Words and Phrases
The Twenty Four Elders continued.
3) As was stated in our previous post of the five most predominant views as to whom the twenty four elders represent the most widely held is that they represent the Church in the glorified state.
Our Futurist friends naturally hold to this view, because it is the belief of many of them that the Church is glorified before any of the visions of the Revelation from Chapter 4 and on have their fulfillment. These expositors believe that the witnessing, suffering saints pictured in the several visions of the Revelation, instead of representing the Church, describe a JEWISH REMNANT in the time of Jacob's trouble, which of course if this interpretation were correct would be after the Church is glorified. This view is disproved by every symbolic reference to these witnessing Saints throughout the Book. As a noted writer has said concerning this matter:
"We observe these saints who are thirteen times mentioned in the Apocalypse doing and bearing exactly what we know from other Scriptures the saints of the Christian Church-must do and bear in this dispensation [Gospel Age].
We find them watching, waiting, praying, enduring tribulation (Rev 13:10), and resisting unto blood (their deaths), resting in heaven (Rev 14:12,13), and at last manifested as the Bride of Christ, and 'the armies which were in heaven,' clad under both emblems with the 'fine linen clean and white,' which is the righteousness of the saints; we find them associated with the martyrs of Jesus (Rev 17:6, killed during the Gospel age especially during the 1260 years of Papal power), a clear proof that they cannot be Jewish saints.
In short, instead of the Church being actually in heaven at the commencement of the prophetic drama of this Book, she is seen on earth during its entire course. She is seen collectively under various symbols, such as the one hundred and forty-four thousand (Rev. 7:4), and the sun-clad woman (Rev 12:1), the armies of heaven (Rev 19:14), the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:2); and her members are seen separately; singly as THE SAINTS.
They are seen first in their suffering and then in their glory; first slain for Jesus' sake, then enthroned beside Him. Can it be questioned that the saints who pray and wait and suffer and die as martyrs of Jesus are the same saints, the 'called and chosen and faithful,' who are seen with the Lamb afterwards as His Bride and as His white-robed followers? If they are not, then the unity of the Book is gone. It becomes an incomprehensible mystery."-H. G. Guinness.
In Rev 14:1-5, we find the 24 elders being mentioned in the same vision with the 144,000 of the church. Again, in Rev 19:1-7, the elders and the saints are found together; although after that we hear nothing more from the elders. This makes it difficult, if not impossible for the 24 elders to be the church, since we don’t think that the same thing would be represented by two different symbols, in the same scripture verse.
We will take a look at our fourth and fifth view in our next post.
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