Revelation (Ch 3-4)

The Churches must be real; and that their spiritual state is literally pointed out; but they must have reference to the state of the Church in later stages of its history. The messenger, or the angel could well be giving the Church certain warnings pertaining to the era of their Church so as to teach and edify those concern.

Revelation 3

In Chapter 2, we went through the Ephesian era, the Smyrnian era, the Pergamenian era, and the Thyatira Era; here the last three Church eras continue . . .

(5) The Sardis Era

1 “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know thy works, and that thou hast a name that thou livest, but thou art dead. — here were seven Spirits of God, and since the Spirit is inherently Holy, there would be seven Holy Spirits;

— and we would add Jesus the Son and God the Father, resulting in nine Personage. Nine in the Godhead; we should have a Polygon or a Nonagon; it might be more realistic to believe in the Polyty or a Nonaty, but certainly wouldn’t be a Trinity.

Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

— one of the characteristics of this church, namely the Church of God, Seventh Day, is that they believe there is no new truth; which means there no nothing more to be revealed; nothing else to be learned, and therefore it is deemed “ready to die” a dead church: “I have not found thy works perfect before God.”

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard; and hold fast and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!’

Besides the Thyatira church one condition lies in the Sardis exist side by side with the Philadelphian and the Laodicean eras at the “end time” groups that may or may not be accounted worthy to escape the tribulation;

They were refusing to repent and allow the Spirit to work through them to establish the truth that was ready to perish!

Within this CoG7, an ambitious man grew among the brethren; and not long after his ordination in 1931, and when certain leading ministers demanded that no more new truth be preached to the brethren, he broke off and started his own branch; he was Herbert W. Armstrong;

(6) The Philadelphia Era

Most of the congregations of the CoG7 succumbed to spiritual growth; dying, but the age of this Sardis continues, limping along. Elsewhere, the era of Philadelphia had began.

Paul was chosen, who was highly train in Judiasm, for spreading the gospel to the Gentiles. He later raised up Peter Waldo, a successful businessman, to keep His truth alive during the Middle Ages. In later days when the Gospel must go around the world, a man trained in advertising was tasked to shoulder the mission, Herbert Armstrong;

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth:

I know thy works. Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it. For thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My name. — here is a church with little strength, few in numbers, but which has kept the word of God; here is a church which would preach the gospel with power before it an open door;

— Paul was struck down; in like manner Herbert Armstrong’s business went bankrupt in order that he might come to understand the truth;

— shortly before this event, God had opened the mind of Mrs Armstrong to understand the Sabbath truth from an elderly Church of God woman. After six months of study, unsupervised, in a persistent effort to prove Sabbath-keeping unscriptural, Armstrong accepted the Sabbath.

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but do lie — behold, I will make them to come and worship at thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

10 Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth.

11 Behold, I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. — from this moment forward, Mr and Mrs Armstrong came to understand further truths. The brethren with whom they associated became interested that Herbert soon found himself speaking at their insistence; then preaching to small groups in Oregon!

12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God, and I will write upon him My new name.

13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!’

During Herbert Armstrong’s reign, the church grew rapidly, claimed of up to 30 percent year on year for some 30 years. Pride went into his head, and he became a tyrant like any other tyrants one could be found in the African continent; and when enriching himself for self importance, he flew in a corporate Grumman Gulfstream II and his apostate treasures of plates and cutleries would of no less eminence than that of the Czars’. A few unauthorised biographies could give more details:

(a) Herbert Armstrong’s Tangled Web, An Insider’s View of the Worldwide Church of God, by David Robinson, 1980

(b) The Truth Shall Make You Free, Herbert Armstrong’s Empire Exposed, by John Tuit, 1981

In him covering up feelings of inferiority with an inflated ego was the next era started, the Laodicean:

(7) The Laodicean Era

But spiritually Herbert Armstrong and the church become blind, became stiffnecked, unable to see that Passover is a composite festival celebrated from the fourteenth to the twenty-first of Nisan; and Pentecost, he followed the Samaritan version of always having it on a Sunday.

14 “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: ‘These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God:

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, “I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing,” and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable, and poor and blind and naked, — after Herbert Armstrong’s death in 1986, many splinters broke off; made up of individuals who are spiritually lukewarm! each saying to the other: “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.”

— his college, Ambassador College, was built on sand, loose sands, and within a few years of his death, students enrolment collapsed, faulty dismissed or sacked and the land and properties of the college sold.

18 I counsel thee to buy from Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear, and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.

21 To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with Me on My throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father on His throne.

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!’” — now notice the warning to the last era, at the close of this age, the Laodicea: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:… I will spew you out of my mouth (Rev 3:15, 16);

— at the time of the end when prophecies hidden for ages are being revealed, knowledge increased; truth restored, but knowledge brings responsibility; it becomes dangerous if not handled rightly;

— notice Jesus’ admonition for today in Luke 21:36. “Watch ye therefore and Pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape ALL these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

There seems to be a parallel warning from the Book of Ezekiel:

Ezekiel 9:

1 He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, “Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.”
2 And behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side. And they went in and stood beside the brazen altar.
3 And the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn by his side;
4 and the Lord said unto him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and who cry because of all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof.”
5 And to the others He said in mine hearing, “Go ye after him through the city and smite. Let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity.
6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” Then they began with the elder men who were before the house.

A Slaughting is to begin at “My sanctuary”and of course, the message and warning from Ezekiel were primarily aimed at the house of Israel, sometimes call the house of Ephraim.

Revelation 4

1 After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven; and the first voice which I heard was, as it were, of a trumpet talking with me, which said, “Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” — Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter; here is a case of the 24 elders that were called up into heaven, to be around the throne, and to witness what is to come;

— and later (in chapter 7), the 144,000 of the 12 tribes of Israel; these were redeemed and “come up” from the earth.

And immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was set in Heaven, and One sat on the throne.

And He that sat thereon was to look upon like a jasper and a sardius stone; and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in appearance like unto an emerald.

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. — who are the 24 elders; are they angels or humans? (more at the end)

And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; — again, if the Spirit is a Being or an independent Personage; there would be seven Holy Spirits;

— and with these we would add Jesus Christ the Son, and God the Father, then there would be nine Personage; we should have a Polygon or a Nonagon; so surely the Godhead would be a Polyty or a Nonaty; nine heads, that would be more like an Indian goddess more than a Trinity?

and before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living beings full of eyes in front and behind.

And the first being was like a lion, and the second being like a calf, and the third being had the face of a man, and the fourth being was like a flying eagle. — this is very similar to what Ezekiel saw in his vision (Ezekiel 1); the Cherub had four faces; the face of a MAN (REUBEN) on the South; of a LION (JUDAH) on the East; the face of an OX (EPHRAIM) on the West and an EAGLE (DAN) on the North. 

And each of the four living beings had six wings about him, and they were full of eyes within; and they rested not day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!” — in Ezekiel 1 the four cherubim each has four wings; same as in Ezekiel 10; but here they each has 6 wings. Why the difference? Are they different sets of cherubim?

And when those living beings give glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

10 the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sits on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are, and were created.”

~~~

Who are the 24 Elders in Revelation?

Who are the Twenty four Elders in Revelation? Whenever I heard conversation on this topic, my heart jumps onto my throat.

Revelation 4:

1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

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.

Q. Who are these Twenty four Elders set around a throne in heaven? Would they be:

(a) Angelic beings, not humans. Jesus said only He had down from heaven John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, so the twenty four elders could not be humans as identified in Revelation 4:4. During the first resurrection, when Christ return, the saints will rise first, Satan bound (Revelation 20:1-4).They will meet Christ in the air, and when Christ set his feet in Jerusalem, the saints will be with Christ forever (1 Thess 4:16-17).  Further, among the restored 18 vital truths to the True Church since 1933 (Mystery of the Ages, Dodd & Mead, 1985, p251), Herbert W Armstrong came in the spirit of Elijah (Malachi 4:5), to establish the foundation of the True Church, and to restore all things (Matt 17:11, Mark 9:12, Acts 3:21). “Rain” and soon a storm appeared; “Drought” and the land suffered three and a half years of constipation! When you look at the preceding two or three verses in Acts 3:19-20, this restitution of all things by Elijah is in the context of Christ returning back to this earth. Hence these truths are solidified and sealed.

(b) Saints, not angelic beings. First, search the Scriptures, the word or title “elder” is nowhere applied to angels, but only to humans, or once humans. Second, in Rev 5:9, these 24 elders were redeemed by the Lamb’s blood. The exact phase “and hast redeemed us (Strong’s 2248: hémas; our, us, we)”. Only humans, not angels, were to be redeemed to God by Christ’s blood out of every kindred, tongue and nation. And in Rev 5:10 And hast made us (2248) unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (Those versions that translated as them for us and they for we are erroneous). Again, only humans were promised to be kings and priests to reign on earth, not angels. Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? 1 Corinthians 6:2. Finally, only members of God’s family, or members of Elohim (not angelic beings) are given crowns in heaven (Satan might have a crown too but he’s restricted on this earth). The Greek word for crown in Rev 4:4 (Strong’s 4735 as in Rev 2:10) is stephanos which is a garland wreath as awarded to overcomers or winners as in Greek games.

So are these 24 elders saints or angelic beings?

~ by Joel Huan on October 16, 2021.

One Response to “Revelation (Ch 3-4)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 3 and 4 HERE ~ —— […]

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