An Angel Worshipped.

Many places in the Old Testament speak of an angel that receives worship. How can this be? It is also stated that no angel can receive worship, which belongs to God alone. One angel named Lucifer was expelled from heaven for trying to receive such worship.

One unusual “angel” –the Angel of the Lord—is different from all others in that this angel received worship. Two specific examples are given which help explain this mystery.

Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, MY LORD, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. Genesis 18:1-3.

The three men were two angels (19:1) and the Lord (13,17)this is what is called a theophany (a visible manifestation of a deity).

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was not consumed…So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Exodus 3:2,4. In this beautiful example, the flame of fire was the glory of God’s presence, the Shekinah, which transformed everything and everyone it touched.

But how could Abraham and Moses as well as others in the Old Testament have seen God face-to face- and lived since Scripture clearly states the contrary (Ex.33:20)?

The answer is, because they saw the Son of God in a preincarnate form, known in the Old Testament as the Angel of the Lord—the “Messenger (Angel) of the covenant.”

“Behold, I send MY messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:1.

Let’s walk this into the New Testament. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see MY day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:56-58.

We have two examples here in the Old Testament (there are many more) where Jesus who came in a preincarnate state and received worship as an Angel.

Please note that the two other angels in Genesis 19:1 went to Sodom to destroy it. Why did they? Join us tomorrow for another comment.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 21:33:00

    You are getting into pretty deep stuff here, Manny. This is a subject I’ve always wondered about. And I’ve always had the same conclusion that you have here.

    Gary Stearman has written a book called “Time Travelers of the Bible.” I don’t have the book, but I have heard him discuss it a few times.

    These are the types of “appearances” that he writes about.

    Another thought provoking post, Manny. Please keep ’em coming.

    God’s blessings my brother…

    Reply

    • Mannyr
      Sep 29, 2012 @ 11:35:44

      Yes i agree Chris, not for controversy but for some apoligetics. I have been blessed to minister in prisions and jails and count those times as very precious. Of course when you bring the Word of God to inmates who are born again you quickly seek the Holy Spirit for help.

      Because they spend 22 hours a day in their cells unless on a work detail and spend most of that time reading their Bibles and coming up with the usual questions like “Where did Cain get his wife from” etc… So one quickly learns the awesomeness of the Word of God. I am glad you are enjoying these posts. I am also thanking our Lord continuinly.

      Reply

  2. Chris
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 22:15:34

    I read Genesis 18, Manny, and I’m beginning to wonder. Since verse one identifies “The Lord” as the appearer, is it possible that Abraham was seeing the Trinity in human form of some kind? I don’t know how that would be possible, but I don’t see the word “angel” anywhere in the text continuing through the entire chapter.

    By writing, “I’ve always had the same conclusion that you have” above I was thinking that I have always figured that one of the three was Jesus. The identity of the other two are in question in my mind. I’ll check a few commentaries and see what others say.

    God’s Blessings my friend…

    Reply

    • Mannyr
      Sep 29, 2012 @ 12:01:42

      This is where it is important to see that these “apperances” Christophany or theophany are the same. Jesus appears in a way the person can recieve. Cults are quite active in prisons and often present erroneous teachings. referance i use for the apperances are Gen.12:7, 26:2, Dan.10:5 and Gen 18:1-8. I personally think these two angels that accompanied Jesus were the two who stood guard over His body in the tomb. It is vital to see that these are preincarnate, as the cults say He was not deity and therefore could not be God who could,can and does take any form He pleases yet according to His Holly Nature.

      Did I say all that. I don’t mean to lecture or be condesending if i come off that way please forgive me it is not my intent. As you have said this is a subject close to my heart.

      Reply

  3. Chris
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 22:48:00

    Well, I only checked a few sources. Some commentators believe this could be what they called a Christophany, a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus. This is what I believe.

    I also found this quote: “A theophany is a manifestation of God in the Bible that is tangible to the human senses. For the majority of references in the Old Testament, it is a visible appearance of God, many times in a human form. As in Genesis 18:1-33, Genesis 32:22-30, Exodus 3:2 – 4:17 and Job 38–42.”

    The same source stated: “His two companions are universally understood to be angels. Besides being messengers to Abraham and a rescue party for Lot and his family Genesis 19, they also carry out the task of destruction on Sodom and Gomorrah similar to how God metes out judgments repeatedly in the book of Revelation.”

    My main source: http://discuss.oneyearbibleonline.com/forum/2-old-testament/254-genesis-181-2–the-lordthree-men.html

    You have made me think, Manny. That is a good thing. After reading the text, I believe one of the three was Jesus. I’m not sure about the other two. I don’t connect chapters 18 and 19 like some do. The last verse in 18 says: “the Lord went his way.” No where does it say that the two angels in 19:1 “continued to Sodom” as some insist.

    It is another mystery for me.

    God’s blessings my friend…

    Reply

    • Mannyr
      Sep 29, 2012 @ 12:04:12

      Chris, i totally agree. i am trying to counter an attitude in the body of Christ that says they can be Gay and Christians and it’s ok, NOT SO!

      Reply

  4. Chris
    Sep 30, 2012 @ 03:45:09

    Hi Manny.

    I now know why many think it was two angels and God. In Genesis 18:22, the Bible says: “Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the Lord.”

    I don’t know how I missed that verse. I guess I was looking for the word angels and missed it. So I have come to the same conclusion you have based on the Word of God.

    You have never lectured me or been condescending towards me in any way. You have only told me what you believe. I could not ask for more. It is amazing to me how similar we are in our views, but that’s not why I’m so glad I stumbled on your blog.

    I can tell you have a servant’s heart. How many go into the prisons and try to answer the questions of those who seek to know more about God? And how many today have a Biblical worldview? According to a Barna poll, you and I are in a select number (9%) of Americans. It is a sad time that we live, but it is also an amazing time. I am watching the news and I am seeing the Bible prophecies lining up in preparation for Christ’s return.

    I am blessed to have a friend who will discuss these things with me. The Bible is so full of interesting stories like this one. I love learning and when it comes to God’s Word I feel that I have only scratched the surface. I have learned things from you, Manny, and I hope you have learned a thing or two from me. Please let me know if I ever come off in a condescending way to you.

    Because of Genesis 18:22, I now also think it was Jesus and two angels. Of course, this is not an important doctrinal issue. However, it is a very interesting part of God’s Word. Thanks for helping me learn something, Manny.

    God’s blessings…

    Reply

    • Mannyr
      Sep 30, 2012 @ 19:24:45

      Chris, i agree with you statements about us. Iron sharpens iron… It is rare to find a friend and a brother in the Lord. I appreciate your friendship.

      Reply

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