Summary: Study of the Book of Revelation
Revelation, Part 6
We have looked closely at the church age – the first three chapters of Revelation were an open book for us. They were a guideline of how we should make corrections as needed in God’s eyes – and we have seen specifically the things that God does NOT support in a church.
We have also been given a glimpse of Heaven as John saw it in Chapter 1 – but today we shall be looking further into Heaven and seeing what waits those who will one day see this very place.
While we are examining this glimpse today, I want you to keep one question in mind. I want you to think to yourself, “How will you feel when you are standing in the throne room of the true and living God?”
Read Verse 1-11
I. The view of the Throne Room
v1 - After finishing writing the letters to the church - John is brought into the very throne room of grace
v2 - In the Spirit means he was one with the Spirit, full of the Spirit --
Given a view of the throne, and the one who truly sits on it (Rev 20 11-12)
This throne is the mercy seat -- it is NOT the one Jesus sits on before the great judgment discussed in Rev 20. It is where He is today, while offering grace and mercy to those that would accept Him. It is where He is - as He intercedes on your behalf with the Father.
If you died right now, you would see this very throne and Him on it.
v3 - John writes so that we can understand (in things that he sees so that we can appreciate the glory of God. Take special note of the visuals he gives us: rainbow, jasper, carnelian, and emeralds – PRECIOUS JEWELS!
II. The 24 Elders
v4 - The word never really gives us a clear view as to who these are, but there are several theories.
Some say they are angels - although I tend to disagree:
It says they are elders - I cannot find the word ever applied to angels. An elder is commonly referred to as someone senior to you, with wisdom and knowledge.
They sit on thrones and wear crowns - You never will find an angel wearing a crown or destined to rule as the thrones imply. On the other hand we are told throughout the Bible that the righteous shall inherit and rule the earth, including the twelve apostles sitting on twelve thrones ruling each of the twelve tribes
Luke 22:30 says “so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
These crowns are not diadem crowns worn by those who are royal (kings of this earth).
These crowns are the stephanos crowns, the crowns of an over-comer; one who has survived this life by being faithful to Christ – this is the type of crown given as a reward to the members of the church at their Death.
White garments - If they are righteous glorified men in Heaven, this is what they ought to be wearing (according to Rev 19:8) as the clothing at the Marriage Supper.
So, from these clues the twenty-four elders must represent the church saints. If this is true, then they provide further evidence for a pre-tribulation Rapture. The church is already in heaven in chapter four and five before the tribulation begins in chapter six.
These elders could represent the OT and NT church, as indicated by the number twenty four …. One from each of the twelve tribes + the twelve apostles.
Part of the background is found in Dan 7:9-14 in which there is a heavenly court and thrones were set in place and the Ancient of days took his seat.
"As I looked, "thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. "Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)
v5 – Authority in heaven. When thunder rolls, you pay attention. Note the lamps at the throne – there are 7 of them.