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.” It is evident from my previous articles 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 members of the Armies of Heaven that will invade planet Earth to establish and reign over the promised Millennial Kingdom
of the Lord Jesus Christ!
John’s capture of the heavenly scene is much like when an astronomer looks deep into the heavenly regions through a powerful telescope and can detect the approach of an asteroid before it crashes into Earth. We 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!
As I bear out in my coming book The Global Destiny People, the growth of the Great Stone of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream into a great mountain that fills the entire earth parallels the prediction of the prophet Isaiah concerning the coming Millennial Kingdom: “For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). This is actually the key to understanding the testimony of the Elders and Beasts of the heavenly scene that John saw: “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 symbolized in the Elders and Beasts 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 Millennium! As I noted in The Next Wave, this coming deluge of divine knowledge 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 saints in the Millennial Kingdom. It is about the divine know-how that the saints will exhibit, which will propel the world to unprecedented heights of development.
The foregoing sets the pace for a deeper understanding of the symbolism of the heavenly scene that John saw. As I explain in detail in my coming book, 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 Millennium through their demonstration of the divine knowledge. They symbolize the five areas in which they will wield unprecedented “power over the nations.” As Christ 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 observed in a previous article , there are different dimensions to this promised power.
In closing the present article, I will note that there are those who believe that the Elders and Beasts of the heavenly scene that John saw are angelic creatures. While I will not go into it here (I explain it in detail in my coming book), I will observe that the greatest beauty of the saints’ impending reign in the kingdom lies in the solution to this puzzle. Suffice to say here that we must take the Elders and Beasts 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.
God bless you always.