Anchor Secrets Unsealed School of Theology: Revelations Seven Seals

Who Are The 24 Elders?

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: ARSS

Program Code: ARSS190005S

00:15 Well hello, everybody. Welcome to another day.
00:19 I hope you had a good night's rest
00:22 and are ready for a long day of study.
00:24 But I'm sure a very productive study.
00:27 I hope you did your homework
00:29 and you read as many pages as possible
00:32 that we recommended yesterday.
00:34 It's going to be helpful in our study today.
00:38 We want to begin with a word of prayer,
00:39 and then we're going to dedicate all four sessions today
00:42 to the 24 elders.
00:45 And we will not be able to finish the 24 elders
00:48 probably today, so we'll overlap into tomorrow.
00:52 So let's begin with a word of prayer,
00:54 and we'll get right into our study.
00:56 Father in heaven, we thank You for raising us up
00:59 this day and giving us life.
01:02 What a joy it is to be alive.
01:04 Thank You for the fresh air that we breathe,
01:06 and for the good food that we eat,
01:08 and for the fresh water that we drink.
01:11 Thank You, Lord, for all of the things that we just kind of
01:14 take for granted.
01:16 We thank You especially for Your Holy Word,
01:19 which is a sure guide in a world that is so confused.
01:22 We ask that as we study today, that Your Holy Spirit will be
01:26 with us to instruct us, give us clear minds
01:29 and willing hearts.
01:30 We pray in the precious name of Jesus, amen.
01:35 We are going to begin on page 43 of the syllabus.
01:39 The question is, who are the 24 elders?
01:43 And we're going to follow the syllabus quite closely
01:47 because everything that we need to study is found there.
01:53 Now, first of all, we need to understand that the traditional
01:56 view of the 24 elders is that this group are those
02:01 who resurrected with Jesus and went to heaven with Jesus
02:06 when He ascended to heaven after His earthly work.
02:09 That is the traditional view.
02:11 That's what you'll find in most Seventh-day Adventist
02:14 books on Revelation, the Seventh-day Adventist
02:18 Bible Commentary, et cetera.
02:20 We need to study to find out if that idea is correct;
02:26 whether the 24 elders are actually those who
02:28 resurrected with Christ, and Jesus took to heaven
02:31 40 days after His resurrection.
02:34 So let's go to Job 38:4-7 as we begin our study.
02:40 This is on page 43 of your syllabus.
02:43 Job 38:4-7, here God is going to ask Job a series of questions.
02:51 And the questions are relating to creation.
02:54 It says there, God speaking to Job,
02:58 "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
03:02 Tell Me, if you have understanding.
03:05 Who determined its measurements?
03:07 Surely, you know."
03:09 Speaking somewhat sarcastically.
03:12 "Or who stretched the line upon it?
03:14 To what were its foundations fastened?
03:17 Or who laid its cornerstone..."
03:20 Clearly referring to creation, correct?
03:23 And now notice the question.
03:26 "Or who laid its cornerstone,
03:28 when the morning stars sang together,
03:33 and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
03:38 So at creation, we're told here that the morning stars
03:42 sang together and the sons of God shouted for joy.
03:47 Now what are the conclusions that we can reach
03:49 from these verses?
03:51 First of all, Job 38:1-7 is describing events that
03:56 transpired during creation week.
04:00 Secondly, the morning stars, the sons of God were present
04:04 as witnesses of creation.
04:07 Very clearly these verses indicate that.
04:10 Now the third bullet point, there are two possibilities.
04:14 And that is that the sons of God and the morning stars
04:19 represent the same group.
04:21 In other words, the expression, "morning stars"
04:25 and "sons of God" is simply a synonymous parallelism.
04:29 There's also the possibility that the stars are the angels
04:33 and the sons of God are the angels that
04:35 represent the worlds.
04:36 I personally believe that the morning stars and the
04:39 sons of God is a parallelism and refers to the same group.
04:44 Clearly, the sons of God and the morning stars
04:47 existed already when God created this world.
04:50 Is that point clear?
04:52 In other words, the morning stars and the sons of God
04:55 existed before human beings existed.
04:59 They existed at creation.
05:01 Now the question is, who are the morning stars/sons of God?
05:07 Well, the Bible explains itself.
05:10 We can know clearly who the stars are.
05:15 In Revelation 12:3 and 9, we find clearly who the stars are.
05:23 And we've read these verses many times before.
05:26 "And another sign appeared in heaven:
05:28 behold, a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and
05:32 ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.
05:36 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven
05:40 and threw them to the earth."
05:43 So this is Satan, and his tail...
05:47 By the way, the tail refers to the lies that he told.
05:51 We won't get into that right now.
05:52 But with his tail he stole a third of the angels.
05:56 It says here, a third of the stars.
05:58 Now we know they're angels because verse 9 says,
06:01 "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old,
06:05 called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world;
06:09 he was cast to the earth, and his angels were
06:13 cast out with him."
06:15 So the very context explains that the stars
06:18 of heaven represent what?
06:20 They represent the angels.
06:24 Now Ellen White confirms this,
06:26 that the sons of God that are mentioned in the book of Job
06:29 were angels.
06:31 Notice this statement from, Great Controversy, page 519.
06:34 She's reminiscing on the story of Job.
06:38 "The Scriptures declare that upon one occasion,
06:42 when the angels of God came to present themselves
06:46 before the Lord, Satan came also among them,
06:50 not to bow before the Eternal King, but to further his own
06:54 malicious designs against the righteous.
06:57 With the same object he is in attendance when men assemble
07:01 for the worship of God."
07:03 So very clearly the sons of God in the book of Job are what?
07:07 Angels.
07:09 Revelation 12 confirms it, and Ellen White also confirms it
07:13 when she says that the angels of God came.
07:16 The book of Job says the sons of God came.
07:18 So the sons of God are angels.
07:22 Now let's do a little parenthesis here on page 45.
07:28 You know, some people say, "Well, you know, if the sons of
07:30 God in the book of Job are angels, then the sons of God
07:35 in Genesis chapter 6 that had sexual relations
07:39 with the daughters of men must also be angels."
07:43 And you'll find that a good number of commentators,
07:47 Protestant commentators today, believe that in Genesis 6
07:51 the angels actually saw these beautiful women,
07:53 they came down and they had sex with them
07:55 and produced the giants that are mentioned in Genesis chapter 6.
08:00 You know, the problem with that view is that we always have to
08:04 look at terms within their context.
08:07 We have to look at what comes before the expression,
08:10 "sons of God," in Genesis 6:1-2.
08:14 In Scripture, terms do not always mean the same thing.
08:18 Symbols don't always mean the same thing.
08:21 A lion can represent different things in different contexts.
08:25 For example, it can represent Christ.
08:27 He's the lion of the tribe of Judah.
08:29 A lion can represent the devil.
08:31 He goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
08:35 The lion can represent Babylon, as in Daniel chapter 7.
08:39 And the lion can also represent Judah, the son of Jacob.
08:43 So just because you find the lion doesn't mean that the lion
08:47 means the same thing in every context.
08:49 The same with leaven.
08:51 Leaven, we say, represents sin.
08:54 But in the parable of the leaven,
08:56 the leaven represents the Holy Spirit.
08:58 When the Holy Spirit is present in the church, the church grows.
09:01 So leaven can represent the Holy Spirit
09:03 as well as represent sin.
09:05 Depending on the context.
09:07 In the Bible, the sword represents the Bible.
09:10 But the sword can also represent the power of the state
09:13 to execute those who violate civil law.
09:17 So we have to take into account the context.
09:20 And what is the context of Genesis chapter 6?
09:23 The immediately preceding context has two genealogies.
09:27 In Genesis chapter 4 you have the genealogy of Cain.
09:30 Three wicked women are mentioned in the genealogy of Cain.
09:33 These would be the daughters of men.
09:35 Then you have in chapter 5 the descendants of Seth.
09:38 That's the descendants of the righteous.
09:40 And then in Genesis 6:1-2 you have the sons of God
09:43 and the daughters of men.
09:45 The context indicates that these are not angels.
09:49 Incidentally, Luke 3:38 states that Adam was a son of God.
09:59 And Adam certainly was not an angel.
10:01 He was a human being.
10:03 So human beings can be called sons of God as well.
10:06 And you'll notice this text, Romans 8:14-15.
10:11 The apostle Paul says, "For as many as are led by the
10:14 Spirit of God, these are the sons of God."
10:19 How many of those who are present consider themselves
10:21 sons and daughters of God?
10:24 You don't look like angels to me.
10:27 You look very human to me.
10:30 Are you understanding the point?
10:31 So in other words, don't conflate Genesis 6
10:36 with the book of Job.
10:38 They're different contexts.
10:39 And the expression, "sons of God," can mean different things
10:42 in different contexts.
10:44 So let's go now to the bottom of page 45,
10:46 The first meeting of the heavenly council.
10:50 This is in Job 1:6-7.
10:53 "Now there was a day when the sons of God..."
10:58 Who are the sons of God?
11:01 Angels. Very well.
11:03 "...came to present themselves before the Lord,
11:07 and Satan also came among them.
11:12 And the Lord said to Satan, 'From where do you come?'
11:16 So Satan answered the Lord and said, 'From going to and fro
11:22 on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.'"
11:27 Now why did I underline certain words that we have here?
11:30 Well, let's notice the details of the conclusion.
11:34 The sons of God do not always dwell in the presence of God.
11:38 At least these sons of God that came to present themselves
11:41 before the Lord.
11:43 Because we are told that they came a certain day.
11:47 Which means that they are not there all the time.
11:50 By the way, this contrast with Job 1:7
11:54 where it says that Job offered sacrifices always.
11:59 There's a contrast, in other words.
12:00 The sons of God come on certain occasions,
12:04 whereas Job offered sacrifices always.
12:08 Another important point is that Satan
12:11 did not come with the sons of God.
12:14 He considered himself one of the members of the sons of God.
12:17 It says he came among the sons of God.
12:20 So he's claiming a right to belong to this select group,
12:24 the sons of God.
12:26 He doesn't come with them, he comes among them.
12:29 So he's claiming to have a right to belong to this group.
12:33 And then the record also tells us that Satan came from where?
12:38 He came from a planet.
12:40 From planet earth.
12:43 So if Satan came to this heavenly meeting representing
12:46 planet earth, who must the other representatives be
12:50 that came to this heavenly meeting?
12:53 It's not too much of a stretch to believe that the other
12:57 sons of God also came from other planets.
13:01 Are you following me or not?
13:02 Because they came to present themselves among the sons of God
13:09 in this heavenly council.
13:12 Now the second meeting confirms this perspective.
13:15 Let's read Job 2:1-2.
13:44 The same remarks that we made concerning the first meeting
13:48 apply to the second meeting.
13:50 Only, there's another important detail.
13:53 And that is the word, "again."
13:56 In other words, this is a second meeting.
13:59 So must the sons of God have left the presence of God
14:03 after the first meeting?
14:04 Of course.
14:06 Because it says they came again.
14:09 Which means that after the first meeting, they left.
14:12 They went somewhere.
14:13 They went to the planets that they represented,
14:17 in other words.
14:19 Now there's another story in the Old Testament
14:21 that illustrates the fact that God has a heavenly council.
14:26 In other words, God has kind of like representatives
14:30 from all over the universe that gather together to deliberate
14:33 about the running of the universe.
14:36 You say, "Well, God can do that all by Himself."
14:38 Yeah, but God is a delegator.
14:40 In other words, God runs a government
14:42 where it is representative.
14:45 He has different functions for different angels
14:49 and beings in the universe.
14:51 Now notice this example from the period of
14:53 Ahab and King Jehoshaphat.
14:57 Ahab was the king of the northern kingdom,
15:00 the ten tribes of Israel,
15:02 whereas, Jehoshaphat was the king of the two tribes
15:07 of the southern kingdom.
15:09 And one day Ahab says to Jehoshaphat,
15:12 "You know, I think we ought to join forces and
15:14 go fight against the Syrians, our enemy."
15:17 And so Jehoshaphat said, "Well, you know, that might
15:21 be a good idea, but shouldn't we get prophetic approval?
15:25 Shouldn't we get a prophet to tell us whether that's
15:27 a wise thing to do or not?"
15:29 Don't you have any prophets around?"
15:31 And Ahab says, "Prophets galore.
15:35 I've got lots of prophets.
15:36 I've got 400 of them."
15:38 And so he calls the 400 prophets and he says,
15:42 "You know, Jehoshaphat and I want to go and
15:45 fight against the Syrians.
15:46 Is that a good idea or not?"
15:49 And of course, the false prophets said,
15:51 "Oh, you go to that battle, you're going to
15:54 gain a signal victory."
15:57 But Jehoshaphat wasn't convinced.
15:59 So he looks at Ahab and he says,
16:01 "Isn't there a prophet of the Lord around?"
16:06 And King Ahab says, "Yeah, there's a prophet of the Lord,
16:10 He's in the dungeon.
16:12 His name is Micaiah.
16:13 Because every time I ask him to prophesy,
16:16 he prophesies evil."
16:19 Now Micaiah was brought because Jehoshaphat requested it.
16:25 So he's brought from the dungeon.
16:27 Now Micaiah is going to say something very interesting
16:32 about what was happening in heaven.
16:34 Let's read 2 Chronicles 18:18-22.
17:00 In other words, who can convince Ahab to go to battle
17:02 so that he gets killed?
17:10 Evidently, nobody wanted to do it.
17:29 Was that a faithful angel?
17:31 Was that an unfallen angel?
17:34 Using lies to entice Ahab to go to battle,
17:38 do you think that the loyal and faithful angels lie
17:43 to get things accomplished?
17:44 Who was this spirit?
17:47 This spirit was Satan.
17:49 Was he there present at the heavenly council?
17:52 Yes, he was.
17:53 This is another example from the Old Testament
17:56 of the heavenly council where Satan goes
17:58 representing planet earth.
18:01 And now God gives him permission.
18:13 And this is not God's causative will,
18:15 this is God's permissive will.
18:16 He's giving Satan permission.
18:18 It's like what happened with Job.
18:20 God did not cause the affliction of Job.
18:23 God allowed Satan to cause the affliction.
18:36 So does God have a heavenly council?
18:39 Yes, He does.
18:40 Where all of the representatives of the universe gather together
18:44 to deliberate about certain issues relating to the
18:47 administration of the universe.
18:49 On the next page, in, Patriarchs and Prophets,
18:52 page 36, we have a clear declaration that
18:54 there is a heavenly council.
18:57 This is when Lucifer was in heaven still
18:59 and he was spreading his lies about God.
19:02 It says, "In heavenly council the angels
19:05 pleaded with Lucifer."
19:08 So you have the heavenly council gathered together
19:10 and the angels in the heavenly council are pleading
19:14 with Lucifer to give up his idea of taking over
19:19 the throne of God.
19:22 The next example is, after God created Adam and Eve,
19:26 Satan gathered his own council to prepare a strategy
19:30 to deceive Adam and Eve.
19:32 In turn, God gathered His own council to deliberate
19:37 on a strategy to frustrate the stratagems of Satan's council.
19:41 So Satan gathers a council and he says, "You know,
19:44 let's plan how we're going to deceive Adam and Eve."
19:47 And God says, "Well, let's call a council to counteract that
19:51 so that he's not successful in deceiving Adam and Eve."
19:55 Notice, Story of Redemption, page 29.
19:57 "God assembled the angelic host to take measures
20:01 to avert the threatened evil.
20:04 It was decided in heaven's council for angels to visit
20:08 Eden and warn Adam that he was in danger from the foe.
20:13 Two angels sped on their way to visit our first parents."
20:18 So does God have a heavenly council where decisions
20:21 are made concerning the operations of the universe,
20:23 the administration of the universe?
20:25 Absolutely.
20:26 And that's what is happening in the book of Job.
20:29 The heavenly council is gathered together to deliberate.
20:32 And of course, present there is Satan
20:36 representing planet earth.
20:38 And we're going to talk about why he represented planet earth
20:41 at that point in a few moments.
20:43 Now let's notice what Ellen White had to say
20:45 on the identity of the 24 elders.
20:49 According to the spirit of prophecy,
20:51 the sons of God are the commanders of the angel hosts
20:57 and the representatives of the worlds that never sinned.
21:02 They are the members of the heavenly council.
21:05 Notice this statement that we read yesterday
21:08 from, Desire of Ages.
21:10 "The commanders of the angel hosts, the sons of God,
21:15 the representatives of the unfallen worlds are assembled.
21:21 The heavenly council before which Lucifer had accused
21:24 God and His Son, the representatives
21:27 of those sinless realms over which Satan had thought
21:31 to establish his dominion, all are there
21:34 to welcome the Redeemer."
21:37 So once again you have here that there is a heavenly council.
21:42 And you'll notice that the heavenly council members
21:45 are called the sons of God, the representatives of
21:49 the worlds that never sinned,
21:50 and the commanders of the angel hosts.
21:53 Would these be the highest of all angels?
21:56 These would be the highest of all angels.
21:59 Now some have wondered whether Ellen White
22:01 is referring to three groups when the states,
22:04 "the commanders of the angel hosts,"
22:06 "the sons of God,"
22:07 and, "the representatives of the unfallen worlds."
22:09 And the answer is, no.
22:11 These are just three ways of defining the same group.
22:14 Let me give you three examples in the writings of Ellen White.
22:17 I have others, but you know, I didn't want to put all of them
22:21 here in the syllabus, but just to give you an inkling of this.
22:25 Notice Ellen White is speaking about revival,
22:28 this is on page 49, she's speaking about revival,
22:32 and notice how she describes revival in three different ways.
22:36 "Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life,
22:42 a quickening of the powers of mind and heart,
22:46 a resurrection from the spiritual death."
22:49 Let me ask you, are, "renewal, "quickening,"
22:51 and, "resurrection," synonymous?
22:53 Is she referring to three separate things?
22:55 No, she's using three terms to define the same.
22:59 Here's another example, Selected Messages, volume 3, page 392.
23:03 Speaking about the final union of the world against
23:07 God's remnant, "There will be a universal bond of union,
23:11 one great harmony, a confederacy of Satan's forces."
23:16 Is, "bond of union," "harmony," and, "confederacy,"
23:19 are those all synonymous terms?
23:22 Yes they are.
23:23 And then yesterday I mentioned another one
23:25 which is in, Desire of Ages, page 530
23:29 where Ellen White states, "In Christ is life,
23:33 original, unborrowed, underived.
23:38 'He that hath the Son hath life.'
23:40 The divinity of Christ is the believer's assurance
23:43 of eternal life."
23:44 "Original," unborrowed," and "underived,"
23:47 are three ways of saying the same thing.
23:51 Are you with me or not?
23:53 So they are not three separate groups.
23:57 It is one group.
23:59 And when you go to Revelation 4, you see that
24:01 there are not three additional groups in Revelation chapter 4
24:06 besides the four living creatures.
24:08 There's only one other group, which is the 24 elders.
24:12 Now when Jesus gained the victory over Satan on the cross,
24:17 the heavens and all that dwelt in the heavens rejoiced.
24:23 Are there beings on other planets?
24:25 This is the big question.
24:27 Is this the only world in the universe that is inhabited?
24:31 The answer to that question is no.
24:34 When Jesus resurrected, the angelic hosts sang.
24:38 And I want you to notice carefully what they sang.
24:40 Revelation 12:12.
24:52 Are you catching the nuance here?
24:54 Those who dwell in them.
24:57 So it is, "heavens," plural.
25:00 Those who dwell in them.
25:03 "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth..."
25:06 There's one little world in the midst of the universe of God.
25:20 I put in this quotation from Billy Graham.
25:23 Billy Graham, before he died, believed that there are
25:26 inhabitants on other planets.
25:27 This is not unique to the Adventist church.
25:29 And of course, Billy Graham is known as the dean
25:33 of all evangelists while he was alive.
25:35 I mean, he met with presidents, every president until his death,
25:40 and so on, so he's no slouch when it comes to theology.
25:44 This is his statement.
25:45 "I believe there is life on other planets.
25:48 We have this galaxy, the Milky Way and they now speculate
25:52 that there are millions and millions of galaxies,
25:56 and in each galaxy, a trillion stars, planets, and all that.
26:01 I cannot imagine that we are the only one that has life.
26:04 That would be a terribly egotistical thing
26:07 for us to say as a planet.
26:10 I believe that God is the God of all of it,
26:12 and that's why He's so awesome and so tremendous,
26:16 and why, when I come into His presence,
26:18 I feel that I'm not worthy."
26:21 So there are other worlds with inhabitants on those worlds.
26:27 And each of those worlds has a representative
26:31 that represents those worlds in the heavenly council.
26:34 And those are called, the sons of God.
26:38 Now we've already noticed that the 24 elders
26:42 are angelic beings.
26:44 You say, "Well, how do you know that they're angelic beings?"
26:46 You have the sons of God, we've already seen
26:48 the sons of God are angels, according to Revelation 12
26:51 and according to Ellen White.
26:53 But how do we know that the 24 elders are angels,
26:57 that they're the same as the sons of God?
27:00 Well, let's pursue this.
27:04 In Revelation 5:5 we have this interesting verse.
27:09 This is on the top of page 51 of your syllabus.
27:13 "But one of the elders said to me..."
27:15 Here's an elder that's speaking to John.
27:17 "One of the elders said to me..."
27:32 So who is it that is speaking to John?
27:37 It clearly says one of the elders is speaking to John.
27:43 But now notice this comment from Ellen White.
27:47 She's speaking about the same thing,
27:49 the book, the sealed book.
27:51 "This roll was written within and without.
27:54 John says, 'I wept much, because no man was found
27:58 worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.'"
28:03 Now notice her commentary.
28:04 The vision as presented to John made its
28:07 impression upon his mind.
28:08 The destiny of every nation was contained in that book.
28:12 John was distressed at the utter inability of any
28:15 human being or angelic intelligence to read the words,
28:20 or even to look thereon.
28:23 His soul was wrought up to such a point of agony
28:26 and suspense..."
28:28 And now notice, here's the key.
28:30 "...that one of the strong angels had compassion on him..."
28:36 Hmm.
28:39 "...and laying his hand on him said, 'Weep not.
28:42 Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David,
28:46 hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose
28:48 the seven seals thereof.'"
28:49 Are you catching the point?
28:53 It was one of the elders that spoke those words,
28:55 according to Revelation.
28:57 Ellen White says it was one of the strong angels.
29:02 So are the 24 elders those who resurrected with Jesus?
29:05 No.
29:06 And they're not part of the regular angelic hosts either.
29:11 Because Ellen White, in this statement,
29:13 says, "John was distressed at the utter inability of any
29:16 human being or angelic intelligence
29:19 to read the words..."
29:22 So not even an angelic intelligence.
29:24 In other words, the common ordinary angels
29:27 in the angel hosts.
29:29 It had to be one of the strong angels.
29:32 So the elders are angels.
29:36 The conclusion is inevitable.
29:38 According to verse 5, one of the 24 elders spoke to John.
29:42 However, Ellen White identifies the elder as
29:45 one of the strong angels.
29:47 This clearly indicates that the 24 elders are not human,
29:50 but rather angelic.
29:53 Now here's something similar in Revelation chapter 7.
29:57 In the biblical context, God showed John a great multitude
30:02 that no one could number.
30:05 And this great multitude was from all nations, tribes,
30:08 peoples, and tongues who were standing before the throne of
30:12 God and the Lamb.
30:14 Now one of the elders asked John a question
30:18 about this great multitude.
30:20 That's found in Revelation 7:13.
30:23 "Then one of the elders..." Notice the terminology.
30:26 "One of the elders answered, saying to me,
30:29 'Who are these arrayed in white robes,
30:31 and where did they come from?'"
30:33 In other words, "Where did this great multitude from every
30:35 nation, tongue, tribe, and people,
30:37 where did they come from?"
30:39 And John answers the question.
30:41 "And I said to him, 'Sir, you know.'"
30:46 In other words, "You tell me."
30:49 Then the elder says to John, "These are the ones who
30:52 came out of the great tribulation,
30:55 and washed their robes and made them white
30:58 in the blood of the Lamb."
30:59 So the conversation is between John and whom?
31:03 And one of the elders, right? One of the 24 elders.
31:07 Now notice Ellen White's commentary on this.
31:09 Very interesting.
31:11 Very perceptive, I might say.
31:14 "John beholds an innumerable company,
31:17 precious, refined, purified, around the throne
31:20 of the Majesty of heaven.
31:22 The angel inquires of John..."
31:26 Who was it that inquired of John, according to Revelation 7?
31:30 One of the elders.
31:31 Ellen White states, "The angel inquires of John,
31:36 'What are these which are arrayed in white robes?
31:38 And whence came they?'
31:40 And John answers, 'Sir, thou knowest.'
31:43 Then the angel declares, 'These are they which
31:47 came out of the great tribulation,
31:49 and have washed their robes, and made them white
31:52 in the blood of the Lamb.'"
31:53 Once again, the conclusion is inevitable.
31:57 In its original biblical context, one of the elders
32:00 is having the conversation, whereas Ellen White identifies
32:04 the elder as one of the strong angels.
32:08 Now the next paragraph is extremely important on page 52.
32:14 However, there is another vital conclusion that
32:17 we will expand upon later.
32:20 Clearly, the elder was not a member of the great multitude
32:24 from every nation, tongue, and people.
32:28 Are you with me or not?
32:30 Was the elder one of the members of the nations,
32:33 tribes, peoples, and tongues?
32:35 No, he wasn't.
32:37 So when we get to Revelation 5:9-10,
32:40 we're going to find that this is very valuable.
32:44 The elders are not part of the great multitude.
32:48 Keep that in mind.
32:49 We shall find that this is an important point because
32:52 the King James translation of Revelation 5:9-10
32:56 gives us the impression that the elders were redeemed
32:59 from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.
33:02 But they were not.
33:04 Let's take two more quotations from Ellen White.
33:08 Sermons and Talks, volume 1, page 20,
33:10 the top of page 53 in your syllabus.
33:12 "John saw a company standing around the throne of God,
33:16 and the angel asked him..."
33:20 Who asked him?
33:22 Hmm.
33:24 But according to Revelation 7 it was what?
33:28 One of the elders.
33:31 "'Who are these in white robes?'
33:33 He answered, 'Thou knowest.'
33:34 Moreover, the angel said, 'These are they who have
33:38 washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'
33:40 There is a fountain in which we may wash from
33:43 every stain of impurity.
33:44 In addition, says the angel..."
33:47 So it's three times she says, "the angel."
33:49 "'He shall lead them to fountains of living waters,
33:52 and shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.'
33:54 This will be the happy privilege of those that have
33:57 kept the commandments of God in the earth."
34:00 Beautiful promise.
34:01 And then one final statement from Ellen White.
34:04 "As John saw the multitude standing around
34:06 the throne of God, the question was asked,
34:09 'What are these which are arrayed in white robes?
34:12 And whence came they?'
34:14 'These are they which came out of the great tribulation,'
34:17 the angel answered, 'and have washed their robes and made them
34:21 white in the blood of the Lamb.'"
34:25 Now somebody might say, "Well, but Pastor Bohr,
34:28 it says that the 24 elders, you know, they present the prayers
34:34 of God's people in heaven.
34:37 How can they be angels?
34:39 Isn't it Jesus who presents our prayers?"
34:42 Well, let's notice this interesting statement
34:44 from Ellen White.
34:46 Actually, Revelation 5:8 says that the 24 elders play harps
34:51 and present the prayers of the saints before God.
34:55 Let's notice who are these that present
34:57 the prayers of God's people.
34:59 Yesterday I mentioned the ladder that Jacob saw, right.
35:03 Are the angels involved in taking our prayers to God
35:06 and, you know, blending our prayers with the incense,
35:09 Jesus, when the prayers arrive in heaven?
35:11 Absolutely.
35:13 Notice this statement.
35:14 "Heavenly beings are appointed to answer the prayers
35:17 of those who are working unselfishly for the interests
35:21 of the cause of God."
35:23 And who are the ones that do this?
35:25 All of the angels?
35:27 No.
35:28 "The very highest of angels in the heavenly courts
35:33 are appointed to work out the prayers that ascend to God
35:37 for the advancement of the cause of God.
35:41 Each angel has his particular post of duty,
35:44 which he is not permitted to leave for any other place.
35:49 If he should leave, the powers of darkness
35:52 would gain an advantage."
35:55 So if the elders are strong angels,
35:57 or very highest of angels, they cannot be human first fruits
36:02 who resurrected with Jesus.
36:05 Are you following me so far?
36:08 Now here's a question, why was Satan among the sons of God?
36:13 Kind of a discordant note in heaven.
36:16 This pest was up there,
36:19 you know, to kind of spoil the meeting.
36:23 Why was Satan there?
36:25 Well, Luke 4:5-6 has the answer.
36:28 Satan meets Jesus at the mount of temptation.
36:31 And it says there...
36:53 "Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours."
36:58 So what is Satan saying?
37:00 He said, "This has been delivered to me."
37:02 Who delivered it to him?
37:04 Adam delivered it to him.
37:06 When Adam obeyed Satan, he became a servant of Satan.
37:11 Because we're servants of the one that we choose to obey.
37:15 And so, Adam lost his position on the throne,
37:19 he lost his territory, and a usurper took over the throne
37:25 and the territory over which he governed.
37:29 And this is very interesting because before Jesus
37:32 died on the cross, Jesus said, "Now is the judgment
37:35 of this world, now the ruler of this world will be cast out."
37:42 So did Jesus recognize that before the cross,
37:44 Satan was the ruler of this world?
37:46 He most certainly did.
37:48 But what did Jesus say He was going to do at the cross?
37:51 He said He was going to cast out the ruler of this world.
37:55 Was Satan cast out at the cross?
37:58 I thought he was cast out at the beginning.
38:01 Well, this was a second casting out.
38:04 He was cast out as the representative of this world.
38:07 After this, he could not go to heaven representing this earth.
38:11 Jesus now represents this earth in the heavenly council.
38:15 Not only that, he was cast out in the sympathies
38:18 of the heavenly beings.
38:19 If you read, Desire of Ages, the chapters, "Gethsemane,"
38:21 and "Calvary," the mask was torn off Satan.
38:25 And the last little itty bit of sympathy that the
38:29 heavenly beings had with him was gone.
38:31 He was cast out of the sympathies
38:34 of the heavenly beings.
38:36 So Satan was there in this meeting in the book of Job
38:40 because he was representing planet earth.
38:44 However, at the cross he was cast out,
38:47 and Jesus now is the head and representative of the planet.
38:52 We'll notice that in a little while.
38:56 Now let's talk about God's plan for the human race.
39:00 This is going to be very interesting.
39:03 God's plan for the human race was different
39:07 from that of any other world in His universe.
39:12 Whereas, the other worlds had strong angels,
39:15 called elders in the Bible, representing them in the
39:19 heavenly council, God placed Adam to rule
39:24 and represent this world.
39:27 In other words, the other worlds have strong angels
39:30 as their representatives.
39:32 This world was different.
39:34 God placed Adam, one of the creatures that He made,
39:40 to represent planet earth.
39:43 Notice this statement from Ellen White,
39:44 Sons and Daughters of God, page 7.
39:47 "All heaven took a deep and joyful interest in the
39:52 creation of the world and of man.
39:55 Human beings..." Were what?
39:58 "...a new and distinct order."
40:03 Were they the same as the inhabitants of other planets?
40:06 No. "...a new and distinct order.
40:10 They were made 'in the image of God,'
40:12 and it was the Creator's design that they should
40:16 populate the earth.
40:18 They were to live in close communion with heaven,
40:22 receiving power from the Source of all power.
40:26 Upheld by God, they were to live sinless lives."
40:30 So God's plans for this world was different and distinct
40:34 from His plans for any of the other worlds.
40:37 God created Adam and Eve a little lower than the angels,
40:40 according to Psalm 8:3-5, and it's repeated once again
40:44 in the book of Hebrews.
40:47 If they passed the test and trial, God planned...
40:51 Now listen why the plan was distinct.
40:54 ...God planned to fill the vacancies that Lucifer
40:57 and his angels left in heaven when they fell,
41:00 with the redeemed of the Lord.
41:03 Actually, even before there was a need of redemption,
41:07 God had planned that there would be procreation
41:10 on earth to replace the vacancies that Satan
41:14 and his angels left in heaven.
41:15 Even before redemption became necessary, that was God's plan.
41:19 You say, "How do we know that?"
41:20 Well, notice this statement from, The Truth About Angels.
41:25 "God created man for His own glory
41:28 that after test and trial..."
41:32 That is, if they pass the test, right?
41:34 "...that after test and trial the human family might
41:39 become one with the heavenly family.
41:43 It was God's purpose to..." What?
41:46 " repopulate heaven with the human family."
41:51 So what was the purpose of procreation?
41:55 To repopulate heaven.
41:58 The vacancies that were left there
42:00 by Satan and his angels when they were cast out.
42:03 The idea is the redeemed are going to replace them.
42:09 Now this was God's plan before the inception of sin.
42:14 However, was this still God's plan after the inception of sin?
42:20 The answer is yes.
42:22 Notice, Prophets and Kings, pages 588-589.
42:26 "Satan has an accurate knowledge of the sins
42:29 that he has tempted God's people to commit
42:32 and he urges his accusations against them, declaring
42:35 that by their sins they have forfeited divine protection
42:39 and claiming that he has the right to destroy them.
42:42 He pronounces them just as deserving as himself
42:45 of exclusion from the favor of God."
42:48 Now notice, she's quoting Satan's words.
42:51 "'Are these,' he says, 'the people who are to...'" What?
42:56 " take my place in heaven, and the place of the angels
43:01 who united with me?"
43:03 Are you catching a view of the plan.
43:07 "They profess to obey the law of God,
43:09 but have they kept its precepts?
43:11 Have they not been lovers of self more than lovers of God?
43:15 Have they not placed their own interests above His service?
43:18 Have they not loved the things of the world?
43:20 Look at the sins that have marked their lives.
43:22 Behold their selfishness, their malice,
43:25 their hatred of one another.
43:26 Will God banish me and my angels from His presence,
43:29 and yet reward those who have been guilty of the same sins?
43:33 Thou canst not do this, O Lord, in justice.
43:37 Justice demands that sentence be pronounced against them."
43:44 Here's another statement.
43:46 "The Father consulted His Son in regard to at once
43:52 carrying out their purpose to make man to inhabit the earth.
43:57 He would place man upon probation to test his loyalty
44:02 before he could be rendered eternally secure.
44:05 If he endured the test wherewith God saw fit to prove him,
44:11 he should eventually be..." What?
44:14 What was God's plan for human beings?
44:16 He would eventually be what?
44:18 "...equal with the angels.
44:22 He was to have the favor of God, and he was to converse with
44:26 angels, and they with him."
44:30 So in other words, the plan was that human beings,
44:33 if they passed the test, they eventually would be
44:35 equal to the angels.
44:37 Because they're going to replace the vacancies
44:39 that were left by Satan and his angels.
44:42 In, The Truth About Angels, page 49, Ellen White
44:45 makes it explicit.
44:47 She stated, "The vacancies made in heaven by the fall of
44:50 Satan and his angels will be filled by the
44:53 redeemed of the Lord."
44:55 Is that clear?
44:57 Crystal clear.
44:59 Now where do we find evidence in the Bible
45:03 that God established procreation for this purpose?
45:07 Where in the Bible do we find the idea that God created humans
45:10 a little lower than the angels, and that if they passed the
45:14 test, they would be as the angels,
45:17 on the same level as the angels?
45:19 There is a biblical basis for that.
45:22 You remember the conversation that Jesus had
45:25 with the Sadducees about the resurrection?
45:28 It's found in Luke 20:34-36.
45:32 Luke 20:34-36.
45:37 Because they presented this imaginary scenario of
45:39 seven marriages, right?
45:43 And so they're trying to put Jesus between a
45:45 rock and a hard place.
45:46 The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection.
45:50 The Sadducees believed that you lived your life,
45:52 and once you died, that was it.
45:54 There was no resurrection.
45:56 And they also did not believe in the immortality of the soul.
46:00 They didn't believe that, you know, when a person dies
46:03 their soul continues living on.
46:05 That's why they hated the Pharisees, because
46:07 the Pharisees believed in the immortality of the soul
46:10 and the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead.
46:13 The apostle Paul says that in the book of Acts.
46:16 You know, it's interesting that in the times of Christ
46:18 you have all these Jewish sects.
46:21 We could call them denominations.
46:24 And they totally disliked each other.
46:26 You had the Zealots, the Essenes,
46:29 you had the Pharisees, you had the Sadducees.
46:34 All different denominations. They didn't like each other.
46:37 They all claimed to be Jews, but they didn't like each other.
46:40 But the interesting thing is, that when it came to destroying
46:43 public enemy number one, they all came together.
46:46 They set aside their theological differences.
46:49 Does that sound familiar?
46:51 It's exactly the thing that's happening in the world today.
46:54 You know, this pope, this pope is an extremely
46:57 dangerous pope; Francis I.
46:59 He's traveling far and wide to all of the religious leaders.
47:03 And they're trying to draw all Christendom together
47:08 in unity, forgetting the differences in doctrines
47:11 and just saying, "Let's love one another.
47:13 Let's solve the problems of the planet."
47:17 You know, "Let's solve the issue of climate change.
47:20 Let's solve the issue of poverty.
47:23 Let's solve the issue of immigration.
47:25 Let's solve the problem of divisions in the family.
47:28 Let's just all get along. Let's forget about theology."
47:33 But theology is the foundation of life.
47:37 You see, is it important to understand
47:40 the state of the dead?
47:42 Yes? Why?
47:44 Isn't that just an academic thing?
47:48 How important is understanding the state of the dead?
47:52 It's vitally important because if you believe
47:54 that the dead are not dead, Satan is going to deceive you
47:58 by counterfeiting a supposed relative who's going to appear
48:01 to you and is going to teach you things that aren't in the Bible.
48:04 And you're going to believe it because you're going to believe
48:06 your eyes and your ears more than what God says.
48:10 So is the theological position on the
48:12 state of the dead vitally important?
48:14 You better believe it is. The doctrine is important.
48:17 How about the Sabbath?
48:19 Is the doctrine of the Sabbath important?
48:20 You better believe it.
48:22 It's the great test at the end of time.
48:24 The thing is, people today, they say, "Oh, let's just
48:27 get along and love each other.
48:28 Let's just gather together, hold hands, and sing, 'Kum ba ya.'
48:34 Let's just have a good time in the worship service.
48:36 You know, let's just have one hour of praise
48:40 and a ten-minute sermon."
48:42 That's what is common these days.
48:45 Because people don't want theology.
48:47 The post-modern mind, and I'm digressing now from the lesson,
48:50 but the post-modern mind is that there's no absolute truth.
48:54 Your truth is just as valid as my truth.
48:56 So if you want to believe that 2 + 3 is 7, that's fine.
49:00 If you want to believe that 2 + 3 is 5, that's fine too.
49:04 Both are true because truth is relative.
49:07 Because there's no interest in theology today.
49:10 People are only interesting in the sentimental,
49:13 in the existential, what makes me feel good.
49:17 And feelings change.
49:19 I can be happy right now and sad the next second.
49:23 But what does not change is the Word of God.
49:26 The Word of God abides forever.
49:29 Now, I'm preaching.
49:33 Notice Luke 20:34-36.
49:48 So is marriage God's plan in this age?
49:50 Yes.
49:57 That is, the age to come.
50:25 What conclusions can we reach from this?
50:29 The first conclusion, God established marriage
50:31 only for this age for a specific purpose.
50:36 Second, there will be no marriage in the world to come
50:42 because marriage will have fulfilled its purpose.
50:48 Is that point clear?
50:50 Will marriage have fulfilled the purpose of
50:52 filling the vacancies that Satan and his angels left in heaven?
50:56 Absolutely.
50:58 Third conclusion, in the world to come
51:02 the redeemed will be what?
51:05 Equal to the angels.
51:09 Thus, fulfilling God's original plan.
51:13 And finally, like the angels, human beings
51:16 will be called what?
51:19 The sons of God.
51:24 So is there a biblical foundation for Ellen White's
51:28 comments about procreation being established
51:32 in order to fill the vacancies that were left in heaven
51:35 when Satan and his angels fell?
51:37 Absolutely.
51:39 There's a firm biblical foundation,
51:41 and that foundation is found here in the words of Jesus.
51:47 We have this interesting comment from Ellen White
51:50 in the book, Medical Ministry, page 99,
51:54 where Ellen White confirms what we just discussed.
51:58 "There are men today who express their belief
52:03 that there will be marriages and births in the new earth..."
52:10 You know, everywhere I go, and there's young people there,
52:14 they ask the question, "Pastor Bohr, is there going to be,
52:17 is there going to be marriage in the world to come?"
52:21 And I say, "You know, the Bible and the spirit of prophecy
52:25 are very clear that there's not going to be marriage.
52:27 So if you're going to get married, do it here."
52:31 Because it will not happen there.
52:34 And then, of course, I say,
52:36 "But make sure that you do it right.
52:38 Make sure that you don't just get married because
52:40 you want to get married.
52:41 Find the right person.
52:43 If you don't find the right person,
52:44 then just remain single.
52:45 But marriage is only for this life.
52:49 The statement continues.
52:51 "There are men today who express their belief
52:53 that there will be marriages and births in the new earth,
52:57 but those who believe the Scriptures..."
53:00 Like the one that we just read.
53:02 "...cannot accept such doctrines."
53:06 The doctrine that children will be born in the new earth
53:09 is not a part of the 'sure word of prophecy.'
53:13 The words of Christ are too plain to be misunderstood.
53:18 They should forever settle the question of marriages and births
53:22 in the new earth.
53:24 Neither those who shall be raised from the dead,
53:27 nor those who shall be translated without seeing death,
53:31 will marry or be given in marriage.
53:34 They will be as the angels of God,
53:38 members of the royal family."
53:43 So, is this lesson clear?
53:47 Are the 24 elders those who resurrected with Christ?
53:50 No.
53:52 They're angels.
53:53 The highest of angels.
53:55 Strong angels.
53:58 Angels that represent the planets of the universe
54:01 in the heavenly council.
54:03 Now you say, "But 24. Are there only 24 of them?"
54:06 No, the number 24 is a symbolic number.
54:10 And in our final lesson on the 24 elders
54:13 we're going to discuss the issue of the number 24.
54:16 The number 24 has to do with the 24 courses
54:21 in the Sanctuary where the priests served.
54:24 Let me ask you, do the 24 elders perform priestly duties,
54:29 according to what we noticed?
54:30 Do they present the prayers of the saints?
54:32 Yes they do.
54:34 And so what happens is, the 24 courses of the priests
54:38 on earth, and I'm getting ahead of myself here,
54:40 are a shadow of the courses that take place
54:45 in the heavenly Sanctuary because the earthly service
54:47 is a reflection of the heavenly service.
54:51 And so, as you have elders that serve in the church on earth,
54:57 their functions are a reflection of the functions
55:00 of the elders in the heavenly economy.
55:04 Because the church on earth is a reflection of
55:09 the church in heaven, according to the spirit of prophecy.
55:12 So I hope this lesson has been very clear, because
55:17 it's foundational for what we're going to discuss
55:20 in our next class.
55:22 And if you want to go to page 59,
55:23 we'll introduce that next class.
55:27 The title on page 59 of your syllabus is,
55:31 Earth's Two Representatives.
55:37 And you say, "Well, the earth has two representatives?"
55:40 Yes, it had one, and it now has another one.
55:45 And then it will be returned to the original individual
55:49 who had the headship and who was a representative
55:53 of planet earth.
55:55 And then we're going to take a look at
55:58 earth's two representatives.
55:59 That's our next lesson.
56:01 The following lesson is, The Elders; Human or Angelic?
56:07 Because some people, you know, they use Revelation 5:9-10
56:13 where it seems to indicate that the elders
56:16 are redeemed from every nation, tongue, and people,
56:19 and they are going to reign upon the earth.
56:21 And we have to come to terms with that.
56:24 We have to resolve that issue in Revelation 5:9-10.
56:29 And then the last presentation that we're going to have
56:32 on the elders is found on page 95 of your syllabus.
56:36 And that is, The Future History and Functions of the Elders.
56:42 What are the elders going to do throughout eternity future?
56:46 Are there going to be elders in God's economy that are
56:48 going to belong to the heavenly council
56:51 where decisions are going to be made?
56:52 What will their functions be?
56:54 So basically, this is what we're going to take a look at
56:58 in our next few lessons.
57:01 You know, we ended this lesson a lot sooner than I thought.
57:05 We went very quickly, which is nice.
57:08 And so, I think that we can end this session
57:10 with a word of prayer.
57:11 Father in heaven, we thank You for revealing these things
57:14 so clearly in Your Holy Word.
57:17 We thank You that You did have a plan to redeem humanity
57:23 after Adam and Eve sinned.
57:25 We're thankful that You will give us a position
57:28 of leadership in Your kingdom to come.
57:30 Help us, Lord, to be good leaders and to be faithful in
57:33 this life so that when we reach heaven,
57:36 we are able to use all of the gifts that You have given us
57:40 for Your glory and for Your honor,
57:42 and for the growth and prosperity of Your kingdom.
57:46 We thank You, Father, for having been with us in this session.
57:49 We ask that You will continue being with us
57:51 the rest of this day.
57:52 And we ask this in the precious name of Jesus,
57:55 our Lord and Savior, amen.


Revised 2022-05-03