[ Home | Eschatology | Bible Studies | Classics | Articles | Sermons | Apologetics | Search | F.A.Q. ]

Author Topic: The four beasts of Revelation 5 are the Elects?  (Read 1219 times)

Eunice Coughlin

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Obviously I'm a Novice
Re: The four beasts of Revelation 5 are the Elects?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2018, 09:24:02 AM »

A Good Reformed Commentary on this

http://spindleworks.com/library/hoeksma/behold11.htm

Thank you for posting this article! Very helpful  :)

Dan

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 202
  • Gender: Male
  • Dan the Man
Re: The four beasts of Revelation 5 are the Elects?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2018, 01:02:03 PM »
The four living creatures sung this song saying "they" were redeemed from every people.  Can the four gospels sing? Are the four Apostles redeemed from every nation? Was Christ Himself redeemed so He would be singing as these four living creatures? No. So then, I would say this supports these four living creatures representing neither God specifically nor the gospels, but those in Christ redeemed to God by the blood of the Lamb.

Beside from these very improbable reasons, what would make you think these creatures represent God's people? There is more evidence they represent angels or the four gospels than the church.

Dan

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 202
  • Gender: Male
  • Dan the Man
Re: The four beasts of Revelation 5 are the Elects?
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2018, 01:02:57 PM »
Whether you love him or loathe him, here’s Harold Camping’s treatment of the four living creatures. I love it, as I do Tony Warren’s post, on this vexing topic:

www.redatedkings.com/download/Living Creatures.pdf

Harold Camping? That's your evidence?

Tony Warren

  • Administrator
  • Affiliate Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2187
  • Gender: Male
    • The Mountain Retreat
Re: The four beasts of Revelation 5 are the Elects?
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2018, 02:44:45 PM »
>>>
Is that not self serving?
<<<

I don't think so, but how so? I have no vested interest in assigning meanings to Scripture that cannot be validated by the word of God itself. Just the opposite, my interest is only in validated doctrines based solely upon what is written in the Bible. It doesn't serve me in any way to say something that is not true. If you know of something I said that wasn't true, by all means bring it to my attention and I'll endeavor to correct it. Because my vested interest is in getting it right, not in justifying myself in something that might just sound right.


Quote
>>>
It's both?
<<<

Sure. I've already given you numerous examples of exactly that recorded in scripture, such as the Light, the Temple or even Israel. So since God has set a legal precedent concerning the body of believers illustrated in the person of the Lord, I don't think you have a leg to stand on in denying such symbolism can be both.

Ephesians 2:21-22
  • "In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
  • In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."

So then, is the Holy Temple "BOTH" The Lord Jesus Christ and also His Holy messengers? ...You decide.


Quote
>>>
You're just trying to defend Tim and Bruno because they are fellow Calvinists.
<<<

I'm merely telling you the truth. Brother Tim and Bruno need no defending from me, as their doctrines are supported by a sound exegesis. What do you support yourdoctrines with? As for being a fellow Calvinist, I'm not a Calvinist so you're wrong on that count as well. I follow Christ, not Calvin. My doctrines are from Scripture, the unadulterated word of God, not Calvin's Christian institutes. So if you have a problem with my doctrine testified from the bible, please show chapter and verse where it is in error. Calvin will have to speak for himself, through his own writings.


Quote
>>>
To borrow a phrase you always use, "You can't have it both ways"
<<<

Having it both ways is saying the Covenant is with Israel, but the New Covenant with the church is not with Israel, even though the Lord said He would make a New Covenant with Israel and Christ confirmed it in the church. Having it both ways is saying Jews are Jews by nation, heritage or bloodline, when God's word says Jews are not Jews by that criteria.  That's trying to have it both ways. Having it both ways is not Christ declaring He is the Holy Temple and also declaring His people are the Holy Temple. That sir is divine unadulterated, righteous infallible truth of our blessed and personal communion with God. There's only one way to have it, and that's defining terms on God's terms. ...to have it God's way, which is singular.

"nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Tony Warren

  • Administrator
  • Affiliate Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2187
  • Gender: Male
    • The Mountain Retreat
Re: The four beasts of Revelation 5 are the Elects?
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2018, 02:50:41 PM »
>>>
Beside from these very improbable reasons...
<<<

Improbable reasons?

Revelation 5:8-10
  • "And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
  • And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
  • And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."

What would make you think those words improbable? The four living creatures proclaimed "because thou wast slain, and didst redeem b]us[/b] to God in thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation." What exactly is implausible or unlikely about that testimony? That they and the 24 elders were redeemed out of every nation? 

Or is it that this would preclude them from being Angels, the four gospels, the four apostles, or God Himself?


Quote
>>>
...what would make you think these creatures represent God's people?
<<<

Time won't permit me to list the reasons, but how about that they are the "living ones" or living creations in Christ Jesus, or that they are those who were redeemed by the Blood of Christ, or that they are those who never cease to proclaim the holiness of the Lord God Almighty, or that God says the Woman Israel was given Eagles wings, or that they were in the midst of the throne and round about the throne (they reign as kings ruling, and yet they also serve the king ruling). That they are those who dwell within the Temple, who make up the Temple, and yet are also those who are ministers of the Temple which is Christ. That they are Kings and Priests and yet they serve the King and Priest. In short, this illustrates God's redeemed with a very personal and intimate connection with the Lord--that you don't really seem to comprehend.

1st Corinthians 12:12-14
  • "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
  • For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
  • For the body is not one member, but many."

The body is one, though it has many members, a symbol of the body of Christ. Not unlike the symbol of the Temple, Jerusalem or the four living creatures.


Quote
>>>
There is more evidence they represent angels or the four gospels than the church.
<<<

If by the translated word "angels" you mean "messengers" as the God inspired and intended word, then I would agree with you that there is a lot of evidence that these four living creatures are a token of those messengers "universally" redeemed by Christ, who don't turn to the right or to the left, that follow the Spirit wherever it leads, and are given Eagles wings and are recognized as the body of Christ. Is it not written in the word of God to whom the word was given, "Ye are gods?"

John 17:22-23
  • "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
  • I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."

The indwelling Spirit of God, through the Son forms a perfect bond of union, knitting us all together universally into a living unity, symbolized in the four living creatures.

"nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Eugene Coburn

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 41
  • Obviously I'm a Novice
Re: The four beasts of Revelation 5 are the Elects?
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2018, 06:38:04 AM »
Good information. Are any of you aware that Irenaeus was the first to connect the four beasts or four living creatures to aspects of Christ's life and ministry?

Sportsnut

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 76
  • I'm a llama!
Re: The four beasts of Revelation 5 are the Elects?
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2018, 05:32:45 PM »
No. I'll have to check that out.

Tim Norton

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 44
  • Obviously I'm a Novice
Re: The four beasts of Revelation 5 are the Elects?
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2018, 07:26:34 AM »
Excerpt from "Before the Throne" Copyright 2009

Sermons on the Book of Revelation # 10
Texts: Revelation 4:1-11; Isaiah 6:1-7

By Professor Kim Riddlebarger


In verse 4, John now turns his focus away from God’s glory to the creatures who attend the divine throne. “Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.” The identification of these beings is the subject of much debate. The number of them, twenty-four, certainly points us to the church in both testaments, the twelve tribes in the Old Testament and the twelve apostles in the New. Given their function before the throne, these elders are probably angelic beings who are the heavenly representatives of God’s people in both the Old and New Testaments.[7] While the earlier vision in Revelation 1-3 viewed the church in light of its earthly struggles, this vision views the church in light of its heavenly identity. If the elders depicted here are indeed connected to the angels of the seven churches, this should remind us that the church on earth must find its true identity in heaven, where God and the Lamb are worshiped in Spirit and in truth. Therefore, what is done on earth in the churches must be conducted in the light of what is even now being done in heaven.

God’s glory in heaven is accompanied by the phenomena associated with God’s judgment and presence found on earth throughout redemptive history. According to John, “From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder.” Since these same phenomena repeatedly appear at key moments in the biblical drama, it is not accidental then that they will appear again in the Book of Revelation at the conclusion of the seven judgments yet to be revealed. The presence of lightening and thunder reminds God’s people that God has not forgotten them in the midst of their earthly struggles.[8] But this is not all John sees. “Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.” Drawing upon the visions of Zechariah and Ezekiel connecting lamps with the Spirit of YHWH and with the Spirit of Christ present with his churches in Revelation 1, this is clearly a reference to the seven-fold fullness of the blessed Holy Spirit.

And there is more. “Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.” This scene certainly echoes Exodus 24, when Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, went up on the Mount of Sinai and saw God, and then reported that under his feet they saw a pavement of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. This may also refer to a transparent pavement which surrounds the throne. But one thing is certain. The heavenly sea is tranquil, like glass. The seas of earth are the frequently the scene of storm and tempest. The sea is also depicted in Revelation as the place of chaos and rebellion, from which the beast emerges to wage war upon the saints as we read in Revelation 11:7 and 13:1. But in heaven, the sea is calm, like glass, clear as crystal. There is no storm or tempest here, only calm and peace.
 
Not only does John see twenty-four elders, like Isaiah, he sees other creatures who attend the one who sits upon the throne. “In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings.” Similar creatures were seen by Ezekiel in his vision of God’s throne as he reports in the first chapter of his prophecy. These creatures were also were seen by Isaiah, who tells us, “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: `Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Such an amazing sight overwhelms Isaiah with a sense of his own sinfulness.

Throughout the book of Revelation, numbers are always used symbolically. The number four is used throughout the apocalypse as the number of the world, since the earth is said to have four corners (north, south, east and west), four winds, and is divided into four regions; earth, sea, rivers and springs, and the heavens. Therefore, when John sees four living creatures, they represent the entire created order. This is why they are depicted as looking like the earth’s great creatures, man, the lion, the ox and the eagle. But given their function as part of the royal entourage surrounding the throne who continually worship the one seated there, and given the fact that they are covered with eyes which see everything, these creatures serve as the royal guardians who keep God’s heavens from being defiled. They not only worship God and the Lamb in heaven, they also execute God’s judgments upon the earth.

In fact, in Revelation chapter 6, we learn that these same living creatures will go forth to bring judgment upon the earth when the first four seals of judgment are opened. But in Revelation 4, John describes their function in worship, “day and night they never stop saying: `Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’” The heavenly hymns they sing remind us that God is holy, that he is triune (hence, the three-fold repetition “holy, holy, holy”) that he is eternal (without beginning and end) and that he is sovereign (he is the Almighty). Given these glorious attributes and Tri-unity of God, he alone is worthy of praise. And he has been from all eternity.

Furthermore, when these living creatures praise God, they represent the whole of creation praising the creator. And when they worship–as they have from all eternity–the twenty-four elders join them. The picture we are to draw from this that all creation (represented by the four living creatures) as well as all of God’s redeemed people (represented by the twenty-four elders) worship the one who is alone worthy of our worship. John describes this scene for us in verses 9-11. “Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: `You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.’” This not only reminds us of God’s unspeakable greatness, but the heavenly scene should become the pattern for all Christian worship on earth.

Given this amazing scene, there is much here for us in terms of application.

For those persecuted and struggling churches of Asia Minor, such a scene would not only have given them great encouragement in the face of their struggles, John’s vision of God’s throne will confirm for them that God’s will is being done on heaven, even while Satan wages war upon them while they live upon the earth. Not only does this point us ahead to a time when God’s will will be done upon the earth, this scene confirms the blessed state awaiting all those who die in Christ. Therefore, when the beast puts one of God’s saints to death, that saint comes to life and they reign with Christ. And now having been given a glimpse of the heavenly throne, the persecuted saints on earth know what awaits them in heaven when they die. But not only does this scene give comfort to Christians facing death as the hands of the beast, it should give comfort to all of us who have stood beside the graves of those we love. For all those who die in Christ–including all those who we have loved and who precede us in death–have taken their places before the throne, adding their voices to those of the heavenly choir. They have come to life and now reign with Christ for a thousand years, as they await the great and glorious day of the resurrection.

This heavenly scene should inform our understanding of worship. Any worship that is truly Christian must be directed toward God, since he alone is worthy of our worship. Any other conception of worship is intrinsically idolatrous. What this means for us is simply this: God is the audience of our worship, since he blesses us through a divine visitation through word and sacrament. Indeed, our worship is directed to the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb who walks in our midst. Therefore, the congregation as a whole assembles for the purpose of worshiping God in heaven. We do not come here this morning to watch what goes on in the front of the church or to listen to the choir. We come here to add our voices to those of the elders, the angels, the four living creatures and multitude of departed saints who worship God in heaven at this very moment.

Reformer

  • Affiliate Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1671
  • Reformed and Evangelical
Re: The four beasts of Revelation 5 are the Elects?
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2018, 09:59:11 AM »
You know what I find interesting in almost all of the Reformed commentaries that I have read on these four living creatures? Though none of them say that this imagery points to the redeemed believers in its relationship to Christ, nearly all (like the above excerpt by Kim Riddlebarger) seem to know that there is some intimate relationship to the risen in Christ, because they immediately go into speaking about the church relationship. Even as these 4 point to Christ's sacrifice and fulfillment as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. So though they don't come out and specifically say this is symbolic of the redeemed body of Christ as Tony warren does, I think they clearly understand that relationship of these living creatures to the church. Personally, I agree with Tony and believe that the 24 elders, the 4 living creatures, and the many messengers around the throne represent all those who live and reign with Christ, through Christ.

Re 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Are they not ministering spirits?

Re 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Have these 4 living creatures been made kings and Priests who reign on earth?

Re 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

who are these messengers round about the throne, beasts and elders? It just seems to me they are the same messengers of Revelation chapter 12 who stood with Christ, and they are identified along with the 24 elders and 4 living creatures around and in the throne. It seems to me to be in total harmony. Especially since it says of the 24 elders and 4 living creatures, that God had made them unto God kings and priests and that they would reign on the earth. Also as Tony said, they are identified as those who had been redeemed by the blood of Christ. And last but not least, they are those who came with the golden vials of prayers of saints. When everything points in one direction, perhaps we should look in that direction.

 


[ Home | Eschatology | Bible Studies | Classics | Articles | Sermons | Apologetics | Search | F.A.Q. ]