The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush.
The Trinitarian Claim
Trinitarians claim that the "angel of the Lord" appearances are appearances of a "pre-incarnate" God the Son.
The Claim vs. The Facts
The Scriptural facts show us that the angel of Yahweh was in fact an angel, a messenger of Yahweh God.
The Problems with the Claim
1. Interpretation by Eisegesis and some Doublespeak to Spice it up
Once again, Trinitarians interpret with their imaginations rather than Scriptural facts. Here they imagine that this angel of the Lord is a pre-existent Jesus despite the fact they have no evidence which indicates they should think such a thing. In fact, it's even worse than this. They themselves will argue Jesus was not an angel yet here they claim Jesus is in fact the angel of the Lord. They are talking out of both sides of their mouth.
2. So the angel isn't an angel or what?
When it is realized that they insist Jesus is not an angel while yet claiming that Jesus is this angel of the Lord, Trinitarians then expect people to accept their ludicrous claim that this angel of the Lord is not an angel. They must do so because they also argue Jesus was not an angel (see Hebrews chapter one). So, we are expected to believe that this "angel of the Lord" is not really an angel but is actually God Himself, that is, God the Son. Even on the face of it their claim is ludicrous. They expect people to believe this angel is not an angel. Now if it was God Himself appearing, why on earth would the Scripture identify God as His angel? This Trinitarian claim makes absolutely no sense.
3. Stephen's Testimony
Trinitarians suppose this angel of the Lord really isn't an angel but God himself, specifically, God the Son. But the first Christian martyr Stephen testifies that this angel was in fact an angel.
After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush.
Stephen tells us clearly that the angel of the LORD was in fact an angel. Now let the reader stop and think for just one second. Doesn't it seem ridiculous to you that we would actually need to provide evidence to Trinitarians to demonstrate that the angel of the Lord was in fact an angel because they are claiming the angel of the Lord is not not an angel?
4. The angel of the Lord is an angel; the Son is not an angel
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus pre-existed as an angel. Trinitarians debate this Watchtower claim by insisting that Jesus is not an angel. But when it comes to this matter, Trinitarians are talking out of both sides of their mouth. On one hand, they insist Jesus was this angel of the Lord and on the other hand they are insisting Jesus is not and was not an angel. But as we have seen, Stephen testified plainly this was indeed an angel who appeared to Moses.
If the Son was not an angel, then this angel of the Lord is not the Son.
5. Yahweh is His Messenger?
The Hebrew word we commonly translate as "angel" simply means "messenger." Not only are we expected to believe the angel is not an angel. We are also expected to believe that Yahweh is His messenger. Yahweh is His messenger? It's absurd. Now consider the absurdity. Trinitarians are claiming that Yahweh is His messenger. How is this ever going to make any sense? The English word "angel" is simply an anglicized form of Latin angelus and Greek aggelos. These words mean "messenger" and that is what the equivalent Hebrew word here also means. The Hebrew literally reads, "messenger of Yahweh" or "Yahwehs' messenger.
Let the reader appreciate how absurd it is to suppose the Scriptures would identify Yahweh as His messenger. Why would you ever identify anyone's messenger as the One who sent that messenger? Is it not plain that it is absurd to confuse the Sender with the messenger He sent?
6. Scripture makes it clear that Yahweh is not His Angel/Messenger
The Scripture makes it abundantly clear that "the angel of the LORD" is not God Himself but His angel, His messenger.
When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD (YHWH) relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand!” The angel of the LORD (YHWH) was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 2 Samuel 24:16
Then the angel of the LORD (YHWH) said, “O LORD of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?” The LORD (YHWH) answered the angel who was speaking with me with gracious words, comforting words. Zechariah 1:12-13.
7. Hebrews 1:1-2
Hebrews 1:1-2 informs us that God did not speak to His people in a Son until the last days. This verse would be a meaningless statement if the Son had spoken to God's people in the Old Testament. Hence, we can be certain this was not the Son speaking to Moses. Not only do Trinitarians themselves argue that Jesus is not an angel, and the angel of the Lord is an angel, the Scriptures tell us that God did not speak to His people in a Son in Old Testament times. The Bible shows us the Son could not possibly be the angel of the Lord.
Analysis of the Facts
1. God vs. His Messengers
At Exodus 33:11, we are told that God spoke to Moses "face to face" in the Tent of Meeting. This language means God spoke to Moses as someone speaks to a friend. We also know the words "face to face" do not mean Moses saw anyone's face. This language is an idiom which means God spoke personally to Moses. He spoke to Moses "in person." We know this for certain this language means God spoke to Moses in person because in the next few verses (33:12-23) God tells Moses that he could not see His face and live. So He would not allow Moses to see his face. God spoke to Moses personally and the Bible makes it clear that Moses was unique in this respect (see Numbers 12:5-9). But we read in Scripture that an angel of the Lord appeared to several people. Because of this fact, we know that this cannot be God Himself. Otherwise, Moses' communications with God Himself was not unique as the Bible testifies.
2. God's Messengers deliver His messages
This isn't difficult. Yahweh sends His messengers to deliver His messages. He communicates through His messengers and makes Himself known through His messengers. He sends them to represent Him and to speak His words on His behalf. So when people encounter Yahweh's messengers they know they are hearing from Yahweh Himself because that is the purpose of His messengers and that is why He sent His messengers - to represent Him and speak His words - to deliver His messages. They speak in the name of Yahweh so when people respond to His messengers/angels, they are responding to God Himself who sent these messengers to speak His words, His messages, and speak on His behalf. Men are responding to what God Himself is saying to them because His messengers are sent to speak His words, to deliver HIS messages.
When the Scriptural facts are set before us, it is plainly obvious that appearances of Yahweh's messenger(s) are not appearances of Yahweh Himself. It is silly to suggest that Yahweh is His own messenger. Stephen also tells us this messenger/angel of Yahweh is indeed a messenger/angel. And we are plainly told at Hebrews 1:1-2 that God did not speak to His people in a Son until the last days which commenced at Jesus' resurrection. The claim that the angel of the LORD appearances are appearances of a pre-existing God the Son are obviously impossibly wrong.
Angels are intermediaries between God and men. The are God's messengers. The say what God sent them to say. When people hear one of God's messengers speak, they are hearing from God Himself through His intermediary who speaks the message God sent him to speak. So when men respond to that message, they respond to God Himself because it is God's words these messengers were sent to speak.
Created: December 22, 2017
Last Revision/Update: February 26, 2016