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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 14

Section 2

The Sound of Many Waters



"And I heard a sound from the heaven as a sound of many waters, and as a sound of loud thunder."


"Many waters" are Apocalyptically defined as signifying "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." But of these there are two classes; the one class consisting of those upon which the Great Harlot sitteth; and whose body politic is symbolized by a Scarlet-colored Beast, full of Names of Blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns (ch. 17:1,15,3): and the other class, of the "great multitude" in the heaven, "which no man could number, out of, ek, all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne, and in the presence of the Lamb, having been clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands" (ch. 7:9). The sound of the many waters cannot proceed from the heaven, unless they be first in the heaven. The many waters of the heaven are the 144,000, giving utterance to their joy. Standing on Mount Zion with the Lamb, they are "in the place of Yahweh's holiness," which is "the heaven." John does not record, in this verse, what the many waters said. It was not necessary; for he had already made the record in ch. 7:10-12. The white robed multitude, having exchanged the sword of judgment for the palm of victory, shouted with a loud voice, saying, "The salvation be ascribed to him that sitteth upon the throne of our Deity, and to the Lamb! And all the angels stood in the circle of the throne (kuklo tou thronou) and of the elders, and of the four living ones, and they fell before the throne upon their face, and worshipped the Deity, saying, Amen! The blessing and the glory', and the wisdom, and the thanksgiving, and the honor, and the power, and the might, be to our Deity for the aeons of the aeons. Amen!"

The sound from the heaven was the voice of the 144,000 after they had got the victory over "the Beast," and over his "Image," and over his "sign," and over the "Number" of his Name; in other words, after they had conquered all Greek, Papal, and Protestant, Antichristendom. Their victorious attitude is indicated by their being palm-bearers -"they had palms in their hands". "Branches of palm-trees," says Daubuz, "are the symbol of joy after victory', attended with antecedent sufferings. By the Mosaical law, Lev. 23:40, they were used as a token of joy at the Feast of Tabernacles. And they were used upon any solemn occasion of joy, as after a victory or deliverance." In John 12:13, we have an illustration of the use of palm-branches on joyous occasions. The action of the multitude then, was, unconsciously to themselves, typical of the voice of the 144,000 on Mount Zion; when they shall greet the King of Israel, in their celebration of the great Feast of Tabernacles in the kingdom of the Deity, with the hosannas of victory'. In their joy, they sing the song of Moses the servant of the Deity and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are thy works, YAHWEH AlL-SHADDAI; just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints. Who shall not fear thee, 0 Lord, and glorify thy Name? for it only is holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest"' (ch. 15:2-4). All nations shall come unto Jerusalem and worship before the King, Yahweh Tz'vaoth, and keep the Feast of Tabernacles; for Yahweh shall then be King over all the earth; in that day, there shall be One Yahweh and his Name one (Zech. 14:16,9).

'Palmam qui meruit ferat" - let him who is worthy bear the palm. This is the principle upon which the palms are put into the hands of the white-robed multitude represented by the symbolic number 144,000. Having gained the victory over themselves "by the power of God through faith," and over the world's corruptions, they are accounted worthy of standing with the Lamb on Zion; and of following him in all his warlike enterprises whithersoever he may will to go, in the great work of slaying the dreadful and terrible, and blasphemous, Fourth Beast, and of destroying his Body Politic, and giving it to the burning flame (Dan. 7:11). They cooperate in this work with great zeal and rejoicing

  Having fallen by thousands in the streets of Babylon, where their blood has been drunk to intoxication by her "pious," "venerable," and "reverend," monster of iniquity, when "judgment is given to them," they reward her even as she rewarded them, and double unto her twofold according to her works; in the cup which she hath filled, they fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow they retributively inflict upon her (Apoc. 18:6,7). And when the work is accomplished, and done so thoroughly, that Babylon can be found no more at all, they "rejoice over her," saying, "Praise ye Yah! Salvation, and glory, and honor. and power unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are his judgments for he hath judged the Great Harlot, who did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Praise ye Yah! And the four and twenty elders, an:1 the four living ones fell down and worshipped the Deity who sat oil the throne, saying, Amen! Praise ye Yah!" Then, an approving voice responsive to this, issued from the throne occupied by David's Son and Lord, saying, "Praise our Deity, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great." Nor does this exhortation fall upon ears "dull of hearing" what the Spirit says: for John saith, "I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Praise ye Yah! for the Lord God the omnipotent hath prevailed. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb hath come, and his wife hath made herself ready" (Apoc. .19:1-7). I have here rendered the word ebasileuse, "prevailed," instead of "reigned." He reigns because enikese, "he has conquered;" and it is his conquest of Babylon the great multitude is celebrating. He reigns over Europe as the consequence of her destruction, in the consummation of which, "the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David conquers" to the complete opening of the Scroll, and the loosing of its Seven Seals (ch. 5:5).

The sound John heard from heaven, was not only as proceeding from a great multitude; but also "as a sound of loud thunder." Thunder is the symbol of war. The "many waters" could not bear palms, and utter shouts of victory', unless previously engaged in war. Hence, their acclamations are styled "the sound of mighty thunderings;" or, as in the text, "as a sound of loud thunder." Before they could thunder forth, "Babylon hath fallen, hath fallen!" they will have to do the work of the second angel. Their shouts and acclamations are the echoes and reverberations of the thunder by which she is overthrown. The mighty thunderings of the 144,000, are not the impotent and meaningless "thundering applause" of a political meeting - the bellowings of the ignorant and fickle multitude. They are the potent utterances of those who have proved themselves almighty in battle; and to whom are committed the Seven Thunders which proceed out of the throne; that by these effective wars, the nations may be compelled to "wait for His law" (Isa. 42:4) who sits upon the throne. The thunder is styled "loud," because it consists of more than a single clap. It is a series of booming and crashing thun-derstorms, which, with the sound of the roaring hurricane, prostrate all the towering dominions of the earth. This "loud thunder" overthrows Babylon, torments the worshippers of the Beast with fire and brimstone, cuts down the harvest of the earth, and lops off the clusters of its vine. When all this is accomplished, the Dragon bound, the kingdom restored to Israel, and Jerusalem made a praise in the earth, the thronal lightnings will cease to flash, and the thunder to roll. The time will have then arrived, and not till then, for the going forth from heaven of “the sound as the sound of many waters, and as a sound of loud thunder."





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