Singing a New Song
Q.There are many scriptures which speak of the saints singing a "new song" (Ps.33:3; Isa.42:10; Rev.5:9, etc.). Does this mean we shouldn't sing "old songs" in meetings?
In the same way that the New Covenant does not "exclude" the Old but brings it to completion, so there is a case for saying that "new songs" do not exclude "old" ones. The new are supposed to compliment the old, ensuring that there is life in the songs of the saints. "Newness of life" brought to pass by the Lord Jesus Christ is a common theme throughout the New Testament. That we are not supposed to discard old songs is evidenced by the fact that they are preserved in the Word of God for use in all ages -- the psalms (for example) and at least one "new song" which goes:
You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because You were slain,
and with Your blood
You purchased men for God
from every tribe
and people and nation.
You have made them
to be a kingdom
and priests to serve our God,
And they will reign on the earth.
(Revelation 5:10, NIV)
Sadly, we do not know the notes for this song but it is precisely here that we suppose the Spirit is supposed to inspire not only new lyrics to songs but new music too. Some have even suggested that we should sing in tongues, which would be scripturally in order provided someone can translate.
Some songs cannot be learned by all and in one instance it is revealed that only the firstborn 144,000 can sing certain songs (Rev.14:3). Whether this means the words or the tunes are sealed up is not clear but I suspect it means that they will lack the power to sing the song unless they have a certain degree of the Spirit resting upon them. The 144,000 are "redeemed from the earth" (NIV) which many believe means that they have overcome the flesh in Christ and are no longer influenced by fallen human tendencies (v.4). Others suggest it means they have been translated, or in other words, physically removed from the earth, but this is to read more into the text than is actually there.
Interestingly, John does not say that the 144,000 are "singing a new song" but "they sing as it were a new song before the throne" (Rev. 14:3) and this may mean that the "songs" they are singing are not "songs" as we know them on earth. This may well be something totally different that we know nothing about here on this plane of existence. I have my own thoughts on this subject for I believe that these "songs" may well be "vocalised" in a different way, through heart-telepathy and not the movement of the mouth and vocal cords. we shall see.
We can safely conclude, though, that a spirit-filled Church will be constantly receiving not only revelation. prophecy, visions and inspired dreams, but that it will also be composing new spirit-filled songs either spontaneously in meetings ("on the spot" revelation, as it were) or at other times (in the more traditional way). These will not be songs using the world's musical forms but be inspired directly from heaven.
This page was created on 16 October 1997
Last updated on 26 February 1998
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