Bible Answer

Where is the Church in Revelation 4 & 5?

I've heard many preachers say the 24 Elders before the throne of God in Revelation 4 & 5 represent the Church. In your last Revelation study you said the Church is represented by the Seven Spirits of God. Why isn't the Church itself described during that moment? Where did we go after the Rapture?

In John's description of that moment in Revelation 4 & 5, he notes only the Spirit and the elders and doesn't specifically mention seeing the Church saints present, but we come to conclude the church WAS present based on the evidence.  First, we know that the Church Age ends at the conclusion of chapter 3 of Revelation. Secondly, the next scene (in chapter 4) certain details show the Church residing in the throne room of Heaven, which strongly implies that the resurrection (i.e., the Rapture) has taken place between chapters 3 and 4.

That evidence consists of the Seven Spirits of God in the Throne room and 24 Elders present.

First, the Seven Spirits of God indicate the entirety of the Holy Spirit is in Heaven. Just as we use the numeric symbol "100%" to represent the whole of something, so Scripture uses "7" to represent the whole of something. Therefore, the seven spirits of God refers to the entire Spirit of God, and if the entire Spirit is present in the Throne Room of Heaven in Revelation 4, then we know the entire Church must also be present at that moment as well, since the Spirit will never leave us nor forsake us according to Hebrews 13:5.

Furthermore, the presence of 24 elders indicates that the Church has arrived in Heaven. The term elder in Scripture is always used for human leadership among God's people, and the description of these elders indicates they are human beings who were saved by grace (i.e., wearing white robes, crowns, etc.). The number 12 represents human government in the Bible, and doubling a number (i.e., 2 X 12 = 24) emphasizes completeness or totality (i.e., a complete number of elders). So the complete number of human leadership over the church (i.e., all elders)  are present in the Throne Room, then the entire Church must be there too. 

Therefore, if 24 resurrected elders are present in Heaven and the entirety of the Spirit of God as well, then we must conclude that the entire church was taken to Heaven. The fact that John doesn't specifically mention the Church is not a concern since he does describe symbols that clearly reference the Church indirectly.