THE TRINITY PART FOUR: DOES JESUS CHRIST SIT NEXT TO GOD IN HEAVEN?
Many Christians have a picture in their minds of God seated on a throne in heaven and our Lord Jesus Christ sitting next to Him at His right hand. And indeed there are passages that do seem to say just that. However, I disagree with that thinking. Part of the reason I disagree is because, as the papers on the doctrine of the trinity on this web-site will prove, God is One, not three Persons. Please see the following papers for the Scriptural evidence of that statement: The Trinity: Is God Three Persons In One?, and The Trinity Part Two: “Elohim” and also The Trinity Part Three: The Scriptures That Disprove The Doctrine.
The following topics will be considered in answer to the question, does Christ sit next to God in heaven?:
“THEOS”: THE GREEK WORD TRANSLATED “GOD”.
JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH
A STUDY OF THE PHRASE “SIT THOU AT MY RIGHT HAND”
A STUDY OF THE PASSAGES IN REVELATION THAT SPEAK OF THE THRONE
“THEOS”: THE GREEK WORD TRANSLATED “GOD”
When we read the English word “God” in the New Testament, we must understand that it is not a name, it is a word used of Jehovah, Who is God. God has one Name, and that Name is “Jehovah”. Isaiah 42:8 reads, “I am Jehovah, that is My Name;…”. Exodus 6:3 is also helpful in establishing what God’s Name is, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by My Name, Jehovah, I did not make Myself known to them”. And in Isaiah 54:5 we read of His Name, Jehovah, plus one of the ten Jehovah titles, “For your Maker is your husband, Jehovah-Sabaioth is His Name.
Let us consider briefly the name as given in Ex. 3, “I AM”. Ex. 3:13-14, “….and they shall say unto me, ‘What is His Name’? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM……I AM hath sent me unto you”. Is this another name for Jehovah? I do not believe it is. As the reader may know, the original Hebrew Old Testament did not have points indicating vowels. That is to say, in the original language only consonants were used. So the spelling of Jehovah was JHVH or, JHWH. The spelling of the word translated “I AM” was HYH. The similarity in the spelling has led some Hebrew linguists to doubt the spelling of both words
Let us consider the slight difference in the Hebrew spelling of “Jehovah” and “I AM”. I believe that Is. 42:8, (“I am Jehovah, that is My Name) makes is clear that God has only one name, and the spelling is slightly different in Exodus 3 to make the point of What He is, i.e. eternal. In Is. 54:5, quoted above, the title “Sabaioth” was added to His Name, “Jehovah” in order to give a fuller meaning to His Name. So too, in my opinion, when Moses asked His name, Jehovah gave a slightly different spelling to His Name in order to give a fuller meaning.
JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH
As we compare Is. 40:3 with Matthew 3:3 the reader will see just one of the many reasons for my belief that Jesus Christ is Jehovah and the manifestation of Jehovah. Is. 40:3 reads, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way of Jehovah…..'”. In Matt. 3:1-3 we read, “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea…..for this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness prepare ye the way of the Lord….”. In my opinion, scriptures cannot be much plainer. Isaiah speaks of one preparing the way of Jehovah. Matt. 3:3 tells us that what John the Baptist was doing fulfilled that spoken of by Isaiah. In other words, John the Baptist was preparing the way of Jehovah/Jesus Christ. The paper on this web-site Jesus Christ Is Both Jehovah And The Manifestation Of Jehovah will prove from Scripture that Christ is Jehovah.
What we have learned is that the Hebrew “Jehovah” is God’s name. So when we read of “God” (“Theos”) in the New Testament we are reading of Jehovah. We have also seen that Jesus Christ is Jehovah, which means of course, that when we read of God (Theos) in the New Testament, we are reading of Jesus Christ. For example when we read in Rev. 7:10 “…Salvation to our God Which sitteth on the throne…”, we are reading of Christ on the throne.
A STUDY OF THE PHRASE “SIT THOU AT MY RIGHT HAND”
We read in Psalms 110:1, “The Lord said unto my Lord, ‘Sit Thou at My right hand……”. Unfortunately, Psalms 110:1 has become, through misinterpretation, one of the verses which has, in the minds of some, placed Jesus Christ in a position of being less than equal, to God, or, in the minds of others, less than God the Father. That is to say, I have seen pictures of a large throne in heaven with a lesser throne to its right. The larger throne is, in the minds of some, for God and the smaller is for Christ. That picture suggests that somehow Jesus Christ is less than God, which, of course, is impossible because Jesus Christ is God. God can not be less than God. Let us examine Psalms 110 with a view towards correcting that misinterpretation.
Let us translate Ps. 110:1 using the Hebrew for a few words. “Jehovah said unto Adoni, ‘Sit Thou at My right hand'”. “Jehovah” is God’s name and Jesus Christ is Jehovah. “Adoni” is one of Jehovah’s many titles. So, if we interpret the phrase, “at My right hand” literally we will have Christ/Jehovah sitting on one throne with Christ/Adoni on another throne at His right hand. But Jehovah and Adoni are the same Person, Adoni is simply one of the many titles of Jehovah. I trust that the reader can see that if we interpret the phrase literally, confusion reigns.
I suggest that we may eradicate all this confusion by seeing the truth of the phrase “sit Thou at My right hand”. That truth is that the phrase must be interpreted figuratively. Jehovah/Christ is God, the one and only God (please see the paper on this web-site The Trinity, Is God Three Persons In One?). Christ will conquer His enemies and in His office (or title) of Adoni, He will reign over those enemies as their conqueror.
The central issue of the phrase “sit Thou at My right hand” is whether it is to be understood literally or figuratively. That is to say, is Christ seated now at the right hand of God in heaven, or is there a more profound meaning to this statement than to just tell us where Christ is located in heaven? I believe that there is a deeper meaning than where He is in heaven.
Before we get to that meaning, may I say, lest I am misunderstood, that I do indeed believe that Christ is in heaven. We are told as much in the Word and there is no doubt that He is in heaven. Having said that let us now go to the Old Testament and study the phrase “right hand”. It is, in my opinion, very important to understand how the phrase was used in the Old Testament because that is how it would be understood by those living at the time of the writing of the New Testament. We will not study the passages that obviously refer to the right hand as opposed to the left, but only those verses that will help us in our study of the phrase found in Psalms. 110.
The first occurrence of the phrase is in Deut. 33:2, “…..from His right hand went a fiery law…”. Let us consider this phrase in terms of whether it is to be understood literally or figuratively. The literal meaning is obviously, that the “fiery law” came from God. That is to say, the point is not that the law came from His right hand, but that it came from God. The phrase “from His right hand” therefore is a figure of speech. It is the figure of speech “Metonymy of Adjunct” Which is explained in the Companion Bible, Appendix 6 as, “when something pertaining to the subject is put for the subject itself”.
The literal meaning of Deut. 33:2 is that a law came from God. Figures of speech are used in order to enhance the literal meaning. How is the literal meaning enhanced by the figure of speech in this case? As we shall see as we continue in this study, the phrase, “His right hand” is used as a figure of speech to stand for God’s power and authority. In this verse it is His authority as He gives His law.
Psalms 16:8-11, “I have set the Lord always before me: Because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: My flesh also shall rest in hope. For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell: Neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy: At Thy right hand there are pleasures forever more”. Note verse 8 where we read that “He is at my right hand”. The writer is saying, literally, that God is always with him. He is using “at my right hand” as a figure of speech for God’s power and authority that is always with him.
Psalms 17:7, “…..Thou that savest by Thy right hand”. It is, of course, God Who saves, but the writer, through the Holy Spirit, enhances that thought by the figure of speech, Metonymy of Adjunct. “Thy right hand” is used for the saving power of God.
Psalms 20:6, “…..saving strength of His right hand”. It is, of course, not literally God’s right hand that saves, it is God who saves. Here the figure of speech employed in the phrase “His right hand” enhances the idea of the saving strength of God.
Psalms 48:10, “…..Thy right hand is full of righteousness”. It is not literally God’s right hand that is full of righteousness, it is God Who is “full of righteousness”. And more specifically, it is how God uses His power and authority that is righteous.
Psalms 60:50, “…..save with Thy right hand….”. The phrase “Thy right hand” is the figure of speech Metonymy of Adjunct where “right hand” is used for God Himself. That is to say, it is not His right hand that saves, it is God who saves.
Ps. 63:8, “…..Thy right hand upholdeth me”. Again, “Thy right hand” is used as a figure of speech for it is God Who upholdeth the Psalmist. .
Ps. 74:10-11, “O God, how long shall the adversary approach? Shall the enemy blaspheme Thy name forever? Why withdrawest Thou Thy hand, even Thy right hand?” In verse 11 it is obvious that “Thy right hand” is put for God Himself. That is to say, the Psalmist asks why God withdraws, not why His right hand withdraws. The figure of speech “Thy right hand” is used to emphasize the fact that it is God’s power and authority that has been withdrawn.
Ps. 80:14-15, “Return, we beseech Thee, O God of hosts; Look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; and the vineyard which Thy right hand hath planted….”. The intent of this verse is not to say that God used only His right hand to plant. It is to say that God hath planted. Again, “Thy right hand” is used as a figure of speech for God’s power and authority.
Ps. 98:1, “He hath done marvelous things. His right hand and His holy arm hath gotten Him the victory.” The point is not that God used one hand to get the victory. It is that God got the victory. Again, “His right hand” is used as a figure of speech to emphasize His power and authority.
Now that we see that the phrase “at the right hand” is used as a figure of speech we are ready to go to the New Testament uses of the phrase “at the right hand”. The first occurrence is found in Matthew 22:44 which is a quote from Psalms 110:1. This verse has been studied above and the reader may recall that the context of this Psalm very definitely shows “at the right hand” refers, not to location, but to position.
Matt. 26:64, “You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One coming on the clouds of heaven”. That the phrase is to be understood figuratively is obvious by the fact that the “Mighty One” is not also coming in the clouds. That is to say, bearing in mind that this verse speaks of what will be seen in the clouds , not what is in heavenly places, if the phrase “the right hand of the Mighty One” were to be taken literally as to location, then as the Son of Man came down from heaven the Mighty One would have to come down with Him. Otherwise He would not be literally at the right hand of the Mighty One. (I will say, however, that I believe the phrase “the Mighty One” is used of a different office of God, i.e. it is not used in reference to a different Person.)
Mark 12:36 is a quote from Psalms 110:1.
Mark 14:62 is the same as Matthew 26:64.
Mark 16:19, “…. He was taken up into heaven and He sat at the right hand of God”. There is no question that Christ is in heaven, a literal location. That does not, however mean that the phrase “at the right hand of God” must also be taken literally. Mark would have understood by how it is used in the Old Testament that the phrase is to be understood figuratively.
Luke 20:42 is a quote of Psalms 110:1.
Luke 22:69, “…..from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of Almighty God”. This statement by our Lord comes as a response to the question asked by the chief priests, “Are you the Christ?” Christ told them so much more than where He would be, He told them by the phrase “seated at the right hand” (which they would have understood from the Old Testament) that He would be exalted in His position.
Acts 2:25 is quoted from Psalms 16:8-11. “Because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken. Please see the comments on that passage above.
Acts 2:33, “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear”. The word “exalted” is an obvious clue that the phrase is to be taken figuratively, as a position of honor and glory. If one takes this phrase literally, i.e. denoting location, none of that exaltation is understood.
Acts 2:34 is a quote of Psalm 110:1.
Acts 5:31, “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior ….”. This is the same phrase that we had read so many times in the Old Testament. Just as His “right hand” should be taken figuratively in the Old Testament, so must it be in the New Testament.
In Acts 7:55-56 we read of Stephen seeing “the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God”. The Greek word “kai” translated “and” in this verse can also be translated “even”. Because God is Jesus Christ, I believe that in this verse “kai” should be translated “even”. So Stephen saw the glory of God, even Jesus standing at the right hand of God. The fact that he saw Jesus Who is the glory of God suggests that “the right hand of God” is a position of glory, not a location.
Romans 8:34, “Who is he that condemeth? It is Christ That died, yea rather, That is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us”. I have tried to show that the phrase “at the right hand” is used figuratively for position. In this verse the context also suggests a figurative interpretation. That is to say that Paul’s point is not where Christ is, but that He is in a position of power and authority. There is a contrast between “died” and “risen” to show the contrast between Christ’s humiliation and His exaltation. His exaltation is described in His having been risen and figuratively of His position of power at the right hand of God. To interpret the phrase “at the right hand” literally tells us only where Christ is. That is not, in my opinion, what Paul intended.
Eph. 1:20-22, “Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand in heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. And hath put all things under His feet….”. We see in verse 22 a quote from Psalms 110:1 which is definitely figurative. That is to say, “all things under His feet” refers to the fact that Christ has conquered all things, not to a literal placement of all things under His feet. To say only that Christ is located far above all principalities, powers, etc. is to greatly detract from the point of this verse. The point is that He is so much more than all other things, not that He is located above them.
Col. 3:1, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God”. There is no question that Christ is seated in heaven. The question is whether the phrase “sitteth on the right hand of God” refers to where in heaven He is seated or whether Paul is writing of the position Christ holds in heaven. I believe it is the latter because, as I have tried to show from Scripture, that is how the phrase is used.
Heb. 1:3, “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high”. This entire verse centers on Who Christ is. He is the glory of God, He is the image of God, He is all powerful and He has purged our sins. It is highly unlikely that the writer of Hebrews goes from such a lofty theme to tell his readers where Christ is seated. I trust the reader will agree that in this verse also, the phrase “on the right hand of the Majesty on high” refers, not to location but to position.
Hebrews 1:13 is a quote from Psalms 110:1.
Heb. 8:1, Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an High Priest who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens”. What are “the things which we have spoken” which the writer sums up? They are things that have to do with superiority of Christ, the High Priest after the order of Melchizedec. Note for example 7:26, “For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, blameless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens”. The phrase, “made higher than the heavens” is obviously meant to be taken figuratively. That is to say, He was exalted more than anyone or anything on earth or in heaven. Verse 8:1 is the sum of the previous statements of the writer. Surely, Christ’s location is not the sum of those things. It is His position that is the sum.
Heb. 10:12, “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God”. The message of Hebrews 10 is that unlike the sacrifices of old which had to be offered over and over again, Christ offered one sacrifice and was finished. I believe that the contrast is being made between the ineffectiveness of the old and the effectiveness of the new. Therefore, once again, the writer is emphasizing the position of Christ and not His location.
Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God”. It is, in my opinion, impossible to believe that the author of Hebrews was saying that Jesus Christ endured the cross and the shame so that He would be located at the right hand of God. And if it does stand for position, then we should not take the phrase literally, since it is meant to be understood figuratively.
I Peter 3:22, “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God: angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him”. Angels and powers are not made subject to Christ simply because of where He is located. We must understand that “on the right hand of God” is a figure of speech emphasizing His position of authority and power.
A STUDY OF THE PASSAGES IN REVELATION THAT SPEAK OF THE THRONE
In the section above I have tried to prove from Scripture that Christ does not literally sit at the right hand of God. That is to say, Christ does not sit on a different throne than does God. But because some of the passages in Revelation speak of God and the Lamb on the throne I think it would be good to treat these passages in Revelation separately. That is to say, we know that “the Lamb” is Christ (see Jn. 1:29); does the fact that John speaks of God and the Lamb mean that there are two Persons?
Rev. 1:4-5 reads, “grace and peace from Him Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come: and from the seven spirits which are before His throne; And from Jesus Christ …..”. To begin, we must understand that in verse 5, the Greek word translated “and” is “kai”. “Kai” is often translated “even” and the context will always tell us how we are to understand it. Let us continue with this passage. There is only one Person Who is and was and is to come, i.e. the Lord, Jesus Christ. In other words, John sent a message of “grace and peace from” Jesus Christ. But verse 5 begins “and” which means that John sent the message of grace and peace from Christ (i.e. Him Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come”) also from Christ. Obviously, that makes no sense. How are we to understand this passage? In my opinion, the only way we can possibly make sense of this passage is to interpret “kai” as “even”. So the passage would read “grace and peace from Him Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come……..: Even from Jesus Christ …..” (the phrase “and from the seven spirits which are before His throne” is therefore parenthetical).
Rev. 3:21, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne”. This verse says that the overcomers (at the very least 144,000) will sit with Christ in His throne, (“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne”). If we interpret this verse literally the overcomers will all sit with Christ on one throne. Surely, they are not all going to literally sit on the same throne. In my opinion, common sense tells us that John in Rev. 3:21 is using “throne” as a figure of speech for the act of reigning with Christ. Specifically, I believe it is the figure of speech Metonymy of the subject. The Companion Bible defines that figure of speech as, “When the subject is put for something pertaining to it”. The subject in this case is reigning and the throne is what pertains to it.
This verse is not about overcomers sitting with Christ on one literal throne, it is about them reigning with Him. As is true of all figures of speech, this one enhances a truth. The truth is that overcomers will reign with Christ.
The preposition translated “in” in the phrase, “in His throne” tells us the same thing. That preposition is “en” and is defined in the Companion Bible as, “….it has regard to ….sphere of action. It is also used for the efficient cause as emanating from within, and hence has sometimes the force of by, denoting the instrument…….”. The “sphere of action” is of course, the throne and is the instrument through which the overcomers will reign. But people do not sit in a throne, they sit on it. Those who are said to be figuratively in the throne are those who will be in the sphere of Christ’s rule and will thereby reign with Him.
If this is true of the overcomers, logic dictates that it is also true of Christ and the Father. That is to say, Christ and the Father will not sit in the same literal throne. Christ and the Father will reign as One. Just as the overcomes will reign with Christ as one, so too will Christ and His Father reign as One.
In terms of the question addressed in this paper, (i.e. does Jesus Christ sit next to God in heaven?) we must conclude that this verse in particular does not support the idea that He will sit next to God. There are two reasons for that conclusion. 1) This verse uses the word “throne” as a figure of speech for the act of reigning and does not point to a number of thrones. 2) This verse speaks of one throne, not two.
Rev. 4:2-10 speaks of “One” Who sat on a throne. Who is that One? Verses 3-7 describe the One and His throne. In verse 8 we read of four beasts saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Which was, and is, and is to come”. Again, there is only One Who was and is and is to come, i.e. Jesus Christ. In verse 10 we read, “The four and twenty elders fall down before Him That sat on the throne” saying, “Thou art worthy……..for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created”. The One on the throne is He Who created all things? Who created all things? The answer to that is found in Col. 1:16-17, “For by Him (Christ, see vs. 14) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, ……..and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist”. We must conclude therefore that the throne of Rev. 4:2-11 is the throne of Jesus Christ in His office of Creator.
Rev. 5:1-13 tells of the One of chapter 4 Who sits on the throne. This is a very complex passage and requires due diligence. Rev. 5:1 speaks of the “One” of chapter 4, i.e. Christ, the Creator, with a book in His right hand. Rev. 5:6-7 tells us that “in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb”. The Lamb is, of course, Christ as the sacrifice for the sins of the world. Verse 7 tells us that “He (the Lamb) came and took the book out of the right hand of Him That sat upon the throne”. Christ as Creator sat on the throne. But we read in verse 13, “…..Blessing and honour, and glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne (i.e. the One of chapter 4, Christ) and unto the Lamb….” . In other words, we have Christ as Creator sitting on the throne. We have Christ as the Lamb taking the book from Christ as Creator. This makes sense only if we correctly understand the Greek word translated “and” in the phrase “sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb.
The Greek word translated “and” in verse 13 is “kai”. May I respectfully remind the reader of the statement concerning Rev. 1:4-5, i.e “kai” is often translated “even”. I believe that it is abundantly obvious that in Rev. 5:13 it should also be translated “even”. So that would read, “”Blessing and honour…..be unto Him That sitteth upon the throne, even unto the Lamb….”. There is simply no other way to understand this passage. We must see that the “One that sitteth upon the throne” and the Lamb are one and the same Person in two different offices. The One on the throne is Christ in His office of Creator, and the Lamb is, of course, Christ in His office of He Who takes away the sins of the world. One Person, two offices.
In terms of the question being addressed in this paper I think we may conclude that this passage does not speak of two different thrones.
Rev. chapter six tells of the opening of six seals. In verse 16 we read, “And said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him That sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb”. The question we must address is: is the One sitting on the throne different than the Lamb? We know that the Lamb is Christ. Who is the One sitting on the throne? To answer that question we must go all the way back to Rev. 5:13. That verse is discussed above and, as shown from Scripture, refers to God the Creator. And as proved above, Christ is Creator.
If we translate “kai” as “even” in this verse all is clear. It would read, “….the face of Him That sitteth on the throne even from the wrath of the Lamb”. Again, in terms of the question being addressed in this paper, I think we must conclude that this passage does not speak of two different Persons, but to One Person, i.e. Jesus Christ, in His offices of Creator and of Lamb.
Rev. 7:9-17 mentions the throne of God five times. 1) Verse 9 reads, “And after this (the sealing of the 144,000) I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes……”. Again, the Lamb is Christ, and the One on the throne is the same One as 5:13 and 6:16, i.e. Christ in His office of Creator. Because the Lamb and the Creator are one and the same Person, “kai” should be translated “even” so it reads, “……stood before the throne even before the Lamb”.
2) Rev. 7:10, “…..Salvation to our God Which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb…..”. Just as the preceding verse (quoted above) refers to one Person, here too it refers to one Person, i.e. Jesus Christ. “Kia” then should be translated “even”, “…….God Which sitteth upon the throne, even unto the Lamb…..”.
3) Rev. 7:11, “And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces and worshiped God”. Here it is obviously one throne.
4) Rev. 7:15, “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them”. Note there is just one Person sitting on one throne.
5) Rev. 7:16-17, “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them nor any heat. For the Lamb Which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes”. The phrase “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them” is quoted from Is. 49:8-10 where it is Jehovah Who will do those things. Jesus Christ is Jehovah. (Please see the paper on this web-site Jesus Christ Is Both Jehovah And The Manifestation Of Jehovah for the Scriptural evidence of that statement.) Therefore, Christ, Who is Jehovah will see to it that “they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more”, etc. .
The phrase “and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” is quoted from Is. 25:8 which tells us that it is Jehovah Adonai Who will accomplish that. “Adonai” is one of the many titles of Jehovah. If Jesus Christ is Jehovah, obviously He is Jehovah Adonai.
Note also the phrase “in the midst of the throne”. In all the verses that speak of the throne in Revelation there are some that speak of those around the throne, some that speak of Him on the throne, but this verse speaks of Him that is in the midst of the throne. (Rev. 3:21 translates the phrase “in the throne”.) But continuing with the phrase “in the midst of the throne”, I believe that every word of the Bible is inspired by God and the phrase “in the midst of” is meaningful. May I respectfully remind the reader of the comments above on Rev. 3:21 which used “throne” as a figure of speech for reigning. Just as in Rev. 3:21, I believe that here too, the word “throne” is used as a figure of speech for the act of reigning with Christ.
In Rev. 16:17 then, the Lamb Who is, of course, Christ, is said to be sitting in the “midst of the throne”. The Lamb is reigning with Him Who, we are told in previous passages, is “on the throne”, God/Christ as Creator. Therefore, once again, we have the Word of God telling us that Jehovah in His office of Lamb and in His office of Creator will reign. One Person in different offices, therefore one throne.
Rev. 8:3, “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne”.
Rev. 12:5, “And she (Israel) brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God and to His throne”.
Rev. 14:3, “And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth”.
Rev. 17:5, “And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God”.
Rev. 16:17, “….and there came a great voice out of the Temple of heaven, from the throne saying, ‘It is done'”.
Rev. 19:4, “And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshiped God That sat on the throne, saying, ‘Amen; Alleluia'”. Let us back up to verses 1-2 of this chapter in order to determine Who was sitting on the throne and being worshiped. Verses 1-2 read, “…..Alleluia: Salvation and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are His judgments: for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand”. So the One sitting on the throne is the One Who will avenge the blood of His servants. In order to determine who “avenged the blood” of His servants we need to go all the way back to Rev. 6:1 and 10. Rev. 6:1 reads, “I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals……”. In verse 9 we read of the Lamb opening the fifth seal. And then in verse 10, “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on the them that dwell on the earth?”.
We have learned that the One sitting on the throne in Rev. 19 is the One who will avenge the blood of His servants. In Rev. 6 we learned that it is the One who opens the seals, Who will avenge the blood. It is the Lamb Who will open the seals. It is the Lamb Who will avenge the blood of His servants. And it is the Lamb Who will be worshiped. Because Jesus Christ is the Lamb, we must conclude that Rev. 19:4 speaks of Christ as he That sat on the throne.
Rev. 20:11-12, “And I saw a great white throne, and Him That sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them, and I saw the dead small and great, stand before God (the texts, according to the note in the Companion Bible reads “throne”); and the books were opened…..”. Who will sit upon the great white throne? We read in John 5:22, “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son”. And again in Jn. 5:26-27 we read, “For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man”. We must conclude that it is Christ in His office of “Son of man” Who will sit on the great white throne and execute judgment.
Rev. 21:5-6, “And He that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new’. And He said unto me, ‘Write: for these words are true and faithful’. And He said unto me, ‘It is done, I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. ….'”. Rev. 1:8 tells us to Whom the phrase ” the Alpha and Omega” refers. Rev. 1:8 reads, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending’ saith the Lord, Which is, Which was, and Which is to come, the Almighty”. Only Jesus Christ can be He Which is and was and is to come. So then, these two passages taken together tell us that Jesus Christ is “the Alpha and the Omega”, He is “the Lord” and He is “the Almighty”.
Rev. 22:1 reads, “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb”. How does the Holy Spirit mean for us to understand the Greek word “Theos” translated “God”? Most assume that it refers to God the Father. But John, through the Holy Spirit did not write “God the Father”, he wrote “God”.
And there is yet another consideration: If we take this verse at is written (i.e. we do not add the phrase “the Father”) it says that the throne is shared by God and someone else. Logic demands that the someone else is not God or he would have been included in the term “God”. That is to say, if two will reign, one is God implying that the other is not God. But the Lamb, Who is Jesus Christ is indeed God in His office of the holy Sacrifice.
But all is clear, and we do not demean the Lord Jesus Christ in His office of Lamb, if we translate “kai” as “even”. So that phrase should read, ” proceeding out of the throne of God even of the Lamb”.
Rev. 22:3, “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it…..”. Again, this should read “the throne of God even of the Lamb”.
The following papers discuss other aspects of the doctrine of the trinity:
This paper was written by Joyce Pollard. If you would like to respond please e-mail me at: email@example.com