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How should we interpret Revelation 3:21 with respect to the seating arrangements?

21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. -Revelation 3:21

I see four ways to interpret this remarkable text.

  1. There is one big throne and Jesus and all who conquer are sitting on the throne of God... This interpretation can rely heavily on a non-physical understanding of God's throne where throne basically means authority upon which one rules.
  2. There are two big thrones, but again nonphysically, the son rules from the Father's authority and those who conquer rule from the son's authority derived from the Father.
  3. Jesus doesn't actually sit on the Father's throne but is actually sitting with the Father who is on his own throne. Similarly, the conquerers are not sitting on Jesus's throne, but are sitting with Jesus as Jesus is on his own throne. (For some reason I'd like to favor this one, but not sure if it is supported by the Greek language)
  4. There are some pretty big chairs in the Kingdom capable of supporting everyone's rear end simultaneously.
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This "problem" is not confined to Rev 3:21. We see it in other places:

  • Eph 2:6 - And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus
  • Rev 3:21 - To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.
  • Rev 4:4 - Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and on these thrones sat twenty-four elders dressed in white, with golden crowns on their heads.
  • Rev 20:4 - Then I saw the thrones, and those seated on them had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image, and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. And they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Anyone who tries to press this language too literally is likely to become too confused trying to sort out the "seating arrangements". I think it best to take this more metaphorically by using the ideas of 1 Peter 2.

  • 1 Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

All this Biblical language is about the STATUS of the righteous saved and not about literal seating arrangements.

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  • +1 - Would you lean more toward's option 1 or 2?
    – Austin
    Aug 15 at 6:17
  • @Austin - they are metaphors and not to be taken literally. Therefore, the question is moot. Indeed, Eph 2:6 says that we are ALREADY seated in heaven with Christ!! see above.
    – Dottard
    Aug 15 at 6:20
  • Both options 1 and 2 are non-literal.
    – Austin
    Aug 15 at 6:22
  • @Austin - correct - I see the language as metaphorical, not literal.
    – Dottard
    Aug 15 at 6:44

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