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September 25, 2023

The Book of "The Revelation Of St. John The Divine", (actually "The Revelation of Jesus Christ", as the Scripture plainly says in Verse 1), or "Revelation", is an amazing work of Biblical Prophecy from an eyewitness. It is a letter from the Apostle John to seven Churches in Asia, the salutation of which is in chapters 2 and 3. In Chapter 1, John also says this letter is from "Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth". Right there, John stakes the claims made in his book directly to the Son of God Himself, Jesus Christ!

Just to reiterate my purpose here, as the Book itself warns us, we must be careful when we interpret and/or apply the teachings of this book (as indeed we must do with all Scripture), not to "...add unto these things..." or "...take away from the words of this book of this prophecy...", as it warns in Chapter 22. So, I simply have questions about events that are described that lead us to some interesting inferences.

Revelation describes the events revealed to John shown to him by Christ Himself wherein a portal was opened directly into Heaven and John, living in the first century, was shown events that happen in history up to our present time and beyond, all the way to the end of existence of earth itself. One particular event has always fascinated me, and that event brings up a couple of questions I want to address in this section.

In Chapter 4, after John has finished the salutation of the first three chapters, John is whisked to the very throne in Heaven and the presence of Christ. Verse 2 describes His throne, including John's best description of the throne itself, and of our Lord who was seated upon it. Then, in Verse 4, we find these words:

"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 these "elders"? There are many speculations, because John does not specifically say who they are. But there is evidence (particularly Matthew 19 and Revelation 21), that these Elders consist of two groups of 12: The Elders of the twelve tribes of Israel (Jacob's sons?), and the twelve Apostles (likely either Matthias or Paul replacing the traitor Judas). In fact, in Matthew 19:28, Jesus Himself tells the 12 Apostles "I say to you that you, who have followed Me, will be seated on twelve thrones, as judges of the tribes of Israel". Since this is the case, then guess who one of those Elders was? The Apostle John himself! In fact, after I came independently to this realization, I read at least one article that suggested that the Elder who speaks to John in Revelation 5:5 was, in fact, the resurrected Apostle John himself! Was it actually John the Elder on his throne of the future telling John the Apostle viewing these events "you can stop crying - someone is going to open the book"?

Imagine being transported, prior to your own death, into the Heaven of a future time, and not only seeing yourself there, but calmed by your own voice! The first time John saw that particular elder, my guess is in his mind came something similar to the words: "Hey, I KNOW THAT GUY!!!"


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