Revelation 4:8 – and the four living creatures, having each one of them six wings, are full of eyes around about and within. They have no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy is [Yahweh] God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.
Isaiah 6:3 – One cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Yahweh of Hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
These scriptures are sometimes cited as proof of the trinitarian dogma, since each uses the word “holy” three times.
This has to be Yahweh, the God of Jesus, referred to in Revelation 4:8, since this One is spoken of unipersonally in Revelation 5:1 as the One holding the scroll in His right hand. In Revelation 5:7 we find that the Lamb, Jesus, takes the scroll out of the hand of the one sitting on the throne. This shows that the one sitting on the throne, called “the Lord God, The Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come” in Revelation 4:8 is indeed unipersonally the God and Father of Jesus, and not Jesus himself.
The phrase “who was and who is and who is to come” is simply another way of saying the same thing as “from everlasting to everlasting” as found in Psalm 90:2. Only the God of Jesus is Almighty. Only the God of Jesus is “from everlasting to everlasting.” Jesus is not being made “almighty” in the power and authority given him by the only true Almighty. (Matthew 28:18) It is evident that the power and authority given to Jesus is from One who is more powerful than the power and authority given. (1 Corinthians 15:27) If Jesus actually had been made Almighty, this would mean that there are two Supreme Beings, but that only one of them had been Almighty from eternity past, since the other had to be made Almighty by the other. In reality, only Yahweh unipersonally is the Almighty. Jesus is, always has been and will always be, of a lesser glory in his bodily substance than Yahweh, his God. Yahweh is the only one who has the distinct glory as the Most High. — 1 Corinthians 15:40,41.
In Revelation 1:9,10 John refers to himself when he heard a loud voice, as of a trumpet, (verse 11) saying, “Write what you see…” This quote is from Jesus, not Yahweh, as described in the following verses. In verse 18 Jesus says: “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.” Jesus was actually dead and not alive anywhere, if this is to make any sense at all, for he contrasts his being dead with being alive forevermore. Now we know that God cannot die, so Jesus is thus by this verse proved to not be God Almighty.
What has to be added to, and read into Revelation 4:8 to have this support the trinitarian dogma, is that one of the words “holy” represents the God and Father of Jesus, while and other one of the words “holy” represents the God-Son of the God and Father of Jesus, and that other word “holy” represents the holy spirit of the God and Father of Jesus. Since Revelation 4:8 also attributes all three usages of “holy” to the One who was and who is and who is to come, that is, the One who is depicted as sitting on the throne (Revelation 4:9), then the trinitarian has to add some explanation, and read whatever explanation they give into, the scriptures since the Lamb is depicted as taking the scroll from this One who was and who is and who is to come. (Revelation 5:6,7) Usually, however, we find no explanation given for the self-contradiction. Some simply explain the self-contradiction as one of the “mysteries” of the trinity.
In actuality, the Lamb who approaches the One who was and who is and who is to come in order to take the scroll from that One is not that One from whom he takes the scroll. Rather than proving the trinitarian dogma, Revelation 4:8,9 associated with Revelation 5:6,7 show that the trinity dogma is not true. Only the One who is depicted as sitting on the throne, the One who was and who is and who is to come is the Almighty. Jesus is never depicted as the “Almighty” from whom Jesus, the Lamb, receives the scroll. This corresponds with Revelation 1:1, where we read that God gave to Jesus the revelation so that Jesus could give it to John.
Why, then, is the word “holy” repeated three times?
Some point out that the Sinaitic Manuscript and some others have holy eight times in this verse; if this was the way John originally received the revelation, then the word “holy” is used of the God and Father of Jesus eight times! Thus some point out the significance of the number eight as used in the Bible: The Jewish child was circumcised on the eighth day (Genesis 17:12; Leviticus 12:3; Luke 1:59; Philippians 3:5) signifying purification and holiness of heart (Exodus 6:12; Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6; Matthew 12:34); seven days a sheep was to be with its dam, and on the eighth given to Yahweh (Exodus 22:30); the eighth day after the seven days of Feast of Tabernacles was to be a holy convocation to Yahweh. (Leviticus 23:36,39) Eight signifies the day following the seven days of the week, the day of renewal, and thus many believe that eighth day signifies the 1,000 years to follow Christ’s millennial reign, for then all things will have been completly been made new, but not this only, but that all things will have been brought to full perfection. ( Revelation 21:1-5) Thus it is thought the eight “holy”s signify Yahweh’s actual perfect holiness, his absolute purity, which will be eventually be revealed in the ages to come.
However, the corresponding scripture in Isaiah 6:3 only has holy three times, not eight times, so we feel proned to believe that in Revelation 4:8, the original also only had “holy” three times.
To many trinitarians, the “thrice holy” is thought in some vague manner to mean the trinity, as mentioned above.
There is no “and” in these three declarations that Yahweh is holy, neither in the Hebrew nor the Greek. For emphasis, Yahweh is “thrice” pronounced as holy, but it is not that Yahweh is “thrice holy”, or holy three times. It is similar to:
Ezekiel 21:27 – I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: this also shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it [him].
God is not saying that he will overturn the prince of Israel (evidently Zedekiah) three times; he is repeating the word for emphasis. It appears the usage of word three times is used to designate the superlative degree, not to emphasize what is being spoken of as being three times.
Regarding Ezekiel 21:27:
The threefold repetition denotes the awful certainty of the event; not as ROSENMULLER explains, the overthrow of the three, Jehoiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah; for Zedekiah alone is referred to.
Fausset, A. R., A.M. “Commentary on Ezekiel 21”. “Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible”.
Likewise in Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8. There is no reason to add to Isaiah 6:3 that the seraphs were saying that Yahweh is three persons: Holy Father and Holy Son and Holy Spirit. Holy is repeated for emphasis.
Regardless, the thought of three persons being spoken of Revelation 4:8 or Isaiah 6:3 has to be assumed, added to, and read into the three times that the word “holy” appears in those verses.
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