Revelation 4:10-11

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Rev 4:10  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,
Rev 4:11  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.
Introduction

We have spent several weeks demonstrating that the 24 elders of Rev 4:4 are the same as the four beasts of Rev 4:8.

Rev 4:4  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.
Rev 4:8  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.

Last week we showed that the seraphims are six winged serpents who are found to be serving the exact same function as the four cherubims who are later in Rev 4:8 seen to also have six wings, but are called “four beasts.” So both the four beasts and the seraphims, have six wings, both say ‘Holy, holy, holy,’ to the Lord, both the four living creatures and the seraphims are commissioned to handle the coals of fire, and both have ‘hands.’

Isa 6:3  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
Isa 6:6  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
Isa 6:7  And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
Eze 10:2  And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight.
Eze 10:6  And it came to pass, that when he had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels.
Eze 10:7  And one cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubims unto the fire that was between the cherubims, and took thereof, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen: who took it, and went out.

The point God is making is that His elect “live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”  We are one and all, of this earth. We all are come “out of the ground” and were all, “in time past, children of disobedience” who were brought ‘out of darkness into the light.’ We were ‘beasts of the earth,’ and ‘of our father the devil’ before we became ‘the children of God.’ We all “abode in wrath” all the time we lived as “the children of disobedience… children of wrath, even as others.”

Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [ give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:9  But ye [ are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Col 3:5  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6  For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7  In the which [ wrath] ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
Col 3:8  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Joh 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

These “seraphims… four living creatures… four cherubims… four beasts… four and twenty elders,” plainly declare that they are those who were redeemed from among men and will “rule on earth.” Of that there can be no doubt.

Rev 5:8  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 5:9  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 5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

What is the spiritual significance of “four and twenty?”

The only thing we have not yet covered is the spiritual significance of the number “four and twenty.” Why are there 24 elders instead of 12 or 144, etc.? As always, all we can go by is the scriptures, and this number ‘four and twenty’ is found, just like the rest of these heavenly symbols, to have a very earthy connection in both Samuel and Chronicles.

2Sa 21:20  And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant.
1Ch 20:6  And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand, and six on each foot: and he also was the son of the giant.

So this number is four sixes, and in that sense it once again connects the redeemed of men to the whole of mankind on this earth. It is connected to the whole of mankind in the flesh as ‘the giants in the land.’
Twenty- four thousand died in a plague which the Lord brought on Israel for committing fornication with the daughters of Moab, and bowing down to the gods of the Moabites.

Num 25:1  And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.
Num 25:2  And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
Num 25:3  And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
Num 25:4  And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.
Num 25:5  And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.
Num 25:6  And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who [ were] weeping [ before] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Num 25:7  And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw [ it], he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
Num 25:8  And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
Num 25:9  And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.

These are the negative applications in scripture of this number twenty- four. Where else do we see this number? What is its positive application?

1Ch 23:3  Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand.
1Ch 23:4  Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand [ were] officers and judges:
1Ch 23:5  Moreover four thousand [ were] porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, [ said David], to praise [ therewith].
1Ch 23:6  And David divided them into courses among the sons of Levi, [ namely], Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

“Twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the Lord,: assisting the priests in the work of the Lord’s offerings in His house.

Secondly, we see the use of this number in scripture again in connection with the peace offerings at the dedication of the altar of the Lord’s house.

Num 7:83  And for a sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen [ from the head prince of each of the twelve tribes], five rams, five he goats, five lambs of the first year: this [ was] the offering of Ahira the son of Enan.
Num 7:84  This was the dedication of the altar, in the day when it was anointed, by the princes of Israel: twelve chargers of silver, twelve silver bowls, twelve spoons of gold:
Num 7:88  And all the oxen for the sacrifice of the peace offerings were twenty and four bullocks, the rams sixty, the he goats sixty, the lambs of the first year sixty. This [ was] the dedication of the altar, after that it was anointed.

God’s elect are those whose eventual understanding of His secret is reflected by the highest form of offering, a bullock of the herd. In dedicating the altar of the tabernacle there were twenty and four bullocks offered.
The next place we see this number is in the courses set up by King David to serve the king “in any matter of the courses,” in each month of the year, is again 24 thousand, in every course.

1Ch 27:1  Now the children of Israel after their number, to wit, the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course were twenty and four thousand.

The number 24 is two twelves. Twelve, whether it is the twelve dukes of Ishmael, the twelve sons of Jacob, or the foundations of the New Jerusalem, is always associated with what is foundational and orderly and of service. King David had 24 thousand in each course for the service of the king. There were 24 thousand Levites who were to “set forward the work of the house of the LORD” In this capacity, they would be preparing for the work of the priests by cutting the sacrifices in pieces, washing them, preparing the meal and drink offerings, and working with the priests in the service of the tabernacle. In Christ all of these services are brought together in the christ of Christ. Here is the New Testament application of the spiritual foundation connected with the positive application of this number 24:

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of [ the] Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Christ’s “body” is our bodies, and in Christ we are to diligently present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God just as these 24 thousand Levites physically served in the tabernacle and “set forward the work of the house of the Lord.”

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [ is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The New American Standard Bible translates this as “your spiritual service…”

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (NASB)

If we are granted to do that here and now, then we will be the four and twenty elders around the throne of God who proclaim, with the four beasts, that we are to rule with him in His kingdom. Here are the next few verses here in Colossians one:

Col 1:25  Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Col 1:26  [ Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what [ is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Col 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Col 1:29  Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

That is the spiritual application of “set forward the work of the house of the LORD,” and that is exactly what is being done and will be done by the “four and twenty elders around about the throne” of God in the heavens of our hearts and minds.
Christ is in the four and twenty elders who are round about the throne of God and who have crowns of gold. They are but one more of the “many sided… patterns of the things of the true heavens.” In the “manifold wisdom of God” there are many patterns needed to show us Christ’s elect as those who serve Him around His throne. Christ is doing all His Father sent Him to perform, but He is doing it through His own Christ. He is doing it through those who are called the “four and twenty elders round about” the throne of God. Christ has sent us and is working through us just as His Father has sent Him. We are to do nothing but what we see Him doing:, we speak only what we hear Him saying:

Eph 3:9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Eph 3:10  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [ places] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Here are these two verses in the Analyitical Literal Translation:

Eph 3:9  and to enlighten all as to what is the administration of the secre t, the one having been hidden from the ages in God, the One having created all things through Jesus Christ,
Eph 3:10  so that the many- sided [ or, manifold] wisdom of God should be revealed now through the Assembly to the principalities and the authorities in the heavenlies [ or, heavenly [ realms]],

In Christ, and through His Word, we are enlightened to see that the administering of this secret which has been hidden from the ages, is a many sided plan, which is to be revealed “throught the church, to the principalities and authorities which have always dominated our hearts and minds. But we are not being saved just for the sake of being saved. We are being saved so that we can become saviors:

Eph 3:16  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Eph 3:17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; [ of Christ and His  Work in the saints]
Eph 3:19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Eph 3:20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Eph 3:21  Unto him [ be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Here is verse 21 from the Concordant Version:

Eph 3:21 to Him be the glory in the ecclesia and in Christ Jesus for all the generations of the eon of the eons! Amen! (CLV)
Oba 1:21  And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.[“and His Christ,” Rev 11:15]

Just how broad, long, deep, and high is “the wisdom… [ and] “the love of Christ” which the church is to administer?

Rom 5:18  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

That is what Paul means when he makes these statements:

Eph 3:9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Col 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

The “administration of the secret” is broad, long, deep, high, and many sided. It is for that reason that we are given all of these many patterns of the things of the true heavens, where God and Christ dwell “within us.” God has blinded those who forget that this is a book which has been signified to us and who ask,

“Why, when, in Rev. 4, we read of the twenty- four heavenly elders, are we to assume they are anything but what we read, vis., the leaders of the heavenly worship?  Why seek to make them redeemed men, or the symbolical representation of redeemed men  Why not leave them alone?  It is by such additions as these to what is written that the people of God are divided up into so many schools and parties.” (Number in Scripture, E. W. Bullinger page 264)

Not so, Mr. Bullinger. Not according to the scriptures.

Heb 9:23  It was] therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Heb 9:24  For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but i nto heaven itsel f, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

The reason “the people of God are divided up into so many schools and parties” is the fact that Christ came to blind scholarly men who think they can see and understand the Word of God by simply reading the letter before them with no regard for the fact that we are told in the very first verse of this book athat  informed that this is a book of signs:

Rev 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and sign ified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Joh 9:39  And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Joh 9:40  And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

When reading a book that is full of parables and signs and symbols, which you are specifically told are intended for the very purpose of blinding the multitudes from seeing “the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,” you still ask, “Why, when, in Rev. 4, we read of the twenty- four heavenly elders, are we to assume they are anything but what we read, vis., the leaders of the heavenly worship?” then you are indeed those who “say, We see, [ and] therefore your sin remains.”

Summary

We have seen the negative application of this number in its connection to the giants in the land which must be conquered by God’s elect. We have also seen that both physical and spiritual fornication brought about the death of twenty- four thousand of God’s own people, when Israel committed fornication with the daughters of Moab, and bowed down to their gods. These are the negative applications of this number 24.
In direct contrast to such a negative application we saw that “Twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the Lord,” assisting the priests in the work of the Lord’s offerings in the Lord’s house.
Then we saw 24 bullocks offered at the dedication of the altar of the tabernacle. God’s elect are those whose eventual understanding of His secret is reflected by the highest form of offering, a bullock of the herd. In dedicating the altar of the tabernacle there were twenty and four bullocks offered.
Then we saw that there were twenty four thousand in the courses set up by King David to serve the king “in any matter of the courses,” in each month of the year,
Finally we saw how all of this spiritual, foundational, orderly service to the tabernacle and to the king are reflected in the true application of our bodies in service to God in the New Testament:

Rom 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (NASB)

We saw that those who are granted to present themselves as a living sacrifice to God will also be the Christ of Christ who will rule with Christ in His Father’s throne and be used as a light to all men in the oncoming eons.

Eph 3:9  and to enlighten all as to what is the administration of the secre t, the one having been hidden from the ages in God, the One having created all things through Jesus Christ,
Eph 3:10  so that the many- sided [ or, manifold] wisdom of God should be revealed now through the Assembly to the principalities and the authorities in the heavenlies [ or, heavenly [ realms]],
Rev 2:26  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Foundational, spiritual, orderly service, in our hearts toward our Lord and His Christ, is the spiritual meaning of the four and twenty elders who serve the heavenly tabernacle and it’s heavenly king.

Rev 4:4  And round about the throne were f our 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 4:9  And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
Rev 4:10  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,
Rev 4:11  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.

The four and twenty elders are but another facet, or pattern of the things of the true heavens into which our Lord ascended when He came to take up an abode in the hearts and minds of His elect.
Next week, Lord willing, we will begin Revelation chapter 5.

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