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How do I counter the way trinitarians use Isaiah 48:16?

Submitted: 3/25/2007
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Question: Isaiah 48:16 says, 'Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.' How does one counter this scripture when used by a Trinitarian to prove the trinity? I canít seem to find very much writing on this except by Trinitarians.

Answer: We imagine that a trintarian sees this verse as depicting God the Father and God the Holy Spirit waving goodbye to God the Son as He descends into the earthly realm to take on flesh and died for man's sins. Of course, from a Oneness perspective, we see humanity being sent by Diety.

One point we would offer is that the verb 'hath sent' is in the singular form, which indicates that the terms 'the Lord God' and 'His Spirit' are not describing two divine beings. The word 'Spirit' is a biblical term indicating God is in action, He is doing something, such as sending someone. It is not the third person in the Trinity.

Frankly, we would say that trying to counter this particular verse is not going to change the mind of a trinitarian. Anyone who would use this verse to prove the Trinity must be very committed to that doctrine. Perhaps what you could do is point out some of the statements by Isaiah that affirm the absolute oneness of God, such as Isaiah 44:6; 44:8; 45:5-6; 45:14; 45:18; 45:21-22; and 46:9.

Converting a die-hard trinitarian is not easy. One of the important factors to remember is, speak the truth in love. Arguing only engenders strife.