Jehovah`s Witness/EG - Messenger of Jehovah
Hi, I just want your insight, what would be your counter argument regarding the below reasoning.
The “Malek YHWH” (which is Hebrew for messenger of God or Angel) who spoke to people in the OT was supposedly God himself; hence in the accounts when the messenger(s) of God speaks, he speaks in first person. The reasoning goes on like this, whenever an account shows a messenger of God (Angel) speaking in the OT it is in fact Jesus, with the exception of the account of Soddom and Gomorrah where the three men who destroy the city are in fact the Father, Son and Holy Spirit the triune God (same goes for the three men appearing to Abraham, for example;
(Genesis 32:24,30) “…Finally Jacob was left by himself. Then A MAN began to grapple with him until the dawn ascended… Hence Jacob called the name of the place Pe•ni′el, because, to quote him, “I have SEEN GOD FACE TO FACE and yet my soul was delivered…”
The reasoning carries on that the title “Angel” does not fit the description of Malek but is rather a mistranslation due to ignorance, even though the term Angel is an accepted term for the spirit beings whom God created. Therefore they say Malek should not be translated Angel but rather messenger of God. They then link Jesus being the Word of God as the Messenger of God (Malek).
Their main scriptural evidence they try to use is found in Exodus 14:19, compared with 1 Corinthians 10:1-4. They say that the Malek YHWH that led them “was the Christ”.
To date I can only think of a handful of counter arguments against these points. Firstly that scripture plainly states that “no one has seen the Father at anytime”, this shows that the Father, couldn’t off appeared to Abraham or lot along with the Son and HS since it plainly states no one has seen him.
My other argument I is the use of parallel accounts of people whom have been sent to relay a message speaking in first person as if they are the person who sent them. (E.g. Matthew 8:5,6 compared to luke 7:2,3) Therefore it isn’t wrong to understand accounts such as ‘angel(s) appearing to Abraham , destroying Soddom, or even grappling with Jacob, as spirit beings and not Jesus.
The only other counter argument I can think of is that by definition a Messenger ‘of’ somebody cannot be that person himself. Therefore Malek YHWH cannot be Jesus based on the Trinitarian belief that Jesus is God and therefore cannot be his own messenger.
As Jehovah’s Witnesses we could also understand Jesus to be the Malek YHWH in some cases, for example he may have been the angel that appeared in the thornbush, he may be the angel that led Israel and also grappled with Jacob, yet these are meant to be understood with a pinch of salt. Also the fact that we don’t believe in a trinity makes sense that Jesus could be Malek YHWH in some of those accounts, however switch Jesus as God himself and you come up with problems, as I’ve already shown.
So again, what would be your counter arguments as to why Jesus being the Malek YHWH based on the Trinitarian mind frame cannot be God, most importantly what is your insight showing how Malek YHWH speaking as if Jehovah not proof that he is Jehovah.
Thanks for your input in advance brother.
Excellent explanation my Brother!!! I couldn't have said it better.
And as a follow to your last statement, namely this: "how Malek YHWH speaking as if Jehovah not proof that he is Jehovah".
Correct, it's NOT PROOF at all that the messenger of/from God (Malek or mal•ʼakh′) that spoke to Abraham and Sarah, to Lot, Jacob or to Moses, etc was Jehovah himself. It can't be for the simple unchangeable fact that God himself said:
"You cannot see my face, for no man can see me and live.”
Otherwise God's word will be meaningless and worse, a lie, which is impossible to occur for "God cannot lie.
" (Titus 1:2)!
So by this statement alone we can rest assured that it is true!
That no man (physical/corporeal) can SEE God and live!
But just in case someone still doubt the truthfulness of what God had said himself, we can add what you've already quoted where Jesus himself said:
“Not that any man has seen the Father, except the one who is from God; this one has seen the Father.”
So by the testimony of "two witnesses" the matter is established! (Deut 19:15)
But for the sake of those who still doubt, let's take a look at what happened to Moses so as to put it to rest.
So the question is:
Did Moses really spoke to Jehovah God "face to face" / "mouth to mouth" as if Jehovah (the Creator of the Universe and everything in it) was PHYSICALLY in front of him?
That Jehovah God, the Almighty God was in BODY with Moses?
Well, let's see:
The scripture says:
“When Jehovah saw that he went over to look, God called to him out of the thornbush and said: “Moses! Moses!” to which he said: “Here I am.” Then he said: “Do not come any nearer. Remove your sandals from your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy ground.” He went on to say: “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at the true God.” (Exodus 3:4-6)
So who was it that said "Moses! Moses!"
“Then Jehovah’s angel
appeared to him in a flame of fire in the midst of a thornbush. As he kept looking, he saw that the thornbush was on fire, and yet the thornbush was not consumed.” (Exodus 3:2)
Yes, it was Jehovah's angel who appeared and spoke to Moses!
That is, Jehovah God, although not PERSONALLY present spoke to Moses through his representative - his angel!
And this is further confirmed for us by Steven when said:
““This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel: ‘God will raise up for you from among your brothers a prophet like me.’ This is the one who came to be among the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him
on Mount Si′nai and with our forefathers, and he received living sacred pronouncements to give us.”... “you who received the Law as transmitted by angels
but have not kept it.”” (Acts 7:37, 38, 53)
Yes, again, "the angel who spoke to him
on Mount Si′nai and with our forefathers..."
"...the Law as transmitted by angels
Continuing, here's one or two of the apostle Paul's own testimony, he said:
“For if the word spoken through angels
proved to be sure, and every transgression and disobedient act received a punishment in harmony with justice,” (Hebrews 2:2)
“Why, then, the Law? It was added to make transgressions manifest, until the offspring should arrive to whom the promise had been made; and it was transmitted through angels
by the hand of a mediator.” (Galatians 3:19)
So, clearly it is Jehovah God's "messenger (Malek)" that spoke to men/women "face to face"
and NOT Jehovah himself in BODY.
Otherwise it's a contradiction of God's own words that:
"You cannot see my face
, for no man can see me and live.” (Exodus 33:20)
Besides God doesn't have a physical body but a spiritual, incorporeal, invisible one, for "God is a spirit" (John 4:24).
So a fool is he who will argue against these facts.
But noteworthy also is this, that whenever Jehovah's personal "messenger (Malek)" appears, God's glory is manifested throughout and about. A clear indication that the angel is indeed representing Jehovah!
Notice an example of this, when the message of the Messiah's birth was declared by one of Jehovah's angel, the Bible says:
“Suddenly Jehovah’s angel stood before them, and Jehovah’s glory gleamed around them
, and they became very fearful.” (Luke 2:9)
"Jehovah’s glory gleamed around them" it says.
And this manifestation of God's glory was very evident after Moses spoke with Jehovah "face to face" (through an angel) because he (Moses) emitted rays afterwards(Ex. 34:29, 30, 2 Cor 3:7)
Hence, we can clearly see (with our minds eye) as to why Abraham greeted and addressed one of (the three) angels that met him as Jehovah. He addressed him as Jehovah because he undoubtedly reflected Jehovah God's glory! That is, this angel was radiant - in comparison with the two.
Another perfect example of this is Jesus who perfectly reflected and manifested God's glory!
As the scripture tells us:
“He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power. And after he had made a purification for our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3)
So we can go on and on and every event, every instance upon closer study and analysis coupled with proper CONTEXT - the "thing" is revealed and made clear.
Hence, on this basis, the trinity doctrine falls flat on its face. The OT/NT doesn't support the Trinitarian concept but rather debunks it!
But if they insist that the angels that spoke to men and women was/is Jehovah, then they've just turned God into a creation, an angel rather the Creator of all - who rightfully deserves Glory and Honor!!!
At times Jehovah God spoke to men and women through dreams, through visions and through inspirations by his holy spirit. But most of all he speaks to us through his Son the beloved, the leader of the Christian Congregation - Jesus Christ!
Write again brother! Anytime!