Whose voice in Revelation 1:10-11 sounds like a trumpet?


JPN Note - I found the following correspondence with a reader of the website useful as an exercise in looking at:

  1. The importance of thinking / praying / meditating on the Word to get an answer 
  2. The need to compare scripture with scripture when seeking an interpretation 
  3. The need to not just blindly take the common view if there are clear Biblical reasons that point to a different outcome.


Question / Comment -  Whose voice in Revelation 1:10-11 is it that sounds like a trumpet?


Hi, praise the Lord! Here is a challenge for you:

Rev. 1:10-11a "On the Lord’s day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, saying...."

Whose voice is it? Only one answer allowed and with supporting verses.

Thanks

JPN Reply:


Hi Rick,

ok... I'm going out on a wild limb here and saying the Lord Jesus!
Now why do I think you are going to say something else?  : )


Questioners follow up response

thanks for responding...Yes, classic answer. I thought so too, and was taught so:. "He turned to see the voice that was speaking to him and saw.....One like the Son of Man"...Seems obvious it is Jesus, BUT no, no, ....when reading carefully, I noticed something; I had been reading with that idea and teaching in mind, and not reading the word for what it says, and not paying close attention to the details and context. So I decided to look into it. It is a good exercise, hope you can read all my explanation. Maybe the result is not a significant item of the truth, but surely important for several reasons. This exercise has helped me on how to study the word, context and details.   

FIRST STEP
John hears behind him a loud voice like a trumpet. He turns around to see the voice. He sees seven golden lampstands and the Son of Man, ....whose voice was like the roar of many waters. There are two voices: 1.) like a trumpet 2.) like the roar of many waters. These are very different sounding voices, a clear distinction is being made. A trumpet sound is musical, defined, high pitched, but the roar of waters is broad, undefined, low tone. They are definitely two different voices, so it´s very possible that the trumpet like voice is not the Son of Man. But we need more proof.

Then John hears the Son of Man speak at length, all of chapters 2 and 3. John is used to this voice and the continuity in the speaking. But then in ch. 4:1, John breaks the continuity and says that the voice he previously heard like a trumpet speaks to him again. Some translations say the "first voice which I heard."  So again he makes a clear distinction between the voices and their timing, and there is a break in the continuity. In addition, the Son of Man was speaking behind John and he even fell at His feet. Surely this indicates it took place on the ground. Yet in 4:1, John saw a "door open in heaven and the trumpet voice told him 'Come up here.'" So surely, this trumpet voice is coming from heaven, not the ground level.

So we have the following differences:  different voice names, different contrasting voice sounds, break of continuity in speaking, first and second voice distinctions, and different voice locations. Scripture clearly indicates the trumpet voice is not the Son of Man´s voice. 

SECOND STEP
So whose voice is it? Who speaks from heaven with a voice like a trumpet? Who could be addressing John and giving him instructions what to write, v. 1:11 "write on a scroll what you see" and 4:1 "come up here and I will show you...." Who is showing things to John? 

Go back to 1:1: "the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants what must soon come to pass. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John." 

The angel!!!!!! The trumpet voice in 1:10 is the voice of the angel in 1:1, confirmed by 4:1 and all the details of the context of Scripture. It´s gotta be the angel; he is the medium through which the Revelation is being made to John. It is important enough that the Lord mentions it at the beginning and then at the end, 22:16, "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star.”

The angel appears several times throughout the book all the way to the end, where John is talking to him and Jesus refers to him. 

In Christ, Rick 

Thanks

JPN Response:


Hi Rick,

that's very interesting. Thanks for sending it through. All the commentaries that I have speak of it being Jesus which is, like you say the classic answer and probably the most obvious at first glance tying Rev 1:10 with 1:13 (ie who He saw after hearing the voice)... but I can definitely see the logic in what you are saying. Rev 4:1 is probably the most telling for me. In saying 'and the first voice that I heard, like a trumpet...' - that certainly makes it sound different to the voice he has just been hearing. And as you say, there are two different descriptions in how the voices sound. Interesting!

As a side note, God always likes to involve His servants in His matters. This includes the angels as well as the Church. So even at the rapture, as well as the Lord Himself, there is 'the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God' (1 Thes 4:16). 

Good on you for thinking it through clearly and studying! Things like this always make me wonder how much we miss by just quickly reading over things... and how much more there is in God's word even in areas that we think we know! 🙂

God Bless,

Iain.