JESUS--HIS VOICE OF MANY WATERS
Today’s installment in our study of Revelation might be a little shorter than previous ones. In it we’ll consider another aspect of Jesus' physical attributes--the sound of His VOICE.
Revelation 1:15--“And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace: and HIS VOICE as the SOUND of MANY WATERS.”
Imagine standing near a great waterfall, like Niagara. If you haven’t heard Niagara, think of the largest waterfall you’ve ever visited. Do you remember the deafening roar, the sound so powerful, even the surrounding ground trembled under the impact of the cascade? Imagine the sound of a mountain stream during spring run-off, tumbling around and over rocks and boulders. Think of the relentless pounding of the ocean’s surf. Doing this, you can get an idea of how Jesus’ voice sounded to John, as he saw and heard this special vision.
Wait a minute, we might protest. A few verses ago, we studied Jesus’ voice, and in that place (Revelation 1:10), His voice was like the tinny resonance of a trumpet, a sound likened to someone speaking from a great distance through a megaphone, or like a musician using a mute to make his trumpet say words. Why is there a difference now?
I see TWO possibilities.
First, even people CHANGE the INFLECTIONS of their voices to mirror THE CIRCUMSTANCES in which they speak. We use soft and tender voices when comforting a child with a skinned knee. We use strong voices of authority when we’re teaching, trying to make a point. And if we’re angry, we raise our voices many decibels, adding gruffness and a sense of threat, to show others how incensed we are.
Also, remember THE CONTEXT here. In this vision, we’re seeing JESUS in the many ELEMENTS of His PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION, and each of them serve as strong warnings. JUDGMENTS are approaching. The MOST POWERFUL RESONANCE of Jesus’ voice contains a WARNING in it’s volume. God is about TO ROAR as the JUDGMENTS begin!
The second possibility is that Jesus has a voice like God, the Father.
There are THREE other places in the scriptures where the Lord’s VOICE is likened TO WATER. In the THIRD reference, the VOICE is the sound of a rushing "SOMETHING," whether it's WATER or WIND. Either way, THE CONCEPTS show POWER.
In Ezekiel 1:24, we find, “And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of GREAT WATERS, as THE VOICE of the ALMIGHTY, the VOICE of SPEECH, as the NOISE of an HOST: when they stood, they let down their wings.”
In this passage, Ezekiel is describing FOUR LIVING CREATURES (which we’ll encounter again in Revelation 4). These creatures surround the THRONE OF GOD. In Ezekiel’s vision, GOD’S PRESENCE is described as WHEELS within a WHEEL (possibly some kind of heavenly chariot or vehicle--and most definitely His Throne!).
Associated with GOD’S THRONE is His STRONG and MIGHTY VOICE, like the sound of GREAT WATERS, like the VOICE of SPEECH, as the NOISE of an HOST. Another element is included here, which further describes the VOICE of the Lord as the LOUD SOUND that's made by a CROWD, a large HOST of individuals. Ever hear the ROAR of a crowd as a touchdown is made? It resembles a ROAR of rushing water.
Let’s look at Ezekiel 43:2--“And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and HIS VOICE was like THE NOISE of MANY WATERS: and the earth shined with His glory.”
In this prophecy, Ezekiel is describing the Jewish Temple which will exist on earth during the Millennial REIGN OF JESUS. In this time of GOD’S POWER and GLORY which will be upon the earth in Jesus’ Kingdom, the Lord’s VOICE is described as THE NOISE of MANY WATERS. This picture shows the ALMIGHTY AUTHORITY of Jesus as He uses His most POWERFUL and STRONG VOICE during His RULE and REIGN. This is NOT the bleating of a Lamb, but the ROAR of a LION. The LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH prevails, and He RULES with authority.
Ezekiel 3:12-13--“Then the Spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a VOICE of a GREAT RUSHING, saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place. I heard the noise of the wings of the LIVING CREATURES that touched one another, and the noise of the WHEELS over against them, and a NOISE of a GREAT RUSHING.”
In this portion of Ezekiel’s prophecy, he’s been given a ROLL (scroll) of a book. On this ROLL, written within and without, was a very heavy message--lamentations, and mournings and WOE. (This scroll is a parallel to a SEVEN-SEALED ONE which appears in Revelation 5 and 6--and it, too, is full of JUDGMENTS.)
Ezekiel is instructed TO EAT the ROLL of a book, and THEN he was ASKED to WARN Israel about the ROLL’S contents. Ezekiel discovered that the ROLL was sweet as honey in his mouth…later on, in verse 14, Ezekiel reveals how he went forth in BITTERNESS, which was AFTER he ate the ROLL. The message turned sour in his belly--because of the severe JUDGMENTS contained within it. (In Revelation 10, a LITTLE BOOK, relating to the SEVEN-SEALED scroll, was given to the Apostle John and he was told TO EAT it. In John’s mouth it was SWEET, but in his belly, VERY BITTER. John was asked TO PROPHESY what he found within the little book, which contained the most severe JUDGMENTS of the Tribulation. These are THE SAME IMAGES that were given TO EZEKIEL! This means that prophecies concerning the return and reign of Jesus are wonderful and glorious. People can hardly wait for Him to come--it's the sweet side of prophecy. However, in order for the Kingdom of Jesus to be established upon the earth, many DEVASTATING JUDGMENTS must happen FIRST, as God punishes Satan--and the enemies of His people, Israel. That's when a sweet prophecy turns bitter in the belly.)
Ezekiel’s prophecy goes on to say, as he began prophesying to Israel, HOW he once again heard THE VOICE around the THRONE OF GOD (or perhaps of His chariot--or vehicle--with its WHEELS). We see again THE LIVING CREATURES (likened to Revelation 4). At this same time, Ezekiel hears the VOICE of GREAT RUSHING (likened to MANY WATERS, or perhaps a STRONG WHIRLWIND). This is the VOICE of the LORD.
Make note that WHEN Ezekiel heard the Lord’s VOICE of GREAT WATERS, or of a GREAT RUSHING, the Lord was DEALING WITH ISRAEL, proclaiming WARNINGS and bringing JUDGMENTS.
In Revelation 1:15, we see the Lord in the very SAME attitude. He’s appeared to the Apostle John, showing aspects in His description--picturing JUDGMENTS--just prior to the START of the Revelation's message. In this aspect of His character, Jesus possesses a STRONG and MIGHTY VOICE, which indeed SOUNDS like MANY WATERS. His appearance is CONSISTENT with the INTERPRETATION of coming JUDGMENTS.
Looking at it from this PERSPECTIVE, there’s no CONTRADICTION at all in the voice of our Lord!
When He first spoke to John (the voice of a trumpet), He came as John’s close and beloved friend. But when the full VISION MANIFESTED, the VOICE of Jesus became POWERFUL, giving evidence of the upcoming JUDGMENTS. We indeed serve a MAGNIFICENT, AWESOME and MIGHTY Lord.
Be abundantly blessed as you worship Him in HONOR and REVERENCE--for there is indeed NONE LIKE HIM, worthy of all our praise and adoration. JESUS IS KING OF KINGS.