“Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads.” Revelation 4:4
The book of Revelation nowhere specifically identifies who the twenty-four elders are. However, they are most likely representative of the Church. It is unlikely that they are angelic beings, as some suggest. The fact that they sit on thrones indicates that they reign with Christ. Nowhere in Scripture do angels ever rule or sit on thrones. The Church, however, is repeatedly said to rule and reign with Christ. “Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19:28) The golden crowns worn by the elders also indicate these are men, not angels. Crowns are never promised to angels, nor are angels ever seen wearing them. The word translated “crown” here refers to the victor’s crown, worn by those who have successfully competed and won the victory, as Christ promised. “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12) “And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8)
These twenty-four elders are described as human, male elders. They are not angels, creatures, or females, but specifically use male terms to describe these beings. These Elders are clearly believers in the Lord. They are in heaven and wear white garments, something that symbolizes God’s righteousness. While not specifically explained, the information in Scripture most likely identifies these twenty-four elders as representatives of the church, those who will dwell with the Lord during the tribulation period while God’s judgments take place on the earth.