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What Does the Bible Say About..Elders and Angels?

I'd like to know as much as possible about the 24 elders in the Revelation. What kind of an angel would I be?


It is a little harder, perhaps, to explain the twenty-four elders around the throne in heaven than to explain the 144,000. The symbolism would be clear to John’s readers, but may not be as clear to us. In general, elders would represent the judges or leaders in Israel. The early church adopted the office of elder as a spiritual leader. Thus, these men were probably representative of the leaders of the church. Using the same sort of calculation as I did for the 144,000 (12 times 12,000), the number 24 could represent the totality of the tribes of Israel and the apostles of Christ. This would fit with the passage. The elders are represented in Revelation 5 as worshipping the Christ. The Law (the 12 tribes) looked forward to the coming of the Messiah, and the church (the 12 apostles) rejoiced at the coming of the Messiah. If that is what these represent (and I believe it is), then the scene is merely showing how the Christ is the completion of the Law of Moses and the head of the church.

In answer to your last question, I would have to point out that you will never be an angel. I am not sure just when or how the idea came about that the dead become angels, but it is not a scriptural idea. Men are men and angels are angels. Each was created for a separate purpose. For a man to become and angel would be like a dog dying and becoming a cat. In either case it would be a step up, but also a physical impossibility. “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” (Psalm 8:4-6, quoted in Hebrews 2:7-8) Here we see that man and angels are two separate types of being. When a man dies, he remains himself; his soul doesn’t change.