7-2 Angelic Manifestation of God
The intensity of God manifestation to men or Angels can vary with time and requirement. The vehicle of manifestation may bear the name of God throughout the various degrees of manifestation. Although the Angels have borne God's Name from creation, God seems to have placed His Name specifically on the wilderness Angel (Ex. 23:20,21). In the same way Jesus carried the name of Yahweh when on earth- He came in the Father's Name (Jn. 5:43) and did and said many things which previously had been specific to Yahweh. Thus He walked on the water and stilled the waves as Yahweh was said to do (Ps. 107:29); yet Phil. 2:9 implies He was given the Name at His ascension: "God also hath highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name".
This variation of intensity in God's manifestation of Himself is indicated again in Mt. 6:4 "Thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly"; as if God is especially manifest in Christ when we stand before him in judgement to receive our rewards openly. Similarly God emphasized the degree of His manifestation in Angels when He sent Moses to liberate Israel: "I appeared unto Abraham. . Jacob. . by the name of God Almighty; and by My Name Jehovah was I not known unto them?" (Ex. 6:3; properly translated). God had revealed Himself as Jehovah previously (thus Abraham could speak of 'Jehovah Jireh' in Gen. 22:14), but the patriarchs conceived of God as a singular Angel- "God Almighty" (as Jacob: "The Angel that redeemed me from all evil"). Now Yahweh says "ye shall know that I am Yahweh your Elohim which bringeth you out from under the burden of the Egyptians" (Ex. 6:7). God is saying, 'I will be Elohim; I will be manifested not in just one Angel, but in many'.
God's statement to Moses about His manifestation in the Angels must be seen in context: "Moses returned to the Lord (the Angel of the bush? It sounds as if he went to a specific place to meet the Lord-i. e. the Angel), and said, Lord, wherefore hast Thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that Thou hast sent me? (the Angel at the bush sent him). . . neither hast Thou delivered Thy people" (Ex. 5:22,23). Moses complained about the Angel, and so God reminded him that 'Yahweh personally will be your Elohim Angels', and that because of his questioning of the Angels he was in fact doubting God Himself personally.
The Angels' manifestation of God is so great that they are called "the Angel of His presence" (Is. 63:9); whilst concerning the same Angel going with Israel through the wilderness we are told "My presence shall go with thee" (Ex. 33:14). Thus when Adam and Eve "hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden" (Gen. 3:8) they were hiding from the Angel walking in the garden. The language certainly implies that the Lord God was walking around in a personal form and eventually confronted them face to face.
It follows from what we have learnt so far that often when we read of God doing something, it is in fact an Angel doing it. The following are a few examples of this which are typical of the many others which await discovery:
- The promises made to Abraham were made by an Angel. This is implied in the Genesis account and repeated later- e. g. Judges 2:1 describes the Angel which led the people of Israel out of Egypt and into Canaan reminding them of "the covenant which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break My covenant with you". Thus when we read passages talking of the covenant God made with them and with Abraham, let us watch out for further allusions to Angelic work.
- Dt. 6:12 shows that the Israelites were encouraged to conceive of God as the manifestation He gave them through their guardian Angel, in the same way as we can relate to God Himself by perceiving His manifestation through the guardian Angel we have; they were told "Beware lest thou forget the LORD thy God which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt (the Angel did that). . the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you (cp. the language concerning the Angel which was to journey among them in Ex. 23, and the declaration of one of that Angels' attributes as "jealous" in Ex. 34). . ye shall not tempt the LORD thy God (God Himself can't be tempted- therefore this is concerning the Angel). . ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD thy God and His testimonies which He hath commanded thee (the Angel gave Moses the Laws on Mount Sinai, as stressed in Hebrews). . that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers (the Angels made the promises), to cast out all thine enemies from before thee (the Angels did this, as we saw earlier). . the LORD showed signs and wonders upon Egypt (the "Angels of evil " did this). . He brought us out from thence, that He might bring us in to give us the land which He sware unto our fathers (all these three things were done by the Angel)".
- "Thou shalt not tempt the LORD thy God" (Dt. 6:16). GOD himself cannot be tempted (James 1:13-15); thus this command must be about the Angel. And this was exactly how Jesus interpreted the passage when He quoted it in the wilderness temptations, to prove that one must not mis-use Angelic help by tempting the Angels to hold Him up if He jumped from the temple.