Today I want to talk about "the 24 elders". Now, "the 24 elders" are mentioned in Revelation chapters 4 and 5. You say "well who are these elders?" Well, the Bible uses the word "elder throughout the New Testament, and it's used synonymously with the word "Bishop" or "Pastor". So these 24 elders are basically 24 pastors, or 24 bishops, to use the more biblical term. And the Bible talks about these 24 elders being up in heaven in Revelation 4 and 5, before the first seal is even opened. And so a lot of pre-tribbers have pointed to this and said "see this is PROOF of a pre-trib rapture". Of course, even though there is no mention of the rapture in the book of Revelation up unto this point, but they say "well, just the fact that these 24 elders are even in heaven, that proves that the rapture has taken place" and then some of them have even said "the four beasts they also represent those that are saved". Of course, they're animals, but somehow they think that the beasts are also indicative of Christians being up in heaven, because they've been raptured.
But here's the thing that I want to explain. The fact that the 24 elders are in heaven in chapters 4 and 5 does not teach a pre-trib rapture because I've got news for you, there are MILLIONS of people in heaven RIGHT NOW! And the rapture hasn't taken place yet! In fact, if I die tonight, I'll be in heaven. So saying that because the 24 elders are up there, that proves the rapture is taking place, that doesn't prove it at all, because guess what? Everybody who is saved, who has died, is already up in heaven right now, long before the rapture. And you say "well, but the Bible talks about you know, how they have white raiment, they're wearing clothes, they have crowns on their heads, so if they're dressed in white raiment and have crowns on their heads, that must be after the rapture because they're physically there." Well, wrong. Because in Revelation chapter 6, the Bible says in verse 9: "And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar, THE SOULS of them that were slain for the Word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice saying, how long o Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth", and watch this in verse 11, "And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." So the fact that the 24 elders are up in heaven in Revelation 4 and 5 proves nothing. Because there are millions of people already in heaven, that doesn't mean that the rapture has taken place. That doesn't mean that their bodies have been resurrected and changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Even when the souls of those that were beheaded by the antichrist were in heaven in Revelation 6:11, they were given white robes, they put on a white robe, even though they had not been bodily resurrected at that time. So the 24 elders do not prove a pre-trib rapture.
Main Scripture/s Revelation chapters 4 and 5, 6:9-11
FAITHFUL WORD BAPTIST CHURCH
2707 W Southern Ave, Suite #105 Tempe, AZ 85282
Phone: (602) 456-1049, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Pastor Steven Anderson