During the Revelation on Patmos, the apostle John was given the invitation, “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” He went on to write, “And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne... And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting... and they had on their heads crowns of gold... And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts... And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And they [elders and beasts] sung a new song, saying... For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (see Revelation 4:1-5:10).
This heavenly scene that John saw in vision is clearly a symbolic representation of a group of people that will “reign on the earth” as “kings and priests.” With what we have discussed so far, it is evident that these people will be none other than the powerbrokers of the coming world order of which the prophet Daniel wrote, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom” (Daniel 2:44). Yes, the One seated on the central throne, the twenty-four crowned Elders and the four Beasts are a symbolic representation of the “qualified men” of the Armies of Heaven that will invade planet Earth to establish and reign over the promised kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ!
John’s capture of the heavenly scene is much like how an astronomer looks deep into the heavenly regions through a telescope and can detect the approach of an asteroid before it crashes into Earth. You can be sure, however, that no Deep Impact or Independence Day scenario will be played out here. In the movie Deep Impact, the asteroid on collision course with Earth was shattered with a nuclear device, while in Independence Day, the invading E.T. armies were blasted out of the skies. But this approaching asteroid, symbolic of the Armies of Heaven, cannot be shattered, cannot be blasted out of the skies, and it will not miss. It is the Great Stone that King Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream, “cut out of the mountain without hands,” which grew into a “great mountain” that “filled the whole earth”! (See Daniel 2:34-44.) As Daniel assured, “The great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure” (Daniel 2:45). There’s no way that the world is going to escape this one!
You might recall that in Here They Come, I paralleled the growth of the Great Stone into a great mountain that filled the whole earth with the prediction of the prophet Isaiah concerning the coming kingdom: “For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). That’s exactly what the Elders and Beasts of the heavenly scene that John saw were speaking of: “For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” The redeemed saints represented in these characters will reign as “kings” on the earth because they will be the “priests” – or mediators, or mediums – of the outpouring of the “knowledge of the LORD” in the kingdom! As I explained in The Next Wave, this coming deluge of the knowledge of the Lord will not be just about a greater awareness of God, but about the all-embracing and perfect knowledge, wisdom and understanding of the Almighty that will be demonstrated by the anointed ones (the redeemed saints) in the kingdom. It is about the divine know-how that they will exhibit, which will propel the world to unprecedented heights of development!
This sets the pace for a deeper understanding of the significance of the heavenly scene that John saw. As I explain in detail in my coming book The Coming Glory, the Elders, the Lion, the Calf (or Ox), the Man and the Eagle are actually specific symbols of the five major areas of human vocation in which the redeemed saints will “reign on the earth” in the kingdom. They symbolize the five areas in which they will wield unprecedented “power over the nations.” As the One represented in the central throne of the scene promised, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Revelation 2:26,27). As I said in The Golden Promise, there are different dimensions to this promised power.
In closing, I will note that there are those who believe that the Elders and Beasts are angelic creatures. While I will not go into it here (I explain it in detail in my coming book and hope to touch on it in a future article on this blog), I will say that the greatest beauty of the saints’ impending reign in the kingdom lies in the solution to the puzzle. Meanwhile, just take them at their word: “Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Of course, it is fallen human beings who believe that are redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, and it is these redeemed saints that will reign on the earth as kings and priests in the coming kingdom. So keep the faith, and remain posted.
God bless you always.
In the King’s Service,
David Olagoke Olawoyin.