In geometry a tetrahedron is defined as a solid contained by four plane faces. It is also referred to as a triangular pyramid. All of the faces of a tetrahedron are triangles. In this article we are going to examine the significance of the tetrahedron as a foundational geometric construct; and, we are going to look at a few of the many significant aspects that it contains regarding God and His Creation.
Examining the Tetrahedron
Looking at figure 1 we see the construction of the tetrahedron. It is the most basic three-dimensional geometric shape that exists. It is comprised of four 3-edged faces (or four triangles.
Each face, in fact, is the simplest polygon that can be constructed. No polygon can be constructed with less than three sides and define an area on a two-dimensional plane, since a minimum of three non-collinear points (points not in a straight line) are required to define a plane (see figure 2). This makes the triangle the foundation for all two‑dimensional polygonal shapes.
Here we find a parallel between the foundation of plane geometry and the Foundation of the Triune God:
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are co-equal and are One, just as in an equilateral triangle all sides are equal and all three are required to define a two-dimensional plane.
The four faces of the tetrahedron provide the foundation for the simplest three-dimensional shape that can be constructed from simplest two-dimensional shape. Furthermore, just as a minimum of three points is required to define a plane (or a flat surface), at least four non-coplanar points (points not on the same surface or plane) are required to define a volume in space (see figure 3).
In Scripture we read that the Sun, Moon, and stars were created on Day 4 (Gen 1:14-16). This was the day that the Lord defined the position of the earth with the vast expanse of His Creation in space. This, and many other references, reveal to us that four (4) is the number of the earth in Scripture. In The Numerical Bible (© 1897) Appendix II we find the following observation:
“These various thoughts with which 4 connects show it to be the world-number: and in Scripture it is that of the “four corners of the earth,” of earthly completeness and universality, which this has on it the stamp of weakness, whatever men may boast.”1
The above cited quote from Isaiah 11:12 along with references to the “four winds of heaven” found in Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zechariah, are but a few examples that demonstrate the Lord’s divine purpose for this number. Additionally, within the Pentateuch, or five Books of the Law, we find that the book which contains the ‘numbering’ of the tribes of Israel for battle and other duties is the fourth of the five books. Since these five books were spoken directly to Moses by God Himself, the order of their inclusion is Scripture is divinely ordained.
Now as we continue our study, a most fascinating relationship is revealed between the structure of the tetrahedron and the ‘facets’ of God as revealed in Revelation chapter 4.
The Facets of God
In Revelation 4:2 we witness the vision of the Apostle John as he is ‘raptured’ into Heaven ‘in the spirit’ and there is ONE seen sitting ‘on the throne’. We know from many passages in the Old Testament (Isa 45:5, 6, 18; Joel 2:27, e.g.) that there is only ONE God. However, one passage in Deuteronomy is quite revealing when it comes to the NATURE of God.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:” –Deut. 6:4
The names and titles of God from the above verse translate as:
‘Hear, O Israel: Yahweh (Jehovah) our Elohim (plural title for God) is One Yahweh (Jehovah):’
This is just one of many demonstrations in the Scriptures that each Person of God is co-equal to the whole; and, that God Himself is ONE GOD who exists as three distinct Persons. While we may use many analogies to try to explain how God does this, the truth is ‘His ways are higher’ than our ways, and ‘His thoughts higher’ than our thoughts (see Isa 55:9).
What we are seeing in Revelation 4:2-9 is the fullness of God in ALL of His Glory – with ALL PERSONS and ALL OF THEIR FACETS revealed AT ONCE!!!2
The focus of the entire scene is the Lord Jesus Christ as KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS (1 Tim 6:15; Rev 19:16) upon the Throne. We must also recognize that Christ Jesus and the Father are ONE as the Lord states in John 10:30, and as He proclaimed through the prophet Isaiah (9:6) upon foretelling His birth as He is called ‘the everlasting Father’.
We will see that there are, in fact, twelve total Facets associated with the three Persons of the Godhead – each of which is reflected in the structure of the tetrahedron.
One Father – One Facet
In Ephesians 4:6 we read that there is, “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all3.”
The Father is the One whose will is always done by the Lord Jesus while He is upon the Earth. The Lord passes the Father’s will to us through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us if we are in Christ Jesus. So, it is the Father who acts as Governor for the Will of God. He displays only One Facet in this regard. Just as there is One seated upon the Throne in Rev. 4:2, and the tetrahedron is one object – this first aspect represents the Unity of the Godhead in the Father.
One Son – Four Facets
Ephesians 4:6 tells us that there is but ONE Lord. This same Lord Jesus is the ‘Only-begotten’ Son of God the Father (John 1:14; see also John 1:18; 3:16; 3:18; 1 John 4:9). Furthermore, the writer of Hebrews asks the question, “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?” This question found in Hebrews 1:5 is a reference to the earthy birth of Jesus as God who came into the world to dwell among us (John 1:14), and quotes the words of God the Father from Psalm 2:7.
As we have seen, the tetrahedron has four (4) faces; and, as we are about to see the Son of God has four Facets revealed and confirmed in Scripture.
Table 1 and the associated notes that follow present an outline and explanation of the four Facets of God the Son.
|The Four Facets of God the Son Revealed in Scripture|
|Facet||Identity||Gospel||Ezekiel 1:10||Revelation 4:6-7|
Facet 1 – King: The Gospel of Matthew reveals Christ Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures concerning Messiah. This Gospel is written by a Jew – Matthew (also known as Levi) – to the Jewish people. It portrays Jesus as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah of the house and lineage of King David (Isa. 11:1-2; Rev. 5:5) – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Facet 2 – Servant: The Gospel of Mark reveals Christ Jesus as the Servant of man as portrayed by the ox in Ezekiel and the calf in Revelation – both beasts of burden. The key verse in this Gospel is Mk. 10:45, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Facet 3 – Man: The Gospel of Luke reveals Christ Jesus as the God who became Man for our sakes. This is the most biographical of all the gospel accounts and demonstrates the humanity of the Man Christ Jesus. Because Jesus has literally ‘walked in the shoes’ of mankind, He is the only One about whom it is written, “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted” (Heb. 2:18).
Facet 4 – Savior: The Gospel of John reveals Christ Jesus as the Eternal God and Savior without whom all of mankind would perish. As the Flying Eagle He soars high above sin and death having conquered them at the Cross, and now offers Eternal Life to all who call upon Him by faith. By His own words He proclaims without exception, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6).
Finally, we must recognize that not only does the number four (4) apply to the Lord Jesus because of the four Facets of His Holy Nature, but also because He is the only Person of God to manifest Himself in the flesh on the earth (the number of which is ‘four’ in Scripture).
One Holy Spirit- Seven Facets
In Ephesians 4:4 we learn that there is “one Spirit [of God]”. Revelation 4:5 refers to the “seven Spirits of God” as “seven lamps of fire burning before the throne [of God].” From Isaiah 11:2 not only do we learn exactly what these seven ‘Spirits of God’ are; but, we also learn that they are actually the seven Facets of the Holy Spirit Himself.
Just as the sum of the faces (4) & edges/face (3) of the tetrahedron is seven (7), we find that according to Scripture God the Holy Spirit contains seven Facets.
Table 2 and the associated notes that follow present an outline and explanation of the seven Facets of God the Holy Spirit.
|The Seven Facets of the Holy Spirit Revealed in Scripture|
|Facet||Spirit of… (Isa. 11:2)||Significant Reference(s)|
|1||the Lord||God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24)|
|2||wisdom||Prov. 9:10; 15:33; 21:30|
|3||understanding||Prov. 9:10; see also 4:7|
|4||counsel||Isa. 9:6; Jn. 14:26|
|5||might||Jdg. 15:14; Act. 1:8; Rom. 15:19|
|6||knowledge||Prov. 1:7; Mk. 13:11|
|7||the fear of the Lord||Prov. 16:6; 22:4|
Facet 1 – Spirit of the Lord: The Holy Spirit is the One and Only Spirit of the Lord. He is also One ‘with’ the Godhead in that “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:24).
Facet 2 – Spirit of Wisdom: Proverbs 21:30 states that there is, “no wisdom nor counsel nor understanding against the Lord.” This verse ties three of the seven facets of the Holy Spirit together – as do several other verses found in Proverbs. In Proverbs 9:10 we find the Fear of the Lord also tied together with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Since true wisdom is the proper application of knowledge and understanding, the verse which best sums up this Facet of the Holy Spirit in Proverbs is undoubtedly Prov. 15:33, “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.”
Facet 3 – Spirit of Understanding: The notes regarding Prov 9:10 & 21:30 from Facet 2 apply here as well. With understanding being the comprehension and ability to reason out knowledge, we find in Prov. 4:7 that it is the link between knowledge and wisdom (called “the principal thing” in this verse). This is the reason why Facets 2-4 are so closely tied together in the ‘Fear of the Lord’. Only wisdom produces wise counsel, and only understanding produces wisdom. Godly wisdom comes only from the Lord through His Holy Spirit.
Facet 4 – Spirit of Counsel: Not only is the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Counsel; but, He is the Counselor of the Saved. Whereas the Lord Jesus is the Advocate of the believer before the Father (1 John 2:1), the Holy Spirit is the Advisor who dwells within every follower of Christ (1 Cor. 3:16). Just as Jesus is referred to as “the mighty Father” in Isaiah 9:6; He is also called “Counsellor” in this same verse. The work of the Holy Spirit as Counselor is seen in Jn 4:26 where the Lord promises His disciples that He (the Holy Spirit) would “bring all things” to remembrance.
Facet 5 – Spirit of Might: We see the physical might that the Holy Spirit is capable of bestowing upon a man in Judges 15:14 where we read concerning Samson, “…and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.” Of course, being God Himself, the Holy Spirit is totally omnipotent and the exercise of His power is seen to a far greater extent in Acts 1:8 and throughout the Book of Acts as He gives the Apostles and disciples power to work signs and wonders for the purpose of drawing multitudes to the Gospel of Christ. The Apostle Paul makes particular mention of this Facet of the Holy Spirit at work in his own ministry experience in Romans 15:18-19 as well.
Facet 6 – Spirit of Knowledge: Proverbs 1:7 gives us the ‘bookends’ of godly wisdom. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” We must begin with knowledge and have godly instruction if we are to obtain godly wisdom. The Holy Spirit as God owns the knowledge of God and wisdom to counsel believers in its proper application. The wording in Mark 13:11 clarifies that it is the Holy Spirit who provides the knowledge of the things to be spoken by those who are ‘delivered up’.
Facet 7 – Spirit of the Fear of the Lord: The word ‘fear’ in this context denotes a high degree of reverence and the realization of consequences for actions. In this regard the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord keeps believers focused on the Lord and His will. As we read in Prov. 16:6, “…by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.” Likewise, there are many promises that the Lord gives to those who humble themselves before Him. Among those is Proverbs 22:4, “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.”
The Final ‘Product’
When we look at the mathematical products of the scriptural numbers we have been examining we find that they all agree with Scripture –AND– they all agree with God’s sovereignty and the completeness of the Godhead.
First, we know from Scripture that there is One God, One Father, One Son, and One Holy Spirit. When we express the product of this relationship mathematically we find:
1 (Father) x 1 (Son) x 1 (Holy Spirit) = 1 (God)
This ‘product’ is also represented by two other mathematical relationships. The first of these is the sum of all of the ‘Facets’ of God:
1 Facet (Father) + 4 Facets (Son) + 7 Facets (Holy Spirit) = 12 Facets (God)
This number is also the result of the product of the number of faces (4) and edges/face (3) in a tetrahedron:
4 (faces) x 3 (edges/face) = 12 Facets (God)
It is no wonder that we find the number twelve in Scripture used to represent the Lord’s number of Divine Government or Leadership.
Just a few examples of this are found in Table 3 below:
|Twelve (12) – God’s Number of Divine Leadership|
|Tribes of Israel||Gen. 49 – Note 1|
|Apostles of the Lamb||Mt. 10 – Note 2|
|Gates of New Jerusalem||Rev. 21:12-13 – Note 3|
|Foundations of New Jerusalem||Rev. 21:14 – Note 4|
|Fruits on the Tree of Life||Rev. 22:2 – Note 5|
|Months in a Year||Rev. 22:2 – Note 6|
|Tones in a music scale||Ps. 96:1, e.g. – Note 7|
Note 1: The twelve sons of Jacob (Israel) became the patriarchs of the twelve Tribes of Israel. Of these, only one – the Levites (descendants of Levi) became the priestly tribe charged with carrying out all of the ordinances of the Law. Twelve tribes – One Nation.
Note 2: The Lord Jesus called out to Himself twelve Apostles knowing one would betray Him (Judas Iscariot). He later replaced him with the most noted Apostle – Saul of Tarsus. These twelve led the Great Commission and many disciples in the first generation of the Church Age.
Note 3: As the Apostle John, the only Apostle of the Lamb to die of old age, viewed the vision of the New Jerusalem he was shown the twelve gates of the city – four on each side (arrayed in the same manner as the tribes of Israel camped about the Tabernacle in the wilderness). He is told that each gate bears the name of the “twelve tribes of the children of Israel”. This is the location from which the Lord Jesus will rule and reign over the New Heaven and New Earth.
Note 4: The walls of the same New Jerusalem will rest upon twelve foundations which will bear the names of the Apostles of the Lamb.
Note 5: The Tree of Life is seen having ‘twelve manner of fruits’; and having leaves ‘for the healing of the nations’. This tree which is located in the middle of the street in the New Jerusalem is a symbol of unity for all people in Christ in the New Heaven and Earth. One Tree – Twelve Fruits.
Note 6: The twelve different fruits of the Tree of Life will appear one per month throughout the year. This is perhaps a strong clue that in the beginning the original year (comprised of 360 days made up of twelve 30-day months) will be restored at this time. It is rather reasonable to conclude that both the earth’s orbit and spin were altered at the time of the Flood thus affecting both the length of the day and the length of the year to a small degree. At present we still have twelve unequal months, nonetheless. Twelve months – One year.
Note 7: The phrase “a new song” appears seven (7) times in the Book of Psalms. The Lord undoubtedly had praise and worship in mind when He created music. While there are seven notes in a standard music scale, when we count all ‘halftones’ there are exactly twelve (12) total tones before reaching the next octave. This is called the ‘chromatic scale’ in music. One scale – twelve tones.
These are but a few of the many examples in Scripture and in our world that demonstrate how the Lord has built the number twelve (12) into His Creation to reflect His Divine Sovereignty.
While there is no magical or mystical property to numbers or mathematical arrangements (i.e. no ‘numerology’ or mathematical ‘sorcery’), the Lord does use specific numbers and patterns of numbers throughout His Word and His Creation to place His ‘Signature’ upon His Handiwork. Furthermore, as His Word challenges us, there is great reward for those who “diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Hebrews 12:2 calls Jesus the “author and finisher of our faith”. He has, in fact, written His very Name upon all that He has created; for it is His sincere will “that not any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”.
In His Love,
Dr. Jack L. Burton
While this article does explain one of the many ways in which the Lord has incorporated Himself into His creation by means of a foundational geometric construct, it is in no way intended to promote or support the idea of ‘sacred’ geometry or ‘symbology’ in the manner of masonic and other similar erroneous teachings.
(1) Dictionary.com: tetrahedron
(2) Piano-Keyboard-Guide.com: Keyboard Layout
(1) Answers in Genesis: Is Math Just a Tool?
- The Numerical Bible. The Bible Truth Press. New York. 1897. The Psalms. Appendix II.
- A similar, but incomplete picture of God’s Glory along with the Facets of the yet-to-be-revealed Lord Jesus is found in Ezekiel 1:3-3:21.
- This last phrase is a reference to believers only – though there are other ways in which God is in all mankind which is beyond the scope of this article).
- All Bible quotes in this article are taken from the KJV.
- Bible passages in double quotes (“) appear exactly as found in the KJV.
- Bible passages in single quotes (‘) have been modified for emphasis or ease of reading only (such as capitalization of pronouns referring to God, bolded text, or modernized punctuation, etc.) without altering the actual wording of the text.