Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

The Doctrine of The Open Door. The Open Doors in Heaven. Part 5.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Point 7. The Open Doors in Heaven which reveal the Rapture and the Second Advent or the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“What must take place after these things” refers to the divine order of things to come, which is:
1. The Rapture
2. Big Genuflex
3. The Judgment seat of Christ

The word elder is the noun presbuteros which means “the old man” in the sense of being in the highest authority, it also means the commander, or the commanding officer, called an elder in the word of God.

Three different opinions concerning who these 24 elders are.
1. Some say Angels.
2. Leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles of the Church.
Some say 24 pastor-teachers of the Church-age.

They are said to be in REV 4:4 upon the thrones sitting.

Nowhere in the scripture are we ever told that angels are seated on thrones, which speaks of royal dignity and honor.

HEB 1:13-14, But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet”? Are they [the angels] not all ministering spirits [servants], sent out to render service for the sake of those [believers, members of the human race] who will inherit salvation?

This privilege is given to believers only because of the strategic victory of our Lord Jesus Christ as a member of the human race.

HEB 2:16, For assuredly He [TLJC in His humanity] does not give help to angels [He did not assume the nature of angels], but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham." [The new racial species called the Jews].

They are seated on thrones, as winner believers of the Church-age were promised,
REV 3:21 “He who overcomes - [the winner believer], I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

REV 3:22, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

To the church and only to the church, is co-enthronement promised, REV 3:21-22.

The fact that they sit on thrones indicates that they reign with Christ.

The Church, however, is repeatedly said to rule and reign with Christ (REV 2:26-27; REV 5:10; REV 20:4;MAT 19:28; LUK 22:30).

This is a reference to the Jews and Gentiles as the apostle Paul said in GAL 3:26-27, For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

GAL 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

REV 5:10, “And Thou hast made them [Jews in the Church-age and Gentiles] to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

In fact, TLJC told His apostles who would all enter into the dispensation of the Church-age that they would rule with Him during the Millennium as well.

MAT 19:28, And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

The Greek word translated here as “elders” - presbuteros is never used to refer to angels, only to men, particularly to men of a certain age who are mature and able to rule the Church.

While angels do appear in white, white garments are more commonly found on believers, symbolizing the uniform of glory over the resurrection body.

REV 3:5, “He who overcomes [the winner believer who fulfills his very own personal sense of destiny] shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase or blot out his name [onomos - title] from the book of life, and I will confess his name [title] before My Father, and before His angels.”

How do we know that this reference to white garments does not refer to, as some say, to the resurrection body that all believers possess but to the uniform of glory for the winner believer?

Not the righteousness imputed to us at salvation but the acts or deeds done in the physical body that is on this earth which will be resurrected at the Rapture of the Church.

The wearing of the golden crowns by the elders also indicates these are men, not angels. Crowns are never promised to angels, nor are they ever seen wearing them. The word translated crown here is the Greek noun stephanos which means a crown given as a badge of royalty, a prize in the public games or a symbol of honor.

2TI 4:8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
JAM 1:12, Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

The phrase, in REV 4:4...golden crowns is chrusous stephanous
which are given to Church-age believers, 1CO 9:25, PHI 4:1, 1TH 2:19, 2TI 4:8, JAM 1:12, 1PE 5:4.

In 1CO 9:25, the stephanous represents the imperishable crown that a winner believer receives for mastering the spiritual life through self-control.
1CO 9:25, And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable [stephanous] wreath, but we an imperishable.

PHI 4:1, Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and stephanos crown, so stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. The phrase in PHI 4:1, my joy and stephanos crown, is a very unusual phrase since we are to derive our joy from God.

Believers who are the source of a pastor’s happiness in time are also the source of his decorations and rewards for eternity, and that is why Paul calls the Philippians my source of joy [happiness] and my crown.

The faithful pastor-teacher will be rewarded for his faithfulness in teaching doctrine,
1PE 5:1-4. Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

And for the people who think that these twenty-four elders represent Israel, but at the time of this vision, Israel as a whole nation had not yet been redeemed. The elders cannot represent tribulation saints for the same reason-not all had yet been converted at the time of John’s vision.

And all of that is how you arrive at the conclusion that the most likely option is that the elders represent the Rapture of the church which sings songs of redemption (REV 5:8-10). They wear the crowns of victory and have gone to the place prepared for them by their Redeemer,
(JOH 14:1-4).

JOH 14:1-4, “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, {there} you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”

You can have the absolute confidence that what lies behind all the open doors for every Church believer is based upon the importance of understanding and appreciating what is seen in heaven after the Rapture of the Church.

Under the doctrine of hermeneutics, which is the study of the proper interpretation of the Bible, we noted some of the following principles in this passage of REV 4:1-4.

The principles of ICE
I = Isagogics = historical setting
C =Categories = systematic theology from combining Scripture with Scripture.
E = Exegesis, grammatical and syntactical analysis of the original languages.

We also interpreted the passage based upon understanding the basic meanings of typology and numerology.
1. The authority of the throne (REV 4:2)
2. Faithfulness of TLJC -(Jasper - REV 4:3)
3. Basis of victory - Sardius - blood being shed
4. A rainbow - our Lord’s integrity, (REV 4:3)
5. Emerald representing, Rest-Life-Growth-Fruitfulness - Maturity.
6. The twenty-four thrones - Authority during the Church-Age
7. Winner believers who communicate God’s word; clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads - a reference to EPH 4:11, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor-teachers.

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