For years now it has deeply bothered me that most of today’s Bible teachers would have us believe that we’re given crowns in heaven at the BEMA SEAT Judgement of Christ and then we turn around and cast them at the feet of Jesus. I believe in the PreTribulation Rapture and the BEMA Judgement after the Saints are in heaven. However, I have known for some time now that the Saints casting their crowns at the throne of Jesus after we receive is NOT based on logical critical thinking; hermeneutics and exegesis of scripture with scriptural context.
Research it for yourself and you’ll find literally hundreds of bible teachers who teach the worn out incorrect teaching that after the Rapture we Saints will receive our crowns and then cast our crowns at the feet of Jesus or at His Throne.
From a logical standpoint based on critical thinking, ask yourself why would God give us a great gift and promise us “eternal rewards” and then take away those rewards by having us give them back to Jesus. This does not make sense. Scripture after scripture promises us that God rewards us and he does not take back his gifts. Instead of me listing these references I challenge the reader to find these scriptures for yourself. This also includes our Salvation and the Gift of GRACE. Our salvation is based on BELIEF alone based on GRACE by FAITH ALONE and this can NOT be taken away.
Based on proper hermeneutics and exegesis within the proper context of the scripture let’s examine Revelation 4:4 & 10 KJV for ourselves. These 24 Elders are literal figures who are physically wearing “golden” crowns and have a specific purpose as leaders, elders with a specific function in the exact function as the four “beasts of Revelation 4: 6, 7, 8 KJV. These four beasts never rest but continually worship Jesus Christ the visible image of the Godhead non-stop 24/7. We read that each time the 4 beasts utter, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty which was, and is, and is to come,” the 24 Elders fall down, cast down their gold crowns and say, “thou art worthy, Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for they pleasure they are and were created.” Using the grammar tenses of present tense in the context continual past, present and future we can see these events are and have been ongoing forever. This event does not happen as a one time event as we’re taught to believe the 24 Elders perform. John witnessed the event but it’s clear in scripture this is ongoing.
Ephesians Chapters 1 and 2 clearly tell the church our position in Christ. If we examine Ephesians 2:6-9 KJV. It is obvious that we saved Christians are IN Christ and SIT TOGETHER with Christ in heaven. It is clear that we are not 24/7 bowing and worshiping Jesus Christ along with the functions of the 4 Beasts of Revelation Chapter 4.
Gold Crowns. The 24 Elders are wearing Gold crowns – Revelation 4:4 KJV. We are not given any physical description of our crowns, but since we know there will be 5 separate crowns, each distinguishable, the gold crown does not fit with notes below describing the crowns and each of their purpose.
Revelation 5:13 KJV. After the round of praise given by the 24 Elders, the 4 Beasts and then the innumerable number of angels, we read that an additional group of “every creature” which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth begin to praise the Lord. The saved Christians will be in heaven at this point and would be joining in the thunderous praise. Again we see a distinction of the 24 Elders from the many saints.
Revelation 5:7-14 KJV. We can see that clearly the 24 Elders represent but are NOT the church. The number 24 in the Bible Represents “Priesthood”. The 24 Elders “represent” : definition: “a person chosen or appointed to act or speak for another or others. Representatives of the Body of Christ. We know the 24 Elders as priests represent the Body of Christ because in verse 10 of Revelation Chapter 5 we see the exact reference to Revelation 12:5 KJV where we know that we Saints will rule with Christ on earth.
Priestly Function and Identity
Throughout the Hebrew Bible, the term priest (kōhēn) is commonly used to refer to an official who was set apart from the rest of the community in order to carry out certain duties associated with worship and sacrifice. As “ministers of the LORD” (Joel 1:9; 2:17), priests functioned as mediators of God’s presence and were responsible for the day-to-day operation of cultic sites, whether the tabernacle, local shrines, or the Temple in Jerusalem. quote: “www.oxfordbiblestudies.com
Hebrews 5:1 KJV Tells us that “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God,…”
These 24 Elders show and represent that the Church has absolutely nothing to be worthy of our status other than the perfect GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For additional study refer to David DeWitt’s study below or in link:
Why does this matter to me as a Christian? First to me personally is to know that what God says he means. We have eternal gifts that we will maintain throughout eternity. God does not take these away from us. For God to promise something and then to show that we give them back has serious double meaning and casts doubts and raises questions. Also, it also takes away the authority the saints have in ruling with Christ. Read Revelation 12:5 and my Blog on the Saints will rule with Christ, literally.
Will we literally receive crowns that we wear on our head? I personally believe the answer is yes. I take the Bible literally. Although professor DeWitt believes these are just rewards we earn and not literal crowns, I disagree. How would we wear more than one crown is too complex to understand in our current carnal mind. When we’re in our glorified bodies it will be clear. This is similar to many other things we do not clearly see now. How about seeing Jesus Christ and The Godhead? We remember that Paul writes that we now only see through a glass darkly. 1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV.
Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Crown of Life
The Crown of Life is referred to in James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10; it is bestowed upon “those who persevere under trials.” Jesus references this crown when he tells the Church in Smyrna to “not be afraid of what you are about to suffer… Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
The Incorruptible Crown is also known as the Imperishable Crown, and is referenced in 1 Corinthians 9:25 This epistle, written by Paul of Tarsus, deems this crown “imperishable” in order “to contrast it with the temporal awards Paul’s contemporaries pursued. It is therefore given to those individuals who overcome trials, temptations and demonstrate self-denial and perseverance. Self Control is the key word here.
Crown of Righteousness
The Crown of Righteousness is mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:8, and is promised to those who love and anticipate the Rapture of the Church for the church age and the Second Coming of Christ for the Tribulation Saints.
Crown of Glory
The Crown of Glory is discussed in 1 Peter 5:4 and is granted to who “shepherd the flock in unselfish love being a good example to others” 1 Peter 5:2–4.
Crown of Rejoicing
The Crown of Rejoicing is also known as the Crown of Exultation, or Crown of Auxiliary. Delineated in 1 Thessalonians 2:19 and Philippians 4:1, it is given to people who engage in evangelism of those outside the Christian Church. In the New Testament, Paul earns this crown after winning the Thessalonians to faith in Jesus.
CROWNS AT CHRIST’S FEET
1Do We Cast Our Crowns Before Christ’s Throne in Heaven? By Dave DeWitt
There is only one reference in the Bible to casting crowns before a heavenly throne.Revelation4:4&10Around 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.…the twenty–four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne.At no time does Scripture mention anything about anyone, except the twenty–four elders,casting crowns before a throne in heaven. The use of the definite article [oi ̊, (hoi)] the,in verse 10,points to the group mentioned in verse 4. It narrows the reference, limiting it to the 24 individuals called elders. Twenty–four is a literal cardinal number. The word elders [presbu/teroi, (presbuteroi)] and its Hebrew counter part are used commonly in both testaments to refer to male leaders in the cities of Israel and the church. The word never refers to people in general nor is it ever symbolic or representative of any group of people. Biblical elders have responsibility for the care of certain people (1Peter 5:1–5). They are not representatives of a group of people.The Bible never tells us who these elders are, but the only reasonable conclusion is that John witnessed 24 older men taking off golden crowns on their heads and laying them down before a throne.In order to assume this represents something any other heavenly saints do, one would have to deny a literal understanding of the words,place a figurative meaning on the numbers, and inject an interpretation found nowhere in the text. It imposes a context that the author did not mention.
The twenty–four elders are listed12times in Revelation (4:4&10; 5:5,6,8,11&14; 7:11&13; 11:16; 14:3; and 19:4). •In Revelation 5:5,one of the elders makes the announcement that Jesus would come and open the book. Does that symbolically mean the whole church will make such an announcement? I’ve never heard anyone teach that. •In 5:8,the twenty–four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Is that symbolic of all of us saints in heaven falling down holding bowls which represent the prayers of the saints? I’ve never heard anyone teach that.Notice the saints here are a different group from the twenty–four elders. The elders are holding golden bowls representing the prayers of the saints. This is not a picture of saints representing their own prayers, or the prayers of other saints. •In 7:13ff,one of the elders talked with the Apostle John about the saints who are martyred during the tribulation. Is that a symbol of all saints talking about the martyrs? I’ve never heard of anyone who thinks so. Once again,we have the twenty–four elders talking about saints, not saints talking about saints.What is clear from the context is that the twenty–four elders are a specific group of leaders who are continually around the throne of God, very close to the four living creatures.
There is absolutely no indication that they represent any other saints in heaven, nor is there any indication that what they do symbolizes what other saints In heaven do.If the twenty–four elders area metaphor of a group of saints in heaven, then one could also conclude that the four living creatures are not literally four such beings but representative of multitudes of such creatures. But this is unlikely,since they are given as four,and only four, 9 times in Ezekiel and 11times in Revelation.The biggest problem with assuming believers cast crowns from their head at Christ’s feet is that there is absolutely no indication believers have any crowns at all on their heads to cast at Christ’s feet. The idea 2comes from ignoring the context and transporting the meaning of crowns from one context to another. The crowns the twenty–four elders have are something they wear on their heads which can be taken off and cast…before the throne. The same word “crown,”used for believers in the epistles,is a metaphor representing their spiritual rewards. The actual physical representation of believers ’rewards in heaven are white robes…fine linen bright and clean(Revelation 7:9&13; 19:8&14; 22:14), not golden crowns on their heads.There is no reference whatsoever to saints,in general,wearing crowns of any kind in heaven The word “crown”occurs seven times in the New Testament in reference to rewards of believers:
•Philippians4:1Therefore my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown…Paul’s crown is the people whom he reached for Christ, not something to wear on his head.
•1Thessalonians2:who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation?
Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?Paul’s crown was his hope for rewards in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming.•2Timothy4:8in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. Paul’s crown was the reward he would receive for righteousness along with all the other saints who loved His appearing.
•James 1:12Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James’ crown is a victory over trials on earth. The context has nothing to do with heaven. The crown of life is a way believers respond to trials on earth, not something they wear in heaven.•
1Peter5:4When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Peter uses the word crownas a metaphor of the unfading glory believers will be rewarded with when the Chief Shepherd appears.
•Revelation2:10Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.Jesus told the believers at Smyrna if they endured martyrdom He would give them eternal rewards. •Revelation3:11hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.Jesus warned the church at Philadelphia not to give in to the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world (v.10), so they will not lose their eternal rewards.This idea,that the crowns are something believers give back to God,implies that whatever rewards we might receive for righteous acts don’t matter much eternally. We just give them back to Jesus anyway. That contradicts the dominant New Testament teaching of heavenly rewards given as a result of a judgment on the works of the saints (1 Corinthians 3:11–15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 10:32–39). The difference in rewards allows the saints to serve God in greater or lesser ways throughout eternity (Matthew13:23;25:28).The crowns, referred to for the saints,are symbols of our eternal destiny, not some head covering to be thrown down in a ceremony.In Revelation 4, where the twenty–four elders cast their crowns before the throne, there is no gathering of believers at all. There are only the four living creatures and the 24 elders. In chapter 19, the scene is quite different. In chapter 19,there are rewarded saints, clothed in fine linen bright and clean, not wearing crowns, and what they are doing is very different from what the twenty–four elders were doing in chapter 4. In Revelation 19, where the saints are also present, there is worship and praise, but not the casting of crowns. The idea that in heaven we cast crowns before Jesus is without any biblical support.