Throne Room Elders
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44. Throne Room Elders
Revelation 11.16-19

"The twenty-four elders, seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying 'We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.' The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come to judge the dead and reward your servants, the prophets, and great and small people who revere your name for destroying the earth. Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, thunder peals, an earthquake, and a severe hailstorm." (Revelation 11.16-19) ✞


Twenty Four EldersBecause of the great victory, "the twenty-four elders," the whole Church, and all Old Testament believers' representatives, erupt in thanksgiving and praise. This victory leads to God taking on his supreme authority in the thousand-year reign. The word "Millennium" comes from the Latin "Mille" for "thousand" and "Annus" for a "year." During the Millennium, there will be 1000 years of peace and prosperity for those on the earth. At the Millennium's end, hostile powers will attack, and their final defeat will come. The throne room elders recognize that this will be the beginning of God's absolute reign. The time has come to set the record straight.

True Justice

Heavenly PathIt is time to judge the dead and reward God's heavenly servants. The seventh angel sounds his trumpet, announcing the Lord God Almighty's arrival. There is no turning back for the coming judgments. They are no longer partial but complete, and God is in control. Humans want immediate justice and rewards right now and do not want to wait until later. It doesn't seem fair when evil people prosper, and the good suffer. But God's way is different. We are told not to judge because true justice belongs to God in God's time.

Special Covenant Promises

Archippus and WifeThe time for judging the dead and rewarding your servants has come to fulfill the special covenant promises. God does not give his covenant promises to people in this life according to what they wish or deserve. Obedience often brought blessings in the Old Testament, but faithfulness and immediate appreciation are not always linked. If they were, virtuous people would always be rich, and suffering would always be a sign of sin. While it is true that God has promised to reward our earthly deeds, our greatest reward is God's eternal life gift in Jesus Christ.

Holy of Holies

ShechinahThe heavenly temple opens in this Revelation 11 passage, and we see the Ark of the Covenant. We enter the Holy of Holies, which only a very few High Priests have ever seen, and into which even the High Priest goes only once a year on the Day of Atonement. Even then, a rope was tied around his waist so that if he should collapse, the other priests could haul him out without entering the Holy of Holies and defiling themselves. A religious Jew will not set foot on the Temple Mount even today if he should accidentally step upon the "Holy of Holies." The Holy of Holies was a 20 feet cube and the center of the Temple worship. It is where the priests stored the holiest items, such as the Ark of the Covenant. ✞

Ark of the Covenant

Ark of the CovenantGod's glory is now about to be fully displayed. The Ark of the Covenant is a reminder of God's agreement with his people in the Law's giving. The ark is the wooden container that holds the ten commandment tablets showing the covenant terms between God and the Jewish people, the wilderness manna, and Aaron's budded rod. Moses made the ark to God's pattern one year after the Israelite's exodus from Egypt. Interestingly, there is an earlier mention of a more primitive ark in Deuteronomy 10.3-5, where Moses writes, "So I made the ark out of acacia wood and chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. The Lord wrote the ten commandments on these tablets as he had previously, which he had proclaimed to you from the mountain fire, on the assembly day. And the Lord gave them to me. Then I came back down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made, as the Lord commanded me, and they are there now." We do not know whether this is the same Ark of the Covenant that we read about later. Initially, God gave those promises to Israel's people, but now the new covenant is for those from every nation who love and believe in Jesus Christ, God's Son, the Messiah. Whatever the terror to come, God will not break his promises. The coming of God's full glory is a terrifying threat to his enemies and an uplifting promise to his covenant people. ✞

"Throne Room Elders"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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