The Controversy Over the 24 Elders

It is interesting to me that the identity of the 24 elders has suddenly become controversial within the SDA Church. It is a concept that is introduced in Revelation but is not defined in Revelation. Given that reality, I don’t think we ought to make this topic a subject of dispute or orthodoxy. But since it is being discussed this week, let me address the problem briefly. I have published two articles in a General Conference book that address the issue of Ellen White’s use of Revelation and I will share more detail at a later time. You can reference these articles in Frank B. Holbrook, editor, Symposium on Revelation—Book II, Daniel and Revelation Committee Series, Volume 6, Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, MD: 1992, pages 163-172 and 363-373. These articles were specifically included because the Committee realized that many Adventists tend to ignore the text of Revelation as long as they have a “convincing” statement from Ellen White on what it means. But Adventists are to take their primary authority from the Bible and the Bible only. This was re-affirmed in the changes voted to the Fundamental Beliefs in 2015.

The argument that the 24 elders are angels seems grounded primarily in four statements of Ellen White, two in private letters (Letter 65, 1898 and Letter 79, 1900), one in Great Controversy, page 613 and one in Signs of the Times, January 4, 1883. Letter 65, 1898 makes that point clearly (the “angel” that spoke to John in Rev 5:5 “is an elder”), the other three sources rather less so. GC 613 and the ST reference speak of angels laying off their crowns, which could be understood as an allusion to Revelation 4:10, where the elders “cast their crowns before the throne” (KJV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV). But the wording of Ellen White is too imprecise to imply these statements are attempts to interpret Revelation 4 and 5. The references certainly echo the language of Revelation, but fall short of a quote or certain allusion. Ellen White was filled with the language of the King James Bible and it spills out everywhere without necessarily implying her intent to interpret the text where that language is originally used. So the two published statements are unclear for the purpose of definitively defining who the 24 elders are.
Letter 79, 1900 has holy angels joining the redeemed in the song of Revelation 5:9-10. That is evident also from the text of Revelation. The four living creatures and the elders (Rev 5:8) sing the song of Revelation 5:9-10. But if the four living creatures are angels, who are the “redeemed” that sing this song if not the 24 elders themselves? So this particular statement could actually be read to support the idea that the elders are “redeemed” humanity, as stated in this week’s lesson.

That leaves Letter 65, 1898 as the primary evidence for insisting passionately that it is apostasy for an Adventist to believe that the 24 elders are redeemed humanity. In this letter Ellen White seems to clearly say that at least one of the elders, the one speaking to John in Revelation 5:5, is an angel. This statement as written goes beyond the biblical text, which does not define elders in this way. So there are several possibilities. 1) Ellen White saw in vision that the elders in John’s vision were actually angels. 2) Ellen White had no definitive revelation on the subject but shared what was common understanding of Revelation 5 in her time. 3) The letter may have been written at a time when she was not at her best (illness, lack of sleep) and thus did not represent her clearest thinking. That might explain why you don’t find this kind of statement in her published works.

To use a private letter to defend ignoring exegesis of the biblical text flies in the face of two emphases of Ellen White herself. First, her own understanding on any subject should be based on her published works, which were carefully edited and generalized for public use (5T 696, see also 1 SM 66, TM 33). Second, her writings should not be used in place of the Bible or to undermine what the Bible itself says (5T 663-668). So a controverted point like this should not be settled on the basis of a single statement in a private letter, particularly when the best biblical evidence points in another direction. The number 24 recalls the priests in the temple (1 Chr 24:3-19) and the New Jerusalem (12 apostles and 12 tribes). Matthew 19:28-30 describes the 12 apostles as tribal heads of Israel. But even more significant, nowhere else in the Bible are angels called elders, sit on thrones, or wear victory crowns. If the elders of Revelation are angels, John would need to say so, since they are described in ways that never apply to angels elsewhere in Scripture. So the weight of biblical evidence falls on the likelihood that the 24 elders of Revelation represent redeemed humanity.

I do not wish to contribute to controversy on this matter. I respect those who disagree and grant that they have a good point. I am only seeking to demonstrate that attempts to argue a “true Adventist position” once and for all on this matter go beyond the available evidence. The consensus of Adventist scholarship in the 1980s and 1990s, as published in the above-mentioned book, was that the elders of Revelation represented redeemed humanity. That doesn’t guarantee the correctness of the opinion, but it should not be ignored either. And the editors of Sabbath School lesson are not in apostasy for having taken that position. In eternity we will know for sure. Let us be charitable to one another on the way there.

42 thoughts on “The Controversy Over the 24 Elders

  1. Andrew Ellis

    It is clear that there were 12 tribes of Israel in the Torah, and it is clear that there were 12 Apostles of the Lamb. There must be some connection here. Also 12 X 12 =144, and the issue in the near future will be over the true of false(temporal) Millennium/1.000 years. Shalom.

  2. Kevin Hellerud

    Mrs. White would say things like “My writings are not to interpret things such as the meaning of the daily in the book of Daniel” despite the fact that there were people in her day who had her quotes to define it. When asked questions about exegesis she would tell people that it was their job to study the Bible,, her job was to point out to people things that were harming themselves in their religious walk, to encourage Millerites to not give up their Millerite experience and the forming of the Seventh-day Adventist church and health and education work, and to talk about the Great Controversy (which was part of the ancient culture and what the Bible writers took for granted but which we have lost over the centuries.) Mrs. White saw her job as to teach us how to do things like evangelizing cities, and she was strongly against her writings being used for exegesis or history or science. We do not want to accept Mrs. White on her terms but force terms that she rejected upon her.

    1. Jon Paulien Post author

      I fully agree with your statement, but in practice only a minority in the SDA Church see things in that way, so expect opposition. The Testimonies, where her gift is seen unfiltered, are virtually devoid of science, history, exegesis or prophetic interpretation.

        1. Jon Paulien Post author

          As one can see from her Testimonies, exegesis was not the primary purpose of her gift. She uses exegetical comments from others as support or illustrations of her main points in the Conflict series.

    2. Dan L. Kelly

      Hi, Kevin: An interesting comment. It confirms that Ellen did not see herself as an “exegete”. It’s amazing to me how God keeps affirming her – and us – in the walk of faith.

  3. James S

    Could it be the EGW was using the idea of angels as being messengers rather than our idea of angels with wings? If so that might clear up the issue of her referring to the elders as angels (messengers). As far as I understand it, The Hebrew concept of an angel is one who does the work assigned them by another. As the Revelation seems to draw on a lot of Hebrew concepts, this could mean that in EGWs understanding the 24 elders were engaged in a work assigned them by God.

    1. Jon Paulien Post author

      The bottom line is she never seems to actually say, “the 24 elders are angels.” That is the interpretation some make of very loose statements about Rev 5. And that kind of interpreting can take you in at least three contradictory directions, so the evidence is that she had no settled opinion on it, the statements people use are casual and focused on other goals than defining the 24 elders.

  4. Lynetta Murdoch

    I just discovered your blog and I love that you are writing these things out! I just hope that if anyone ever offers to read them and supply audio recordings for you, that you don’t turn them down. So many of us have become accustomed to using audio. Is there any possibility of that happening?

      1. DAVID BENTUM DONKOR

        Pastor Jon Pualien, I have followed you over years and I love your presentations as well but I am confused in the regard. Please, personally, who according to your studies and findings are the 24 elders?

  5. Ralph Wood

    In Rev.5:9&10 the 24 elders speak of themselves as “Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on earth.”
    To me this could be an indication that the 24 elders are men who have experienced God in a special way during their sojourn here on earth.

  6. Dan L. Kelly

    Brother Jon! Thank you for this support which is encouraging.

    In our class we examined three alternatives: 1) That the Elders were made up of those of other worlds who had been given Dominion as in Job 1 and 2. This , while possible has a catch in the exegesis inasmuch as the Elders in 5:9 says (in part) “…for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood….” Thus the question must be asked, are those from other worlds subjects of redemption such as we are? Well, in a sense, Yes. But, the evidence is thin at best under our circumstances as compared with theirs. So, we ruled that one out, or at the very least, subjected it to the proverbial back burner

    The second was the prophets assn Apostles. Well, that would take some exegetic gymnastics so that also was discredited.
    certain rotation wo that you and I may have an opportunity to sit before the thronee of Jesus’ resurrection. The logic of scripture seems to support this and your “critique” above lends credibility that opposed to this other view of the Angels being the 24 Elders should also be ruled outs, but on a t. This one I have never heard. So, you have also supported more fully the idea of the Redeemed being highly honored to have seats before the throne of God! And, perhaps, these will be not Permanent Seats and that you and I may have an opportunity to sit before the throne of God in one of these most Honored seats singing the praises of such wonderful (for want of a better word, God!!!i

    1. Jon Paulien Post author

      I am not uninterested, but videos move too slowly for my cluttered life right now. His view is held by others and I have examined their writings. The primary argument is based on statements of Ellen White, but Ellen White never defines the 24 elders, all the statements used are inferential and a less selective summary would point to three different interpretations that contradict each other. I see no evidence she had a specific view on this and if she did, she never sat down with the purpose of explaining it to us.

  7. Luis

    Pr. Paulien. Thank you for sharing your insights concerning this controversy. I just read Pr. Bohr’s comments concerning some Ellen White quotations that seems to support his point of view that the 24 elders referred to powerful angels. I think you mention in your article at least two of these quotations but he also quotes EW referring to one of the elders who talked to John in Rev. 7 as an angel. By the way, I hold to the traditional Adventist interpretation (even Uriah Smith holds this point of view) that this group represents redeemed human beings. I will really appreciate if you can offer a deeper clarification on this issue. Here’s a copy of Pr. Bohr’s article:

    Something similar occurs in Ellen White’s comments on Revelation 7. In the Biblical context John was shown a great multitude that no one could number from all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues who were standing before the throne of God and of the Lamb (verse 9). One of the elders then asked John a question:
    “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” (Verse 13).
    John replied to the elder’s question: “And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ (Verse 14). The elder then says to John:
    “So he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Verse 15).
    Ellen White’s remarks on this episode are enlightening. Whereas the book of Revelation affirms that the elder was conversing with John, Ellen White states that an angel spoke with John:
    Signs of the Times, December 22, 1887: “John beholds an innumerable company, precious, refined, purified, around the throne of the Majesty of Heaven. The angel inquires of John, “What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?” and John answers, “Sir, thou knowest.” Then the angel declares: “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
    It is impossible to miss the conclusion. In its original Biblical context one of the elders asked John the questions but Ellen White identifies the asker as the angel. The inevitable conclusion is that the elder which is speaking is one of the strong angels.
    But there is another vital conclusion: The elder is not a member of the great multitude from all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues. This is important because the King James translation of Revelation 5:9, 10 gives us the impression that the elders were redeemed from every ‘tribe and tongue and people and nation’
    Two more quotations from the pen of Ellen White will suffice:
    SermonsandTalks,volume1,p.20: “JohnsawacompanystandingaroundthethroneofGod and the angel asked him: Who are these in white robes? He answered, thou knowest. And the angel said, “These are they who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of
    The 24 Elders Study Notes by Pastor Stephen Bohr | SecretsUnsealed.org | Page 30 of 63
    the Lamb.” (See Revelation 7:13, 14). There is a fountain in which we may wash from every stain of impurity. And says the angel, “He shall lead them to fountains of living waters, and shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (See v. 17.) This will be the happy privilege of those that have kept the commandments of God in the earth.”
    Signs of the Times, November 22, 1905: “As John saw the multitude standing around the throne of God, the question was asked, “What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?”–“These are they which came out of great tribulation,” the angel answered, “and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

    Thank you and many blessings.

    1. Jon Paulien Post author

      These are similar to the statement she makes regarding Rev 5:5. I take these kinds of statements seriously, but we have to be careful not to read more into them than she intended. The bottom line is she never seems to actually say, “the 24 elders are angels.” That is the interpretation some make of casual statements like these. And that kind of interpreting can take you in at least three contradictory directions with various of her statements (see DA 832 and 834 as examples), so the evidence is that she had no settled opinion on it, the statements people use are casual and focused on other goals than defining the 24 elders.

      1. DAVID BENTUM DONKOR

        I personally studied into the text using the Desire of Ages pages 832 to 834. From this, I understood the 24 elders as the representativesof the unfallen world.

        1. Jon Paulien Post author

          The problem is that Ellen White can be quoted on all three sides of this issue. If exegesis of biblical texts was not her mission, we should not expect her to settle the question.

  8. James Rafferty

    Before coming to the conclusion, consider that this one statement cannot overthrow all other Biblical evidence. We would have to ignore the larger weight of biblical evidence to come to the conclusion. Rather we should seek to harmonize this statement with the weight of evidence.
    For example, in Revelation chapter 1 the pastors or “stars” of the seven churches are identified as “angels” (Revelation 1:20, Daniel 12:3).
    In Revelation chapter 14 and verses 6, 7 and 9, God‘s last day people are identified as angels.
    In Revelation chapter 22 an angel refuses to be worshiped saying:
    “See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God” (Revelation 22:9).
    In fact, the word for angel in the Greek is “aggelos” meaning a “messenger, angel, by implication a pastor” (Strong’s Dictionary Concordance of the Bible).
    The biblical evidence, and especially the book of Revelation, leaves plenty of room for an angel to be a reference to redeemed human beings. If we allow the Bible and specifically the book of Revelation to instruct us, (as we can be sure Ellen White did), identifying a redeemed human in heaven as an angel is no problem whatsoever. Therefore to interchange “elder” with “angel” in reference to redeemed humans makes Biblical sense.
    Jesus Himself, clarifying post resurrection theological controversy, taught that we would be like the angels in heaven (Matthew 22:29, 30).
    In fact, we are clearly instructed that redeemed humans are to fill the places of the angels who fell:
    “The vacancies made in heaven by the fall of Satan and his angels will be filled by the redeemed of the Lord” (Review and Herald, May 29, 1900).

    Again Desire of Ages chapter 87 describing the arrival of Jesus in heaven does not identify the 24 elders. It does not even mention them. Yes the ascension is inferred in Revelation 4 and 5, but the vision is not an exact duplication of His ascension and arrival in heaven. The evidence for that idea is lacking. Yes, The Desire of Ages chapter 87 does quote Revelation 5:12, 13, but we notice that she does not mention the 24 elders sitting on thrones when she describes the waiting throng. This I believe is because those elders are with Christ at His ascension and yet to receive their thrones.

    Revelation 4 and 5 are one continuous scene given to John decades after Christ’s ascension with no indication that the presence of the elders in the throne room preceded the presence of the Lamb. To conclude otherwise would be like me describing what is in my room and then assuming that the first articles I described must have come into the room before the later articles I described. With absolutely no clear statement in the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy, may I suggest more caution in our conclusions especially when EG White applies Rev 5:8, 9 to the redeemed.

    Please prayerfully consider the evidence that Revelation 4 and 5 are one continuous scene given to John by Jesus Himself (Rev. 4:1) decades after Christ’s ascension with no indication that the presence of the elders in the throne room preceded the presence of the Lamb. Please consider that to say that the Lamb was not there because He was not mentioned until later would be like me describing what is in my room and then assuming that the last articles I described must have come into the room after the first articles I described.

    With no clear statement in Spirit of Prophecy to support the idea that the 24 elders are anything but redeemed, but with at least one that directly indicates they are the redeemed, may I suggest more caution in our conclusions especially since both Haskell and Smith (whose book on Revelation carries endorsements from EG White) both teach that the 24 elders are redeemed humans in heaven.

    Additionally, the praise phrase, “holy, holy holy” indicates the Godhead is present in chapter 4 (as noted also in Isaiah 6 and in our Fundamental Beliefs on the Godhead. And we know they are all there because they are all mentioned by the time John finishes telling us who is in the room (“seven Spirits,” Lord God Almighty” and the “Lamb”).

    We really don’t need to do a lot of explaining if we accept the plain meaning of the vision.

    Before the cross there are no redeemed humans in the heavenly vision of Gods throne room (Isaiah 6 and Ezekiel 1).
    After Calvary redeemed human beings have been taken to heaven as an earnest of the redeemed and are now a part of the throne room scene and are included in the work of redemption (Revelation 4-24 elders). Praise God!

    1. Jon Paulien Post author

      James, great to hear from you. I highly respect your work. I agree with pretty much everything you have said above except the part about Rev 4 and 5 being a single continuous vision. They may be, in John’s experience (there were no chapter divisions in the earliest MSS), but the Greek of the chapters is startlingly clear that the scene of Rev 4 is not a specific point in time but a general description of worship in heaven. The the language shifts to very specific, point in time language with the arrival of the Lamb. I can think of few Bible texts with such a startling contrast. I can’t ignore that in service of a desired outcome. If the “elders” rose and ascended with Jesus (Matt 27 and Eph 4) they could still enter the throne room ten days or more before the day of the enthronement ceremony.

  9. Bhaitonie Maambo Namwaanga

    You have actually added more controversy when you said you do not wish to. say something about narration in DA, To My Father and Your Father, P.829-835 that Pastor Ranko gave at end of lesson. are you sure you cannot see the link there of Revelation 4 & 5?. your position is to explain away all Ellen White evidences in the quotations above. the possibilities you gave on E.G white should not actually have been, because they are suppositions. There is much to learn and unlearn even when you are a doctor. how about this, ” There in His open hand lay the book, the roll of the history of God’s providences, the prophetic history of nations and the church. Herein was contained the divine utterances, His authority, His commandments, His laws, the whole symbolic counsel of the Eternal, and the history of all ruling powers in the nations. In symbolic language was contained in that roll the influence of every nation, tongue, and people from the beginning of earth’s history to its close. {12MR 296.3}
    This roll was written within and without. John says: “I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon” [verse 4]. The vision as presented to John made its impression upon his mind. The destiny of every nation was contained in that book. John was distressed at the utter inability of any human being or angelic

    -297-

    intelligence to read the words, or even to look thereon. His soul was wrought up to such a point of agony and suspense that one of the strong angels had compassion on him, and laying his hand on him assuringly, said, “Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” [verse 5 end of quote.

    1. Jon Paulien Post author

      If you take the assumption that every turn of phrase in Ellen White is carefully written to answer all the questions of readers a hundred years later, what you say would be decisive. But there is plenty of evidence that Ellen White was rarely intending to do detailed exegesis of the biblical text. I take all of her writings seriously, but we have to be careful not to read more into them than she intended. The bottom line is she never seems to actually say, “the 24 elders are angels.” That is the interpretation some make of casual statements like these. And that kind of interpreting can take you in at least three contradictory directions with various of her statements (see DA 832 and 834 as examples), so the evidence is that she had no settled opinion on it, the statements people use are casual and focused on other goals than defining the 24 elders.

  10. James Rafferty

    That’s a great solution especially as it does better with the Greek.
    Always thankful for the way you carry these types of challenging theological conversations.

  11. Kevin Hellerud

    It appears that part of the confusion is taking a truth but reading into the truth things that are not there and speculating on the information that is not there.

    It is true that there were people who rose when Jesus arose and who ascended into heaven with him. Then there is the speculation that they are the 24 elders. Then the feeling that if the elders are not those who rose with Jesus then we must be wrong to believe in the resurrection and assentation of these people.

    When we read the Bible, we read of the story of the exodus. The Hebrews had a way of camping during the exodus when they were redeemed from Egypt but not yet in the promised land. We have the sanctuary in the center of the camp. This was where God’s throne was located. Around the sanctuary were the Levites who ministered to the people, then the people in their tribes. They formed a square around the sanctuary. Three tribes on each side. The middle tribe on each side (or one illustrated Bible had these tribes not in the middle as I have usually seen it but had them in the 4 corners) but that tribe had a symbolic animal: Judah the lion, Ephraim the Ox, Dan the snake or the eagle, and if I recall correctly, Reuben. The other two tribes would also share the representation of that animal.

    This is what Revelation 4 and 5 was based on. We have the throne of God with the members of the trinity in the middle. We have the 24 elders at the spot of the Levites, the ministering teachers, and the 4 beasts that represent God’s people in exodus redeemed from sin but not yet in the promised land.

    We have the testimony of the 12 tribes: the Old Testament, and the 12 Apostles, the New Testament to communicate from God upon his throne in heaven to his people who are in exodus from sin traveling to the promised land. It is the 24 elders, the word of God who points out that the Lamb is worthy to open the seals so that the scroll of history can continue. It is the word of God that teaches God’s people in exodus, the 4 living beasts, what God wants us to know as we travel through history.

  12. ASH

    Satan is SNAKE in Garden, then He is said to appear as maan in Isa. THE BIBLE IS WARNING YOU ABOUT REPTILIANS. THEY KILL AND EAT HUMANS. PRAYING ABOUT YOU AND THAT YOU WOULD FIND AN ARK BECAUSE IT IS SO DANGEROUS.

  13. lovemore Nganunu

    revelation 4 ….God the FATHER IS ON THE THRONE and in the centre of the throne are the 4 living creatures
    AROUND THE THRONE ARE 24 ELDERS sitting on 24 thrones

    IN FRONT OF THE THRONE IS THE HOLY SPIRIT(represented by seven burning lamps)

    two of the beings —God the FATHER AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE PRESENT IN CHAPTER 4..FACE TO FACE..CHRIST IS MISSING ON THAT THRONE

    POINT NUMBER 1…..LOOK IN THE CENTRE OF THE THRONE…..CHRIST IS NOT SEEN BY JOHN IN REVELATION 4…..Christ is not seated on the throne at all….the 24 elders are ALREADY SEATED ON THRONES…..before Christ even joins the FATHER ON HIS THRONE…

    point number 2….THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS NOT BEEN SENT TO EARTH AS YET

    IN CHAPTER 5……LOOK AT THE CENTRE OF THE THRONE….John now sees Christ

    in chapter 5….THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NOW SENT TO THE EARTH VERSE 6

    Now lets focus on the priesthood in heaven……the four living creatures and the 24 elders do participate in the heavenly sanctuary ….. they are seen …..holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people

    i grew up being taught that the departed dead went to heaven and are ministering on our behalf and interceding for us…..after studying the state of the dead i realised that’s all wrong…guess what ? i then joined the adventist church and all we are doing is reinforce the same teaching, with word gymnastics on the resurrected saints who went with Christ at ascension …we simply put these on the thrones and perpetuate the same doctrine….clever isn’t it?we think we are not affected by the other group who violate the state of the dead but we warm up to the same ideas…..There is no single text that says the resurrected saints who went to heaven are sitting on thrones……not a single text

    Matthew 27:51-53 tells us what happened right after Jesus Christ died: “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”…This resurrection of several believers was one of the phenomena accompanying the resurrection of Jesus Christ to underscore that monumental event. These saints came back to physical life AND WERE SEEN IN THE CITY

    On the sunday of resurrection the assumption we make is that Christ took them to heaven to wave them before the FATHER AS THE FIRT FRUITS……..this we infer from the study of the Hebrew feasts……the feast of fIRSTof fruits…there is no text that says Christ took them on sunday after resurrection…….Ephesians 4:8
    : “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”…..which ascension is in view here? sunday morning resurrection or after 4o days…..at least the gift of the HOLY SPIRIT WAS GIVEN AFTER THE 40 DAYS ASCENSION…….

    I THOUGHT I knew the feast of pentecost ….why were two loaves presented at pentecost….who did they represent?

    who were the first fruits presented at feast of first fruits?……was it not Christ Himself who was our first fruit from the dead?

    too many questions ….one thing is clear in studying the priesthood in the heavenly sanctuary …ANGELS PARTICIPATE IN THAT SANCTUARY SERVICES…..the cherubim and seraphim do present the payers of the saints

    the 24 elders participate too,…they present the prayers of the saints

    irregardless of study differences ON 24 ELDERS one thing is clear …..ANGELS ASSIST CHRIST IN HIS HEAVENLY MINISTRY

    revelation 20 verse 4 shows when humans WILL SEAT ON THRONES…..When christ has put all his enemies down we will reign with Christ

    if we put humans on thrones in chapter 4 of revelation……try moving those thrones into the MOST HOLY PLACE LATER IN 1844 and then picture the 24 human elders reviewing records of those who died in Christ as investigative judgement starts….you now have a new theology …is it humans who will judge fellow humans or is it as taught in revelation 20:4 when the redeemed will sit and judge angels and the wicked….do the redeemed sit on thrones to open books and judge the TO BE REDEEMED TOO?

    the 24 elders are the 24 elders ……leave them with that heavenly title as that…..dont put Moses or elijah or the resurrects saints and don’t even argue our new modern definitions of who is an elder …this is conjecture territory

    when a text says 24 elders …leave them as 24 elders……..

    i have seen much study …..what i have not seen is the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY…..intellectualism has limits and one can see it clearly that even in the presence of attempts to make the text speak…human thoughts influenced by a past belief of human intercessors is not hidden to see…. Hebrews 8:6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises……question…..how superior are the assistants who assist Christ in the sanctuary ?

  14. Nikki

    Very interesting points to note. I’ve heard members stayed they have proof in Ellen White books but I asked for those evidences and what I’m seeing is other person’s quotes. With exception to Elder Bohr’s inferrences.
    Can anyone tell me if “The Biblical Institute of Ellen White(TBI)” part of our church? I’ve observed quite a number of persons have been quoting from it.

    Regards,

    Nikki

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