The Twenty-Four Elders, the Four Beasts, and the Throne of God

by Joshua Tilghman on July 1, 2013

Revelations chapter four opens with an important invitation in the human conscious experience. Verse one states:

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven…”

The opening door to heaven is a metaphor for a state of higher consciousness. Jesus made it clear in Luke that the Kingdom of Heaven was within us, and heaven can only be accessed by turning inward. That verse finishes with:

“…and the first voice I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.”

Again, the invitation to John was to “come up hither,” i.e., to enter into higher consciousness and experience union with the divine. John answers the call by telling us in the next verse that he was “immediately in the spirit.”

What was known of as the Holy Spirit in ancient mystery schools is the moving of that primordial spiritual energy which runs in the cosmos and human body—kundalini. John signifies his entering into higher consciousness and being influenced by the Holy Spirit or kundalini by his designation of being “in the spirit.”

John received the invitation at this point because Jesus has already covered what was needed to open and balance the seven chakras / churches in our preceding chapters. When these chakras are fully opened, then kundalini can freely ascend up the spine and into the brain.

Continuing with chapter four, John speaks of seeing a throne in heaven with one sitting on that throne with the appearance of precious stones (Jasper and Sardine). In scripture precious stones or gems are symbols of virtues for mind and emotions. The author of Revelations describes this “one” sitting on the throne as having the appearance of precious stones because this “one” is completely devoid of the negative desires and emotions of the human condition. Negative desires are the downfall of man, and to have truly conquered them is to abide in higher consciousness.

It is important for the reader to note that what John is seeing and will continue to see in the next verses is the pinnacle of the human conscious experience. Mainstream Christianity typically teaches that the “one” sitting upon this throne is God the Father of the Trinity. There is nothing wrong with this designation unless we see this aspect of the trinity as an individual that is external to us. Close inspection of the scripture excludes such a notion and exposes this false god concept that is so prevalent in religion today.

As we’ll see in a moment, this “one” is accessible in higher consciousness. Confirmation will be provided for this notion by the end of the article.

The next verse in Revelations states:

“And round about the throne were…four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.”

There has been much speculation about who these twenty-four elders are. The problem is similar to what we just discussed about the external god concept. Many teachers continue to teach and believe that Revelations is talking about literal events that will eventually come to pass heralding the end of days. But Revelations is talking about what happens within you, specifically the rise of kundalini through practices like meditation. The twenty-four elders are not literal individuals abiding in heaven. Rather they are symbols for what exists both within the human body and in the cosmos.

You have twelve cranial nerves within your head, the temple. They are largely responsible for how you relate to and are aware of your environment. There are also twelve signs in the zodiac. The signs all represent a part of your spiritual development. The ancients believed there were twelve stages of spiritual development each human was meant to go through: six stages of involution and six stages of evolution. This completes the circuit for the perfect archetypal man. The zodiac was developed into twelve signs that reflect these stages of involution and evolution. The twenty-four elders are symbolic of the twelve cranial nerves within you and the twelve stages of spiritual development represented in the zodiac above you, in the heavens. The sum of both equals twenty-four. “As above, so below.” Thus the twenty-four elders represent the total sum of your conscious experience, bridging the micro and macro cosmic man.

The twenty-four elders are wearing “crowns of gold” because gold represents divine wisdom and celestial truth, the highest stage of spiritual evolution for mankind. This is also symbolized by their “white raiment.” Remember, what John is seeing is the pinnacle of the human conscious experience.

The throne of God with the “one” sitting atop it represents the third ventricle in the brain which sits above the cranial nerves. The picture we get in Revelations is that the cranial nerves are somehow bowing down to serve a spiritual process that takes place on the throne of the brain, or the third ventricle. We have already stated that the cranial nerves allow us to be aware of our environment (amongst many other functions). In deep meditation we become aware of the true self, realizing that both God and we are one. In a spiritual awakening one realizes that they are but an extension of the environment, God and the universe, not an external component. You can read more about the importance of the third ventricle, the pituitary and the pineal glands for spiritual development here.

Now let’s take a look at Revelations 4:6-8:

“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, four beast full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had the face of a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him, and they were full of eyes within…”

The “sea of glass like unto crystal” also represents truth. Even Osiris, the Egyptian God, is seen seated on a throne upon a glassy sea. The four beasts with six wings are quite interesting. I remember being in a Wednesday night Bible study one time in church reading about these creatures. Before being introduced to esoteric material, I wondered whether there were really such beasts before the throne of God. If yes, I used to ask…why? It would be preposterous, right? I then use to wonder why this scene reminded me so much of Egyptian gods and goddesses who often appear as a human body with the head of an animal. Do you see any correlations?

These creatures have to do with the zodiac. Representing the four fixed points on the zodiac, they are Leo, Aquarius, Scorpio and Taurus. These are the strongest signs of the zodiac and these signs also correspond to fire, water, earth, and air.

To really understand why these symbols are used, we also need to briefly discuss that in the ancient world there are four aspects of man related to the four directions or winds. North corresponds to man’s emotions. East is his spiritual nature. South corresponds to man’s physical nature, and west corresponds to his intellect. The development and perfection of all these qualities represent the balanced, perfected individual. As you can see this relates to the overall spiritual development of man based on the zodiac. All of the eyes on these creatures are symbols of their ability to perceive the truth on the highest plane of conscious development.

Why would the author of Revelations compare this God with the part of the human brain and the zodiac? To answer that question we have to understand that in the ancient world, the God of the zodiac was simply a god of perfection and balance. This balance in fully achieved with a kundalini awakening.

The same winged creatures that are described here in Revelations are described in Ezekiel. In Revelations the author simply states that the “one” sits atop the throne, but Ezekiel is more forthcoming in making clear that this “one” is the perfected man. Consider Ezekiel 1:25-26, 28.

“And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their (the creatures, cherub) heads, when they stood, and let down their wings. And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.”

Why the appearance of a man? Hopefully you understand by now that the scripture is teaching that what we see as God in the scriptures is the pinnacle of the human conscious experience brought about by what is known as a kundalini awakening in the East or a Holy Spirit regeneration in the West.

I would like to close with one more verse in this chapter we haven’t discussed.

“And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God” (Rev. 4:5).

The lightnings and thunderings described in the above verse are typical of the experiences of a kundalini awakening. Even Jesus himself said about his own appearance:

“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the son of man be.”

Jesus’s second coming above is the kundalini awakening. Notice how the lightning comes from the east. As we discussed earlier, the east, or right hemisphere of the brain, represents our spiritual side. This is where the spiritual birth happens.

I’ll continue with chapter 5 of Revelations soon. Blessings!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Bernhardt Adjedi Cadbury July 2, 2013 at 8:46 am

Hi Joshua,
Thanks for yet another essential post, but it can only take an individual undergoing a spiritual “initiation” within to understand and testify of the truth. Here again appears Leo, Aquarius, Scorpio and Taurus having bearings with fire, water, earth, and air which can only be understood by the ability to decode biblical symbols with a key. Blessing.


Joshua Tilghman July 2, 2013 at 9:34 am

You’re welcome, Bernhardt.


ken November 16, 2014 at 12:54 pm

How did the ancients know about the brain and its physical aspects when science has just learned of such matters. In my opinion for the ancients to have known these things that were gods. Did they have xray machines to see the 12 nerves?


motla68 July 2, 2013 at 11:29 am

There is 2 other things to consider about the number 24,

1. The Pope in 2010 appointed 24 new Cardinals.

2. As most of us have 46 chromosomes, it is rumored that yashuah in mortal form had 24.


alvis July 2, 2013 at 12:05 pm

We have 12 PAIR of cranial nerves for a total of 24, not just 12.

(12 cranial nerves on the left, 12 on the right, for a total of 24 cranial nerves.)

Would this fact change your definition of who the 24 elders were?

Thanks, I appreciate reading the posts and have learned a lot.


Joshua Tilghman July 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm


You are correct. There are actually 12 pair of cranial nerves, totalling 24. The picture I used at the beginning of this post reflects this truth which 12 on each side of the brain. But even medical doctors usually refer to the 12 cranial nerves because each pair has a specific function.

Overall, this would not change my definition of the 24 elders. It’s very possible that the ancient mystics knew there were 24 cranial nerves – they probably did! But I believe the zodiac is a part of this symbolism too. Before writing this post I considered how to put together exactly what you asked. I purposefully left out mentioning 12 pairs because I didn’t think it was necessary. I should have known this question was going to come up and addressed it before publishing. 🙂

I also believe the twelve tribes of Israel camped around the tabernacle in the wildnerness is symbolic of the 12 cranial nerves. Thanks for commenting!


david February 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Awesome stuff, I have been waiting for someone to be brave enough to teach the scriptures as they really are meant to be taught. Awesome, awesome, awesome. I am really enjoying this material. Keep teaching. If possible can you explain Duet 28 chapter, we have been taught that this was literal. Since I now know that the bible has hidden meaning, can u explain this chapter. It has been bothering me for 15 years. Also Genesis 3:15 , I dont know if you explain the flood of the bible, chapters 5 -7, the tower of babel chapter 11, and last but not least genesis 15: 12. I studied under a group called hebrew Israelites and they taught literally to explain the plight of black people in america. I have since started studying other forms of teaching. My spirit has lead me to this website. I was hoping you would shed some light for me thank you, and bless you for your insight.


Bob June 13, 2015 at 11:34 pm

Pairs of cranial nerves reflect the positive and negative of the 12 signs of the zodiac. The pineal gland is the physical Throne of God in Time. The Center of Infinity is everyplace. We are each at the Center at the same time. This explains the Christian concept of only begotten Son….one SON, one Center.


Joshua Tilghman July 23, 2015 at 7:49 pm

Bob, love the comment. Thanks for sharing!


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