Q. I have read your page and found it very interesting and I agree on most of what you said. And yet I have a question. Where on earth do you get Revelation 4 as the rapture of the Church? I have read Revelation many times and I read it again when I saw your comment on the rapture. What part of Rev 4 do you identify with the rapture?
A. In addition to being specific to the 1st Century congregations to whom they were addressed, the seven letters of Rev. 2-3 also give us an overview of Church History from beginning to end. Then in Rev. 5 there’s a group in Heaven singing a song that describes them as being purchased from every tribe and language and people and nation and made kings and priests who will reign on Earth. This can only describe the Church. They weren’t in Heaven in Rev. 2-3 but they are in Rev. 5. That leaves Rev.4.
The group singing is identified as 24 elders whose thrones are spoken of in Rev. 4:4 surrounding the throne of God. These 24 thrones cannot be found in any of the four Old Testament views of God’s Throne, so they’re a new addition to the throne room.
And those who are seated upon them are called elders like church leaders are, they’re dressed in white like the Church will be, they’re sitting on thrones like the Church will, and they’re wearing the Crown of the Overcomer (stephanos) like the Church does. Being dressed in white means they’re righteous, being seated means their work is finished, and being seated on thrones means they’re rulers.
They can’t be a special class of angels, as some claim, because Rev. 5:9 says they’re from Earth. They can’t be patriarchs from Israel because they come from every nation. They’re gentiles singing the song of the redeemed. In my opinion, they can only be the newly raptured Church.