Thursday, March 7, 2019

I and The FATHER Are ONE

In the following two articles on the subject of "Who is The Angel of the LORD in the Old Testament?" will help the readers better understand the teaching of "The Deity of The LORD JESUS CHRIST" unlike the JW's heretic teaching of CHRIST as created being, archangel Michael.

"I and The FATHER Are ONE"


Article 1

As one reads the Old Testament, he will undoubtedly notice the mysterious references to the angel of The LORD. Is this an angel like Michael who was sent out by The LORD? Or is this some kind of manifestation of deity? Who is The Angel of The LORD?

Let’s initially examine the term angel (in Hebrew, mal’ak). This word can also be rendered as “messenger.” Mal’ak generally indicates one who is sent, a messenger or a representative. It can refer to human messengers sent by human officials (Gen 32:3) or by GOD (Isa 42:19) as well as to supernatural messengers sent by GOD. In reference to this latter group, it may refer to a created order of supernatural beings, angels (Gen 19:1, 15). The issue for us concerns whether this term can refer to the infinite supernatural Being, God. In order to prove that this term can refer to GOD, we will need to examine when it is used in connection with the phrase “of The LORD.” While this expression is used thirty-nine times in the Old Testament, we will examine two of these.

The first passage is found in Exodus 3:1–14. While tending the flock of his father-in-law at Horeb, Moses saw that a burning bush was not being consumed by the fire. As he approached the bush, v. 2 clearly states that The Angel of The LORD Appeared to him in the flames of the bush. It is stated in v. 4 that The LORD Spoke to him from within the bush. In v. 6 the Being in the bush further identifies that HE Was The GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As the conversation continues between these two, The Being in the bush announces HIS Name, “I AM WHO I AM” (v. 14). Thus, this passage indicates that The Angel of The LORD mentioned in v. 2 is clearly identified by HIMSELF and accepted by Moses as The Infinite GOD.

Zechariah 3:1–10 is our second passage. The content of Zechariah’s fourth vision focuses on Israel’s future cleansing from sin and reinstatement as a priestly nation. Verse 1 introduces the participants: “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before The Angel of The LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him” (NIV 2011). More specifically, these participants are Joshua the high priest, the antecedent of “he” is the interpreting angel (he is referred to in 1:9, 14, 19; 2:3; 4:1, 3, 5; etc.; in light of 1:9 the interpreting angel was apparently present to explain some of the details of these visions to Zechariah), the antecedent of “me” is Zechariah, The Angel of The LORD, and Satan. In this verse Joshua is described as standing before The Angel of The LORD, and Satan is pictured as standing at the right hand of The Angel of The LORD to resist him. With this introduction to the vision we should note that The Angel of The LORD Is the focal point around which the following context revolves.

The first half of v. 2 reads like this: “The LORD Said to Satan, ‘The LORD Rebuke you, Satan!’” In light of the participants mentioned in v. 1, we could read this verse in this fashion: “And The LORD, that isThe Angel of The LORD, Said unto Satan, ‘The LORD Rebuke you, Satan.’” Therefore, v. 2 identifies The Angel of The LORD as the LORD and indicates that there is a distinction between The Angel of The LORD and The LORD. This identification is further substantiated in v. 4. If we follow the context of vv. 2–4 carefully, we should notice that it is The Angel of The LORD WHO Forgives sin in v. 4. Since GOD Is The Only ONE WHO Forgives sin, it is readily apparent that The Angel of The LORD Is GOD. Consequently, this passage provides solid support for both The Deity of The Angel of The LORD and HIS Distinctiveness from The LORD.

Who is both Deity and yet a Distinct Person from The LORD? Since no one has ever seen GOD The FATHER (John 1:18; 1 Tim 6:16) and since The HOLY SPIRIT Never Takes on bodily form, this suggests that The Supernatural Being to which this expression refers is the Second Member of The TRINITY (also compare Exod 3:14 with John 8:58). 

Therefore, The Angel of The LORD Was a Temporary Manifestation of The LORD JESUS CHRIST in a preincarnate form. It is important to make a distinction between CHRIST'S Preincarnation and Incarnation. HIS Incarnation is a permanent union where GOD The SON Took on full humanity becoming The GOD-MAN. HIS Incarnation Began with HIS Miraculous Conception and will continue throughout eternity. CHRIST'S  Preincarnate Form was a transitory visible manifestation of GOD The SON. After HIS Incarnation, CHRIST Never Appears again as The Angel of The LORD. As we view The Angel of The LORD, we can see how GOD through progressive revelation provided data in the Old Testament for the Doctrine of The Trinity that is more completely elaborated upon in the New Testament.

Article 2

The (or An) Angel of The LORD (Hebrewמַלְאַךְ יְהוָה‎ malakh YHWH "messenger of Yahweh") is an entity appearing repeatedly in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) on behalf of GOD (YAHWEH).

The term malakh YHWH, which occurs 65 times in the text of the Hebrew Bible, can be translated either as "The Angel of The LORD" or "An Angel of The LORD". The King James Version usually translates it as "The Angel of The LORD"; less frequently as "An Angel of The LORD".

The Septuagint (LXX) sometimes uses ἄγγελος Κυρίου (An Angel of The LORD), sometimes ὁ ἄγγελος Κυρίου (The Angel of The LORD): in Genesis 16:7-11, it gives first the form without the Greek article, then, in all the subsequent mentions with the article,[2] as in the anaphoric use of the article.

The New Testament uses the term "Angel of The LORD" (ἄγγελος Κυρίου) several times, once (Luke 1:11–19) identified with Gabriel.

A closely related term is "angel of GOD" (mal'akh 'Elohim), mentioned 12 times (2 of which are plural). Another related expression, Angel of the Presence, occurs only once (Isaiah 63:9).

The appearances of the "Angel of The LORD" are in fact often presented as theophanies, appearances of YHWH himself rather than a separate entity acting on his behalf. In Genesis 31:11–13, "The Angel of GOD" Says, "I AM The GOD of Beth-el". In Exodus 3:2–6 "the angel of YAHWEH" (מלאך יהוה) Appeared to Moses in the flame of fire, and then "YAHWEH" (יהוה) Says to him: "I AM The GOD of thy father". 

Compare also Genesis 22:11Judges 6:11–22. At times The Angel of The LORD Speaks in such a way as to assume authority over previous promises (see Gen. 16:11 and 21:17). According to the New American Bible, the visual form under which GOD Appeared and Spoke to men is referred to indifferently in some Old Testament texts either as GOD'S Angel or as GOD HIMSELF.

Angel of Yahweh

Examples of use of the Hebrew term מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה are found in the following verses, here given in the King James Version translation:
  • Genesis 16:7–14The Angel of The LORD Appears to Hagar. The angel speaks as GOD in the first person, and in verse 13 Hagar identifies "The LORD that Spake unto her" as "THOU GOD Seest me".

  • Genesis 22:11–15The Angel of The LORD Appears to Abraham and Refers to GOD in the first person.

  • Exodus 3:2–4The Angel of The LORD Appears to Moses in a flame in verse 2, and GOD Speaks to Moses from the flame in verse 4.

  • Numbers 22:22–38The Angel of The LORD Meets the prophet Balaam on the road. In verse 38, Balaam identifies The Angel WHO Spoke to him as delivering The Word of GOD.

  • Judges 2:1–3. An Angel of The LORD Appears to Israel.

  • Judges 6:11–23. An Angel of The LORD Appears to Gideon, and in verse 22 Gideon fears for his life because he has seen An Angel of The LORD face to face.

  • Judges 13:3–22The Angel of The LORD Appears to Manoah and his wife and, in verse 16, Differentiates HIMSELF from GOD ("And The Angel of The LORD Said unto Manoah [...] if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto The LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was An Angel of The LORD.")

  • Zechariah 1:12The Angel of The LORD Pleads with The LORD to Have Mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah.

  • Zechariah 3:4The Angel of The LORD Takes away the sin of the high priest Joshua.

The Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint translates the Hebrew phrase מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה as ἄγγελος Κυρίου, "Angel of The LORD" or as ὁ ἄγγελος Κυρίου, "The Angel of The LORD". "Owing to the Hebrew idiom, this may mean no more than 'An angel of GOD', and the Septuagint renders it with or without the article at will."[5]
The KJV and NKJV capitalize "Angel" in the Old Testament references to "The Angel of The LORD", while using lower-case "angel" in the Old Testament references to "An  Angel of The LORD" (and in the New Testament references). Most versions, including NASBRSVESV, etc., do not capitalize "angel" in the mentions of "angel of The LORD".

Angel of Elohim

The term "Angel of GOD" (Heb. mal'akh 'Elohim) occurs 12 times (2 of which are plural). The following are examples:

Exodus 23:20-21
. The LORD Says HE Will Send An Angel before the Israelites, and warns them to obey The Angel's voice, and that The Angel "will not pardon transgressions" because The LORD'S "name is in him".In addition, there are mentions of GOD "sending an angel", of which the following are examples:

  • Exodus 33:2. GOD Says HE Will Send an angel before the Israelites, and that GOD Will Drive Out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

  • Numbers 20:16. The LORD Sent an angel and brought the people of Israel forth from Egypt.

  • 1 Chronicles 21:15. GOD Sent an angel to Destroy Jerusalem, but then repented and told the angel to stay his hand.

  • 2 Chronicles 32:21. The LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria.

Possible christophany

[The logic behind the] reading of JESUS into accounts of The Angel of The LORD Went deeper. Many Jews before and during the time of JESUS were deeply interested in angels. Some understood The Angel of The LORD as a Being completely separate from GOD—a sort of angelic vizier or righthand angel, who served as head of the heavenly host and in other important capacities, including as a Mediator between GOD and humans. 
Further, some Jews routinely appropriated language used in Scripture to describe The Angel of The LORD and used it to characterize certain of GOD'S Attributes, including GOD'S Word, Glory, Wisdom, Spirit, Power, and Name—almost as if these aspects of the Deity were themselves independent angels. 
In other words, quite apart from Christianity there was talk among ancient Jews of GOD'S Word, GOD'S Glory, and so forth in terms highly reminiscent of The Angel of The LORD. So, when early Christian authors like Justin Martyr connected JESUS with GOD'S Word and that Word, in turn, with The Angel of The LORD, they were not inventing from scratch so much as adding a new layer to well-established ways of reading Scripture.

The Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo identified The Angel of The LORD (in the singular) with The LOGOS.

In Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Louis Goldberg writes: "The functions of The Angel of The LORD in the Old Testament prefigure the reconciling ministry of JESUS. In the New Testament, there is no mention of The Angel of The LORD; The MESSIAH HMSELF Is this Person."

On the other hand, Knofel Staton says: "The idea that this Angel as CHRIST is unlikely for many reasons, which include the following: 

GOD Never Said to any angel (including The Angel of The LORD) 'YOU Are MY SON' (Heb 1:5) ..."; Ben Witherington says: "The Angel of The LORD Is just that – an angel. [... The Divine SON of GOD [...] was no mere Angel of The LORD, nor Did HE Manifest HIMSELF in some Observable Form prior to The Incarnation."

Jehovah's Witnesses teach that the angel who brought the Israelites into their promised land and would not pardon transgression because GOD'S Name Was in HIM (Exodus 23:20-21) Was "GOD'S Firstborn Son", The Pre-existent CHRIST, also called the archangel Michael, the Prince of the people of Israel mentioned in Daniel 10:21, a created being called "The SON of GOD" because created with qualities like those of HIS FATHER.

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