Witnessing the Trinity in Old Testament Scripture (Zechariah 12)

While the word, “Trinity,” is not found in the Bible, the reality that God is one WHAT, represented as three WHO, is found within both the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures. You could also say that the Trinity is one God existing in three Persons.

It’s imperative to understand that when we talk about the Trinity, we are in no way suggesting three Gods. Dr. James White, author of The Forgotten Trinity, has provided another helpful definition of the Trinity: “Within the one Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

Below is an incredible teaching from “The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy: Studies and Expositions of the Messiah in the Old Testament,” which examines how Jesus, the Messiah, and the Angel of the Lord are connected (pages 151-153).

Friends, God has spoken to us through the Scriptures in a way that’s both accessible and understandable, especially with the help of the Holy Spirit. We just need to be diligent to read what each book or letter of the Bible is intending to say (Exegesis), not what we want them to say (Eisegesis). For more on the “clarity of Scripture,” here is a wonderful article from The Gospel Coalition (click here). With the clarity of God’s Word in mind, it’s unmistakable that Jesus claimed to be the only promised Messiah, as well as God incarnate.

Now, let’s dig in!

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14

The Angel of the Lord

“The incarnation of the second person of the Trinity was not the first time that God came into the world He created. God walked in the garden of Eden (Ge 3:8). Enoch(Gn 5:22) and Noah (Gn 6:9) walked with God. God appeared to Abraham and had lunch and an extended conversation with him (Gn 18). There are many more examples. A particularly intriguing category is those stories in which a figure, identified as the Angel of the Lord, appears on earth and engages with a human. Who is this figure? Is He merely an angelic messenger or is He God Himself?” (p.151)

There are more examples pertaining to “the Angel of the LORD identifying Himself as God” on page 152, such as to Hagar (Gn 16 and 21) and to Jacob in (Gn 28 and 31), but we will continue to page 153 for more scriptural attestation of the Trinity in the Old Testament:

“Goldberg surely overstates the case when he asserts: ‘The connection between the angel of the LORD and the appearance of the Messiah cannot be denied.’ Many have, in fact denied such a connection. But the testimony of the early church is compelling. Norwood explains: The early church ‘Fathers exhibit a consensus exhibit a consensus that Yahweh is manifested through all of the Old Testament theophanies (Anel of Yahweh, burning bush, cloud and fire, Sn of Man, and others) by the preincarnate Word, just as God is made visible in the New Testament through the incarnate Word (Jn 1:1, 14).’ For example, Justin Martyr insisted, ‘Neither Abraham, nor Isaac, nor Jacob, nor any other man, saw the Father and ineffable Lord of all, and also of Christ, but [saw] Him who was according to His will His Son, being God, and the Angel because He ministered to His will; whom also it pleased Him to be born man by the Virgin.'”

“The Angel of the LORD is called ‘wonderful’ in Jdg 13:18, the same designation the Messiah received in Isa 9:6. Further, the Angel and the Messiah are linked in Zch 12:8: ‘On that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that on that day the one who is weakest among them will be like David on that day, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the LORD, before them.’ Two verses late, the speak is identified, ‘Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the house of David and the residents of Jerusalem, and they will look at Me whom they pierced’ (Zch 12:10). Only the Messiah the second person of the Trinity, could be in view here.”

“The Angel of the LORD is a Messenger who has come from the Lord who is the Lord Himself. The differentiation between the Lord and the Angel implies plural in the Godhead, early evidence of the Trinity. That the Angel is the second person is further indicated when Jesus the Messiah explicitly identified Himself as one sent from the Father (Jn 13:20; 17:18; 20:21). The Lord sent the Angel; the Lord sent Jesus.”

God is so good.

“O Lord God almighty . . . I bless you and glorify you through the eternal and heavenly high priest Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be glory to you, with Him and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever” 

Polycarp (70-155/160). Bishop of Smyrna. Disciple of John the Apostle.

Side Notes

Please note that the earliest Christians acknowledged the Triune Godhead. This fact therefore *debunks* the premise asserted by the Divinci Code that the doctrine of the Trinity began at the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 (video resource here). Instead, the Triune Godhead has been true from eternity past.

Another important note: The fact that Jesus is the only Messiah (Christ) spoken of by Jesus Himself, as documented in the Scriptures (Lk 24:44), also debunks the proclamation by Richard Rohr and New Age authors (i.e., Deepak Chopra) that Jesus is merely human, with the Christ as a separate being, inherently in all things (Panentheism). This heretical teaching put forth by Rohr and others is termed either the Universal Christ or Christ Consciousness.

Zechariah 12

 A pronouncement:

The word of the Lord concerning Israel.
A declaration of the Lord,
who stretched out the heavens,
laid the foundation of the earth,
and formed the spirit of man within him.

“Look, I will make Jerusalem a cup that causes staggering for the peoples who surround the city. The siege against Jerusalem will also involve Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who try to lift it will injure themselves severely when all the nations of the earth gather against her. On that day”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness. I will keep a watchful eye on the house of Judah but strike all the horses of the nations with blindness. Then each of the leaders of Judah will think to himself: The residents of Jerusalem are my strength through the Lord of Armies, their God. On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves; they will consume all the peoples around them on the right and the left, while Jerusalem continues to be inhabited on its site, in Jerusalem. The Lord will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of David’s house and the glory of Jerusalem’s residents may not be greater than that of Judah. On that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that on that day the one who is weakest among them will be like David on that day, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord, before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

Mourning for the Pierced One

10 “Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the house of David and the residents of Jerusalem, and they will look at me whom they pierced. They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child and weep bitterly for him as one weeps for a firstborn. 11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning of Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, every family by itself: the family of David’s house by itself and their women by themselves; the family of Nathan’s house by itself and their women by themselves; 13 the family of Levi’s house by itself and their women by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself and their women by themselves; 14 all the remaining families, every family by itself, and their women by themselves.

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