ESV - 4 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.
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Who are the 24 elders? We have evidence that many saints were resurrected after Jesus resurrection (Matthew. 27: 52- 53; 1Cor. 15: 20, 23; Eph. 4: 8- 10). These saints are 24 elders seated in the throne room of God as John had seen them in Heaven. ► Evidence that "elders" represent redeemed saints ➊ Greek:presbuteros (G4245), elder. It is never used of angels (Acts 14:23). ➋ They are distinguished from angels in Rev. 5:11- 14. ➌ They have crowns and sit on thrones, which are promised redeemed people (Rev. 2:10; 3:21; 20:4; Mt. 19:28; 1Cor. 9:25- 27 2Tim. 4:8). ➍ These saints are in glorified bodies as they already received the crowns and in white raiment. ➎ These 24 elders must exclude Elijah and Enoch who are in the natural bodies in Heaven ➏ Angels are never seen in Revelation on thrones or wearing crowns. Angels are mentioned with thrones only in Isa. 14:12- 14; Col. 1:16. ➐ They wear white raiment, which is used only in Revelation of Christ and saints (Rev. 3:5, 18; 6:11; 7:9, 13; 15:6; 19:8, 14). ➑ The white raiments also symbolize the righteousness of saints in the next life (Rev. 19:8). ➒ It is clear from Rev. 1:1; 5:5- 7 7:13- 15 19:10; 22:8- 9 that one of the elders is the person showing John the Revelation, and that he is a redeemed man. ➓ If one of them is a man, then all 24 are men. Since they are redeemed men and in heaven on thrones all through the time of the fulfillment of Rev. 4-- Rev. 22, they must have been raptured before that. ► Why Twenty- four Elders? The following facts are clear: ➊ The whole priesthood of old was represented by 24 elders (1Chr. 24:1- 9) ➋ It is not the 1st time that mankind were allowed visions of God's throne. Isaiah 6:1-5, Micaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel were given visions of God's throne Ezekiel 1,10 Daniel 7:9-14,22 none of these prophet ever describes seeing these Elders. It is obvious these Elder's appearance is an addition to the throne room of God AFTER the time of Daniel. So it must be after Christ’s resurrection ➋ We have evidence that many saints were resurrected after Jesus resurrection (Matthew. 27: 52- 53; 1Cor. 15: 20, 23; Eph. 4: 8- 10). ► What are they doing? ➊ They sit on thrones (Rev. 4:4; 19:7- 8). ➋ They worship God (Rev. 4:9- 11 5:8- 10). ➌ They clothed in white raiment(Rev 4:4; Rev 3:4) ➍ They cast crowns before God (Rev. 4:10). ➎ They fall prostrate before God (Rev. 4:10; 5:8, 14; 11:16; 19:4). ➏ They sing and play harps (Rev. 5:8- 10). ➐ They act as priests (Rev. 5:8). ➑They give John the Revelation (Rev. 5:5; 7:13- 14).
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