In God’s throne room, humanity is represented by 24 elders.

SUMMARY

In Revelation, there are 24 elders that sit on 24 thrones all around God’s throne (4:4). Their thrones indicate that they share in God’s rule of the universe. The purpose of this article is to determine who they are.

PEOPLE; NOT ANGELS

For the following reasons, the 24 elders are redeemed people; rather than angels:

      • They are called “elders;” a familiar Biblical title for human beings.
      • The elders sit on thrones and Revelation promises that THOSE WHO OVERCOME will one day sit on thrones (3:21; 20:4).
      • They are “clothed in white garments” (4:4). Revelation promises white robes to the PEOPLE OF GOD (3:4-5; cf. 3:18; 6:11; 7:9, 14).
      • The 24 elders have victory crowns (stephanos) as opposed to the royal crowns (diadêma) worn by rulers over territory. In Revelation, the stephanos is the reward for the OVERCOMERS (2:10; 3:11) and symbolizes eternal life (2:10; cf. 2 Tim 4:8).
      • In the book of Revelation, numbers often have symbolic meanings. The number 24 is equal to 12 + 12 and the number 12 is associated with the PEOPLE OF GOD, for example, the “twelve stars” of the pure woman (12:1) or the “twelve gates” and “twelve foundation stones” of the New Jerusalem (21:12, 14), which is another symbol for the pure woman (21:9-10; cf. 21:17; 7:4-8).

In conclusion, the 24 are called “elders,” “sit on thrones” and wear “white garments” and victory crowns. All of these, as well as the number 12 on which the number 24 is based, identify them as people, namely as God’s redeemed people.  

FROM BOTH THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS

The names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel” are written on the “twelve gates” of the New Jerusalem and the “names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” are written on its “twelve foundation stones” (21:12, 14). The New Jerusalem, therefore, symbolizes the totality of Israel; twelve from both the Old and the New Testament. It is proposed that the 24 elders, in number being equal to 12+12, similarly represent the people of God in both the time of Old Testament Israel and the era of the church.

Other instances where Revelation merges the Old and New Testaments, include:

    • The Jewish “seven lampstands” become a symbol for the church (1:20).
    • The song of Moses and of the Lamb combines the key figures of the Old and New Testaments (15:3).
    • The woman of Revelation 12 represents both Israel and the church.
    • Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, becomes the bride of Christ (21:2; cf. 19:7; 21:27).

For these reasons, the 24 elders in this vision represent all of redeemed humanity, in both its Old and New Testament forms.

HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES.

At the moment that Jesus died, “many holy people who had died were raised to life. … they went into the holy city and appeared to many people” (Matt 27:51-53, NIV). They did not afterward remain on earth because we hear nothing more of them. Neither did they die again. Paul wrote that, when Jesus ascended, “He led captive a host of captives” (Eph 4:8). The 24 elders could be those who were raised from the dead at the time of the crucifixion.

CONCLUSIONS

It is wonderful to think that human beings, that love God with their whole heart and their fellow human beings like themselves, reign with God and take part in the activities of the control room of the universe.

– END OF SUMMARY – 

Around the throne were twenty-four thrones;
and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting,
clothed in white garments,
and golden crowns on their heads
” (Rev. 4:4).

In Revelation, there are 24 elders all around God’s throne. Each of them sits on a throne. Since thrones symbolize authority, and since God rules all creation, it means that the 24 elders share in God’s rule of the universe. In Revelation, they sometimes explain to John what different things mean (5:5; 7:13). The book of Revelation never tells us WHO they are. So we have to examine the available evidence and make the most appropriate judgment we can on the issue.

There are two major views of the twenty-four elders. Some people see them as a special class of angels, much like the four living creatures. The other view is that they are representatives of redeemed humanity.

There are a number of problems with the angel-view:

      • Angels are never called elders.
      • Neither are they ever depicted as sitting on thrones.
      • Nowhere do angels wear crowns of any kind.

But the people of God are called elders and they are promised to sit on thrones and to receive crowns, as shown below. This provides strong evidence that the 24 elders are human beings:

SIT ON THRONES

Revelation tends to embed an outline of the next vision in the climax of the previous vision. As discussed in another article, Revelation 3:21 is the climax of the messages to the seven churches and provides an outline of the next four chapters. It, therefore, is relevant to the interpretation of Revelation 4. It reads:

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne” (NIV).

In other words, Revelation 3:21 promises that those who overcome will one day sit on thrones (cf. 20:4). Since the 24 elders do sit on thrones around God’s throne, it implies that they are overcomers.

WHITE GARMENTS

The 24 elders are “clothed in white garments” (4:4). Revelation, fairly consistently, relates white robes to the people of God on earth during the Christian era:

      • White garments are promised to the overcomers in Sardis (3:4-5).
      • Laodicea does not yet have them but is invited to “buy” white garments (3:18).
      • The martyrs of the fifth seal receive white “robes” (6:11).
      • The great multitude is “clothed in white robes” (7:9) for they “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (7:14).

The following refers to clean linen rather than to what garments but are related:

      • The angels in the heavenly temple are clothed in “linen, clean and bright” (15:6).
      • His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints“ (19:7-8).

In the latter passage, this fine linen is defined as “righteous acts.” Still another related passage is where God’s people are warned to “keeps his clothes” in the midst of the 

GOLDEN CROWNS

The 24 elders wear golden victory crowns (Greek: stephanois) as opposed to the royal crowns (Greek: diadêma) of rulers over territory.

In the ancient world, the stephanos was not an emblem of royal authority but a symbol of victory or as a reward for exceptional conduct, for instance, the crown that goes to the winning general. It was often a wreath made of foliage. It is best known today as the crown received by the winner in the ancient Olympic games.

In Revelation, the stephanos is:

      • Associated with conquest (6:2),
      • The reward for the overcomers in Smyrna (Rev 2:10) and Philadelphia (3:11),
      • The “crown of life” (2:10).
      • Worn by the woman of Revelation 12 (12:1).

The locusts of Revelation 9:7 also wear golden victory crowns, which supports the notion that the trumpets are warnings by God, through His people, to the world, which the world experience as utter torment (11:10).

Elsewhere in the New Testament:

      • The word stephanos is also used for the crown of thorns that Jesus wore on the cross (Matt 27:29; Mark 15:17; John 19:2 and 5).
      • Paul anticipates a stephanos crown on the day when Jesus returns (2 Tim 4:8). In this verse, just like in Revelation 2:10, it seems to represent eternal life.

So in the New Testament more broadly, the “stephanos” crown is a reward of the overcomer and associated with eternal life.

THE NUMBER 24

The number 24 could be drawn from the fact that the priests were organized into 24 divisions, each of which served consecutively in the temple for a week at a time (1 Chr 24:1-19). In 5:8 “the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding … golden bowls full of incense.” The incense implies that they function as priests. So, associating the elders with the 24 divisions of the Israelite priesthood is certainly possible.

Even more likely is that the number 24 arises from a doubling of the number twelve. In the book of Revelation, numbers often have a symbolic role:

      • The number 3 is associated with the godhead (Rev 1:4; 4:8).
      • The number 4 signifies the whole earth (e.g. 7:1; 10:11).
      • The number 7 signifies completeness in time (seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls). For example, the seven Spirits of God signifies that God’s Spirit will ALWAYS be with us.
      • The number 12 is associated with the people of God, for example:
          • The pure woman has “twelve stars” on her head (12:1).
          • “The New Jerusalem, which is another symbol for “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (21:9-10), has “twelve gates” (21:12) and “twelve foundation stones” (21:14). Furthermore, the height of its walls is 144 = 12 x 12 cubits (21:17).
          • The number 144000 in 7:4-8 is also derived from the number 12, being 12 x 12 x 1000.

Since 24 = 12 + 12, the root number for the 24 elders is 12, which is the number of God’s people.

ALL REDEEMED HUMANITY

The names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel” are written on the “twelve gates” of the New Jerusalem and the “names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” are written on its “twelve foundation stones” (21:12, 14). The New Jerusalem, therefore, symbolizes the totality of Israel; twelve from both the Old and the New Testaments. It is proposed that the number 24, similarly, is equal to 12+12 and that the 24 elders are heavenly representatives of the people of God in both the time of Old Testament Israel and the era of the church.

MERGES THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS

Other instances where Revelation merges the Old and New Testaments, include:

      • The “seven lampstands,” which is an ornament from the Jewish temple, become a symbol for the church of God (1:20).
      • The song of Moses and of the Lamb combines the key figures of the Old and New Testaments (15:3).
      • At first, the woman of Revelation 12 is pregnant; expecting Christ (12:1-5). Here, she represents Old Testament Israel. After Christ was “caught up to God and to His throne” (12:5) she continues to exist and to be persecuted by the dragon (12:6, 14).  She, therefore, represents God’s people from both dispensations.
      • Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel, becomes the bride of Christ (21:2; cf. 19:7; 21:27).

JESUS’ WORDS

Jesus said to His disciples: “In the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt 19:28, ESV, see also Luke 22:30). Here the twelve disciples are associated with both heavenly thrones and with the twelve tribes. They are the counterparts to the twelve tribal heads (patriarchs) of Old Testament Israel. And they are also depicted to have a role in the final judgment.

For these reasons, the 24 elders in this vision represent all of redeemed humanity, in both its Old and New Testament forms. They are not the tribal leaders or the apostles in person, they are representative figures.

HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES.

If the 24 elders represent redeemed humanity, at what point did they enter into heavenly places? Evidence in the New Testament suggests that the elders can be associated with events that occurred at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. At the moment that Jesus died:

The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people” (Matt 27:51-53, NIV).

Their existence was noticed as they wandered through Jerusalem’s streets after His resurrection. It is unlikely that these resurrected saints remained on earth afterward because their witness would have been a powerful one and widely noticed. Neither did they die again. Paul gave us a small clue.

When He ascended on high,
He led captive a host of captives
” (Eph 4:8).

At His ascension, Jesus was accompanied by “a host of captives,” possibly those who were raised from the dead at the time of the crucifixion. They might be among the 24 elders around the throne of God.

It is possible, however, that attempting to specifically identify the 24 elders with those raised at Jesus’ crucifixion, is being too precise. These representatives for God’s people could have been designated for their special roles in many other ways.

THEY WERE THERE BEFORE CHRIST ARRIVED.

There is one final challenge to this identification of the 24 elders. If they include people raised at Christ’s crucifixion and who ascended with Jesus, why are they seen in the heavenly throne room BEFORE Jesus Himself appears there?

This is not as big a problem as it might seem at first. The ascension was on the 40th day after the crucifixion (Acts 1:3). Revelation 5:6 implies that Christ arrived in the heavenly court AFTER the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, which was 50 days after the cross. So, these resurrected saints could have arrived in God’s throne room at least ten days before the great event of Revelation 5.

CONCLUSIONS

It is wonderful to think that human beings, that love God with their whole heart and their fellow human beings like themselves, reign with God and take part in the activities of the control room of the universe.

Full certainty about who these twenty-four elders are is not possible. That they are representatives of redeemed humanity before God makes the most sense in the light of the available evidence.

FINAL CONCLUSIONS

    • The 24 elders in God’s throne room are people; not angels.
    • The number 12 is associated with God’s people.
    • The 24 elders represent God’s people from all dispensations.
    • Revelation merges the church into the Jewish symbols of the Old Testament.
    • God appoints human beings to reign over the creation under Him.

AVAILABLE ARTICLES ON REVELATION

INTRODUCTORY
   Why is the title of this website Revelation BY Jesus Christ?
   Are events described in chronological sequence? 
   Is a consistently literal interpretation appropriate?
   Does Revelation present Jesus as God?
   God’s throne – the center of the universe.
BABYLON
   Babylon; the mother of harlots – main article
   Babylon’s merchants are her false prophets.
   Babylon is not the reconstructed ancient city of Babylon.
   Babylon is the driving force behind the beast.
SEVEN-HEADED BEASTS
   The Seven-Headed Beasts of Revelation identified
   The three beasts are three of the seven heads.
   The Seven Heads identified
REVELATION 13
    13:1-2 – The Beast relates to Daniel 7.
   13:3-4 – The fatal wound
   The beast of Revelation is the Mainstream Church of Christendom.
SEVEN SEALS
   Introduction to the Seven Seals – What book is this?
   The 24 elders are human beings in God’s immediate presence.
   Revelation 5 is Christ’s enthronement after His ascension.
   The Sixth Seal concludes with Christ’s Return.
   Does the seventh seal include the seven trumpets?
   Seven seals explained
SEVEN PLAGUES
   The Plagues of Revelation – 16 articles

For further reading, Jon Paulien’s commentary is recommended. For general discussions of theology, I recommend Graham Maxwell, who you will find on the Pineknoll website.

The sixth seal includes the last plagues and conclude with Christ’s return.

SUMMARY

The sixth seal is creation in reverse; everything in heaven and on earth is destroyed. But, in spite of the violent destruction, the people of the world hide in the mountains from “Him who sits on the throne” (God, the Father) and from the wrath of the Lamb (Jesus Christ). He now appears as the humble and loving Ruler of the universe, but for people who have cursed God all their lives, His appearance is pure torment.

DAY OF THE LORD

These signs in the sun, moon and stars, coupled with the phrase “the great day,” unmistakably identify the sixth seal as the well-known Old Testament “Great and terrible Day of the LORD.

It will be a day of judgment. On that day, “Your dealings will return on your own head.” As you have done, it will be done to you (Obad. 1:15). 

The multitude who hide in the mountains ask “who is able to stand” (6:17).  Revelation 7 provides the answer when it describes “a great multitude which no one could count … standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (7:9). The sixth seal, therefore, divides the world between these two multitudes.  This is what Jesus said:

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, …
All the nations will be gathered before Him;
and He will separate them from one another,
as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

On that day, all “kings, … commanders, … mighty men and … and … all men” will be put to death by the Word of God. It is a day of “fury and burning anger” (Isa 13:9; Zeph. 1:18; 2:2). 

At the same time, “those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus” “came to life” (20:4) and receive their eternal reward.

RETURN OF CHRIST

The sixth seal explicitly states that it is “the great day“ of the wrath “of Him who sits on the throne, and … of the Lamb.” This implies that this is the return of Christ. Christ, similarly, in His explanations of the end of the age, linked the signs in the sun, moon and stars to His return (Matt 24:29-31)

ARMAGEDDON

The term “great day” and the “great earthquake” that causes islands and mountains to disappear link the sixth seal to the last two plagues (16:14-18). However, the sixth plague is only the preparation for the “great day.”  It reads that the kings of the world are gathered for the “great day” at a place called Armageddon (16:14-16). The real war (at Armageddon), therefore, is in the final and seventh plague. The sixth seal, therefore, is parallel to the seventh and final plague.

The last plague is interrupted by Revelation 17 and 18 and continues in Revelation 19, which ends with the return of Christ. The seventh plague, therefore, concludes with the return of Christ.

In conclusion, since:

      1. The sixth seal is parallel to the last plague and
      2. The last plague concludes with the return of Christ.

This confirms that the sixth seal concludes with the return of Christ.  This also means that the sixth seal is Armageddon, where the kings and armies of the world gather together to war against the Son of Man at His return.

SEVEN LAST PLAGUES

In the fifth seal, “the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God” asked God, “How long … will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood?” They were told, “for a little while longer” (6:9-11).

Revelation 19:2 praises God because He has already “avenged the blood of his bond-servants on her” (Babylon), as anticipated by the fifth seal. Since Babylon is judged in the seventh plague and since also the third plague avenged “the blood of saints and prophets,” the plagues are the “judging and avenging” requested from God in the fifth seal.

Since the plagues must AFTER the fifth seal, it means that the sixth seal includes all seven last plagues.

– END OF SUMMARY – 

CREATION IN REVERSE

The sixth seal is catastrophic.  When He broke the sixth seal:

    • There was a great earthquake;
    • The sun became black as sackcloth;
    • The whole moon became like blood;
    • The stars fell to the earth;
    • The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and
    • Every mountain and island were moved out of their places (6:12-14).

It seems as if the “great earthquake” (in the first phrase) causes the mountains and islands to move out of their places, as stated in the last phrase. This, therefore, seems to all be one single event.

THE WRATH OF THE LAMB

The people of the world will not scared of this violent destruction, for something worse appears, namely a Lamb.  They hide in the caves and among the rocks, saying to the mountains and to the rocks:

“Fall on us and hide us
from the presence of Him who sits on the throne,
and from the wrath of the Lamb;
for the
great day of their wrath has come,
and who is able to stand?
” (6:15-17)

Him who sits on the throne” does not refer to Jesus but to the Father. For example, in 5:13, the entire creation gives glory “to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

It is noteworthy that Christ is here represented as a Lamb. The third angel also later warns that people who accept the mark of the beast “will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence … of the Lamb” (14:10). We should not think that Jesus will become cruel. He will always love every one of God’s creatures (4:10-11). However, the world not only rejected Him but used His name as a curse word, as we see in the movies today.  His revelation as the humble and loving ruler of the universe, coming “with power and great glory” (Mat 24:29-31) will be pure torment to those who have taken on Satan’s character and have become cruel oppressors of their fellow human beings.

DAY OF THE LORD

These signs in the sun, moon and stars, coupled with the phrase “the great day,” unmistakably identify the sixth seal as the well-known Old Testament “Day of the Lord.” It is also called the:

      • Great day of the Lord” (Zeph. 1:14),
      • Day of the LORD’S wrath” (Zeph. 1:18),
      • Great and terrible day of the LORD” (Mal. 4:5) or simply the
      • Great day” (Jude 1:6; Rev 16:14).

Joel describes the signs in the heavenly bodies on this day:

The sun will be turned into darkness
and the moon into blood
” 

(Joel 2:31; Act 2:20; compare Is. 13:10).

2 Peter 3:10 adds destruction on earth:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief,
in which the heavens will pass away with a roar …
and the earth and its works will be burned up
.”

Other references explain this day as:

      • Great and very awesome” (Joel 2:11);
      • Darkness and not light” (Amos 5:18, 20); and
      • Destruction from the Almighty” (Joel 1:15; Isa 13:6).

Similar to the sixth seal:

      • The earth will be shaken from its place at the fury of the LORD of hosts in the day of His burning anger” (Isa 13:13);
      • Men will go into caves of the rocks and into holes of the ground before the terror of the LORD” (Isa 2:19) and
      • Joel asks “who can endure” the day of the LORD? (Joel 2:11).

DAY OF JUDGMENT

It will a day of judgment (Jude 1:6):

      • On that day “Your dealings will return on your own head”, and
      • There will be “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision” (Joel 3:14). 
      • As you have done, it will be done to you (Oba 1:15). 
      • In it, the warrior cries out bitterly (Zeph. 1:14). 
      • It is a day of “fury and burning angerwhen God will exterminate sinners (Isa 13:9; Zeph. 1:18; 2:2). 

This day will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night (1Th 5:2; 2Pe 3:10).

HE WILL SEPARATE THEM FROM ONE ANOTHER

The kings, great men, rich, chiefs of thousands, mighty, servants, and freemen who hide in the rocks of the mountains from the presence of “Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,” ask “who is able to stand?”  Revelation 7 provides the answer:

Behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (7:9).

This makes a distinction between two multitudes.

Revelation 6 ends with the sixth seal and the seventh seal is only in Revelation 8. It, therefore, may seem as if the entire Revelation 7 is an interlude but the description of the innumerable multitude before the throne is actually a continuation and part of the 6th seal. The interlude consists only of 7:1-8, describing the sealing of the 144,000.  (As interludes in Revelation always do, 7:1-8 jumps back in time to before the sixth seal, to provide background information.)

The sixth seal, therefore, divides the world between those that hide from Him (6:17) and those that stand before Him (7:9).  This is what Jesus said:

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, …
All the nations will be gathered before Him;
and He will separate them from one another,
as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats
” (Mat 25:31-32).

On that day, although the sixth seal shows them hiding from God, all “kings, … commanders, … mighty men and … and … all men” will be put to death by the Word of God (19:13, 18, 21 & 14:19-20). At the same time, those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus” “came to life” (20:4) and receive their eternal reward. (In Revelation’s generalizations, all of God’s people have been martyred.)

RETURN OF CHRIST

The sixth seal explicitly states that it is “the great day“ of the wrath “of Him who sits on the throne, and … of the Lamb.” This implies that this is the return of Christ, which the New Testament also refers to as “the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 5:5).

Christ, similarly, in His explanations of the end of the age, linked the signs in the sun, moon and stars to His return:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days
THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED,
AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT,
AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky,
and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 

And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky,
and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn,
and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.
”  (Mat 24:29-31)

ARMAGEDDON

THE SIXTH SEAL IS PARALLEL TO THE LAST PLAGUE.

Note that the following are seen in both the sixth seal and the last two plagues:

      • The term “great day” and
      • A great earthquake” that causes islands and mountains to disappear (16:14-18).

Consequently, it seems as if the sixth seal is parallel to the last two plagues. However, although the sixth plague uses the term “great day,” it is not the “great day” itself. It is only the preparation for the “great day.”  It reads that the kings of the world are gathered for the “great day” at a place called Armageddon (16:14-16). The real war (at Armageddon), therefore, is in the final and seventh plague. The sixth seal, therefore, is parallel to the seventh and final plague, where we find the other reference to the “great earthquake.

THE LAST PLAGUE CONCLUDES WITH THE RETURN OF CHRIST.

However, the seventh plague concludes with the return of Christ in Revelation 19:11, argued as follows:

Babylon receives God’s fierce wrath in the seventh plague at the end of Revelation 16. Revelation 17 and 18 interrupt the flow of events and jump back in time to explain the origin, nature, and the end of Babylon.

Then Revelation 19 continues the sequence of events where Revelation 16 left off (compare 16:19 to 19:2).

The return of Christ is described in the latter half of Revelation 19 (19:11-21). While the sixth plague is the gathering together of the kings of the whole world for the war of the great day of God, at the return of Christ the kings of the earth and their armies are gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army (19:19).

For this reason, the seventh plague concludes with the return of Christ.

CONCLUSION

Above shows that:

      1. The sixth seal is parallel to the last plague and
      2. The last plague concludes with the return of Christ.

Combined, this confirms that the sixth seal concludes with the return of Christ.  This also means that the sixth seal is Armageddon, where the kings and armies of the world gather together to war against the Son of Man at His return.

THE PLAGUES ARE PART OF THE SIXTH SEAL.

In the fifth seal, John saw “the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God.” They asked God, “How long … will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood?” They were told, “for a little while longer” (6:9-11).

In 19:2, a great multitude praises God because He has judged “the great harlot” and because “He has avenged the blood of his bond-servants on her.” All main concepts from the fifth seal, such as judge, avenge, and the slain fellow-servants, are found in 19:2. Revelation 19:2, therefore, praises God that He has executed the judgment anticipated by the fifth seal.

Seventh plague – The “her” in 19:2 refers to Babylon (18:21), for she is guilty of the death of all God’s people that have ever been killed (18:24). Babylon is judged during the seventh plague (16:19). Revelation 19:2, therefore, refers to the seventh plague. However, already in the third plague, we read:

They poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” (Rev 16:6)

Therefore, the plagues are the “judging and avenging” requested by God’s saints in the fifth seal.

Above it was shown that the sixth seal is parallel to the last plague. Since the plagues must AFTER the fifth seal, we are now able to expand that conclusion and say that the sixth seal includes all seven plagues. The sixth seal, therefore, may seem like a point in time, but it actually is a period of time.

FINAL CONCLUSIONS

    • The sixth seal is interrupted by 7:1-8. The remainder of Revelation 7 is part of the sixth seal.
    • The sixth seal is:
        • The well-known Old Testament “Great and terrible Day of the LORD.
        • The return of Christ.
        • A day of judgment when the Son of Man will separate the people from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
        • Armageddon, where the kings and armies of the world gather together to war against the Son of Man at His return.
      • The sixth seal includes all seven last plagues.
      • These seven plagues are the “judging and avenging” requested from God in the fifth seal.

ARTICLES IN THE SERIES ON THE SEVEN SEALS

OTHER REVELATION ARTICLES

INTRODUCTORY
   Why is the title of this website Revelation BY Jesus Christ?
   Are events described in chronological sequence? 
   Is a consistently literal interpretation appropriate?
   Does Revelation present Jesus as God?
   God’s throne – the center of the universe.
BABYLON
   Babylon; the mother of harlots – main article
   Babylon’s merchants are her false prophets.
   Babylon is not the reconstructed ancient city of Babylon.
   Babylon is the driving force behind the beast.
SEVEN-HEADED BEASTS
   The Seven-Headed Beasts of Revelation identified
   The three beasts are three of the seven heads.
   The Seven Heads identified
REVELATION 13
    13:1-2 – The Beast relates to Daniel 7.
   13:3-4 – The fatal wound
   The beast of Revelation is the Mainstream Church of Christendom.
SEVEN PLAGUES
   The Plagues of Revelation – 16 articles

For further reading, Jon Paulien’s commentary is recommended. For general discussions of theology, I recommend Graham Maxwell, who you will find on the Pineknoll website.