One Who Sits Upon The Throne

Oneness theologians and teachers often use the fact that there is only one throne, in the heavenly throne room, and that both the Father and the Son are found to be seated upon that one throne. This is a supporting point of Oneness theology since it describes the unified view of the throne occupant.

John Walvoord, former president of Dallas Theological Seminary states: “It is significant that God is not given an anthropomorphic figure in this revelation and does not appear as a man. A part from the fact that He is said to sit on the throne, no description is given except the colors which impressed John.” (The Revelation of Jesus Christ, pg. 105)

Anthropomorphic terms (God's arm, hand, eye, ear, mouth, etc) have symbolic value and are used to ascribe to God some human shape or form. God, who is Spirit (John 4:24), does not have a literal hand or nostril. These are used to help us understand God. As a Trinitarian Walvoord does not need us to imagine Jesus Christ seated upon the throne because that would mean that only one divine person sits upon the Throne. That would go against the idea that there is no "anthropomorphic figure" in this discussion of the One who sits upon the throne.

In Revelation 4:2 the One who sits upon the Throne is Jesus. Here John has reproduced the visions of Isaiah 6 and 1 Kings 22:19. In Isaiah 6 and 1 Kings 22 the Lord is described as "his train filled the temple" and sitting on "his throne" (KJV). The pronoun "his" refers to one person seated upon one throne. From Isaiah to John it is a He who sits upon the throne.

Jesus actually makes it clear in His revelation to John, "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 ESV) Earlier in the Gospel of John Jesus stated, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father"; "I and my father are one." (John 14:9; 10:30). Jesus makes it clear that He is the visible expression of the invisible and immaterial Father. This does not mean "Jesus is the Father" since any Biblical discussion retains distinctions without separateness. Consider what the author of Hebrews records:
Hebrews 1:1-3
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; KJV

Hebrews 1:1-3
Log ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3 He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high NRSV
The person of Christ was from the same singular transcendant deity of our time-space-matter continuum (Genesis 1:1). In the Incarnation humanity was united inseparably with this deity. Jesus was the only begotten of the Father, meaning He was unique (1 John 4:9). He was unique in that His birth came from the womb of a virgin and yet every person has entered our existence from the womb of a mother. As did Christ. He is also unique in that there has never been such a birth. He is God's image creature, the self-revelation of the Father to humanity. He is the lamb and the victor in God's creative story. He is the true singular divine existence working existentially in time and matter.
1 John 4:9 By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God sent his one and only Son into the world in order that we may live through him. LEB

1 John 4:9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. NKJV

The two translations above have "one and only" and "only begotten" Son. To say that Jesus was sent should be understood as an expression referring to the mission and authority of the Son. His sending into the world, from the womb of Mary (Galatians 4:4), was no mere "coming into the world". Here John uses Jewish expression to legitimize and authorize to the Son's mission as one sent from God. The Spirit of the Lord was upon the Son who is sent to "proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind" (Luke 4:18 ESV); is sent to "preach the kingdom of God" (Luke 4:43 ESV) and to be the Savior of the world. (1 John 4:14).

This sending should be understood within the temporal perspective that Jesus Christ experienced. It should at least be the starting point. The “sending” or “coming” is in terms of a commissioning and sending of the only begotten Son of God. A descent from a non-earthly location in the sense of an angel or emanation was probably not on the mind of John here. As the Son of God Jesus was both humanity and deity inseparably and perfectly united. Although God continues to exist beyond the Incarnation God was manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). To speak of God in Christ is speak of the person, character and sum total of Deity which was in bodily form (Colossians 2:9).

John recorded that the heavenly throne room had one throne and yet from it come the Father and the Lamb, or Christ. Lighting, thunder, and voices even come from the throne (Revelation 4:5). Yet there is only "one" who sits upon the "one" throne (Revelation 4:2). Only one is described as doing the action of sitting. This is not a logical contradiction but indicates the singular God and His manner of revelation, distinction, and power. Jesus is not a copy but the exact visible representation of the invisible, indescribable God.


Just a Question (Psychology) by Stephen Kuntzman

“An outstanding Christian pioneer in the field of psychiatry was Johann Christian August Heinroth, who published books and scholarly papers in Germany in the early 1800s. Heinroth was the first psychiatrist to coin the word “psychosomatic” to describe the relationship between spiritual/psychological conflicts and physical illnesses. Heinroth’s description of man’s tripartite nature, based on Romans 7, divided human personality into: (1) the Überuns (conscience), (2) the ego (mind, emotions, and will), and (3) the Fleisch (basic drives, including sinful nature). Freud’s division of personality into superego, ego, and id merely duplicated Heinroth’s model” (Meier, Minirth, Wichern, & Ratcliff, 2000).

According to Meier et al. (2000), Heinroth’s “discoveries preceded Freud’s by a hundred years.” As a Christian, I am constantly looking to history for men and women who were Christians and who made important discoveries in various fields and technologies. I’ve noticed at times that these figures of the past have not received their fair share of recognition. My question is, “Why not?”

It would appear that Heinroth and Freud differed only in their treatment of those with mental illness. I don’t go as far as to say that Freud stole Heinroth’s idea and then altered it to fit his own agenda. There is no doubt that Freud is a significant character in psychology, but for Heinroth to be the first to use the term “psychosomatic” and not be given credit for such a widely used designation is to me more than just a mere oversight when his other theories are taken into account.

Even if Freud did base his superego, ego, and id on Heinroth’s Überuns, ego, and Fleisch, this was not a discovery that was original to Heinroth. I Thessalonians 5:23b states, “…and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This spirit, soul, and body (to my understanding) described the same ideas that Heinroth and Freud later expounded.

It would be wonderful if psychologists and Christian counselors could work together to rally round people who are in need of help, understanding, and compassion. I do believe that this is possible, but only if Christian men and women are properly recognized and respected for their contributions to the field. This also means that Christians need to be willing to look at the theories and contributions of others with an open mind.

Which brings me to my original question, “Why not?” We live in a fantastic time in human history and development. If we could learn to use a synoptic approach in the area of psychology we might find that our future as a human family would be secure. Our main goal is to help others and by working together two diverging paths could come together to fashion a superhighway of healing and therapy. Why not?

Stephen Kuntzman

Stephen Kuntzman has been a Christian since December 31, 1979. He is also a general licensed minister with the United Pentecostal Church, International. He has been in ministry, in one way or another, since 1995. Stephen also holds a bachelor of theology degree from Parkersburg Bible College and an RBA from West Virginia University. You can see more of his thoughts at his blog- The Pillar and Ground of Truth


  1. Meier, P.D., Minirth, F.B., Wichern, F.B., & Ratcliff, D.E. (2000). Introduction To Psychology and Counseling: Christian Perspectives and Applications (2nd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.


Quotes by Horace Bushnell:

Horace Bushnell graduated from Yale in 1827 and was an accomplished author and pastor in Hartford, CT. In Hartford there is even a Horace Bushnell Memorial Hall. Click here to see more. At the bottom of this post there is an excerpt from Britannica Encyclopedia about Bushnell as well.

Bushnell was an accomplished intellect and his teachings were more aligned with Oneness theology concerning Christ and God. He remained, however, a Congregational pastor until death. Here are some notable quotes from The Character of Jesus and God in Christ. I will try to post more later.

God in Christ:

"God exceeds our measure and, and must, until either He becomes less than infinite or we more than finite."

"Our imagination is passive, stored with forms, colors and types of words from without, borrowed from the world we live in. But all such forms, God has in Himself, and this is the Logos, the Word, elsewhere called the Form of God. Now, this Word, this form of God, in which He sees Himself, is with God, as John says, from the beginning. It is God mirrored before His own understanding, and to be mirrored, as in fragments of the mirror before us...What we call the creation, is, in another view, a revelation only of God. His first revelation."

Character of Jesus:

Speaking of Jesus, Bushnell says the "sacred writings" show Him "reigning, as a Regenerator and Restorer of the broken order of the world."

Bushnell says the "truest of all truths" is "Jesus, the Divine Word, coming out from God, to be incarnate with us, and be the vehicle of God and salvation to the race."

Horace Bushnell

American theologian


Congregational minister and controversial theologian, sometimes called “the father of American religious liberalism.” He grew up in the rural surroundings of New Preston, Conn., joined the Congregational Church in 1821, and in 1823 entered Yale with plans to become a minister. After his graduation in 1827, however, he taught school briefly, served as associate editor of the New York Journal of Commerce, and studied law at Yale. Not until 1831, after he had qualified for the bar, did his religious doubts diminish sufficiently for him to begin his theological education. He entered Yale Divinity School and in 1833 was ordained minister of the North Congregational Church in Hartford, where he served for more than 20 years until ill health forced his resignation.


Moral Relativism by Greg Koukl

I frequently receive newsletters and information from Greg Koukl and Stand to Reason (STR). This ministry has been a blessing to me. Recently I recieved something from Greg I wanted to share. Check it out!

Moral relativism is a kind of subjectivism. When it comes to moral rules—principles of right and wrong—it’s up to the subject, the individual, to decide because there are no true, universal, ethical obligations or moral principles that apply equally to all people. Since no universal standard exists to govern all groups, each decides right and wrong only for itself without judging those that hold other values. Even with this brief description, I think you can see a problem beginning to emerge. A relativist is not going to be able to get any traction if he wants to condemn (in any ultimate sense) any behavior, regardless how evil it seems to be.

Since this is the relativist’s fatal weakness, I’m not surprised when I get pushback on this point. “No relativist believes that anything goes,” I’ve been told.

“You’re twisting our view. Every culture has its own framework of right and wrong. Even if there are no universal standards of morality, that doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all within a given group.” Fair enough.

Let me answer this charge with a simple illustration.

Let us pretend that you want to play the classic board game, Monopoly. Like every other game, Monopoly has rules. There are standards, a framework of right or wrong of sorts that works within the Monopoly “community.” According to the rules of the game, for example, you cannot have houses and hotels on the same piece of property. That would be wrong. Parker Brothers, the inventors of the game, said so.

Relativism is like Monopoly. In one sense, it’s not the case that “anything goes.” Rather, standards set by the community (Parker Brothers, in this case) govern behavior. These laws are “true,” though, in an entirely different way than, say, the laws of gravity are true. They are not true because of the way the world is structured, but because of the way human beings (subjects) have arranged the game. If you don’t like the rules, you can change them (variations that are sometimes called “house rules”), or play a different game, or play no game at all. It’s completely up to you.

You can’t do that with gravity. If you don’t like the laws of physics, too bad. Adapt or die. Reality will punish you if you don’t take it seriously. Yes, even in relativistic systems you can get punished by the group if you break the rules and get caught. But I think you can see this is a contrived sort of “punishment” based merely on human conventions (“Go directly to Jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.”), not on transcendent standards.

In the end, as I said, anything goes. That’s always the case with relativism.

If you are a moral realist (objectivist), you think moral rules are real things, not individual whims or social conventions created by culture. They are like gravity, not Monopoly. If you are a relativist, you are playing Monopoly with right and wrong. Of course, this would not make relativism false.

It might be that, given the nature of the world, all we are left with when it comes to ethics are human conventions. But if that’s the case, then an intellectually honest relativist will have to admit that, given his view of the world, ultimately, anything goes.

Tactical thinking like this is at the core of STR's teachings. I hope it has been helpful to you.


The Lord's Day on Patmos

The Apostle John, the human author of the Gospel of John, 1, 2, 3 John and Revelation. The "beloved" disciple. He was the last personal disciple still alive, most likely since he was one of the youngest of the disciples. All the other faithful disciples had been martyred long before. John was the only male disciple to be at the recorded crucifixion of Jesus. The rest were women (John 19:25-27). Imagine that same John dipped in boiling oil, yet amongst the living he remained.

Seeking to isolate him for good John was exiled to Patmos. A very small isle less than 70 miles from Ephesus and the other churches Christ would later command him to write in Revelation. He was left there to die.

If we really knew what John had been through and where he was we would say, “Poor Old John!” At the time he wrote about the Apocalypse by the revelation of Jesus Christ it was almost the end of the First Century (AD 96). The early church was greatly persecuted and yet now John is writing this revelation, in his eighties, while he dies alone on an island.

What was he thinking?

• Can it get any worse?
• Will it get any better?
• Is there hope?
• Can I keep believing?

Imagine yourself in this place. In fact, we are being persecuted daily and have been since the 1st Century. The persecution of Christians may get worse before it ever gets better. We will never be subject to the wrath of God though, upon unbelievers only does this fate fall.

We see the blatant sins of our culture displayed all over our media. Radio stations air the insane lyrics of boys and men who know nothing of responsibility but of getting high daily and exploiting women. The Internet and common community websites like MySpace have become a place for refuse and rubbish. Television is a literal sewer being pumped into the homes of millions by homosexuals, reprobate Jews, gnostics, and atheists blindly driven to establish an agenda.

Homosexuality and Humanism are great symptoms of our culture's glorification and exaltation of sexuality and self. These are characteristics that have surfaced amidst the pile of postmodern morality that is blind and impotent.

Our times sound very similar to those of old John. They are all questions or feelings that relate to the future. What does the future hold for me, for my family, for those I love, etc?

John records that it was on the Lord’s Day (1:10) that the Spirit of God came to Him. Jesus, Himself, had come to John. He had come to John with a revelation and a vision about the future. The message is about HOPE for His Church. It is a message that He will never leave us nor forsake us! It is a message that He has not left this world in decay and lostness but has come to redeem those that believe! Jesus is coming again!

Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)