This is a research paper I did for my Biblical Literature class. I think it’s also a good teaching opportunity on a debated topic. I may use it in a sermon or to teach a Sunday School class as well. Enjoy!
Throughout the Old Testament, the Angel of the LORD appears in various places to various people. The appearance of the Angel almost always preceded a major turn of events in Old Testament stories. We see this “Angel” in the book of Judges frequently. The identity of the Angel has long been debated. Some say this is just simply a messenger sent from God, but others argue this is a pre-incarnate form of Jesus Christ. Both sides have presented suggested evidence to support their theories. Most of the claims are based on grammatical usage in the text. Does the Bible ever directly tell us who the Angel is? What does the Biblical evidence say about the Angel?
The word “angel” comes from the Greek word, άγγελος. This means “messenger” or “one who is sent” (White, “Angel of the LORD: Messenger or Euphemism”, 299). We know that Jesus was sent directly by God as seen in John 8:29. It is important to note that the Angel of the LORD doesn’t speak in third person, as other messengers seem to do. The Angel speaks in first person as if he is God. Judges 2:1a is an example this: “The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land that I swore to give to your forefathers.” The Angel is talking as God and not just for God. This happens time and time again throughout the Old Testament. The Hebrew for angel and messenger is used 213 times in the Old Testament. The phrase for “Angel of the LORD” is used 48 times in 45 verses in the Bible. We also see people giving the Angel reverence that usually only God receives. For example, in Joshua 5:14-15 we find Joshua fall “facedown” and taking off his sandals before the Angel. (White, “Angel of the LORD: Messenger or Euphemism”, 300-301). This would imply that the Angel is more than just a messenger if Joshua is responding in worship to him.
In Genesis 18, Abraham gets three visitors. The text describes one of the three as “the LORD.” The other two are believed to just be angels. However, the text indicates that one of the men is God himself, a theophany (Pak, “BIB 110 Lecture Notes”, 22). If these people saw God face-to-face, why did they not die like God suggested in Exodus 33:20? The answer is simple. Either the Angel is not God or God came in the form of the Son (pre-incarnate). That would make this a Christophany in the Old Testament.
Daniel 3:25 also seems to have an appearance of Christ. King Nebuchadnezzar sees a fourth man in the fiery furnace after Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego was thrown in for not worshipping the image of gold. When Nebuchadnezzar sees the fourth man he exclaims, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” It is after that the Nebuchadnezzar seems to recognize the God of Israel as at least legitimate because he addresses the three men as “servants of the Most High God.”
Finally, we go to Exodus to look at the Angel appearing to Moses. In Exodus 3, the Angel of the LORD appears to Moses in a burning bush. The Angel actually says this in verse 6 which seems to be a clear hint of the Angel’s identity: “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (“Fire Bible”, 410).
The case against the Angel being Divinity doesn’t seem to be as strong. Again, the scholars that say the Angel was only a representative of God use grammar and other linguistic evidence, and custom in the text to support their theory. The main argument is that saying the Angel is deity creates a problem for monotheists, such as the Jewish audience of the Old Testament (López, “Identifying the Angel of the LORD in the Book of Judges…” 15). However, we see the Godhead at work from the beginning. The claim is that the text clearly distinguishes the Angel from Yahweh.
This research project has further confirmed what I already had a strong belief in. The appearances of the Angel of the LORD are indeed pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus Christ. The Biblical evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of this. I even believe that God told us exactly who the Angel is on more than one occasion. There are a few Christophanies in the New Testament, too. Even though none of them are described as “the Angel of the LORD,” Jesus is the one who appears. Take the example of Saul’s conversion to Christianity while on the road to Damascus. Jesus appears to Saul, later known as Paul, in the same dramatic way that the Angel of the LORD reveals himself in the Old Testament (Newman, “Israel’s God and Rebecca’s Children…”, 155). Christ’s appearance to Saul also brings about a major turn of events just like the Angel of the LORD did in the Old Testament. The people the Angel appears to also fall in worship when they realize who he is as well. Other angels told the people to not worship them. Along with the textual evidence, the Angel’s claims and messages indicate that the Angel of the Lord is actually a pre-incarnate Jesus Christ. God had a plan from the very beginning and he has always used the Son to fulfill the plan.
By Neil Anderson
By Neil Anderson
Have you ever had a disagreement with someone and “needed” to prove you were right? Or maybe you just needed to make sure that someone “gets it”. There is so much strife caused by these types of things.
No one likes to be wrong of course. But at what point do we concede the battle? I have a few thoughts about this, and keep in mind that the first person being spoken to here is myself.
I can be right or I can be loved.
I can win the battle and potentially hurt the other person, or concede the battle and focus on what is truly important…the relationship with that person.
I can put “me” first and thereby damage the relationship with the other individual or I can put them first and enjoy a better relationship with that friend, spouse, child etc.
I can hold on to perceived wrongs and cause injury to myself and the other person, or choose to let it go even though I may be right…and thereby free myself from much emotional torment.
Lord God help me to choose love over being right, to let go all those things I do not have to stand for. Lord help me to love others more than myself and You the most. In Jesus name, Amen
Written by: Josh Wiley
Bible verses that describe God’s love for us are some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy this list of inspirational quotes showing just how much God loves you.
Featured Bible Verse About God’s Love: Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God’s Love Shown Through Jesus Christ
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. who loved me and gave himself for me.
Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—
1 John 4:9-11 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
God Loves and Cares For Us
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Job 34:19 who shows no partiality to princes, nor regards the rich more than the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?
Psalm 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
What God Says About Love
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Respond To God’s Love Through Thankfulness
Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Colossians 2:6-7 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
Hebrews 12:28-29 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
Christian Quotes About God’s Love
When the time comes for you to die, you need not be afraid, because death cannot separate you from God’s love. ~ Charles Surgeon
Saving us is the greatest and most concrete demonstration of God’s love, the definitive display of His grace throughout time and eternity. ~ David Jeremiah
God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son. ~ Jerry Bridges
One of the greatest evidences of God’s love to those that love him is, to send them afflictions, with grace to bear them. ~ John Wesley
By Neil Anderson
By Neil Anderson
- Word of Faith (focusedandfree.com)
- I HAVE FAITH I KNOW THERE IS A GOD ~ SORRY YOU DON’T BELIEVE BUT I WON’T STOP BELIEVING By Christian author Elena Ramirez (howtohavefaith.wordpress.com)
Commentary by: Gordon King
Hello folks! May God bless you and fill you with his wisdom, courage and strength. For we are living in trying times, the times of the end of an age. This is a time for Christians around the world to wake up, take a stand and live for Christ. That’s what it means to be a Christian. We are the temple of God, therefore we must let God work through us with his Holy Spirit.
God loves us all so very much. He is our provider, counselor, healer and savior. We are his children. Together we form his church, his bride. We in turn must show our love for him. We must give him all of the glory and praise. Only he is worthy.
He has chosen us to be faithful. To live for him in love, truth, kindness, mercy and forgiveness. For the time is quickly coming when we will be riding on white horses, clothed in snow-white linens with Jesus in the clouds. Riding from heaven to earth to fight the enemies of God Almighty. He needs faithful and true servants to follow him into glory.
Stand up and proclaim the message of God. Spread the Word, the truth and the light. This is our command and our commission from God. This is the reason for our being. To spread God’s love and mercy in a lost world.
I know that I keep saying this, but time is so very short and the evil in our world is increasing daily. This is true. The return of Christ is close at hand. Let us awake from our slumber and serve our God. If you have walked away from God, then the time is now to turn around and run back to him with open arms. Run! Don’t walk…Run! He will embrace you with his love, forgiveness and in celebration!
Let us drink from living water, eat from the bread of life and rest our souls under the wings of the Lord. He is our shelter and our protector. He is always with us and will never forsake us.
The closer we get to God, the more the enemy will try to stop us. Stay strong and know that God is with you. Have faith in his power and words. For his words have life and his Spirit is strong. Keep the faith, put on the full armor of God. Be prepared for battle with the enemy.
We must expose the evil in the world, shine our light into the darkness! Spread the truth, the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Share the Spirit of God with all you meet. Give to the poor, feed the hungry, give water to those that thirst, comfort those in pain, visit the lonely, help the lame and infirm, bring peace to conflict. Show the fruit of the Spirit of God, share his love, kindness, mercy, forgiveness, peace, joy, gentleness and self-control.
We as Christians are the “Children of God”. We are the children of the “Creator of the Universe”. How awesome is that?! Think about that for a moment. We are made higher than angels. We shall judge angels! We will spend eternity with God Almighty! I cannot even imagine it, because I know that my mind cannot even comprehend what such a time, place or situation will be like. I think about it often, but it will be so much more wonderful, beautiful and magnificent then I could ever imagine! The overwhelming of love, joy, and peace. Incredible!
So be faithful to the one who has given you life. The one who has given you eternal life and everything that you have ever had or will have. God Almighty, Jesus Christ! My love pours out to you Lord. I know the love that the Lord has for us. I have felt it before. Overwhelming love, joy, peace and comfort. I have been anointed by God. I know what he means when he says that he is living water. I have felt that living water rushing through my entire being. It is better than words can even say. It must feel so much better when we are in heaven with him.
Love God. Praise God. Worship God. Follow God. Trust God. Believe God. Live for God.
If you are not yet saved, please read the prayer below and accept Jesus now!
- Do You Feel Empty, Suffering, Hopeless? I Have the Answer! (vineoflifenews.com)
- Brothers and Sisters in Christ (inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com)
- The answer is Jesus, by Karen Rowe Oct. 11, 2013 (fggam.org)
Copyright© πίστις 2013
Photo art courtesy of Darrell Creswell
Goodness, who defines that and what does it mean to be good anyway? If you go by the world’s definition of goodness depending on who you ask, the answers may surprise you.
The career thief thinks he is good, sure he steals but he does not ever hurt people so he is good right?
The mob enforcer thinks he is good; after all he takes care of his family and friends.
The pastor that is having an affair thinks that he is good; after all he really has helped many people.
Your neighbor down the street, you know the one…she talks about everybody behind his or her back. She thinks she is good; after all she only talks to lots of people…
How about that guy or gal in church, the one who loves people, enjoys helping others, is active in the church, donates to good charities…is he/she good? Well I think that person is pretty good, but does what I think or you think really matter?
Anybody can determine that they are good simply based on their own idea of good. Obviously this is rather meaningless. If you can look to yourself to define who you are, then there are no moral absolutes. You can then do anything you want to and still view yourself as a good person because you gave yourself the power to define what constitutes goodness.
This leads to rationalizing any behavior and believing that what you do is ok. Take for example Hitler, he probably thought he was a good guy; after all he was doing the world a favor by getting rid of the inferior people in the world right?
When we take it upon ourselves to define what is right and wrong, what is good and bad…we are walking down a road that is filled with deception. This is the wide road that leads to hell. Yes, I DID say HELL…if you are not ultimately accountable to Christ…hell is your eternal destination.
Do you define your own path because you do not want anything to do with that religious nonsense? I understand, I do not want anything to do with religious nonsense either…did I just say that? YES I did!
Forget about religion whether you are a Believer in Jesus or not. Religion is nothing but an unproductive battleground where you can waste lots of time. Many denominations insist that they have it right and the others are wrong etc. Well obviously someone has to be right, but it is not any religion.
Forget about religion and forget about any particular denomination. Having a preference in a church is fine, that is not what is being addressed here. I’m saying do not follow a particular denomination, or a certain pastor, or worship leader…whatever. Follow Jesus Christ first, last and always.
Back to goodness, what did the very Son of God who was and is God Himself have to say about goodness? Is it not what God thinks that is what matters?
What difference does it make what I say? Focus on what God says.
Mark 10:18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.
This not Jesus denying His own divinity as some suggest, rather He says that God alone is good…and Jesus claims to be (and is) God. Remember as well that Jesus refers to Himself as the “good” shepherd in John 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
So we see that the standard of goodness that matters is God’s standard…not ours. Trying to apply the worlds various definitions of goodness is not even logical, obviously as in the examples I gave above, not all those people could be good! So it logically follows that any definition of good made by the world is faulty and incorrect…for all you logical thinkers out there!
God’s standard of goodness, perfection. God is good because God is perfect. We are told to be perfect. Matthew 5:48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Obviously we are incapable of being perfect and God knows this. So what is the deal then? God tells us to do something He KNOWS we cannot do…does not make much sense does it? But surprise!…God has this one covered as well.
So how do we know we are not good anyway? Remember we are told to be perfect as God is perfect. God sets the standards for us in His Word.
The Ten Commandments are a great place to see just how imperfect we really are.
Have you ever lied? (You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor)
Have you ever stolen anything, even a pen from the office? That is stealing you know. (You shall not steal)
Ever had an affair? (You shall not commit adultery)
Have you looked with the green eyes of envy and desire at what your neighbor has that you want? Like that awesome car, boat, shop, or house, maybe even his wife or her husband? (You shall not covet)
Are you a sports fanatic? Does your hobby take up a lot of your life? (You shall have no other gods (idols) beforeme)
Ever said the word damn with God before it? How about being angry and saying Jesus Christ! (You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God)
Have you dishonored your parents in any way? (Honor your father and your mother)
There is not a person breathing that has not broken at least 3 of these commandments. Therefore we are not good and have sinned. So we have sinned, big deal! Yes actually it IS a big deal…
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is not referring to physical death because we will all die. Rather this refers to the fact that if you are not forgiven in Christ, you will spend eternity in hell separated from God forever. In other words, your spirit will be dead…permanently. Instead of God making you perfect…yes He will actually do this for those who love Him in the end, you will suffer forever in hell with Satan himself and the demons.
I mentioned earlier that God has all this covered; we cannot possibly be perfect obviously! Even if we have changed and are living a pretty good life, there are still those sins from the past to deal with, and no matter how good you are you are still sinning in some way.
If only God is good, and He is…then why not place your faith in Him? Why not trust in the Son of God the Father, Jesus Christ who is Himself God…to save you? What do you have to lose here???? NOTHING…you stand to gain a lot though.
Through giving your life to Jesus:
God the Father sees His own goodness in you through the Holy Spirit in you.
God the Father sees His righteousness through Jesus in you.
In other words, when you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God Himself lives in you, and wipes the slate clean and declares you to be an adopted son or daughter of God in good standing.
To be saved and have eternal life, one needs to pray and ask Jesus to forgive your sins, believe that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was and is enough to pay for your sins, believe that Jesus rose from the dead on the 3rd day and is even now alive and seated with the Father in heaven.
Your trust needs to placed in Christ, not yourself, and not anyone else in the world either.
However, all this being said…you cannot pray a prayer and then go back to living the way you always have and expect that you would be truly saved. Praying a prayer for salvation with no change in life will do nothing for you! We are NOT saved in any way by works, but we DO need to live lives that honor God. In other words, you cannot pray to receive Christ as your Savior and then sleep around and party every weekend and think you have eternal life through Jesus…you are deluded if you believe that.
Love to you all and may God bless you!
- People of The World Awake! Wake Up!!! Before it’s Too Late! – A Letter to Unbelievers (vineoflifenews.com)
- Jesus Christ (greaterislove.wordpress.com)
- Gospel message.  (goingalloutforjesus.wordpress.com)
- Proverbs 19:8 (kristiann1.com)