Daniel P. Barron

The Throne, Heaven, and the Kingdom Are God.

 

This is a mirror of "The Throne, Heaven, and the Kingdom Are God" by Darwin Fish.

I. The Throne

At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem.i

Here in Jeremiah 3:17 the city of Jerusalem, The Throne of the Lord, and the name of the Lord are all synonymous. Jerusalem is synonymous with The Throne of the Lord, as it says, "Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord." The name of the Lord is here called Jerusalem, as it says, "to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem." And, The Throne of the Lord is the name of the Lord, as it says, "The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord." In Jeremiah 3:17 alone it can be seen that God's throne is God Himself and Jerusalem is God as well.


Moreover, Jeremiah 14:21 speaks similarly:

Do not abhor us, for Your name's sake; do not disgrace the throne of Your glory.


Here in parallel thought, God's name and God's throne, being actually one and the same, is Jeremiah's concern. God's name is to be praised,ii and His throne is exalted.iii Jeremiah does not want to see either one, which are one and the same, dishonored.


If God's throne is God Himself, then God's throne must be eternal. In other words, it must have always existed. And indeed, it has, as it is written,

Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.iv


In Hebrews 12:29 it says,

Our God is a consuming fire.


As He is seen as a literal fire in Isaiah 33:14; Ezekiel 1:27-28; 8:2; etc., His throne, being our God,v is a literal fire.

His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire.vi


God is a consuming fire. His throne is a fire. His throne is Him, and He, that is, His throne also speaks.

Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"vii


Lest someone think this is not talking about the throne literally speaking, note Revelation 19:5:

Then a voice came from the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!"


The voice is from the throne. It does not say the voice is from the One sitting on the throne. It describes the voice coming from the throne itself. In Revelation 21:5 "He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.'" But here, "a voice came from the throne, saying, 'Praise our God.'"


If the throne is God, how could it be calling God its God?viii This is nothing new. Jesus is God, and He calls God His God.ix In Zechariah 1:11-13 God speaks with God.x


In Revelation 16:17 and 19:5 only one voice is mentioned. In Revelation 4:5 more than one voice proceeds from the throne itself:

And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices.


In Exodus 19:16xi there were thunderings and lightning at the presence of God. In Job Elihu calls thunder "His voice."xii Yet in Revelation 4:5 there are voices! Indeed,

God is great, and we do not know Him.xiii


Revelation 22:1 reveals the river of the water of life will proceed from the throne, and Revelation 22:3 reveals that God's servants will serve the throne Himself:

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.


The subject here is the throne. The "His" and "Him" refer back to the subject of the sentence, the throne. If that wasn't clear in the English, it is most certainly clear in the Greek. The throne, ο θρονος,xiv is in the nominative case making it the subject. The words, "of God" and "of the lamb," του θεου και του αρνιου,xv being in the genitive case, describe the throne.xvi Thus, the throne is the subject.


When this is understood, the next verse is quite profound, because the subjects do not change. Speaking of His servants serving Himxvii it says,

They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.


Whose face shall they see? They shall see the throne's face. Evidently, the throne has a face. No doubt, the throne of God is alive. It is a fiery flame with wheels that are a burning fire.xviii

Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?xix

His servants, those who serve the throne of God, will reign forever with Him,xx serving Him and sitting upon Him.xxi

II. Heaven

Thus says the Lord: Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool.xxii


But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; . . . .xxiii


If heaven is God's throne, and the throne is God, then does that mean heaven is also God? Yes indeed, note what Jesus said in Matthew 23:22:

And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.


In other words, if you swear by heaven, you swear by God. Heaven is God.xxiv


Jesus used "heaven" for a synonym for "God" in Matthew 21:25. He asked the chief priests and the elders,

The baptism of John - where was it from? From heaven or from men?


That is the same as saying, "The baptism of John - where was it from? From God or from men?" Heaven is God.


Likewise, in Luke 15 the son who returned to his father said,

Father, I have sinned against heaven . . . .xxv


Sinning against heaven is sinning against God.


Throughout the gospels, "the kingdom of heaven" and "the kingdom of God" are used synonymously.xxvi In this as well it is evident that "heaven" and "God" are one and the same.


In Daniel 4:26, in interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's vision, Daniel says,

And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules.


Immediately before this Daniel says, "till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,"xxvii and a little later it says,

until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.xxviii


Clearly, the Heaven in verse 26 that rules is the Most High of verses 25 and 32 that rules. Heaven is the Most High.xxix


The Aramaic is interesting in verse 26.xxx Both the noun for "Heaven," שְׁמַיָּא,xxxi and the verb for "rules," שַׁלִּטִן,xxxii are in the plural. It literally reads, "the Heavens rule." This plurality of the Godhead is further seen earlier in this same chapter where it says,

This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones, . . . .xxxiii


Who are "the watchers" and "the holy ones?" They are God. As it later says,

this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king:xxxiv


The "decree of the watchers" and "the sentence by the word of the holy ones" is "the decree of the Most High," the Highest One, the Heavens, the Lord Almighty.


This plurality in the Godhead is even further seen in this same chapter where it says,

They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.xxxv


Who are the "they"s in this verse? They are God. Theyxxxvi shall drive him from men. Theyxxxvii shall make him eat grass like an oxen. Theyxxxviii shall wet him with the dew of heaven. It is the Heavens, God Himself, the Highest One, cranking on Nebuchadnezzar for him to learn that "the Heavens rule."xxxix The Heavens humble a proud man.


Moreover, the Lord is repeatedly called the "Most High"xl or "the Highest,"xli the latter NT term being used for both Him and His Holy Habitation.xlii

III. The Kingdom

The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.xliii

"Heaven rules."xliv "His Kingdom rules."xlv The Kingdom and Heaven are One and the same God that rules over all.


Jesus said,

But seek first the kingdom of God . . . .xlvi


When someone seeks God's kingdom, what or who are they seeking? God. In fact, it is interesting that one Greek manuscript for Matthew 6:33 reads,

But seek first the kingdom and His righteousness, . . . .xlvii


Proverbs 4:7 says,

Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.


Since Wisdom is God Himself, Proverbs 4:7 is identical in concept as Matthew 6:33. The Kingdom and Wisdom are One.


Consistent with seeking the kingdomxlviii is what Hebrews 11:14 says of people of faith. It says,

For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.xlix


That homeland that they seek is God Himself.


Furthermore, if the kingdom is indeed God, then the kingdom has always existed, for God has always existed.l Jesus said,

My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.li


Hebrews 12:27-28 says,

Now this, Yet once more, indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, . . . .lii


The kingdom of God is not of this world, and it is something, as Hebrews says, that cannot be shaken. That means it wasn't made. Therefore, it is eternal. It has always been, as Christ has always been.liii


Note what Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 12:28:

But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.


What did Jesus mean by saying, "surely the kingdom of God has come upon you?" He meant that God Himself has come upon them. Jesus, being God, is the kingdom of God.

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.liv


Twice in the gospels it is recorded that Christ prophesied there were some who would "not taste death till they see the kingdom of God."lv In both cases, immediately afterwards, Peter, John, and James see Jesus glorified.lvi The focus is on Christ's very person, as the Father, in both cases, speaks from a cloud and says,

This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!lvii


The vision is primarily about Christ.lviii Yet, Jesus said they would see the kingdom of God. Christ is the kingdom of God.


Jesus said in Mark 10:15,

Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.


What, or who, needs to be received to enter the kingdom of God? Jesus needs to be received.lix Receiving the kingdom of God is receiving Jesus.


Luke 4:43-5:1 reads,

"I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent." And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee. So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret.


Notice here that preaching the kingdom of God and preaching the word of God are one and the same. If this is so, and it is, then if Christ is the Word,lx then Christ is the kingdom of God, and therefore, the kingdom is God.


Luke 9:2 and 6 say,

He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.


So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.


Here the kingdom of Godlxi and the gospellxii are one and the same. Ephesians 1:13 calls the gospel, "the word of truth" and Paul used "the kingdom of God" and "the whole counsel of God" synonymously in Acts 20:25-27. As it is written,

And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.lxiii


Clearly, the Word of God and the kingdom of God are One. They are both God.


No wonder Jesus said in John 3:3,

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.


Without the new birthlxiv one cannot perceive, understand, see the kingdom. In other words, without being born again, you cannot see Jesus.lxv You cannot see, you cannot perceive, you cannot understand the Word. You cannot see, you cannot understand, God, the kingdom, unless you are born again.


For more on God, see "He Is Holy Gods," "Jerusalem Is God," "The Lord Is A Man," "God Is Love," "The Lord Kills," "The Seven Spirits of God Are God," and "The True Fear of God," points X and XI.


a true church, P. O. Box 130, Moodys, OK 74444

1-800-HOW-TRUE; www.atruechurch.info

  1. Jeremiah 3:17

  2. Psalm 113:1

  3. Isaiah 6:1

  4. Psalm 93:2; see also Psalm 90:2

  5. Hebrews 12:29

  6. Daniel 7:9

  7. Revelation 16:17

  8. "our God"

  9. John 20:17; Hebrews 1:8-9

  10. For more on that, see The Horses Are God.

  11. 20:18

  12. Job 37:2, 4-5; see also Job 40:9; John 12:29

  13. Job 36:26

  14. ho thronos

  15. tou theou kai tou arviou

  16. ο θρονος

  17. the throne

  18. Daniel 7:9

  19. Isaiah 33:14

  20. Revelation 22:5

  21. Revelation 3:21

  22. Isaiah 66:1; see also Acts 7:49; Job 26:9

  23. Matthew 5:34

  24. Though the Heavens are God, the sun, moon, and stars in the heavens (Genesis 1:14-18) are not to be worshipped. (Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3; 2 Kings 21:3, 5-6) Nonetheless, God is a Sun. (Psalm 84:11; Malachi 4:2; Revelation 1:16; 21:23-24)

  25. Luke 15:18, 21

  26. e.g. Matthew 19:23-24; Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-31

  27. Daniel 4:25

  28. Daniel 4:32

  29. literally in the Aramaic, the Highest One, עִלָּיאָ [`illây'â]

  30. verse 23 in the Aramaic text

  31. shemayyâ'

  32. shallitin

  33. Daniel 4:17

  34. Daniel 4:24

  35. Daniel 4:25; see also verse 32

  36. God

  37. God

  38. God

  39. Daniel 4:26

  40. e.g. Genesis 14:18-20, 22; Numbers 24:16; etc.


    עֶלְיֽוֹן (`elyon) “Most High” - when in reference to God, this word is always singular in the Hebrew text. When referring to God, it is also only found in Genesis 14:19-20, 22; Numbers 24:16; Deuteronomy 32:8; 2 Samuel 22:14; Psalm 7:17 (H18); 9:2 (H3); 18:13 (H14); 21:7 (H8); 46:4 (H5); 47:2 (H3); 50:14; 57:2 (H3); 73:11; 77:10 (H11); 78:35, 56; 82:6; 83:18 (H19); 87:5; 91:1, 9; 92:1 (H2); 97:9; 107:11; Isaiah 14:14; Lamentations 3:35, 38. Elsewhere it is used for: David in Psalm 89:27 (H28, “highest”); an “uppermost” basket in Genesis 40:17; Israel to be set “high” above all nations in Deuteronomy 26:19 and 29:1; “Upper” Beth Horon in Joshua 16:5; 1 Chronicles 7:24; 2 Chronicles 8:5; “exalted” regarding His house in 1 Kings 9:8 and 2 Chronicles 7:21; the “upper” gate in 2 Kings 15:35; 2 Chronicles 23:20; 27:3; Ezekiel 9:2; the “upper” pool in 2 Kings 18:17 (הָֽעֶלְיוֹנָ֔ה feminine form) and Isaiah 7:3; 36:2; “upper” Gihon in 2 Chronicles 32:30; “upper” house in Nehemiah 3:25; “high” gate in Jeremiah 20:2; “upper” court in Jeremiah 36:10; the “highest” story in Ezekiel 41:7 (feminine form הָעֶלְיוֹנָ֖ה); and “upper” chambers in Ezekiel 42:5.


    In Aramaic the equivalent of this word, עֶלְיֽוֹן (`elyon) "Most High," is the singular Aramaic noun with the definite article עִלָּיָא (`illâyâ'). It is used only for God in the Bible. In the singular it is found only in Daniel 3:26; 4:2, 17, 24-25, 32, 34; 5:18, 21; 7:25. It is found in the plural, עֶלְיוֹנִ֖ין (`elyoniyn), for God in Daniel 7:18, 22, 25 and 27.


    God is certainly the highest. See Psalm 113:4-6; John 3:31; Ephesians 4:6, 10.

  41. e.g. Luke 1:32, 35, 76


    In the NT "Highest" is ὑψίστοις (hupsistois) and is used exclusively for God and His Abode. It is found in Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:10; Luke 2:14; 19:38 for "in the Highest.” Mark 5:7; Luke 1:32; 8:28 are son of the "Most High.” Luke 1:35 is power of the "Highest.” Luke 1:76 is prophet of the "Highest.” Luke 6:35 is sons of the "Most High.” Acts 7:48; 16:17 are the "Most High.” Hebrews 7:1 is priest of the "Most High.”

  42. e.g. Luke 2:14; 19:38; note also Psalm 113:5; Isaiah 33:5

  43. Psalm 103:19

  44. Daniel 4:26

  45. Psalm 103:19

  46. Matthew 6:33

  47. א, A Reader's Greek New Testament, 2nd edition, Goodrich & Lukaszewski, ζητειτε δε πρωτον την βασιλειαν και την δικαιοσυνην αυτου; see also Matthew 6:33 NIV

  48. thus seeking God

  49. see also Hebrews 11:16

  50. Psalm 90:2

  51. John 18:36

  52. Hebrews 12:27-28

  53. Micah 5:2

  54. Colossians 2:9

  55. Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27

  56. Mark 9:2-3; Luke 9:28-29

  57. Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35

  58. although Moses and Elijah are present as well

  59. John 1:12-13

  60. John 1:1

  61. verse 2

  62. verse 6

  63. Acts 20:25-27

  64. being born again

  65. as in Hebrews 2:9; 12:2

6 Responses

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