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I believe in the One Ever Living, Eternal God: infinite in power, holy in nature, attributes and purpose; and possessing absolute, indivisible deity. This One True God has revealed Himself in separate and distinct forms as Father in authority, as Son in redemption and as the Holy Spirit in power; three separate and distinct individuals, originating from the same absolute indivisible essence.
Hear, O Osrael: The LORD our God is one LORD;De 6:4
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2Ti 3:16
As the verse in 2 Timothy states, all scripture is given by inspiration of God. The whole of Scripture is God breathed, given by God's inspiration, making it profitable for our learning and instruction, for reproof and correction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, and for training in righteousness or holy living in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action, which aims at increasing our virtue that we may be acceptable to God. Inspiration in the Bible is far more then a general sense of meaning given to the writers, it carries over to the very words chosen themselves. In many cases very specific words were used in a particular verse to convey a specific meaning, when it was normal to use other words more common to the people.
In Daniel 5:25-28 we read:And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; You are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting. UPHARSIN; Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.
Often, when God would give us a shaded prophecy, He would also give the meaning of that prophecy. Here is no exception; MENE means numbered1, and God had told Belshazzar, king of Babylon, that his kingdom was numbered and finished. TEKEL means weighed2, and God had weighed Belshazzar's kingdom and found it lacking. UPHARSIN comes from the plural of peres3 with the ve prefix added and means and divides. God was going to divide Babylon between the Medes and the Persians. But the meaning goes far beyond that.
The Babylonians worshipped the sungod Gad and the moongod Meni4. At death the Babylonians believed that you stood before the guardian of Paradise who held a set of scales in his hand and your good deeds were weighed against your bad deeds to see if you merited entering Paradise. Therefore, this prophecy was not just against Belshazzar, but was ultimately against the gods of Babylon5. Without a full grasp of the meanings of the words used in this passage, one would miss the full meaning of the passage, thus the purpose of this chapter. What follows is four key words used in the Old Testament Bible which convey the message of the triune6 nature of God. In the word study that follows, the numbers before each word is the reference numbers for the Strong's Concordance7
(136) adonay The word comes from adon, a root word which means to be strong and emphasizes solidity. A derivative of this word is used in Job 38:6 refering to God being the One who established the earth's foundations and laid the Creation's cornerstone; God is the securing force behind creation. Whenever adon appears in the special plural form adonay in the bible, it always refers to God and appears as such over three hundred times, always translated in the singular. In Hebrew, the noun and verb must always agree in number and gender. A masculine noun must have a masculine verb, a feminine noun must have a feminine verb, a plural noun must have a plural verb. Therefore, for adonay to have a singular verb shows that it is considered to be a singular noun, even though all translators agree that it is a plural form of adon. The only possible explanation for this is that it refers to the One True God who is three separate and distinct individuals.
(430) Elohim The word comes from the root word eloah, which means god (as in false gods), God (as in the One True God), and less frequently as the mighty (as in reference to both men and angels). This is a unique development of the Hebrew Scriptures and represents chiefly the plurality of persons in the Trinity of the Godhead. It is often found in its simpler form el throughout the Bible, especially in proper names: Israel (He will rule as God), Michael (Who is like God), Joel (Jehovah God) to name a few. It also appears as gods (Ex 15:11), great (Ps 36:6), idols (Is 57:5), might (De 28:32), mighty (Ps 29:1, 50:1), power (Ge 31:29), and strong (Ez 32:21). Eloah itself is by far the less frequently used form of the root appearing only some 54 times throughout the Bible, the majority in Job. It is never used in conjunction with any other name for God, such as Jehovah God, Lord God. This tends to suggest to the reader perhaps the term conveyed a meaning of comfort or assurance to the Chosen of God while at the same time conveying a meaning of fear or dread to their enemies. It is used almost exclusively for the God of Israel, appearing only five times in connection to other gods8 Elohim is the plural form of the word eloah, and as stated above, a plural noun is always accompanied by a plural verb. This is true of Elohim when it is used of other beings:Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father's house. But why did you steal my gods?
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You made man a little lower then the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor.
But if the thief is not found, the owner of the house must appear before the judges to determine whether he has laid hands on the other man's property9.
All this was said to show the plural meaning of the word Elohim and as stated above, a plural noun is always accompanied by a plural verb. Except when it refers to God, then it is consistently used with singular verbs, singular adjectives and singular pronouns. The necessity of this is brought out in the very first usage of the word in Scripture, the first chapter of Genesis. In verses :1, 2 it is read that God created everything in existence and that the Spirit of God (Elohim) was hovering over this creation. Again, in verses :26, 27 we read:Then God (Elohim) Said, Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God (Elohim) created man in His own image, in the image of God (Elohim) He created him; male and female He created them.
The actual phrase is na'asah 'adam b-tzelemnu b-demuwtnu...vebara' Elohim et-'adam b-tzelemnu. In Hebrew writing, it is often characteristic for the last half of a verse to mimic the first half in different words;To You, O LORD, I called;
to the LORD I cried for mercy:
What gain is there in my destruction,
In my going down into the pit?
My son, keep my words
and store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and you will live;guard my teachings as the apple of your eye
Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?10
Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
Do you count the months till they bear?
Do you know the time they give birth?
This is just a few verses picked at random to illustrate the mimicing principle in Hebrew writing, so it is natural to assume that the meaning of the last half of a given verse will be the same as the first half said in different words. In the phrase just quoted, the b- prefix means in, and the nu suffix is the normal first person plural (our), so the passage actually reads: Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness...So God (Elohim) created man in Their image...
This particular development of Elohim is only found in Hebrew, no other Semitic language uses it. Therefore it must be conceded that there must have been a reason for its development, namely that of showing the unitiy of the One God, yet still allowing for the plurality of separate and distinct individuals in the Godhead.
(259) 'ehad So far the words that have been studied have been words that were pluralsingular verb when used for God. Here is the exception. There are about eighteen different words used in the Old Testament for one, 'ehad is by far the most frequently used. It comes from a root word closely related to yahad and has the basic meaning to be united, it stresses the unity of something while at the same time allowing for diversity within that unity. This can be seen in a number of passages, of which three examples will be studied.
First is perhaps one of the most famous verses in the Bible, Ge 2:22-24:Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man. The man said This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
This is the first mention of marriage in the Bible. A close study of this will not only show the meaning of 'ehad, but will beautifully show the nature of the Godhead as well. Adam had just finished naming all the animals and had not found a suitable mate for himself. God put Adam into a deep trans and took a part of him to form it into the woman. The woman was taken from the man therefore she is of the same substance as the man, all three members of the Godhead share the same divine essence.
She was created to serve as the perfect counterpart to the man, all three members of the Godhead are united in thought ,purpose and action.
She was his equal so she could walk beside him, all three members of the Godhead are God so They are all equal11.
She fulfilled all his needs for companionship, the three members of the Godhead balance each other out to keep the nature of God holy.
She was submissive to him as head of the household, the three members of the Godhead each have Their own place in the Godhead; God the Father as head, God the Son submissive even unto death12, God the Holy Spirit Who is submissive to the Father and the Son13 and is the binding Force in the world today.
The next verse we will look at talks about the construction of the tabernacle while the Jews were in the wilderness, Ex 26:6, 11:And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacleThe Jews were to make ten separate curtains with elaborate decorations on them, made with twisted linen, with blue, purple and scarlet colors in them. They were to join these ten curtains together with brass and gold clasps to form one curtain. A unity of one made up of a diversity of members.
And thou shalt make fifty taches of brass, and put the taches into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one(see also Ex 36:13).
Finally, we will look at Ge 11:1:Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.
This is the passage of the Tower of Babyl where God confounded man's language. First, the whole earth was of one language, all speaking teh same language (like Hebrew). This is the word sephah and shows that though there were many people, there was only one language. Second, the whole earth was of one speech, of one dialect, they all used the same words in this one language. This is the word dabarim, the plural form of the word dabad. Here we have a singular language with a multiple of dialects forming that one language, all considered one, or a unity. Remember the rule set forth above? Language is singular so the word sephah is used, which is singular. Speech is plural, so the word dabarim is used, which is the plural of dabar.
(4397) mal'ak The final word we will look at is mal'ak which comes from the words ma who and l'ak to toil, so it literally means who tiols. It is usually translated ambassador, angel. But these words do not do justice to the true meaning of this word. This messenger was to carry messages to designated parties, he was also authorized to perform specific duties or commissions for the sender, and to fully represent the sender to those he was sent to. In other words, a symbol of Christ. Unlike adonay, and Elohim, mal'ak is not a plural noun used with a singular verb to represent God. Most of its uses in the Bible do not even refer to God. It refers to human messengers and to angelic messengers. But there are a number of uses of mal'ak that does make it significant in the study of the Triune God.
The main mal'ak I wish to look at here is first found in Ge 16:7-13, and is called mal'ak YHVH, or The Angel of the Lord. Two verses bring the main point out:The Angel of the Lord found Harag near the spring in the desert; ...She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her, You are the God who sees me, for she said I have now seen the One who sees me.
This mal'ak YHVH shares in common all the duties and functions of the other two human and angelic messengers with three exceptions:first, this mal'ak YHVHhad the function of intercessor with God on the behalf of many, as does Christ.Since this mal'ak YHVH has the same functions as Christ, since this mal'ak YHVH is obviously a separate and distinct individual from God, might it not be concluded that God is triune in nature?
Second, this mal'ak YHVH received recognition as God by those whom He had contact with, as does Christ.
Finally, this mal'ak YHVH speaks in the first person as God, as does Christ.
These four words: adonay, Elohim, 'ehad, and mal'ak are the main support vocabulary used in the Bible. There are other words used, but these paint the clearest picture, which is why they were chosen for study. I have shown that anonay and Elohim are both plural words in nature, but are used with singular verbs, adjectives and pronouns whenever they are referring to God. I have shown that the 'ehad, unlike our word one, which means a single unit, has the meaning of unity within a group. Finally, I have shown that the word mal'ak, when referring to the mal'ak YHVH, is in fact teh pre-incarnate Christ, or God in the flesh. But a doctrine can not be built upon words alone, now I will look at individual verses in the Old Testament which convey a strong picture of the triune nature of God.
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