WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE TITLE “LAMB OF GOD”?
I believe that a study of all the passages in God’s Word that speak of Christ as the Sacrificial Lamb is an important one because many believe that Christ was not fully God during His earthly ministry. One reason for that belief is based on the fact that because Christ died He could not have been God because God is eternal, i.e. He cannot die. This study will present the Scriptural evidence that proves that even while Jesus Christ hung on the tree, He was fully God, He never gave up His deity, even at His death.
But it is true that God is eternal and therefore God cannot die. So how are we to understand the suggestion that Christ was God when He died? We read in Jn. 4:24 that “God is spirit”. As spirit, God could never die, but, as the paper on Jehovah proves from Scripture, Christ was both God as spirit, and the manifestation of God. That is to say, Christ was fully Man and fully God as He died. But God Who is spirit could never die. In short, Christ as God manifest died, but given that God’s/Christ’s basic nature is spirit, He could never die.
Most of this paper centers on the fact that as Jesus Christ suffered His greatest humiliation as He fulfilled the title “Lamb of God,” the context of almost all of the scriptures that speak of His being the Sacrifice for the sin of the world connect us to His other titles which refer to His deity. But we will begin with a quote from Ecc. 8:8 which reads “There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit: neither hath he power in the day of death… .” The spirit over which no man has power in the day of death is, of course, the spirit that gives life. But as we read in Mark 15:37, Christ did exactly what no man has the power to do, “He gave up the ghost” (the Greek word translated “ghost” is the same as that translated “spirit”). If as Man, Christ could not, according to Solomon, give up the spirit, Who could Christ have been at the moment of His death if not God? The answer is obvious, but this is just one piece of evidence that proves that even in death, Christ was fully God.
“The Lamb of God” In the Law and in the Prophets
In fulfilling the title “Lamb of God” Christ fulfilled the Mosaic sacrificial laws, and prophecy. Let us consider the fulfillment of the Mosaic Law first.
Many believe that the word “Lamb” when used of Christ is used in reference to a particular sacrifice as described in the Mosaic Law, such as, for example, the “Passover Lamb”. The reason I do not agree that the term refers to a particular sacrifice is that we read in Heb. 10:1, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things…”. Christ’s sacrifice is “the very image of the things”. The “things” in this context are the sacrifices required in the Mosaic Law. In other words, Christ was “the very image” and the Mosaic Law was the “shadow”. Christ was the very image of all the sacrificial laws of the Mosaic Law, not just one type of sacrifice. To say that Christ’s Sacrifice was the image of one particular sacrifice denies, by definition, that He was the “very image” of the entire Law of Moses.
The prophecy that was fulfilled as Christ fulfilled the title “Lamb of God” is the prophecy of Is. 53. Let us consider that prophecy. “Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? 2) For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3) He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. 4) Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken smitten of God, and afflicted. 5) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed, 6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 7) He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth” (Is. 53:1-7).
What can we learn from this passage? First, it is obvious that this passage speaks of sacrifice. It speaks of One Who will be the fulfillment of the sacrifices of the Mosaic Law. Who could fulfill the types of the sacrifices of the law? Consider the phrase, “the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all”. No man cannot bear the iniquity of other men because every man has his own iniquity to bear. Only One Who is without sin can bear “the iniquity of us all”. It is obvious that the One upon Whom will be laid the iniquity of us all would have to be God, i.e. God manifest, Who alone is sinless.
I believe that as one combines the types contained in the sacrificial laws with the prophecy of Is. 53 they could readily see that the One Who fulfilled these passages would be the promised Messiah Whom Israel understood would be God manifest. In short, Is. 53 is a prophecy about God manifest Who will fulfill the types of the sacrificial laws of Moses.
We have seen that Christ’s sacrifice was not a fulfillment of one particular sacrifice in the Mosaic Law, but rather the fulfillment of the entire Law which included the sacrifices of goats and sheep and birds. We might ask then, what is the significance of the word “Lamb” in the title “Lamb of God”? In my opinion, it is used in reference to Isaiah’s prophecy i.e. “as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth”. In other words, the “Lamb” does not have reference to a specific sacrifice but rather it has reference to the manner in which Christ made this sacrifice, i.e. as “a lamb to the slaughter” (Is. 53:7).
“The Lamb of God” in John’s Gospel
We will begin this study of the title “Lamb of God” by quoting the two passages in which the title is used. The first is in Jn. 1:29 which reads, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, ‘Behold the Lamb of God Which taketh away the sin of the world”. The second occurrence is in Jn. 1:36 which reads, “And looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, ‘Behold the Lamb of God’”.
As the paper on the kingdom of Heaven will prove, John presented Christ as God. That being the case, why was John, through the Holy Spirit, the only writer to speak of Christ as the Lamb of God? That is to say, as Christ hung on the tree fulfilling the title of the “Lamb of God”, He was at the point of His ministry where He suffered the greatest depths of His humiliation. How does that humiliation fit into John’s presentation of Christ as God?
For the answer to that question we will consider two passages. Let us begin with the second and last occurrence of the phrase “Lamb of God” as recorded in Jn. 1:36 which reads, “And looking upon Jesus as He walked, he (John the Baptist) saith, ‘Behold the Lamb of God”. The significance of this verse as it relates to the present study is found in the next verse which reads, “And the two disciples heard him speak and they followed Jesus”. What was it about John’s proclamation that Christ was the Lamb of God that made the two disciples follow Christ? For the answer to that question we will consider a passage in Acts.
Acts 8 describes the scene in which Philip was sent to an Ethiopian man. We read in verse 32 of Acts 8, “The place of the scripture which he (the Ethiopian man) read was this, ‘He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened He not His mouth’“. Although not an exact quote, I’m sure the reader will recognize this passage read by the Ethiopian man as the one from Is. 53. With that in mind let us consider the entire passage recorded in Acts 8:26-38.
This passage describes the scene in which the “angel of the Lord” spoke to Philip and told him to go “toward the south” whereupon he met an Ethiopian man who was reading from Is. 53. What was the reaction of the Ethiopian when Philip explained the meaning of that passage and about Whom it was written? The Ethiopian wanted to be baptized and confessed his belief to Philip as follows, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God”.
In order to understand this confession correctly, we must understand the term “Son of God” as first century Jews understood it. That is to say, in the 21st century there are those who believe that because all believers are sons of God, the title, when used of Christ, does not separate Him from all who are believers. Therefore, it is crucial that we understood how this first century Ethiopian man would have understood the phrase “Son of God” when used of the One about Whom he was reading in Is. 53. As will be proved from the paragraphs below, he would have understood the phrase “Son of God” as indicating deity, i.e. God.
Let us begin with a consideration of the “of” in the titles “Son of man” and “Son of God”. The “of” is, the Genitive of Origin, i.e. the Son from man and the Son from God. So in the title “Son of man”, the “of” tells us that because Christ’s mother was a human being, Christ was a human being because He was from Mary. He was a Man, hence the title “Son of man”. The “of” in the title “Son of God” must convey the same thought as does the “of” in the title “Son of man”. It tells us that Christ is God because God was Christ’s Father, i.e. that Christ was from God. So the Genitive of Origin tells us that Christ was from man and from God. And the fact that He was from man tells us that He was man, and the fact that He was from God tells us He is God. Let us consider just a few times in Scripture where Christ was declared to be the “the Son of God” in order to determine how first century Jews understood the phrase.
We read in Matthew 14:26-33 of Jesus walking on water and calming the winds. In verse 33 we read, “Then they that were in the ship came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Of a truth Thou art the Son of God’”. When Christ walked on water He conveyed the truth that, as God, He has authority over all the elements of the earth. When His disciples saw Him do that, they worshiped Him as God, Who alone has all authority over the elements. And what they declared in that worship was that He was “the Son of God”. His disciples understood that the title, “Son of God”, referred to His deity.
Luke 22:70-71 records, in part, the scene of Christ being questioned before His crucifixion. “……..Then said they all, ‘Art Thou then the Son of God?’ and He said unto them, ‘Ye say that I am’. And they said, ‘what need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of His own mouth”. The Lord’s accusers believed that His saying that He was the Son of God was enough to hand Him over to be crucified. Surely, if the phrase “Son of God” meant nothing more than a mere man, this would not have been sufficient evidence to put Him to death. Some might object that Christ never actually said that He was the Son of God, but that is not the point here. The point is that the Jewish leaders questioning Christ understood that the title “Son of God” meant that the Son of God is God and that was sufficient evidence, in their minds, to kill Him.
So when the Ethiopian man confessed his belief in Christ as the Son of God, he recognized Christ as God. In short, the Ethiopian man to whom Philip explained Is. 53 understood that the “Lamb” of Is. 53 referred to the promised Messiah Who would fulfill the sacrifices of the Mosaic Law. In other words, first century Jews understood that the promised Messiah would be God and that He would fulfill the law and the prophecy of Is. 53.
Of course, the Ethiopian man had the advantage of knowing that Christ had already fulfilled the prophecy of Is. 53 which advantage the two disciples did not have. However, I believe that when the two disciples heard John declare that Christ was the Lamb of God they understood by faith, that Jesus Christ would fulfill the Mosaic sacrificial laws, thus fulfilling the Messianic prophecy of Is. 53. In short, the title “Lamb of God” was seen by the disciples as the One about Whom Isaiah 53 was written, i.e. the promised Messiah. Further, just as the Ethiopian man recognized the truth that the One Who fulfilled the prophecy of Is. 53 was God, so too did the disciples accept that truth by faith. Having recognized that the title “Lamb of God” was used in reference to the Messiah Who they understood, correctly, to be God, the two disciples followed Jesus, about Whom John had declared was “the Lamb of God”.
The point of what has been discussed in this section is that the term “Lamb of God” although speaking of the depth of Christ’s humiliation was understood by the Ethiopian man of Acts 8, and the two disciples that followed Christ, to denote Christ’s deity, i.e. “the Son of God”. That is to say, they understood that when Christ hung on the tree, He suffered the greatest humiliation as God’s Sacrifice for the world, and at the same time, He was God. So let us come back to the question posed above, i.e. how does Christ’s humiliation fit into John’s presentation of Christ as God? Actually it is a perfect fit. That is to say, we must, as did the two disciples, recognize the fact that God hung on the tree and died for the sins of the world.
I Peter 1:19 “A Lamb”
We read in I Peter 1:18-20, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things…..But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot. Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world,…..”. We learn from this verse that Christ’s blood redeemed all who believe. Consider also Rev. 5:9 which reads, “…for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood …”. That Christ is the Redeemer is a well known fact among Christians today, but what is not well known is that the title “Redeemer” is one of the titles of Jehovah. We read in Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth…be acceptable O Jehovah, my strength and my redeemer“. And Is. 43:14, “…..I will help thee saith Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel…”.
As the paper on Jehovah will prove from Scripture, Jesus Christ is both Jehovah as spirit and the manifestation of Jehovah. Jehovah is, of course, God. My point is that here too we see a connection between Christ as a Lamb with one of His many titles, i.e. “Redeemer”, as God. That is to say, even as Christ was dying, He was at the same time Jehovah. So again, even in the depth of His humiliation, Christ was still God.
“The Lamb” in The Book of Revelation
There are over twenty verses in the book of Revelation that speak of Christ as the Lamb. As is true of the passages quoted above, these verses in Revelation also connect the title “Lamb” with other titles of Christ which are used of His deity. That is to say, the verses in Revelation that speak of the most profound moment of Christ’s humiliation, i.e. His fulfillment of the title of “Lamb”, come in the same context as do the titles of Christ’s most profound glorification as God. Because it is the context that is so crucial in proving that point, we will consider a wider context of some occurrence than we might have otherwise.
Because some of the passages in Revelation speak of God and the Lamb on the throne many understand Christ to be a separate Person than God. Therefore, it is incumbent on the student of His Word to consider that thinking if we are to correctly understand the uses of the word “Lamb” in reference to Christ as used in Revelation.
Consider, for example Rev. 1:4-5 which reads, “grace and peace from Him Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come……..5) And from Jesus Christ …..”. There is only one Person Who “is and was and is to come”, i.e. the Lord, Jesus Christ. But as this verse reads in the KJV, John sent a message of “grace and peace from” Jesus Christ (He Who “is and was and is to come”) and also from Jesus Christ. Obviously, that makes no sense. How are we to understand this passage?
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. In my opinion, the only way we can possibly make sense of this passage is to interpret “kai” as “even”. So this passage should read “grace and peace from Him Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come…….. Even from Jesus Christ …..”.
Chapters 5-6 of Revelation speak of the Lamb on the throne. In order to correctly understand Who the One on the throne is we must go to Rev. 4. We read in Rev. 4:2-10 of “One” Who sat on a throne. Verses 3-7 describe that One and His throne. Then 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. So the four beasts who are recorded praising the One on the throne were praising Christ as the “Lord God Almighty”. In short, the One on the throne is the Lord God Almighty, Who is Christ, the One Who “was and is and is to come”.
With the understanding that “kai” is sometimes to be understood as “even”, and with the understanding that the following chapters are about Christ Who sat on the throne, we are now prepared to consider the passages that speak of Christ as the “Lamb”.
There are four verses in Rev. chapter 5 and two verses in chapter 6 which speak Christ as the “Lamb”. Because Rev. 6:1 is in the same context as are those of chapter 5 we will include that in our consideration of this passage. I will quote those verses and then we will consider all five together in context.
Rev. 5:5, “And I beheld, and lo, – in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb…..”. And we read in Rev. 5:8, “And when He (the Lamb) had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb…”. Then in Rev. 5:12-13 we read, “…..Worthy is the Lamb………., ‘Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him That sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever’”. Rev. 6:1, “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals….”.
We must consider the phrase, ” glory, and power, be unto Him That sitteth upon the throne, and (Gr. “kai”) unto the Lamb”. As proved in the paragraphs above, the One on the throne is the Lamb. That being the case, we must understand “kai” to mean “even”. So this phrase should read, ” glory, and power, be unto Him That sitteth upon the throne, even (Gr. “kai”) unto the Lamb”
Verse 13 is key to our present study. That verse reads, “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him That sitteth upon the throne, even unto the Lamb for ever and ever’”. Only God is worthy of Blessing, honour, glory and power.
My point is that this passage connects Christ as “Lamb”, the title which describes His ultimate humiliation, with Christ as God. That is to say, at the moment of Christ’s humiliation, He was at the very same time God.
Let us consider Rev. 6:16-17 which speaks of the wrath of the Lamb. “And (the kings of the earth, vs.15) said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?’”. This verse is an obvious reference to the wrath that God will mete out in the day of wrath. Rev. 11:18 is another passage which speaks of God’s wrath. That verse reads, “The nations were angry and Thy wrath is come….”. To Whom does the pronoun “Thy” refer in this passage? That question is answered in the previous verse, i.e. verse 17 where we read, “Give thanks O Lord God Almighty”. Rev. 14:9-10 is also helpful, “….If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wrath of God…” (see also verse 19, and Rev. 15:1, 7 and 16:1).
There will not be wrath from the Lamb and a different wrath from the “Lord God Almighty”, there will be wrath from One, i.e. God. So once again we have the connection with the Lamb and God, Who is “the Lord God Almighty”. Proving again, that as Christ suffered His humiliation as He hung on the tree, He was at the same time the exalted “Lord God Almighty”.
Rev. 7:9 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 (Greek “kai”) before the Lamb, clothed with white robes……”. And we read in the next verse, i.e., verse 10, “…..Salvation to our God Which sitteth upon the throne, and (Greek “kai”) unto the Lamb…..”. In verse 9 we read of “the throne” and “the Lamb”. And in verse 10 we read of God Who sits on the throne. Let us consider this passage in its context.
In the paragraphs above we considered Rev. 4:8 which speaks of He Who “was and is and is to come” on the throne being worshiped as “the Lord God Almighty”. In Rev. 5:6 we saw that that Person was “the Lamb”. In other words, in Rev. 4 the One on the throne was the Lamb. But in Rev. 7 the translation of the Greek “kai” gives the impression that it was not the Lamb on the throne. Did the Lamb get off the throne and give it to God? We cannot make that conclusion because, again, as we read in chapter 5, the Lamb was being worshipped as “the Lord God Almighty”. There is but one logical conclusion. That is to say, the “kia” should be translated “even”, “people” stood “before the throne, even the Lamb” and “…….God Which sitteth upon the throne, even unto the Lamb…..”.
Once again the context speaks of Christ as the ”Lamb” Who is God. Therefore, this passage again proves that even in His office of Lamb as Christ suffered humiliation, He at the same time was “God”.
Rev. 12:11 reads, “And they overcame him (the “accuser”, i.e. the antichrist vs. 10,) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony….”. The subject of this verse is the overcomers of the tribulation not the Lamb Himself. Therefore I see nothing in the context that points to His being exalted as God.
In Rev. 13:8 we read, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (the beast, i.e. the antichrist), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”. This passage has to do with the beast and those who will or will not worship him. It therefore is not key to our present discussion. But I do find the phrase “from the foundation of the world” interesting in this passage. May I respectfully remind the reader of a similar phrase quoted above from I Peter 1:19, i.e. “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world,…..”. As stated above in the paragraphs concerning I Peter, the Lamb is the Redeemer, which title is given to Jehovah. I do not believe that it is too much of a stretch to combine these two passages (I Peter 1 and Rev. 13) and conclude that Rev. 13:8 also speaks of the Lamb as Jehovah, the Redeemer. Therefore, this verse in Rev. also connects Christ’s humiliation with the exalted Name of “Jehovah”.
The “Lamb” is mentioned four times in three verses of the fourteenth chapter of Revelation. I will quote those verses and because they come in the same context, we will consider them together. Rev. 14:1, “And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads”. Rev. 14:4, “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb, whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firsfruits unto God and (Gr. “kai”) to the Lamb”. Rev. 14:10, “The same (those who worship the beast, vs. 9) shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out, without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb”.
Let us consider verse 4 which speaks of the, “firsfruits unto God and (Gr. “kai”) to the Lamb”. The question I would pose is this: Is the Greek word “kai” correctly translated “and” (“unto God and to the Lamb”) in this verse, or should it have been translated “even” (unto God, even the Lamb”). The “and” makes God and the Lamb two different Persons, while the “even” makes God and the Lamb One Person.
Let us begin with the phrase from verse 4 which reads, “These were redeemed from among men”. May I respectfully remind the reader that in the Old Testament we read that Jehovah is the Redeemer. For example we read in Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth…be acceptable O Jehovah, my strength and my redeemer“. And we know from the New Testament that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer. There are not two Redeemers, there is one, i.e. Jehovah/Christ. Because Jesus Christ is Jehovah and He is the Lamb, in my opinion, the “kai” should be translated “even”. So verse 4 should read, “…….These are they which follow the Lamb, whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firsfruits unto God even to the Lamb”.
The Word of God is quite consistent in its use of “Lamb” in reference to Christ in showing that the Lamb is God. And the point is that as Christ suffered His humiliation as the Sacrifice for man’s sins He was at the same time God.
We read in Rev. 15:3, “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints’”. This verse speaks of “them that had gotten victory over the beast”, (vs. 2). They were singing “the song of the Lamb”, which said, “Great and marvelous are Thy works Lord God Almighty”. I believe a consideration of the word “of” in the phrase, “the song of the Lamb” will be helpful. In my opinion, the “of” is the Genitive of Relation which is defined by Dr. E.W. Bullinger in the Appendix 17 of the Companion Bible as, “equivalent to pertaining to”. So we may understand this phrase to mean, “the song pertaining to the Lamb”. So we may understand this verse to say, “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song pertaining to the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and marvelous are Thy (the Lamb) works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways….”.
In short they were addressing the Lamb in their song as “Lord God Almighty”. Once again, Christ’s title of “Lamb” is used in connection with His title of “Lord God Almighty” in order to make the point that in the depths of His humiliation, Christ was still the “Lord God Almighty”.
Rev. 17:14 reads, “These (the ten kings of verses 12-13) shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings…..”. We have in this single verse the Scriptural proof that even as Christ suffered the humiliation of His death, He was at the same time “king of kings, and Lord of lords”.
We read in Rev. 19:6-7, “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour to him for the marriage of the Lamb is come…..”. The voices of this passage praise and honor “the Lord God Omnipotent”. Are we to understand that the Lord God Omnipotent and the Lamb are two different Persons or the same Person? To answer that question let us consider the passages quoted above which speak of the Lamb.
In Rev. 4:8 and 15:3 the Lamb was called “the Lord God Almighty”. In Rev. 7:9 and 14:4 the Lamb was called “God”. In Rev. 17:14 the Lamb is called “king of kings and Lord of lords”. In short, in my opinion, we may conclude that in Rev. 19:7 the Lamb is “Lord God Omnipotent”.
So once again we have the connection of the title of Christ’s humiliation with one of His titles as God. (See also verse 9, “….Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb”).
Rev. 21:14 reads, “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb”. This verse describes the twelve foundations of the new Jerusalem and is not primarily about the Lamb. Therefore, there is nothing in this particular context about the Lamb being God.
Rev. 21:22 reads, “And I saw no Temple therein (the new Jerusalem): for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it”. The question once again concerns the translation of the Greek word “kai” in the phrase, “Lord God Almighty and the Lamb”. That is to say, should this phrase read “Lord God Almighty and the Lamb” or should it read, “Lord God Almighty, even the Lamb”? The answer to that question is found in Rev. 15:3 quoted above. Again that verse reads, “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song pertaining to the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and marvelous are Thy (the Lamb) works, Lord God Almighty…..’”. As discussed above, this verse speaks of “the song pertaining to the Lamb” which praises “Thy works”, i.e. the works of the “Lord God Almighty”. Therefore, because we have the Scriptural evidence that the Lamb and the Lord God Almighty are one and the same Person, I believe Rev. 21:22 should read, “Lord God Almighty, even the Lamb”. So in this context the title given to Christ at the point of His greatest humiliation, is “the Lord God Almighty”.
Rev. 21:23 reads, “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof”. Again we must address the translation of the Greek word “kai”. In my opinion, the point of this verse is that the glory of God is so great that it will light up the entire city. If we interpret this verse to include the glory of God and the glory of the Lamb, the whole point is destroyed. That is to say, if the city will need the glory of two, then it contradicts the point of the verse which is that the glory of God alone, will light the city. I believe that the city will be lit by the glory of God, even the Lamb, Who is the “light thereof”.
In my opinion, a correct understanding of this verse goes a long way to prove the point of this study. That is to say, the Lamb is the glory of God. “The Lamb” is the title of Christ’s humiliation, but at the same time the Lamb is the glory of God.
Rev. 21:27 reads, “And there shall in no wise enter into it (the new Jerusalem) any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life”. This verse is not primarily about the Lamb, but rather about who will enter into the new Jerusalem, i.e. those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Therefore, this verse in particular does not add to the main topic of this study.
We read in Rev. 22:1, “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”. Let us include verses 3-4 as we consider this passage. Those verses read, “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him. And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads”.
Once again we must consider the Greek “kai” in the phrase “the throne of God and of the Lamb”. The translation of “kai” as “and” suggests that the throne will be the throne of two, i.e. God and the Lamb. But the reader will note that in verse 4 we read that His servants shall serve “Him” and they shall see ”His face” and “His name will be in their foreheads”. The pronouns “Him” and “His” are singular, they refer to One Person, not two. In my opinion, the only way to reconcile this seeming contradiction is to translate the “kai” of verse 1 as “even”. So that verse should read, “proceeding out of the throne of God even of the Lamb”. In other words, the Lamb is God.
This paper was written by Joyce Pollard. If you would like to respond please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org