In an earlier Post we covered the role of Angels and how they MANIFEST God.
In this post we will look more specifically at an angel who God appointed to lead the children of Israel during the Exodus.
Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off. (Exodus 23:20-23 KJV)
The Angel’s name is not mentioned here as in many other cases otherwise people will start worshipping the Angel as God. We find that the Angel represented or manifested God. God’s NAME was in him, implying he was acting and DECIDING on Behalf of God.
This Angel was also given the power to pardon transgressions and the people were to obey the Angels’ words.
The passage above and the ones we considered earlier should give us some insight into the heavenly realm.
We see this in early Exodus that an Angel appeared to Moses (not sure if he is the same Angel or a different Angel):
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. (Exodus 3:2-6 KJV)
From the above passage:
- An angel appears to Moses
- But GOD speaks
Here we see another angel bearing God’s name. Stephen speaks of this event thus:
And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, (Acts 7:30-31 KJV)
According to Stephen this Angel was to be Moses’ deliverer:
This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. (Acts 7:35 KJV)
by the hand of the angel
Further, it was an Angel who spoke at Mt. Sinai too and delivered the law:
This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.’ This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us. (Acts 7:37-38 ESV)
Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”(Acts 7:52-53 ESV)
So, we see how Angels manifested GOD, so also the son manifested God in the Flesh. Just as the Angel was not literally God and yet called himself God, so also the Son of God manifested his Father as a human being.
Jesus said I come in my Father’s name. This is not to be taken lightly but coming in God’s name does not imply he is God himself.
I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:43-47 ESV)
Moses wrote of the coming Jesus and not the then existing Jesus. During Moses’ time Jesus was still a mystery and a future prophecy. Jesus was not in heaven – God and his angelic creatures only abode in heaven at that time.
Jesus mentioned in his prayer (God’s do not pray to God’s):
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. (John 17:6 ESV)
Jesus’ role was to manifest God’s name on earth as a HUMAN. That is why he is the SUPREME EXAMPLE for men to follow. By following Jesus’ way of life we manifest God’s will in our lives.
Manifest in the flesh
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16 ESV)
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3:16 KJV)
Depending on the source of manuscript used for translation:
KJV uses “God” was manifest in the flesh
While Modern Translations (ESV, NIV, etc) refer to ‘earlier’ manuscripts which read “He” was manifested in the flesh.
While the focus of the blog is not to ascertain which translation is accurate but it should be noted ESV/NIV/KJV all are Trinitarian translations. So, if someone is meddling with something it is the Sincere and insincere Trinitarian.
Irrespective of the words used in the above translation Jesus was a manifestation of God in the flesh, not in the literal sense but in the spiritual sense. That is how he is a mediator whom God sent to redeem the world. Jesus taught God’s word through his actions and Jesus came to reveal God’s name to us.
Jesus taking on the title of God is not blasphemous as the Angels and other men of God took on the name of God. By taking on the name of God you do not become the literal God.
Jesus tries to educate you if you are willing to listen:
Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (John 10:34-36 KJV)
Jesus explains – what he meant was: that he was the ‘Son of God’!