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Particulars of Christianity:
302 The Trinity


The Trinity: Establishing Eternal Past Existence

Introductions
The Angel of YHWH as YHWH God
The Angel of YHWH as Distinct from YHWH God
Immediate Interactive Dialogue
A Consistent Expectation about Seeing God's Face
Survey Examining Eternal Past Existence
Establishing Eternal Past Existence
Distinction of the Spirit of YHWH
Ancient Jewish Recognition of Trinitarian Facts
The Trinity in the New Testament
Addendum 1 & 2
Addendum 3


As we have seen, the key Hebrew and Greek words translated as eternal can be applied to finite items that began at a certain point, and therefore these words can simply refer to a finite long duration or an eternal future after a finite starting point. Consequently, this survey prompts an important question: how is the eternal past existence of God established at all, let alone for figures such as the angel of YHWH or the Spirit of YHWH? Well, there are proofs for God’s eternal past existence in scripture, including proofs for the eternal past existence of the angel of YHWH and the Spirit of YHWH. And we will now turn our attention to establishing those proofs.

The first, the most important, and perhaps the most obvious proof for eternal past existence is the name YHWH itself. As we saw earlier in our study, God’s name reflects his self-existence, reflects that he has the power of existing within himself, and that he always has and always will exist. This was made plain in Exodus 3 when God declares this name to Moses. And the prominence of this episode in Old Testament Jewish theology demonstrates that the implications of this passage would have been central to the Old Testament Jewish understanding of the Godhead.

When Moses asks God his name in Exodus 3, God answers Moses’ request for his name by stating “I AM THAT I AM.”

Exodus 3:13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall 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? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM 01961 THAT I AM 01961: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

The Hebrew text for the phrase “I AM THAT I AM” is the word “hayah” (Strong’s No. 01961) repeated twice. Hayah literally means “to be.” And it is from “hayah” in verse 14 that we get the name “YHWH” or “Yehovah,” which God declares as his name and as his memorial forever in his very next statements in verses 15 and 16. Below is the text of verses 15-16 and the definition for “YHWH” or “Yehovah” along with the notation in the definition that “YHWH” comes “from 01961,” which is “hayah.” And, as the definition also notes, the proper meaning of YHWH is “the existing one,” a meaning that denotes God’s attribute of self-existence and therefore his eternal past, uncreated status.

Exodus 3:15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD 03068 God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. 16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD 03068 God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt.

03068 Yehovah
from 01961; TWOT - 484a; n pr dei
KJV - LORD 6510, GOD 4, JEHOVAH 4, variant 1; 6519
Jehovah = "the existing One"
the proper name of the one true God
1a) unpronounced except with the vowel
pointings of 0136

Consequently, from both the text and the definition, it is clear that the name YHWH itself is the most direct and prominent proof of God’s eternal past existence, that he always has and always will exist. But more importantly, as we also established earlier, this name is applied to the angel of YHWH. We saw this plainly in not only Exodus 3 itself, where the text states both in verse 2 that it is the angel of YHWH who appears to Moses in the bush and also in verse 4, which interchangeably refers to the angel of YHWH simply as “YHWH” watching Moses from within the bush. 

Exodus 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2 And the angel of the LORD 03068 appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when the LORD 03068 saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God…

In addition, verse 16 of the same chapter is even more explicit. While verse 2 specifies that it is the angel of YHWH who appears to Moses, in verse 16, God himself states that it is YHWH who is appearing to Moses, using the same name that he has just declared to be his eternal name and memorial in verses 14-15.

Exodus 3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD 03068 God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt.

Therefore, God’s own words attest that the angel of YHWH who is appearing to Moses is YHWH. And subsequently, by applying this name to the angel of YHWH, God is testifying that the very trait, which the name signifies, also applies to the figure known as the angel of YHWH. Specifically, the words of God himself attest that the angel of YHWH who is appearing to Moses in the bush is “the existing one,” the one with the power of being in himself, who always has and always will exist. Consequently, the angel of YHWH was not created.

Here the question might be raised as to whether or not the name YHWH could be applied to a created being. In other words, even if the angel of YHWH is a creation, couldn’t God have given him the same name? However, the fact that this trait is unique to God alone and not applicable to any other beings or created beings is itself demonstrated by its usage as his name. It could not be appropriately used as his name if this attribute applied to others beside him. If that were the case, this attribute would not distinguish him since others would share that name and trait as well. Conversely, since the name itself denotes the self-existent and always existent attribute, that name cannot be applied to any being, which does not self-exist or did not always exist. For these reasons, the application of the name YHWH to the angel of YHWH would not be possible unless the figure known as the angel of YHWH was himself YHWH God and had always existed. The application of God’s unique name, which denotes his eternal past and future existence, to a created being would not only be misleading and wholly inappropriate but it would undermine the meaning of the name and the idea that God himself had always existed. If the name “the existing one” could be applied to a created being, then how would we know that its application to God meant that he always existed and wasn’t created? Once it is applied to a created being, the name would no longer designate anything. Therefore, the application of the name YHWH to any figure automatically denotes that this figure is YHWH God and has always existed.

In addition, as we have seen earlier in this study, this is not the only account in which the name YHWH is applied to the figure known as the angel of YHWH. Consequently, denying the eternal, uncreated status of the angel of YHWH is not simply a matter of side-stepping one passage. The name YHWH is interchangeably applied to the angel of YHWH in other accounts that are similar to the appearance to Moses here in Exodus 3. Since we have covered each of these passages in depth earlier, we will revisit them only with brief comments at this time.

Exodus 13:21 states that YHWH is in the midst of the pillar of fire but just one chapter later, Exodus 14:19 states that this is the angel of YHWH. And yet just 5 verses later, Exodus 14:24 states that it is YHWH who is looking out from within the pillar. Similarly, Numbers 14:13-14 states that it is YHWH who is within the pillar of fire.

Exodus 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: 22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

Exodus 14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them…24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians.

Numbers 14:13 And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;) 14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.

Likewise, Deuteronomy 4 describes that it is YHWH who spoke from out of the fire on the mountain, an encounter which is identical to the angel of YHWH speaking to Moses from out of the fire on the burning bush.

Deuteronomy 4:10 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. 11 And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. 12 And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.

In Judges 6:11-24, it is the angel of YHWH who comes to speak with Gideon, but throughout the passage, particularly in verses 12, 14, 16, 20, and 22-23 the text repeatedly identifies this speaker as YHWH and angel of YHWH interchangeably.

Judges 6:11 And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. 13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord (0113), if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. 14 And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? 15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord (0136), wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. 16 And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. 17 And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me. 18 Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again. 19 And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it. 20 And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. 21 Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. 22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord (0136) GOD (03069)! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. 23 And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. 24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

In Judges 13, particularly verses 3, 8-9, 13, 15-16, 22-23, the visitor is first identified as the angel of YHWH and then is referred to interchangeably as YHWH.

Judges 13:1 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. 2 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. 3 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. 4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: 5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. 6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name: 7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death. 8 Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born. 9 And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her. 10 And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day. 11 And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am. 12 And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him? 13 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. 14 She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe. 15 And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee. 16 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD. 17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? 18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? 19 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. 20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. 21 But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD. 22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. 23 But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.

In Zechariah 2, the passage depicts Joshua and Satan standing before the angel of YHWH, but then as the angel of YHWH speaks, he is referred to as YHWH while at the same time, as the speaker he refers to another figure as YHWH as well.

Zechariah 2:1 I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof. 3 And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him, 4 And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein…3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

And just as Zechariah 3 refers to the angel of YHWH as YHWH and at the same time refers to another figure as YHWH, Genesis 19:24 also refers to YHWH on earth bringing down fire from YHWH out of heaven.

Genesis 18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, 3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: 5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said. 6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. 7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. 8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat. 9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. 10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? 13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? 14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. 15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh. 16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. 17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; 18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. 20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. 22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. 23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?...26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes…30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. 31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake. 32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake. 33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place. 19:1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom.

Moreover, as we can see from Genesis 18-19, throughout the passage Abraham’s visitor is identified simply as YHWH. However, by a comparison to Exodus 3:1-16 and 6:1-3 (see below), we find that it is the angel of YHWH who appears to Moses in the burning bush, who is referred to as YHWH in Exodus 3, and who goes on to state that it was he that appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which would include this account in Genesis 18-19. Consequently, Genesis 18-19 is yet another episode in which the name YHWH is applied to the angel of YHWH.

Exodus 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God…13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall 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? 14 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. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. 16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt.

Exodus 6:1 Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. 2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

Lastly, Genesis 16 records a conversation between the angel of YHWH and Hagar and verse 13 of the passage applies the name YHWH to the visitor that Hagar had seen and been conversing with, which was the angel of YHWH.

Genesis 16:5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee. 6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. 7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. 9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. 10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. 11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. 12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. 13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? 14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

The application of the name YHWH to the angel of YHWH is the first and most obvious proof of his uncreated, eternal past existence. And the fact that this theme occurs in some of the most prominent Old Testament passages demonstrates that this perception would have been present in the Israelites’ perception of the Godhead as well as their perception of the angel of YHWH from the earliest Old Testament times.

Moreover, in this proof concerning the angel of YHWH, we also find indications concerning the eternal, uncreated status of the Holy Spirit. In short, since the formulaic title “the angel of YHWH” is shown to refer to YHWH in the humbler guise of a visiting angel, the presence of the same formula in the titles “the Word of YHWH” and “the Spirit of YHWH” should also be understood respectively to refer to YHWH as a speaker and YHWH as a visiting Spirit. The format of these titles applies the name YHWH to these figures, just as is demonstrably the case concerning the title “the angel of YHWH.” (For clarity, earlier we already noted that the title, “The Word of YHWH” is an alternate reference to the same figure known as “the angel of YHWH.)

And since the bulk of the proof of God’s uncreated status rests upon the meaning of his name, it is important to note the centrality of this name and its meaning to all of Judaism. So while there may not be as many outright proofs as we would think (in terms of the Hebrew or Greek words surveyed above), the proofs that we have are monumental, the very name of God itself. And that name is applied to the figure known as the angel of YHWH. And this fact, in turn, constitutes firm evidence that the figure known as the angel of YHWH is uncreated, has always existed, and is simply the existing one coming to visit with men in the humbler guise of a fiery angel or a man.

A second proof for eternal past existence can be found in Isaiah 43, which provides additional clear evidence for the uncreated, eternal status of the angel of YHWH, who is the pre-incarnate Word. In this passage, YHWH is speaking and he mentions references to Israel being without harm in the midst of the water (as in the parting of the sea) and in the midst of the fire (as on the mountain with Moses). He also refers to the destruction of Egypt as he redeemed his people. These are clear references to the Exodus, reminding the Jews of Isaiah’s day that God had been faithful in times past and was still reliable. Specifically, as God led them out of Egypt into the Promised Land, he was promising to bring them back to the Promised Land from the nations to which they were scattered. And his faithfulness in Egypt was to be the basis of their trust in this promise as well.

Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. 5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.

However, since we know from our examination of Exodus 3 that YHWH who met with Moses and led the people out of Egypt to the Promised Land was in fact the figure known as the angel of YHWH, we therefore also know that the speaker in this passage is the angel of YHWH as well. Once again, here we see the name YHWH applied directly to the figure known as the angel of YHWH, and by means of that name affirming his uncreated, eternal status. But moreover, in verse 13, amidst a string of proclamations that he is YHWH, we find this figure who led the Israelites out of Egypt declare that he existed “before the day.” (From verse 15, we also note YHWH’s reference to himself as the Creator.)

Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. 12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. 13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? 14 Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. 15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.

Since we already know that YHWH who led the people out of Egypt, who allowed them to pass through the waters unharmed, and who did not let the fire consume them on the mountain, is the angel of YHWH, this statement about existing “before the day” must be understood to be about the angel of YHWH. The phrase “before the day” in combination with the phrase “I am he,” is clearly meant to convey the speaker’s existence prior to the day. Of course, this brings up another question. What is “the day” and why is “the day” being cited as evidence for the speaker’s credentials as God? The day is created in Genesis 1:1-5.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Consequently, here in Isaiah 43 YHWH, specifically the angel of YHWH, is declaring his credentials as God by citing the fact that he existed before the first day of creation. This declaration itself denotes that he is uncreated and has always eternally existed.

The third proof for eternal past existence is closely related to this comment in Isaiah 43. In addition to Isaiah’s specific statement, we can also include the following, more general item as a proof of eternal, uncreated status. In close relationship to Isaiah’s declaration, the idea of any figure being already present “when the beginning begins” should also be understood as a declaration of that figures uncreated status. The beginning is the initiation of all created things.

Genesis 1:1, 31 and 2:1-4 summarize this fact. The beginning is the time when created things began to exist as a result of God’s creating them. This included all created things, whether in heaven or on earth.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth…31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 2:1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

Therefore, if a figure is present at the very threshold of that beginning and depicted as the creator rather than among the created things, this clearly demonstrates classification in the uncreated, eternal category rather than the created category. And not only does Isaiah declare that YHWH who led the Israelites out of Egypt was present before the first day of creation in Genesis 1, but it describes him as the Creator. Likewise, Genesis 1 itself clearly depicts the Spirit of YHWH as already present at the threshold of the beginning and as the Creator, rather than as awaiting creation and being created along with the rest of the universe. Consequently, since the angel of YHWH is described as existing before and at the very beginning of creation, and are placed in the category of Creator rather than created, he must be understood to be uncreated and existent for all eternity past.

And Genesis 1:26-27, likewise, confirms that all persons of the Trinity exist at the beginning of creation as Creator not creations. (Just as in other passages we have examined, here in Genesis 1:26-27, we see multiple persons of God communicating with each other and aware of their own personal distinction from one another. Yet all are God. All are Creator.)

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The fourth proof for eternal past existence is also related. It comes in the form of God’s use of the title “the first and the last” with regard to himself. Like the name “YHWH,” which is derived from the Hebrew word for “to be” and conveys that God is “the existing one,” who always exists, this title is also meant to convey God’s transcendence before and beyond the created things. We first find this title declared by God himself in Isaiah 41, where God connects it to his name “YHWH” in the phrase “I YHWH, the first and the last.”

Isaiah 41:4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD 03068, the first 07223, and with the last 0314; I am he.

In the New Testament, we find this title applied directly to Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word, two times. And it is accompanied by similar descriptions, including “Alpha and Omega,” “the beginning and the end,” and “which was, and is, and is to come.”

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning 746 and the end 5056, the first 4413 and the last 2078…16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Just as Isaiah 41 associated such titles with God’s name “YHWH,” which means “the existing one,” we can clearly see that Revelation 1:8 connects these titles to the fact that God “was, is, and is to come.” This assertion of God’s existence in the past, present, and future is similar to the name “I AM” and the longer phrase “I AM THAT I AM.” Both convey the idea of God always existing. Once again, by conveying that God exists both before and beyond creation, these titles reaffirm the meaning of God’s name, which denotes that he is “the existing one,” the one that is not created but has always lived and always will live. Like God’s name, these titles convey that he is uncreated.

What is also interesting is that while Revelation 1:5-8 and 22:12-16 clearly apply these titles to Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word, Revelation chapter 21 applies them to the figure known as God the Father. The fact that the Father is in view is indicated clearly by God’s statement to men in verse 7 that those who overcome will be his “son.” In addition, verse 9 refers to the Word by the title “the Lamb” whereas the rest of the chapter uses the title “God.” The fact that in Revelation John used the term “the Lamb” as a reference to the Word is demonstrated by the fact that chapter 1 (particularly verses 29 and 36) use the term “the Lamb” when referring to the Word. Clearly, the reason for the different titles is to differentiate between two figures, one who voluntarily became a man and died as a sacrificial lamb and the other who remained in heaven, operating all along as the transcendent Creator, the Father of all.

Revelation 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning 746 and the end 5056. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son… 9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

Consequently, in these passages of Revelation, we see the same title applied to both the incarnate Word and to the Father. And more importantly, the title being used is one that conveys God’s eternal, uncreated status. It conveys his existence not as a creation or part of the creation but before it and beyond it. Therefore, the New Testament clearly applies this uncreated status to both the Father and the Word, demonstrating that both figures eternally exist. Neither one is a temporary extension or a creation from the other. In this fact also we see that the New Testament is unavoidably Trinitarian, just as we have seen from the Old Testament as well.

And it is important not to overlook two other evidences from Revelation 1, which demonstrate that the Word of YHWH is uncreated and has always existed. First, It is interesting that Revelation 1:18 uses this familiar phrase “I am he that liveth” with regard to Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word, thereby firmly identifying him as YHWH, the “I AM,” the existing one, who lives forever, who was, is, and is to come. And we know explicitly that this is Jesus Christ, since verse 18 describes the speaker as having died and been resurrected to live forevermore.

Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth 2198 (5723), and was dead; and, behold, I am alive 2198 for 1519 evermore 165 165, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

And second, it is also important not to overlook one other proof that is found among these passages. In Revelation 1:8, among these other declarations, we find the title “the Almighty.”

Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty 3841.

The Greek term for “Almighty” here is “pantokrator” (Strong’s No. 3841), which literally means “the ruler of all” or “all-powerful.” It is a compound word derived from the terms “pas” (Strong’s No. 3956), meaning “each and every” and the term “kratos” (Strong’s No. 2904), meaning “force, strenght, power, or dominion.” But more importantly, it is the Greek equivalent to the Old Testament Hebrew word “Almighty,” which is “Shadday” (Strong’s No. 07706) and which likewise simply means, “the almighty, most powerful.”

This is significant to our study for the following reason. As we saw earlier, it is the figure known as the angel of YHWH who appears to Moses in Exodus 3:2, 4, 6, 14-16 and announces his name as the “I AM” (or “YHWH”). And most significantly, we also notice that the figure known as the angel of YHWH also announces himself as the God who appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Exodus 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed…4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God…14 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. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. 16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:

And as we noted earlier, Exodus 6:2 records another early conversation between the angel of YHWH and Moses, which closely parallels their dialog in Exodus 3. However, this time the angel of YHWH not only refers to himself once again by the name YHWH (or “JEHOVAH,” Strong’s No. 03068), but he specifically states that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob only knew him by the name “God Almighty,” which is the term “Shadday.”

Exodus 6:2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty 07706, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

Since it is the angel of YHWH who announces that he was first known to the patriarchs by the name “Almighty,” when Revelation 1:8 associates all of these phrases, which affirm God’s uncreated, eternal existence, with the term “Almighty,” it is directly and intentionally ascribing that trait to the incarnate angel of YHWH (Jesus Christ) and ascribing him eternal, uncreated status.

Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

In summary, like the name YHWH itself, the titles “Alpha and Omega,” “the beginning and the end,” “the first and the last,” “he that liveth,” “who liveth forevermore,” and “who was, is, and is to come” are all intended to convey God’s eternal, uncreated, self-existent status. But more important to our study, all of these terms are applied to the angel of YHWH, the figure who first announced himself to Moses as “YHWH” and to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as “the Almighty.” So, every single, clear proof that exists for God’s eternal, uncreated status is applied to the angel of YHWH. It’s simply impossible to avert the conclusion that the angel of YHWH has always existed. It is simply impossible to assert that the angel of YHWH is a mere creation or a mere recent extension of YHWH’s being (as Arianism and Modalism respectively assert). Instead, every conceivable declaration that could prove he always existed has been applied to this figure.

The fifth proof for God’s uncreated, eternal past existence is also related to both God’s name and to the phrases and titles that we’ve been discussing. It surrounds the phrase “I swear as I live,” an oath that God takes from time to time in scripture. The assurance found in the oath is based on the veracity of God’s own existence. The intention is to convey that what is being promised is a true as the very power of being itself, which resides in God alone as the uncreated first cause. This assurance itself, in turn, demonstrates the utmost, constancy and permanency of God’s existence.

Not only do we find this phrase in chapter 49:18 of Isaiah, the book we’ve been discussing in recent proofs but more importantly we find it spoken by YHWH in Numbers as he leads the people of Israel into the Promised Land. In fact, the first occurrences of this oath are in chapter 14 of Numbers, one of the very same passages that demonstrated “the angel of YHWH” as another title for YHWH.

In order to understand the significance that this oath has for our current study, we need to understand it amidst its context and historical backdrop. We recall from Exodus 3 that it is the angel of YHWH who appears to Moses from within the midst of the flaming fire engulfing the bush. And we also recall that the text of Genesis 3 refers to the angel of YHWH as himself being YHWH God. In Exodus 14, the Israelites have already left Egypt under the leadership of Moses and as they make their way out into the wilderness they are led in the day by a pillar of cloud and in the night by a pillar of fire. Very similar to Exodus 3, verse 19 of Exodus 14 refers to the angel of YHWH being in the midst of the fire, so that when the angel of God moves to the rear of the camp so does the pillar of fire. However, verse 24 of Exodus 14 as well as Exodus 13:21and Numbers 14:11 explicitly state that it is YHWH who looks out from the midst of the pillar of fire.

Exodus 14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them…24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians.

Exodus 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: 22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

Numbers 14:13 And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;) 14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.

Since we know that it is the figure known as the angel of YHWH who is interacting with Moses and Israelites during the Exodus journey (including Numbers 14), the use of this oath constitutes another manner in which scripture attests that the angel of YHWH is “the existing one.” If it were not so then his life as a created being would be no more relevant to his oath than any human’s life. In other words, the item being sworn to would be no more assured than the certainty of a man’s life or the life of any created being. Here we might consider whether this could be a mere ordinary oath that even a man could swear. After all, a man might swear by his own life, if he really wanted to created assurance regarding a particular claim. However, before we accept this conclusion, we should take note of the fact that these oaths, whenever they occur, always accompany the name “YHWH,” which as we demonstrated at length earlier, means “the living one.” Consequently, these passages record, “As I live saith Existing One.” Such phrasing clearly demonstrates that the oath is connected to God’s uncreated and eternal existence. Therefore, it is not comparable to any oath in which an ordinary man might swear by his own uncertain life.

Furthermore, since the earliest occurrences of this oath can be attributed to the angel of YHWH, as a matter of simple precedent, the later occurrences of it in Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Zephaniah should be as well. As a result, by means of this peculiar oath, there are no less than 22 attestations that the angel of YHWH is the existing one, and has always existed, never being created. Below is a list of those 22 passages. After this list we will move on to a brief discussion concerning the distinction of the Spirit of YHWH in the Old Testament, followed by a summary of our findings concerning the Trinity in the Old Testament.

Numbers 14:20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word: 21 But as truly as I live 02416, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.

Numbers 14:28 Say unto them, As truly as I live 02416, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:

Isaiah 49:18 Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live 02416, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth .

Jeremiah 22:24 As I live 02416, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence;

Jeremiah 46:18 As I live 02416, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts, Surely as Tabor is among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, so shall he come.

Ezekiel 5:11 Wherefore, as I live 02416, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.

Ezekiel 14:16 Though these three men were in it, as I live 02416, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate.

Ezekiel 14:18 Though these three men were in it, as I live 02416, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves.

Ezekiel 14:20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live 02416, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

Ezekiel 16:48 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.

Ezekiel 17:16 As I live 02416, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwelleth  that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.

Ezekiel 17:19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live 02416, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.

Ezekiel 18:3 As I live 02416, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.

Ezekiel 20:3 Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye come to enquire of me? As I live 02416, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.

Ezekiel 20:31 For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall  I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live 02416, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.

Ezekiel 20:33 As I live 02416, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:

Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live 02416, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Ezekiel 33:27 Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live 02416, surely they that are  in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.

Ezekiel 34:8 As I live 02416, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;

Ezekiel 35:6 Therefore, as I live 02416, saith the Lord GOD, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee.

Ezekiel 35:11 Therefore, as I live 02416, saith the Lord GOD, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged thee.

Zephaniah 2:9 Therefore as I live 02416, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them.