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Revelation 22:3-5 (ESV) reads:

3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Verse 3 talks about the throne of God and of the Lamb as two separate entities, but then the following verses use the third-person singular ("he", "his", "him") to address a single being. Are God and the Lamb the same being?

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  • Colossians 3:1-3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. – Bagpipes Feb 2 at 8:58
  • The explicit identification of Jesus as the Lamb of God is in John 1:29 and John 1:36, by John the Baptist; the same chapter identifies Jesus as the Son of God and the Word made flesh. The identification in Revelation is implicit. – Henry Feb 2 at 15:19
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The context of Revelation 1 shapes how we read of God and His son in the rest of the book. (and impacts how we read of God and His son in the rest of the bible)

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his bond-servants... 1:1

The one who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God 3:12

I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and my new name 3:12

The one who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat with my Father on His throne 3:21

I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll... 5:1 Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to be able to open the scroll and its seven seals. 6 And I saw ... a Lamb standing, as if slaughtered v5-6

What we see quite clearly (and presented very persistently) is a fitting differentiation between God and His son Jesus, the Lamb of God. The risen Jesus, the Lamb, the firstborn of many brothers, still has the same God we do.

With this plain understanding, we can grasp the meaning of other verses that may seem confusing when read alone.

In the passage in question, 22:3 has as the primary subject God (and the Lamb), but the subject is God and the 'His' referred to.

The passage closes with the focus on God as the subject providing the light. Jesus is mentioned in passing through this passage so the 'His' cannot refer to him.

Conclusion:

So the passage must be read in light of other writings by the same author showing that God and the Lamb are not the same being - God is not the Lamb and therefore, the Lamb is not God.

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Some may use John 10:30 to suggest that Jesus and the Father are one. Using proper exegetical process we must not assume this means they are one ‘substance’ or some other fanciful interpretation. To understand what Jesus meant we search other texts to find the answer.

Jesus prayed to his Father regarding the disciples,

...so that they may be one as we are one. John 17:11

And repeated again v22

Now we know what John meant in 10:30 - to subscribe to another meaning than being one in purpose is to ignore the inspired text interpretation of itself - as God intended.

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At the beginning of Revelation (1:8), it says

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

And at the end of Revelation (22:13), Jesus says

13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

There are several other parallels throughout the Bible that identify Jesus with YHWH (compare Zechariah 12 with John 19, and Isaiah 45 with Philippians 2, etc.), so it would seem reasonable that this passage would allude to it

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  • I'm sorry, you collapse Jesus into Yahweh. Both Revelation 1:8 and 22:13 describe the Father. What makes you think they refer to Jesus? – Jesus Saves Feb 3 at 1:55
  • Please read the question again and answer accordingly - you have not mentioned the Lamb at all. Perhaps you can see the link, but the answer is ambiguous. – user48152 Feb 3 at 7:17
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Is 0.5 the same as 1/2?

Mathematically, we know that 0.5 = 1/2. They denote the same value.

Representationally, the string "0.5" ≠ "1/2". The two strings are different.

These are two different representations of the same value.

Revelation 22:3

No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it

Note that it does not say

the throne of God and Lamb

It shows that these are two distinct representations or manifestations.

4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

Now the reference pronouns are singular and not plural. It shows that the two representations denote the same person.

Are God and the Lamb the same being?

That's part of the mystery of the Godhead. In terms of manifestations, they are distinct but in terms of value, they are the same.

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  • Revelation 22:4 is describing the Father. He exclusively occupies "the throne of God" (v. 3.). "They will see HIS face." The pronoun "his" identifies the Father; not the Father and Jesus collapsed into one. – Jesus Saves Feb 3 at 4:47
  • @JesusSaves - what about John 1:1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God? – Spirit Realm Investigator Feb 3 at 4:52
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator Jn 1:1 is a verse misunderstood by many because it is wrongly translated. Who is "the word" in verse one based on the context? – Jesus Saves Feb 3 at 5:04
  • @JesusSaves - 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – Spirit Realm Investigator Feb 3 at 5:14
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator Jesus is identified as "the word" before v. 14. In v. 2, the word "οὗτος" (with the same morphology) is used of human beings in John around 97% of the time. In v. 3, "the word" is the agent of creation. In the verses that follow, "the word" is continued be identified as Jesus. Jesus is "the word" who was with God in v. 1. – Jesus Saves Feb 3 at 14:19
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From the very first verse of Rev, John makes a clear distinction between the God the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. Here are some examples:

  • Rev 1:1 - This is the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants
  • Rev 1:4, 5 - ... from Him who is and was and is to come, ... and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness
  • Rev 1:5, 6 - To Him who loves us and has released us from our sins by His blood, who has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father
  • Rev 4, 5 describes the enthronement of the Lamb (Jesus) on the right of the throne of the God
  • Rev 14:1 - Then I looked and saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads.
  • Rev 14:4 - They have been redeemed from among men as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.

in the case of Rev 22:3, we have:

καὶ ὁ θρόνος τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ Ἀρνίου (= and the throne of the God and of the Lamb)

Grammatically, there is no doubt that this is discussing two different people, "God" and "Lamb" because both have an article (ie, Sharp's rule does not apply.) Therefore, what is the antecedent of the pronouns later in the same verse, "and His servants will worship Him"? Is it God or the Lamb? If we look earlier we find exactly the same construction, "the throne of the God and the Lamb" - so that is not much help either.

Note the characteristics of the servants in Rev 22:3, 4:

  • "his servants serve him" (compare Matt 28:19 - serving Christ; and 2 Cor 3:18, 1 John 3:2 - being like Christ)
  • They see his face (contrast John 1:18)
  • His name is on their foreheads (compare Rev 14:1 with the Father's name on their foreheads)

Thus, there is little to choose between God and Jesus in the above parallel passages. The commentaries are similarly vague but perhaps the most helpful is the Pulpit commentary that suggests this:

But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him; and the throne, etc. This is the consequence of there being no accursed thing (cf. Joshua 7:12, 13, "Neither will I be with you any more .... There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel"). God dwells in the city because all is holy. The throne of God and of the Lamb is one - God and the Lamb are one. Again, his servants, the servants of God and the Lamb (cf. John 10:30). They "serve him," as described in Revelation 19:1-7 and elsewhere. Revelation 22:3

As noted above, we see the same grammatical problem exists in V1 as well - God and the Lamb are separate people but are referred to here as a single unit. (Compare Gen 2:24, Eph 5:31, Matt 19:5, Mark 10:8, "the two [married people] shall be one", etc). That is, while the Father and the Son are separate people, they occupy the same throne and are "one" just as Jesus declared:

John 10:30, "I and the Father are one."

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    Dottard....if as you say, Jesus is not God, then neither is the Father. That's clearly impossible for Jesus says in John 10:30 I and the Father are one.” 31 At this, the Jews again picked up stones to stone Him. 32But Jesus responded, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone Me?” 33“We are not stoning You for any good work,” said the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because You, who are a man, declare Yourself to be God.” – Adam Feb 2 at 14:56
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    @Adam - I worded that statement carefully and did NOT say Jesus was not God - I said John distinguishes between Jesus and the Father - I agree both are God, but Jesus is NOT the Fathjer and the Father is NOT Jesus. – Dottard Feb 2 at 19:30
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    This is a good answer. Jesus is fully God, to be sure, and there is one God, but He is not His Father. – John Dumancic Feb 2 at 22:38
  • I actually really like this question. It offers an interesting insight into what is God, what is the father, what is the Son. We often read questions asking if Jesus is God, however, has anyone wondered about the question, "is the Father God"? If one answers "yes" to the question of the Father being God, then why should one have an issue with the Son also being God (as an equal with the Father)? It actually explains the Trinity in a single phrased question! – Adam Feb 3 at 3:34
  • @Adam The reason one would have a problem is that the Bible teaches that there is only one absolute God, not multiple. The lips of Jesus taught that the Father was the only God (John 5:44, 17:3; Mark 10:18; 12:28-34). This was affirmed by the apostles (1 Timothy 2:5, Romans 3:30; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; Galatians 3:20). – Jesus Saves Feb 3 at 21:39

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