TRUHT FOR TODAY - BIBLICAL ESSAYS BY PASTOR PAUL MIZZI

Christ: the Angel of Godís presence

The Angel of God's Presence, appearing often during the Old Testament, was the Lord Jesus Christ. How can we prove this?

The appearances of the Angel are mentioned only in the Old Testament; from the Incarnation onwards, though angels (created spirits) are mentioned in the New Testament, the Angel (Malak Jahweh) is not - an indication already that He is to be identified with Jesus.

The Angel of the Lord is a person whose characteristics are identical with those of Christ himself. The deity of the Malak Jahweh is proved as follows:

1. He is explicitly and definitely identified as God himself: Genesis 16:7ff,13; 18:2,10,13; 22:10-12,15-18; Exodus 3:2-6,14,18; Judges 2:1,5; 6:11,14,16.

2. He is confessed and recognised as God: Genesis 16:9-13; Judges 6:22-24; 13:21-23, cf. Genesis 32:24-30 with Hosea 12:4ff.

3. He is described in terms that befits God alone: Exodus 3:5f,14; Joshua 5:15.

4. He calls himself God: Genesis 31:11,13; Exodus 3:2,6,14.

5. He receives worship for himself: Joshua 5:14; Judges 2:4f. (mere angels, the holy angels, do not accept such worship).

6. He speaks with divine authority: Judges 2:15.

Furthermore, the Malak Jahweh is the Lord Jesus Christ (and not the Father or the Holy Spirit) when we consider the following:

1. He is distinct from God the Father: Genesis 21:17-20; 48:16; Exodus 23:20ff.

2. He is different from mere angels because He accepts worship that is due to God alone: Judges 6:14ff; cf. Revelation 19:20; 22:8ff.

3. He is called by a messianic title, while we know that the Messiah is Jesus of Nazareth: Judges 13:18; cf. Isaiah 9:6; compare also Exodus 3:14 with John 8:58.

4. He is described as the Redeemer, a description most befitting the Lord Jesus: Genesis 48:15f.; Isaiah 63:9.

5. He is announced as the angel (meaning messenger) of the new covenant: Malachi 3:1; cf. Exodus 14:19; 23:20ff; 32:34; 33:2,14f. with 1 Corinthians 10:4.

6. He is equivalent to Christ and like Christ in his dominion and authority: Joshua 5:13-15; cf. Revelation 19:11-16.

The conclusion is forceful and inescapable: The angel of God's presence is none other than Jesus Christ in his pre-incarnate dealings with his covenant people.