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!

Praise, Rejoice, Exult for New Jerusalem

A recent post from Psalms presented shouting, singing, and crying aloud in Zion. New Jerusalem is the ultimate Zion. Today I realized that Revelation 19 has the same feeling.

Revelation 19:5-7, “A voice came out from the throne, saying, Praise our God, all His slaves and those who fear Him, the small and the great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunders, saying, Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult, and let us give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

New JerusalemHere are exhortations to praise, rejoice, exult (be very joyful), and give glory to God. The response is a loud Hallelujah! Revelation 19 gives two causes for this rejoicing. One is God’s judgement on Babylon recorded in Revelation 17–18. The other is “the marriage of the Lamb has come.” The negative was removed and the positive has come!

The Lamb is Jesus Christ. The bride, the wife, of the Lamb is the holy city, New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:9-10).

First Peter 4:13: “Inasmuch as you share in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice exultingly.” The revelation of His glory will be His visible return. That is also the time for His marriage. Today, even while sharing in His sufferings we rejoice and in that day we will rejoice exceedingly.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

Rejoice, Sing, Cry Out in Zion

New JerusalemIn my Bible reading I came to Isaiah 12. Verse 6 declares, “Cry out and give a ringing shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

This verse reminds me of New Jerusalem. First, as parts of New Jerusalem we are inhabitants of the eternal Zion. Second, God, the Holy One, is on the throne in the middle of the city.

In this context, the verse urges us to “cry out and give a ringing shout.” Other translations* include “shout aloud and sing” and “cry out and sing for joy.” This is not only inward joy but also inward joy expressed in loud rejoicing.

Surely, in line with this verse, New Jerusalem will be filled with rejoicing and singing, even shouting. We should experience this now in coming together with other Christians. This rejoicing should be prominent in our weekly remembering the Lord Jesus and His accomplishments (1 Cor. 10:16-17, 11:23-26).

The prior verses in Isaiah 12 present the source of this rejoicing. In verse 1 Isaiah praises the Lord. In verse 2 the Lord is His song. In verse 3 we are encouraged to drink the Spirit (the living water, John 7:37-39) with rejoicing. In verse 4 we give thanks to the Lord, we call on His name (Rom. 10:12-13), and we declare His doings to people around us. In verse 5 we sing Psalms to the Lord and make His marvelous works know in all the earth.

Let us exercise in these ways and ask the Lord to draw us more into them for a rich foretaste of New Jerusalem.

* Courtesy of Bible Hub.

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (7)

New Jerusalem is the goal of God’s eternal purpose made in eternity past. It is also the goal of all God’s work in time. This post concludes linking a song* about God’s purpose for New Jerusalem with verses in the Bible. The last verse of the song is:

New JerusalemGod in man and man in God
Mutual dwelling thus possess;
God the content is to man,
And the man doth God express.

The mutual dwelling of God and man is not a new thought in Revelation. Rather, in John 14 the Lord Jesus said to the disciples, “In that day [His soon-coming resurrection] you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” Then in 15:4 He said further, “Abide in Me and I in you” with more in 15:5 and 15:7.

God as our content is also not a new thought in Revelation. Multiple verses speak of God in Christ as our life, our righteousness, our wisdom, our grace, our peace, our empowering, our hope of glory, our boast, and much more. He is unsearchably rich.

Man as the expression of God is seen in Acts 19:17, Ephesians 3:10 and 3:21, and in Philippians 1:21. The expression of God in man depends on the development of eternal life in man. We cooperate with Him now for this growth so that He may be expressed to the world today. This same expression, but much richer and stronger, will shine forth through New Jerusalem.

——
* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (6)

God’s eternal purpose is to become one with His people to dwell with them eternally as New Jerusalem and to manifest His glory through the city.

We have followed a song* about God’s purpose from creation to the flow of eternal life for the building up of God’s dwelling to the throne, river of life, and tree of life which characterize New Jerusalem. The song’s
New Jerusalemnext verse is:

God in Christ, the glorious light,
Thru the city brightly shines,
Scattering all the deathly night
With its light of life divine.

This corresponds with words in Revelation. In 21:11 New Jerusalem has “the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.”

And in 21:23, “the city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” In 22:5 we read, “And night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them.”

God shines in Christ and through Christ to enlighten the entire city. This glorious light radiates further to enlighten the new creation. This is the ultimate manifestation of Jesus Christ as the “light of life” (John 1:4; 8:12).

In New Jerusalem “night will be no more” because every member of the city will be fully in resurrection with no need for sleep. God in Christ is our eternal day in New Jerusalem.

——
* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (5)

The throne of God and the Lamb is the center of New Jerusalem and New Jerusalem is the center of the new earth under the new heavens. Everything in the entire new creation is under God’s ruling. Everything is calm and peaceful because all evil and all rebellion were cast into the lake of fire in Revelation 20.

We are considering a song* about God’s eternal purpose. Its sixth verse:

In its center, as its pow’r,
Is the throne of Christ and God,
Whence doth flow the stream of life
As the Spirit’s living flood.

This corresponds with Revelation 22:1, “He [an angel] showed me [John] a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.” The river is a symbol of the Spirit who flows abundantly to all God’s people. Earlier, John 7 records the Lord Jesus speaking about the Spirit as a river of living water.
New JerusalemThe next verse of the song:

Christ, the tree of life, is there
In the flowing of the stream,
Yielding fruit of life divine
As the food of life supreme.

This is Revelation 22:2, “On this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”

Both the river and the tree of life if Genesis 2 have their reality in Jesus Christ. He is our real food supply, to nourish us today, unto New Jerusalem, and eternally.

——
* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

Living Water Flows to & in New Jerusalem 2, 3, 4,

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (4)

The new creation with New Jerusalem at its center is the conclusion of the Bible. This is God’s goal. A song* tells about God’s process to reach this goal. The fourth verse expresses God’s longing:

New JerusalemTis the city God hath built,
Tis the dwelling God requires,
Tis the new Jerusalem
Which fulfills His heart’s desires.

The fifth verse:

Tis the building of the saints,
Tis the blend of God and man,
Purposed by the Father’s will
Long before the world began.

“Saints” are all God’s people, sanctified by His working upon and in them. They are built together by the flow of God’s life (verse 3 of the song) as presented in Ephesians 4:16 and Colossians 2:19. This building work is what God purposed in eternity past.

New Jerusalem was planned by God before creation and is portrayed by all that is in Genesis 2. God has the foreknowledge of everything and every event in His creation, and in His wisdom He uses all of it to bring forth His desire. The sixth verse, speaking of the throne in New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1), begins:

In its center, as its pow’r,
Is the throne of Christ and God.

God is in Christ and Christ in God, as the Lord Jesus spoke to us in John 14:10-11. In their coinherence They have one throne, which is the center of New Jerusalem, out of which flows the river of water of life.

——
* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (3)

A song* about God’s purpose begins with God in Christ becoming life to man so that God and man can be united for God’s eternal glory, expressed through New Jerusalem. The third verse:

New JerusalemBy the flow of life divine,
Man becomes a precious stone
Fit for building God’s abode,
That His glory might be known.

Through His redeeming death and life-imparting resurrection (1 Peter 1:3), Jesus Christ has become our life. Now, as the song says, this life wants to flow, as pictured by the river of life in Genesis 2.

The flow of life transforms us (2 Cor. 3:18) to become precious stones. This is seen in Old Testament symbolism by the gold, bdellium, and onyx stone brought forth by the river in Genesis 2. We who believe into Him are the real stones for God’s living building. As Peter tells us, “You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5).

This verse in Peter matches, and undergirds, the second and third lines of the song’s verse above. Peter goes on to say we were chosen and acquired so that “you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (v. 2:9). This is to glorify God now (and much more in New Jerusalem).

The purpose of becoming stones is the building and the goal of the building work is that God’s glory might be known. Ephesians speaks much about building and 3:21 says, “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever.” Glory to God forever is New Jerusalem “having the glory of God.”

——
* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (2)

God is eternal. He created time and the universe because He has a plan and a goal. The center of His goal, in Revelation 21–22, is New Jerusalem, His eternal expression.

New JerusalemA song (musicwords by Witness Lee) presents highlights of God’s actions to accomplish His purpose, to arrive at New Jerusalem. Here are the second part of verses 1 and 2:

He to man is everything
That He might fulfill His plan.

God as life that he may take
And with Him have oneness true.

In the first verse God wants to be everything to man, but how? The second verse answers—God wants to be life to man. This is symbolized by the tree of life shown to Adam in Genesis 2 and plainly spoken by the Lord Jesus in John 3:15-16 and many verses in John 6. By His resurrection life, we can be in Him and He in us (John 14:20); this is God being one with man as the song states.

To believe into Jesus Christ is to receive Him as our eternal life and to become one with Him. “When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.” (Col. 3:4) Christ is our life today and He will appear in glory. Then we will be glorified with Him.

He and we will be a corporate expression of God’s glory. This is New Jerusalem, “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11).

Photo in Germany by Jenny Grosh.

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (1)

The Bible concludes with the new heaven and new earth and New Jerusalem at their center. This is God’s desire and God’s goal. Humanly we do not always reach our goals but God is fully capable and He will reach exactly what He desires.

God’s purpose and goal is portrayed in the creation of man in Genesis 1 and the garden of Eden in Genesis 2, as described in posts on The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemWe begin review of a song with highlights of God’s actions to accomplish His purpose, to arrive at New Jerusalem: the music (composer unknown) and the words (Witness Lee). Verse 1 begins:

Lo, the central thought of God
Is that He be one with man;

God created all the plants and animals “according to their own kind.” But in Genesis 1:26 God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” This shows man’s special place in God’s creation. Man was created for God, so that God could work in and through man to reach His goal. Verse 2 begins:

Earthen vessel man was made-
Body, soul, and spirit too.

This is Genesis 2:7, “God formed man with the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” The three parts of man are also clearly in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete.” God uses all three parts of man as He brings forth New Jerusalem for His eternal exhibition.

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (2)

A hymn on the garden of Eden and New Jerusalem puts many Bible verses into song. New JerusalemVerse 2 of this hymn:

Both in the garden and the city fair
A river and the tree of life are seen,
Christ typifying as the life supply,
The Spirit showing as the living stream.

“Out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden….And a river went forth from Eden to water the garden.” (Gen. 2:9-10)

In New Jerusalem is “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street. And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”
(Rev. 22:1-2)

The tree is a symbol; the reality is Christ as our daily life supply, our spiritual nourishment. He told us, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall by no means hunger” and “he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me” (John 6:35, 57).

The river is a picture of the Spirit flowing to us to refresh and enliven us. Jesus said, ” If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink….This He said concerning the Spirit” (John 7:37-39). Also, we “were all given to drink one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13).

Our eating and drinking are for our Christian life today and will increase in the coming age and in New Jerusalem.

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem in Song

This posts begins a look at a hymn about the features shared by the garden of Eden and New Jerusalem. My focus is the Bible
New Jerusalemverses on which the hymn is based.

The author of the hymn is Witness Lee;
the composer of the music is Claude Goudimel. Words, Music. Verse 1 of the hymn is:

It was a garden in the primal age,
But at the end it is a city square;
Creation’s center in the garden was,
God’s building issues in the city fair.

The garden is in Genesis chapters 1–3. The city , New Jerusalem, is in Revelation chapters 21–22, with brief glimpses in Hebrews 11–12. Revelation 21:16 tells us that New Jerusalem is square, and Genesis 2 presents the garden of Eden as the center of the creation described in Genesis 1.

New Jerusalem is the issue of God’s building work. This work is portrayed in the physical realm by the tabernacle and temple in the Old Testament. God’s building in reality is the knitting together in life of the New Testament believers. Some chapters focusing on this are 1 Corinthians 3, 14; Ephesians 2, 4; and 1 Peter 2.

The flow out from the Head, Christ, through all the members of tHis Body “causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love” (Eph. 4:16). The ultimate issue of this building is New Jerusalem.

More about Witness Lee.

%d bloggers like this: