The Triune God Revealed in the Old Testament (part 2)

continued from here

The book of Isaiah is considered by many to be the “Gospel” of the Old Testament (OT) because it portrays Jesus in His Messianic role as the servant send by God the Father under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  Isaiah 61:1-2 has strong trinitarian implications because it distinguishes the three persons of the Godhead and it shows their participation in the work of salvation of mankind:

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;”

The narrative here is spoken by Jesus, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and the opening of the passage “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me” encapsulates the Trinity.  The Hebrew word ruah is used to designate the Holy Spirit in the OT and it is used in this passage.  The words Lord God (Adonai and YHWY) represent God the Father, while the person speaking in this passage is Jesus, the messianic servant sent by the Father to accomplish the tasks listed in verses 1-3.

The fact that Jesus is the narrator cannot be contested due to the evidence found in Luke 4:16-30.  Jesus enters the Synagogue on Sabbath and reads aloud from the scroll the passage in Isaiah 61:1-2, and makes the astonishing claim:  “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”  Jesus thus claims to be the Messiah, the narrator of Isaiah 61.

Therefore, Isaiah presents the Trinity – God the Father sending Jesus the Messiah, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit –  together doing the work of redemption.

Isaiah also pays special attention to the Holy Spirit and designates personal qualities to Him in Isaiah 63:10 “But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them.”  Besides the terrifying claim that God Himself became the enemy of Israel and He fought against them, this verse reveals two important things about the Holy Spirit (ruah).

First, the Holy Spirit is a distinct entity (his Holy Spirit) from God the Father (LORD YHWH), and second, the Holy Spirit can be grieved, a personal and emotional quality.  We now have a clear presentation of two out of three persons in the Trinity, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit in Isaiah 63:10.

A biblical demonstration of the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit is beyond the scope of this article, but Isaiah 61:1-2 and 63:10 are clear in revealing the three separate persons of God: LORD YHWH the Father, Jesus the Messiah, and the Holy Spirit.

to be continued…

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