There is so much debate among Christians, and even non-Christians, over the meaning of words. In fact, whole sects of division have come from disagreement over translating the word. For a secular example of this, one just has to look at our judicial system. Clearly mankind has concern over the interpretation of words. Sadly, what is often lost in translation is of far greater value than what is kept.
When it comes to understanding the nature of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, words will never adequately express what only the Holy Spirit can reveal. That’s why the Word had to become flesh, to become Alive in Us. I think God knew words would always fail us, and so, He chose to communicate to us through pictures, like the early Hebrew pictograms, and continues to speak using imagery on the canvas of our imagination. His essence was too big to be expressed in words so, He expressed Himself through us: body, soul, spirit. His greatest expression: Love. Where words fail, His expression of Love speaks very clearly.
Alas, as a lover of words myself, I’m glad He chose to let us write it out and attempt to translate His essence. But, any author who has ever had their work translated knows well there is much lost in translation. Still we attempt to communicate. We strive to connect and build relationship through words and actions. We will never be wholly able to abandon the word entirely because it is part of the expression, however, we can learn to allow the word to become more fully revealed.
Just as a baby utters sounds and mimics the sounds of those used around them, until their sound reflects more clearly the words expressed in their particular culture, we are each being called to reflect more clearly the sound of Heaven. I have experienced this first-hand as a homeschooling mother of two children under 5 years old. If you have ever tried to teach a child their ABCs, you can understand this well. It is one thing to recognize the letters that form a word, and entirely another, to teach the sound each letter reveals in making up the spoken word. The mind can grasp the process of language much more quickly than it can develop the understanding of its sound. For proof of this, just look at the various dialects in one particular language. Developing the same sound is quite difficult, especially across culture groups. Now consider this, when you look at all the languages across the globe having different symbols and patterns for arranging them into words, they all have one fundamental element in common: sound. If you are human and wish to speak, it matters not your ethnicity, sex or creed, breath must come forth from your gut and out your mouth in the form of a sound. From there, it is only a matter of learning the rythmn of your culture and how to string the sound together to form words that can be understood by those surrounding you.
It is the same with the Kingdom of Heaven. Heaven has a very unique sound and, unlike human tongues, it can be clearly expressed through all dialects. But first, we must be willing to open our ears to hear it. Then we must be courageous enough to begin to speak it and one day, bold enough to declare it.
The truest expression of God is not in His words nor in His flesh, but in His sound. We know from science that light and sound pulses through the atmosphere in waves. Ray Hughes explains it in the book The Physics of Heaven like this:
“Moving light waves are called electromagnetic waves. The wavelength of an electromagnetic wave determines which type of wave it is. As humans, we’re only able to see 3 percent of the entire light spectrum, and part of the 97 percent of invisible light is categorized as electromagnetic waves. Within electromagnetic light exists a range of wavelengths called radio waves. Within this category of radio waves exists an even smaller range of waves that humans can hear.
Essentially, we know that these categories and forms of light and sound fall within the same spectrum. The first time God said, “Let there be light,” (Genesis 1:3), He was also proclaiming the beginning of sound.”
It is God’s sound that permeates every form of material in the universe both invisible and visible. His sound is what holds the cosmos together and first gave it light. And this sound has a name.
Paul wrote very beautifully on this sound. I believe he was doing his best to articulate in words what we now know is impossible, at least not in its written form. But, nevertheless, Paul writes of it most clearly. This sound is not that of a clanging, noisy gong, nor is it the sound of angelic tongues. No, it is much more than these, and Paul knew it’s signature and could discern it even in the midst of every other utterance. This Sound is Love. We must learn to recognize this Sound and let it resonate through our spirit into our souls and out through our bodies in our words and in our actions, so that we are no longer filtering the world to each other but are translating God to the world.
Chuck Pierce writes in his book, Worship as it is in Heaven,
“If we will keep our spirits active and in communion with the Holy Spirit, we will begin to see the presence of God and His hosts of heaven that are contending on our behalf. In the book of Revelation, we find the real issue is the relationship between the sounds of heaven and the demonstration of God on earth. Sound leads us forth. Be willing to allow the sounds of heaven to order your actions today.”
God’s beloved King David knew this sound well, which is why God could instruct him on Heaven’s strategies to worship in a new way, house the ark, and win on the battle field, “When you hear the sound of the marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly” (2 Samuel 5:24).
The Scriptures tell us all creation is singing. Everything in existence has a sound and we are sounding off every day. If we are to do the will of the Father on earth as it is in Heaven, as Jesus taught us we ought to do, then we must not only begin to recognize the sound of Heaven; we must sing it back.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1: 27). The word “glory” means “lightified.” From this, we can deduce that Christ in you is the hope of being “lit,” or the hope of being “sounded.” Christ is your hope of producing the sound that has resided in you since the beginning of time. Your sole purpose of existence as a worshiper of God is to be the personal instrument He created you to be, and played for His glory. With the very truth of the living Christ is the assurance you will be played before God.
– Ray Hughes, The Physics of Heaven
It would be incomplete to believe that sound is only a matter of the spoken voice. When the Scriptures mention “voice” it is the Hebrew word “kol”, which not only encompasses every form of voice, spoken or written, but also unspoken and unwritten that is to say even “silence” has a voice. Our voice is merely an expression of our sound. In other words, to give voice to something is to give meaning to one’s existence. Take for example, the Scripture from Revelation 14:2-3 “And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders.” God’s “voice” here is expressed through His Creation, water, thunder, harpists, harps, because God himself is Creation. Everything that exists in Creation exists in God. Water, thunder, people, and even instruments all reveal His nature, their sound gives meaning to God’s existence by helping us understand and relate to Him. Therefor His voice sounds like Him.
Likewise, you and I express our existence similarly. If we are becoming like God then our “voice” might sound similar to His, like water, a harp, thunder and any other sounds of Love. But if we are far from God in our likeness then we would sound like a clanging cymbal, a noisy gong, and more like hate. Voice then is about expressing ourselves and more specifically, expressing God in us, not just by use of our mouths but also by whatever other sound we can give, even the unspoken or silent ones. Revelation 14:3 gives us a beautiful example of how all these sounds come together when it says, God’s voice was singing a song. Song implies the many different sounds merged together, creating one beautiful harmonic voice “kol”. And, Revelation also tells us, “No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.”
As any singer/musician already knows, the best way to learn a new song is to reflect on it, playing it over and over, dwelling on it day and night, until the song is no longer a repetition of words and chaotic patterns but a cadence intertwined in the body, soul, and spirit and, out of the depths, begins to flow freely without thought.
I Corinthians 2: 9 – 10 says, “Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the very things of God.”
It is His Spirit within us that reveals. God desires to release a sound that our personal fears cannot resist.
The sound God desires to release will chase religion from the church and bring Truth. He desires the sound of many waters, the sound of mighty thunders, and the sound of His glory and authority in the church. We are His glory. We help to reveal the meaning of His existence. Humanity is an expression of His voice. We are His Sound in the earth, just as the celestial choirs “the waters above” are part of His Sound in the Heavens. Together, all Creation sings!
For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed” (Romans 8:19).
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
Let us become one with the Song of Heaven. Let us open not only our ears to the Sound, but also our heart, soul and mind, and let us learn to sing it back in the Sound of Love.
I will sing a new song. I will sing with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind and understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:15).