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

"The twenty-four elders, who were 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 for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small and for destroying those who destroy 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, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a severe hailstorm." (Revelation 11.16-19)

Millennium

twenty four eldersBecause of the great victory, "the twenty-four elders," that is, the representatives of the whole Church and all Old Testament believers, break out in thanksgiving and praise. This victory leads to the time when God takes on his supreme authority. It moves to the thousand-year reign of God, the "Millennium," from the Latin "Mille" or "thousand" and "Annus" for a year. This will be 1000 years of peace and prosperity for those on the earth. At the end of the Millennium, there will come a final attack of all the hostile powers who will be defeated and then will follow the "Last Judgment." The throne room elders recognize that this is the beginning of the final reign of God. The time has come to set the record straight.

Reward God's Servants

A Heavenly PathIt is time to judge the dead and reward God's servants in heaven. The seventh angel sounds his trumpet announcing the arrival of the Lord God Almighty. There is now no turning back. The coming judgments are no longer partial, but complete. 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 His WifeThe time for judging the dead and rewarding your servants has come. The special covenant promises are fulfilled. In the Bible, God does not always give his special covenant promises to his people in this life according to what they may wish or even deserve. In the Old Testament, obedience often brings blessings, but obedience and immediate appreciation are not always linked. If they are, good people would always be rich, and suffering would always be a sign of sin. While it is true that God has promised to reward us for our earthly deeds, our greatest reward is not something earned but God's gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ.

Holy of Holies

ShechinahThe heavenly Temple is opened in this Revelation 11 passage and the Ark of the Covenant is seen. This is the Holy of Holies which only a very few High Priests ever see, and into which even the High Priest goes only on the Day of Atonement once a year. Even then a rope is said to be tied around his waist so that if he should collapse the other priests can haul him out without entering the Holy of Holies and defiling themselves in the process. It is said that a religious Jew even today will not set foot on the Temple Mount just in case he should by accident step upon what was the "Holy of Holies."✞

Ark of the Covenant

Ark of the CovenantThe glory of God is now about to be fully displayed. The reference to the Ark of the Covenant is a reminder of God's promises to his people made in his covenant with them in the giving of the Law. The Ark is the container that holds the ten commandment tablets or the terms of the agreement between God and Jews, the manna from the wilderness and the budded rod of Aaron. The ark was made one year after the Israelite's exodus from Egypt to the pattern given to Moses by God. Interestingly, there is another 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 on these tablets what he had written before, the ten commandments he had proclaimed to you on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. 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." Whether this is the same Ark of the Covenant that we read about later we do not know. Originally, those promises are made to the people of Israel, but now the new covenant is for all 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. This is a picture of the coming of the full glory of God, a terrifying threat to his enemies and an uplifting promise to his covenant people.✞

"Throne Room Elders"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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