Celtic Trinity Symbol
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Celtic Trinity Symbol
(Revelation 1.4-5a)
Page 19

"John, to the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. "(Revelation 1.4-5a)

Seven Lamp Stands

Revelation Trinity Icon"The seven spirits" may be translated as, "the sevenfold Spirit" which means simply "the Holy Spirit." "The seven spirits" may also refer to the seven leaders of the Revelation churches in Asia. John of Patmos under the guidance of the Holy Spirit sent a letter to a group of "seven churches in the province of Asia," situated on a curved line like a crescent in what is Turkey today. His words to each of the churches address not only current conditions but also the future. He commends the seven churches for their strength and warns them about their failures. These directions and suggestions are also good for us and our own churches today and apply to our own personal lives too.

Seven Churches

Seven Lamp StandsChristian churches and Christians themselves can become loveless, immoral or compromising in their faith just like some of these Early Churches. Our Lord makes it clear how he feels about these faults. The Trinity in this Revelation passage greets John of Patmos with the words, "Grace and peace to you from him 'who is, and who was, and who is to come.'" This threefold name of God has curious similarities to the "Celtic Trinity symbol" or "Triquetra" also the "Trinity Knot." This probably existed as a symbol of the Trinity from very early times called the "three hares." This circular motif appears in medieval churches in Devon, England. Known as the "Tinners' Rabbits," it is carved as three hares or rabbits chasing each other in a circle which is presumed to be symbolic of the Trinity. Each of the ears is shared by two rabbits so that only three ears are shown.

Trinity Reference

Celtic Trinity SymbolThe words in Revelation 1.4 "who is, and who was, and who is to come." remind us also of Exodus 3.14-15, "God said to Moses, 'I am who I am.' This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I am has sent me to you.' God also said to Moses, 'Say to the Israelites, the Lord, the God of your fathers - the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob - has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation." The phrase 'I am who I am' may also be translated as 'I will be what I will be.' The Hebrew for "Lord" sounds like and may be related to the Hebrew for "I am" in verse 14. Here the 'I am' represents an ancient version of the three persons of the Trinity as a paraphrase of the name of God. The specific phrase "Trinity" though not found in the Bible is inferred in a number of places where the three persons of Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit are linked together as at Jesus' baptism for example.

Faithful Witness

Trinity Tie KnotJesus Christ as the Son is described as "the faithful witness." A witness tells what he has seen or heard. A faithful witness is one whose testimony is reliable every time. Jesus Christ is also "the firstborn from the dead" The Greek word for 'firstborn' that John uses is "prototokos," which literally refers to birth order or the first child born, the preeminent son and heir. Jesus Christ is also called "the ruler of the kings of the earth." He mysteriously governs and regulates what all earthly kings and leaders do, sometimes keeping them from doing evil or frustrating their plans, sometimes using them to serve his purposes.

"Celtic Trinity Symbol"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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