The Story of Jesus The Angel of the Lord (Lesson 38)
1. We are presently studying a series of lessons designed to help us grow in our knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18). 2. Jesus gave the key to accomplishing this growth in John 5:39. 3. In this lesson we are showing how Christ made a number of appearances in the Old Testament as "the angel of the Lord" before He came to earth in the flesh. 4. Let us first consider some . . . Discussion: I. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT ANGELS
A. Angels are spiritual beings created by God (Psalm 148:1-5). B. Since angels are not divine, they are not to be worshiped (Revelation 22:8-9). C. However, one particular angel identified as "the angel of the Lord" was called "Lord" as well as "God," and He allowed men to worship Him. D. Let us turn our attention to passages that relate to . . . II. THE ANGEL OF THE LORD
A. This angel appeared to Hagar (Genesis 16:7-13). 1. In His conversation with Hagar this angel revealed some information about Ishmael. 2. (vs.13) This angel is referred to as "the Lord," and Hagar called Him "God." B. This angel appeared to Abraham. 1. (Genesis 18:1-2) Although three "men" visited Abraham, one is identified as "the Lord." a. In the Bible, angels are often referred to as "men." b. According to Genesis 18:22, the men went to Sodom, but Abraham stood before "the Lord." c. We learn from Genesis 19:1 that "two angels" went to Sodom. d. Abraham's third visitor was "the Lord." 2. In Genesis 22:10-12 this "angel of the Lord" referred to Himself as "God." 3. Let us consider what Jesus said in John 8:56-58 about Himself and Abraham. C. This angel appeared to Jacob. 1. He called Himself "the God of Bethel" (Genesis 31:11-13). 2. In Genesis 32:24-30 Jacob said that he had seen "God." D. This angel appeared to Moses (Exodus 3:1-6). E. A special angel was with the Israelites (Exodus 23:20-23). 1. This angel could forgive sins which only God can do (Luke 5:21). 2. This angel is identified in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4. F. This angel appeared to Joshua (Joshua 5:13-6:2). 1. He allowed Joshua to worship Him (5:14). 2. He is identified as "the Lord" (6:2). G. This angel appeared to Gideon (Judges 6:11-16). Conclusion:
1. We must use caution because other angels are referred to as "the angel of the Lord," showing that they belong to the Lord (ex.: Matthew 2:13). 2. However, the angel we have examined possessed many divine characteristics: He was called "Lord" and "God," He called Himself "God," He guided the Israelites, He had the power to forgive sins, and He allowed men to worship Him. 3. Who was this angel? a. We know that He was a member of the Godhead. b. He was not the Father because no man has ever seen Him (John 1:18). c. He was Christ visiting the earth before His physical existence as a man began.