“”When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman,
3, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people,
4, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head.
5, He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.
6, But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman”s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:2-6)
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
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.
Pastor Mike Taylor;
Each of us are watchmen on the wall. If you stand behind a pulpit or preach to a congregation in whatever media you use, you have a responsibility to warn those who are in danger of hell fire and all that it represents. God does not send anyone to hell, as it is a decision that each of us must make, but the Word of God must start with men and women who are commissioned by God to take the Word of Truth to those who are in their sins.
Whether a minister believes he is a watchman or not, he is commissioned by God to spread the Gospel to the lost. He is to preach the penalty of sin. He is to abandon a feel good “gospel”, prosperity gospel, or a social speech of humanism and being just a “good citizen”. This won’t save anyone. It will not warn those who are walking the wide road and gate to destruction, but will only placate them that they are OK…they are not OK, as they do not have Jesus in their hearts. It is a minister’s job to take the message of salvation to his congregation, his community and the rest of the world.
Jan Markell, Olive Tree Ministries;
Prepping for ‘Mr. Fix-It’
Society is being prepped for the Antichrist, and as prophecy-loving believers try to warn, the words are falling on a lot of deaf ears.
The stage is being set for a closing act. The players are getting into their proper positions. Heads of state are meeting to plot and scheme and deny even more rights. In places like Australia, Lithuania, and Austria, good people are enemies of the state even though they are upstanding citizens.
World leaders have no comprehension they are majoring in minors. To them, it makes perfect sense to obsess over carbon emissions. During the Tribulation, this will fade from their memories as they cope with Seals and Trumpets and Bowls. These will spark “climate change” they cannot imagine!
Most receiving this newsletter are “watchmen.” Ezekiel 33 tells us that if you don’t warn, the blood is on your hands, so you cannot be silent.
Brace yourself to be shocked daily by things you read and watch. Satan is getting more active, and wickedness is rising, so God’s people must shine more brightly.
But for the believer, a glorious event will happen soon. It is known as the Rapture of the Church. It is any day. Any hour. Any minute. So don’t grow weary!
And yes, if a believer is a Rapture skeptic, they get the surprise of their life someday soon. Then you’ll have the privilege of saying, “I told you so.”
Won’t that be a glorious day?
Pastor Greg Laurie; Harvest Ministries
“God promises this in the book of Revelation, and He also gives us a promise of global peace. The Antichrist, however, will bring pseudo peace. During the first three-and-a-half years of the seven-year Tribulation, he will come across as a good guy. But in reality, he will be a bad guy. And the Scriptures say that he will use peace to deceive many. Ultimately, once Antichrist is taken out of the way, God will bring global peace.”
Paul Rolland, Night Watchman, Night Watchman Ministries
‘LAST DAYS’ / 7 Year Tribulation
Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions
Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the ‘last day’, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Acts 2:17And it shall come to pass ‘in the last days’, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Ten ‘10’ Denotes God’s divine ‘COMPLETENESS’ as to things on EARTH. In Revelation 10, he is opening up the ancient scrolls and ‘little book’ of prophecy that Daniel was told to ‘SEAL UP’ and not write of what was spoken. He was prophetically being told additional things that would transpire or occur ‘in the end of days’ and during the 7 year ‘tribulation.
Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the ‘time of the end’: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the ‘time of the end’.
‘Time of the End’:
Revelation ‘10’ And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
2 And he had in his hand a ‘little book open’: (NWN; Daniels ‘little book’ is now being opened by God’s Great Angel of Prophecy) and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven ‘7’ thunders uttered their voices.
(NWN; I ‘discern’ that these are seven ‘7’ other great prophecy angels who are ‘confirming’ that NOW IS THE TIME to OPEN DANIEL’S ‘END TIME’ Book of Future Prophecy.’)
4 And when the seven ‘7’ thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven ‘7’ thunders uttered, and write them not.
5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
(NWN; The Great Prophecy Angel is proclaiming the ‘LAST DAYS or END TIMES’ have come, in no uncertain terms, and that NOW IS THE TIME to reveal prophecy related TO the Last Days or End Times and Tribulation.)
7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh ‘7’ angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
(NWN; Seven ‘7’ denotes God’s divine completion to his plan or purpose for this ‘7th’ prophecy angel to commence and complete prophecy related to the Last Days and End Times. Think of the Great Prophecy Angel as a ‘General’ and the ‘7th’ prophecy angel as a Major or Colonel or someone of rank who has been given authority to physically ‘begin something or start something.’)
8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open (NWN; notice that the ‘little book’ is OPEN) in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
(NWN; the prophecy angel(s) are HANDING the little book to physically alive men on the earth. In essence, they are handing or ‘transferring’ the ‘little book of prophecy’ to physical men ALIVE on the EARTH during the ‘End Times’ or ‘Last Days.’ God conveys prophecy to Angels who in turn are ‘messengers’ of God’s prophecy to mortal men alive. Angels, throughout the past 6,000 years have been ‘messengers’ for God to mankind.)
9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
(NWN; this is a ‘discernment’ on my part. ‘Take it and eat it’ is a spiritual ‘consumption’ of understanding the End Times and God’s related prophecies to go along with ‘signs of the times.’ It takes ‘7’ knowledge, wisdom, obedience, humility, persistence, prayer and the Holy Spirit’ to work prophecy in man’kind. This is a great and wonderful thing, just like a ‘7’ course meal. However, once the prophecies are apparent ‘consumed and understood’ they will be prone to make one sick to the stomach because of what they foretell. Just like eating a ’7’ course meal will likely make you feel like you could explode. God’s UNFILTERD WRATH poured on evil man’kind who refuse Him, and refuse His Son Jesus Christ and His eternal offer of salvation. Seeing prophecy happen and unfold is a wonderful and miraculous thing. Understanding the implications of seeing prophecy unfold, leaves one’s stomach bitter and sour because of the ‘gastrointestinal storm’ that is coming. Pass-the-antacid-pills, please.)
10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
(NWN; the prophecy angel was prophesying what would happen to anyone who attempted to reveal what was in the ‘little book.’ This verse ‘confirms’ that what was prophesied, did in fact occur and was experienced by those given the task of being Watchmen. This also ‘suggests’ that some men are ‘willingly’ allowing themselves to be Watchmen because they consciously love prophecy (God’s Word) and are completely open and receptive to it.)
11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
(NWN; since this is verse ‘11’ it suggests a WARNING(S). The purpose of prophecy is to inform, proclaim and WARN. It suggests that the Watchmen who proclaim the Word of God, will have their ‘7’ words, letters, videos, blogs, sermons, articles and books proclaim God’s WILL to those during the End Times / Last Days and Tribulation period. God has ALWAYS used Holy Angels and physical men (Moses, Elijah, Daniel, Enoch, and others) to speak on behalf of God. He will do this also through the Tribulation via; 1. Prophecy revealed to mankind via his ‘little book’ to Watchmen, 2. The ‘two witnesses’, ‘lampstands’ or candles who proclaims God’s light to the world for the first 3.5 years of the tribulation, 3. The various Angel warnings given to men to NOT TAKE THE MARK of the BEAST and lastly, 4. The 144,000 Jewish Evangelists who have the ‘seal of God’ in their foreheads (and NOT the mark of the Beast) who proclaim Jesus Christ’s offer of Salvation ONE LAST TIME, before the 7 year tribulation ends.)
Paul Rolland, Night Watchman, Night Watchman Ministries
God’s Abundant or Doubled Organizational Arrangement (24)
Twenty-four (24) is a ‘doubling’ of twelve (12). This represents a mathematical doubling of His divine organization.
Twenty-four References to the Lamb:
- … “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth.” (Rev. 5:6). (Emphasis added).
- … “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” (Rev. 5:8). (Emphasis added).
- … “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power; and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Rev. 5:12). (Emphasis added).
- … “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” (Rev. 5:13). (Emphasis added).
- … “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.” (Rev. 6:1). (Emphasis added).
- … “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:” (Rev. 6:16). (Emphasis added).
- … “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palms in their hands;” (Rev. 7:9). (Emphasis added).
- … “And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:10). (Emphasis added).
- … “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Rev. 7:17). (Emphasis added).
- … “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12:11). (Emphasis added).
- … “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8). (Emphasis added).
- … “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” (Rev. 14:1). (Emphasis added).
- … “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” (Rev. 14:4). (Emphasis added).
- … “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.” (Rev. 14:10). (Emphasis added).
- … “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” (Rev. 15:3). (Emphasis added).
- … “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Rev. 17:14). (Emphasis added).
- … “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” (Rev. 19:7). (Emphasis added).
- … “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” (Rev. 19:9). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Rev. 21:14). (Emphasis added).
- … “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” (Rev. 21:22). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” (Rev. 21:22). (Emphasis added).
- … “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Rev. 21:27). (Emphasis added).
- … “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Rev. 22:1). (Emphasis added).
- … “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.” (Rev. 22:3). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: Lamb is capitalized and therefore another name or title of Jesus Christ. The fact that the Lamb is referenced twenty-four (24) times indicate that he is the foundation in God’s abundant or doubled organizational arrangement. He is literally the corner stone in the foundation of God’s divine organization of things. For there to be an organization of anything, on earth or heaven, there has to be a rock-steady foundation supporting a purpose or plan. There has to be foundational element of strength and truth. If the foundation of the organization of a house is poor, weak and not built correctly, the house will fall. The foundation has to be built firm so it does not change or shift under the organizational structure of the house. The Lamb (Jesus Christ) represents the rock-steady, true and solild foundation of God’s divine organization and the foundation of man’s redemption. God’s organization is built on and around the Lamb. The title and name Lamb is unique because it is also denotes a descriptive term. It describes Jesus Christ as not only who he is, but what he is! Lamb therefore serves a threefold purposed; it is a title or a name, describes who he is, and describes what he is.
Twenty-four is the greatest finite number in the mathematics of God. It is the largest representation of anything in God’s abundant or doubled organization. The shear number of repetitive references implies extreme significance, importance and purpose. The Holy Spirit uses the term Lamb over and over and over, to proclaim that Jesus Christ died, like a lamb (bloody and slaughtered), on a cross and then rose again, for the forgiveness of mankind’s sins. The Jews had a practice of slaughtering clean, genetically perfect animals to temporarily atone for their sins. Their sins were cast onto these animals, who then were destroyed by burning. Jesus Christ was the perfect man, clean and sinless. He was the perfect human Lamb. His death and burial was for the eternal (not temporary) forgiveness of all of men’s sins. All of our sins were cast upon the Lamb, while God was sacrificing his son on the cross through the shedding of his blood, instead of the shedding of our blood. We deserve to die for our sins, Jesus (the Lamb) did not deserve to die since he was sinless. However, in God’s infinite grace and mercy, he allowed his son to take on our sins and carry them from the cross to the grave, for eternity. Through our acceptance of God’s offer of forgiveness through his son Jesus Christ (the Lamb), our sins are forgiven; past, present and future.
Putting this into a little different pespective, but one that should hit home and resonate with you on a personal level. As a parent, you absolutely love your child (son or daughter), of course you do! There is no question about that, for any normal, emotionally healthy parent. Hypothetically speaking, how would you feel if an ISIS terrorist group kidnapped your son or daughter, severely tortured them with whips, nailed them to a tree in public, spit on them, cursed them and mocked them? Blood running down your son or daughter’s legs from the wounds in their hands, head, back and torso. How would you feel, as a parent, knowing that they are slowly dying a painful, horrible, slow death. Hypothetically, speakihg of course, how would you feel as a parent if the ISIS terrorist group told you that your son or daughter (either of whom is totally innocent) is being slaughtered for some perceived hatred or action of another guilty party. How would you feel knowing that your son or daughter was the scapegoat for an evil payback by the terrorist group as a lesson for those who don’t follow their idealogy? By now, you should have an extremely painful visual image in your head. Now, hypothetically speaking again, imagine how God felt seeing his son, Jesus Christ, in the same excruciatingly painful, deadly predicament as your family member. If he is a living, loving entity (which he is), how do you think he felt having to give up his Holy Son to the Roman authorities, for slaughtering. His son was totally innocent, but was used as a scapegoat or as a Lamb for our sins and transgressions. Jesus Christ (the Lamb), didn’t deserve to be tortured and die. There was no logical, rational reason for him to bear all of mankind’s sins for eternity. But, he did so, willingly. As a parent, would you willingly let your son or daughter be literally slaughtered as a result of someone else’s evil actions? God’s love for us transcended the pain he felt from his son’s bloody crucifiction.
The work of the Lamb is the foundational cornerstone of God’s divine organization for the redemption of man. The twenty-four repititions of ‘Lamb’ attest to this divine mathematical fact.
Twelve-fold References to the 24 Heavenly Elders who Worship God:
- … “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” (Rev. 4:4). (Emphasis added).
- … “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev. 4:10-11). (Emphasis added).
- … “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” (Rev. 5:5). (Emphasis added).
- … “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” (Rev. 5:6). (Emphasis added).
- … “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” (Rev. 5:8). (Emphasis added).
- …”And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.” (Rev. 5:11). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” (Rev. 5:14). (Emphasis added).
- … “And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 7:11-12). (Emphasis added).
- … “And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?” (Rev. 7:13). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God. Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.” (Rev. 11:16-17). (Emphasis added).
- … “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. 14:3). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen: Alleluia.” (Rev. 19:4). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: Numbers within numbers, meanings within meanings. There are 12 (twelve) references to 24 (twenty-four) “elders”.
These 24 (twenty-four) elders are described as:
- Each being around the throne. They are in the presence of God, in his throne room and can visibly see his throne.
- Each elder having a special “seat”, thus there are 24 (twenty-four) “seats” around the throne for the eldes to sit on. These are defined as “seats” and not as “thrones.” The 24 elders do not sit on thrones.
- Each being clothed in “white” raiment. Raiment is form of clothing. White is analgous to righteousness, holy, redeemed.
- Each having a crown(s) of “gold.” A physical, gold crown identifies status, position, reward, righteousness, and authority.
- Each falls down and worships God.
- Each cast their crown(s) before the throne. This is a symbolic act of worship and acknowledges him who gave them their crown(s).
- Each gives glory and honour to him who sits on the throne.
- One elder identifies who Christ is and that he is worthy to open the seals of the book (of wrath).
- Each has a harp (musical instrument) that is played in the presence of God for his enjoyment.
- Each has a vial full of odour (something pleasing to God) which are the prayers of his saints.
- One elder identifies and describes the Tribulation Saints who were beheaded and martryed during the Tribulation.
- Each falls on their face and gives thanks to God for being God (reigning).
Twelve (12) descriptions contained in twelve (12) references or verses that come from throughout the book of Revelation. The twenty-four (24) elders are part of God’s divine government and serve as a sort of divine council of righteous representatives. They serve several main functions for God. They worship him. They represent his righteousness. They identify him, who he is, what he does, what he has done. They identify and acknowledge other righteous entities (Jesus Christ, Tribulation Martrys, Prayers of Saints). They do things that are pleasing to God, such as playing harps and giving him vials of the prayers of saints. Thus, they serve the Lord God. The Bible is somewhat silent on exactly who these twenty-four (24) elders are. In any case, collectively, they represent the MVP’s (most valuable players) on Jesus Christ’s team. They are not loved any more or less than any other redeemed man, God and Jesus Christ love everyone equally. However, these ‘MVP’s’ did something extraordinary or extremely unique or beneficial for the kingdom of God and Jesus Christ when they walked the earth. What these things might be, we don’t know. Only Christ and God know. In any case, whatever they did was extremely beneficial and pleasing to God which earned them the special status of being an ‘MVP’ and on the ‘dream team’ (using a sports term). They were also awarded special crowns to reflect whatever the did or endured, while on earth. They truly have an extremely unique role in the kingdom of God and are so noted since they receive twelve (12) references by the Holy Spirit. Of the billions of people that have or will walk the earth, only twenty-four (24) people have earned the reward, right and status of being one of the elders around God’s throne.
Who are the Twenty-Four Elders in Revelation?
– By Mondo Gonzales (Co-host at Prophecy Watchers)
This topic is one that can often be overlooked, but is very important for a variety of reasons. First, this group of twenty-four (24) seemingly comes out of nowhere in comparison with other throne room scenes found in the Bible. Second, if we can understand the identity of this group, it should provide some information which would influence our grasp of the timing of the rapture. Third, personally, for the Christian, the uniqueness of this group has the potential to provide tremendous encouragement and comfort. While we must remember that the text does not give an explicit identity for these 24 elders, the book of Revelation gives many descriptions of this select group. Therefore, if we examine the various ways in which John writes concerning this group, the answer will become evident.
The Options for the Identity of the 24 Elders
This special group of 24 elders appears in a handful of places in the book of Revelation (4:4, 10; 5:5, 6, 8, 11, 14; 7:11, 13; 11:16; 14:3; 19:4). As you can imagine, there are a variety of interpretations as to their identity. Here are some of the possibilities as given by G.K. Beale in his NIGTC book on Revelation: (1) stars (from an astrological background), (2) angels, (3) OT saints, (4) angelic, heavenly representatives of all saints, (5) patriarchs and apostles representing the OT and NT saints together, and (6) representatives of the prophetic revelation of the twenty-four books of the Old Testament. One perspective that Beale left out was that the 24 elders represent the dispensational view of the church which is defined as believers specifically labeled throughout the NT as those “in Christ.” This would include those that became believers from Acts 2 up until the rapture. The resurrection and the rapture of the church (those “in Christ”) is noted quite clearly in 1 Corinthians 15:18-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. I do not necessarily recommend Beale’s commentary as he chooses not to hold to a consistent futurist approach, but it gives a good snapshot at what the typical viewpoints are. Let’s examine the various descriptions found primarily in the book of Revelation.
1) Jesus gives an outline of the book of Revelation. “Therefore, write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things” (1:19). Bible teachers note that this outline is very organized and involves the three relative particles (“which”) that provide a clear outline. It is divided into a past (chapter 1), a present (chapters 2-3), and a future (“after these things”- chapters 4-22). There is no reason to be confused as the phrase “after these things” (meta tauta in Greek) appears quite clearly in 4:1. This reveals that what occurs in chapters 4-5 is a future period after the “church age” as found in chapters 2-3. Therefore, we see in chapters 4-5, a throne room scene with four different “groups” mentioned. The first mention is of God seated on the throne followed immediately by the introduction of the mysterious 24 elders and then finally the four living creatures. In chapter 5, the Lion/Lamb is introduced. No doubt, the 24 elders are given a place of prominence in 4:2-4 as being mentioned before the four living creatures. As the first mention of the throne room scene, to have the 24 elders mentioned prior to the well-known living creatures from the OT is no accident. We see them being mentioned before the four living creatures also in 7:11 and 19:4. There are other instances where the four living creatures are mentioned prior to the 24 elders (5:6, 8, 11, 14; 14:3), but the first mention context should not be ignored in chapter 4.
2) When we compare the throne room scenes in the OT, we notice that apart from Exodus 24, the existence of a specific group labeled as elders is absent (Exodus 24:9-18; 1 Kings 22:19-22; Jeremiah 23:16-22; Isaiah 6:1-3; Ezekiel 1, 10; Daniel 7:9-10). Even so, the Exodus 24 throne room scene was not in heaven and included 70 elders of Israel. So there certainly are distinctions. The question for us here is where did this NEW group of 24 elders come from in Revelation? For example, we see the four living creatures in Ezekiel 1 and 10. We observe an unidentified number of Seraphim (comparable to “living creature”) standing before the throne in Isaiah 6:1-3. In the Daniel 7:9-10 scene, it is the Ancient of Days seated on his throne. There are other thrones and myriads of other angelic beings, but it gives no specific names or designation of any other group “seated” on those thrones. Again, there is no observance either of any specific group of 24 elders in that scene.
Now if we fast forward to the throne room scene of the book of Revelation, we see God Himself on His throne mentioned first. Following, are the 24 elders and then the living creatures and countless angels (Rev 5:11). This introduction of a new 24-member group as compared to other throne room scenes as found in the OT or Second Temple period writings has not gone unnoticed. If you can, I recommend the article, “Revelation 4-5 in the Light of Jewish Apocalyptic Analogies” by Larry Hurtado. It can be found in the Journal of the Study of the New Testament 25 (1985). He does an excellent job showing that what we find in Revelation 4-5 cannot simply be a continuation of Jewish writings. This is clearly something new and Christian. As we read Revelation 2-3 and the various promises made to the churches by Jesus Christ, it does not strain credulity to see that John was describing this new group as being the church.
3) If we compare Revelation 4-5 with the theology of Paul concerning the church, we can make a connection. Paul writes in Ephesians 2:11-22 that the church is made of up of Jews and Gentiles who are put into one new body of believers (especially 2:15). This is not a continuation of OT theocratic Israel limited to the land of Israel (cf. John 4:21-26), but a new unified group of people made up of all nations, tribes, peoples (Rev 5:9). Secondly, this group of unified people, who are called the church, was not revealed in the OT but was revealed as a mystery in its full theological significance to Paul the apostle (Eph 3:1-10). Therefore, it would be no surprise that because the church was not born until after Jesus ascended, as a group they would not be evident in any OT throne room scene. When John writes his vision of what he saw “after these things” (a.k.a. the church age, “things which are”), this new 24-member group of Elders makes great sense to be the recently raptured church.
4) Some Bible teachers see the 24 elders as angels, but upon closer examination, this cannot be the case. It is fascinating to see the consistency of the Bible. In the OT, there were no chairs either in the tabernacle or the temple. The reason why is that the priests were to serve continually. This is a major theological point in the book of Hebrews as, after Jesus performed His high priestly duties, He sat down at the right hand of God (Heb 1:3; 10:11-12). In the book of Revelation, we do not read of any angels sitting. In fact, we see angels standing (7:9, 11) and even one as mighty and majestic as Gabriel declares himself to be standing in the presence of God (Luke 1:19). Additionally, the angels are specifically labeled as distinct from the 24 elders (5:11; especially 7:11). We also observe the tribulation saints (“great multitude”), who are martyred in the great tribulation, as standing before the throne and the lamb (Rev 7:9). Another group of martyred individuals who had victory over the beast were standing near the throne (Rev 15:2).
What is amazing is that there is only one group (other than God and the Lamb) who are specifically labeled as sitting. The 24 elders are shown to be sitting on thrones. “Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads” (Rev 4:4). This was promised to the church by Jesus in Revelation 3:21, “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” This is a very unique privilege as the original seven churches could read chapters 2-3 and then see that the promise of Jesus was fulfilled in Revelation 4:4. It would give them encouragement and hope that they could be part of the group who also were promised to be kept from the hour of trial that was coming upon the whole earth (Rev 3:10). Further, their position is extremely intimate and full of honor to be located so close to the throne. Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a clear parallel to any angelic being described explicitly as being seated on a throne.
After the tribulation is over, there is a resurrection of the OT saints as well as the believers who died during the tribulation. This resurrection is described in Revelation 20:4-6 and they also get to sit on thrones during the millennium on earth. However, it is important to note that for them, there is no reference of them sitting on thrones in heaven near God’s throne. This particular promise was only made to the church (Rev 3:21) and fulfilled by the church (Rev 4:4). So, we have the 24 elders not only sitting down but on thrones which demonstrates rulership alongside the Lord Jesus (Rev 2:26-27; 2 Tim 2:12; Rom 8:17; 1 Cor 6:2-3).
5) Another descriptor mentioned is the number 24. In the 404 verses in the book of Revelation, scholars have noted that there are over 500 allusions or direct references to the OT (see a list of these in appendix XI in Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s The Footsteps of the Messiah, page 793). That being the case, the number 24 is a relatively unique number that occurs in 1 Chronicles 24-25. In chapter 24 of 1 Chronicles, David and Zadok divided the priesthood into 24 different orders (see Luke 1:5, 8, 9 as an example). In chapter 25, David divided the worship leaders into 24 different groups. What this reveals to us is a pattern that the number 24 is representative of the whole group. When the 24 chief priests of the 24 different orders stood before David, they represented the entire priesthood. The same would be true for the worship leaders. In our case, the 24 elders sitting on thrones would represent the entire church seated on thrones in fulfillment of Jesus’s promise in Revelation 3:21. Additionally, they are seated in heaven and exempt from the period of the tribulation beginning in 6:1 as Jesus promised in Revelation 3:10. Interestingly, the book of Revelation is directly written to the seven churches even though it has a blessing for anyone who keeps its words. Even those during the tribulation period who read it can learn and be blessed from it.
John writes to the churches, “To the one who loves us and has set us free from our sins at the cost of his own blood and has appointed us as a kingdom, as priests serving his God and Father– to him be the glory and the power for ever and ever! Amen” (Rev 1:5-6 NET). The concept of the number 24 was connected in 1 Chronicles to priesthood and worship. This fits well with the roles we see of the 24 elders in the book of Revelation. They have been invited to have front row seats and indirect participation on Jesus’s throne (Rev 3:21) as well as offering up incense which is the prayers of the saints (Rev 5:9). The offering of incense is clearly reminiscent of the priestly duties as found in Leviticus. Jesus has invited the 24 elders to sit in His immediate presence as He opens the seals and fulfills His kingly role as redeeming the earth back to righteousness. Further, numerous times they are highlighted as participating and initiating worship in the presence of the throne and the angelic host. The connection between priesthood (1:5-6) and worship (Rev 5:9; 4:11) and the number 24 in 1 Chronicles 24 and 25 should not be missed.
6) Another description which helps bring understanding to the identity of the 24 elders has to do with the description of the Lamb’s spatial position. I understand that John was seeing a vision, but words are often used to send a theological message. In this case, John introduces Jesus (one like the Son of Man) as standing in the midst (mesos) of the seven lampstands (Rev 1:13). The Greek preposition mesos appears 7 times in the whole book. We are not left guessing as to the symbolic meaning of the seven lampstands, because Jesus gives us the interpretation in Rev 1:20, “… and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” In Revelation 2:1, Jesus reveals Himself to the Ephesian church as the “One who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands.” This is the second reference that Jesus is in the midst of the churches. When we get to chapter 5:6, the vision reveals that the Lamb was in the midst of the throne and the 24 elders. Within the book itself, John directs us to understand the connections between Jesus being in the midst of the churches and the 24 elders. This connective interpretation is compelling.
7) The 24 elders are described in Rev 4:4 as having crowns of gold. These are stephanos crowns which are often used in the context of overcoming and gaining victory over adversity; similar to an athlete (1 Cor 9:25). The other type of crown is a diadem crown typically used as a reference to those who are royalty. Jesus wears this crown in Revelation 19:12 whereas the dragon and beast have this crown as they seek to imitate the inherent royalty of Jesus (12:3; 13:1). Revisiting the description of 24 elders having “crowns of gold,” the only other person in the book described with a crown of gold is the son of man figure in Revelation 14:14 who most Bible teachers interpret as Jesus. This crown of gold in this passage is also a victor (stephanos) crown. We should not be confused with Revelation 9:7 where the demon horde which arises out of the bottomless are described having on their heads what appears to be “as crowns like gold.” John adds specific words to denote comparison and not equivalence. The 24 elders having crowns of gold like their Lord in Rev 4:4 shows the intimacy of their connection as being co-heirs with Jesus (Rom 8:17-21).
The NT teaches that there are five different crowns which are symbolic descriptions of the rewards for faithful service (1 Cor 9:25; 1 Thess 2:19; James 1:12; Rev 2:10; 1 Peter 5:4; 2 Tim 4:8). Both Revelation 2:10 and 3:11 speaks of crowns which are involved in Jesus’s promise to the church for being overcomers. When we arrive in Revelation 4:4, it is not surprising that these 24 elders would have crowns showing that they have already received their rewards. We know that after the rapture, the church will stand before the son of Man at the bema seat judgment to receive their rewards for their Christian service from Christ Himself (2 Cor 5:10; Rom 14:10; 1 Cor 3:1-15; Luke 21:36). Angelic beings do not have crowns. In closing this section, it is revealed that the 24 elders cast their crowns at the foot of the throne of God recognizing that their crowns and place of privilege is purely through the grace of God. This is reminiscent of Jesus’s words, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Clearly, the 24 elders have a proper and humble attitude recognizing that even their crowns are an act of God’s grace.
8) In Jesus’s letter to the seven churches, He speaks positively about the promise of those in the church who overcome as receiving “white garments” (Rev 3:4, 5, 18). The 24 elders are said to be clothed in “white garments” which clearly is using the same language as Jesus’s promise to the churches (Rev 4:4). There are other groups in Revelation that are given “white robes,” but this a different designation (Rev 6:11; 7:9, 13) and Greek words.
9) Another very obvious description is the fact that they are called elders. We know from the OT that the elders were human leaders/chiefs beginning in Exodus up through the gospels. Additionally, this term was used as an official designation in the church (Acts 20:17; 1 Tim 5:17, 19; Titus 1:5; James 5:14; 1 Peter 5:1). Nowhere in the Bible are angels referred to as elders. Some Bible teachers see Isaiah 24:23 as a reference to angelic elders, but the context leans towards them being human elders. This passage is consistent with Jesus’s desire to reveal His personal glory to His church (John 17:24; 14:1-3; 1 Thess 4:17) and to share it with them (Rom 8:17; Rev 3:21; cf. Luke 22:29-30).
10) There are some who like to argue that the 24 elders disassociate themselves with other believers based on Revelation 11:16-18. It reads, “And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. 18 The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.” However, this is primarily because they assume these are angels. If we see the 24 elders as being the pre-tribulational raptured church being given a privileged position near the throne before the tribulation begins in Revelation 6:1, then their words in 11:16-18 make great sense. They are watching the tribulation saints get martyred and the saints overcome during this 7-year period (Rev 6:9-11; 7:9-14; 13:7). There are elect/saints/servants in the program of God other than the church which began in Acts 2 and ended at the pre-tribulational rapture. There are the elect tribulation saints as well as the elect of Israel who survive the 7-year tribulation period.
11) The final description is to note in general the various speeches of the elders. They speak and worship God for His creative acts (4:11), their intimate knowledge of the fact of the Lion of Judah being worthy (5:5), the lamb being slain which redeemed people from every tribe to be a kingdom of priests who will reign (5:8-10, 12), detailed knowledge of those coming out of the tribulation and being made white by the blood of the lamb (7:14). Their knowledge, intimate proximity to the throne and Lamb, participation in worship and informing John in the vision is indicative of their status as friends of Jesus (John 15:15). Some Bible teachers try to argue that Revelation 5:8-10 shows a disassociation between the 24 elders and those that are redeemed because the elders speak of the redeemed in the third person. This is not decisive. John is very familiar with the OT and brings up the new song of Moses in Revelation 15:1-4. This should remind us of the original song of Moses in Exodus 15:1-19. In this song by Moses and the Israelites, they sing of the redemption of Israel in the third person (especially 15:16-19). Therefore, it would not be unprecedented for the 24 elders to sing of their own redemption in the third person (5:8-10).
The evidence is significant pointing to the verdict that the 24 elders ‘7’ are representative of the pre-tribulational raptured church. Additionally, it signals that the church will enjoy a heavenly throne room scene after the rapture, but prior to the opening of the seals by the Lamb who alone is worthy. We will get to experience our Lord and Savior begin to judge the earth and reclaim that which He rightfully purchased at the cross. You and I will be privileged to see the Lord in His full glory and to participate intimately in His glory being revealed throughout all the prophecies found in Revelation. Paul’s words to the Ephesian church take on a new grandeur of fulfillment as the 24 elders actually take their seats on thrones in the very heavens of God Himself.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ– by grace you have been saved– 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:4-6).
Matthew 24:42; Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Matthew 25:13; Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Mark 13:35; Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning.
Luke 21:36; Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man
Luke 12:37-39; Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
‘Increasing Like Labor Pains.’ ‘Fearful Sights.’ ‘Perilous Times.’ ‘Men’s hearts failing with fear.’ Great Convergence of Signs.’ REDEMPTION IMMINENT.
In His Service,
Night Watchman Ministries
Make Your Decision for Christ NOW!!!!!!! Time is Up!!!!!!!
Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:
The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)
A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.
. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).
. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).
. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).
B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.
. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).
C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.
. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).
. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).
. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).
. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).
. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).
. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).
. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).
. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).
. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).
. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).
True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:
Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
Romans 12:19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.