XVII, No. 2) focuses on New Jerusalem.

The Merciful and Faithful High Priest  Brings Us Forward to New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is the consummation of all God’s work and the eternal outcome of His mercy toward us.

God’s New Testament mercy began with the sending of John the Baptist, followed by the appearing of Jesus Christ. He became “a merciful and faithful High Priest in the things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17)

New JerusalemHebrews 2:5-18 speaks first of the prophecy in Psalm 8 and then about the fulfillment in His becoming such a High Priest. In this fulfillment He destroyed the devil and released us from death. God also subjected all things under His feet. We do not yet see this subjection but we do see Jesus, who was crucified and passed through death, crowned with glory and honor.

Furthermore, Hebrews 2 tells us that as our High Priest, He imparted Himself as life into us to make us individually His brothers and corporately His church. He also sings hymns of praise in our midst to the Father, who is leading many sons into glory. It is very likely that such singing will continue into the next age and into New Jerusalem.

This passage about our High Priest also tells us that God is “leading many sons into glory.” The merciful care for us opened the door for God’s leading us into glory, which ultimately is New Jerusalem.

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We Have a Merciful and Faithful High Priest

New JErusalemIn New Jerusalem all God’s slaves will serve Him as priests and all will reign with Him (Revelation 22:3, 5). We are now, and will be then, a kingdom of priests.

Melchizedek in Genesis 14 was the first royal priest and He is a picture of Jesus Christ. We see more in Hebrews:
• God declares to Christ, “You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec.” (v. 5:6, 7:17)
• “The Forerunner, Jesus, has entered for us [within the veil], having become forever a High Priest according to the order of Melchisedec.” (v. 6:20)
• The name Melchisedec means “king of righteousness” and He is “also king of Salem, which is king of peace.” (v. 7:2)
• This Melchisedec “having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but likened to the Son of God, abides a priest perpetually.” (v. 7:3)

Hebrews 2:17 declares that Jesus Christ, the real Melchisedec, was “made like His brothers in all things that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in the things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

As our High Priest, His propitiatory death released us from our sins. This release, this redemption, this forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7) is wonderful. Thank Him! However, this release is not God’s goal.

Revelation 1:5b-6 praises Him saying, “To Him who loves us and has released us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be the glory and the might forever and ever.” The release from sins is so that He could make us a kingdom of priests, which points toward New Jerusalem.

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Everything is in Christ (2)

In the New Testament, everything positive that God is, has done, and is doing, is found in Christ Jesus. Whatever is in Christ Jesus today will also be in Him in eternity in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemHere are a few more “in Christ” verses.
2 Timothy 1:1: the promise of life is in Christ Jesus. This is the eternal, divine life of the river and tree found in New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:1-2).
 Galatians 3:26: we are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. We have become sons of God by receiving His life.
Romans 6:11: we are living to God in Christ Jesus. We can live to God because we received His life and are His sons. In New Jerusalem we will live to God eternally in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:2: the law of the Spirit of life has freed us in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death.
Ephesians 1:3: the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ. The ultimate spiritual blessing is to dwell in New Jerusalem in God in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:10: we obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
1 Peter 5:10: the God of all grace has called us into His eternal glory in Christ Jesus.

Both 1 Peter 5 and 2 Timothy 2 point to the glory of New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:11, 23). God is working today to bring His many sons into this glory (Hebrews 2:10). This glory will be revealed to/upon us and will become our glory (Romans 8:18, 21). Eventually this glory in Christ Jesus will radiate through New Jerusalem to the whole universe.

ps: The title of this post comes from the chorus of a hymn by A.B. Simpson, presented by Hymnal.Net. “Everything is in Christ and Christ is everything”

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