a. This is a familiar Scripture and used especially in discussions on the nature of the Godhead. It is quoted by the Jewish people in defense of their monotheistic beliefs. It is also used to counter the Christian doctrine of the Triune Godhead. More than a few explanations have arisen to explain the Trinity: 1). A flask containing the three states of water; steam, ice and liquid. 2). The egg with its three layers. 3). A pretzel, with the dough entwined forming three sections. Some may be encouraged by such examples, but the truth of the matter is when we stand before the Godhead we are not going to see an egg, a pretzel or a flask with the three states of water, we are going to see three individual persons. What does the Word say? Lets start by looking at the Hebrew definition for the word "one" and the example of its use.
b. one [259 * echad] [Strong's: United or one or first; derived from 258 * ached- to unify, to collect (as one's thoughts.)
1). Genesis 2:24 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
2). Numbers 13:23 "And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs."
3). Numbers 34:18 "And ye shall take one prince of every tribe, to divide the land by inheritance."
4). Ezra 3:9 "Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workman in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites." [The margin reads, "as one".]
5). Ezra 6:20 "For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the Passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves."
6). In each of these examples we can see the different definitions.
c. The following examples of Old Testament Scripture reveal though the Triune Godhead is exclusively a New Testament doctrine, it is hinted at in the Old Testament.
1). Genesis 3:22 "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us."
2). Genesis 1:26 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."
3). Genesis 19:24 "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;"
4). Zechariah 2:10, 11 "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me."
d. All three persons of the Godhead named in the New Testament: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost can be identified in the Old Testament being addressed as the LORD God.
2. The Father
a. In Hebrews 1 we are given at least 6 instances from the Old Testament where the first person of the triune Godhead, God the Father is either speaking to the Second person of the Godhead or about him. To reveal that, we will preface all the examples we will give by the following:
b. Hebrews 1:1, 2 "GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
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;"
1). Hebrews 1:5 "For to which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?"
a). Psalm 2:7 "Iwill declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee."
b). This passage is one of the most remarkable in that while it will be applied in Hebrews to the Father speaking to the Son, here in Psalm 2, it is the Son, telling what the Father said to him. Hence, "the LORD hath said unto me."
2). Hebrews 1:5a & c "For to which of the angels said he at any timeI will be to him a Father, and he shall be a Son?"
a). 2 Samuel 7:14 "I will be his father, and he shall be my son."
b). This is a direct quote from 2 Samuel where God is speaking to David about Solomon, yet according to Hebrews He is speaking about Jesus.
3). Hebrews 1:6 "And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him."
a). This is a remarkable passage in that the writer of Hebrews is not quoting from the Messoretic Hebrew Old Testament text. He is quoting from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament.
b). Deuteronomy 32:43 [Septuagint] "Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people."
c). On a side note, this is a reference to the 2nd coming of Christ.
4). Hebrews 1:8, 9 "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
a). Hebrews 1:8, 9 clearly reveals that the quote from Psalm 45:6, 7 is a dialogue between God the Father and God the Son.
b). Psalm 45:6, 7 "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right scepter.
Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
5). Hebrews 1:10-12 "And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thine hands:
They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail."
a). The "And" at the beginning of this verse means the writer is referencing a different passage. In this case Psalm 102
b). Psalm 102:25-27 "Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end."
c). Again in Psalm 102, the passage clearly is speaking of God Almighty and yet again the inspired writer of Hebrews applies this passage to be a statement spoken of God the Father to God the Son.
d). An interesting addition to these particular Scriptures is found in Job 38.
e). Job 38:1, 4 "Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding?"
f). Here the link is clear, the LORD God of Job 38:1 is the pre-incarnate Jesus.
f. God the Son
1). Isaiah 45:20-23 "Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.
Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have not I the LORD? And there is no God else beside me.
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
a). In Isaiah 45:20-23 it is the LORD God of Israel speaking first person and declaring that every knee shall bow to him, and yet the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:9-11 and in Romans 14:10, 11 declares it is to Jesus Christ we will bow and confess Lordship to.
b). Philippians 2:9-11 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
c). Romans 14:10,11 "But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."
2). Exodus 3:13, 14 "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
a). Exodus 3:13, 14 is clearly speaking about Moses and almighty God having dialogue . Yet Jesus claimed that he was the I AM of Exodus 3.
b). John 8:56-58 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it and was glad.
Then said the Jews unto hem, Thou art not yet 50 years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."
e. God the Holy Ghost
1). Jeremiah 31:33, 34 "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
a). Jeremiah 31: 33, 34 is clearly speaking of the LORD God Almighty. Yet again the inspired writer of Hebrews applies them to the Holy Ghost.
b). Hebrews 10:15-17 "Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he said before,
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
c). Hence the Holy Ghost of the New Covenant is identified as the LORD God of the Old Covenant.
f. In Scripture there are at least two instances where two persons of the Godhead are viewed side by side.
1). Daniel 7:9-14 "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set and the books were opened.
I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations , and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
2). Acts 7:54-56 "When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God."
g. In light of this it is easy to see that when we stand before God in eternity we will see three separate individuals, yet one God.
My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.