How do we know they are THE CHURCH, the "ekklesia", the "called-out assembly" whom Jesus CALLS OUT of the earth in the Rapture, shouting "Come up here"?
19 times in Revelation
1 to 3, this "ekklesia" is named, the Church, the Church, the
Church...and in Revelation 4, the word "ekklesia", the Church is
conspicuously absent. Why?
The Church is revealed in heaven
by a TYPE and then a SYMBOL, first observed in Revelation 4. THE TYPE
is the CATCHING UP of the Apostle John in 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. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne
was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne."
Compare to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the
voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in
Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:
and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
Also compare to 1 Corinthians 15:51-52:
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all
be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:
for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
What are THE PARALLELS that make this A TYPE (as recorded in Revelation 4:1-2)?
1. Jesus IS the door (John 10:7-9), and THE DOOR is "opened in heaven"
(Revelation 4:1). To the Church of Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13)
who is promised to be "kept out of the very time" of the Tribulation
(Revelation 3:10), an OPEN DOOR is promised (Revelation 3:8)--an OPEN
DOOR to share the Gospel, and at the Rapture, a DOOR will OPEN IN
HEAVEN, through which Jesus will SHOUT to those who will be CALLED UP,
and "called-out" of the earth--His ekklesia.
2. The Apostle
John, as a representative of the Church, IN TYPE, heard a trumpet call
to Him, the TRUMP OF GOD, the very VOICE of God Himself (Exodus 19:19),
and the very VOICE of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:10-11). (These VOICES
are the FIRST trump of Exodus 19:19, and the LAST "Trump of God" in 1
3. Jesus will SHOUT, His voice like a
TRUMPET, saying, "Come up here." The Church, the "called-out ekklesia",
will hear this shout and trumpet at the Rapture.
4. Those who
are ALIVE at the Rapture (like John was ALIVE in Revelation 4:1-2) will
be instantly CHANGED and CAUGHT UP. To be CHANGED is to INSTANTLY
"cast off mortality" and "to put on immortality", as seen in 1
Corinthians 15:53--"and this mortal must put on immortality." Another
parallel to those being ALIVE at the Rapture is found in Hebrews
11:5--"By faith Enoch was translated that he should NOT SEE DEATH; and
was not found, because God had translated him: for before his
translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." "TRANSLATED"
is defined in the dictionary: "to be removed from earth to heaven
WITHOUT passing through death." Enoch was TRANSLATED, and that makes
him A TYPE--or a PICTURE OF the translated, Raptured Church--those who
are ALIVE and who remain until Jesus calls us out of here.
All those who died (while having faith in Jesus) during the age of the
Church (from Ephesus to Laodecia--the picture, AND PROPHECY--of the
Church Age in Revelation 2 and 3), will be resurrected, as is seen in
both 1Thessalonians 4:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:51.
6. John was
CAUGHT UP and immediately was IN THE SPIRIT in heaven. The "ekklesia"
will be CALLED-OUT--and BE CAUGHT UP (Raptured) into heaven. Our bodies
will be GLORIFIED. (Also seen in Romans 8:23--"...but ourselves also,
which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within
ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our
WHY IS THE CHURCH NOT NAMED AS SUCH IN REVELATION
4:1-2? And WHO IS THE CHURCH, as seen--and SYMBOLIZED--in heaven in
the remainder of Revelation 4 and 5?
The Rapture is A MYSTERY,
according to 1 Corinthians 15:51--"Behold, I shew you A MYSTERY..."
The Church is also A MYSTERY, as seen in Colossians 1:26--"Even THE
MYSTERY which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but NOW is
made MANIFEST (revealed) to His saints: To whom God would MAKE KNOWN
what is the riches of the glory of THIS MYSTERY among the Gentiles;
which is Christ IN you, the hope of glory:" A "mystery" is something
which was not OPENLY SHOWN in the Old Testament, but which was OPENLY
REVEALED in the New Testament--to the "ekklesia", the Church.
Therefore, WHEN the Church is REMOVED from earth to heaven in the
Rapture (TYPIFIED in Revelation 4:1-2), God returns to using "the Old
Testament MYSTERY form"--and the Church is therefore shown AFTER the
Rapture IN SYMBOLISM and TYPE.
We covered the TYPE in detail
after detail. Now, let's look at THE SYMBOL for the Church RAPTURED
into heaven, living in GLORIFIED BODIES, and having ALREADY been
REWARDED AT THE BEMA SEAT OF CHRIST. (See 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 and 1
Corinthians 924-27 for the BEMA SEAT, a judgment upon WORKS which are
done by Born Again Christians--works that will GAIN REWARDS of
"stephanos crowns" or which could SUFFER LOSS--receiving no crowns.)
DEFINING THE SYMBOL OF THE 24 ELDERS: (We do this by comparing their
DESCRIPTION to other scriptures, which ALSO DESCRIBES the Church).
Revelation 4:4--"And round about the throne were four and twenty seats
[Thrones]: and upon the seats [Thrones] I saw four and twenty elders
sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of
FACT NUMBER ONE: The 24 Elders in Revelation 4 and 5
are REPRESENTATIVE of a Raptured and glorified Church. They ARE the
Church as seen in THEIR DESCRIPTION.
FACT NUMBER TWO: The 24
Elders CANNOT be angels. Angels DON’T WEAR crowns. Angels DON’T sit with
God to rule and reign. We MUST define the 24 ELDERS by their SPECIFIC
THREE: Elders is "a term" used for Church
leadership. We see this all over the New Testament. Grab a concordance
and look it up.
FOUR: Elders, in the Greek, means “presbuteros.” This is "Church terminology"--the “Presbytery.”
FIVE: WHY are there 24 Elders? Let's look at he number 24. In 1
Chronicles 24:1-31, King David divided the Priesthood into 24 COURSES
because they’d grown so large. When 24 LEADERS of the COURSES met
BEFORE David’s throne, the WHOLE PRIESTHOOD was REPRESENTED. The 24
ELDERS represent the ENTIRE CHURCH before God’s throne. This is a
picture of the Church as PRIESTS.
SIX: The number 24 (part 2).
The Church is composed of BOTH Jews and Gentiles. 12 tribes of Israel.
12 apostles of the Church. This offers a total of 24.
The Elders SIT on thrones. This is a picture which shows that the work of
the Church on earth in “the age of God’s Grace” is done. WE SIT. The
job on earth is finished.
EIGHT: The Elders sit on
THRONES--the Church is seated on THRONES as KINGS. Compare to
Revelation 1:6--"And [Jesus] has made US "kings" AND "priests" unto God
and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
NINE: The Elders wear “SPECIFIC” WHITE RAIMENT. The Church is promised
white garments. Revelation 3:4-5. Revelation 3:18. That our garments
(and ourselves) are to be washed and spotless are seen in Ephesians
5:26-27, Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 3:14. Jude 1:23 and Revelation 1:5. We will
be dressed in glorious WHITE RAIMENT.
TEN: The Elders wear
"CROWNS", which are "STEPHANOS CROWNS", those given for OVERCOMING and
GAINING A VICTORY (for finishing the race). These are the very same kind
of CROWNS promised to the Church. 1 Corinthians 9:25-27. 1
Thessalonians 2:19-20. 2 Timothy 4:8. James 1:12. 1 Peter 5:4.
Revelation 2:10 b. Revelation 3:11.
ELEVEN: The Elders wear
crowns OF GOLD. Gold shows KINGSHIP. This shows the Church, reigning as
KINGS with Jesus. Revelation 1:6.
TWELVE: In Revelation
5:1-14, the Elders sing a NEW SONG of THEIR REDEMPTION (as seen in the
King James Version--which is translated from a MORE RELIABLE old
manuscript). The Elders sing of being SAVED by the blood of Jesus.
THIRTEEN: The Elders are saved “out of” (“called-out of”) every
kindred, tongue, people and nation on earth. The Church is predominantly
Gentile, “called-out of” the world, also known as "the called-out
assembly", the "ekklesia".
FOURTEEN: By contrast, in Ezekiel
and Daniel we find SIMILAR DESCRIPTIONS of heaven as shown in the
Revelation--EXCEPT FOR ONE THING. The Old Testament prophets did NOT see
24 Elders! Why? The Church is a MYSTERY which was NOT clearly revealed
in the Old Testament.
WHAT IS THE CHURCH ACCOMPLISHING IN REVELATION 4 AND 5?
Revelation 4:10-11--"The four and twenty elders fall down before him
that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever,
and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 'You are worthy, O
Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for You have created all
things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created."
FIRST, we are in a powerful state of worship at the Throne of God in
heaven. We have ALREADY been REWARDED at the BEMA SEAT, because we have
CROWNS, the "Stephanos"--given for OVERCOMING, gaining a VICTORY, and
for FINISHING our race upon earth. We will LAY those CROWNS at the feet
SECOND, we acknowledge that God has CREATED all
things. These created things (including the animal kingdom) were
created by God for His pleasure and joy! What a powerful WORSHIP
service this will be. Our joy will be complete. And from deepest
reverence, we lay the REWARDED CROWNS at Jesus' feet, because it was
THROUGH HIM that we even gain those rewards!
We come to Revelation 5, and again, the 24 Elders (we, the Church) play a part in this SPECTACULAR scene.
We WITNESS Jesus being declared as WORTHY to take a seven-sealed scroll
and START the time of God's judgment upon the earth (the seven-year
Tribulation). Jesus HIMSELF will OPEN that scroll--it is called "the
WRATH of the Lamb"--opened by the One who was crucified, sacrificed on
the cross for the sins of the world. Jesus is the KINSMAN REDEEMER, God
Himself, in the flesh of a MAN. As A MAN Who committed NO SIN, Who
died--and rose again to LIFE triumphant, Jesus is FOUND WORTHY to take
the scroll of judgments and release it upon a world who rejected Him
(the Gentile nations), or who did NOT receive Him as their Messiah
We, the Church, as SYMBOLIZED in the 24 Elders will SEE an awesome scene, and we will SING A NEW song in heaven.
"And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty
elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and
golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints....
[Added note: Our prayers are present at the Throne of God in
heaven,even now...and in God's "perfect timing" those prayers WILL BE
ANSWERED!!! This is why I believe that our prayers for LOST loved ones,
who ignore our pleas now, will be answered--even if those loved ones
find themselves left behind in the Tribulation. This is a great part of
my hope as the end times grow darker, and people ignore my warnings.]
Back to Revelation 5:9-10:
"And they [the 24 Elders] sung a new
song, saying, 'You [Jesus] are WORTHY to take the book, and to OPEN the
seals thereof: for You were slain, and have redeemed US to God by Your
blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation [from
Gentile nations, worldwide]; And hast made US unto our God kings and
priests: and WE shall reign on the earth....
WHEN Jesus sets His Kingdom upon the Throne of David in Jerusalem,
Israel for the Millennium, we, Church, will RULE AND REIGN WITH HIM,
assisting in the government of the Kingdom.] Now for Revelation
"And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels
round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of
them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
Saying with a loud voice, 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive
power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and
"And EVERY CREATURE which is IN heaven, and on the
earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are
in them, heard I saying, 'Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be
unto Him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and
"And the four beasts said, 'Amen'. And the four and
twenty elders [we, the Church], fell down and worshiped Him that lives
for ever and ever."
WHAT A GLORIOUS TIME OF WORSHIP AWAITS US!
WE WILL WITNESS THE NEXT EVENTS OF REVELATION 6, AS JESUS OPENS THE
SEALS, AND THE JUDGMENTS OF THE SEVEN-YEAR TRIBULATION BEGIN TO FALL
UPON THE EARTH.
THE FIRST SEAL: the Antichrist will CONFIRM
the covenant with Israel, according to Daniel 9:27. The final week of
Israel's APPOINTED TIME will then occur, ending with these following
things fulfilled in and through them:
weeks are determined upon your people [Israel] and upon your holy city
[Jerusalem], to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins,
and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting
righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the
At THE END of the final seven years, everlasting
righteousness will be [upon the earth in Jesus' Millennial Kingdom], the
vision will be sealed and finished [all end time prophecies
accomplished], and the most Holy will be anointed [when Jesus is
appointed as KING over Israel, and upon the earth.]
the Church, SYMBOLIZED by the 24 Elders, will be at the Throne of God,
with our CROWNS already REWARDED, in Revelation 4 and 5 BEFORE the
Tribulation starts, I see an AMOUNT of time will need to elapse--BETWEEN
the Rapture and the START of the Tribulation.
In order to have time to REWARD all those in the Church, the ELAPSE of
time BETWEEN the Rapture and the START of the Tribulation will be MORE
than just weeks. It could be MONTHS--or even a YEAR or more!
That would also give TIME for the end time wars [such Gog/Magog of
Ezekiel 38-39] to be fulfilled, TIME for the final development of the 10
regions of the New World Order [which will be given to the Antichrist
when he appears], and TIME for the FULLNESS OF INIQUITY to develop--the
world MORE THAN RIPE for God's final declarations of judgments to fall.
BUT THE TIMING IS ALWAYS IN GOD'S OWN PERFECT COUNSEL....