Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation: 37. They See His Face

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Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation: 37. They See His Face

TOPIC: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 37. They See His Face

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They See His Face

Then John sees twenty-four other thrones round about the central throne. And on these there are twenty-four men sitting. These men are wearing white garments, and have crowns of gold upon their heads. This is the part of intense interest. Who are these? And what does this mean?

What has been said before about picture language, the language of the Orient, of childhood, of the common crowd, the universal language, will help us here. The Bible is an Oriental book. It talks in picture language. This is humanly what gives it such freshness and peculiar adaptation. The radical change of circumstances and speech and mode of thought in different centuries makes all books antiquated after a certain time. This book has the freshness of youth, for in its simple picture language it deals in principles. But picture language must be held to its simplicity. And something of familiarity with the whole range of the Scripture is needful to use the key to the simple picture language.

Let us look a bit at the simple scene here. These men are elders, that is they are leaders. They represent multitudes of others. Throughout the Bible twelve is the number of completeness, both in things and people. A complete gathering or throng of people is represented by the number twelve. There are twelve tribes of Israel, and so on. This is so familiar that it need only be named without further illustration.

There are two great divisions of this Bible, the Old Testament and the New. These stand naturally for the two great divisions of time, before Christ and after. This division is strongly marked in the Bible, and sharply marked in our Christian consciousness. It has been a common thing to wonder about the salvation and spiritual knowledge and privileges of people who lived before Christ came and died.

Twice twelve make twenty-four. These twenty-four elders represent the redeemed ones from both of these great divisions of time. That is to say, the picture tells us this. All the people from creation's earliest morn up to the present, including the one who went out last from some sorrowing family circle, all who have had the touch of heart with God, are gathered in the presence of Him who sits on the throne. That is one simple thing that stands out clear and sure.

These are represented as sitting. The slave or servant never sat in his master's presence. Friends sit together. Angels are never spoken of as sitting in the presence of God. When our Lord Jesus was received up He sat down at the Father's right hand. We are spoken of as seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Sitting together means being on terms of intimacy and fellowship. Through the precious blood of our Lord Jesus we are all accepted in the Beloved and received and trusted as He is.

These elders are clad in white garments. That is one of the familiar things spoken of much in this end-book. Part of the promise to those of overcoming faith is that they shall be arrayed in white garments, and walk with Christ in white. [Note: Rev_3:4-5.] Those who are faulty in the Church are urged to get white garments. [Note: Rev_3:18.] The martyrs waiting their vindication, [Note: Rev_5:11.] and the great multitudes who come up out of the tribulation are given white raiment. [Note: Rev_7:9.] The bride at the joyous marriage supper, and the armies following the conquering Christ, are clad in fine linen, bright and pure. [Note: Rev_19:8; Rev_19:14.]

We are told that this white linen means a pure life. [Note: Rev_19:8.] These garments have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. [Note: Rev_7:14; Rev_22:14.] These multitudes have been cleansed in the blood of Christ and purified by the Holy Spirit and made perfect in purity and holiness as they came up into the presence of the Father on the throne.

These elders are wearing golden crowns. This language, too, is familiar. The acknowledgment and reward of faithfulness and of service is spoken of commonly under this bit of picture talk. [Note: Rev_2:10; Rev_3:11; 1Co_9:25; 2Ti_4:8; Jas_1:12; 1Pe_5:4.] The angels are never spoken of as being crowned. Christ was crowned, that is received into the presence of the Father, as the full recognition of His worthiness and of what He had done, and in vindication after the shameful rejection by men.

These men and women and children in the Father's presence have been rewarded and are being rewarded for their faithfulness in obedience and in life. All the struggles and difficulties, the hard road, the endurance, the patient suffering for His name's sake, the faithfulness in doing the allotted tasks, all these have been noted and acknowledged. There is the sweet peace of the Father's approval in all of these before the throne.