Paul Rolland, Night Watchman, Night Watchman Ministries
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.)
Acts 2:17-21 And 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: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
Joel 2:28-29 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: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids ‘in those days’
‘7’ Paul Rolland, Night Watchman, Night Watchman Ministries
Twenty-four Heavenly Elders:
“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).
Commentary: See commentary regarding twelve-fold references to the 24 heavenly elders who worship God. Twenty-four (24) denotes God’s abundant or doubled organizational arrangement.
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. 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: Prophecy Watchers on April 16, 2022 Gary Stearman
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.
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.
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 specifics 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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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).
‘7’ Paul Rolland, Night Watchman, Night Watchman Ministries
Three-fold Reference to New Songs:
- … “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation:” (Rev. 5:9). (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 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).
Commentary: The first reference (Rev. 5:9) is of redeemed men or saints from every kindred, tongue, people and nations during the Church Age (Bride of Christ). These redeemed men or saints are in heaven and are singing a new song, praising God and Jesus Christ. The second reference (Rev. 14:3) is the 144,000 redeemed men from the 12 (twelve) tribes of Israel, during the Tribulation. They are on earth, on mount Sion and are singing a new song unto Jesus Christ, which only they know. Since these are saved Jews, their song is unique to their redemption based on having denied Christ as their Messiah for over 2,000 years. The last reference (Rev. 15:3) is song singing the praise of Jesus Christ, by the Tribulation Saints. These men were saved by Christ, during the seven year Tribulation period. They overcame the beast, his image, him mark and the number of his name. They didn’t fall for any of the satanic deception that runs rampant worldwide during the Tribulation. Each group of believers; the Church Age Saints (Bride of Christ), the 144,000 saved Jews on earth during the Tribulation, and the redeemed saints/martyrs of the Tribulation all have a special reason to be thankful for the saving grace provided by Jesus Christ. Each group of believers is unique and each group have something special to sing about regarding their redemption through Christ. Each group has a “new song” or unique song of praise.
Three-fold References to White:
- White Raiment. (Rev. 4:4). Twenty-four (24) Elders.
- White Robes. (4X). (Rev. 6:11, 7:9, 7:13 and 7:14). Tribulation Saints.
- White Linen. (3X). (Rev. 15:6, 19:8 and 19:14). Church Saints and Angels.
Commentary: White raiment is used to describe what the twenty-four 24 elders are wearing in God’s throne room. White robes are used to describe what the Tribulation Saints are given. White linen is used to describe the clothing of Church Saints and Angels. White is symbolic for righteousness. White Robes is referenced four (4) times, White Linen is reference three (3) times. Within these three verses are three references to white and three references to a form of clothing. This another double of a double (3+3) of three (3). The group of four (4) entities identified; 24 elders, Tribulation Saints, Church Saints and Angels all have the righteousness of Christ and participate in his government in heaven and on earth.
Four-fold Reference to Angels Worshipping Christ and God:
- … “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).
- … “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 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,” (Rev. 7:11). (Emphasis added).
- … “Saying A’men: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. A’men.” (Rev. 7:12). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: The first two references are of Holy angels worshipping Christ. Interestingly, they proclaim seven (7) (denoting God’s completeness to plan or purpose) attributes to the Lamb; power, riches, wisdom, strength, honour, glory and blessing. These attributes are very specific and not generalized or symbolic. The second set of references indicate that Holy angels worship God. Just as with Christ (the Lamb), the Holy angels proclaim seven (7) attributes of God; blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honour, power and might. Compare the two lists of attributes proclaimed by the angels of God and Christ. They are almost identical. The fact that there are two instances of angels worshipping Christ (the Lamb) and God indicates a double confirmation of a matter. Angels worship BOTH Christ and God. Hidden in these verses and not highlighted is the fact that these angels worship Christ and God, along with the twenty-four (24) elders and four (4) heavenly beast creatures. Notice that the first comment in Rev. 7:11 indicates, “all the angels stood round about the throne.” (Emphasis added). Notice the word “all,” … not just some, or a few, or a special subset of angels, but ALL angels. These are ALL the Holy angels in heaven, these do NOT include the evil or fallen angels who are given over to Satan. Only the Holy angels worship God and Christ (the Lamb). How many Holy angels are there? Verse 5:11 tells us. Do the math. 101,000,000. One hundred and one million Holy Angels. Easy math. The number of created angels is fixed. They are immortal and don’t need to reproduce as mortal man does in order to replace his generations that die off. Elsewhere in this analysis and commentary, I calculate the number of evil or fallen angels. Look for it! I use literal, plain and simple mathematics. No rocket science calculations.
- 10,000,000 x 10,000,000 = 100,000,000 (one hundred million) PLUS 1,000 x 1,000 = 1,000,000 (one million)
- One hundred million PLUS one million = One hundred and one million holy angels (101,000,000)
- Thousands of thousands = 1,000 x 1,000 (one thousand times one thousand)
- Easy math.
Four (4) Heavenly Beasts:
… “And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face of a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,” (Rev. 4:6-9). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: The fact that these beings are described as beasts is interesting because of what they are not described as. They are not described as angels. The bible is very clear when a being referenced is of angelic nature. I won’t go into the various classes or groups of angels, suffice it to say that the Bible has ample verses relating to the existence and service of various types of angels. Beasts are not angels, nor are they human. God is not limited in his creation, on heaven or on earth, or of the types of beings he has (or perhaps will) create(d). Elsewhere in this book, I have identified numerous references to the four heavenly beasts and their roles. God created them to be very close to him and his throne. They serve a special worshipping role. They serve a role to administer God’s decrees. They serve a role to give glory to God. They are extremely unique beings, as there are only four (4) in existence in heaven. They apparently do not visit earth as do some angels, but are relegated to being near the throne. Why do these beasts have animal and human features? Frankly, I don’t know. It was God’s pleasure to create them in this fashion, for his special pleasure and purpose. Function follows form. It would be logical to deduce that the features of these beasts enable them to perform their service for God. Six wings and eyes all around. Wings suggest travel, in any direction. Eyes-all-around suggest vision to everywhere. Taking a supernatural view of their supernatural features, travel and vision everywhere is logical. Why would these beasts need the ability to travel anywhere or to have vision everywhere? We don’t know, the bible is silent on this. In any event, the four verses (Revelation 4:6-9) serve a very unique purpose in identifying that there are additional beings in heaven. Besides angels and redeemed men, the four beasts worship God and serve him in a very unique capacity.
Four-fold Reference to Robes:
- … “And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Rev. 6:11). (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 with white robes, and palms in their hands;” (Rev. 7:9). (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 I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:14). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: White robes are a sign or symbol of righteousness. The people (Tribulation Saints) wearing them are clearly those redeemed by Jesus Christ (made white by the blood of the Lamb), during the Great Tribulation. The fourfold reference of white robes, strongly suggests that this group of saints (Tribulation Saints) are easily identified because they are wearing white robes, as opposed to white rainment or white linens that other heavenly beings wear. White robes are given to those who did NOT worship the beast or his image, who did NOT take his image, mark or name, who DID repent and believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior through the forgiveness of their sins, and who were martryed (beheaded) for their testimony of Jesus Christ.
Four-fold Results of Christ Opening the First Four Book Seals on Earth:
- Conquering. White Horse. … “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” (Rev. 6:2). (Emphasis added).
- War. Red Horse. … “And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” (Rev. 6:4). (Emphasis added).
- Famine. Black Horse. … “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse: and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny: and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” (Rev. 6:5-6). (Emphasis added).
- Death. Pale Horse. … “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” (Rev. 6:8). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: Conquering nations, multitudes of peoples, tribes and tongues requires warfare. The beast/antichrist goes out to conquer and create war. A subsequent result of wars is the destruction of lands and crops, and the processes for food creation and distribution. This then results in famines and starvation on a massive scale. Diseases and pestilences are not far behind, ultimately followed by death. The process of conquering which ultimately results in death, is on a scale so massive and global, that a “fourth part” or 25% of the earth’s population is decimated. Even the beasts of the earth have power to kill men. One current estimate has the earth’s population at 7.5 billion people. A literal calculation would put the death rate at slightly under 2.0 billion (1.9 billion) people killed by the four horsemen of the apocalypse. That is an unimaginable death toll, unlike anything ever occurring on earth before. Massive numbers of unknown and untold peoples. The extremely sad fact is that “hell followed death.” Unfortunately, taken in a literal sense, the unfortunate people who die are described as being unsaved and have no redeeming knowledge or acceptance of Jesus Christ’s forgiveness of sins through the shedding of his blood. Hell is for those who did not accept Jesus Christ’s offer of salvation, for whatever their personal evil reasons or pride. The Bible does not provide any indication of where these almost 2.0 billion souls will come from throughout the earth. We are left to assume (correctly or incorrectly) that they will come from all over the world. No continent will escape these wars and the subsequent death that follows. Satan will have been successful in killing and stealing almost 2.0 billion potential saints from God and Jesus Christ
Seven-fold Book Seals Opened by Christ: (1st of 3 “Wraths”)
- White horse (of the apocalypse) representing the Antichrist and his promise of false peace. (Rev. 6:2)
- Red horse (of the apocalypse) representing War. (Rev. 6:4)
- Black horse (of the apocalypse) representing Pestilence & Famine. (Rev. 6:5)
- Pale horse (of the apocalypse) called Death and Hell. (Rev. 6:8)
- Tribulation Saints, souls representing those who were martyred for their testimony of the Word of God. (Rev. 6:9-11)
- Great earthquake, sun/black, moon/red, stars of heaven (fallen angels) fall to earth, heaven departing as a scroll, every mountain and island moved out their place (great earthquake). (Rev. 6:12-14)
- Silence in Heaven for about half an hour, 7 angels given 7 trumpets for the next wraths, prayers of saints ascending to the throne of God, censer filled with fire from the alter cast to earth, voices, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. (Rev. 8:1-6)
Commentary: First series of the three (3) wraths characterized as strong wrath. God is starting to dole out his wrath on the earth and sinful mankind. It starts with the appearance of the antichrist who promises false peace to those who follow him. God allows mankind’s sinfulness to run its course via wars, the famine and pestilence that always follows war, and ultimatley death that follows. The Seven (7) book seals are unique because God is allowing man to war against man as a means of God’s wrath. The other wraths that follow in Revelation are predominately aimed at the earth and mankind directly by God via supernatural means. In the seven (7) books seals, God does introduce supernatural wonders in the heavens and the earth. The last seal judgement (7th) is somewhat of an enigma as to what it represents. I will suggest relatively simple interpretations. This seal indicats a brief interlude between what just happened on earth resulting from the book seal judgements to the next series (7 trumpets) of wrath. It is almost as if the heavely host were given a chance to catch their breath from what they just witnessed in anticipation of what is to come next. The heavenly host know that forthcoming judgement will be much worse than what was just witnessed and being experienced on earth. This brief interlude also provides emphasis that God is now giving seven angels special trumpets that when blown, will unless the next catastrophes. The passage that talks about the prayers of the saints ascending to the throne of God, has a very simple and practical application. As a result of the redemptive process throughout Revelation, God takes this specifically mentioned time to listen to his saints being perscuted and crying out for judgement against the beast and his system during the Tribulation. These prayers are specifically offered up to the throne of God.
Seven-fold Creation Praise of the Lamb:
… “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and praise.” (Rev. 5:12).(Emphasis added).
Commentary: The prior and following verses (Rev.5:11,13) describe an inmeasurable number of angels, four living creatures, the twenty-four (24) elders, every type of creature and creation forming a circle of worship around the throne. The first four descriptions are qualities that the Lamb posseses and the last three describe the response of the worshipers. The Lamb demonstrates his power and strength by conquering evil through his sacrificial death. The Lamb’s wealth indicates He is the giver of life. The Lamb’s wisdom illustrates his cooperation with God’s plan to offer salvation to the world through the cross and resurrection. The worshipers respond to the Lamb by giving him honor and glory and praise, and worship that is normally reserved for God is now offered to the Lamb (Rev. 4:11, 5:13, 7:12). As just referenced in these verses, the series of praise and worship is offered to the Lamb/Christ three times! The number three indicates emphasis and intensity!
Seven-fold Reference of White Raiment/Robes/Linen to Righteousness:
- … “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Rev. 3:4-5). (Emphasis added).
- … “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Rev. 3:18). (Emphasis added).
- … “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).
- …: ”And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that sould be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Rev. 6:11). (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 with white robes, and palms in their hands; … And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:9, 13, 14). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.” (Rev. 15:6). (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. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Rev. 19:7-8). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: In John’s Revelation of Jesus Christ, white rainment, linens or robes are used as metaphors for having, and describing the righteousness of Christ. Who are these people that are described as having white raiment, linens or robes? Rev. 3:4-5 indicates that they are overcomers (those who remain faithful to Christ until the end of their lives). Rev. 4:4 indicates that they are the 24 crowned elders around the throne of God. These crowned elders represent a select group of redeemed saints from throughout the ages (they are not angels) and are part of God’s divine council of government. The number twelve (12) denotes a divinely constituted organization either in heaven or on earth. The number twenty-four (24) denontes God’s abundant (doubled) organizational arrangement (12×2).. The verses surrounding Rev. 6:11 indicate that these people who received white robes and were told to wait a little longer are the “Tribulation Saints martryed/beheaded for their belief and witness to Christ.” (Rev. 15:6) indicates these are the “righteous seven angels who pour out God’s wrath in the seven last vial plagues.” (Rev. 19:7-8) clearly indicates this group of people is the “Bride (church) of the Lamb”, which his redeemed people from the past, present and near future (until the Tribulation).
Seven-fold Acknowledgement of the Tribulation Saints (Martyrs):
- … “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.“ (Rev. 6:9-11). (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 death.“ (Rev. 12:11). (Emphasis added).
- … “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Rev. 13:15). (Emphasis added).
- … “ Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” (Rev. 14:12-13). (Emphasis added).
- … “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, having the harps of God.“ (Rev. 15:2). (Emphasis added).
- … “For true and righteous are his judgements: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.“ (Rev. 19:2). (Emphasis added).
- … “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement was given unto them: and I saw souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.“ (Rev. 20:4). (Emphasis added).
Commentary: The Bible makes it abundantly clear that the Tribulation Saints are those people that become Christians during the period of the Antichrist’s reign on earth, over the seven (7) year period. How do they become Saints in the eyes of Christ? They believe in and accept Christ as their Savior and for the forgiveness of their sins. They do NOT take the mark of the beast or the antichrist. They do NOT worship the beast/antichrist. They do NOT worship his image. They DO witness to the word of God and Jesus. They ARE martryed by beheading for believing in Jesus and witnessing for Him. They DO share in many of blessings and rewards that are also awarded to Christians from the Church Age (at the Rapture/Harpazo and Bema Seat Judgement). There is a very clear distinction between Christians redeemed by Christ prior to the Tribulation period, and those Christians redeemed during the Tribulation period. It is clear that they have to come to a saving grace knowledge of Jesus Christ, withstood the best efforts of Satan/Antichrist/False Prophet to thwart their salvation, and are beheaded for their belief and witnessing in Jesus Christ.
Seven-fold Worship of God by the Twenty-four (24) Elders:
- … “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, Though 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 when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders felldown 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 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 four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God.” (Rev. 7:11-13). (Emphasis added).
- … “And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God.” (Rev. 11:16). (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: The number twelve (12) denotes a divinely constituted organization either in heaven or on earth. The number twenty-four (24) denontes God’s abundant (doubled) organizational arrangement (12 x 2). Many eschatalogists believe that 12 elders are from the Old Testament and 12 are from the New Testament. However, I believe the Bible is silent on this. The 7 passages of worship describe what the 24 elders look like, where they are, what they are doing and why they are doing it. They are clothed in white raiment and have golden crowns on their heads. This suggests that they are a very special, select group of redeemed people from throughout the ages who received their righteousness through Christ and were each awarded any number of five (5) crowns that were promised to all believers (Crown of Righteousness – 2 Tim.4:8, Crown of Rejoicing – 1 Thessalonians 2:19, Imperishable Crown – 1 Cor. 9:24-25, Crown of Glory – 1 Peter 5:4, Crown of Life – Rev. 2:10). Rev. 4:4 also states that these crowns were gold. These gold crowns are promised to men/women, and not angels. Using an analogy from the sports world that most of us are familiar with, I liken these twenty-four (24) elders to Christ’s ‘MVPs’ (most valuable players) on his team throughout the ages. This doesn’t mean that he loves these people more than you or me. He loves everyone equally, both sinner and saint. MVPs in sports are rewarded and acknowledged for their exemplary accomplishments for the benefit of the team. Rather, I believe the descriptions of the twenty-four (24) elders suggests that at some point in history, they played a very special role and had a very special outcome for the benefit of Christ’s Kingdom. All the verses surrounding the Bema Seat judgement indicate that every Christian believer will receive awards (or have some of their potential rewards witheld), based on what they did (good works, fruit of the spirit) during their brief time on earth for the benefit of Christ.
The acts of worhip then continue indicating that these elders fall down and worhsip God/Christ. Prostrating oneself before God is showing divine worship by physically acknowledging God’s rule on his throne. They acknowledge and testify to the entire heavenly host (angels and saints) that God and Christ are worthy to be worshipped because He lives forever. These twenty-four (24) elders also publicly recognize and acknowledge God’s glory, honour and power (holy attributes). Next, they cast their crowns before Him. No, they are not given their crowns back to Christ or casting them aside. They remove their crowns to publicly acknowledge and admit that they were nothing, without Christ. They only have these crowns because of what Christ did for them and what the Holy Spirit did through them. I believe there is a two-fold intent for the casting of crowns at God’s throne. First, this is a heavenly public display and reminder that everyone, who has been saved, is in heaven because of God’s gift of mercy and salvation through Jesus Christ. Regardless of whether or not all of us receive one crown or another (or none), we are only in heaven because of what Christ did for all of us. Even these greatest, ‘MVP’ saints of Christ humbly acknowledge their redeemed status by casting their crowns at the throne of God, acknowledging from where these crowns originated. Secondly, the act of physically removing crowns and placing them around the throne of God serves as a unique form of worship to God and Christ. A golden crown(s) would be briliant and shimmering greatly in heaven’s light, giving off blinding glory. The act of placing golden, shimmering crowns around the throne of God has the affect of figuratively and literally giving Him glory!
Next in the series of worship, the twenty-four (24) elders are descried as having harps (musical instruments) and vials full of the prayers of saints. This suggests that now, the elders are presenting and giving to God two things that are very pleasing to Him. First, music is a form of worship that pleases God. Secondly, the prayers of saints please God because they are evidence that his children are communicating with him and acknowledging who HE is (our Father). We don’t know if the vials are literal or symbolic. However, the point is that these elders somehow possess supernaturally the prayers of Christians and then present these to God as worship. Obviously, God/Jesus already know who pray to Him. However, the public display of presenting these prayers to God, also acknowledges his glory and worthiness to receive the prayers. Prayers are a form of worship and should only be directed at God and Christ. The last several verses that describe the twenty-four (24) elders worshipping God/Christ indicate that they fell on their faces.This is one of the common themes or acts of worship in the sevenfold throne room acts worship of God. “I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” (Isaiah 45:23).(emphasis added). Now, the twenty-four (24) elders appear to be worshipping God/Christ at a higher, more intense level by actually falling onto their faces. Knees bowing and faces falling are physical acts of worship.
Last, but not least, tucked away in these verses are strange references to four beasts (or creatures). Other verses attempt to describe what these beasts look like. Their role, like those of the twenty-four (24) elders, appears to be that of worshipping God. These creatures are clearly not redeemed saints or angels, but a unique creation of God, which live in heaven. In the sevenfold worship of God/Christ, these beasts serve a specific role and place in worshipping. They were created to have the ability to worship God since he created them as well as us (and they perhaps have the ability for other forms of heavenly service, as well). Why would heavenly beasts be included in the sevenfold worship of God? Not only is it right for men to worship God, but the rest of his creation will acknowledge and worship him, both heavenly and earthly created beings.
8 References to ‘BE WATCHING or WATCHFUL.’ ‘8’ indicates that a new ‘era or epoch’ is arriving. Be it the rapture, the tribulation, the year of the Jews redemption or the year of the onset (2028/29) of the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ (2028/29-3028/29).
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.
Categories: Twenty-Four Elders
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