Revelation 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
Revelation 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Revelation 5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
Revelation 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
Revelation 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
Explanation from ‘Thirteen Lectures on the Apocalypse’ here:
WITH this chapter we enter upon a new division of the things exhibited to John in the Isle of Patmos. The first three chapters deal with the affairs of the friends of Christ, as organized in separate communities in various parts of the world. Christ in these gives his opinion or judgment of the condition and deportment of these various communities, and advice according to their needs, in such a way as to be beneficial to all his friends afterwards, as we have seen. He now turns John's attention to the future. "I will shew thee things which must be hereafter." John thus addressed finds himself "in the spirit", and a spectator of the scene which becomes visible to him as the result of being in that state.
The picture is a very gorgeous one. It is a picture of over-powering glory and loveliness, symbolic though it be. Nothing more sublime and beautiful could be conceived than the brilliant scene that burst upon his view. A human figure, of dazzling brightness, sits on a shining throne, over-arched by a rainbow of glowing colours. Before the throne, stretching away on all sides, an outspread ocean of glassy splendour and crystalline translucency, on which are grouped before the throne strange but glorious objects; four curiously-formed living creatures glistening all over with eyes, and twenty-four venerable men wearing crowns. Surrounding them on all sides is a countless multitude of the angelic host, forming an outer fringe of glory (chap 5:11). John watches and listens. He sees movements
and hears voices among the living symbols. The elders do homage to the central figure, casting down their crowns: the Four Beasts are instinct with life and give forth sounds of praise. The angelic environment take up the anthem, and the vault of heaven rings with the joyous and melodious outpourings of glorious myriads.
What portion of "things which must be hereafter" can be represented by this opening scene? The symbols themselves would almost bring the answer. It is a kingly picture. There is no mistaking the meaning of a throne anywhere. But it is not an ordinary throne. It is a divine throne: for there are seven lamps burning before it to symbolize the Spirit of God, as explained in verse 5, chapter 4. And the occupant of the throne is proclaimed Creator for whose pleasure all things have been created (verse 11). The most superficial consideration of the picture would suggest that the kingdom of God is here symbolized. This View becomes certain when we look at certain details.
Consider for example the words that are sung by the symbolic four living creatures and the twenty-four elders: "Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." We know who literally answer to this description. Christ did not die to redeem twenty-four elders and four nondescript creatures: he died to redeem those that were under the law (Gal. 4:4), and also to gather together the children of God that are scattered abroad (John 11:52) -- the other sheep he had which were not of Israel's fold after the flesh (John 10:16), viz., of the Gentiles, whom he afterwards visited by the hand of Peter and Paul, to take out of them a people for his name (Acts 15:14; 26:17-18). Consequently the twenty-four elders and four nondescript living creatures, who in song affirm these things of themselves, are but the symbols of that element of the kingdom of God which consists of the glorified brethren of Christ in their numerical totality.
But why should they be symbolized by four beasts and four-and-twenty elders? There is a very good reason which those only can appreciate who know "the hope of Israel"; and all who truly know the gospel know this. In their corporate completeness, the community to be glorified constitute "the commonwealth of Israel". So Paul styles them (Eph. 2:12), saying that by nature the Gentiles are "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel", but by the gospel become fellow-citizens therein (5:19). The hope of the gospel he styles "the hope of Israel" (Acts 28:20). The man who, though a Gentile, is adopted into the commonwealth of Israel, becomes a Jew, being a Jew inwardly; so Paul says (Rom. 2:29). The Gentile so adopted is likened to a wild branch grafted on the good olive stock of Abraham (Rom. 11:24). The salvation to which he stands related is by Jesus said to pertain to the Jews (John 4:22).
But in what way do these facts furnish an explanation of the employment of four beasts and four-and-twenty elders to symbolize the glorified community of the saints? The answer will be apparent when certain facts are called to mind concerning the house of Israel in the divinely-accomplished and recorded history of the past. When they came out of Egypt, the congregation was divinely organized in four camps, each camp having a standard on which was displayed a beast as the heraldic symbol of the camp. You will find the particulars in the 2nd chapter of Numbers.
1.--THE CAMP OF JUDAH (consisting of the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun), numbering 186,400 men (verse 9); and each man was to "pitch-by his own standard with the ensign of his father's house" (verse 2).
2.--THE CAMP OF REUBEN (consisting of the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad), containing 151,450 men (verse 16).
3.--THE CAMP OF EPHRAIM (consisting of the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin), 108,100 men (verse 24).
4.--THE CAMP OF DAN (consisting of the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali), numbered 156,700 men (verse 31).
The ensigns of the four camps were the four animals incorporate in the symbolic cherubim--the lion, ox, man, and eagle. These therefore become symbolic of the Twelve Tribes in four camps. The divine encampment, consisting of the tabernacle and the Levitical families, pitched in the midst of the four camps (Num. 1:53; 2:2). These Levitical families were in the days of David divided into twenty-four priestly orders surrounding the throne and conducting the service of the kingdom, which was a service of worship, in due alternate order (1 Chron. 24). Four beasts and twenty-four elders were therefore the fitting and already-appointed symbols of the kingdom of God: for the kingdom of God, as we have learnt from the gospel, is the kingdom of Israel to be restored. The throne of Christ is the throne of his father, David (Luke 1:32; Isa. 9:7): the throne of David was the throne of the kingdom of Israel (2 Sam. 5:1-5). The rearing up of Christ's throne on the earth is therefore the "raising up of the tabernacle of David that is fallen" (Amos 9:11); the raising unto David a righteous descendant who as "a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth" (Jer. 23:5). Now Jesus promises a participation in the throne to all who secure his approval at the last (Luke 22:30; Rev. 3:21). The scene before us represents in symbol these things accomplished. The four beasts and four-and-twenty elders are eloquent on the subject. They are the heraldry of the kingdom of God, that is, of the kingdom of Israel, past and future. They as distinctly identify the kingdom of David, as the lion and the unicorn and the quarterings of the British shield identify the kingdom of Queen Victoria. The gospel of the kingdom--the hope of the restoration of the kingdom again to Israel under Christ (Acts 1:6; Luke 24:21) --this gives us the interpretation of the splendid symbolism seen by John. You know how powerless the popular theologies are to yield a clue.
See how the details of the symbolism harmonize with the doctrine of the kingdom which it exhibits. The rainbow for example was the appointed token of a covenant of peace between God and the earth's inhabitants (Gen. 9:12): here we have it a prominent object--the canopy of the throne as it were. There is more in this than may appear. It is a pledge of the stability of the glory to be revealed. The revelation of that glory is due solely to the purpose of the Creator. So far as man is concerned there is no reason why it should come, and when it comes, there is no reason why it should stay. The only reason we have for believing it will endure for ever is God's own covenant: "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, as a faithful witness in heaven" (Psa. 89:34). This covenant is the foundation of our hope, and as we behold the gorgeous arch of coloured light over the throne seen by John, we see a guarantee of the perpetual stability of the salvation that will come with the establishment of that throne on the earth.
Then the rainbow brings another idea. It is seen after storm and when peace has come to the elements. There is storm connected with this throne, for as John looked, he saw "that out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices." These in all languages and among all men stand for the symbols of war. When the throne is established, there is war. The nations league themselves to overthrow it (Rev. 19:19). The "war of the great day of God Almighty" ensues (Rev. 16:14).
There is no doubt as to the issue: "the Lamb shall overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful" (Rev. 17:14). The result is to overthrow the power of them everywhere (Psa. 2:9; 110:5-6; Isa. 24:21; 52:13-15; Ezek. 39:17-22; Zeph. 3:8; Hag. 2:21-22; Zech. 12:1-3; 14:1-9). What comes of this devouring outburst of judgment? "The inhabitants of the earth learn righteousness" (Isa. 26:9). They come from the ends of the earth, and admit they have been entirely led astray in former times (Jer. 16:19). They repair in humble desire to Jerusalem to be instructed in ways of wisdom and righteousness (Micah 4:2), and follow no more "the imaginations of their evil hearts" (Jer. 3:17). Jesus speaks peace to the nations (Zech. 9:10; Ps. 46:9). They abandon war and walk in the light of the Lord (Isa. 2:4-5). After the storm comes sunshine and the resultant rainbow, speaking of peace and stability and of the blessedness with which all the families of the earth will be blessed in Abraham and his seed.
I hope this helps