Revelation 4:1-11 | “The Throne and Twenty-Four Thrones”
“Around the throne were twenty four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.” [Rev 4:4]
The key word in Rev 4-5 is “throne,” used 15 times in these chapters. The scene “After these things” is heaven, and the focus is the Throne. All eyes [and worship] are upon Him Who sits on the Throne and unto the Lamb. Chapter 4 also references “twenty four thrones” around the Throne of God. Seated on the lesser thrones are twenty-four elders, clothed in white robes, and with crowns of gold. Who are these? We are not told but from the context of Chaps 2-3, and noting the Greek word stephanos [“crowns”], many interpret these elders as representative of the church. Walvoord comments that just as “the priesthood in Israel was represented by twenty-four orders of priests,... In similar way the twenty-four elders may be regarded as a representative body.”
“The elders wore stephanos, the crown of a victor, rather than that of a sovereign [Gr., diadem]. It was made of gold, indicating that the elders had been rewarded for victory accomplished. It is significant that the elders already have their victor’s crowns. If this passage is regarded as chronologically before the time of the tribulation that succeeding chapters unfold, it would seem to eliminate angels, since their judgment and reward seems to come later. For the same reason the elders do not seem to be a proper representation of Israel, for Israel’s judgment also seems to come at the end of the tribulation, not before. Only the church, which is raptured before chapter 4, is properly complete in heaven and eligible for reward at the judgment seat of Christ. The crowns of gold on the heads of the twentyfour elders would be fitting at this point and would seem to confirm the idea that these may be a representative of the church in glory.”
This fits Rev 4:1, which alludes to the Rapture. If this indeed represents the Church in heaven, then we will be experiencing worship as never before!
Right after the Rapture is the Bema Seat Judgment of Christ [ref. 1 Cor 3:10- 15, 2 Cor 5:10], where those in Christ receive their rewards [their stephanos]. Then follows the Marriage Supper of the Lamb [ref. Luke 12:35-37], a reality of our future hope that keeps us on fire serving the Lord today.
Revelation 4, along with these Bema Seat and Marriage Supper passages, gives us [the Church] a roadmap after the Rapture. And it is a glorious road indeed!