The Throne of God and of The Lamb

The Lamb is the well-known title of Christ in the
Apocalypse, the book of the future. It expresses the patience of His
humiliation, even to the death of the cross; but it characterizes Him
still in glory. Even when the apostle is told of the Lion of the tribe
of Judah having prevailed to open the book, the vision assures him that
it is a “Lamb as it had been slain.”

The connection between
the humiliation and glory is familiar to us. Because of that wondrous
humiliation “God has highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is
above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of
heavenly, earthly, and infernal beings, and that every tongue should
confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”
(Phil. 2:9–11).

This is His personal exaltation, and as Man.
He has descended and is now ascended up, far above all heavens, and
sits upon the Father’s throne, waiting there until His foes are made
His footstool. All things are to be put under His feet, though as yet
we do not see this.

The Kingdom of the Son of Man, His
millennial reign, is that in which this is accomplished. He has then a
throne which He can share with others, as the Father’s throne He cannot
(Rev. 3:21); and the saints reign with Him a thousand years.

while the Father thus glorifies His Son, for the Son His personal
exaltation is not the object. He takes the Kingdom to bring all things
into eternal order, and thus bring in the rest of God. Having done
this, the Kingdom in this form is given up; its object is achieved;
“and when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also
Himself be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be
all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28).

We can in this way understand
both why the Kingdom lasts for comparatively so short a period, and yet
why it occupies so large a place in the field of prophecy. In the Old
Testament, save in Isaiah’s promise of a new heavens and earth, we
never get beyond it. And even in the New, while that promise is
expanded for us in the sweet picture with which we are all familiar
(Rev. 21:1–8), yet that which follows of the New Jerusalem goes back
immediately, as to the time of view, to the millennium again. Only in
this way could the leaves of the tree of life be for the healing of the
nations (22:2).

Beyond the thousand years the city itself
abides, for it is eternal; and here is for us the fullest view that the
book of Revelation affords with regard to the eternal state. Yet it is
both brief and enigmatic; and the eyes that have been upon it for many
generations have ever yearned to see more clearly what is portrayed in

But upon this we do not mean to dwell at present. We are
following, as we may, the Christ of God through all that changes into
the changeless blessedness. What can we know of it? Little, perhaps,
indeed; but we may at least distinguish some things that need to be,
and where Scripture seems clear enough to save us from any presumptuous
speculation in the matter.

For many—and some even of those
who are theoretically clearer—the millennium has been practically too
much identified with the eternal condition. It has given too much its
character to eternity; while, on the other hand, I think it will be
found that sometimes that which is eternal has been thought of as

The millennium, with that which immediately
follows and connects with it, is a period of formation,—of labor, not
of rest. First, things are set in order morally and spiritually; then
physically also. It applies also to the earth solely; not (in the
higher sense of the word) to heaven. The “new heavens” are firmamental,
the heavens of the second creative day.

Now, as to the
reign, when it is said of the saints that they reign with Christ a
thousand years, we might naturally think that they would cease to
reign, then, after this. Yet we find it said of those in the heavenly
city, “they shall reign for ever and ever,” (or “the ages of ages”) the
strongest expression used for eternity. And this may remind us that
before the thrones are seen set up as to the earth (chap. 20:4), and
before even the Lamb has taken the book in heaven (chap. 5:7), we have
seen thrones around the throne of God (chap. 4:4) and those occupying
them who afterwards sing the song of redemption, and are therefore
redeemed men (5:9). Is there not here implied plainly a reign which, as
it begins before the millennial reign, will not be limited by it?

to the Lord Jesus, “all authority” is already His “in heaven and on
earth” (Matt. 28:18), and yet He has not taken His throne as Son of
Man. He is on the Father’s throne, which is not divided nor
circumscribed by that “Kingdom of His dear Son,” into which already He
has “translated” us (Col. 1:13). Thus we cannot limit Christ’s reign by
the Kingdom of the Son of Man. And when He shall have delivered up the
Kingdom to God, even the Father, “that God may be all in all,” will
that “Kingdom of the Father” more exclude His sovereignty? If all
authority be His now, has it shut out the Father? Will the Kingdom of
the Father any more shut out the Son?

If we need a more
direct answer to such a question, we shall find it in what is said of
the heavenly city, that “the throne of God and of the Lamb shall
be in it.” It is but one throne: two there could not be; and it is
characterized in this way, as the “throne of God and of the Lamb.” That
which speaks of the lowest depths of humiliation gone into is joined
with the incommunicable Name of glory: it is added to that to which no
addition would seem possible. God accepts this addition; yet not as if
it were the acceptance of anything extraneous to Himself: nay, in it He
is become manifest in a glory before which the hosts of heaven
prostrate themselves in adoring wonder. In the Lamb God has found the
expression of Himself He has been ever seeking,—the means of pouring
out unhindered the fulness which shall make His creatures full: and
thus from the throne of God and of the Lamb issues the stream of the
water of life.

That it is the “throne of God,”
declares at once that here we have before us what is eternal: not
dispensational, not temporary. “That God may be all in all,” the Lamb
has brought Him down to the lower parts of the earth, and taken
humanity up to the height of heaven. The Lamb is henceforth the “Lamp”
of divine light; as “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple”
of the city, the unveiled Presence in which worship shall be alike free
and necessary. The mystery of the Person of Christ is the assurance
that in no way whatever can God and the Lamb be separated ever.

what an overwhelming thought it is, humanity united thus to Godhead,
the Crucified upon the throne of God! And we, whom He has taken up from
the depths in which He found us, to declare in us the fulness of divine
self-sacrificing love,—we are following on to see Him where He is, with
eyes at last able to behold His glory; changed ourselves into His

F W Grant