Does the book of Revelation present Jesus as God Almighty?

Summary

Purpose

In the Trinity doctrine, God is one Being consisting of three co-equal Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In other words, all three of them are “Almighty” and all three are the uncaused Cause of all creation. The purpose of this article is to determine whether Revelation describes Jesus as the Almighty.

Almighty God

Revelation uses the titles “God” and “Almighty” only for the Father. It never refers to Jesus as “God” or “Almighty.” On the contrary, it contrasts Jesus with God (Rev 1:1-2; 12:5) and with the Almighty (Rev 19:13-15; 21:22). This means that Christ is not God and not the Almighty.

The Father’s Unique Titles

Revelation has some significant titles that it uses for the Father only:

Him who sits on the throne” (Rev 4:9) indicates that the Father is the Supreme Ruler of all creation. By contrasting Jesus with “Him who sits on the throne” (Rev 5:7; 12:5), Revelation indicates that Christ is not the ultimate Ruler.

Him who lives forever and ever” (Rev 15:7) implies that only the Father is essentially immortal and that the immortality of all other beings depends on the Father’s immortality. While Jesus was dead (Rev 1:18), the Father “lives forever and ever,” which implies that He never was dead and never will be dead. This makes a huge distinction between God and Jesus.

Him who is and who was and who is to come” (Rev 1:4-5) may be related to the title “I AM” (Exo 3:14).

In Revelation, the Father is the Creator of all things (Rev 4:11).

Why we worship Jesus

In Revelation, generally, the One worshiped is the Father. And, in the end-time, the main message of God’s people will be that the Creator, namely the Father, must be worshiped (Rev 14:7). However, in Revelation 5, Jesus is worshiped with the Father (Rev 5:8; 13-14). This does not mean that He is equal to His Father, for, in Revelation, the Father “sits on the throne” and the Father alone is the Almighty Creator. 

Philippians 2:6-11 describes the same event as Revelation 5, namely Christ’s enthronement after His ascension. Philippians 2 explains why Jesus was worshiped in heaven after His ascension, namely that Jesus is worshiped because God exalted Him (Phil 2:9-10; cf. Heb 1:6) and that He is worshiped “to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:11); not independent from or co-equal with God.

The Beginning of the Creation (Rev 3:14)

While the Father is described with the titles listed above, Revelation describes Jesus as “the Beginning of the creation of God” (Rev 3:14). That may imply that He is part of “the creation of God.” Just like God created Adam and, through Him, the entire human race, God created the Son and, through Him, the entire universe.

Subordinate to the Father

Since Revelation describes only the Father as (1) God, (2) the Almighty, (3) Him who sits on the throne, (4) the Creator, and (5) as the One whom we must worship (Rev 14:7), Revelation presents Jesus as subordinate to the Father. The following is further evidence that Jesus is subordinate to the Father:

      • God gave to Jesus the prophecy as contained in the Book of Revelation (Rev 1:1) and
      • Jesus referred to the Father as “My God” (e.g. Rev 3:12).

Jesus belongs with the Father.

Nevertheless, in Revelation, God and His Son belong together – in contrast to the created universe. For example:

    • The saved belong to both (Rev 14:4; 20:6).
    • Together, they will be the light and the temple of the New Jerusalem and rule over that city (Rev 21:22-23; 22:3).
    • In Revelation 5, they are worshiped together.
    • Both have always existed (Rev 1:17; 2:8; 21:6).

These verses imply an extremely close relationship between God and His Son.

So, who is the Son?

This universe, which came into being 13 billion years ago, is defined by time, space and matter. Since Jesus is “the Beginning of the creation of God” (Rev 3:14) and “the first and the last” (Rev 1:17; 2:8), He has always existed. That means that He has existed for the entire existence of the universe.

However, this universe did not cause itself to exist. The energy and intelligence, that brought this universe into being, came from somewhere beyond the space and time of this universe. That incomprehensible Reality is God.

Perhaps we can compare God to the sun and His Son as the rays of the sun. Everything that God does in and for the universe, He does “through” the Son, including to create (Col 1:16), to save (John 3:17), to reconcile all things, and to disarm Satan (Col 2:15; Heb 2:14). Similarly, through Him, we worship God the Father (Phil 2:11; Heb 13:15). This relationship is perhaps well explained by Paul:

There is one God,
and one mediator also between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus
” (1 Tim 2:5).

– END OF SUMMARY –


Purpose

In the Trinity doctrine, God is one Being or substance consisting of three Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—and these three Persons are equal in all respects. In other words, all three of them are “Almighty” and all three are the uncaused Cause of all creation. The purpose of this article is to determine whether Revelation describes Jesus as the Almighty Creator of all things.

Jesus is not God.

The word translated as “God” is theos. Revelation uses this word about 100 times. Most instances do not indicate whether this refers to the Father or to the Son or to both. For instance:

The great wine press of the wrath of God” (Rev 14:19), or
The seal of the living God” (Rev 7:2).

However, in a number of instances, it is clear to whom the title “God” refers. None of such instances refers to Jesus. On the contrary, by referring to “God” AND Christ, Revelation indicates that Christ and God are two different Persons. For example:

To the word of God
AND to the testimony of Jesus Christ

(Rev 1:2; cf. Rev 1:1, 9 and 20:4).  

The commandments of God
AND … the testimony of Jesus
” (Rev 12:17; cf. 14:12);

The kingdom of our God
AND the authority of His Christ
” (Rev 12:10;
cf. Rev 14:4; 20:6; 21:22-23 and 22:1, 3).

God and Christ do different things.

Furthermore, Revelation describes actions in which God and Christ are distinguished as different Persons:

You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood
men from every tribe
” (Rev 5:9-10).

The woman’s “son … was caught up to God and to His throne” (Rev 12:5). (To see that this Child is Jesus, compare this verse with Rev 19:15.)

The Word of God (Jesus) … treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God” (Rev 19:13-15).

These examples show that Revelation consistently makes a distinction between “God” and Jesus. Furthermore, Revelation never refers to Jesus as theos but uses that title for the Father only. (For a further discussion, see the article – Jesus is not God.)

The Father is the Almighty.

The Bible uses the title “the Almighty” about 27 times. In the New Testament, this title appears only once outside Revelation (2 Cor 6:18) but 9 times in Revelation. This, therefore, is another important title in Revelation. 

Revelation always links the title “Almighty” to the title “God” and often to the title “who is and who was and who is to come,” for example:

The war of the great day of God,
the Almighty
” (Rev 16:14).

Holy, Holy, Holy is The Lord God,
The Almighty,
Who Was and Who Is and Who Is To Come

(Rev 4:8; cf. 1:8).

“We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty,
who are and who were
” (Rev 11:16-17; cf. 15:2-3; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 13-15; 21:22).

Since both the titles “God” and “who is and who was and who is to come” only refer to the Father, and since these titles are associated with “the Almighty,” only the Father is “Almighty.” See the article – Almighty – for more detail.

Jesus is not the Almighty.

Revelation never uses the title Almighty for Jesus. On the contrary, the following verses make an explicit distinction between Christ and “the Almighty:”

His name is called The Word of God. …
and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath
of God, the Almighty
” (Rev 19:13-15).

I saw no temple in it,
for the Lord God the Almighty
and the Lamb are its temple
” (Rev 21:22).

Jesus, therefore, is not the Almighty; only the Father is. 

The Father’s unique titles

Revelation 4 takes us into God’s throne room. In this chapter, Jesus is absent. He only enters the throne room in Revelation 5 (Rev 5:6). Revelation 4, therefore, describes only the Father and describes Him as:

      • “Lord God” (Rev 4:8; cf. 4:11),
      • Who Was and Who Is and Who Is to Come” (Rev 4:8),
      • The Almighty” (4:8),
      • “Him who sits on the throne” (Rev 4:9),
      • “Him who lives forever and ever;” (Rev 4:9, 10), and
      • Creator (Rev 4:11).

Him who sits on the throne

The word “throne” is found about 100 times in the Bible, of which 50 are in Revelation. The throne, therefore, is an important concept in Revelation. Much happen “around the throne” (Rev 4:3, 6; 5:11; 7:11, etc.), “before the throne” (Rev 4:5, 6, 10; 7:9, 11, etc.) and comes “from the throne” (Rev 4:5; 16:17; 22:1; etc.).

The One Sitting on the Throne

Revelation chapter 4 may be called the throne room chapter for the word “throne” appears at least 10 times in that one chapter alone: 

A throne was standing in heaven,
and One sitting on the throne.
And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone
and a sardius in appearance;
and there was a rainbow around the throne,
like an emerald in appearance
” (Rev 4:2-3)

This is not a very exact description, but then we must remember that John also wrote that “No one has seen God at any time” (John 1:18).  God certainly manifests Himself in different forms at different times (theophanies), for instance in this vision, but God Himself cannot be seen for He exists beyond the physical realm.

The Father sits on the throne.

After the introduction of “One sitting on the throne” (4:2), He is often referred to as “Him who sits on the throne” (Rev 4:9, 10; 5:1, 7, 13; 6:16). Since Jesus is absent from Revelation chapter 4, the “One sitting on the throne” is the Father. The following are further proof of this:

Firstly, the “One sitting on the throne” is called “God” (Rev 4:8, 11; 19:4), and Revelation uses the title “God” only for the Father.

Secondly, the action in the following verses makes a distinction between “Him who sits on the throne” and Christ:

In Revelation 5, Jesus “came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne” (Rev 5:7).

The son of the woman of Revelation 12 “was caught up to God and to His throne” (Rev 12:5).

Thirdly, the “AND” connectors in the following verses make a distinction between Christ and “Him who sits on the throne:

Every created thing … I heard saying,
To Him who sits on the throne,
AND
to the Lamb
” (Rev 5:13).

At Christ’s return, the lost masses cry,
Fall on us and hide us from the presence of
Him who sits on the throne,
AND
from the wrath of the Lamb
” (Rev 6:16).

The “great multitude” stands
before the throne AND before the Lamb.”
They “cry out with a loud voice, saying,
‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne,
AND
to the Lamb
.’” (Rev 7:9-10; cf. 7:15).

Note how often Revelation refers to Jesus as “the Lamb.”

Since the Father sits on the throne, He is the Supreme Being; ruling over the creation.

The Lamb on the throne

However, in the following verses the Lamb also sits on the throne:

John saw “a river of the water of life …
coming from the throne of God
and of the Lamb
” (Rev 22:1).

The throne of God and of the Lamb
will be in
” the New Jerusalem (Rev 22:3).

But it remains the Father’s throne, for Jesus said:

I … sat down with My Father
on His throne
” (Rev 3:21).

This is consistent with the frequent message in the New Testament that Jesus sat down “at the right hand of God” (e.g. 1 Peter 1:22). 

Even human beings may sit on the Father’s throne, for Jesus promised, “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne” (Rev 3:21). Christ and the overcomers, therefore, will rule with God, but the Father will always remain the ultimate Ruler.

Him Who Lives Forever and Ever

This title appears four times in Revelation. Firstly, twice in chapter 4, where Jesus is not present and which, therefore, describe the Father:

The living creatures give glory and honor and thanks
to Him who sits on the throne,
to Him who lives forever and ever
” (Rev 4:9; cf. 4:10).

Revelation 10:6 identifies this Person as the Creator, which, according to Rev 4:11, is the Father:

Swore by Him who lives forever and ever,
who created heaven … and the earth … and the sea
(Rev 10:6).

Revelation 15:7 identifies this Person as “God” and, as discussed above, Revelation uses this title only for the Father:

God, who lives forever and ever” (Rev 15:7)

All four instances, therefore, identify the Father as the One “who lives forever and ever.” The fact that the Father is described in this way implies that only He “lives forever and ever.” Paul also indicated that the Father “alone possesses immortality” (1 Tim 6:16). Consequently, the immortality of all other beings depends on the Father’s immortality.

While Jesus was dead (Rev 1:18), the Father “lives forever and ever,” which implies that He never was dead and never will be dead. This makes a huge distinction between God and Jesus.

Who Is and Who Was and Is To Come

The context of this title in Revelation 4:8 implies that it refers to the Father alone, as opposed to Jesus. The following is further proof thereof:  

Firstly, in Revelation’s introduction, John brings grace and peace to the seven churches from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Rev 1:4-5). In those verses, John refers to the Father as, “Him who is and who was and who is to come.”

Secondly, Him “who is and who was and who is to come” is also called “Lord God” (Rev 1:8; 11:17). Since it was already shown above that Revelation applies theos (God) only to the Father, the phrase “Lord God” means that “who is and who was and who is to come” is the Father.  

(Revelation 11:17 omits the “to come” part of this title because, in the context of that verse, the kingdom of the world has already become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.)

This title may be related to Exodus 3:14, where YHVH (Yahweh or Jehovah) identified Himself:

I AM WHO I AM
Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel,
‘I AM has sent me to you.

Both titles may be understood to mean the One who exists without cause. It always scares me to think about why things exist. Why is there not nothing? The answer is that things exist because God exists. In fact, He is that which exists. Everything that exists came from within Him. Our entire existence came forth from Him and depends on Him. But then I thank Him for the revelation which He gave of Himself through Jesus Christ, namely that He is kind and loving.

The Father is the Creator.

The beings in the heavenly throne room worship the “One sitting on the throne” “for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created” (Rev 4:11). This describes the Father alone as the uncaused Cause of all things. Similarly, later we hear that:

The angel …
swore by Him who lives forever and ever,
Who created heaven and the things in it,
and the earth and the things in it,
and the sea and the things in it
” (Rev 10:5-6)

God created all things “THROUGH” His Son (Col 1:16; John 1:2; 1 Cor 8:6; Heb 1:2), but it was God who created:

There is but one God, the Father,
from whom are all things and we exist for Him;
and one Lord, Jesus Christ,
by whom are all things,
and we exist through Him
” (1 Cor 8:6).

Why we worship the Son

Generally, in Revelation, the One worshiped is the Father, described as “Him who lives forever and ever” (Rev 4:10; cf. 5:14), “God” (Rev 7:11; 11:16), “the Almighty” (Rev 15:3-4), and “God who sits on the throne” (Rev 19:10; cf. 22:9). And, in the end-time, the main message of God’s people will be that the Creator, namely the Father, must be worshiped (Rev 14:7).

Twice John fell down to worship the angel and twice the angel prevented him, saying:

Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren … worship God” (Rev 19:10; cf. 22:9).

However, in Revelation 5, describing His enthronement after His ascension, Jesus is also worshiped:

The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders
fell down before the Lamb
” (Rev 5:8).

Every created thing” worships “Him who sits on the throne,
AND … the Lamb
” (Rev 5:13-14).

Why is Jesus also worshiped?

Some regard the fact that Jesus is worshiped as evidence that He is equal to His Father. However, in Revelation:

(1) The Father is “Him who sits on the throne” and, therefore, the ultimate Ruler.

(2) Only the Father is Almighty (Rev 21:22), has essential immortality (Rev 4:9), and has willed all things to exist (Rev 4:11).

(3) Philippians 2:6-11, also explaining what happens in heaven after Jesus’ ascension to heaven, explains why the Son is worshiped in Revelation 5:

Firstly, Jesus is worshiped because “God highly exalted Him(Phil 2:9). This makes a distinction between God and Jesus. It also means that we worship Jesus because God requires that of us (cf. Heb 1:6).

Secondly, according to Phillippians 2:11, the universe worships the Son “to the glory of God the Father;” not independent from or co-equal with God. This relationship between the worship of the Father and the Son is also indicated by the statement: “He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23).

To worship the Son is to worship God.

God is the Creator, but He created all things through His Son. God is the Judge, but He gave the Son “authority to execute judgment” (John 5:27). “Just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself” (1 Tim 1:26). In Christ “all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col 2:9), but “it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him” (Col 1:19). The point is that God is the uncaused Cause of all things, but His Son in the Intermediary between Him and the universe. The Son represents God. That is why, to worship the Son, is to worship God. It does not mean that the Son is the Almighty Creator; equal with the Father.

However, when God’s end-time people are called to “fear God, and … worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters” (Rev 14:7), that is specifically a call to pray as follows to the Father:

You created all things,
and because of Your will they existed,
and were created” (Rev 4:11)

For further discussion, also see the articles on Philippians 2 or Worship or Revelation 5.

The Beginning of
the creation of God (Rev 3:14)

While the Father is described with the titles above, Revelation describes Jesus as “the Beginning of the creation of God” (Rev 3:14). That implies that He is part of “the creation of God.” Just like God created Adam and, through Him, the entire human race, God created the Son and, through Him, the entire universe.

But the same John, who wrote Revelation, also wrote that Jesus is “the only begotten from the Father” (e.g. John 1:14). If He was begotten from the Father, then He was not created but came forth from the being of the Father. (For a further discussion, see Only Begotten Son of God.)  John is also clear that:

All things came into being through Him,
and apart from Him nothing came into being

(John 1:3).

If He created all things, then He Himself is not created Himself. Perhaps “the Beginning of the creation of God” means that God ‘gave birth to’ His Son to create all things THROUGH Him. In other words, the Son is intimately connected with “all things,” which refers to the universe.

Jesus is subordinate to the Father.

In Revelation, Jesus is subordinate to the Father. This is indicated by referring only to the Father as:

      • God,
      • The Almighty,” and
      • Him who sits on the throne.

Furthermore, the Father is identified as the Creator and the end-time message will be to “worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters” (Rev 14:7). 

God gave Jesus the Book of Revelation.

The following is further evidence that the Son is subordinate to the Father:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ,
which God gave Him
” (Rev 1:1).

In other words, the Father is the Source of the Book of Revelation. When He was on earth, Jesus similarly said:

I did not speak on My own initiative, but
the Father Himself who sent Me
has given Me a commandment
as to what to say and what to speak
” (John 12:49).

People defend the Trinity doctrine by saying that Jesus had to receive His words because and after He became a human being. However, Revelation 1:1 indicates that, about 60 years after His death, Jesus still received from God the words of this prophecy

God is also Jesus’ God.

After His resurrection, Jesus said, “I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God” (John 20:17). The Father, therefore, was Jesus’ God AFTER His resurrection. Sixty years later, the Father was still Jesus God:

He (Jesus) has made us to be a kingdom,
priests to
His God and Father” (Rev 1:6).

He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar
in the temple of My God
” (Rev 3:12, 13; cf. 3:2).

For evidence that the Son is subordinate to the Father in the entire New Testament, see – God is the Head of Christ.

Jesus belongs with God.

Revelation shows that Christ is distinct from and subordinate to God, but Revelation also puts God and Christ together – in contrast to the created universe. For example:

The 144000 “have been purchased from among men
as first fruits to God and to the Lamb
” (Rev 14:4).

Those who have “a part in the first resurrection …
will be priests of God and of Christ
” (Rev 20:6).

John was given a vision of the New Jerusalem:

He “saw no temple in it,
for the Lord God the Almighty
and the Lamb are its temple
” (Rev 21:22). 

The glory of God has illumined it,
and its lamp is the Lamb
” (Rev 21:23).

The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it” (Rev 22:3). Since a throne symbolizes the right to rule, the Father and the Son will rule together over the New Jerusalem.

As discussed above, Christ is worshiped with God.

While Jesus said, “I am the first and the last” (Rev 1:17; 2:8), “He who sits on the throne said” (Rev 21:5), which refers to the Father, said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end” (Rev 21:6).

These verses imply an extremely close relationship between God and His Son. For a further discussion, see the article – Equality.

Who is the Son?

So, if the Son is distinct from and subordinate to God, but also belongs with God, who is the Son? Christians find it difficult to understand who Christ is. The essence of His being is hidden behind the curtain of infinity.

An ancient church father said that God is like the sun and the Son is like the rays of the sun. I like that metaphor, for it maintains the concept that the Father is the Source of all things while it describes the Son as the link between God and the created universe.

This universe is defined in terms of time, space and matter and came into being 13 billion years ago. Since the Son is “the Beginning of the creation of God” (Rev 3:14) and “the first and the last” (Rev 1:17; 2:8), the Son has always existed. That means that He has existed for the entire existence of the universe.

However, this universe did not cause itself to exist. The energy and intelligence, that brought this universe into being, came from somewhere beyond this universe. That incomprehensible Reality is God. He exists beyond the realm of time, space and matter.

Consistent with the metaphor of God being the sun and Christ being the rays of the sun, everything that God does in and for the universe, He does “through” the Son:

Through him, God created all things (Col 1:16; John 1:2; 1 Cor 8:6).

God sent the Son into the world that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:17; 1 John 4:9 Rom. 5:9; Heb 7:24-25).

Through Him, the Father reconciled all things to Himself (Col 1:19-20) and disarmed the rulers and authorities (Col 2:15). Through His death, Jesus rendered powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil (Heb 2:14).

Through Him, we have access to the Father (Eph 2:18) and do we give thanks to God the Father (Phil 2:11; Heb 13:15).

This relationship is perhaps well expressed by Paul:

There is one God,
and one mediator also between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus
” (1 Tim 2:5).

Therefore, we must maintain the distinction between God and His Son and “worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters” (Rev 14:7). We must conform to the language of the Bible which refers to the Father alone as God.

Final Conclusion

In the Trinity doctrine, Jesus is the God Almighty; the uncaused Cause of all creation. However, Revelation assigns the titles “God” and “the Almighty” only to the Father; in contrast to the Son. Furthermore, in Revelation, the Father is the Creator, the Supreme Ruler of all creation, and the One we must worship. Jesus, therefore, is subordinate to the Father. Nevertheless, when compares the universe, the Son belongs with the Father.

Articles in this Series

SUMMARIES

SPECIFIC BIBLE BOOKS

SPECIFIC BIBLE PASSAGES

ORIGIN OF THE SON

SUBORDINATE

EQUALITY

JESUS IS CALLED GOD.

      • Overview – Overview of the verses that refer to Jesus as theos.
      • Theos – The meaning of theos – the word translated “God.”
      • John 1:18 – The original text of this verse is in dispute.
      • John 20:28 – Did Thomas say that Jesus is God?
      • John’s gospel – Discussion of theos in this gospel.
      • Romans 9:5 – The translation depends on punctuation.
      • Hebrews 1:8 – The next verse says that God is His theos.

JOHN 1:1

Other Articles Series

DANIEL

REVELATION

OTHER KEY ARTICLES

For general discussions of theology, I recommend Graham Maxwell, who you will find on the Pineknoll website.

One Reply to “Does the book of Revelation present Jesus as God Almighty?”

  1. I do thank your quick response. This website contributes much more in an inspiring manner as of Holy Spirit, stay blessed brother Andries, the servant of the Lord.

Your comment is important.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.