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Jesus and the Angel of YHWH

The New Testament identifies Jesus as the Angel. Remember, an angel is one who is sent without reference to the nature of the one sent.

When 1 Corinthians 10:1 is compared with Exodus 13:21, and Exodus 14:19, 24 the Angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. It goes on to say that ' the morning watch, YHWH looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud...'

Numbers 14:14 says that it was YHWH who was among the people. And Psalm 78:14 says that '...he led them with the cloud by day and all the night with a light of fire.'

It was the Angel who accompanied the nation and the New Testament says that it was the Messiah who accompanied them. He was their spiritual rock. (1 Corinthians 10:4) The association seems clear:
Deuteronomy 32:3-4 and Deuteronomy 32:15, 18

Jude 5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus*, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

* The reading Ἰησοῦς/Jesus [enjoys] ...the strongest support from a variety of early witnesses (e.g., A B 33 81 1241 1739 1881 2344 pc vg co Or1739mg)... The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2005).)

Exodus 12:51 says that YHWH brought the people out of Egypt and yet...

Judges 2:1 says that the Angel of YHWH brought Israel out of Egypt

And 1 Corinthians 10:4-5, 9 says 'all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Messiah. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.... We must not put *Messiah/Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents.'

* Χριστόν (Christon, “Christ”) is attested in the majority of MSS, including many important witnesses of the Alexandrian (𝔓46 1739 1881) and Western (D F G) textvtypes, and other MSS and versions (Ψ latt sy co). The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2005).

Numbers 26:65 For YHWH had said of them, “They shall die in the wilderness.” Not one of them was left, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.

John 8:58

“εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἰησοῦς· Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι ἐγὼ εἰμί.” (John 8:58)
הֵשִׁיב לָהֶם יֵשׁוּעַ׃ ״אָמֵן אָמֵן אֲנִי אוֹמֵר לָכֶם, בְּטֶרֶם הֱיוֹת אַבְרָהָם, אֲנִי הוּא.<\p>
"So the Judeans said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple." The lead up to his statement is this:

“So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.”” (John 8:19) “And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.” (John 8:23) ““I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”” (John 8:38)

Jesus took their statement to another level. Not only had he seen Abraham but he was in existence not just before Abraham (which would read ἤμην - ‘I was’) but eternally ‘ἐγὼ εἰμί’.

Notice that their response was to pick up stones to throw at him just as in John 10:31 where we are explicitly told their response was to his perceived blasphemy “For a good work we do not stone you, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make yourself out to be God.”

What does Torah say about blasphemy? “‘Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him...” (Leviticus 24:16).

So in John 8:59 their response to his claim was to try and stone him.

John 8:58 reads '...πρὶν (before) Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι (was/existed) ἐγὼ εἰμί (I myself am/exist).'

The Greek version (LXX) of the Torah (circa 250 BC) translates "אני הוא" in Deuteronomy 32:39 as "‘See now that I am (ἐγώ εἰμι), And there is no god besides Me..." Isaiah 41:4 "‘I, יהוה , am the first, and with the last. I am he (ἐγώ εἰμι)’ "

And Isaiah 43:10 reads

““You are My witnesses,” declares יהוה, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He (ἐγώ εἰμι)...”
Compare this with the words of Jesus to John in Revelation 1:7:

"When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am (ἐγώ εἰμι) the first and the last..."
Revelation 22:13, 16

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end... I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."
Also Isaiah 43:13, 46:4, 48:12. Isaiah 52:6 is interesting because there יהוה says:

"Therefore my people will know my name in that day. For I am (ἐγώ εἰμι/אני הוא), behold I, the one speaking."
There appears to be a subtle pointer here to Exodus 3:14.

In John 10:28-30 we read:

“...I give eternal life to them... and no one will snatch them out of my hand... and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. “I and the Father are one.”
Jesus claims to give eternal life and then puts himself on a par with the Father.

“The Judeans picked up stones again to stone him... “For a good work we do not stone you, but for blasphemy; and because you, being a man, make yourself out to be God.”
Notice it says they picked up stones again. John is referring back to John 8:59 and so tying the charge for both occasions. What did they see as the blasphemy then as well as on this occasion? Claiming deity.

"Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? “If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?"

Many interpret Jesus’ words as directed towards human rulers but a reading of the source, Psalm 82 shows that he is referring to the divine council in heaven who were judged for injustice (to whom the word of God came).

If that is the case then what Jesus is asserting is that Tanakh describes the divine council as ‘gods’ and so he too is God but not merely of the created heavenly class but as ontologically one with the uncreated, all powerful Most High Father. “If I do not do the works of my Father, do not believe me; but if I do them, though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”

He is not just elohim but, as stated in John 5, the unique Son of God.

“Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp.” (John 10:28–39)
They knew what he was claiming and that’s why they continued to try and take him.

Here is Psalm 82 “Elohim takes His stand in the divine assembly (עדת-אל); He judges in the midst of the gods (אלהים). How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? ...I said, “You are gods (אלהים אתם), And all of you are sons of the Most High. “Nevertheless you will die like men (כאדם תמותון) And fall like any one of the princes.”

Key points:

Not a hint of the Law of Moses, of Sinai, the nation or Torah, in the Psalm. Jesus points to the Tanakh’s acknowledgement of the existence of other elohim (also called malakhim and ‘sons of elohim’) in the heavenly court.

There are divine beings in the Tanakh but only one eternal Elohim who is יהוה and Jesus is one with this Elohim who is both יהוה and Father.

The other implication is that he is Lord of this heavenly council. The Tanakh points to one who is Angel and yet God.

Some interpret certain uses of elohim as meaning human judges but Heisler asserts, "However, neither judges nor elders are found in Exodus 21, and the Old Testament never uses the term elohim for human leaders anywhere else.

Many presume that Exodus 18 refers to the elders as elohim, but the text never makes that equation. Elohim there refers, as usual, to God. A comparison of Exodus 21:1–6 (אֶל־הָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים) with its parallel in Deuteronomy 15:12–18 further weakens this argument." (Michael S. Heiser, The Bible Unfiltered: Approaching Scripture on Its Own Terms (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2017), 63.) “The Jewish authorities got the message, too—they charged him with blasphemy.

Now ask yourself, why would they do that if all Jesus was saying was “you mortal Jews get to call yourselves sons of God, and אלהים, so I can, too.” That makes no sense at all.”

Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, First Edition. (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015)

Jesus also said:

“If I do not do the works of my Father, do not believe me; but if I do them, though you do not believe me, believe the works..."

Throughout John's Gospel works (ἔργα) refer to Jesus' powerful miracles in terms of God's salvation. They testify to his authenticity: “...for the works which the Father has given me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent me.” (John 5:36). Jesus works are the works of God (John 9:3). He was to accomplish God's work (John 4:34) and did complete the task (John 17:4) of bringing God's salvation (John 6:29).

God's work is Jesus' work and this claim resulted in another attempt to kill him: “But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” For this reason therefore the Judeans were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” (John 5:17–18).

It was the works which showed he was the divine Messiah (John 10:24-25). He is the source of eternal life and holds believers in the safety of his hand/power. In fact, to be in his hand is to be in the Father's hand. They are one. The context is clear (John 10:24-30). Again, the Judeans knew what he was claiming (John 10:31, 33). The works legitimize his claim (John 10:32):

““If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”” (John 10:37–38).
Again, they knew what he was claiming and tried to seize him (John 10:39). The works are proof of the unity of the Father and Son: ““Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.” (John 14:11).

In fact to reject the works of Jesus is to hate both the Father and Son (John 15:24).


The one who became a man is self-existing. The language John uses in chapter 1 makes a distinction between the one eternally existing as the Word and his becoming at a point in time, a man. The Word already existed ' the beginning', reflecting the words of Genesis 1:1 but the Word became human and lived a human life. Yet he claimed something which the religious leaders saw as blasphemy. In John 8:58 he used a phrase which is applied to God in Isaiah (אני הוא - Isaiah 43:13 et al) and is related to Exodus 3:14. 'I am' in this context was a claim to being eternal and only God is eternal.

They certainly got his gist. John 1:2 says that οὗτος (he) was in the beginning with God. Throughout John οὗτος is both personal and refers to a person. All things were created 'through him'. John states that he 'beheld' the glory of the λόγος in the person of Jesus. John's testimony of Jesus was that he existed before him, as the unique God who manifests the Father to the world.

The paradox is mind blowing. The eternal becomes temporal. The divine becomes a man - completely... but without ceasing to be self-existent. The immortal becomes mortal. The omniscient becomes limited. The omnipresent becomes focused in time and place. Yet God remains God. We see this throughout Tanakh.

The one who fills all things and is present in all time is manifest in one place and time. The God who is one is sender and yet sent. ““This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)

“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20) “οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ἥκει καὶ δέδωκεν ἡμῖν διάνοιαν ἵνα γινώσκωμεν τὸν ἀληθινόν, καὶ ἐσμὲν ἐν τῷ ἀληθινῷ, ἐν τῷ υἱῷ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ. οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ἀληθινὸς θεὸς καὶ ζωὴ αἰώνιος.”
To be in the Son is to be in God. In fact he is the true God.
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