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Book of Revelation - 24 Elders
Property of Lion of Judah
Starting at 14:00 – 38:47

 

The 24 elders[1], in Revelation 4:

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

4 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.

And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

John the Revelator stands and is looking from time into eternity.  He has his feet on earth but is looking into heaven.  This is a phenomenon that is unfathomable for us because we are time bound.  Eternity is outside the perception of humanity but John is given the opportunity to stand and look through an open door.  But here we see John being invited to enter into the realm controlled by Jesus and that could have only been opened by the one who holds the keys.  Jesus speaks to John in chapter 3 and makes this self-disclosing truth. 

These are the words of Him who is Holy and True, who holds the keys of David.  What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.  Heaven is the home of the one who is Holy and True.  His name is Jesus.

After all we are told in Matthew, I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  The only one who can give us the key is the one who owns it. He unlocks heaven for John to see and then calls him to come inside.  By now John would be familiar with the voice that is speaking to him. He had spent the last few chapters writing on his behalf. Undoubtedly since the narrative in this apocalypse continues, John went up and beheld what would take place. John declares that he was in the Spirit as he received these revelations.  On a side note, it is important to mention that some are divided as to whether John was talking about being in his spirit or being in the Holy Spirit.  I believe the revelator was referring to the Holy Spirit since this was a moment of inspiration when God is breathing His divine scripture into the mind of the Apostle.  No, John is in the Holy Spirit.  He is indwelt by the Spirit of God.

As the next few verses unfold the revelation John receives is coherent and orderly.  In our passage John immediately sees the Throne and the one sitting on it.  He doesn’t describe the form or features of the one sitting on the Throne but gives a description akin to that of a prince or monarch.  The one who occupies the throne appears like Jasper which is an “opoch”??, impure variety of quads of red, yellow and also of some dull colors breaking with a smooth surface.  The color here is not designated, whether red or yellow, although red was however the common color worn by princes.  It is probable that was the color that appeared and that John means to say “He appeared like a prince in his royal robes”.  He is one who Isaiah saw high and lifted with his robe filling the temple.  The sardine stone is a precious stone of a blood red appearance.  It complements the jasper and is another denotation of the majesty of the one occupying the throne.  He who sat on the throne was that of a prince in his scarlet robes.  Daniel speaking of him states “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.”  Both of these apocalyptic writers had visions of the glory of the throne. 

As the future that God reveals to John progresses, he sees 24 crowned elders sitting on 24 thrones.  These elders are not of a heavenly denotation.  They are not living creatures separated from humans, nor are they described as celestial spirits.  The 4 and 20 elders are not angels. The term elder is never used for angels and if you notice in Revelation 5:11-14, they are distinguished from angels. 

11 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;

12 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.

13 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.

14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

These elders are not angels.  The elders are seen to have golden crowns.  The golden crowns worn by the elders also indicate these are men, not angels.  Crowns are never promised to angels nor are elders ever seen wearing them.  The word translated crown here refers to the victor’s crown worn by those who have successfully competed and won the victory as Christ promised.  Here are some verses where crowns are promised to human believers.  James 1:12

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love  him.

2 Timothy 4:8

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Revelation 2:10

 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

The bible clearly gives us evidence that these elders are humans.  In the other visions of heaven in Isaiah and Ezekiel, there was only the Throne and the 4 Living Creatures, there were no 24 elders.  If the 24 elders were angels, then they would’ve been in the visions of heaven in Isaiah and Ezekiel.  It is significant that the 24 elders are seen in the New Testament and not in the Old Testament.  It may also be significant that the elders and their thrones are not mentioned after Revelation 19:7-9.  From that point the Church is seen as the Bride of Christ and evidently sits together with Christ on His Throne

The Book of Revelations is a part of the bible that a lot of Christians find hard to understand.  Therefore, a lot of people avoid the Book of Revelations.  There are a total of 66 books in the bible but there is only one book that promises some kind of a special blessing for those who attempt to try and read it and keep the words and keep the revelation and knowledge contained in it and that one book is the very last book of the bible.  Revelations 1:3,

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Revelation 7:1

And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

There are many things that John had written which are to happen, leading up to the Second Coming of Christ.  Even though the Book of Revelation may seem like it is hard to understand, with the help of the Holy Spirit you will be able to understand everything that is written in it.  In an attempt to explain the Book of Revelation to people, we shouldn’t add to it to suit ourselves or to benefit ourselves.  Revelation 22:18-19 states:

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

We must teach people according to how the word is written.  One of these things John wrote is the four angels on the four corners of the earth.  The word corner has brought about different arguments in the science and Christian communities.  When John said “four angels on the four corners of the earth”, he meant four angels surrounding the earth.  The four angels surrounding the earth simply means they are standing on the north, south, east and west:  the four cardinal points.  If we look at this verse of the bible what these angels are, is not documented, their names nor where they come from?  Who they are is not important?  What is important is the task that they were given to do and that is why their task has been stated in Revelation 7:1?  What we should ask ourselves is what is the work of these four angels.  Why are they surrounding the earth?  Why are they standing at these four points?

You see every angel that appears in the Book of Revelation has their job to do, a specific purpose.  They are not mentioned for no reason, but they all have specific roles.  Some of them are praising God.  One was showing John around.  Some of them are blowing trumpets.  Some are there to bring the earth to its climax.  For instance, we see three angels in the Book of Revelations out there preaching the gospel but what we do know is that every angel that is mentioned has a specific job to do.  If we look at the first verse of Rev. 7:1 very closely, these angels are holding the four winds from blowing on the earth.  What are these four winds?  Lets look back in the bible.   The four winds represent God’s judgment.  We see in the bible in his pledge to destroy Elam, God said in Jeremiah 49:36,

36 And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.

Like John Daniel also saw in a vision the four winds of heaven.  He states in Daniel 7:2 that they were stirring up the great sea which meant Mediterranean Sea. 

Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea.

So we see here in Revelation during the four angels delay there is no wind that would arise to even shake a tree.  There would be no wind to arise to even shake a tree because of these four angels.  We see in Revelation 5 when the Lamb took the scroll with the 7 seals and the seals were being opened one after the other, one after the other.  In chapter 6 we will see the kinds of creatures that came out of the seal as they were opened.  After 6 of these seals were opened that was when we are introduced to these four angels and if you follow the order of the bible, another angel came through and told these four angels something that they must do in Revelation 7:2-4:

Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea

So here the bible paints us a picture where another angel flies from the east to these four angels to tell them something.  Now the next logical question for us to ask is what did this fifth angel tell these four angels?  Revelation 7:3 answers this:

 saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”

There is one thing this angel wants to do.  He wants to give some set of people the seal of God.  This set of people are the selected 144,000 from the Tribes of Israel.  Who are these 144,000 people?  Why are they selected?  What happened to the other people on earth?  What about me?  What about you?  This will all be addressed in my next sermon.  Now lets go back to the purpose of this fifth angel that came to address these four angels.  The angel has the seal of God in his hands.  What is the seal of God?  In Revelation 14:1 it states:

Then I looked, and behold, [a]a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, [b]having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.

 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:

This seal of God has the name of God in it; it is the name of God written clearly on it and nothing else.  In Revelation 7:3 we see where the seal would be placed is on the forehead which confirms that the seal is the name of God on the foreheads of the 144,000 selected people.  After reading these verses in the bible about the four angels and what they were there to do and the reason they were standing at the different four points, I deviated a bit and asked myself if the wind stopped blowing what would happen?  If the air that moves the high current on the earth, going to and from different points and stops moving, what will happen to the earth? 

According to Natural Geographic the energy that drives the wind originates with the sun which heats the earth unevenly creating warm and cool spots.  Wind over the sea occurs when inland areas heat up on a sunny afternoon.  This warms the air, causing it to rise.  Cool air rushes from the ocean to take its place and that in its simple sense is how wind is born.  The immediate ceasing of all wind on earth would cause untold devastation.  We rely on the wind for mild temperatures, seed dispersal, polination and long-awaited rain in dry regions.  The absence of wind to circulate both warm and cold weather around the world would result in a land of extremes.  Land far away from large bodies of water would become deserts.  Mass migration would be an inevitable result of this as people will try to escape extreme weathers.  Famine and food shortages would spread around the world rapidly.  The wind is an important thing on the earth but when the bible mentions the wind, it means something else.  It symbolizes destruction.  For instance, my earlier example of the judgment of Elam in Jeremiah 49:36, the wind might be a good thing but when God decides to use the wind, sometimes it is for destruction.

We see this even in mother nature.  Have you ever seen how terrifying a tornado is?  It has the capability to destroy absolutely everything in its path so yes, the wind is a wonderful thing but it can also be used for destruction.  This is what the four angels will do.  These four angels will stop because of God’s elect.  As we see in Matthew 24:31, the tribulation that was to befall the earth was on hold because of God’s elect.  The revelation about the four angels should not be new to us if we were reading the book because Jesus had already talked about this in Matthew 24:31.

31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His [a]elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Jesus did not just talk about the winds, but he talked about saving the elected ones from this incident of the wind that is about to happen.  In the Book of Revelation, the four angels will allow wind to blow on earth and will cause the tribulation of the earth to be delayed but Jesus said the elected ones would be saved.  After pondering this I realized that it doesn’t matter the evil that will happen in the world, it doesn’t matter the wreck that the devil might want to cause in this world.  If you are a child of God, it will be put to hold because of you.  These angels could have started to do their work and stopped the wind on the earth, but the fifth angel came and told them they cannot stop the wind until the 144,000 was sealed.  The seal is a stamp that has the name of God on it. 

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened.  When the Children of Israel were in the land of Egypt God ordered Pharaoh to let them go and Pharaoh refused.  That night the death angel came, and we all know what happened.  But interestingly the death angel passed over the homes of all who put a sign on their doors, hence the name “Passover”.  Now are you scared anytime you read the Book of Revelation or is the book getting you prepared for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Don’t read the book because you want to know what will happen alone but because you want to constantly remind yourself that you must be part of those that will be caught up in heaven with Christ.  You must make sure that you don’t miss your steps.  The bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:12

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

Keep standing in Christ so that you do not fall and miss out on the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Hi guys, for more of my sermons and Part 2 to this sermon, please subscribe to my youtube channel.  The link is in the description. 


 

[1] There are different opinions on who the 24 elders are so it’s up to you to find the truth as you continue studying. 

 

 

 

 

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