Daniel 12.4

But as for you Daniel, conceal these words and
seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back
and forth, and knowledge will increase.

Daniel 12:9-10

And he said, Go {your way,} Daniel, for {these}
words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. Many
will be purged, purified and refined; but the wicked will act
wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but those who
have insight will understand.

Revelation 5:1

And I saw in the right hand of Him
who sat on the throne
a book written inside and on the back,
sealed up with seven seals.

The specifics in reference to the end time events will not be understood until the period of the times and seasons during which those events will take place. The book is sealed until the end time. And although John is given much amplification as the sealed book is opened in "vision" form, it will still not be understood completely until it is time for the events to unfold.


The specifics of the "end times" period given to John in The Revelation should be viewed as "teaching aids" and not actual historical details. Example: the beast coming up out of the sea is a symbol used as a teaching aid to communicate the specifics of the international environment at the time. But when it is time for these events to take place, there will not be a "BEAST" coming up out of the sea, but a man out from the Gentile world who controls an 8th world kingdom through the empowering of Satan. And when it is time for the 70th week to begin and the events within that week to transpire, there will not be "literal" seals that must be opened. In fact, the 3rd, 4th and 5th seals all occur together during the oppressive reign of the man of lawlessness and not chronologically. In other words, the vision is a present reality for John about future events. The vision is not future. The symbols of the vision are not future. The events represented by the symbols are either present or future depending on the context within the vision.

What John first sees in heaven are symbols of what is going on at the time of his vision. Any changes in that heavenly scene are based on the future events symbolized in the vision. So then, the scene in heaven at Rev. 4 and 5 describes the situation in heaven at the time of John's vision; a situation that does not change until the seals begin to be opened.

The 24 elders of that heavenly scene represent a group that is in heaven AT THE TIME of the vision, not a group that arrives at some time in the future. The reason John is transported to heaven in his vision is because it is the launching pad of all the events about which John will be taught. John's perspective is from heaven, not because of a rapture idea at Rev. 4:1, but because the end-times program of God is launched from heaven, and that is the best perspective from which to "vision" the events.

Furthermore, from this "vision" location in heaven, the "future" events are shown to him as it were on a movie screen and those beings who are in heaven are observing them as well. The "future" visions begin in chapter 6 and when the 24 elders and the living creatures are mentioned again (Rev. 11:16-17 and 19:4) they are shown to be giving a response to the same thing that John is seeing.

My point is that the 24 elders and the living creatures are not part of the "future" visions but are in the audience with John as the future is un-scrolled before them.
See Topic: The 24 Elders

This is a good point to suggest the interpretive view for the book of the Revelation in the context of a PreWrath rapture. Although there may be slight differences even among others who hold to a PreWrath position, the operative factor will be the Golden Rule of Interpretation, for knowledge of which, I am indebted to D.L. Cooper.

When the plain sense of scripture
makes common sense, seek no other sense;
therefore, take every word
at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning
unless the facts of the immediate context,
studied in the light of related passages
and axiomatic and fundamental truths,
indicate clearly otherwise.

Accordingly, I view the book of The Revelation to be chronological except in those places where it is clearly indicated to be retrospect. The seals produce the trumpets and the trumpets the bowls. These do not overlap in the least but are chronological, beginning with the start of the 70th week (or slightly before it) and progressing through the 70th week and to the end of the 30 day period which follows the 70th week.

The book itself obviously begins with the church on the earth prior to the start of the 70th week and progresses through the Messiah's 1000 year physical reign on the earth, to the last judgment and into the eternal state. Throughout, there are chapters that give a retrospect for amplification and it is imperative to recognize these as retrospective sections  in order to retain the true focus and intent of the vision.

At Rev. 5:1-7, John is given a vision of what will be involved at the time that God begins His end time program to bring to completion the redemption of the human race and the judgment of Satan and the fallen angels. The seals represent the events which God has known all along would happen. The fact that Jesus opens the seals represents divine timing and permission for the initiation of these events. The fact that only Jesus can open the seals indicates that the whole plan centers around His person and work as initiated and culminated through the incarnation.

And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.
And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?"
And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look into it. And I {began} to weep greatly, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its 7 seals."
And I saw between the throne (with the 4 living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having 7 horns and 7 eyes, which are the 7 Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came, and He took {it} out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.


Rev. 5:8

And when He had taken the book,
the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders
fell down before the Lamb,
having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense
which are the prayers of the saints.

It should be obvious that these are the prayers of the saints who are on the earth before the seals are broken. These are believers who are presently, at the time of John's vision, on the earth as members of the church. The description that follows most logically points to the only group of believers on the earth at the time of John's vision, and matches with the description of the church that John gives at Rev. 1:6,

And He made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father - -

Rev. 5:9-10

And they sang a new song, saying,
Worthy are You to take the book, and to break its seals;
for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood
{men} from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
And You made them* a kingdom and priests to our God;
(*"them" -So, with the better manuscript evidence at this point.)

This phrase describes the present function of the church
here on earth as found at 1 Pet. 2.9-10,

But you are A CHOSEN RACE,
that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him
who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
for you once were NOT A PEOPLE,
but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD;
you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.)
Rev. 5:10

"- - - and they* will reign upon the earth."
(*"they" -So, with the better manuscript evidence at this point.)

This describes the future, resurrection function of the church as taught by Jesus and the apostles. Mt.19.28-29; Lk. 22.29-30; 1 Cor. 6.2;

Rev. 20.6

Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the 1st resurrection;
over these the 2nd death has no power,
but they will be priests of God and of Christ
and will reign with Him for 1000 yrs.

This same group of saints described at Rev. 5:9-10, on the earth, is viewed again at Rev. 7:9-17 as "standing" in heaven in physical bodies and having come out of the great tribulation.

Rev. 5:9
And they sang a new song, saying,
Worthy are you to take the book, and to break its seals;
for you were slain, and did purchase for God with your blood
[ones] from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
Rev. 7:9

After these things I looked, and behold,
a great multitude, which no one could count,
from every nation and {all} tribes and peoples and tongues,
STANDING before the throne and before the Lamb,
clothed in white robes, and palm branches {were} in their hands;

It is therefore, the most sensible, viewing this at the TIME of John's vision, to see the church on earth at Rev. 5:9-10 where she will continue to function as priests to God until such time as she is removed from within the great tribulation and taken to heaven at Rev. 7:9-17.
There is nothing that takes place between the two passages that explains it in any other way. Notice further how this lines up with what we saw earlier at Mat. 10:23, ". . you shall not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes."

Of course, the question remains as to the identity of the
24 elders who are in heaven at the time of John's vision.
Quite simply, the 24 elders represent those believers who have died and are present with the Lord in heaven at the time of John's vision.
Keep in mind that at the time of the vision, there does exist in heaven all the believers who had died throughout all of history up to that time.
It is most probable that the 24 elders represent both believers of the old testament as well as those of the church who have previously died.
The issue at hand is to realize that the 24 elders are a group of believers who are present in heaven AT THE TIME of John's vision and not a group who GET to heaven at some future time.


Questions are always welcome
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İRon Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
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