God being purposefully ambiguous about the elders?

newtofaith

Well-Known Member
I have read everything I can about the elders. I believe that they are the raptured saints but many others feel differently.
I think, perhaps, God decided to keep the identity of these elders secret to test our faith in him. If he had specifically said that they were the raptured/saved saints then a lot of people might turn to Jesus simply to escape and not through faith and love.
Does that make any sense?
Maybe his ambiguity is another level of testing our faith before the tribulation begins?
 

Saved and Waiting

Well-Known Member
from Jack Kelley Grace thru faith website:

Question: Who are the 24 elders in Revelation 4:4 wearing white raiment with crowns on their heads?

Answer: These 24 elders confuse some people, but they shouldn’t. Their appearance gives them away. They have thrones, so they’re rulers. They surround the Throne of God, so they’re assisting Him. They’re seated, so their work is done. They’re dressed in white, so they’re righteous. They’re wearing the Greek “stephanos” crown, so they’re victors, overcomers. They’re called Elders, a title associated more with Christianity than Judaism. I think we have a pretty strong case for them representing the Church.

When King David realized that the number of priests in Israel was too large for effective service in the Tabernacle, he separated them into 24 rotating groups. These smaller groups were sufficient to carry out the necessary duties and represented the entire priesthood while on duty. 24 is a multiple of 12, a number that represents government.

I think God has done the same thing and in Revelation 4 these 24 elders represent the newly raptured Church beginning our rule and reign with Christ. All the Old Testament views of the Throne of God show only one throne with the exception of Daniel 7:9 which is an end times view, so these elders can’t be some special order of angelic or human rulers in place from the beginning. They appear a total of 12 times throughout the Book of Revelation, and only there, and are always in Heaven.
 

newtofaith

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the replies. I have read so much about the elders but I have learnt more today. That is why it is so good to ask RR friends :)
Just one final question: are there any other people that would rule and reign with Christ? I know that angels do not but are there any other beings in the heavenly sphere that do?
 

newtofaith

Well-Known Member
I'm so sorry Saved and Waiting, I read your post again and you clearly explained that they cannot be other rulers. Thank you.
I am glad that we will potentially be rotating. I feel concerned that seven years of ruling will be exhausting!!! I think we'll need a little rest if the world continues at this pace.
Thank you so much for your reply. It has really helped me.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
from Jack Kelley Grace thru faith website:

Question: Who are the 24 elders in Revelation 4:4 wearing white raiment with crowns on their heads?

Answer: These 24 elders confuse some people, but they shouldn’t. Their appearance gives them away. They have thrones, so they’re rulers. They surround the Throne of God, so they’re assisting Him. They’re seated, so their work is done. They’re dressed in white, so they’re righteous. They’re wearing the Greek “stephanos” crown, so they’re victors, overcomers. They’re called Elders, a title associated more with Christianity than Judaism. I think we have a pretty strong case for them representing the Church.

When King David realized that the number of priests in Israel was too large for effective service in the Tabernacle, he separated them into 24 rotating groups. These smaller groups were sufficient to carry out the necessary duties and represented the entire priesthood while on duty. 24 is a multiple of 12, a number that represents government.

I think God has done the same thing and in Revelation 4 these 24 elders represent the newly raptured Church beginning our rule and reign with Christ. All the Old Testament views of the Throne of God show only one throne with the exception of Daniel 7:9 which is an end times view, so these elders can’t be some special order of angelic or human rulers in place from the beginning. They appear a total of 12 times throughout the Book of Revelation, and only there, and are always in Heaven.

I agree with Jack. :)
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
Thank you for the replies. I have read so much about the elders but I have learnt more today. That is why it is so good to ask RR friends :)
Just one final question: are there any other people that would rule and reign with Christ? I know that angels do not but are there any other beings in the heavenly sphere that do?

Only the Church will rule and rein with Christ. I don't know of any other scriptures that speak of any thing different.
 

newtofaith

Well-Known Member
Sorry me again. Isn't it interesting that 12 represents government but God knew he couldn't use that number as so many would think the elders were the apostles. So, he used a multiple of 12 to ensure that we weren't misdirected.
Fabulous.
 

newtofaith

Well-Known Member
Thank you Chris. For me the elders representation of the church is the number one reason I believe the rapture is before the tribulation. That is why I have to keep seeking answers about this. This thread has cemented my faith in the elders being us!!! Marvellous.
 

Batman

Well-Known Member
I've always felt the 24 were 24 actual humans, even if 12 of them were or were not the Disciples/Apostles and another 12 were others that got chosen by Christ. It doesn't really matter to me if it's 24 distinct NT believers or if it is symbolic of the entire NT church.
 

katt

Well-Known Member
I have read everything I can about the elders. I bkoielieve that they are the raptured saints but many others feel differently.
I think, perhaps, God decided to keep the identity of these elders secret to test our faith in him. If he had specifically said that they were the raptured/saved saints then a lot of people might turn to Jesus simply to escape and not through faith and love.
Does that make any sense?
Maybe his ambiguity is another level of testing our faith before the tribulation begins?
When the book of Jude says this:

Jude 1:23
"And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."

Which basically means, scare them into heaven, I'm not to sure God really cares how we get them there or why they choose to believe, as long as they do believe and choose to come. Some place else it tells us to compell them, meaning, get on your hands and knees and beg them if that's what it takes, God is truely not willing that any should parish.
 
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katt

Well-Known Member
I think he was referring to the forum that actually existed on the rapture ready website but no longer does.

The website is still running as you say .
I am quite confused, I thought this was the rapture ready website, it explains why my profile says I've only been here since 2018 when I know I registered way back before 2004...
 

JustLikeHeaven

Well-Known Member
Sorry me again. Isn't it interesting that 12 represents government but God knew he couldn't use that number as so many would think the elders were the apostles. So, he used a multiple of 12 to ensure that we weren't misdirected.
Fabulous.
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that God is ALWAYS intentional!
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
I am quite confused, I thought this was the rapture ready website, it explains why my profile says I've only been here since 2018 when I know I registered way back before 2004...
There used to be both a Rapture Ready website and forums. But the RR forums closed down because the software they were using has problems.

Todd has a link on the front page of RR that says "RR Forums" which used to point to the RR forums. However, when the RR forums closed down, he changed the link to point to our forums. I used to help out with the RR forums before it closed. I've always had a good relationship with Todd. We run very similar ministries.

I hope that clears things up.
 

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
I always thought the 24 Elders were the 12 Disciples and the 12 fathers of the 12 Israelite tribes.
Never thought about it in great depth, though, so I'll look at what I have available to me at the moment . . .


Henry Morris Study Bible (KJV) comments about Revelation 4:4

"4:4 four and twenty elders. These elders are redeemed men (4:9-10), representing all the redeemed saints before God"s throne. They are actually individual real men, not just symbols, for they speak individually to John (5:5, 7:13). The term "elder" always im[lies relative chronological age, as well as official position, so it seems at least possible that these are the true "elders" of the human race--that is, the 24 patriarchs whose names are given in the Book of Genesis ("Beginnings") as in the line of promise leading ultimately to the incarnate Creator and Redeemer. These 24 elders in chronological order would be Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and Pharaz."


Lutheran Study Bible (ESV) comments about Revelation 4:4

"twenty four thrones . . . elders. Representatives of the 12 tribes of Israel plus the 12 apostles of Jesus. Together they represent all God's people from both OT and NT times. See "elder," p. 228" "elder Hibr zagen, term related to "beard" (more)


Hal Lindsey (There's a New World Coming: An In-Depth Analysis of the Book of Revelation) comments about Revelation 4:4

"The identity of these twenty-four enthroned Elders is not certain. Many Bible scholars feel that they are a special group of angels that minister to God and assist in the administration of the universe. That's a possibility, but I believe that they are representative of the Church. Twenty-four is the number associated with priestly service and is symbolic of the Church operating in is role as priest. You'll notice that these twenty-four enthroned Elders are clothed in white and wearing gold crowns." (more)


Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (ACCS) in e-Sword comments about Revelation 4:4

"Revelation 4:4
Twenty-four Thrones and Twenty-four Elders

The Elders Represent the Church of the Old and New Testaments.
Victorinus of Petovium: And there were twenty-four elders who had twenty-four tribunals. These are the books of the prophets and of the law which give the testimonies of the judgment. However, these twenty-four fathers are also the twelve apostles and the twelve patriarchs. Commentary on the Apocalypse 4.3. [CSEL 49:50.]

Symbols of the Whole Church.
Tyconius: The elders represent the whole church, as we learn through Isaiah, “The Lord has reigned in Zion and in Jerusalem, and he will be glorified in the presence of his elders.” [Isa_24:23.] However, the twenty-four includes at the same time both leaders and people, as though duplicating the twelve tribes of Israel on account of the two Testaments. For the very same church is established in both the old and in the new, since he shows the church in the twelve apostles, namely, the entire body of leaders. And so we discover Jerusalem in the description of the city descending from heaven. The twenty-four thrones, considered by way of a distribution of offices, are twelve, since also the leaders of the twelve tribes will be advanced. And the twelve thrones, considered by way of a mystical number, is one throne, where from comes the church. For the Lord Christ is alone the one who will sit in judgment. However, the church also will sit and does sit judging the twelve tribes, but she will do this in Christ in whom is the whole [church]. Therefore, the members will sit and judge, but in one head and through one head. Commentary on the Apocalypse 4.4. [CCL 92:48. This passage is based on Tyconius. Primasius adds that the twenty-four may also refer to that perfection that comes by the clear preaching of the gospel, for four sixes make twenty-four.]

The Patriarchs and Apostles.
Apringius of Beja: Most evidently John has described the chorus of the patriarchs and of the apostles, who sit upon the chair of holy doctrine. These he calls “elders,” that is, “fathers,” and they are clothed in white garments, that is, they are clothed in works of righteousness and in purity. They carry upon their heads golden crowns, for they have been made victors in present struggles, since that evil enemy, the devil, has been thrown down, and they have received their crowns from the Lord. Concerning this crown, the vessel of election says: “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on the day, and not only to me but also to those who love his appearing.” [2Ti_4:7-8.] Tractate on the Apocalypse 4.4. [CCL 107:61.]

Saints of the Old and New Testaments.
Oecumenius: God alone, who knows every mystery, and that person to whom he might reveal it, might know the identity of the twenty-four elders who are seated upon the thrones. But in my own opinion there was Abel, and Enoch and Noah, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, Melchizedek and Job, Moses and Aaron, Joshua the son of Nun and Samuel, David, Elijah and Elisha, the twelve minor prophets who are accounted as one, Isaiah and Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, Zachariah and John, James the son of Joseph and Stephen, the two martyrs of the New Testament. One might have mentioned Peter and Paul and James, the brother of John whom Herod killed with the sword, and the rest of the choir of the holy apostles, had not the Lord promised them that not at the present time but at the regeneration they would sit upon twelve thrones, these clearly being different thrones than the ones mentioned above. Commentary on the Apocalypse 4.4-6. [TEG 8:107-8. Andrew of Caesarea mentions the interpretation of Oecumenius, only to reject it. He agrees rather with the interpretation of Apringius: the twelve patriarchs and the twelve apostles are meant.]"


Currently, no access to LaHaye, Grant Jeffrey, or John Hagee Prophecy Study Bibles, or Complete Jewish Bible to see their comments about Revelation 4:4. The Orthodox Study Bible has no footnote about Revelation 4:4


:pray :pray :amen :amen
 
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