Hark! the herald angels sing

1
Hark! the herald angels sing,
  “Glory to the new-born King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild;
  God and sinners reconciled.”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
  Join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic hosts proclaim,
  “Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
2
Christ, by highest heav’n adored,
  Christ, the everlasting Lord:
Late in time behold Him come,
  Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
  Hail th’ incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
  Jesus our Immanuel.
3
Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
  Hail the Sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
  Ris’n with healing in His wings:
Mild He lays His glory by,
  Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth;
  Born to give them second birth.
4
Come, Desire of nations, come!
  Fix in us Thy humble home:
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring seed,
  Bruise in us the serpent’s head;
Adam’s likeness now efface,
  Stamp Thine image in its place:
Final Adam from above,
  Reinstate us in Thy love.
21
Filip S. Syrek

Reading, United Kingdom

This hymn was written by Charles Wesley as one of over 5000 (!) hymns but certainly this one is the highest out of those thousands. I love my hymn book, I love to delve into the riches which are hidden in the hymns, to pray over and analyse them... There is a number of hymns which are just outstanding in relation to the truth they convey. Always when I come across one of them and get into it with the vision of the high peak of the divine revelation I can't help but go crazy in my spirit. This is the case with the hymn "Hark! The herald angels sing," - it is one of the top, top hymns in this outstanding collection. It touches the core of God's New Testament economy with the high peak notions. It describes the Triune God's incarnation, the coming of the mighty King who chose to become a man, pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Immanuel. He was born that man no more may die! He was born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth. It touches the matter of the real, true sonship of the believers, it speaks about our transformation with His divine element by making His home in our hearts, by crushing Satan's head inside of us, by dealing with our old Adamic nature, by sealing us with the Spirit in order that we may be transformed into His own image! Finally, to reinstate, to re-make, re-constitute us with the very essence of the Divine Trinity which is love. What a vision! What an insight! What a hymn! What a treasure!

Although many Christians see that Satan damages man, few realize that through Adam's fall Satan injected himself into man and has been installed in man's fallen body as the law of sin and of death. First John 3:8 says, "The Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." In this verse the works of the devil refer not only to his outward, objective works to tempt and damage man but also to his inward, subjective works, that is, his evil works within man as the law of sin and of death. Christ as the Son of God destroyed the works of the devil not only by condemning sin in the flesh but also by imparting Himself into the believers as the law of the Spirit of life. On the cross Christ destroyed Satan (Heb. 2:14). In resurrection Christ became the life-giving Spirit in order to be installed in us as the law of the Spirit of life so that He as this law may conquer the law of sin and of death. This thought is expressed by the last stanza of Hymns, #84, a hymn written by Charles Wesley:

Come, Desire of nations, come!

Fix in us Thy humble home:

Rise, the woman's conquering seed,

Bruise in us the serpent's head;

Adam's likeness now efface,

Stamp Thine image in its place:

Final Adam from above,

Reinstate us in Thy love.

Although many Christians see that Satan damages man, few realize that through Adam's fall Satan injected himself into man and has been installed in man's fallen body as the law of sin and of death. First John 3:8 says, "The Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." In this verse the works of the devil refer not only to his outward, objective works to tempt and damage man but also to his inward, subjective works, that is, his evil works within man as the law of sin and of death. Christ as the Son of God destroyed the works of the devil not only by condemning sin in the flesh but also by imparting Himself into the believers as the law of the Spirit of life. On the cross Christ destroyed Satan (Heb. 2:14). In resurrection Christ became the life-giving Spirit in order to be installed in us as the law of the Spirit of life so that He as this law may conquer the law of sin and of death. This thought is expressed by the last stanza of Hymns, #84, a hymn written by Charles Wesley:

Come, Desire of nations, come!

Fix in us Thy humble home:

Rise, the woman's conquering seed,

Bruise in us the serpent's head;

Adam's likeness now efface,

Stamp Thine image in its place:

Final Adam from above,

Reinstate us in Thy love.

In Genesis 3:15 Jehovah prophesied that Christ as the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent on the cross. On the one hand, Christ's bruising the serpent's head took place on the cross objectively; on the other hand, it is being accomplished in us subjectively. The bruising of the serpent's head is an objective fact accomplished by Christ, yet we need a subjective experience of this fact. The work of Christ as the law of the Spirit of life in our spirit overcomes the serpent as the law of sin and of death in our flesh. As the law of life within us, Christ makes His home in us and reconstitutes us with Himself, thereby transforming us from Adam's likeness into His image (Eph. 3:17; 2 Cor. 3:18; Rom. 8:29).

...Stanza 2 of Hymns, #84 says, "Christ, by highest heav'n adored, / Christ, the everlasting Lord: / Late in time behold Him come, / Offspring of a virgin's womb. / Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, / Hail th' incarnate Deity! / Pleased as man with man to dwell, / Jesus our Immanuel." Immanuel in Hebrew means "God with us." God became a man to live with man. Stanza 3 says, "Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace! / Hail the Sun of righteousness! / Light and life to all He brings, / Ris'n with healing in His wings: / Mild He lays His glory by, / Born that man no more may die; / Born to raise the sons of earth; / Born to give them second birth." This shows that God became a man in order to bring salvation to man.

God speaks and communicates to man through the Bible, but He also wants to be with man. Because He has given us the Bible, God does not need to speak directly to every believer, and if we pay attention to the words in the Bible, we can hear God's speaking. Nevertheless, even though God communicates through the words in the Bible, He personally came to be among man. However, He did not come in the greatness and glory of His position as the God who dwells in unapproachable light (1 Tim. 6:16). If He came in this way, no one would dare come near to Him. There is no way for us to approach the glorious light of God's holiness, because we are defiled and evil. As filthy sinners, we cannot see God, much less approach Him. Therefore, God became a man like us in order to come to us.

Today the Lord Jesus is in our spirit as the seed of the woman to bruise the head of the serpent. He bruised the head of the serpent on the cross, and today He is bruising the serpent's head in us. "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" is a famous hymn written by Charles Wesley. The last verse of this hymn says, "Come, Desire of nations, come! / Fix in us Thy humble home: / Rise, the woman's conqu'ring seed, / Bruise in us the serpent's head; / Adam's likeness now efface, / Stamp Thine image in its place: / Final Adam from above, / Reinstate us in Thy love" (Hymns, #84). Christ's bruising of the serpent's head not only took place on the cross objectively but also is being accomplished in us subjectively. Without Satan's subtle activities in the garden, Christ could not have been revealed as the woman's conquering seed to bruise the head of the serpent in us.

Charles Wesley's hymn "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" (Hymns, #84) is of a very high standard. I would like to point out stanza 3 of this hymn, which says, "Born to raise the sons of earth;/Born to give them second birth." God's economy needs man to go through two births. He receives a human life in his first birth. Then he has to go through another birth, the second birth. This birth is for him to receive the divine life. God intended that man would have two lives—the human life and the divine life. In order to do this, God must have a prototype, a model. So He Himself became incarnated to be the prototype.

...

Titus 3:5 speaks of the washing of regeneration. Regeneration is a washing. It washes away the filthiness of the old nature of our old man. This washing away is to put off our old man and put on the new man. It is also a kind of reconditioning. We all have been regenerated, reconditioned, with the divine life. Regeneration is very deep. I like this word recondition. Charles Wesley used the word reinstate in stanza 4 of hymn #84 —"Reinstate us in Thy love." We lost our state, our position, so we needed to be reinstated. But we also needed to be reconditioned. Our nature, our essence, and our entire being needed to be reconditioned. Nothing can do this except regeneration. To be regenerated is to be reborn, reconditioned, with the divine life.