The Expository Files


Voices from Heaven
 Revelation 1:10; 14:2

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet...And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. Revelation 1:10; 14:2

What a momentous Lord's Day: John heard voices from heaven (sometimes the voice of Deity, other times the voices of the heavenly host) and wrote down what he heard. These voices still speak and their messages are as relevant to us today as they were when first heard on Patmos. Listen to what they say:

There is but one God---And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters." ...After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;" 14:6-7; 19:1. Political correctness, the rise of the Islamic religion, and postmodernism (there is no ultimate truth to which all are amenable) have created a culture making it mandatory that this message be repeated with frequency and fervor. There is a God. There is but one God. That God is the One revealed in the Bible.

God and His kingdom are supreme---Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever." 11:15. God's rule (kingdom) is unlike those of men. The latter rise and fall (Daniel 2:36-43) but God's rule shall never cease (Daniel 2:44-45). Whatever civil citizenship we may enjoy, that society will eventually find itself spoken of in the past tense in history books. Not so with those ruled by God.

Come to heaven for ultimate truth---After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things."... And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. 4:1, 11:12 There is but one ultimate and objective truth. Those desiring knowledge of that truth must "come up here", i.e. to heaven, the one and only repository of wisdom (Proverbs 2:6-7; Colossians 2:2-3).

Come out of the world---I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities."18:4-5. Citizens of heaven (those who heed the voices from heaven) will not pattern their lives after worldly standards. They will be "children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation," and will "shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:15)

By David Smitherman
From Expository Files 16.6; June 2009