Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Heavenly Voices


2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. (Rev. 14:2-3)

I have posted already about what we can learn from the new song sung before the throne, but I want to point out something else I noticed from these verses and those following—the voices.

And indeed you can notice it about the whole of Revelation 14—there are so many heavenly voices!

There is the voice of God Himself—described as “the voice of many waters” and “the voice of a great thunder.”  Many waters have a persistent hiss to them, so it would be a good metaphor for the quiet voice of the Lord when He speaks with mildness in a whisper.  Thunder, on the other hand, is definitely loud and fearsome.  We are to learn that the Lord will use both these voices when speaking to His children.

There is the voice of the 144,000 harpers with their harps, singing their new song before heaven.  As we continue in the chapter, we find the voice of six different angels each crying with a loud voice, each in their turn and each with their work to do.

6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. (Rev 14:6-18)

What message do the angels give?
·      The everlasting gospel to the world (v6) and a message to fear God, give him glory, and worship him for his powers of creation (v7)
·      Babylon is fallen because she made all nations partake of the wrath of her fornication. (v8)  (The Lord wants people to know that fornication leads to the fall of societies.)
·      If anyone worships the beast and takes his name and number, he will drink the wrath of God, be tormented in the presence of the heavenly host, and not find rest day or night. (v9-11) Also, the Saints are those who keep the commandments and have faith in Jesus. (v12)
·      If you die in the Lord, you’re blessed and you’ll rest from your labors and your works will follow you. (v13)
·      Thrust in the sickle and reap; the time has come (v15)
·      Thrust in the sickle and gather the clusters of the vine; the grapes [of wrath] are ripe. (v18)

There are so many heavenly voices in this chapter that I think we are meant to get the impression that God is not silent and neither are the heavens.  There is a multitude of voices and instructions from heaven to those with the ears to hear.  (It began with the voice of God to Joseph Smith and continues to this day in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)  The angels have important messages that can help us in this age to avoid temptations.  What faults do you see that they help with?