How God’s kingdom will be as it was in ancient times, 24 elders, and white robes
I am dedicating this page to my father and Dailyn. Their love of God’s word has inspired me. Thank you.
We know many things about God’s incoming kingdom, as brought out in this site. The arrival of the kingdom will be as no other time in human history. Malachi 3 comments that certain facets of God’s arrival will mirror ancient times. Before going into this, let’s review some basics of God’s incoming kingdom:
The prophetic book of Daniel has much to say about the kingdom. A basic theme about God’s kingdom is that it will conquer all other kingdoms and will have no end. Under the kingdom, those dead will be brought back to life.
44 In the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
Compare Revelation 11:15 (WEB);
15 The seventh angel sounded, and great voices in heaven followed, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. He will reign forever and ever!”
12 “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who shall be found written in the book. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Jesus also taught his followers to pray for its arrival, in Matthew 6:9-10 (WEB);
9 Pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.10 Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.
Jesus also spoke of the resurrection as mentioned in Daniel 12:1-2, at John 5:28-29 (WEB);
28 Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice, 29 and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.
Revelation also speaks of the resurrection at Revelation 20:13 (WEB);
13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works.
Regarding ways how God’s kingdom will reflect things from days of old:
- Yahweh’s name being glorified
- 288,000 (144,000×2) serving the king
- 24 princes (Elders) serving the king
- The glory of the temple
- The purity of worship (Also illustrated by “white robes”)
Malachi 1:11 states that Yahweh will make his name great among the nations. This purpose was reflected in the prayer that Jesus gave as an example to his disciples at Matthew 6:9, to sanctify his Father’s name. Yahweh himself stated that his name should be a memorial, to be remembered among the nations, at Exodus 3:15 (WEB) ; “God said moreover to Moses, “You shall tell the children of Israel this, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations.” In contrast, Yahweh stated that the names of other gods should not even be mentioned, at Exodus 23:13 (WEB); “Be careful to do all things that I have said to you; and don’t invoke the name of other gods or even let them be heard out of your mouth.”
Malachi chapter 3:1-4 sets the stage of God’s incoming kingdom. As mentioned in Daniel 11:35 and Revelation 11:1-2, God’s people have to undergo a “cleansing” (Whitening / Straightening) because their worship is not acceptable to Yahweh. Their worship is straightened (measurable) and tested within an approximate 3.5 year period.
3 “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, behold, he comes!” says Yahweh of Armies. 2 “But who can endure the day of his coming? And who will stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like launderer’s soap; 3 and he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall offer to Yahweh offerings in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to Yahweh, as in the days of old, and as in ancient years.
35 Some of those who are wise shall fall, to refine them, and to purify, and to make them white, even to the time of the end; because it is yet for the time appointed.
11 A reed like a rod was given to me. Someone said, “Rise, and measure God’s temple, and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2 Leave out the court which is outside of the temple, and don’t measure it, for it has been given to the nations. They will tread the holy city under foot for forty-two months.
Now that the time frame of Malachi 3 is established, in what ways is Malachi 3:4 fulfilled?
4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to Yahweh, as in the days of old, and as in ancient years.
In the days of old, King David ruled as Yahweh’s anointed king. King David was the most famous king of Israel, followed by his son, Solomon.
Interestingly, king David had 288,000 who ministered to him. This was done by 12 groups of 24,000 each. This 288,000 is a literal number and is reflected in Revelation, as two groups of 144,000 each. One group has already proven their true integrity, from the early disciples. These ones were persecuted by the “king of the north,” of the time period. The next group of 144,000 will need their worship “straightened” or “whitened,” in order to be found acceptable to Yahweh. Once these two groups are brought together, as Christ’s figurative “Bride,” in Revelation, God’s kingdom begins its rule, over the nations.
Certainly one of the most glorious events of the ancient kingdom of Israel was the coronation of Solomon, David’s son. These were spectacular times. King David was told by Yahweh that Solomon would continue his reign, and that Yahweh would make Solomon his son, and would make his reign a successful and peaceful one.
Of particular interest is how everyone, in the kingdom, worshiped Solomon and Yahweh. However, only sacred worship was shown to Yahweh. Thus, this event shows us different meanings of “worship.”
5 David said, “Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be built for Yahweh must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and of glory throughout all countries. I will therefore make preparation for it.” So David prepared abundantly before his death. 6 Then he called for Solomon his son, and commanded him to build a house for Yahweh, the God of Israel. 7 David said to Solomon his son, “As for me, it was in my heart to build a house to the name of Yahweh my God. 8 But Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, ‘You have shed blood abundantly, and have made great wars. You shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. 9 Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of peace. I will give him rest from all his enemies all around; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for my name; and he will be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
29 And David the king said unto all the assembly, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great; for the palace is not for man, but for Jehovah God. 2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and the silver for the things of silver, and the brass for the things of brass, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, stones for inlaid work, and of divers colors, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. 3 Moreover also, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, seeing that I have a treasure of mine own of gold and silver, I give it unto the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, 4 even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, wherewith to overlay the walls of the houses; 5 of gold for the things of gold, and of silver for the things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. Who then offereth willingly to consecrate himself this day unto Jehovah?
6 Then the princes of the fathers’ houses, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers over the king’s work, offered willingly; 7 and they gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand darics, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and of iron a hundred thousand talents. 8 And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of Jehovah, under the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite. 9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with a perfect heart they offered willingly to Jehovah: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.
10 Wherefore David blessed Jehovah before all the assembly; and David said, Blessed be thou, O Jehovah, the God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. 11 Thine, O Jehovah, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Jehovah, and thou art exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou rulest over all; and in thy hand is power and might; and in thy hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. 14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. 15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as all our fathers were: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no abiding. 16 O Jehovah our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee a house for thy holy name cometh of thy hand, and is all thine own. 17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, that are present here, offer willingly unto thee. 18 O Jehovah, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee; 19 and give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for which I have made provision.
20 And David said to all the assembly, Now bless Jehovah your God. And all the assembly blessed Jehovah, the God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped Jehovah, and the king. 21 And they sacrificed sacrifices unto Jehovah, and offered burnt-offerings unto Jehovah, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink-offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel, 22 and did eat and drink before Jehovah on that day with great gladness.
And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto Jehovah to be prince, and Zadok to be priest. 23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of Jehovah as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him. 24 And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king. 25 And Jehovah magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.
Now compare this with Revelation;
In both of the following passages, the meaning of “worship” is similar in use as it is used in the above passages from 1 Chronicles 29. Worship, meaning homage, is due Yahweh (Jehovah) and his appointed king. But, only sacred worship is due Yahweh. Revealingly, in the following passages, nowhere does it say to worship the Lamb (Jesus) alone.
12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who has been killed to receive the power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing!”
13 I heard every created thing which is in heaven, on the earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb be the blessing, the honor, the glory, and the dominion, forever and ever! Amen!”
14 The four living creatures said, “Amen!” The elders fell down and worshiped.
10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
11 All the angels were standing around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before his throne, and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and might, be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Who could the 24 elders represent?
Going back to ancient Israel, in 1 Chronicles 28:1 (ASV), David gathered important people to hear his message of what he was going to do regarding his son Solomon and the temple to be built. The first two groups mentioned are of 12 princes each for a total of 24 princes. The princes of Israel and the princes of the tribes. These two groups are explained earlier, in 1 Chronicles 27. 1 Chronicles 27:1-15 talk about the 12 princes of the paternal houses (which have 288,000 in all) and the princes of Israel (tribes) in verses 16-22. These ancient high officials could easily be and probably are represented as the 24 elders mentioned in Revelation. – Compare 1 Chronicles 29:6 (ASV) above.
28 David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, the captains of the companies who served the king by division, the captains of thousands, the captains of hundreds, and the rulers over all the substance and possessions of the king and of his sons, with the officers and the mighty men, even all the mighty men of valor, to Jerusalem.
27 Forsooth the sons of Israel by their number, the princes of families, the tribunes, and centurions, and prefects, that ministered to the king by their companies of knights, entering in and going out by each month in the year, were sovereigns, each by himself, upon four and twenty thousand. (Now the number of Israelites, that is, the leaders of the families, and the tribunes, and the centurions, and the prefects, who served the king with their companies of horsemen, coming in and going out each month of the year, was twenty-four thousand in each company, or division.)
2 Jashobeam, the son of Zabdiel, was sovereign of the first company in the first month, and under him were four and twenty thousand; (Jashobeam, the son of Zabdiel, was the leader of the first company in the first month, and under him were twenty-four thousand;)
3 of the sons of Pharez, was the prince of all [the] princes in the host, in the first month. (of the sons of Perez, he was the leader of all the leaders in the army, in the first month.)
4 Dodai (the) Ahohite had the company of the second month, and after himself he had another man, Mikloth by name, that governed a part of the host of four and twenty thousand. (Dodai the Ahohite led the second company in the second month, and he had another man, named Mikloth, who helped him govern his division of twenty-four thousand./And Eleazar, the son of Dodai the Ahohite, led the second company in the second month, and he governed his division of twenty-four thousand.)
5 And Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, the priest, was duke of the third company in the third month, and four and twenty thousand were in his parting; (And Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, the priest, was the leader of the third company in the third month, and twenty-four thousand were in his division;)
6 that is Benaiah, the strongest man among (the) thirty, and above (the) thirty; and Ammizabad, his son, was sovereign of his company (after him). (this is Benaiah, the strongest man among The Thirty, and he was a leader of The Thirty; and his son Ammizabad was the leader of his company after him.)
7 In the fourth month, the fourth prince was Asahel, the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah, his son, (was the leader) after him, and four and twenty thousand were in his company.
8 In the fifth month, the fifth prince was Shamhuth (the) Izrahite, and four and twenty thousand were in his company.
9 In the sixth month, the sixth prince was Ira, the son of Ikkesh, (the) Tekoite, and four and twenty thousand were in his company.
10 In the seventh month, the seventh prince was Helez (the) Pelonite, of the sons of Ephraim, [and] four and twenty thousand were in his company.
11 In the eighth month, the eighth prince was Sibbecai (the) Hushathite, of the generation of Zarhites (of the sons of Zareh), and four and twenty thousand were in his company.
12 In the ninth month, the ninth prince was Abiezer (the) Anetothite, of the generation of Benjamin (of the sons of Benjamin), and four and twenty thousand were in his company.
13 In the tenth month, the tenth prince was Maharai, and he was (a) Netophathite, of the generation of Zarhites (of the sons of Zareh), and four and twenty thousand were in his company.
14 In the eleventh month, the eleventh prince was Benaiah (the) Pirathonite, of the sons of Ephraim, and four and twenty thousand were in his company.
15 In the twelfth month, the twelfth prince was Heldai (the) Netophathite, of the generation of Othniel (of the sons of Othniel), and four and twenty thousand were in his company.
16 Forsooth these were the sovereigns of the lineages of Israel (And these were the rulers of the tribes of Israel); duke Eliezer, the son of Zichri, was sovereign to Reubenites; duke Shephatiah, the son of Maachah, was sovereign to Simeonites;
17 Hashabiah, the son of Kemuel, was sovereign to the Levites; Zadok was sovereign to Aaronites;
18 Elihu, the brother of David, was sovereign to the lineage of Judah (Elihu, David’s brother, was the ruler of the tribe of Judah); Omri, the son of Michael, was sovereign to Issacharites.
19 Ishmaiah, the son of Obadiah, was sovereign to Zebulunites; Jerimoth, the son of Azriel, was sovereign to Naphtalites;
20 Hoshea, the son of Azaziah, was sovereign to the sons of Ephraim; Joel, the son of Pedaiah, was sovereign to the half lineage of Manasseh (Joel, the son of Pedaiah, was the ruler of the western half of the tribe of Manasseh);
21 and Iddo, the son of Zechariah, was sovereign to the (other) half lineage of Manasseh in Gilead; and Jaasiel, the son of Abner, was sovereign to Benjamin; (and Iddo, the son of Zechariah, was the ruler of the eastern half of the tribe of Manasseh in Gilead; and Jaasiel, the son of Abner, was the ruler of Benjamin;)
22 and Azareel, the son of Jeroham, was sovereign to Dan; these were the princes of the sons of Israel. (and Azareel, the son of Jeroham, was the ruler of Dan; these were the leaders of the Israelites.)
White robes. What do they represent and who wears them?
White robes are worn by different groups.
White robes indicate that someone’s worship is clean (unadulterated, straight, measurable) toward Yahweh. In the following passages, either Yahweh cleans them or gives them or people do it themselves. This term is used for those to rule with Christ (two groups of 144,000 = 288,000) and the “great crowd” (the nations).
Daniel 11:32-35 depicts a time of whitening (cleansing/made spotless/straightening) for God’s people during the second and last onslaught from the king of the north, in our near future. In this instance, it is the second group of 144,000. See Christ’s Bride…
Malachi 3:1-3 (WEB) Depicts a time when Yahweh’s messenger will refine certain ones:
3 “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, behold, he comes!” says Yahweh of Armies. 2 “But who can endure the day of his coming? And who will stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like launderers’ soap; 3 and he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall offer to Yahweh offerings in righteousness.
White robes for Christ’s 288,000:
Revelation 6:11 a white robe was given to them. Compare Zechariah 3
Revelation 6:11 (WEB): 11 A long white robe was given to each of them. They were told that they should rest yet for a while, until their fellow servants and their brothers,[a] who would also be killed even as they were, should complete their course.
This is speaking of the first group from the first century that were persecuted by the king of the north, at that time. See Christ’s bride – Apostasy – And The Great Crowd
3 He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before Yahweh’s angel, and Satan standing at his right hand to be his adversary. 2 Yahweh said to Satan, “Yahweh rebuke you, Satan! Yes, Yahweh who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Isn’t this a burning stick plucked out of the fire?”
3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the angel. 4 He answered and spoke to those who stood before him, saying, “Take the filthy garments off him.” To him he said, “Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich clothing.”
5 I said, “Let them set a clean turban on his head.”
So they set a clean turban on his head, and clothed him; and Yahweh’s angel was standing by. 6 Yahweh’s angel protested to Joshua, saying, 7 “Yahweh of Armies says: ‘If you will walk in my ways, and if you will follow my instructions, then you also shall judge my house, and shall also keep my courts, and I will give you a place of access among these who stand by. 8 Hear now, Joshua the high priest, you and your fellows who sit before you; for they are men who are a sign: for, behold, I will bring out my servant, the Branch. 9 For, behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes: behold, I will engrave its engraving,’ says Yahweh of Armies, ‘and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10 In that day,’ says Yahweh of Armies, ‘you will invite every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.’”
White robes for everyone else who submits to Christ’s rule:
Revelation 7:9 – The unnumbered great crowd (multitude)
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could count, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.
It should be noted that the word “before” does not have to mean in heaven. Revelation 21:1-4 shows that God’s kingdom comes down to the earth.
Revelation 21:1-4 (CEB): 21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “Look! God’s dwelling is here with humankind. He will dwell with them, and they will be his peoples. God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more. There will be no mourning, crying, or pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
The nations (The great crowd) whiten their own robes to enter the holy city
14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.
This would apply to all who attain the white robe status
4 Who will not fear you, Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed
24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
The parallels of glory of the ancient temple and the New Jerusalem:
Just as the ancient temple had glorious materials in abundance, the New Jerusalem does too. Notice how things are measurable (straight), their worship is acceptable to God. Compare 1 Chronicles 29:1-9 (above) and Revelation 21:10-21 (WEB);
10 He carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, as if it were a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 having a great and high wall; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. 13 On the east were three gates; and on the north three gates; and on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb. 15 He who spoke with me had for a measure a golden reed to measure the city, its gates, and its walls. 16 The city is square, and its length is as great as its width. He measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand twelve stadia.[a] Its length, width, and height are equal. 17 Its wall is one hundred forty-four cubits,[b] by the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was jasper. The city was pure gold, like pure glass. 19 The foundations of the city’s wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire;[c] the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; and the twelfth, amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each one of the gates was made of one pearl. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.