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Our Musical Heritage #1

The Story Behind Them

                           OUR MUSICAL HERITAGE

                                    by

                                Don Robson



     Dear readers, in this time of famine for hearing the Word of
God, we have our Bibles and our musical heritage which has been
assembled over hundreds of years by men and women of God who
incorporated the original faith into our hymns and anthems.
     I have continually sung in church choirs since 1956,
and there were many occasions where the music in the service
eclipsed the "word" from the pulpit. A prime example occurred
over many years at Easter. The clergy would skate around the
awkward theme of resurrection (a scientific nightmare) with
abstract references, thereby stealing the power of the Word.
Then, a soloist would rise and sing, "I know that my Redeemer
liveth and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth;
and though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see
God!," Job 19:25 & 26. Now, there is the message coming from one
of the oldest books in the Bible!
     I thought it might be useful .... that we look to
a hymn of the Second Advent, "Lo, He comes with clouds
descending." The Scriptures  quoted     following each verse
reproduced below, are my own interpretation of what the verses
reference. There may be other verses which also apply and indeed
which the author, John Cennick, may have had in mind in 1750 when
he composed it. It was revised by Charles Wesley in 1758 and
modified by Martin Madan in 1769. It was sung to the tune
Helmsley composed, which was also revised by Wesley and Madan
presumably to fit their version of the words.

"Lo, He comes with clouds descending, see the Lamb for sinners
slain! Thousand thousand saints attending join to sing the glad
refrain: Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah! God appears on earth
to reign."

     Rev. 1:7 "Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall
see Him." Of course, "the Lamb for sinners slain," refers to the
Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. "Thousand thousand
saints" is a poetic way of expressing a congregation of
innumerable quantity, which is described in various ways in the
Scriptures. Revelation 5:11, "And I beheld and I heard the voice
of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the
elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten
thousand, and thousands of thousands." The reference to clouds
can be to clouds (crowds) of saints. I Thessalonians 3:13, "To
the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness
before God, even our Father, at the coming of the Lord Jesus
Christ with ALL His saints," 

     God appears on earth to reign, refers to the many references
to God being with man; in Revelation 5:10, "And hast made us unto
our God kings and priests: And we shall reign ON THE EARTH."

     However, I personally relate to the quote from John 14:2-3.
"In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so I
would have told you; And if 1 go and prepare a place for you, I
will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am,
there ye may be also."

"Every eye shall then behold you, robed in awesome majesty;
All who jeered, and mocked, and sold you, pierced and nailed you
to the tree. Deeply grieving, deeply grieving, deeply grieving
shall the true Messiah see." 

     My favourite Scripture covering the first line of this verse
is found in Matthew 24:27, "For as lightning cometh out of the
east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of
the Son of man be." 

     Would that be awesome majesty? I guess! The next! The next
two lines remind us of two quotes, the first from Revelation 1:7.
"Behold He cometh with clouds and every eye shall see Him, and
they also which pierced Him: And all kindreds of the earth shall
wail because of Him. Even so, Amen." And the second is Revelation
6:15-17, "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the
rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every
bondman, and every free man hid themselves in the dens and in the
rocks of the mountains: And said to the mountains and rocks, fall
on us and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne
and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of His wrath is
come and who shall be able to stand?" Of course, the true Messiah
is the Lamb.

"Now redemption long expected see in solemn pomp appear; All the
saints by us rejected thrill the trumpet sound to hear.,
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelulah! See the day of God appear!"

     This verse is summed up nicely in Paul's first letter to the
Thessalonians 4:16-18, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from
heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with
the trump of God: And the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then,
we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with
them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we
ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these
words."

"Yea! Amen! Let all adore you, high on your eternal throne;
Crowns and empires fall before you, claim the kingdom for your
own:
Come quickly! 0 come quickly! 0 come quickly! Everlasting Christ
come down."

     Finally, two quotes from Revelation, 1:5&6. "And from Jesus
Christ who is the faithful wit ness, and the first begotten of
the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him who
loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, And hath
made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be
glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." 

     The second is chapter 22, verse 20, "He which testifieth
these things saith, Surely, I come quickly, Amen. Even so, come,
Lord Jesus."

     As we move day by day closer to that great day of God
Almighty, we should be singing this hymn in every church, meeting
hall, public gatherings and ..... It is a powerful hymn; it is
relevant, it is worthy of Him who shall be adored and for whom,
every knee shall bow!

                            ..................

I first saw this printed in "Thy Kingdom Come" - a publication of
The Association of the Covenant People, B.C. Canada.
Entered on this Website January 2007


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