Is "The Angel of The Lord"?
Believe It Is Clearly the Lord Jesus
Pastor John Hamel
In the Holy Bible there are no less than
forty-four appearances of God to human beings. Throughout the course
of human history, God has
continued to appear or to visit human beings.
of the ways God visits humanity is through the Person of the Lord Jesus
are studying the Bible Doctrine of Angelology and it is time to answer the
question “Who is the Angel of
the Lord?” I am going to make some very straight forward
comments about who I believe He is, but I am not going to be dogmatic.
You may see it differently than I do and that is your right.
I believe the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament, and only as He appears
in the Old Testament, to be Jesus Christ appearing in the form of an
There are approximately
forty references to “The Angel of God”
in the Bible. There is no way we
can look at them all in one lesson. However,
we can look at some of them and I believe by the end of this lesson you
will possibly believe like I believe - that Jesus Christ appeared throughout the Old
Testament in the form of an angel.
"The Angel of The Lord”
Right here in Genesis
chapter 16 Sarai became so jealous of Hagar, who was carrying Abram’s
child in her womb, that she ran pregnant Hagar off into the desert.
The Angel of the Lord visited Hagar there.
“And the angel of
the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain
in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou?
and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress
Sarai. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and
submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I
will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for
multitude. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with
child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the
Lord hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be
against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in
the presence of all his brethren. And she called the name of the Lord that
spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked
after him that seeth me?” (Genesis 16:7-13)
Here, in verse 10, the Bible
clearly reveals that God is the Angel of the Lord because only God can
"multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for
in verse 13, Hagar called the angel "God" and He allowed her to do so.
Angels do not allow men to call them "God" or to worship
them. (Revelation 19:10)
“Now Moses kept the
flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the
flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain
God, even to Horeb. 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.” (Exodus 3:1-4)
Here again God appears as the Angel of the
In verse two we read, "And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a
flame of fire out of the midst of a bush..."
Later, in verse four, we
read, "God called unto him out of
the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses."
Angel of the Lord in verse two is revealed as "God" in verse four.
Gideon had a similar
experience where the Angel of the Lord appeared to him. (Judges 6:11-23)
also appeared to the
Prophet Elijah as the Angel of the Lord. (1 Kings 19:5-7)
The “Angel of God”
Hagar returned to
Abram and Sarai’s tent as the Angel of the Lord instructed and gave birth to Ishmael.
Once again Sarai rejected Hagar
and forced her and the child Ishmael back out into the extreme cruelty of
the desert. After a short while they ran out of
food and water. Hagar then placed the child under the shade of a shrub and sat down to die.
“And God heard the
voice of the lad; and the angel of God called Hagar out of heaven, and said
unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of
the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for
I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well
of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad
drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness,
and became an archer.” (Genesis 21:17-20)
Notice this time it
is "the Angel of
God" - not "the Angel of the Lord," who reappears to
Hagar. He told her, “I will make him (Ishmael) a great nation.” (Verses 17-18)
Angels do not make great nations come from
people. Only God can do
Also, verse 19 says,
“God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.”
What could be more clear? The Angel of God Who came to her was
God Himself, transforming Himself into an angel.
I believe the Angel of the Lord and the Angel of God were both Jesus
appearing as an angel. He
did this frequently throughout the Old Testament.
This same “Angel of
God” appeared to Manoah and his pregnant wife several times.
These were the parents of the Prophet Samson. This
Angel of God is referred to twelve times in the thirteenth chapter of Judges.
He is also called the “Angel of the Lord,” “Angel of God” and “Man
of God.” However, I want to look
at verse 22
“But the angel of
the Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that
he was an angel of the Lord.  And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall
surely die, because we have seen God.  But his wife said unto him, If
the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt
offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us
all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as
these.” (Judges 13:21-23)
First, in verse 22, we see Manoah
referring to the angel as actually being “God.”
thought he would die for looking at God because during this period of human
history Hebrew people were very superstitious and believed that looking at
God brought with it an automatic death sentence.
But this was not true.
there are at least forty-four appearances of God to human beings in
Scripture. Never once did anyone die
for looking at Him.
as Manoah's wife said, the Angel of God
received their offerings. Angels do not receive offerings because they do not
Angel of God received their offerings because He was indeed God.
believe this angel was Jesus Christ.
“An Angel” and “Mine Angel”
“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, and the Hivites, and the
Jebusites: and I will cut them off.” (Exodus 23:20-23)
Here the Law was
being given by God to Israel. God was
giving them personal instruction. He said, “I send an angel before thee … obey his voice
... or he will not pardon
your sins for my name is in him.”
every Believer in the Bible knows that angels cannot forgive sin. Only God can forgive
sin through Jesus.
we clearly see that it is God who is doing the
talking. He could only be referring to
Jesus when He said, "Behold, I send an angel before thee..."
because He also said, "My Name is in Him."
Jesus is the only One to Whom God has given His
Name. Only Jesus has the full
authority of God's Name within Him. (Colossians 1:19; 2:9)
When God commissioned
Moses to lead Israel into the Promised Land, He said, "Mine Angel"
would go before Moses. (Exodus 32:33-34) I
do believe that God was referring to His Son, Jesus, appearing once again as an
issued a decree that all under his rule were to bow down and worship a
ridiculous golden image which he had manufactured. Anyone who refused
to do so was to be punished by death.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego
refused to obey the king's decree, refusing to worship the golden image and were
immediately thrown into a fiery furnace.
The furnace had been heated to such a degree that the soldiers
who threw these three Hebrew young men into the fiery furnace perished while
Nebuchadnezzar looked inside the fiery furnace and noticed things were not going
quite according to his evil plan.
“He answered and
said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they
have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then
Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and
spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most
high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego,
came forth of the midst of the fire. And
the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being
gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power,
nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor
the smell of fire had passed on them. Then
Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted
in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that
they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.” (Daniel
obviously, to me at least, this is once again Jesus Christ
appearing in the form of an angel whom King Nebuchadnezzar referred to as “His
(God's) Angel.” I believe it was Jesus Who was in that
fire with them, protecting them. This is
the narrative from which Oral Roberts preached his great message “The Fourth Man.”
God just might not deliver you from
every fiery furnace you face in life, but Jesus will enter into the fire
with you every time and bring you out without even the smell of smoke
on you. This is clearly revealed in Psalm 66.
hast caused (Hebrew: "allowed") men to ride over our heads; we
went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a
wealthy place." (Psalm 66:12)
“The Lord hath also
a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will
he recompense him. He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his
strength he had power with God: Yea, he had power over the angel, and
prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his
memorial.” (Hosea 12:2-5)
Here Hosea refers to
the night Jacob wrestled with God back in Genesis 32:28.
Notice, Hosea said Jacob had
both "power with God" and “power over the angel."
Hosea referred to the same person as "God" and "the
Now, of course, God let Jacob win, but only because He knew Jacob
would wrestle with Him to the death. As
a result of that battle of wills, God changed Jacob’s name to “Israel.”
Jacob means “usurper,
thief and manipulator.”
means “prince with God.”
confirmation that this angel was God is given by Jacob in Genesis 32:30
where he said, “I’ll call this place Peniel because here I have seen God
“Angel of His Presence”
“For he said,
Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour.
In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence
saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them,
and carried them all the days of old. But
they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be
their enemy, and he fought against them.” (Isaiah 63:8-10)
Again, there is no
need to be dogmatic here, but this appears, to me at least, to be Isaiah's prayer and
prophecy of the coming Redeemer.
Verse eight clearly refers to
this angel as
Israel's “Savior.” That, of course,
would be a reference to Jesus Christ.
Verse nine, still referring to
Israel's Savior, refers to the “Angel
of His Presence.”
must not emphatically insist that all of these references we have seen about God’s
Angel are referring to Jesus. I
happen to believe they are, but I am open to further revelation.
one thing I will insist upon is
whether or not Jesus became an angel multiple times throughout the Old Testament, He did
come to us in the form of a man in the New Testament. He is
still a human being and He will always be a human being, although now He is
a perfected human being.
“For verily he took
not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore
in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he
might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to
make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath
suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”
Jesus became a man so
He could understand how we feel when we are suffering, hurt, scared, tired
or just flat out want to quit. Angels do not
hurt, they fear nothing, they never get tired and they never want to quit.
Therefore, in the New Testament, Jesus
had to become a man, not an angel, in order to
perfectly understand man.
as I said, I personally believe that
every reference in the Old Testament to “The Angel of the Lord,” “The
Angel of God,” “His Angel,” “Mine Angel” and “The Angel of His
Presence” are all references to Jesus appearing as an angel.
appearing as an angel in the Old Testament
to assist humanity was a part of His
ultimate plan to become a human being and
to pay the penalty for human sin.
the Earth to a human being named Adam. Adam
turned around and gave
it to the devil through disobedience.
God had no true authority to come and take
it back. A man gave it to the devil and only
a man could take it back from the devil.
God sent His Son in the form of a man to get the job done. This
is why Jesus is called the “Second Adam”
or the "last Adam." (1
while awaiting His perfect opportunity to avail Himself of a
virgin birth, Jesus would often find legal expression in the Earth as an
angel in order to assist struggling humanity.
is a tremendously outstanding revelation of God's great love for His fallen man.
One New Testament Reference to Jesus as “The Angel of God”
We see only one
reference to Jesus in the New Testament as “The Angel of God.”
is found in Acts chapter 27 where Paul was imprisoned onboard a ship bound
for Rome. A major storm arose
during their travels that
lasted for two full weeks. There was
great fear amongst the 276 lives onboard the ship. However, the Angel
of God appeared to Paul in either a dream or a night vision with a
“And now I exhort
you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among
you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of god,
whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought
before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore,
sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God that it shall be even as it was
told me.” (Acts 27:22-25)
Notice Paul said,
“… the angel of God whose I am and whom I serve.”
Paul was not owned by an angel.
Paul was owned by God.
did not serve angels. Paul served God
Paul said an "angel of God" stood beside him to assure him of
also made the statement that he believed it would be as
"God" had shown him in the same revelation.
referred to the "angel of God" and "God" as the same
believe, is one final Biblical example of Jesus appearing as an angel.
Will Once Again Appear as an Angel
“And another angel
came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given
unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all
saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of
the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before
God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it
with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices,
and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” (Revelation 8:3-5)
Here in the Apostle
John's last days revelation, he saw an angel come with a golden censer to
offer incense with the prayers of the Saints before the Throne.
In closing I would
like to share why I believe the angel with the golden censer is Jesus Christ
Number one. Only Jesus can offer the prayers of the
Saints up before
Number two. Only the
High Priest in the Old Testament was allowed to handle the golden censer.
(Leviticus 16:12) The High
Priest was a “type” of Jesus and Jesus
is the ultimate fulfillment of the High Priest's Ministry. I believe that even in Heaven
Jesus, our High Priest, will be the only One allowed to handle the golden censer.
I believe that in John's future revelation of the altar within the
Temple the angel holding the golden censer is the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Jesus
Christ. (Hebrews 3:1)
References for Further Study
In Genesis 22:11-17,
the angel called Himself “God” to Abraham.
In Genesis 31:11-13,
the angel called Himself “the God of Bethel.”
In Genesis 48:16,
Jacob called the angel his “Redeemer.”
In Exodus chapters 3
and 4, when speaking with Moses, the angel continually referred to Himself
as “the God of your fathers.”
In Numbers 22:38,
Balaam referred to the angel of the Lord as God.
Moses used the term
“angel of the Lord” twenty-five times in his writings and he was always
referring to the second Person of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus cared enough about
humanity to come and visit this Earth as an angel while He was
working out His ultimate Plan of Redemption.
far and above that, He cared enough about you and me to supernaturally enter
into this Earth as a human being through the legal door of a woman’s womb.
He came as Heaven's Solitary Missionary.
He did this
to save us from eternal separation from His Father, to forgive our sins, to
heal our diseases, to prosper us and to empower us to tell those who have
not yet heard what we have learned about the Peace-Maker.
Be Blessed ... John and Barbara Hamel
to Be Born Again (Receive Christ as Your Savior)
to Receive The Holy Spirit & Power
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