God rules from a throne. Prophets like Isaiah saw God literally sitting down on it. Ezekiel saw a mighty vehicle with the likeness of a throne atop it. The Apostle John saw God sitting on this throne—behind which was an emerald rainbow, and from which proceed lightnings, thunderings and voices.
Did you know Earth also has a throne? This was established by God ages ago, and the great archangel Lucifer was placed on that throne.
Herbert W. Armstrong explained this thoroughly in his books Mystery of the Ages and The Incredible Human Potential. When Lucifer rebelled, Earth remained under his sway until someone qualified to replace him. Adam was originally given this opportunity but failed. Jesus Christ—the second Adam—did not fail. When He returns, He is taking over the throne of the Earth.
He will “inherit all nations” (Psalm 82:8), as “king over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:9), and all earthly thrones will be “cast down” (Daniel 7:9). The world will be required to worship Him as the King—to celebrate His Earth-wide rule at the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16-17).
The Messiah will not rule alone. Revelation 19:16 says He is King of kings. Those other kings are comprised of the firstfruits of God’s spiritual harvest (Revelation 1:6; 5:10); they are joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). Christ inheriting world rule means God’s firstfruits will inherit it too—and that includes the youth in God’s true Church today, whom God calls holy (1 Corinthians 7:14). Isaiah 54:3 says the seed of God’s people (their children) will “inherit the Gentiles.”
As kings, God’s saints will also have thrones (see Revelation 20:4-6; Matthew 19:28; Psalm 122:2-5). But that is not all!
Notice this other detail about Christ’s coming rulership: “… on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself” (Revelation 19:12). Just as the throne depicts royalty, so does a crown—and Christ has many of them. That image reinforces the fact that human governments, monarchies and kingdoms will be replaced by the ruling Family of God! Christ’s “many crowns” depict the multiple nations He will rule.
Just as there are many kings serving under Him, sitting on thrones that are an extension of His throne, those kings in God’s royal ruling Family will also each have literal crowns themselves. The Bible is clear on this! Let us examine Scripture to understand this royal reward awaiting God’s people: the promise of crowns!
First, notice this detail in Revelation 4 about crowns. This pertains to the angelic realm.
1. What spiritual material comprises these crowns? Revelation 4:4.
These angelic beings wear crowns of gold—a material that exists in the spirit dimension and is typed by its counterpart in the physical realm.
2. What was David’s God-ordained crown made of? Psalm 21:3.
3. What kind of crown was attached to the high priest’s headdress in ancient Israel? Exodus 39:30.
4. A righteous Joshua-type in this end time has a double crown composed of two different kinds of metals. What are they? Zechariah 6:11.
For more about this double crown and our potential as kings and priests, please read our free book The New Throne of David.
Respecting the Crown
Considering that the angelic crowns of Revelation 4 are made of gold, would the spiritual composition of the eternal crowns awaiting the God Family be anything of lesser quality?
1. What do these angels do with their crowns in this chapter? Revelation 4:9-11.
Taking their crowns off is a sign of deference to God, “in acknowledgment that all the merit of their crowns … is due to Him,” says the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary. As editor-in-chief Gerald Flurry writes: “They’re really impressed, and they just cast their crowns before God, so thankful to be a part of this royal rule of God” (Unveiled at Last: The Royal Book of Revelation).
This kind of respect is depicted in the British coronation ceremony. The royals and nobles of the realm come to the ceremony with a crown, properly a coronet, of their own. But they cannot don this crown until the monarch has the crown placed on his or her head. Footage of Queen Elizabeth ii’s 1953 coronation shows this: She is crowned, and then behind her the arms of nobles lift simultaneously to place their respective coronets on their own heads.
This custom was described in vivid detail in the London Magazine of Jan. 1, 1902, in an article by Arthur Birnage. He was discussing the coronation of Edward vii, the son of Queen Victoria. Since Victoria was England’s longest-reigning monarch to that point, many were unaware of this aspect of the ceremony. “The most thrilling moment at the coronation of King Edward vii will be that when the archbishop of Canterbury places the crown upon the head of His Majesty. But the most striking scene immediately follows this impressive function, when every peer and every peeress of the realm present at Westminster Abbey, dons the coronet pertaining to his, or her, rank.”
Birnage continued: “The custom is of very ancient date, and to a certain extent its foundation is shrouded in mystery. According to one historian, the coronets for earls were first allowed during the reign of Henry iii; for viscounts by Henry viii; and for barons by Charles ii; while another recorder states that Sir Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, was the first earl to wear a coronet in 1604, at the coronation of James i; while a third authority states that it was instituted during the reign of Edward iii. But on this point there is considerable conflict of opinion.”
In the article, he described how the female nobles wanted to wear the coronet to the ceremony, so that it might be part of their hairstyles, rather than put it on after the monarch’s crowning moment. But this was not acceptable, he explained. All had to wait until the monarch was crowned!
Crowns Symbolic of the Future
Consider that earlier quote from The Royal Book of Revelation, which says the 24 elders “just cast their crowns before God, so thankful to be a part of this royal rule of God.” The next sentence reads: “And yet we will be over them” (emphasis added).
The firstfruits in God’s Family are on a special level in the Family—that of Jesus Christ’s Bride.
1. What are some ways God will adorn His Bride? Ezekiel 16:8-12.
Our book on Ezekiel states about this verse: “A crown was put upon her head. The crown indicates she is a queen—Christ’s own royal wife! She has all the finery of the bridal adornment! This lady is going to rule with Christ!”
2. What specific crown is referenced as adorning God’s Church today? Revelation 12:1.
The Royal Book of Revelation states: “We’re talking about the sun, moon and stars—the royalty God is giving His Church. That is royalty like you have never seen before. She is crowned with the 12 stars, those 12 tribes which relate to the throne of David. What royalty! And He’s offering these positions to mere mud—people made of clay. What a future we have.”
3. The Church wearing a crown is more of a collective honor. But what about each member of the Church individually? Revelation 2:10; James 1:12.
Being given eternal life is likened elsewhere in the Bible to being literally born into God’s Family. How inspiring that the moment in physical birth when the head begins to appear is called the crowning.
Crowns for Individuals
Phrases like “crown of life” could sound merely symbolic—as in eternal life being like a crown. Elsewhere in the New Testament, Paul calls the Philippians his “crown.” Isaiah 62:1-3 describe how God’s ruling saints will be like a crown of glory and a royal headdress in God’s hand. Zechariah 9:16 says God’s flock will be as the stones of a crown.
Are these all just metaphoric ideas? Is “crown of life” just saying eternal life is something we are “crowned” with? Is it abstract, in the way the psalms say we are crowned with “glory and honor”? Or is there an actual headpiece we will wear?
The Bible tells us the answer—that more than just us being symbolic of a throne, or its jewels, we too have literal crowns—and we have them reserved now.
1. What does God promise the Philadelphia era of His Church? Revelation 3:11.
Each baptized member in God’s true Church has an individually assigned crown and is admonished to let no man take it! Because they are kings and priests (Revelation 1:6; 5:10), it is actually a double crown (Zechariah 6:11).
In the next verse to the Philadelphians, God promises them a permanent place at Jerusalem headquarters (Revelation 3:12). The Key of David states: “Those who hold that crown will be stationed right at headquarters in the new Jerusalem, with God’s very name written upon them.”
2. How did the Apostle Paul confirm that we have each been assigned an actual crown? 2 Timothy 4:8.
Paul had a crown reserved for him, as do all those who “love [Christ’s] appearing.” God’s people will receive it “at that day,” he tells us.
3. How did Peter describe these crowns? 1 Peter 5:4.
When Christ, the Chief Shepherd, appears, His saints receive this crown, which is eternal. The phrase “fadeth not away” is one Greek word only used here. It means “composed of amaranth,” according to Thayer’s Lexicon: “a flower, so called because it never withers or fades … hence it is a symbol of perpetuity and immortality.” This passage also shows a number of qualifications necessary to receive such a crown.
Consider what these personal royal headpieces might look like! Let us revisit the idea of the coronets of the British realm for a comparison. As that London Magazine article points out, the coronets of the peers and peeresses of the realm could not out-dazzle the monarch’s crown, but yet each has uniqueness pertaining to noble’s rank. “The coronet of the baron has on the circle or rim six silver balls, placed equidistantly; that of the viscount contains 16 silver balls; and that of the earl eight silver balls raised upon points, with gold strawberry leaves between the points; that of the marquess is embellished on the circlet with four gold strawberry leaves and four silver balls alternately, the latter a little raised on points above the rim; whilst the coronet of a duke possesses eight gold strawberry leaves.”
Though the coronet could not outshine the crown of the realm, the aspects of each indicated a particular office. Will there be something like that regarding the eternal crowns of king-priests? How many jewels, silver balls, even strawberry leaves might they have? Since these crowns will indicate a higher rank than the angelic 24 elders, it is interesting to note that their crowns are only of pure gold, but no other ornaments are mentioned.
Speaking of the firstfruits in God’s Family, Mr. Flurry writes in The Key of David: “These kings and priests are called today to have the most exalted crowns in God’s Family.” These crowns will not outshine Christ’s, but they could indicate exalted positions within the Family.
Crowns Require Uprightness
The most iconic crown associated with the British throne is that of Edward the Confessor (sometimes called St. Edward’s Crown) and is one of the empire’s oldest crown jewels. The current British queen was one of only seven monarchs crowned with it. It weighs five pounds. By comparison, the human head weighs about eight pounds. The expression “heavy is the head that wears the crown” is literally true: That’s over 13 pounds on the monarch’s shoulders!
Wearing this crown in a manner that it would stay on and that it wouldn’t be overly stressing on particular joints would require proper posture. Good posture, minus a crown, is largely about balancing our eight-pound head over our shoulders to distribute the weight in the best way. Add a crown to that and consider how, symbolically, it takes that kind of posture and poise to bear the weight of the responsibility that royalty brings.
Interestingly, the Bible discusses standing up straight. It uses the term upright. The Hebrew word translated as such means evenness, straightness, and figuratively equity. The Bible exhorts us (in the spiritual sense) to stand that way, to walk that way and to speak that way. That word is also used for judging “uprightly”—as in fairly or evenly.
1. Is being upright connected to royalty? Psalm 99:4.
The Hebrew word used here for equity is usually the word translated “uprightly” or “uprightness” in the King James Version. We are symbolically learning to stand up straight under the weight of a crown. If we can do so, we will be given a crown. Why? To judge uprightly—with equality. Additionally, that Hebrew word is from a root used frequently when talking about the kings of Judah who did what was right in God’s eyes—that which was straight, upright or correct.
So, to a Hebrew speaker, being righteous, being royal, carrying weight equally, would bring to mind the image of standing up straight.
These future crowns motivate us to stand up straight spiritually. It motivates us to do what is right!
As we have seen here, the Bible shows that God’s people will be a crown of glory and a royal headdress in God’s hand. His flock will be as the stones of a crown. The Church is crowned collectively with 12 stars (Revelation 12:1). And its members individually are crowned, not just metaphorically with eternal life, but a literal crown of righteousness—just as King David wore a crown of pure gold; just as the high priest had a crown of pure gold attached to his headpiece; just as the righteous end-time Joshua of Zechariah 6 figuratively wears a double crown of silver and gold.
We have to be motivated by this reward—the crown jewels of God’s royal Family! We have to be learning now to bear that weight—to be “upright” spiritually to hold that on our heads, because it’s an eternal crown—one that does not fade, wither or decay in any way!
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).
Knowing it’s a literal, wearable, incorruptible crown makes us run, makes us strive, makes us fight to rule ourselves today!
Again, as The Key of David book states: “These kings and priests are called today to have the most exalted crowns in God’s Family.”