Isa 1:24  Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:

Isa 1:25  And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:

Isa 1:26  And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.

Isa 1:27  Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.


My understanding is that when “the kingdom of heaven” is established on the earth and in connection with it the 12 apostles receive what the Lord speaks of in Matthew 19:28, that they at that time will be the “restored judges” that God promised Israel, for example, in Isaiah 1:26. “In the regeneration” of that time, to which the Lord refers, both Israel and the earth will be generated again, having gone through the Lord’s day of purging wrath and destructive judgments, which destroy the effects of the implementation of Satan’s plan of evil on the earth and in Israel.


Mat 19:27  Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

Mat 19:28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.



The earth, for example as described in Isaiah 11 and 65, being regenerated will no longer have the effects of the curse brought on it in connection with the implementation of the plan of evil. And the same will be true of Israel.


Isa 1:21  How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

Isa 1:22  Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:

Isa 1:23  Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.



In particular, as it is set forth in Isaiah 1:21-23, “the faithful city” that “was full of judgment” before Satan’s policy of evil against Israel successfully turned into “an harlot”; along with the “righteousness” that “lodged” in it before the policy of evil successfully produced “princes” that were “rebellious, and companions of thieves,” and God’s “adversaries” and His enemies”; both will be judged in the Lord’s day and purged of what the policy of evil has produced. And just as Isaiah 1:26 says. God will “restore” Jerusalem’s “judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning.” In view of this, once again my understanding is that the 12 apostles will be the restored judges. They will form the highest level of government in and over Israel, being the princes of the tribes. And as such they will be ruling and governing directly under the Lord Himself and for Him when it comes to administrating and overseeing all of the things that will be going on in Israel, as God sets forth to His nation the implementation of His plan for them as His righteous nation on the earth, through which the earth will be blessed by them. Undoubtedly all of the Lord’s directives, charges, and the like, will be given to the 12 and then through them to the members of the individuals tribes over which they rule.


Rev 4:2  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

Rev 4:3  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

Rev 4:4  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.


Hence, in a loose sense, the 12 will be functioning sort of like the Lord’s cabinet, in that they will be concerned most especially with the Lord’s governmental rule and the administrative affairs of His kingdom in Israel and on the earth. I put it this way to differentiate between their “judging” function from that of those 24 elders referred to in Revelation 4. In connection with appreciating the role of the 24 elders, first of all let’s identify both the “four beasts” and the “four and twenty elders” spoken of in Revelation 4 for who they are.


Rev 4:6  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

Rev 4:7  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

Rev 4:8  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

Rev 4:9  And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

Rev 4:10  The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,


The “four beast” are identifiable from their description in Revelation 4:6-8. They bear the same basic type of description as the “four living creatures” that Ezekiel describes in Ezekiel 1-11, which he identifies as the Cherubims. They, therefore, are of the angelic order and are the attendants, custodians, and conveyors of the throne of God. And as such they are also especially entrusted with constantly generating and manifesting the environment of absolute Holiness that naturally belongs to God. This they do by their attendance at God’s throne, by their unique appearance, as well as by their actions.


Eze 1:5  Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.

Eze 1:6  And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.

Eze 1:7  And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.

Eze 1:8  And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.

Eze 1:9  Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.

Eze 1:10  As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.


The “four and twenty elders” are also directly associated with the throne of God, as is evident from what John sees and describes in Revelation 4-5. However, they are not “in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne” as the Cherubims are. They do occupy seats that are “round about the throne,” but obviously at a more distant position. My present understanding is that these “four and twenty elders” are also of the angelic order and that they are the “governors of the sanctuary and governors of the house of God” in the third heaven, after which David patterned the twenty four courses of the Priests when God gave to him the pattern for the temple that Solomon would build. (I Chronicles 23-29) Just as the tabernacle given to Moses was patterned after heavenly things, (and hence had counterparts to things in “the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched”), so is it with the temple design, structure, and order, that God gave to David. Only the temple design was more detailed with regards to the pattern of God’s sanctuary and house in the third heaven.


1Ch 24:7  Now the first lot came forth to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah,

1Ch 24:8  The third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim,

1Ch 24:9  The fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin,

1Ch 24:10  The seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,

1Ch 24:11  The ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah,

1Ch 24:12  The eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim,

1Ch 24:13  The thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,

1Ch 24:14  The fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer,

1Ch 24:15  The seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Aphses,

1Ch 24:16  The nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezekel,

1Ch 24:17  The one and twentieth to Jachin, the two and twentieth to Gamul,

1Ch 24:18  The three and twentieth to Delaiah, the four and twentieth to Maaziah.

1Ch 24:19  These were the orderings of them in their service to come into the house of the LORD, according to their manner, under Aaron their father, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded him.


As I said, my understanding is that the “four and twenty elders” with their seats “round about the throne” of God are the “governors of the sanctuary and governors of the house of God” in the third heaven, which the twenty four courses of the priesthood established by David are the counterparts to, or emulate, on the earth. As such, I am persuaded that these “four and twenty elders” function as representatives for Israel before the throne of God in His house in the third heaven. In particular they intercede for Israel before the throne of God, representing them (that is those of believing Israel in particular; the remnant of Israel) and presenting God with their praise, prayers, and acknowledgments, in accordance with the outworking of God’s program and dealings with Israel on the earth.


Rev 5:6  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Rev 5:7  And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

Rev 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.

Rev 5:9  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;

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

Rev 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;


Because their role is one of functioning as the representatives of Israel before the throne of God in His house in the third heaven, John sees the activity that he describes in Revelation 5:8-10. It is interesting to note that when the elders sing the “new song” spoken about in verses 9-10, they do this first of all having fallen down before the Lamb after He took the book and is therefore ready to begin to have His day of judgment. But they also do this having their “harps” with them as well as “golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the saints.” I take the “new song” that they sing, therefore, to be directly connected not only with the “new song” spoken about in Psalms in connection with the Lord having His day and reigning on the earth, but also directly connected with the “prayers of the saints” that they are seen to be presenting to God in behalf of the saints. These are the prayers of the remnant that would be intelligently expressing their understanding and appreciation for the fact that the Lord was now ready to have His day, and for the things that will be transpiring during it. Hence, the “us” and “we” in the song pertains to the “saints” that the “four and twenty elders” are seen to be representing, and not to themselves.


Keith Blades

Enjoy The Bible Ministries

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