Our GARBC Articles of Faith state under VIII (Salvation) that Christ is now enthroned in Heaven. Is this correct? I thought that Christ will be enthroned after the Tribulation, when He comes to set up His millennial reign (Revelation 3:21, 4:4). Also, who are the 24 elders in Revelation 4:4?
The use of “enthroned” in Article VIII means “seated” and doesn’t impinge on the truth of Christ’s coming enthronement for His millennial reign. We are dealing with Christ’s exaltation, and that includes His resurrection, ascension, seating, second coming, and eternal rule. Following His ascension, Jesus went back to the Father. Hebrews 8:1 states, “We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (NKJV). This is the present. What you are referring to is the coming final phase of Christ’s exaltation. There is, therefore, no conflict here.
Concerning the 24 elders, three possibilities exist. One is that they are angels; another is that they are unidentified representatives of the Church Age; and another is that they are representatives of both the Old Testament saints and the Church-age saints (12 priests and 12 apostles). It would seem best to hold to the middle view that they are representatives of the church exclusively, because chapter 4 of Revelation occurs after the rapture of the church but before the end of the Tribulation. Therefore, only the church at that point of time will be complete and in Heaven and thus eligible for reward. The problem with the view that they’re angels is that we’re dealing with a redeemed company (see Revelation 5:8, 9). Angels are not redeemed beings (1 Peter 1:12).
Do you have feedback or a Bible question to submit? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Norman A. Olson in care of the Baptist Bulletin, 1300 N. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60173-4806.