The Challenge of the Christian Theology and more …
/ Ewald Frank
13. The Lord visits His prophet
- Does all happen by chance?
- The time is near
- The only valid measuring rod
- The old dispute
- The testimony of historians
- History confirms it
- God’s confession
- God manifests Himself
- In heaven and on earth
- The Lord visits His prophet
- The »I am«
- Was the Son born in heaven?
- Spirit and Truth
- Very peculiar
- Respect for the Great Mystery
- Everyone defends his or her own doctrine
- The rock
- The Great Commission
- Thou shalt have no other gods …
- Believe as the Scripture says
- An unbelievable tragedy
- The end-time
- A challenge to all
- No one can bypass Jesus Christ
- New creation
- The Son and the sons and daughters of God
- The two beginnings
- The course of church history
- No man’s influence
In the Old Testament the Lord came to visit, in the New He came to be with us until the end of the world (Mt. 28: 20), as He promised, »I go away, and come again unto you.« (Jn. 14: 28).
According to Gen. 18 the Lord and two angels visited His servant Abraham, who suddenly saw three men approaching (v. 2). He addressed only one of them saying, »My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant.« (v. 3). The conversation took place between the Lord and Abraham, who served the heavenly visitors with an earthly meal, »… which he dressed, and set before them; as he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.« (18: 6-8). In the Old Testament the Lord took a bodily shape as the Son of man, eating and drinking with His friend Abraham.
In verse 16 we are told that the three men rose up and looked toward Sodom. The Lord remained with Abraham, His prophet (v. 17). He could not hide what He was about to do, for it is written, »Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants, the prophets.« (Am. 3: 7). The two angels, who are also called »men«, went on to Sodom (v. 22) and arrived at the city in the evening (19: 1). The teaching that these three men were the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost is blasphemy. The two angels were so much men and not God — that the ill-famed men in Sodom would have had their way with them (Gen. 19). It is tasteless and blasphemous to insinuate that the Son and the Holy Ghost would have been the desirable objects of the homosexuals of Sodom. Such teaching is the zenith of the Trinitarian blasphemy, causing loss concerning God’s holiness.
Every time the word »angel« is used, it comes from angelos , which means »messenger«. There are heavenly messengers who bring a message, and there are also human messengers who do have a direct commission from God (Hag. 1: 12-13 a. o.). In Rev. 2 and 3 we read seven times, »And to the angel of the church write,« when the Almighty gave a message, He also appeared as an Angel; as Lord He commands, as God He is worshipped.
In Exodus 3 the Prophet Moses records his supernatural experience at the burning bush. The one God Who is a consuming fire appeared as the »Angel of the Lord« in the flame of fire (v. 2). Three different terms are used in connection with this event, »Angel of the Lord«, »Lord« and »God«: »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.« (v. 4). Of course, only one was present: the Lord God, Who speaks of Himself, »And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians« (v. 8). He did so in a visible form, bringing the salvation message of deliverance.
At the giving of the law, as at the creation, the angels were present. This is repeated several times, »For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast …« (Heb. 2: 2a) and : »… who have received the law by disposition of angels« (Acts 7: 53). But Moses was only the mediator between »the angel who spoke to him in Mount Sinai« and the people (v. 7: 38). Although the angels were present, it was the Lord Himself Who spoke to Moses as the »Angel of the covenant«. »For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.« (Isa. 33: 22).
The same context must exist in Genesis 1. The »us« in the first chapter, »Let us make man in our image …«, prophets and apostles never interpreted to apply to different persons in the Godhead. Also the comparison of Spirit, Soul, Body equalling the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost never entered their mind. If somebody thinks so then, please, show me where? Paul writes , »… that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written …« (1 Cor. 4: 6b). Whoever goes beyond the written Word, stumbles and falls into the bottomless pit of his own thoughts.
The answer for the expression »Let us make …« is given by the Lord Himself and recorded in the Holy Scripture. The Lord asked His servant Job: »Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? … When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?« (Job 38: 4-7). The angels who are the created sons of God and all who are in heaven were present with the Lord God, when He created the earth and made Adam in His Own image. That is what the testimony of God’s Word says. Angels are created sons of God, who appear before him, »Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord« (Job 1: 6; Job 2: 1). In Genesis 11 the Lord uses the same wording »let us« in a humanly comprehensive form. In verse 7 we read, »Come, let us go down …« The Lord Himself was again accompanied by angels who were with Him and even appeared in Bethlehem at the time of His birth (Lk. 2: 8-14).
The Prophet Isaiah describes in chapter 6 that he saw the Lord sitting on the throne surrounded by the heavenly hosts, crying out, »Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts« (v. 3). In verse 8 he records the conversation the Lord had with the angels, »Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?«
In 1 Ki. 22 and 2 Chr. 18 we find the experience the Prophet Micah had when taken up in the spirit into heaven. He testifies, »I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.« (22: 19b). As the text clearly states, the conversation took place between the Lord and those angelic beings around Him. Angels are ministering spirits (Heb. 1: 14) who have bodily form. With the statement »Let us make …« the enemy has invaded humanity, has taken people from 4th century spiritually into Babylonian captivity and has distorted it in the minds and mouths of the scribes. In regards to all scriptural themes, spiritual confusion has run rampant similar to the natural experience of the tower of Babel. Scriptural terms remain, but were given another meaning. Is it not strange that from that time till now the religious church has put up buildings with steeples? In the first century of Christianity they had the synagogue-shape. The »us« is always in connection with the angelic beings who are with the Lord. After the Lord came forth victoriously from the temptation, angels ministered unto Him (Mt. 4: 11).
The Lord God walked in the garden and spoke with Adam whom He had created in His Own image. The image of God is the form of a man, which also is the image of the angels. This is overwhelmingly witnessed to by God’s Word. When the angel Gabriel was sent to Daniel, the Prophet records, »… behold, there stood before me one having the appearance of a man.« (8: 15b). »While I was speaking in prayer, even the man, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me …« (9: 21a). Cherubim and Seraphim are living creatures with wings, which constantly do praise God (Isa. 6: 2+3 a. o.).
The Prophet Ezekiel saw the Lord in the form of a man, sitting on His throne, »And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, like the appearances of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness of the appearance of a man above upon it.« (1: 26-28). John on the isle of Patmos also saw only one sitting upon the throne, Whom he could describe perfectly (Rev. 4). When did a prophet or an apostle ever see three divine persons on the throne? Never! John states, »He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.« (Rev. 21: 5).
Speaking of angels the text is often in the plural; of God always in the singular. »And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.« (Gen. 32: 1-2). He wrestled with God in the form of a man until the sun came up. The Lord even struck his hip, Jacob limped from then on. Jacob was changed through the experience with God and was called Isra-el, that means »God’s fighter«. And Jacob called the place Peni-el (=face of God); »… for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.« (v. 30). In Gen. 48, 15-16 he gives this testimony, »…God, before whom my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, did walk, the God who fed me all my life long unto this day, an angel who redeemed me from all evil …« The Prophet Hosea has also written about the special experience Jacob had, »… 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 spoke with us — even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial.« (12: 3b-5).
To follow God’s footprints in His many manifestations becomes more and more glorious for us. We have to know the goal connected to His various manifestations. In Ex. 23: 20-21, God said, »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.« As an angel He appears when bringing a message, therefore He is also called the »Angel of the covenant« (Mal. 3: 1; Acts 7: 30-38) and the »Angel of His presence« (Isa. 63: 9). God personally appeared to His people as the Angel of the covenant : »And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up from here.« (Ex. 33: 14-15). Thus the Lord God Himself speaks of Himself. In the last prophecy concerning His first coming we are told in Malachi 3: 1, »Behold, I will send my angel (»messenger«), and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the Angel of the covenant, whom ye delight in.« John the Baptist was the messenger, the forerunner who prepared His way, as Malachi and Isaiah had prophesied (Mt. 11: 10; Mk. 1: 1-3 a. o.), and Jesus Christ is the Lord, the Son of God Who established the New Covenant and shall in due time come to Israel as the Angel with the rainbow over His head signifying the covenant, according to Rev. 10.